District 3 Playoffs
Class 6A Semifinals
No. 3 Central Dauphin 27, No. 2 Manheim Township 0
Andy Shay: Manheim Township 21, Central Dauphin 17: I saw the first meeting and know the Rams have a stronger identity offensively, have improved greatly in the secondary and have revenge on their minds. Slamming the ball up the middle will work, but won’t win the game. Interested to see how the Blue Streaks rebound after getting a full metal jacket test from Chambersburg. The diversity of the MT offense that showed up in the first meeting is what gets my pick. If CD takes that away, Rams win.
Andy Sandrik: Central Dauphin 28, Manheim Township 21: The Blue Streaks, with a 28-0 win over CD in the playoffs last year and a 22-12 victory over the Rams in Week 3, have to feel like this is their game to lose. Central Dauphin, though, has been rolling over quality opponents and won’t be intimidated by MT.
Jake Adams: Central Dauphin 28, Manheim Township 24: The Rams’ offense has grown up since the Week 3 meeting between these two squads, with Adam Burkhart developing into a true two-way stud at RB and LB. Could that be the difference in this one? I’m really not sure. This could be such a tight game that can turn on a dime at any moment, on any one play.
Adam Kulikowski: Central Dauphin 27, Manheim Township 24: The Rams have improved greatly since that Week 3 defeat at the hands of the Blue Streaks — most notably on the offensive side where Adam Burkhart has been a dominating force.
No. 1 Harrisburg 32, No. 4 Wilson 12
Andy Shay: Harrisburg 35, Wilson 7: I mean, this just feels wrong making this a four-score game, but the Cougars have 10 weeks of consistently imposing their will on opponents. And a few of those are high-quality opponents. And that defense … never forget they are shutting teams down big-time.
Andy Sandrik: Harrisburg 39, Wilson 14: I hate to discard such a proud program like Wilson, but that has more to do with the Cougars than the Bulldogs. I’m just not sure who, or what, in District 3 is going to prevent Harrisburg from running away with the 6A title.
Jake Adams: Harrisburg 35, Wilson 21: I just don’t see anyone stopping these Cougars right now, not even a pretty darn good Bulldogs side. It feels like H-burg is playing with a tenacity and desire it didn’t have when upset last year early. They want this, they don’t expect it to just happen.
Adam Kulikowski: Harrisburg 37, Wilson 14: If you’re Wilson, where do you focus your attention in prep against the Cougars? It seems like new weapons on both sides of the ball emerge each week.
State College 55, McDowell 20
Andy Shay: State College 42, McDowell 13: Little Lions have a deep arsenal of weapons and McDowell struggles against quality teams. This is a very favorable matchup for State College.
Andy Sandrik: State College 35, McDowell 10: State College is the more complete team here. I fully expect a Little Lions victory.
Jake Adams: State College 42, McDowell 7: Dresyn Green at RB and the Little Lions defense is a recipe for disaster for many teams State College would face. It is for McDowell.
Adam Kulikowski: State College 42, McDowell 14: Dresyn Green has provided an explosive spark to the Little Lions the last two weeks, rushing for 177 and 210 yards. This young man can tote the rock!
Class 5A Quarterfinals
No. 4 Cedar Cliff 33, No. 5 Warwick 23
Andy Shay: Warwick 42, Cedar Cliff 31: I feel a little bit for the Colts because they are in the much more difficult half of the bracket in Class 5A and the Warriors have zero resemblance to any No. 5 seed I’ve seen lately. But the Colts are built to play with this team and have every reason to believe they have a shot. This is a toss-up game to me. Warriors could have, and maybe should have, beaten Manheim Central and Manheim Township — their only losses. They are a powder keg offensively. So are the Colts. Enjoy the show!
Andy Sandrik: Warwick 43, Cedar Cliff 38: It gives me goosebumps to think of what this Warwick football program has meant to a grieving community. The Warriors can’t make the pain go away, but with every postseason victory, they can give fans a new week of looking forward to the weekend. Something tells me Warwick’s not ready to call it a season just yet.
Jake Adams: Cedar Cliff 37, Warwick 35: Only losses to the Manheim powers has dented these Warriors so far. The Colts have been crushing it lately as well, and have a marquee win over Bishop McDevitt in their back pocket. This is another 50/50 ball in my book. I think (keyword: think) the Colts’ offensive balance allows them to find a weakness eventually and attack. But … the defense must slow WR Trey Glass. Absolutely must.
Adam Kulikowski: Cedar Cliff 35, Warwick 33: The Colts advanced past the first round of the playoffs for the first time since 2011. They have the weapons to go toe-to-toe with anyone. They will be tested by a Warwick team featuring a pair of passers, Adam Ricketts and Joey McCracken, with more than 1,300 yards through the air.
No. 6 York 22, No. 3 Shippensburg 6
Andy Shay: York 28, Shippensburg 21: If Dayjure Stewart gets 30-plus carries, then the Greyhounds are in for a long night. Love the possession offense of Shippensburg in this matchup. They have a horse at RB as well. It’s all about the edge containment for the Greyhounds defense. Very interesting game to me. I think the move from a grass to artificial surface favors York.
Andy Sandrik: York 32, Shippensburg 14: Shippensburg loves to run the ball, keep the clock moving and trust its defense. I’m just wondering if the ‘Hounds will stick to this plan if they find themselves trailing by two or three scores against the red-hot Bearcats.
Jake Adams: York 28, Shippensburg 26: Dayjure Stewart will not rush for nearly 500 yards again this week, but boy did that performance put me on notice. We’re about to see 50-plus touches go to just two players in this game, and it will be decided by which line can create the biggest holes consistently and which RB can take advantage of that the most. I very much see a road where the ‘Hounds win this as well, don’t think this is an indictment on them.
Adam Kulikowski: York 33, Shippensburg 26: This game moves from a natural grass field to lightning quick turf at Chambersburg High School. That favors York. I’ll never count out a team that fights like Shippensburg does, but the battle will be a tough one.
Class 4A Quarterfinals
No. 1 Bishop McDevitt 49, No. 8 West Perry 14
Andy Shay: Bishop McDevitt 49, West Perry 14: Slowing down the Crusaders pass game is just not happening for the Mustangs. It’s all about taking care of the ball and keeping it respectable for as long as possible. And don’t forget about the McD running game. For comparison, look up the Waynesboro-McDevitt score from earlier this year. Having said all that, the Mustangs made a lot of noise in 2018.
Andy Sandrik: Bishop McDevitt 38, West Perry 15: The bad news for West Perry is Bishop McDevitt outclasses the Mustangs at just about every position on the field. The good news for WP is there’s no pressure. Maybe I’m just being a homer for the school I played for, but if the Mustangs can successfully roll the dice with their play calling and play for turnovers on defense, they just might find themselves with their heads above the water in the fourth quarter.
Jake Adams: Bishop McDevitt 49, West Perry 14: Almost feels unfair that the Mustangs’ playoff celebration will end in this fashion, but they are still light years away from being the type of program the Crusaders are. Enjoy your season, West Perry. It is special.
Adam Kulikowski: Bishop McDevitt 45, West Perry 20: The margin for error for the Mustangs is as close to zero as is possible. They must play the game of their lives to contend. Still, in a historic season for Bob Boden’s club, you know this crew will fight until the last whistle.
No. 3 Milton Hershey 14, No. 6 Susquehanna Twp. 6
Andy Shay: Milton Hershey 28, Susquehanna Township 14: These two teams played eight weeks or so ago and it was 14-8 Spartans. That goes right out the window for me. This game is all about the Spartans defense on third down and whether or not the Hanna Tribe offense can convert against a strong, aggressive defense and stay on the field. More chances the Spartans’ offense has the more likely they are to pop a few big plays.
Andy Sandrik: Milton Hershey 38, Susquehanna Township 14: Which team has improved more since Milton Hershey’s 14-8 win over Susquehanna Township in Week 2? Smart money is on the Spartans.
Jake Adams: Milton Hershey 35, Susquehanna Township 21: The Indians have been streaky, while the Spartans have simply chugged along all year, thumping everyone (except Middletown) in their path. I don’t expect anything to change this week.
Adam Kulikowski: Milton Hershey 31, Susquehanna Twp. 24: The uncertain status of Chiago Anyanwu tightens the spread on this one. Indians have stumbled lately after reeling off six straight victories.
Class 3A Semifinals
No. 2 Middletown 41, No. 3 Wyomissing 6
Andy Shay: Middletown 30, Wyomissing 14: The last two years these clubs have met in the Class 3A championship game, and neither game was much of a contest. Spartans are better and more prepared for the Blue Raiders this time is what I’m told. And I don’t doubt that. But until I see it on the field, riding the Blue Raiders in a big game. They deliver.
Andy Sandrik: Middletown 42, Wyomissing 14: They say that games from years past don’t have an impact on today, but Middletown has ended Wyomissing’s postseason dreams two years in a row, outscoring the Spartans 97-20 in the process. I think the Blue Raiders come into this game with a mental advantage and come out with a victory.
Jake Adams: Middletown 35, Wyomissing 21: Maybe the Blue Raiders need a few minutes to get their sea legs under them after avoiding the slop that was last week’s playoff games, but this should still be a game they take care of business in.
Adam Kulikowski: Middletown 31, Wyomissing 20: The Blue Raiders have yielded 21 or more points just twice all season and six or less in five games. Richie Skyes and Jose Lopez have earned tons of praise for their efforts — and rightfully so — but give the defense some props.
District 11 Playoffs
Class 1A Championship
No. 2 Tri-Valley 28, No. 1 Williams Valley 21
Andy Shay: Williams Valley 28, Tri-Valley 14: My pick here is based on Vikings QB Levi Engle not playing. I still think WV can churn out a victory here. If Engle plays, the gap is bigger. Love the matchup for the Vikings defense vs. TVL offense. That’s a huge advantage in my book.
Andy Sandrik: Williams Valley 35, Tri-Valley 14: The Vikings seem to have shaken off whatever frustration that comes with not winning the TVL. It’s a good thing, because they now find themselves in a position to win something even bigger.
Jake Adams: Williams Valley 42, Tri-Valley 21: This game was not close (47-21, WV) last time and it will not be again. The Vikings will smother TV to repeat as D11 champs. It’s been a weird season for them, but they’re here, aren’t they? That’s all that matters.
Adam Kulikowski: Williams Valley 28, Tri-Valley 24: The magnitude of Levi Engle’s absence could be felt more this week. And that’s no knock on Bryce Herb, who stepped in under center for the Vikings and performed well.
Bye weeks: Halifax