Picks and Predictions: Week 5

24 August 2016 K2_ITEM_AUTHOR  4th Down Staff


Welcome to Week 5 of the Mid-Penn and Tri-Valley high school football season. We're predicting all the action to get you ready for game-day. Disagree? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.

Standings through Week 4: 

Geoff Morrow: Week 4: 16-4, Overall: 90-21

Andy Shay: Week 4: 16-4, Overall: 89-22

Andy Sandrik: Week 4 15-5, Overall: 87-24

Jake Adams: Week 4: 16-4, Overall: 86-25

Thursday, September 28


River Dell (NJ) at Shippensburg, 6 p.m.

Andy Shay: River Dell 21, Shippensburg 20: The Golden Hawks are 3-0 and have won a couple close games. Big opportunity for the 'Hounds to rebound here after getting upset. River Dell has a solid QB but is replacing a bunch of starters.

Jake Adams: River Dell 35, Shippensburg 24: The New Jersey faithful might peg the Golden Hawks a bigger favorite than I. The reigning North 1, Group 3 champs have returning starting QB Dave Estevez back, a Division III prospect, leading a team that replaced 16 starters but has been off to a fast start.

Andy Sandrik: River Dell 21, Shippensburg 17: Hate to be the angry Mom at a school board meeting, but why is a team from Jersey driving 3.5 hours to play football ... ON A SCHOOL NIGHT?!?

Geoff Morrow: River Dell 35, Shippensburg 14: There's a dude named Dave Estevez at QB for the Golden Hawks (3-0) who makes things happen. This team won a North 1 Group 3 championship (whatever that means) in New Jersey last year, going 10-2 overall. It's a rock-solid program. In Ship's favor, though, is River Dell is coming off a short week, having just played Saturday.


Episode 5: High School Football Now with Eric Epler and Andy Shay

Friday, September 29

Big Spring at West Perry, 7 p.m.

Andy Shay: Big Spring 31, West Perry 28: Not sure what that single touchdown last week for the Bulldogs against Northern was all about, but I don't see that continuing. Health is a concern for Big Spring. Mustangs have some offensive pop, too, and are at home. Better defense wins?

Jake Adams: Big Spring 34, West Perry 27: I was uber confident last week for the Bulldogs. If they get off to another slow start, though, the Mustangs can make this a race and win it. Bob Boden’s squad made this one a scare last year.

Andy Sandrik: West Perry 35, Big Spring 33: I'm more certain about the over/under than the winner. With that said, Mustangs take it at home.

Geoff Morrow: West Perry 34, Big Spring 28: Remember, this was a dogfight last year with the Mustangs nearly pulling the upset to end their lengthy losing streak. Now that they have a taste, and the Bulldogs are trying to answer questions after last week's hiccup vs. Northern, West Perry has to be considered the home favorite.


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First glance: District 3 3A Power Rankings after Week 4

First glance: District 3 2A & 1A Power Rankings after Week 4


Bishop McDevitt at Cedar Cliff, 7 p.m.

Andy Shay: Bishop McDevitt 34, Cedar Cliff 21: That 80-something points the Colts have surrendered the last two games has me very concerned in this match-up. Crusaders are a prolific passing team, but if they can run the ball in this one that would be a HUGE bonus.

Jake Adams: Bishop McDevitt 34, Cedar Cliff 21: Was high on the Colts this season until LD blitzed them last week. Now we’re looking at an 0-2 start in the Keystone.

Andy Sandrik: Bishop McDevitt 28, Cedar Cliff 14: McDevitt is finally starting to find its groove, while Cedar Cliff is losing its footing. Should still be plenty of entertaining moments at West Shore Stadium.

Geoff Morrow: Bishop McDevitt 42, Cedar Cliff 26: Colts have surrendered at least 34 points to Crusaders in 10 straight meetings. That's a trend that will somehow have to end if Cedar Cliff expects to snap its mini two-game skid.


Carlisle at State College, 7 p.m.

Andy Shay: State College 49, Carlisle 7: So the Thundering Herd get the CD Rams and Little Lions back-to-back. Yeah, that's a tough draw. After last week's result, it appears the Herd are not equipped to handle a challenge like this. And State College demands a LOT.

Jake Adams: State College 48, Carlisle 20: The 3-0 start for Carlisle is going to feel like a distant memory after consecutive blowout losses to division contenders.

Andy Sandrik: State College 45, Carlisle 7: Carlisle has a respectable team, but competing in the Commonwealth Division on a weekly basis is a lot to ask from an overmatched Herd squad.

Geoff Morrow: State College 56, Carlisle 20: Well, after a nice non-league start to their season, the Thundering Herd were cratered by CD in the Mid-Penn Commonwealth opener last week. The stacked Little Lions are unlikely to relent in their own Commonwealth opener.


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CD East at Chambersburg, 7 p.m.

Andy Shay: CD East 28, Chambersburg 13: Panthers escaped Harrisburg in pretty good shape and it's time to move on because the Panthers were never going to win that game. Chambersburg defense has struggled all season and, in this match-up, that's a problem.

Jake Adams: CD East 34, Chambersburg 14: The Panthers now get to work off some frustration after the shellacking they took from Harrisburg last week. Sorry, Trojans.

Andy Sandrik: CD East 31, Chambersburg 7: That lopsided loss to Harrisburg stings, but I fully expect CD East to regroup with a big win this week.

Geoff Morrow: CD East 30, Chambersburg 16: No shame in Panthers' loss to Harrisburg last Saturday. Cougars have, and will, do that to a lot of teams this year. Kane Everson remains a serious threat for East.


Cumberland Valley at Central Dauphin, 7 p.m.

Andy Shay: Cumberland Valley 21, Central Dauphin 17: I don't pick against Cumberland Valley until they lose a game. When these two lock horns, the game is always highly competitive and somewhat unpredictable.

Jake Adams: Cumberland Valley 35, Central Dauphin 24: I’m going to favor the Eagles in every game until we get to Week 10 against Harrisburg. Then I’ll have some SERIOUS thinking to do. Feels weird to make this one a clear-cut decision.

Andy Sandrik: Cumberland Valley 24, Central Dauphin 21: We've been around this rivalry long enough to know that anything can happen, but with the team effort CV has been getting, I just can't pick against the Eagles in this spot.

Geoff Morrow: Cumberland Valley 26, Central Dauphin 21: Now five straight series victories for the Eagles since 2014, the most lopsided of which was a two-touchdown triumph in last year's district playoffs. This might be too high-scoring of a prediction, but something tells me there will be some weirdness at The Speedway.


Dylan Rabuck scores another nod as 4th Down Magazine Player of the Week


East Pennsboro at Steel-High, 7 p.m.

Andy Shay: East Pennsboro 24, Steel-High 21: This will be an interesting match-up. Rollers are playing some very good football. East Pennsboro defense is getting better, and OL has made some strides as well. Each offense has weapons. Which one blows up big?

Jake Adams: East Pennsboro 35, Steel-High 34: My score reflects how unsure I am of this one. Panthers could run away with this, Rollers could, too, or it could go down to the wire. Can I not pick this?

Andy Sandrik: East Pennsboro 28, Steel-High 14: Whether this game turns into a shootout or a defensive showdown, I see it going the way of the Panthers, with that Onasis Neely guy being the difference.

Geoff Morrow: East Pennsboro 30, Steel-High 25: This was tough to pick. Do Panthers take the early positives from Middletown loss and improve? Do Rollers carry momentum from Milton Hershey victory? Either way, should be fun on The Hill.


Greencastle-Antrim at Mifflin County, 7 p.m.

Andy Shay: Greencastle-Antrim 26, Mifflin County 15: Blue Devils have taken a couple lumps, and that was expected this season. But they are capable of getting a W in this one. The Huskies have to make the fourth quarter matter in order to clear this hurdle.

Jake Adams: Greencastle-Antrim 34, Mifflin County 10: The Blue Devils lost late to West Perry last week in a thriller. Things will be much easier against the struggling Huskies. Mifflin County was blanked last week by Wyomissing.

Andy Sandrik: Greencastle-Antrim 30, Mifflin County 21: Last weekend's fireworks show with West Perry has me convinced the Blue Devils can eke out a hard road win over Mifflin County.

Geoff Morrow: Greencastle-Antrim 36, Mifflin County 22: Nice effort from Huskies, who had been getting shredded, to limit Wyomissing to 10 points last week. But offense needs to score, because the Blue Devils certainly know how to score.


Juniata at Huntingdon, 7 p.m.

Andy Shay: Huntingdon 34, Juniata 20: The undefeated Bearcats have been killing cats, and their schedule is no slouch. Juniata defense has answered the bell all season, but this one just feels a little beyond the Indians' reach.

Jake Adams: Juniata 24, Huntingdon 21: Taking a stab at this. The Indians’ Zac Piper leads the team with 43 tackles and six sacks. Could be a pain in the rear for unbeaten Huntingdon QB Andrew Hudy.

Andy Sandrik: Huntingdon 24, Juniata 21: Huntingdon scores loads of points. Juniata hasn't allowed more than 13. Something's gotta give.

Geoff Morrow: Huntingdon 22, Juniata 20: Bearcats (5-0) were dealt a two-touchdown loss to Indians last year, but RB Ian Border (890 rushing, 15 TDs) has been on fire this season. Edge to the revenge-minded hosts.


Tri-Valley League: Six pack of stories to watch in Week 5


Line Mountain at Halifax, 7 p.m.

Andy Shay: Line Mountain 42, Halifax 20: This feels like teams going in opposite directions. The Eagles have some serious variety and balance on offense and have scored on everybody including Williams Valley. Not sure the Wildcats can keep up.

Jake Adams: Line Mountain 34, Halifax 17: The Wildcats have allowed the fourth most points in the Tri-Valley, while LM has scored the third most. Sophomore Eagles QB Evan Herb (67-106, 1,094 yards, 10 TDs) gets his.

Andy Sandrik: Line Mountain 41, Halifax 14: The TVL pecking order is taking form. Eagles are trending up, while Wildcats stock is going down.

Geoff Morrow: Line Mountain 30, Halifax 16: Brendan Cregger (422 receiving, 5 TDs) leads a three-headed receiving attack in a potent Eagles passing game. Wildcats are slumping.


Mechanicsburg at Susquehanna Twp,., 7 p.m.

Andy Shay: Susquehanna Twp. 30, Mechanicsburg 28: This is a couple of 2-2 teams who each covet this victory for many, many reasons. The lack of a running game could hurt the 'Hanna Tribe. Wildcats' offense has to be razor sharp to have a chance.

Jake Adams: Mechanicsburg 34, Susquehanna Twp. 31: Joseph Bruno now has four (FOUR!) kick return scores. Wildcats are away for the fourth time this season. Feel that comfort helps them in this. Gut call.

Andy Sandrik: Susquehanna Twp. 28, Mechanicsburg 27: Almost, almost, almost pulled the trigger for Mechanicsburg on this one. Something tells me a special teams play makes the difference in this ballgame.

Geoff Morrow: Mechanicsburg 29, Susquehanna Twp. 22: While 'Hanna has won 10 of the last 12 in this series, we like where the Wildcats are headed. And why is anybody still kicking to Joseph Bruno?


Millersburg at Tri-Valley, 7 p.m.

Andy Shay: Tri-Valley 49, Millersburg 0: The Tribe is simply struggling to stop anybody, and the Bulldogs have some pop in that running game.

Jake Adams: Tri-Valley 54, Millersburg 7: When you’re allowing more than 50 points a game, including a 70-0 loss last week, as the winless Indians are, you won’t be favored in many games.

Andy Sandrik: Tri-Valley 50, Millersburg 0: Unfortunately, I see nothing to suggest this will be a competitive game.

Geoff Morrow: Tri-Valley 48, Millersburg 7: Make it seven straight in this series for the Bulldogs.


Newport at Upper Dauphin, 7 p.m.

Andy Shay: Newport 43, Upper Dauphin 6: All the Buffaloes keep doing is winning TVL game after TVL game. Easy call to punch another W in the Newport ledger.

Jake Adams: Newport 35, Upper Dauphin 17: Not something you see every day. The Trojans (3-2) have allowed 29 more points than they’ve scored despite being above .500. Ethan Rode and Nikolas Grabiec are averaging more than 6 yards a pop rushing for the Buffaloes.

Andy Sandrik: Newport 33, Upper Dauphin 7: UD is improved, for sure, but there are a lot of people who think unbeaten Newport is the best team in the TVL.

Geoff Morrow: Newport 40, Upper Dauphin 20: RBs Mason Wiest and Jason Ramberger have Trojans (3-2) above .500, but unbeaten Buffaloes have ways of stopping momentum.


Palmyra at Boiling Springs, 7 p.m.

Andy Shay: Palmyra 30, Boiling Springs 13: The real meat of the Cougars' schedule is coming very, very soon. But, for now, Palmyra has enough cooking to stay undefeated against a Bubblers squad that is in full rebuild mode but playing more competitive.

Jake Adams: Palmyra 42, Boiling Springs 13: We have to start looking at the Cougars as a Mid-Penn Capital threat. Few would’ve thought that in the preseason, but now they look like the main threat to Middletown.

Andy Sandrik: Palmyra 28, Boiling Springs 10: Somewhere along the line, someone is going to trip up undefeated Palmyra. It's not going to be Boiling Springs.

Geoff Morrow: Palmyra 37, Boiling Springs 13: Surprising unbeaten start continues for Cougars, who slip into Capital meat next week. Bubblers found a bruiser last week in 250-pound RB Damon James.


Red Land at Lower Dauphin, 7 p.m.

Andy Shay: Lower Dauphin 28, Red Land 14: With each passing week it seems like the Falcons are becoming a more balanced unit on offense. Coming off first win of the season and are looking ahead. Patriots are still not an easy out and have a few more bodies back.

Jake Adams: Lower Dauphin 42, Red Land 10: The Falcons sent some ripples through the Keystone with a cozy win over Cedar Cliff. Now they get the limping Patriots to start a win streak.

Andy Sandrik: Lower Dauphin 28, Red Land 0: I caught a lot of hell for picking Red Land to lose by five TDs last week. So I will only pick the Pates to lose by four TDs against heavily favored Lower Dauphin.

Geoff Morrow: Lower Dauphin 35, Red Land 19: Good for Patriots to find some life last week against the 'Hanna Tribe, but The Land remains unlikely to corral first win against rapidly improving Falcons.


Trinity at Middletown, 7 p.m.

Andy Shay: Middletown 42, Trinity 10: The power, depth and overall speed of the Blue Raiders are a lot to deal with. The T-Rocks have turned a corner this season, but I'm not quite sure they are ready for this beast yet.

Jake Adams: Middletown 49, Trinity 19: Yes, the Shamrocks are back. But the Blue Raiders are just a different beast entirely. ‘Rocks don’t have the depth on defense to slow Brady Fox and Jose Lopez.

Andy Sandrik: Middletown 28, Trinity 14: Middletown's defense will get a nice test from Tommy Kirchoff and Co., but I'll be surprised if this is still a ballgame in the fourth quarter.

Geoff Morrow: Middletown 46, Trinity 12: Just like East Penn last week, running head-on into the Blue Raiders buzzsaw isn't a reason to hang your head. Shamrocks have definitely turned a corner this season, but this is a tall task.


Waynesboro at Northern, 7 p.m.

Andy Shay: Northern 24, Waynesboro 21: Each squad is coming off huge victories, and those wins have thrown the chase for the Colonial title wide open. This feels like an upset call to some degree, but the team that moves forward best instead of resting on its laurels is your winner.

Jake Adams: Northern 28, Waynesboro 20: Did we write off the Polar Bears too soon? If last week’s romp at Big Spring is any sign, we most certainly did. I’ll take it with some salt, but if Bill Miller’s offensive line can get that kind of push again -- especially when two of the five starters come back -- watch out.

Andy Sandrik: Northern 33, Waynesboro 30: I had Shippensburg winning the Colonial over Big Spring. Then Waynesboro thumped the Greyhounds and Northern clobbered Big Spring. Winner of this game is the new division favorite.

Geoff Morrow: Northern 21, Waynesboro 14: Teams have gone back-and-forth over last four meetings, and that means it's the Polar Bears' turn. Both programs have reasons to be optimistic in suddenly wide-open chase for Colonial crown.


Williams Valley at East Juniata, 7 p.m.

Andy Shay: Williams Valley 49, East Juniata 0: Nobody has slowed down this Vikings machine this season. And the defense gave up some points last week, but this Tigers squad doesn't have the weapons to score on this WV defense.

Jake Adams: Williams Valley 52, East Juniata 16: Dylan Rabuck for 250, three scores is about as common as the sun rising in the morning and setting in the evening. Set your watch to it.

Andy Sandrik: Williams Valley 42, East Juniata 14: Vikings RB Dylan Rabuck rushed for 25 yards per pop last week. Mercy!

Geoff Morrow: Williams Valley 47, East Juniata 19: Are there more Rabucks out there? Can we hire them to do weddings? Caterings? Landscaping? Vikings continue to power through the TVL.

Saturday, September 30


Camp Hill at Milton Hershey, 1:30 p.m.

Andy Shay: Camp Hill 28, Milton Hershey 21: The Lions have sort of quietly gone about their business since that early season bomb was dropped on them. And that will serve them well in this game. Spartans feel like a team that is stuck in neutral and can't get out of the garage.

Jake Adams: Camp Hill 28, Milton Hershey 21: The Lions go as far as Quinn Buffington takes them. If he gets on a roll, they win this. But I won’t rule out the Spartans in this one.

Andy Sandrik: Camp Hill 24, Milton Hershey 14: Lions have had two weeks to game-plan for a struggling Milton Hershey team. Still think this is a close game, though.

Geoff Morrow: Camp Hill 25, Milton Hershey 20: Will be interesting to see what Lions did with their bye week. We're guessing it did them well, and we'll see a healthy dose of Zack Kuntz in the passing game.


Hershey at Harrisburg, 1 p.m.

Andy Shay: Harrisburg 35, Hershey 0: Cougars' offense will be without its starting QB, and that will limit the Harrisburg production. But that defense is still rock solid, and the Trojans' offense will struggle to make first downs.

Jake Adams: Harrisburg 53, Hershey 7: Not getting cute. The Cougars are heavy favorites in all but maybe two more games this season. This one isn’t close.

Andy Sandrik: Harrisburg 55, Hershey 0: This score has more to do with Harrisburg than Hershey.

Geoff Morrow: Harrisburg 45, Hershey 7: Tough spot for Trojans. Really, this is a tough spot for anybody right now the way these Cougars are roaring.


Susquenita at Pine Grove, 7 p.m.

Andy Shay: Susquenita 28, Pine Grove 7: Just have a feeling that two-game slide won't impact this Blackhawks squad, and their weapons find the room to roam they like. PG has struggled to keep teams within reach deep into games.

Jake Adams: Susquenita 35, Pine Grove 7: Interesting trend. The loser of the last four games the Blackhawks have played has scored seven points. Susquenita has lost the last two, but beat Elco and Halifax before that. The fifth game? Nita was shut out.

Andy Sandrik: Susquenita 28, Pine Grove 24: Finally some points for PG last week, and the Cards will put more on the scoreboard this week. That first win, however, will have to wait.

Geoff Morrow: Susquenita 30, Pine Grove 14: A nice seven-point battle last year. Blackhawks need to break out a bit after managing just two touchdowns over last two games.