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High School Football: Results: Picks and Prediction for Week 4

It’s Week 4 of the Pennsylvania high school football season, and the 4th Down Magazine team is here to tell you who’s going to win every game involving Mid-Penn Conference teams, as well as Schuylkill-Colonial League games featuring former members of the now-defunct Tri-Valley League.

This year’s group of experts includes veteran reporters Andy Shay and Andy Sandrik, as well as 4th Down owner and manager Adam Kulikowski.

Here’s who we think will win each game this week.

2023 Standings

Picker: Week 4 — Overall — Perfect Picks

Andy Sandrik: 19-3 — 92-24 — 0

Adam Kulikowski: 17-5— 86-30 — 0

Andy Shay: 16-6— 81-35 — 0

* Records in parentheses after school name; District and seed in parentheses before school name.

Watch the latest edition of 4th & Goal with Andy Shay and Jake Adams. This week, we chat with East Pennsboro quarterback/linebacker Keith Oates III, breakdown what to expect as division play kicks off, preview a few key games and more!

THURSDAY, SEPT. 14

Bishop McDevitt 68, Palmyra 7:

Andy Shay: Bishop McDevitt 49, Palmyra 7: The Cougars’ defense has been solid thus far, only five touchdowns allowed. Anything short of that number being doubled over the upcoming four quarters will be considered successful.

Andy Sandrik: Bishop McDevitt 55, Palmyra 7: Bishop McDevitt played a star-studded out-of-conference schedule and came out with three wins in three tries. That’s not good news at all for a Keystone Division already facing an uphill battle against the Crusaders.

Adam Kulikowski: Bishop McDevitt 51, Palmyra 7: Cougars have to feel good about themselves heading into division play. That said, these are two teams in a very different place. 

Cedar Cliff 41, Hershey 21:

Andy Shay: Cedar Cliff 28, Hershey 21: Trojans are well equipped for this matchup on many fronts and will look to keep the game inside their comfort zone. Colts strike a wee bit more balance on offense and present a stiffer challenge defensively.

Andy Sandrik: Cedar Cliff 23, Hershey 21: The Trojans are quickly rising up the ranks, but safe money is on the consistent Colts. And when you’re leading the pick ‘em standings by four games, there’s nothing better than safe money.

Adam Kulikowski: Cedar Cliff 28, Hershey 17: Hershey is clearly trending in the right direction. Is there enough balance in the Trojan attack to add a signature victory to their 2023 résumé? 

Milton Hershey 36, Red Land 20

Andy Shay: Milton Hershey 42, Red Land 14: The margin between the Spartans being 3-0 and/or 1-2 instead of 2-1 is razor thin. Their superior firepower offensively will show up here in a major way.

Andy Sandrik: Milton Hershey 38, Red Land 21: Give the Patriots credit, they have been hanging in games for longer than many would have thought. But I just can’t envision a scenario Thursday that doesn’t involve Milton Hershey eventually pulling away for a comfortable win.

Adam Kulikowski: Milton Hershey 34, Red Land 14: The Spartans sure have a knack for the dramatic this year being a part of two last-second outcomes in their first three games. 

FRIDAY, SEPT. 15

State College 49, Altoona 7:

Andy Shay: State College 42, Altoona 21: I could see the Mountain Lions hanging around for longer than the Little Lions might like, but in the end State College has more options at its disposal.

Andy Sandrik: State College 43, Altoona 20: Anyone remember that year when Bishop McDevitt had to wear Altoona’s uniforms in a playoff game? That’s a possible way to explain what happened last week when Altoona beat the living daylights out of Mifflin County in a game we thought the Mountain Lions would lose. Of course none of that matters this week, as State College is a different animal altogether.

Adam Kulikowski: State College 45, Altoona 23: Last week, Altoona proved our gang of experts wrong in commanding fashion. If they do it again this week, my wife — an Altoona grad — may make nothing but crow for me to eat for the next month. 

Central Dauphin 35, Chambersburg 7:

Andy Shay: Central Dauphin 38, Chambersburg 7: What I see from this Rams team is a group growing in confidence and playing football fast on both sides of the ball. Trojans’ only shot is to make CD uncomfortable.

Andy Sandrik: Central Dauphin 30, Chambersburg 12: I like the direction these Trojans are heading, but it seems like the CD machine is once again up and running at full capacity. 

Adam Kulikowski: Central Dauphin 34, Chambersburg 14: The Rams are back. There, I said it. What Glen McNamee’s crew did to a quality Coatesville team last week should have opened eyes across District 3. 

Cumberland Valley 31, CD East 24 (OT):

Andy Shay: CD East 35, Cumberland Valley 14: When the Panthers get rolling, scoring points is not a problem. Getting the scoreboard rolling is a struggle for the Eagles.

Andy Sandrik: Cumberland Valley 21, CD East 20: This is an upset pick that depends on the Eagles growing — not shrinking — as a result of a brutal non-conference schedule against teams sporting a combined 9-0 record.

Adam Kulikowski: CD East 50, Cumberland Valley 14: One team bombed its opponent with a 60-spot while the other, well … coughed up 63. Panthers are a tough out for the Eagles right now. 

Lower Dauphin 20, Mifflin County 14:

Andy Shay: Lower Dauphin 28, Mifflin County 7: Falcons’ defense has already pitched two shutouts, and the Huskies’ offense is slowly tailing off and faces an uphill battle.

Andy Sandrik: Lower Dauphin 35, Mifflin County 14: It’s really, really hard to just bounce back from a 35-0 loss, especially when you have to face a Lower Dauphin squad that is starting to build momentum on both sides of the ball. 

Adam Kulikowski: Lower Dauphin 26, Mifflin County 13: The Falcons found themselves a nice back in Dakota Sary, who is averaging a hefty 9.3 yards per carry (35 carries, 335 yards) through three games. 

East Pennsboro 42, Gettysburg 24:

Andy Shay: East Pennsboro 26, Gettysburg 24: Expect plenty of drama and back-and-forth in a matchup that appears fairly even on many levels. Big plays from the Panthers will be the difference-maker if they prevail.

Andy Sandrik: East Pennsboro 30, Gettysburg 21: I can’t even call this a “trap” game for the unbeaten Panthers, because I think they’re expecting a war from the defending division champs, no matter their record.

Adam Kulikowski: East Pennsboro 27, Gettysburg 24: Make no mistake, this is a dangerous Warriors team regardless of what their record says. It will take a full four quarters, plus maybe a little more Keith Oates III magic, for the Panthers to improve to 4-0. 

Greencastle-Antrim 17, Waynesboro 10:

Andy Shay: Greencastle-Antrim 28, Waynesboro 7: Throw the Blue Devils’ hat into the ring of Colonial contenders after a 3-0 start. This feels like a grind game, and G-A is all about embracing the grind and playing its style to win.

Andy Sandrik: Greencastle-Antrim 28, Waynesboro 20: Blue Devils definitely deserve to be favored here, but Waynesboro has shown itself to be much more capable than most would think for a squad bearing a “rebuilding” label.

Adam Kulikowski: Greencastle-Antrim 31, Waynesboro 17: The Blue Devils have quietly been one of the top teams in the Colonial Division. Trend continues against the rebuilding Indians. 

Mechanicsburg 14, Susquehanna Township 13:

Andy Shay: Susquehanna Township 28, Mechanicsburg 21: This is what I call a volatile matchup at this juncture. Indians have some advantages, but Wildcats are dangerous when they are in the right slot. Could be a close one, but I see several scenarios where a blowout is possible. Volatile!

Andy Sandrik: Susquehanna Township 27, Mechanicsburg 19: I took ‘Hanna to win the Colonial, and I’m not going to back off on that just because Mechanicsburg’s stock is rising. Still see this being a close game, though.

Adam Kulikowski: Susquehanna Township 30, Mechanicsburg 27: Wildcats’ biggest question marks are on defense, where Anthony Rose’s crew has yielded at least 27 points in each of its three games in 2023. 

Shippensburg 12, Northern 6:

Andy Shay: Shippensburg 21, Northern 14: This a pretty intense rivalry, and don’t expect any less from these two teams. They enjoy playing and beating each other and the respectful disdain is a two-way street. I expect a little of the unexpected.

Andy Sandrik: Shippensburg 9, Northern 7: A battle between two teams trying to find any kind of traction on offense. It’s also a make-or-break game for both teams, which each come into this contest with a 1-2 record.

Adam Kulikowski: Shippensburg 24, Northern 20: This is one of those games you annually circle on your calendar as a must-see matchup. This year, however, the luster seems just a shade or two duller on both sides. 

Big Spring 29, Camp Hill 28 (OT):

Andy Shay: Camp Hill 30, Big Spring 20: Lions have found a variety of ways to win games, and their defense has been a quiet force to date. This a full-metal-jacket test against a Bulldogs RB duo that gets downhill and is relentless.

Andy Sandrik: Big Spring 35, Camp Hill 28: Big Spring has a big advantage in the running game that it will be looking to exploit. Camp Hill, however, has home-run potential with its passing game. Take the “over” this week. 

Adam Kulikowski: Big Spring 34, Camp Hill 32: Bulldogs are clicking on all cylinders as they head into this matchup against the Lions. Biggest question for the Lions? How to stop the Bulldog’s duo of Connor Green and Grant Hall. This pair of backs combined for 566 yards through Big Spring’s first three contests. 

Steel-High 55, Boiling Springs 7:

Andy Shay: Steel-High 53, Boiling Springs 14: The Rollers are exactly who you thought they were and are proving that on a weekly basis. The Bubblers are still searching for answers to a few questions, and Steel-High isn’t a squad you find answers against.

Andy Sandrik: Steel-High 58, Boiling Springs 7: This could get ugly in a hurry. That’s not a slight on the Bubblers, rather a nod to just how loaded the Rollers are for division play this fall. 

Adam Kulikowski: Steel-High 55, Boiling Springs 20: The Rollers set themselves up with some early tests and passed with flying colors. Division play opens as heavy favorites against the Bubblers. 

West Perry 19, Trinity 16:

Andy Shay: Trinity 32, West Perry 27: One big key for me is Wyomissing exacts an ounce or two extra out of a team — will that be a factor for the T-Rocks in this game? Plenty of paths to victories can be found for either squad. The best players for each team have to perform at their top level, otherwise this could be one-sided.

Andy Sandrik: West Perry 35, Trinity 21: Trinity has more pop than it’s had in years, but I think West Perry’s team defense has what it takes to rise up to the challenge that is Shamrocks star RB Messiah Mickens (13.7 ypc).

Adam Kulikowski: West Perry 33, Trinity 32: This might be the most intriguing game on the docket in Week 4. The merits to pick either team can be fully justified. I’m giving a razor-thin edge to the Mustangs simply based on the experience of their dynamic duo in QB Marcus Quaker and wideout Ian Goodling. 

Line Mountain 14, Middletown 7:

Andy Shay: Line Mountain 42, Middletown 14: There’s an element to this Line Mountain team that the Blue Raiders maybe haven’t seen yet.

Andy Sandrik: Line Mountain 21, Middletown 14: I’ll give some respect to the Middletown team that played within two scores of Susquehanna Township last week. If the Blue Raiders keep taking steps forward, this one could be within striking distance in the final quarter.

Adam Kulikowski: Line Mountain 38, Middletown 6: The Blue Raiders are finding their first season back from the sidelines to be quite challenging. It doesn’t get easier against an up-start Line Mountain club.

Halifax 43, James Buchanan 6:

Andy Shay: James Buchanan 30, Halifax 29: I’m staying on the picks-the-Wildcats-to-lose train, and then they go out and win. Can the Rockets buck the trend?

Andy Sandrik: Halifax 44, James Buchanan 7: Am I the only one who doesn’t think this will be a close game? Wildcats will launch the Rockets into outer space, bank it.

Adam Kulikowski: Halifax 35, James Buchanan 28: The Halifax faithful let us have it after our crew predicted a Wildcats loss last week. We won’t make the same mistake twice. 

Juniata 33, Newport 6:

Andy Shay: Juniata 42, Newport 6: All the dog in the fight the Indians showed against a clearly stronger West Perry team a week ago will serve them well when they get to enjoy having most of the advantages.

Andy Sandrik: Juniata 49, Newport 7: Not one of my opposing pickers believes that Newport’s kicker can convert the PAT, but I believe. 

Adam Kulikowski: Juniata 44, Newport 6: Points are tough to come by for the boys in blue, while the Indians gave West Perry its best challenge of the season last week.

Upper Dauphin 44, Susquenita 27:

Andy Shay: Susquenita 29, Upper Dauphin 23: Something tells me this game could be a right-down-to-the-wire affair to determine a winner. Firepower in terms of explosiveness and big plays rests with the Blackhawks.

Andy Sandrik: Upper Dauphin 28, Susquenita 19: Upper Dauphin is 1-2, yes, but the Trojans have cultivated some promising talent on both sides of the ball that could break out sooner rather than later.

Adam Kulikowski: Susquenita 23, Upper Dauphin 21: Blackhawks avenge their 30-7 loss last season thanks to a nice core group of skill position players returning to the fold. 

Schuylkill Haven 27, Tri-Valley 21:

Andy Shay: Schuylkill Haven 20, Tri-Valley 14: All I know is the Hurricanes’ defense can slow down a hammer running back to tilt a game in their favor. Don’t expect that trend to abate here.

Andy Sandrik: Tri-Valley 21, Schuylkill Haven 14: The Tri-Valley defense just put the clamps down on a Line Mountain team that was favored to win the Liberty Division. The ‘Dawgs have a good chance, especially if they can keep getting outstanding efforts from sophomore OLB Cole Gemberling, who is averaging 8.3 tackles per game and has already racked up 2.5 sacks.

Adam Kulikowski: Schuylkill Haven 28, Tri-Valley 26: The Hurricanes limited Williams Valley’s Alex Achenbach to just 145 yards rushing a week ago to knock off the Vikings. They face another top back in Noah Porter this week. 

Williams Valley 31, Minersville 28:

Andy Shay: Williams Valley 36, Minersville 34: I’m putting the over-under for the hammer running backs on each squad at a combined 419 yards on the ground. Taking a flier on the Vikings.

Andy Sandrik: Williams Valley 38, Minersville 28: I’m just poaching the research posted on Twitter by former WV coach Tim Savage, but only one RB in the state — Windber’s Luke Hostetler — has more rushing yards than the Vikes’ Alex Achenbach this season.

Adam Kulikowski: Minersville 48, Williams Valley 45: Both clubs possess backs that are capable of carrying their team on their backs. Fully expect this one to be a classic slobberknocker. 

SATURDAY, SEPT. 16

Harrisburg 60, Carlisle 7:

Andy Shay: Harrisburg 50, Carlisle 14: Time for the Cougars to pick up the pieces and march forward. Break from the schedule for what’s been a tough slate so far, as the Thundering Herd have the potential to create some early problems but aren’t built to flourish in this matchup.

Andy Sandrik: Harrisburg 44, Carlisle 28: The Herd would love to turn this into a shootout where their quick-strike offense can put up a lot of points in a hurry. I think Harrisburg is still one step ahead, but Carlisle could make this game interesting.

Adam Kulikowski: Harrisburg 55, Carlisle 23: Cougars use last week’s thumping at the hands of Manheim Township as a challenge to rise above. Consider it a set back, not an indication of trouble ahead.

Northern Lehigh at Pine Grove, 7 p.m.

Andy Shay: Northern Lehigh 19, Pine Grove 15: Neither defense has “helped the ball club” much this season. Time for them to step up and be heard.

Andy Sandrik: Pine Grove 24, Northern Lehigh 21: Pine Grove RB Lane Lehman has been grinding for quality yards, even as his team has taken some beatings in recent weeks. If the Cardinals can shore up their defense, which is allowing 37.6 points per game, Lehman will give his team a chance to win.

Adam Kulikowski: Pine Grove 13, Northern Lehigh 6: In a battle of two teams still searching for a way out of first gear, I’ll take the Cardinals in a toss-up. 

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