EXPLAINING OUR PICKS: The 4th Down Magazine crew is back for Week 2 to make big predictions on all games involving Mid-Penn Conference teams, as well as Schuylkill-Colonial League games featuring former members of the now-defunct Twin Valley Conference.
This year’s group of experts includes longtime reporters Andy Shay and Andy Sandrick, as well as 4th Down owner and manager Adam Kulikowski.
Want to know who’s going to win Week 2’s games? Take a look below:
Picker: Week 2 — Overall — Perfect Picks
Andy Sandrik: 26-7 — 51-13 — 0
Adam Kulikowski: 23-10 — 48-16 — 0
Andy Shay: 23-10 — 46-18 — 0
* Records in parentheses after school name; District and seed in parentheses before school name.
THURSDAY, AUG. 31
Cedar Cliff 27, Mechanicsburg 9
Andy Shay: Cedar Cliff 31, Mechanicsburg 21: Just feel the Colts have a wee bit more balance overall. Wildcats have more pop this year than last, but not sure it will be enough to push that Cedar Cliff defense to the brink.
Andy Sandrik: Cedar Cliff 30, Mechanicsburg 20: The Wildcats showed some fight against Carlisle last week, and I expect them to do the same against the Colts. But if Mechanicsburg marches into West Shore Stadium and actually pulls off the win, I’d consider it an upset.
Adam Kulikowski: Mechanicsburg 28, Cedar Cliff 26: The emergence of Eli Reider as a gunslinger for the Wildcats adds a dimension to this offense that we have not seen in recent years.
Cedar Crest 33, CD East 7
Andy Shay: CD East 29, Cedar Crest 21: Not exactly sure if the Panthers have all the ingredients to overpower the Falcons, but their debut in a mismatch was something. Cedar Crest can win by making CD East play from behind.
Andy Sandrik: CD East 31, Cedar Crest 13: Every year there’s a team that just flips the script and turns out to be 10 times better than anyone could have ever thought. It’s a little early to say that about East, but so far Lance Deane’s squad is pressing all of the right buttons.
Adam Kulikowski: CD East 34, Cedar Crest 20: Let’s not overreact to the Panthers’ 55-6 drubbing of Reading, but Lance Deane’s crew just might have the firepower to make some waves.
FRIDAY, SEPT. 1
Altoona 35, Taylor Allderdice 21
Andy Shay: Altoona 20, Taylor Allerdice 14: Not sure either offense has the firepower to pull away. Dragons are looking for their first points of the season.
Andy Sandrik: Altoona 21, Taylor Allderdice 7: I doubt Altoona will be in a pleasant mood for this game after taking an L to heated rival Hollidaysburg last week.
Adam Kulikowski: Altoona 34, Taylor Allderdice 6: If there’s a silver lining to Altoona’s Week 1 loss, it’s the performance it received from senior running back Bron Mosley, who gashed Hollidaysburg for 120 yards on 13 carries (9.2 yards per carry).
Governor Mifflin 28, Carlisle 21
Andy Shay: Carlisle 30, Governor Mifflin 20: Thundering Herd have a little more explosiveness than the Mustangs right now. Mustangs’ offense is searching for answers.
Andy Sandrik: Carlisle 39, Governor Mifflin 21: Carlisle will feel comfortable if this game turns into a shootout, but I don’t think I can say the same for the Mustangs.
Adam Kulikowski: Carlisle 34, Governor Mifflin 24: Coming off a 3-7 campaign, the boys from Shillington don’t appear to be out of the bad weather yet after dropping their opener 49-19 to Spring-Ford.
Central Dauphin 36, Wilson 35 (OT)
Andy Shay: Central Dauphin 27, Wilson 14: Despite losing in Week 1, the Rams showed plenty of pop on offense. Focus will be on tighter defense. Falling to Roman Catholic is not a big deal for the Bulldogs. Losing by 35 is what stands out.
Andy Sandrik: Central Dauphin 28, Wilson 14: It seems like CD’s stock is up, while Wilson’s is down. But don’t count out the Bulldogs, who haven’t lost to the Rams since 2018.
Adam Kulikowski: Central Dauphin 28, Wilson 16: After a down year in Rams Country, CD sure looks like the version we became accustomed to over the last decade.
Chambersburg 51, Northern 7
Andy Shay: Northern 20, Chambersburg 14: Neither offense showed much in Week 1, and that will probably continue in this one. Trojans’ defense will be under pressure to keep this close into the fourth quarter.
Andy Sandrik: Chambersburg 17, Northern 10: Just going on a hunch here, but Chambersburg seems to have enough defensively to keep this game within striking distance.
Adam Kulikowski: Northern 24, Chambersburg 16: Both teams are looking to answer questions heading into Week 2. Chambersburg QB Riley Harmon completed just 37% of his 24 pass attempts in Week 1 against Pope John Paul II in a 22-0 loss.
Central York 14, Cumberland Valley 0
Andy Shay: Central York 35, Cumberland Valley 14: Hard to imagine after what I saw that the Eagles will be able to slow down Pitt recruit Juelz Goff. His fifth gear makes fast dudes look slow in the open field.
Andy Sandrik: Central York 32, Cumberland Valley 10: Even if CV can find a way to slow down Juelz Goff, it still needs to find a way to put points on the board. Too many things have to go just right for the Eagles to stay in contention.
Adam Kulikowski: Central York 38, Cumberland Valley 6: Back-to-back tough tests for an Eagles team breaking in some new weapons. Brighter days should be ahead for Josh Oswalt’s crew.
Harrisburg 33, Delaware Valley 0
Andy Shay: Harrisburg 37, Delaware Valley 13: Cougars’ offense has too much balance for Delaware Valley, and never forget the impact Harrisburg’s defense can have early in a game.
Andy Sandrik: Harrisburg 42, Delaware Valley 14: It’s going to take some kind of an effort for Delaware Valley to keep its head above water against this dangerous Harrisburg squad, which can beat you about a dozen different ways.
Adam Kulikowski: Harrisburg 32, Delaware Valley 14: The Cougars can beat you in so many ways. Finding the firepower to keep pace with Calvin Everett’s club presents a major challenge to the Warriors.
Downingtown East 28, State College 26
Andy Shay: State College 42, Downingtown East 20: This Little Lions offense is just getting started. DTE is a quality opponent and will provide more of a test for the defending District 6 champs.
Andy Sandrik: State College 35, Downingtown East 25: What breaks first, an Eagles defense that hasn’t allowed a single point, or an SC offense spearheaded by sophomore D’Antae Sheffey, who rushed for five TDs last week?
Adam Kulikowski: State College 45, Downingtown East 23: Sheffey has been limited to less than 100 yards rushing just four times in his first 15 varsity games.
Bishop McDevitt 46, DePaul Catholic (N.J.) 42
Andy Shay: Bishop McDevitt 35, DePaul Catholic 14: Time for the running game and that offensive line to take a step forward for the Crusaders. That War Eagle D will travel well across state lines into New Jersey.
Andy Sandrik: Bishop McDevitt 44, DePaul Catholic 14: Just a reminder to the McDevitt bus driver that you DO NOT have to tip the gas station attendants in New Jersey.
Adam Kulikowski: Bishop McDevitt 42, DePaul Catholic 21: I fully expect the Crusaders to play a cleaner four quarters in Game No. 2 in the Garden State.
Hershey 35, Waynesboro 14
Andy Shay: Hershey 42, Waynesboro 21: Raise your hand if you expected all that explosiveness from the Trojans right out of the gate (my hand is staying down). Indians also picked up a big Week 1 win, though.
Andy Sandrik: Hershey 35, Waynesboro 7: Waynesboro could very well find itself playing a long game of catch-up against a potent Hershey squad that’s shown it knows how to score a point or two.
Adam Kulikowski: Hershey 45, Waynesboro 13: Trojans showed plenty of firepower in Week No. 1 against Gettysburg. Next step is to sustain that success. This matchup has a feel-good vibe for the Trojans.
Twin Valley 21, Lower Dauphin 14
Andy Shay: Lower Dauphin 21, Twin Valley 14: Expect a close shave all the way in a contest that looks like it could go either way. LD enjoys setting the tone and tempo of a game, and if that happens they are difficult to get off that mark.
Andy Sandrik: Twin Valley 21, Lower Dauphin 14: The Falcons were able to win a blowout over Middletown last week without their biggest hammer, Ty Millhimes. Repeating that feat again this week against a much tougher TV squad will be easier said than done.
Adam Kulikowski: Lower Dauphin 24, Twin Valley 20: Twin Valley coach Brett Myers is no stranger to foes like Lower Dauphin. Avenging the 17-14 loss to the Falcons last year, however, might prove to be more than the Raiders can handle in 2023.
Mifflin County 23, Shikellamy 6
Andy Shay: Mifflin County 35, Shikellamy 14: The Huskies will get more of a test from the Braves’ defense this week but still will have too much lean from that offense for Shik to handle over 48 minutes.
Andy Sandrik: Mifflin County 21, Shikellamy 7: I like this matchup between two good defenses, each of which allowed only seven points in Week 1. The Huskies have a couple of good LBs in Parker Kearns and Owen Kipe, who combined for 23 tackles last week, and could make life tough for the Braves.
Adam Kulikowski: Mifflin County 28, Shikellamy 13: Huskies must account for Braves senior linebacker Luke Snyder, a 5-foot-10, 200-pound pit bull who racked up 13 takedowns in Week 1 and 120 tackles in the 2022 circuit.
Red Land 23, Northeastern 21
Andy Shay: Red Land 20, Northeastern 7: Expect a little more offense from the Patriots this week. And as long as the Red Land defense shows up the way it did in Week 1, the result will take care of itself.
Andy Sandrik: Red Land 14, Northeastern 0: Only seven points from the Patriots in Week 1, but I expect that number to grow against a Northeastern unit that gave up 41 in its opener. Look for Red Land’s defense to have an impact on this game.
Adam Kulikowski: Red Land 17, Northeastern 6: The Patriots opened the last two seasons dropping each of their first two matchups. Not this year.
Milton Hershey 34, Middletown 14
Andy Shay: Milton Hershey 42, Middletown 0: Spartans are certainly riding high after that dramatic late-game victory over Susquehanna Township. And as expected, the Blue Raiders are going to struggle to be competitive.
Andy Sandrik: Milton Hershey 44, Middletown 7: I wish the competition was close enough to call this a trap game for Milton Hershey, but the Spartans are several steps ahead of Middletown at this early stage of the game..
Adam Kulikowski: Milton Hershey 48, Middletown 6: The Trojans found a little something about midway through the third stanza last week against Susquehanna. That last-second victory mojo carries forward another week against the Blue Raiders.
East Pennsboro 28, Palmyra 14
Andy Shay: East Pennsboro 38, Palmyra 7: From my seat this is about the East Pennsboro defense being able to lock this one down more than anything. Cougars’ offense will be in the spotlight after putting up 50-plus a week ago.
Andy Sandrik: East Pennsboro 27, Palmyra 14: I’ll always stand behind the team with the reigning 4th Down Magazine Player of the Week. Congrats to Keith Oates III, who can pass, run and even play a little bit of defense.
Adam Kulikowski: East Pennsboro 34, Palmyra 13: It was nice to see the Cougars juice the scoreboard last week, dropping a 50-spot on Lebanon. But East Pennsboro is a much different squeeze.
New Oxford 38, Gettysburg 20
Andy Shay: Gettysburg 34, New Oxford 28: They might have to come from behind to make this happen, but give me the Warriors and the best player on the field.
Andy Sandrik: Gettysburg 27, New Oxford 21: I’m taking the 0-1 team to beat the 1-0 squad. I think Gettysburg QB Brady Heiser & Co. took a lot more out of playing Hershey in a shootout than the Colonials did easing in with a blowout win over Bermudian.
Adam Kulikowski: Gettysburg 38, New Oxford 20: Warriors flexed plenty of offensive muscle last week but walked away empty handed. That won’t happen in Week 2.
Greencastle-Antrim 42, Berkeley Springs (W.V.) 6
Andy Shay: Greencastle-Antrim 28, Berkeley Springs 7: There is a formula for this particular Blue Devils team built around good defense and patience on offense. It’s their path to victory, and keeping the Indians inside that box should not be a problem.
Andy Sandrik: Greencastle-Antrim 30, Berkeley Springs 7: Those grind-it-out wins, like Greencastle’s 17-14 victory over Big Spring last week, can build so much confidence. Look for the Blue Devils to win by a few more points this week.
Adam Kulikowski: Greencastle-Antrim 28, Berkeley Springs 6: The Indians are currently on an 11-game skid dating back to the start of the 2022 season. You never want to kick a team while it is down, but this is one that should be a notch in the win column for the Blue Devils.
Susquehanna Township 42, Northern Lebanon 14
Andy Shay: Susquehanna Township 45, Northern Lebanon 13: You know what they say about the cornered dog, right? Expect him to be aggressive and attack. That is how I see the ‘Hanna Tribe this week.
Andy Sandrik: Susquehanna Township 44, Northern Lebanon 6: I get the sense that ‘Hanna has the personnel to dictate the pace of this game. And after last weekend’s loss to Milton Hershey, the Indians will probably be mad, too.
Adam Kulikowski: Susquehanna Township 34, Northern Lebanon 17: Turning the page after a last-second loss is one of the toughest tasks in sports. Yet, in Week 2, that’s what Joe Headen’s crew must do. Expect the Indians to out-muscle Northern Lebanon in the trenches.
Big Spring 21, Shippensburg 7
Andy Shay: Shippensburg 28, Big Spring 14: This has been a torture chamber of a rivalry game for the Bulldogs for more than a decade. This one isn’t a slam dunk for the Greyhounds, but they have a couple major advantages to work with.
Andy Sandrik: Shippensburg 28, Big Spring 19: Big Spring has to like its chances to finally compete with a Shippensburg squad that is still working on gelling its new-look lineup. Still, the ‘Hounds have all the pieces to extend the Bulldogs’ long run of misery in the Little Brown Jug game.
Adam Kulikowski: Shippensburg 34, Big Spring 13: Pop quiz: When is the last time the Bulldogs won the Little Brown Jug? … Answer: you have to go all the way back to the 2010 season.
Boiling Springs 21, Bermudian Springs 14
Andy Shay: Boiling Springs 21, Bermudian Springs 7: Both these squads have put in plenty of film work this week after less-than-stellar openers. Plenty of gaps that need filled all around; whoever takes one or two steps forward will prevail.
Andy Sandrik: Boiling Springs 14, Bermudian Springs 8: This has the potential to be a defensive struggle. Bubblers RB Gage Hughes gained 88 yards on 11 carries last week. He could be the difference-maker in this one.
Adam Kulikowski: Boiling Springs 20, Bermudian Springs 6: Both teams struggled mightily to get out of first gear in their season opener. I’ll push my chips in on the Bubblers to have a little more octane in this one.
Camp Hill 50, York Catholic 7
Andy Shay: Camp Hill 27, York Catholic 25: This one feels like it has all the makings of a wild and crazy affair that comes down to the final minutes to decide the outcome. Lions’ defense seems to be the unit that will impact the game the most.
Andy Sandrik: Camp Hill 28, York Catholic 20: Last year Camp Hill topped York Catholic with an upset win. I think the Lions win again this year, but this time as the favorite.
Adam Kulikowski: Camp Hill 35, York Catholic 28: Lions pitched a shutout in Week 1 against Newport. York Catholic will present a tougher challenge.
Steel-High 44, Eastern (Washington, D.C.) 26
Andy Shay: Steel-High 55, Eastern 6: The ability for the Rollers to stretch Eastern’s defense in a variety of ways will show up big time in this one.
Andy Sandrik: Steel-High 43, Eastern 10: All signs point to a mismatch favoring the Rollers.
Adam Kulikowski: Steel-High 49, Eastern 6: The Ramblers are traveling an awful long way to be taken behind the proverbial woodshed.
Trinity 37, Moore Catholic (N.Y.) 16
Andy Shay: Trinity 40, Moore Catholic 14: The squad from New York has some quality but is a little green at the skill positions. T-Rocks’ offense is loaded and came out firing bombs in the opener. There’s your mismatch.
Andy Sandrik: Trinity 28, Moore Catholic 21: Trinity’s Messiah Mickens piled up 182 yards and two TDs on just 11 carries last week. That’s 16.5 yards a pop. Give the advantage to the Shamrocks at home.
Adam Kulikowski: Trinity 34, Moore Catholic 33: Moore Catholic lost some key pieces from a nine-win team last year, including a 2,000-yard passer and 1,400-yard rusher. Right now with the lads Trinity has assembled, I’m giving them the edge.
West Perry 41, Newport 7
Andy Shay: West Perry 49, Newport 0: If the Mustangs’ starters play more than a series or two in the second half, that would be a surprise.
Andy Sandrik: West Perry 44, Newport 0: How much West Perry wins this game by is completely up to West Perry.
Adam Kulikowski: West Perry 55, Newport 13: Rebuilding a program isn’t an overnight process, and I don’t believe the Mustangs will have compassion for their county rivals.
Halifax 40, Midd-West 0
Andy Shay: Midd-West 32, Halifax 26: More of a level playing field than the Wildcats are used to most weeks. Taking the Mustangs’ experience here.
Andy Sandrik: Halifax 21, Midd-West 20: Coin flip all the way, but I’m going to pick against a Mustangs team still looking for its first points of the year.
Adam Kulikowski: Midd-West 34, Halifax 20: Both teams continue to search for traction. A year ago, the Mustangs secured their only victory of the season against the Eagles, scoring 48 of their season total 74 points.
Clear Spring (Md.) 21, James Buchanan 6
Andy Shay: James Buchanan 20, Clear Spring 19: Wins are hard to come by for these two programs. Taking the homer pick and going with the Rockets.
Andy Sandrik: James Buchanan 19, Clear Spring 17: This will be the first game of the season for Clear Spring. While James Buchanan lost its opener last week, I expect those four quarters of experience to pay dividends Friday.
Adam Kulikowski: Clear Spring 21, James Buchanan 20: Clear Spring has won just three contests over the last two seasons — the Rockets have won four. Call it even after this one.
Selinsgrove 38, Juniata 8
Andy Shay: Selinsgrove 49, Juniata 14: So the Indians surrender 56 in the opener and the Seals have more lethal offensive weapons than Troy. If this game isn’t in the mercy rule early third quarter, it will be a surprise.
Andy Sandrik: Selinsgrove 44, Juniata 21: After giving up 56 points in Week 1, the last team Juniata wants to see is a lethal Selinsgrove outfit that knows 100 different ways to score a touchdown.
Adam Kulikowski: Selinsgrove 45, Juniata 24: The Seals simply have too many weapons in their prime — a savvy junior QB in Mark Pastore, a 1,000-yard rusher in Tucker Teats and a breakout receiver in Gavin Bastian.
Danville 51, Line Mountain 7
Andy Shay: Danville 42, Line Mountain 28: Eagles have plenty to be optimistic about, and this will be a full-metal-jacket test. Hard to see a path to victory for Line Mountain against this level of quality.
Andy Sandrik: Danville 44, Line Mountain 26: This is a loaded Line Mountain team that could very well conquer the Liberty Division, but Danville is a program that has been on a whole different tier in recent years.
Adam Kulikowski: Danville 45, Line Mountain 30: This is a wonderful early test for Line Mountain. Each team dropped a haymaker on their opponent in Week 1 (Danville 53-6 over Bloomsburg, Line Mountain 54-12 over Athens) but Danville has the pedigree after a 12-1 season a year ago. Giving the edge to the Ironmen.
Susquenita 42, Biglerville 7
Andy Shay: Susquenita 27, Biglerville 13: All I know is the Blackhawks and that QB are going to take their shots and land a few. Biglerville’s strength defensively is close to the line of scrimmage, and Susquenita will challenge the Canners’ secondary.
Andy Sandrik: Susquenita 23, Biglerville 12: If Susquenita can put up 22 points against West Perry, I can trust the Hawks to put up at least that many against the Canners.
Adam Kulikowski: Susquenita 35, Biglerville 10: Biglerville possesses a nice pair of linebackers in juniors Landen Taylor and Noah Fulton — each had 11 tackles in Week 1. But Derek Gibney can sling it, there’s no doubt about that. In this matchup, his arm can be the X-factor.
Upper Dauphin 43, Shenandoah Valley 12
Andy Shay: Shenandoah Valley 34, Upper Dauphin 6: Too much power and flash from the Blue Devils’ ground game for the Trojans to stay competitive.
Andy Sandrik: Shenandoah Valley 28, Upper Dauphin 21: In addition to searching for its first TD of the season, Upper Dauphin will also be looking to find a way to slow down the Blue Devils’ rushing attack, which is averaging 10.9 yards per carry.
Adam Kulikowski: Shenandoah Valley 45, Upper Dauphin 10: Upper Dauphin mustered just 111 total yards of offense in Week No. 1 against Williams Valley. It will need to find another gear to keep pace with the Blue Devils on Friday night.
Williams Valley 48, Pine Grove 6
Andy Shay: Williams Valley 42, Pine Grove 13: Should only take RB Alex Achenbach half the number of carries this week to do the damage that needs done to secure victory. That number would be 20 totes. Yes, he had 40 a week ago.
Andy Sandrik: Williams Valley 35, Pine Grove 12: I’ve come to know the Vikings over the years as a program that loves to score points in bunches. And WV still does that, but I was impressed with the unexpected shutout the Vikes pitched against Upper Dauphin in Week 1.
Adam Kulikowski: Williams Valley 48, Pine Grove 13: As long as Achenbach has two good wheels, the Vikings will ride their big dog as far as he’ll carry them — even if that means another 40-carry game.
Tri-Valley 42, Panther Valley 12
Andy Shay: Tri-Valley 33, Panther Valley 20: The best player on the field suits up for Tri-Valley, and his impact on a game is pretty high-level. That’s enough for me.
Andy Sandrik: Tri-Valley 28, Panther Valley 21: Smell test says this could very well be a one-possession game. Noah Porter, a one-man wrecking ball, could be the difference-maker this week.
Adam Kulikowski: Tri-Valley 34, Panther Valley 14: The Bulldogs possess the X-factor in Porter. He carried the load in Week 1 against Minersville, toting the rock 28 times and hauling in four receptions to power Tri-Valley’s offense.