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High School Football: Andy Shay’s Sunday Morning QB looks back on Week 1 in the Mid-Penn Conference

Finding that signature result that was a standout above all the others to open the 2023 season just didn’t materialize. There were plenty of results that required further review to clarify the outcome, but that one jaw-dropping result just wasn’t in the cards this year.

That does not, however, mean there wasn’t plenty going on that warrants a little Week 1 Sunday Morning Quarterback analysis.

I’m going to start with Central Dauphin. The Rams are coming off a three-win season and looking to find their way back into the relevancy conversation. With Key’Ron Plummer back under center after missing the final seven games in 2022, the Rams will have more than offensive punch and horsepower. That defense might be a cause for concern, though.

I get it was an FBS recruit, Central York running back Juelz Goff, that obliterated the CD defense at The Speedway. The Pitt recruit was too solid inside the tackles and too fast in the open field. He finished with six touchdowns and 279 rushing yards on 27 carries in 45-35 Central York victory. The path to better results for CD starts and ends on the defensive side of the ball — that was pretty clear.

Bishop McDevitt looked lethargic, sloppy and slightly underprepared for Mount St. Joseph (Maryland). The Crusaders still have better dudes than most, and when it mattered, in the fourth quarter, Alabama recruit Rico Scott took over the game with a pair of touchdown receptions inside the final 10 minutes to secure a come-from-behind victory.

The offense won’t sputter at this level over the course of the next nine weeks. That much we know. Remember, the War Eagle D for the Crusaders is a game-wrecker, and in this one they were the real difference maker on a night when the state title banner was unveiled at The Roc. The Gaels managed only one touchdown offensively and finished with 21 rushing attempts for a net 1 yard.

For the third straight game in 12 months, state-ranked Trinity took Delone Catholic out behind the woodshed. This time it was the combination of QB Caleb Wray and star RB Messiah Mickens who lit up the Squires in a game the T-Rocks won by 37 points.

Mickens, a sophomore who is already committed to Penn State, rolled up 251 total yards and a pair of touchdowns while Wray threw for 208 yards and a trio of touchdowns.

Head coach Jordan Hill has the right mix of elite talent and experience this season, and expectations are rightly high for the gents from Shiremanstown.

Hershey gets a shout out for grabbing a one-point victory over a rebuilding Gettysburg squad that still has an elite quarterback. Big win for the Trojans. Any field goal to win inside the final 200 seconds of a game is big. Cole Goodman’s 32 yarder deep into the final quarter was the difference on the scoreboard.

Carlisle outlasted Mechanicsburg by a touchdown to give new Herd head coach Brandon Cook victory No. 1. Marquise Miller’s three touchdowns were a difference maker for Carlisle. Miller will have to do that on a consistent basis for the Herd to compete in the Commonwealth Division. Despite the loss, Wildcats newjack quarterback Eli Reider threw for 301 yards and three touchdowns. A very good sign for the Wildcats moving forward.

With expectations sky high in Elliottsburg, all West Perry did breaking in a couple new backs behind veteran quarterback Marcus Quaker was score 45 points and cruise to a three-score victory over Susquenita. The Blackhawks were competitive throughout and will be a player in the chase for the Liberty Division title if they continue to put points on the board.

All the following results turned out pretty much as expected. And for the winners there is absolutely nothing wrong with a “solid victory” to open the season. Camp Hill blanking Newport and winning by 21 points; Cedar Cliff having more push in the trenches to hold Shippensburg at arms length and win by 16; East Pennsboro taking out York Suburban by the mercy rule; Lower Dauphin clobbering Middletown by 45 is not unexpected at all; and State College having little trouble with Williamsport to win by four touchdowns.

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