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Sunday, April 21, 2024

High School Football: Results: Week 7 Picks and Predictions

EXPLAINING OUR PICKS: It’s Week 7 of the Pennsylvania high school football season, and the 4th Down Magazine team is here to tell you who’s going to win every game involving Mid-Penn Conference teams, as well as Schuylkill-Colonial League games featuring former members of the now-defunct Tri-Valley League.

This year’s group of experts includes veteran reporters Andy Shay and Andy Sandrik, as well as 4th Down owner and manager Adam Kulikowski.

Here’s who we think will win each game this week.

2023 Standings

Picker: Week 7 — Overall — Perfect Picks

Andy Sandrik: 14-7 — 141-40 — 0

Adam Kulikowski: 14-7 — 140-41 — 1

Andy Shay: 14-7 — 134-47 — 1

* Records in parentheses after school name; District and seed in parentheses before school name.

Fourth Down · 4th And Goal Week 6


Mifflin County 42, Milton Hershey 35

Andy Shay: Milton Hershey 31, Mifflin County 20: All indicators tell me the Spartans have more horsepower offensively and will find a way to make that a difference-maker here.

Andy Sandrik: Milton Hershey 29, Mifflin County 17: Huskies need to keep points at a premium if they want to have any chance of getting a win.

Adam Kulikowski: Milton Hershey 27, Mifflin County 23: Another tough matchup for a Huskies team which has lost three of its last four games. 


Altoona 25, Chambersburg 7

Andy Shay: Chambersburg 20, Altoona 7: Remember the Trojans already own a 3-0 victory this season and the Mountain Lions are scoring precious few points against fellow big schools in the Commonwealth.

Andy Sandrik: Chambersburg 24, Altoona 7: The Commonwealth is cruel and unforgiving. That’s what I keep telling my Altoona friend who is losing his mind over the Mountain Lions “not being competitive.”

Adam Kulikowski: Chambersburg 23, Altoona 13: Mountain Lions are 0-3 in conference play with just seven points scored in each of their division tilts. 

State College 55, Carlisle 20

Andy Shay: State College 49, Carlisle 7: For all that offense, I see the Little Lions’ defense becoming more of a force with each passing week and a real key during the late stages of this season. 

Andy Sandrik: State College 45, Carlisle 7: You get the sense that State College is going to finish either No. 1 or 2 in the Commonwealth. Carlisle is simply not equipped to keep up with these Little Lions. 

Adam Kulikowski: State College 48, Carlisle 14: In five games, Little Lions quarterback Eddie Corkery has a 130.1 QB rating with 13 touchdowns and zero interceptions. As a team, State College has just one turnover on the season. 

Cumberland Valley 19, Central Dauphin 14

Andy Shay: Central Dauphin 35, Cumberland Valley 14: Nice to see the Eagles get a win and show a little more pop in their offensive arsenal. They’ll need it all against a Rams team that will look to run to victory but has started to open up the passing game a bit.

Andy Sandrik: Central Dauphin 27, Cumberland Valley 16: I don’t think there’s a team in District 3 that’s had a harder schedule than Cumberland Valley, and that trend continues when the Rams march onto Chapman Field.

Adam Kulikowski: Central Dauphin 34, Cumberland Valley 21: Business has picked up for Cumberland Valley, which is just outside the postseason bubble if the season ended today despite a tough first half. Rams won’t be looking to help the Eagles’ cause, however. 

Harrisburg 34, CD East 27

Andy Shay: Harrisburg 49, CD East 13: Seems losing a game and performing well below expectations in Week 3 has fired up the Cougars’ offense, which is on an absolute tear since then and shows no signs of slowing down.

Andy Sandrik: Harrisburg 53, CD East 7: As potent as Harrisburg’s offense has been, it still might be the second-best unit on the team behind the defense. 

Adam Kulikowski: Harrisburg 55, CD East 20: The Cougars seem to be hitting their offensive stride at just the right time. That’s bad news for the Panthers.

Bishop McDevitt 42, Hershey 7

Andy Shay: Bishop McDevitt 54, Hershey 14: We know about the Crusaders’ wicked potent passing attack. Starting to see signs the run game is gaining traction, too. Trojans are built defensively for this powerhouse.

Andy Sandrik: Bishop McDevitt 56, Hershey 21: This should be a McDevitt blowout, of course, but I’m eager to see if Hershey running back Angel Cabrera can bowl over a few Crusaders along the way. He’s really settled into a groove of late. 

Adam Kulikowski: Bishop McDevitt 55, Hershey 14: This prediction says more about the insane depth of talent the Crusaders possess than it does the quality of the Hershey squad. 

Cedar Cliff 21, Lower Dauphin 16

Andy Shay: Cedar Cliff 24, Lower Dauphin 21: This game has a high entertainment factor simply because in 2023 they are like minded in their approach and how they execute. The little details will matter most in this one because at its core there isn’t much difference between these squads.

Andy Sandrik: Cedar Cliff 20, Lower Dauphin 17: All of the research is telling me Cedar Cliff should be favored here, but another part of me wouldn’t be surprised at all if LD springs an upset. The Falcons have been quietly putting away the teams they’re supposed to beat, and now I’m curious to see what they do as an underdog. 

Adam Kulikowski: Cedar Cliff 24, Lower Dauphin 20: One of the best games on the Week 7 docket, I do believe the Falcons can win, but there’s less margin for error for the boys from Hummelstown. 

Red Land 24, Palmyra 7

Andy Shay: Palmyra 20, Red Land 14: For me, this game is all about which defense has a better night. Both are capable of having a huge impact on this outcome.

Andy Sandrik: Palmyra 27, Red Land 14: Palmyra seems to have just a little bit more punch offensively, but otherwise this seems like it’s anyone’s game. 

Adam Kulikowski: Palmyra 33, Red Land 28: Both teams likely have this one circled on their calendars as a winnable matchup. Each enters on a losing skid of at least three games. I’ll take the Cougars in a coin flip. 

Northern 28, East Pennsboro 21

Andy Shay: East Pennsboro 35, Northern 7: There isn’t a style of game that suits the Panthers more than another. They are more versatile than they are explosive, and that’s tough for a defense to contain. Polar Bears’ offense is coming off a better effort, but hard to see them bringing enough to the table to spring an upset.

Andy Sandrik: East Pennsboro 35, Northern 14: East Penn is looking more and more like a complete team every week. It’s hard to see a path to victory for the Polar Bears.

Adam Kulikowski: East Pennsboro 38, Northern 13: One team continues to struggle to score points without a go-to weapon on the roster, while the other’s biggest problem on offense is which No. 1 receiver to target. 

Gettysburg 49, Waynesboro 34

Andy Shay: Gettysburg 42, Waynesboro 20: I know their record is 3-3, but the Warriors are gaining steam and playing some of their best football right now as they chase down a potential 11th game in the postseason.

Andy Sandrik: Gettysburg 20, Waynesboro 7: I love the way Waynesboro is playing as a “rebuilding” team. A win over Gettysburg would be huge, but there are too many guys on the Warriors’ side that will make an upset easier said than done.

Adam Kulikowski: Gettysburg 43, Waynesboro 20: Gettysburg just might be the most dangerous 3-3 team in the Mid-Penn Conference — especially with a defense that seems to be hitting its stride as we come down the stretch. 

Susquehanna Township 25, Greencastle-Antrim 0

Andy Shay: Susquehanna Township 26, Greencastle-Antrim 20: The only thing that separates the ‘Hanna Tribe from being 6-0 is a pair of one-point losses. If the Blue Devils keep it close into the fourth quarter, you have to like their chances in a tight game. Tribe need to get the lead and stay in front to be comfortable.

Andy Sandrik: Susquehanna Township 24, Greencastle-Antrim 16: I took ‘Hanna to win the Colonial, and while the Indians haven’t been as dominant as I would have guessed, the pieces are coming together just in time for a crucial tilt with Greencastle. 

Adam Kulikowski: Susquehanna Township 27, Greencastle-Antrim 21: Both teams hold a playoff berth as the District 3 power rankings sit right now. Indians have the chops to notch a quality win over the Class 5A Blue Devils and further bolster their playoff resumé. 

Shippensburg 14, Mechanicsburg 7

Andy Shay: Mechanicsburg 24, Shippensburg 14: Something tells me the Greyhounds will have a say in the outcome of this game and can pull off the upset. Then I realize their offense continues to struggle while the Wildcats, who have been up and down offensively, have been more consistent overall. Tough call, though.

Andy Sandrik: Mechanicsburg 28, Shippensburg 14: Couple of two-win teams looking to shake off losing streaks. The Wildcats have a little more offensively, but this is a 50-50 game all the way.

Adam Kulikowski: Mechanicsburg 34, Shippensburg 15: The Greyhounds have scored 19 points just once this season. To put that into context, consider this: in their previous 24 games before the start of the 2023 circuit, they failed to cross the 20-point mark just five times. 

West Perry 38, Big Spring 35

Andy Shay: West Perry 49, Big Spring 14: The Mustangs are flying high and can go straight at you with power or use their speed in space to create mismatches and exploit them. Here’s where Big Spring playing Steel-High and Trinity in back-to-back weeks shows up because the margins against West Perry are slim.

Andy Sandrik: West Perry 42, Big Spring 17: I think the Bulldogs want to give West Perry their best shot, but how much do they have in the tank after two grueling weeks against Steel-High and Trinity? 

Adam Kulikowski: West Perry 43, Big Spring 20: The sledding doesn’t get any easier for a quality Bulldogs squad which over the last two weeks fought Capital Division foes Steel-High and Trinity. Finding a way to keep pace with the Mustangs could be a challenge. 

Steel-High 55, Camp Hill 7

Andy Shay: Steel-High 56, Camp Hill 7: Rollers have these three-touchdown bursts that suck the life out of an opponent. And don’t forget about the Steel-High defense in all the points and state records chatter. They show up every week. 

Andy Sandrik: Steel-High 55, Camp Hill 14: Everything about Camp Hill it considers a strength, Steel-High does better. Tough matchup for the Lions. 

Adam Kulikowski: Steel-High 49, Camp Hill 21: When folks talk about the Rollers, the offense garners most of the attention. But Andrew Erby’s defense hasn’t yielded more than seven points in three weeks.

Juniata 48, Boiling Springs 28

Andy Shay: Juniata 35, Boiling Springs 14: Each of the Bubblers’ last four opponents has scored at least 48 points. The Indians aren’t the most powerful offense but certainly have more balance.

Andy Sandrik: Juniata 23, Boiling Springs 17: I love the addition of the Liberty Division to the Mid-Penn. It gives us the chance to see some fresh matchups that we’re not used to seeing.

Adam Kulikowski: Juniata 28, Boiling Springs 14: Bubblers are looking to turn the page after West Perry’s high-octane offense ran unencumbered last week. Indians don’t possess the same horsepower to stretch the spread. 

Line Mountain 50, Halifax 14

Andy Shay: Line Mountain 28, Halifax 7: While the Eagles’ offense has been slightly less potent than maybe expected, the defense has answered the bell by allowing only four touchdowns over the last 12 quarters. That is the difference-maker.

Andy Sandrik: Line Mountain 32, Halifax 14: Two Liberty teams trending in opposite directions. Eagles have done more than enough to be favored here.

Adam Kulikowski: Line Mountain 34, Halifax 13: Eagles have all the pieces they need to make this a tough pull for the Wildcats. 

Upper Dauphin 52, James Buchanan 6

Andy Shay: Upper Dauphin 49, James Buchanan 7: Nothing will prevent the Trojans from keeping their foot on the gas to get six or seven touchdowns as fast as possible. That’s the goal here.

Andy Sandrik: Upper Dauphin 44, James Buchanan 7: You never want to look ahead to the next opponent, but if UD comes out and executes like it should, the Trojans can start thinking about Juniata by halftime. 

Adam Kulikowski: Upper Dauphin 53, James Buchanan 6: Trojans are on a three-game winning streak and arguably playing their best ball of the season. 

Susquenita 42, Newport 14

Andy Shay: Susquenita 35, Newport 7: Been a struggle for the Blackhawks to find wins even when they play well. More of a level playing field against the final team in the MPC looking to grab a W.

Andy Sandrik: Susquenita 28, Newport 6: Susquenita is struggling to earn wins, while Newport is struggling to generate points. Something has to give. 

Adam Kulikowski: Susquenita 34, Newport 6: This certainly hasn’t been the season the Blackhawks expected, but this is a week to feel good about the final shine on the scoreboard.

Nativity BVM 30, Tri-Valley 27

Andy Shay: Tri-Valley 28, Nativity BVM 21: Tough to jump back in the saddle after kind of giving a game away when the team you are facing, the Bulldogs, will ask a lot of the same questions of you.

Andy Sandrik: Tri-Valley 21, Nativity BVM 14: Nativity seemed to have a win over Williams Valley in its back pocket when everything went wrong. And now the Green Wave is tasked with facing a Tri-Valley team every bit as tough as the previous week’s opponent. 

Adam Kulikowski: Tri-Valley 35, Nativity BVM 21: BVM’s play through the first three quarters against Williams Valley shows the potential this team possesses to knock off the Bulldogs. Executing on that potential is a different story. 

Tamaqua 42, Pine Grove 3

Andy Shay: Tamaqua 42, Pine Grove 14: Hard to compete for results when you surrender 40 or more points most weeks. Tamaqua started slow but has found a couple wins recently, and that matters.

Andy Sandrik: Tamaqua 35, Pine Grove 21: Two teams with losing records, but Tamaqua is on a two-game win streak after starting 0-4. Pine Grove’s defense allowing 40-plus points in each of its last five games also makes the Blue Raiders the favorites here.

Adam Kulikowski: Tamaqua 45, Pine Grove 28: Pine Grove hasn’t played a competitive four quarters since its lone victory of the season in Week 1. 

Williams Valley 49, Mahanoy 41

Andy Shay: Williams Valley 49, Mahanoy 21: How in the world did the Vikings pull that victory rabbit out of what looked like a sure loss? Don’t expect a hangover from that kind of triumph. That’s fuel on the fire in my book.

Andy Sandrik: Williams Valley 42, Mahanoy 14: Those WV kids are going to be talking about last week’s comeback win for decades to come. This week won’t be as memorable for the Vikings, but still fun.

Adam Kulikowski: Williams Valley 55, Mahanoy 20: Is there anything Alex Achenbach can’t do? Asking for a friend. Seriously though, this cat did it all last week — 220 rushing yards (two TDs), a passing TD, a kick return TD and a pick-6 to end the game. Expect another heavy dose of No. 5 this week. 


Trinity at Middletown, 2 p.m.

Andy Shay: Trinity 42, Middletown 7: The road has been wicked tough on many fronts for the T-Rocks. They are a bit limited with a banged up FBS recruit at running back still trying to get healthy. Blue Raiders don’t have enough to make this one tough, and Trinity needs a week where it can cruise a good bit of the second half. Feels like this is that spot.

Andy Sandrik: Trinity 35, Middletown 14: Depending on how much Trinity decides to turn to a banged-up Messiah Mickens, this game could end up being closer than some might think. 

Adam Kulikowski: Trinity 55, Middletown 13: Shamrocks are heavy favorites in this daytime tilt against the one-win Blue Raiders, who simply don’t have the horses to run with the ‘Rocks.

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