Making the Grade: Cumberland Valley vs. Manheim Twp.

26 November 2017


By Andy Shay:

4th Down Magazine

Cumberland Valley didn’t play a perfect football game Saturday night in the District 3 Class 6A championship game.

The Eagles had two turnovers and six penalties – both numbers were double their opponent Manheim Township. But make no mistake, CV played extremely well.

There are 16 seniors on this team that were making their third consecutive appearance in a title game. It’s just what they do at CV. And 14 of those seniors logged a ton of minutes.

This was a special group that played well, but was outplayed by a Blue Streaks team that claimed its first district crown in school history. And it was still only a three-point game.

Time to hand out some grades for the Eagles!

Playoff results for Week 13

Manheim Twp. holds off CV rally to earn first District 6-A title

Making the Grade: Steel-High vs. Williams Valley

Steel-High powers past banged up Williams Valley, 41-6

Berks Catholic piles up 456 rushing yards against Bishop McDevitt en route to District 3-4A championship

Cole Patrol: McCoy safeguards Cumberland Valley's football success

Player of the Week: Cumberland Valley's Galen Witmer



Quarterback: Jared Plessinger saved his very best game this season for tonight. It wasn’t good enough to win, but man was the junior good. He missed only two open receivers with shaky throws. His deep ball was lethal and he was calm and patient in the pocket. He finished 14 of 22 for 224 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Not bad for a Wing-T quarterback.

Grade: A-

Running Back: CV was chasing the game the whole night, so that grind-it-out offensive style had to get kicked to the side. But still, this group did not impress on this night even in those limited opportunities. When you run this offense and average 3.3 yards per carry, it’s hard to win.

Grade: C-

Wide Receivers: How good is Penn State recruit Charlie Katshir? I mean those three catches on deep throws against single coverage were ridiculous. Not sure why he wasn’t doubled after the first one, but he nearly carried the Eagles to a title on his own accord. Seven catches for 157 yards with a TD. Throw in another 61 yards rushing and returning kicks you have 218 total yards in his final game. Good luck with the shoulder surgery, Charlie. Simply one of the best ever to wear those black pants in the playoffs.

Grade: A+

Offensive Line: Except for one drive the run blocking was a little shaky at times. There was literally no room on the edge and that was a problem. On the flip side, the pass blocking was spectacular. In a game where CV needed to throw it to stay in the game, the QB needs time and this group made sure that happened.

Grade: B

Defensive Line: I understand why the three-man line was used. And for the most part it worked. These guys were the sacrificial lambs in the running game that allowed the linebackers to roam free. And I know going 3 vs. 5 in the pass game is no fun. Sacks were not the measuring stick. But almost no pressure at all made it hard for the secondary.

Grade C+

Linebackers: Christian Arrington was everywhere in this game. Somebody is going to get a high-end LB at the next level in college. He finished with 12 tackles including three for a loss. Junior Jake Hart was also spectacular. He had 10 tackles including six solo. Overall the game plan was built around this group and they had trouble getting off the field, but they did their job superbly.

Grade: A+

Secondary: So the combination of very little pressure up front and so many options for the Blue Streaks made it hard to cover. And Township spread the ball around, so trying to figure out which guy to take away in the pass game was tricky. And the QB, who is going to Harvard, is pretty darn smart with the ball given time. Seems a step slow most of the say. Run support was very good, though.

Grade: C

Special Teams: The field goal attempt by Tim Kissinger that was kicked into the back of his line was a tough blow because the rejected (not blocked) kick was returned 40 yards. Kick return game was average, but the kick coverage all around was above the board. And Katshir (what doesn’t he do?) averaged 40 yards per punt.

Grade: C+