By 4th Down Staff:
Over the next two weeks, we're introducing our candidates for the 2018 4th Down Magazine MVP award. Each day, we will release a new candidate, highlighting their case for the award. The winner will be presented with our MVP award created by Crown Trophy in Lemoyne.
Our next MVP candidate hails from Bishop McDevitt where the Crusaders posted a 13-2 mark, winning the District 3 Class 4A title and advancing to the PIAA semifinals.
Jose Lopez, RB, Middletown (5-11, 190 junior)– Turned in a monster season as Blue Raiders’ featured back and steered program to third straight D3 title and PIAA final). MPC Capital Division Offensive MVP opened the postseason with four consecutive 200-yard games. Became program’s all-time rush king with 146 yards in the state final. Workhorse carried 285 times for 2,367 yards, 28 TDs this season, averaged 8.3 ypc and will enter his final season with 4,456 rush yards for his career.
Nazir Burnett, WR, Bishop McDevitt (6-2, 175 senior)– The one-time Syracuse commitment opened his recruiting back up in the middle of the season. Has plenty of FBS Power 5 offers. Excellent deep threat who is a precise route runner and developed this year as a downfield blocker. His 25 touchdown receptions ranks him second all-time in Pennsylvania scholastic football history. First-team MPC Keystone Division All-Star had 78 catches for 1,746 yards, averaging 124.7 yards per game and 22.4 yards per catch.
Broc Grosser, DB-WR, Halifax (6-1, 170 senior)– A dynamic two-way star for the Tri-Valley League and District 3 Class A champions. Headed to West Virginia as a preferred walk-on, Grosser accounted for more than 1,013 yards on offense with 12 touchdowns on only 54 total touches (40 catches, 14 rushes). Led the team in tackles from his safety position with 111 stops including 77 solo tackles. He also had 12 interceptions and four tackles for a loss.
Adam Houser, RB, Shippensburg (5-10, 180 senior)– Three year starter who has elevated the stature of this program. Everybody knew he was getting the ball this season and the MPC Colonial Division MVP rushed for 1,997 yards on 260 carries with 25 rushing touchdowns and had 100-plus yards in 10 of his 12 games. Averaged 166.4 yards per game and 7.7 yards per carry. Accounted for more than 50 percent of his teams total yards from scrimmage.
Bobby Whalen, WR-DB-KR, Cedar Cliff (6-1, 175 senior)– A jack-of-all-trades who can play five or six positions on the field in a game. Whalen is a standout baseball player who is headed to Louisville in the ACC on scholarship. The MPC Keystone Division MVP this season led the Colts in receiving with 58 catches for 946 yards and 12 touchdowns … had 63 carries for 407 yards with five touchdowns and also threw three touchdown passes. Accounted for 1,469 total yards of offense. On defense had 55 tackles, 5 tackles for a loss, 2 interceptions and 2 fumble recoveries. Also had nearly 500 yards on kickoff and punt returns to give him more than 2,000 all-purpose yards.
Adam Burkhart, LB-RB, Central Dauphin (5-11, 215 senior)– A standout LB for the Rams for the second consecutive season, Burkhart carried a much heavier load offensively for CD the second half of the season to help the Rams reach the District 3 Class 6A finals vs. Harrisburg. Finished with 205 carries for 1,279 yards and 21 touchdowns. 125 of those carries, 803 of those yards and 15 of those touchdowns came in the final six games. Defensively finished with 75 tackles to lead the team, 8 tackles for a loss and 2 sacks. Selected Mid-Penn Conference Commonwealth Division MVP.
Jose Lopez and the Middletown BLue Raiders will have an opportunity to hoist a state title next Saturday at Hersheypark Stadium. (File photo/Adam Kulikowski)
By Andy Shay:
For the second time in three years Harrisburg and Middletown will represent the Mid-Penn Conference in the PIAA Football Championships.
By Andy Shay:
Having a bye week to prepare for Coatesville’s offense certainly helped Harrisburg’s defense heading into Saturday's PIAA Class 6A semifinal at Hersheypark Stadium.
Middletown running back Jose Lopez posted back-to-back 200 yard rushing performances against Wyomissing and Bermudian Springs. (Adam Kulikowski/4th Down)
By Andy Shay: