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High School Football: Results: Picks and Predictions for Week 3

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EXPLAINING OUR PICKS: It’s Week 3 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 Twin Valley Conference.

This year’s group of experts includes veteran reporters Andy Shay and Andy Sandrick, 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 3 — Overall — Perfect Picks
Andy Sandrik: 22-8 — 73-21 — 0

Adam Kulikowski: 21-9— 69-25 — 0

Andy Shay: 19-11 — 65-29 — 0

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

View our new podcast, 4th and Goal with Jake Adams and Andy Shay. This week, we’re chatting with West Perry wide receiver Ian Goodling. We’re also digging into what stood out in Week 2 including Big Spring’s victory over Shippensburg to claim the Little Brown Jug; our surprise team–the Bishop McDevitt Crusaders; plus we highlight an athlete to watch and one must-see game in Week 3.

FRIDAY, SEPT. 8

Altoona 35, Mifflin County 0

Andy Shay: Mifflin County 34, Altoona 20: Pretty obvious what the Huskies’ recipe for success is built around. Powered by an offensive line that is on point, running back Deakon Schaeffer is averaging 200 yards a game. Not sure Altoona can force Mifflin Country out of its comfort zone.

Andy Sandrik: Mifflin County 32, Altoona 24: Altoona will present a challenge, but the Huskies have answered the bell on both sides of the ball so far this season and deserve to be the favorites.

Adam Kulikowski: Mifflin County 27, Altoona 23: The Huskies are clearly trending up, coming off a 6-5 season last year. If the good times are to continue in Huskie Country, the defense will play a key role. One player that’s stood out in the early polling on that unit? Senior Owen Gipe. The 5-foot-10, 170-pound linebacker has racked up team-high 31 tackles to help limit MIfflin County’s first two opponents to 12 total points. 

York 42, Carlisle 40

Andy Shay: York 42, Carlisle 21: Not sure either defense is going to have a lot of say in this outcome, and it appears as if the Bearcats have more firepower in their offensive arsenal right now.

Andy Sandrik: York 39, Carlisle 35: Kulikowski and Shay can pick against Carlisle without hearing about it from everyone in the drive-through elementary pickup. I don’t have that luxury. 

Adam Kulikowski: York 39, Carlisle 28: Fun fact: the Thundering Herd have scored exactly as many points as they have yielded — 56. The result is a 1-1 record. 

Central Dauphin 35, Coatesville 13

Andy Shay: Coatesville 35, Central Dauphin 14: This will be the Rams’ second opponent in three games ranked inside the Top 10 in the state. Red Raiders’ defense has been impressive through eight quarters and will provide the biggest challenge to date for the CD offense.

Andy Sandrik: Coatesville 33, Central Dauphin 17: Vibes are getting better in Rams’ country, but knocking off this tough Coatesville squad is much easier said than done.

Adam Kulikowski: Central Dauphin 28, Coatesville 27: All signs say to go with the Red Raiders — 77 points scored versus just seven yielded; a victory last year against Central Dauphin; plenty of weapons in the cupboard. Yet, the vibe is back with the Rams and momentum can raise the tide to new heights. 

CD East 60, Northeastern 6

Andy Shay: CD East 35, Northeastern 7: There are huge matchup advantages all over the field for the Panthers in this one against a winless Bobcats squad.

Andy Sandrik: CD East 43, Northeastern 7: Even after a blowout loss, CD East is still about four steps ahead of Northeastern, in my book.

Adam Kulikowski: CD East 45, Northeastern 10: Losses to Red Land and Dover provide enough context to draw the conclusion that Northeastern doesn’t have the pieces in the proverbial cupboard to hang with the Panthers. 

Chambersburg 42, Waynesboro 20

Andy Shay: Chambersburg 42, Waynesboro 7: A friendly reminder the Trojans dropped half a century on the Northern Polar Bears a week ago. Enough said.

Andy Sandrik: Chambersburg 45, Waynesboro 10: I’m still stunned at how badly the Trojans gashed Northern last week. Something’s cooking in Chambersburg, and it would be unwise to pick against the Trojans right now. 

Adam Kulikowski: Chambersburg 34, Waynesboro 13: The Trojans have speed to burn, and that will provide plenty of trouble for a rebuilding Waynesboro squad. 

Spring-Ford 63, Cumberland Valley 17

Andy Shay: Spring-Ford 21, Cumberland Valley 17: Rams are 2-0 while the Eagles are winless after facing two high-quality opponents. This feels like a more level playing field despite the records. Path to success for CV lies in more help from the offense.

Andy Sandrik: Spring-Ford 24, Cumberland Valley 14: I know CV has played some really good programs these opening two weeks, but six points in eight quarters is still a red flag for me. The Eagles’ defense will keep this game close for as long as they can, but the offense is going to have to take that next step sooner rather than later.

Adam Kulikowski: Spring-Ford 17, Cumberland Valley 7: Coach Josh Oswalt’s offense scheme is not an easy one to run fluently on Day 1. That means there’s growing pains that come along with a new cast of characters — and the Eagles certainly have faced those pains, netting just six points in their first eight quarters of play. 

Manheim Township 38, Harrisburg 6

Andy Shay: Harrisburg 27, Manheim Township 24: Both squads have come out of the gates flying and executing at a very high level on both sides of the ball. The chess match between the Cougars’ defense and the Blue Streaks’ offense is going to be fascinating to watch play out.

Andy Sandrik: Manheim Township 30, Harrisburg 26: I get the sense that this won’t be the first time these behemoths square off this fall.

Adam Kulikowski: Manheim Township 31, Harrisburg 30: This one is worth the drive for Harrisburg football fans. My crystal ball says we might be getting a preview of a District 3 Class 6A title match later this year.

State College at Hollidaysburg, Canceled

Andy Shay: State College 34, Hollidaysburg 14: Pretty sure the Little Lions are going to be ready to go from the opening whistle this week and focused on getting back on track after watching a late rally fall just short a week ago.

Andy Sandrik: State College 45, Hollidaysburg 21: State College will be fully focused on getting ahead and staying ahead, which could snowball into a blowout loss for Hollidaysburg.

Adam Kulikowski: State College 45, Hollidaysburg 13: The loss to Downingtown East was a mild shock, but don’t let that fool you. The Little Lions are still a force to be reckoned with for any opponent. 

Mechanicsburg 49, Red Land 30

Andy Shay: Red Land 24, Mechanicsburg 21: Toss-up game for me. The Patriots’ run game is a formula for success against the Wildcats’ defense, plus they have a defense that has created some key turnovers. Mechanicsburg offense will be the difference-maker if the Wildcats take this one.

Andy Sandrik: Red Land 21, Mechanicsburg 14: Having that first win under your belt can make a world of difference. The Patriots’ confidence, combined with its running attack and a sprinkle of defense, could serve them well in a grind-it-out kind of game. 

Adam Kulikowski: Red Land 28, Mechanicsburg 20: If the Patriots watched the tape from Cedar Cliff’s victory against Mechanicsburg last Thursday, they likely saw a few tendencies in the passing game that can be exploited against the Wildcats. 

Bishop McDevitt 47, La Salle College 21

Andy Shay: Bishop McDevitt 35, La Salle College 14: A pair of come-from-behind victories against next-level opponents should serve the Crusaders well in this one. I expect this to be close well into the second half before McD takes charge.

Andy Sandrik: Bishop McDevitt 35, La Salle College 10: The star-studded Crusaders have had to fight and claw for everything they’ve gotten in their 2-0 start. That experience will serve them well in this contest. 

Adam Kulikowski: Bishop McDevitt 41, La Salle College 20: Crusaders survived about 20 haymaker shots last week but never toppled. Consider this crew hardened and ready for the final test before division play begins next week. 

Cedar Cliff 43, McCaskey 6

Andy Shay: Cedar Cliff 27, McCaskey 20: There’s a little bit more pop in the Colts’ offense that you might think. They are a patient and efficient unit that will test McCaskey’s defense over the course of 48 minutes.

Andy Sandrik: Cedar Cliff 28, McCaskey 18: Cedar Cliff’s defense has been quietly having a nice little season, but I think they’ll be tested by a McCaskey squad that’s scored a point or two this season.

Adam Kulikowski: Cedar Cliff 41, McCaskey 17: The numbers Cedar Cliff has posted through Week 2 won’t wow you, but that’s just what’s scary about this team. They are getting solid contributions from a wide array of gents.

Hershey 35, Dallastown 19

Andy Shay: Dallastown 28, Hershey 21: Fully aware the Trojans are 2-0 and the Wildcats come into this one licking their wounds, sporting an 0-2 ledger. Who you play also matters, and Dallastown will have a say in the outcome of this game.

Andy Sandrik: Hershey 28, Dallastown 21: Hershey’s been a nice surprise this fall, but sooner or later someone’s going to knock off the Trojans, right? This seems like another 50-50 game, but fortune has favored Hershey in those kinds of contests this fall.

Adam Kulikowski: Hershey 24, Dallastown 21: Wavered on this pick for a few minutes, but I’m settling with the dudes in our coverage area who sport a tidy 2-0 record and a rushing offense that’s averaged a healthy 6.1 yards per carry.

Lower Dauphin 30, Elizabethtown 0

Andy Shay: Lower Dauphin 34, Elizabethtown 7: Bears have lost each of their first two games by 27 points and have struggled to be competitive. Fully healthy, the Falcons should have little trouble posting victory No. 2. 

Andy Sandrik: Lower Dauphin 41, Elizabethtown 14: I’m having more difficulty trying to type “Elizabethtown” than I think LD will actually have with the Bears this week.

Adam Kulikowski: Lower Dauphin 41, Elizabethtown 13: Falcons have the firepower to get some of the youngsters varsity experience in the second half. 

Palmyra 21, at Donegal 14

Andy Shay: Palmyra 28, Donegal 21: At first glance this might appear to be an upset. Not sure I see it that way. The Cougars’ defense has played eight solid quarters, and despite Donegal’s 2-0 mark, I think the 1-1 Cougars are playing their best football.

Andy Sandrik: Donegal 21, Palmyra 14: This has the makings of a defensive-minded contest. Give the edge to the L-L outfit playing at home.

Adam Kulikowski: Donegal 24, Palmyra 14: Give the Cougars credit for hanging tough against an East Pennsboro crew that has had their number in recent seasons. Perhaps it is a bellwether for what is to come in Palmyra, but for me it’s a bit early to bank just yet. 

Susquehanna Township 28, Middletown 13

Andy Shay: Susquehanna Township 35, Middletown 14: This is still a very dangerous ‘Hanna Tribe offense, and the Blue Raiders have already surrendered 79 points this season.

Andy Sandrik: Susquehanna Township 48, Middletown 14: The Middletown rebuild continues, and with ‘Hanna on tap, there’s sure to be more growing pains this week.

Adam Kulikowski: Susquehanna Township 55, Middletown 6: The Indians would be a pristine 2-0 if not for the last-second heroics of Milton Hershey in the season opener. Middletown continues to look for footholds after an idle year on the sidelines. 

East Pennsboro 34, Milton Hershey 28

Andy Shay: Milton Hershey 26, East Pennsboro 21: Nearly half of the 44 meetings (19 to be exact) have been decided by eight or fewer points. All indicators are this battle of 2-0 clubs could be a tight squeeze, as well.

Andy Sandrik: Milton Hershey 28, East Pennsboro 21: I’d rather drink a Grimace Shake than try to figure out this puzzle of a game. I think the Spartans have an edge, but this seems like it could go either way.

Adam Kulikowski: East Pennsboro 24, Milton Hershey 21: Panthers have yet to be fully tested heading into Week 3, but that’s not their fault. The pieces are there with Keith Oates III and some supporting playmakers to challenge in the Colonial Division. And you know the Spartans will make it a grudge match for four quarters — just ask Susquehanna Township. 

Greencastle-Antrim 35, Delone Catholic 21

Andy Shay: Greencastle-Antrim 21, Delone Catholic 14: Blue Devils are a surprising 2-0, and the Squires are struggling defensively and have lost to a pair of quality opponents. This will be a test at the next level for G-A.

Andy Sandrik: Greencastle-Antrim 24, Delone Catholic 12: Greencastle’s stats aren’t completely up to date, but we know the Blue Devils have at least three players who each have at least two sacks. That tells me Greencastle is fully capable of wrecking this game. 

Adam Kulikowski: Greencastle-Antrim 26, Delone Catholic 20: Jury is deliberating just how good the Blue Devils can be in 2023, but let’s not overthink this one. 

Dover 39, Northern 14

Andy Shay: Dover 17, Northern 14: Couple of 1-1 teams that were rolled by big-school opponents a week ago. Big concern for Northern is only three touchdowns scored in eight quarters. Change that, and this contest could easily be a W.

Andy Sandrik: Northern 14, Dover 7: I’m giving Northern the benefit of the doubt, here, but I have some concerns.

Adam Kulikowski: Northern 21, Dover 14: This may have more the feel of a soccer game than football — a game that is likely decided by field position and a key turnover. Both teams have the ability to gain the advantage, but the Polar Bears have the pedigree in recent years. 

Shippensburg 14, Spring Grove 6

Andy Shay: Shippensburg 27, Spring Grove 7: Pretty sure the Greyhounds are less than pleased at having to surrender the Little Brown Jug. This is the right matchup for Ship to steer its season in a new direction. 

Andy Sandrik: Shippensburg 21, Spring Grove 14: The Greyhounds’ offense is still trying to find some traction, so this could be a closer contest than a lot of folks might think.

Adam Kulikowski: Shippensburg 31, Spring Grove 13: The troops from Spring Grove won’t be sending Big Spring party favors anytime soon after the Bulldogs shook the hornet’s nest last week en route to their first victory against Shippensburg in more than a decade. 

Big Spring 47, Newport 0

Andy Shay: Big Spring 26, Newport 7: Bulldogs are on a heater and understand they can’t let the hangover of claiming the Little Brown Jug for the first time since 2010 define their season. Buffaloes’ offensive woes are clear and obvious.

Andy Sandrik: Big Spring 48, Newport 12: I can’t even imagine how big the bonfires were in Newville after Big Spring finally won the big game against the ‘Hounds. Even if the ‘Dogs are a little “hung over” from last week, I still think they have enough studs in the trenches to make life difficult for Newport.

Adam Kulikowski: Big Spring 33, Newport 13: Is there a better feel-good story from Week 2 than the Bulldogs’ victory in the Little Brown Jug game? Those good vibes should continue against a Newport team that is enduring the pain of a rebuild. 

Gettysburg 50, Boiling Springs 14

Andy Shay: Gettysburg 32, Boiling Springs 20: If nothing else the Warriors’ offense has been good enough to be 2-0 instead of 0-2. This game will be determined by how much hay the Bubblers’ offense can make against a struggling Gettysburg defense.

Andy Sandrik: Gettysburg 38, Boiling Springs 14: Boiling Springs would love to slow this game down with its defense and turn this into a low-scoring affair, but I think the Warriors have a little too much pop for that to happen.

Adam Kulikowski: Gettysburg 45, Boiling Springs 20: Gettysburg may be the most dangerous 0-2 team in District 3. But to make any ground in the Colonial, the Warriors are going to need to limit the defensive miscues.

Camp Hill 42, Upper Dauphin 20

Andy Shay: Camp Hill 28, Upper Dauphin 14: When the dust settles around this one, the bottom line is the defense will play a key role in guiding Camp Hill to a 3-0 start. 

Andy Sandrik: Camp Hill 36, Upper Dauphin 21: Austin Duplessie has three sacks in two games for Upper Dauphin from his defensive tackle position. Can he disrupt the Camp Hill passing attack?

Adam Kulikowski: Camp Hill 35, Upper Dauphin 21: For a small school, the Lions always seem to find a young lad who can sling it. They have another in QB Drew Branstetter. The junior’s completion percentage is a hardy 69% (40 of 58 for 549 yards), and he has yet to toss a pick. 

Wyomissing 35, Trinity 34

Andy Shay: Wyomissing 31, Trinity 21: I’m fascinated by this matchup in so many ways. Spartans are the clear favorites, but the T-Rocks have some offensive firepower and the Wyo defense will present a challenge at another level. 

Andy Sandrik: Wyomissing 30, Trinity 21: This is one of those games where I think the Shamrocks need to force a turnover or two to stay within striking distance.

Adam Kulikowski: Wyomissing 38, Trinity 36: To me, this is the biggest prove-it game on the docket for the Shamrocks. We know they are good, but we don’t know yet if they can knock off a perennial District 3 superpower.

West Perry 39, Juniata 21

Andy Shay: West Perry 42, Juniata 7: The Indians have allowed nearly 100 points over eight quarters, and keeping the scoreboard rolling is not a problem at all for the high-octane Mustangs. 

Andy Sandrik: West Perry 51, Juniata 14: The Mustangs are the Perry County champs after routing Susquenita and Newport, and it doesn’t seem like anything is going to stop WP from taking over Juniata County next.

Adam Kulikowski: West Perry 48, Juniata 13: The Mustangs are running like a finely tuned Cobra right now. It isn’t a matter of if they will win, but rather when will they let off the gas. 

Halifax 53, Hancock (Md.) 6

Andy Shay: Hancock 35, Halifax 31: Wildcats are riding high after a convincing 40-0 victory, and the Panthers were blown out in their season opener. Opportunity for Halifax to be 2-1 is right in front of them.

Andy Sandrik: Halifax 36, Hancock 20: It’s so nice to see the Wildcats showing a little pop this season. This is going to be a tough road test, but I’m riding with Halifax.

Adam Kulikowski: Hancock 45, Halifax 20: In my heart, I want to take the Wildcats. But my gut says don’t overvalue the offensive explosion displayed in Week 2.

James Buchanan 21, Biglerville 19

Andy Shay: Biglerville 21, James Buchanan 7: By a slim margin it feels like the Canners have a few more options in terms of offensive weapons. Will say the Rockets’ defense has been up to the task so far, though.

Andy Sandrik: Biglerville 28, James Buchanan 7: In a few months that fall drive through Adams County will be one of the most picturesque trips you can take on a budget. But I don’t think this ride home from Canner Country will be that fun for the Rockets.

Adam Kulikowski: Biglerville 21, James Buchanan 14: The Canners have scored just 21 points in their first eight quarters of play but have a 1-1 record to show for their efforts. Doubling the tally from the first two weeks should be enough to get the dub.

Tri-Valley 23, Line Mountain 14

Andy Shay: Line Mountain 38, Tri-Valley 28: Let the good times roll, right? This has all the ingredients of being a back-and-forth slugfest for a long time despite each squad checking in at 1-1. Throw the records out.

Andy Sandrik: Tri-Valley 27, Line Mountain 24: Coin-flip game, in my mind, but I’ll take the scrappy Bulldogs. Any team whose QB doubles as a DE, like the Bulldogs’ Blake Schwartz (6-6, 190), deserves to be called scrappy. 

Adam Kulikowski: Line Mountain 32, Tri-Valley 31: Last year, the Eagles nearly pulled off a huge upset when they took Tri-Valley to the wire. In some regards, it was the beginning of the awakening of LM. This year, I’m not even sure we would categorize a victory by the home squad as an upset.

Schuylkill Valley 48, Susquenita 14

Andy Shay: Susquenita 27, Schuylkill Valley 21: Give me 6-4, 230-pound Blackhawks QB Derek Gibney and his 500-plus passing yards, six touchdowns and one INT in eight quarters. Shots will be taken is all I know.

Andy Sandrik: Schuylkill Valley 28, Susquenita 20: As a West Perry grad, I’m obligated to pick against the ‘Hawks in a 50-50 game, right? 

Adam Kulikowski: Susquenita 34, Schuylkill Valley 31: The Gibney brothers, Derek and Drew, are taking the backyard pitch-and-catch to new heights this season, connecting 18 times for 236 of QB Derek Gibney’s 527 stripes to date. 

North Schuylkill 48, Pine Grove 0

Andy Shay: North Schuylkill 33, Pine Grove 14: Fully aware each squad is 1-1, just think the Spartans are going to ask some questions of the PG defense that haven’t been asked of them to date.

Andy Sandrik: North Schuylkill 32, Pine Grove 12: I’ve been on the wrong end of some of those 48-6 losses, like the one PG took last week. It’s remarkably hard to get back on track, even if you’re facing an opponent that may otherwise be an even match. 

Adam Kulikowski: North Schuylkill 37, Pine Grove 20: Coming off a week in which Williams Valley gashed the Pine Grove defense for 370 yards, the thought of NS senior running back Jaxson Chowansky and his 7.6 yards per carry (26 carries, 198 yards) likely is keeping the PG defensive coordinator up at night.

Schuylkill Haven 24, Williams Valley 21

Andy Shay: Williams Valley 35, Schuylkill Haven 20: When you have a dude who averages more than 280 yards a game on the ground, that will cover up for a lot of other gaps on your squad.

Andy Sandrik: Williams Valley 44, Schuylkill Haven 9: Folks are buying tickets just to see Alex Achenbach run the ball, and No. 5 is doing it so well that Williams Valley’s hustling defense — which has allowed six points all season — is still an afterthought.

Adam Kulikowski: Williams Valley 45, Schuylkill Haven 13: Last week, Vikings running back Alex Achenbach broke the school rushing record with 343 yards on just 14 carries. Whose record did he break, you might be wondering? His own — 321 yards against Panther Valley in 2021. 

SATURDAY, SEPT. 9

Steel-High 29, West Catholic (Philadelphia) 22

Andy Shay: Steel-High 46, West Catholic 19: While West Catholic is a known name brand in the state, not sure the Burrs have the firepower this season to hold serve against the Rollers. Steel-High is better at putting pressure on teams to play its style of game.

Andy Sandrik: Steel-High 50, West Catholic 13: Rollers are averaging 44 points per contest. I have a feeling that average rises a little bit after this weekend. 

Adam Kulikowski: Steel-High 55, West Catholic 14: West Catholic scored just six points in its season opener last week. That’s simply not enough offensive firepower to contend with Alex Erby and the gents in Steelton. 

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Noah Hillis and Greg Campbell, srs., RB & QB, Bangor: What do you do when two gents on the same team each rush for 145 yards and three touchdowns? You make them co-nominees for our player of the week. They were responsible for nearly every yard of production Friday night in their team’s 41-0 blanking of Wilson.

Michael Gelatko, jr., DB, Marian Catholic: When you play a defensive game, you know there will be standout performances that contributed to the low-scoring affair. Gelatko delivered with a team-high 11 tackles, including three for a loss, and one sack in his team’s 12-6 victory against Nativity BVM.

Aiden Myers, sr., RB, Schuylkill Haven: Myers carried a heavy load for Haven Friday night against Palisades. The senior logged 32 totes for 200 stripes and two touchdowns.

Jack Robertson, jr., WR, Saucon Valley: Robertson sure made the most of his opportunities Friday night against Pottsville. The junior hauled in two receptions for 97 stripes and a pair of touchdowns in his team’s 21-9 victory.

Cade Schultz, sr., DT, Minersville: Schultz proved to be a disruptive force Friday night in Minersville’s 41-28 victory against Panther Valley. He also had a team-high 10 tackles, including four for a loss, and a QB hurry.

Luke Stevenosky, sr., RB, Minersville: Stop us if you’ve heard this one before. Stevenosky turned in another monster performance, racking up 272 stripes on 17 carries. He reached the end zone three times on the evening.

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Nolan Baumert, sr., RB/DB, Line Mountain: Baumert’s 1-yard TD plunge with 8:06 left proved the difference in the Eagles’ 27-21 win over Susquenita. He finished with 26 carries, 177 yards and two more touchdowns that spanned 44 yards and 1 yard.

Preston Burnett, so., RB, Gettysburg: The Warriors picked up their first Colonial Division win Thursday, 41-20 over Mechanicsburg, thanks to the churning legs of Burnett. The sophomore scored two minutes into the game on a 28-yard run, added second-quarter TDs of 6 and 6 yards, and finished with 38 carries for 189 yards.

Angel Cabrera, sr., RB/LB, Hershey: The Trojans made it two straight Cocoa Bean Bowl victories thanks in a big way to Cabrera. The senior rushed for a career-high 258 yards and three touchdowns (2, 3 and 1 yards) on 28 touches to beat rival Milton Hershey 33-22 on Saturday. It’s his third game with three TDs.

Wyatt Ehrenzeller, jr., QB/LB, Juniata: Ehrenzeller completed 8 of 9 passes for 117 yards and three touchdowns in Juniata’s 35-14 win over Halifax. He also added another score on the ground, rushing for 96 yards on five carries. And he added seven tackles (one for loss) on defense.

Alex Erby, sr., QB, Steel-High: Inching closer to the state’s career passing record, Erby put together another quality night in a 46-7 win at Big Spring. He finished 16 of 25 for 219 yards, three TDs (14, 11 and 5 yards) and a pick, and he ran in two scores of 1 and 6 yards.

Christian Joy, jr., RB/KR, Trinity: The Shamrocks snapped a two-game skid thanks to the efforts of Joy — QB Caleb Wray also threw for five TDs and 218 yards — who scored on a 25-yard reception and a 70-yard punt return, both late in the first quarter. Joy finished with seven carries for 149 yards as well.

Shawn Lee Jr., jr., QB, Harrisburg: Lee completed 14 passes for 338 yards and four scores of 70, 26, 93 and 28 yards to dismantle Cumberland Valley 42-7 on Friday night. Lee also rushed 11 times for a team-high 85 yards. Special hat tip to top target Elias Coke, who had seven catches, 193 yards and three of those TDs.

Keith Oates III, sr., QB/LB, East Pennsboro: Oates and the Panthers improved to 5-0 after a 24-13 win over Greencastle-Antrim on Friday. Oates’ scored three rushing touchdowns of 20, 2 and 1 yards to finish with 10 carries and 35 stripes. He also completed 16 passes for 139 yards and had six tackles on defense.

Jared Porter, jr., RB/DB, CD East: Porter dismantled Altoona in a 28-7 road win Friday night, rushing for 219 yards on 26 touches (8.4 yards per carry) for the 3-2 Panthers. He put an exclamation point on the performance with a game-sealing 73-yard TD in the fourth quarter and picked off a pass on defense, one of four forced CD East turnovers.

Marcus Quaker, sr., QB, West Perry: It was another record-breaking night for the Mustangs. This time, Quaker broke the program record for career passing yards with 4,738 — passing Zach Smith’s 4,523 set in 2012. Quaker went 20 of 25 for 313 yards and four TDs in a 47-13 win over James Buchanan.

Stone Saunders, jr., QB, Bishop McDevitt: Two records fell in the Crusaders’ 48-7 rout of Cedar Cliff. It was their program-record 18th straight win. And Saunders set the new career passing yards record with his 251-yard night (15 of 17 passing), passing former great Matt Johnson. The Kentucky verbal commit also tossed five TDs.

Dorian Smith, sr., RB, Susquehanna Township: Smith got ‘Hanna back over .500 for the season in a 28-19 win over Shippensburg on Thursday night. The senior finished with 199 yards and capped his night with a 52-yard TD run in the fourth quarter to ice the game.

Josh Smith, jr., WR/DB/KR, Mechanicsburg: Smith’s Wildcats fell 41-20 to Gettysburg in Colonial action, but the junior was electric throughout the game. He caught nine balls for 176 stripes, including TD receptions of 18 and 90 yards in the first half. And he broke away for a 90-yard kick return score in the second quarter.

Caleb Snyder, jr., RB/LB, Upper Dauphin: Snyder’s three tackles for loss, along with 12 tackles (seven solo) led a stout defensive effort in a 30-6 win over Newport. On offense, he chipped in two receptions for 40 yards and a 4-yard touchdown, seven carries for 41 stripes, and a two-point conversion.

Robert Strayer, jr., LB, State College: Strayer’s pick-6 early in the second half ensured the Little Lions weren’t going to be the latest victim of resurgent Central Dauphin in a 31-13 win. He returned the interception 71 yards and helped hold the Rams’ offense to just 239 yards, and just 35 of them through the air.

Sunday Morning QB: New records set across the Mid-Penn; State College flexes its muscle; gambling to win and more

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To kick off this midseason version of the Sunday Morning Quarterback, we have some impressive records that tumbled in Week 5 to highlight.

First, Bishop McDevitt’s domination of previously undefeated Cedar Cliff at West Shore Stadium was the 18th consecutive victory for the Crusaders. The defending PIAA Class 4A champs lost their opener in 2022 to Imhotep Charter and haven’t lost since.

The 18 straight wins is a school record that is going to continue to grow as the Crusaders roll through the Keystone Division portion of their schedule. From my chair, the opening three non-conference games McDevitt played make this mark the gold standard. The number should exceed 25 at a minimum.

Speaking of the 5-0 Crusaders, junior quarterback Stone Saunders became the all-time career passing yards leader in school history with more than 8,000 yards. Saunders surpassed Matt Johnson, the current Kent State offensive coordinator who played collegiately at Bowling Green.

Here’s the kicker: Saunders is only a junior. Imagine how many yards he might have considering he played very little or not at all in the second half in at least half the regular season games during his three years.

Of course, he’s enjoyed having a ridiculous amount of highly talented receivers at his disposal. The Kentucky recruit will own all the records at McDevitt, if he doesn’t already, before he’s done.

Elsewhere, West Perry senior quarterback Marcus Quaker threw for 313 yards and four touchdowns in a cruise-control win over James Buchanan. The signal caller for the 5-0 squad from Elliottsburg is now the school record holder for career passing yards with 4,738. Quaker surpassed Zach Smith’s mark of 4,523 yards established from 2010-2012.

Quaker is the best QB in Mustangs history. The proof is in his career numbers, where he’s first in completions, second in completion percentage, first in passing yards, first in passing touchdowns, is the top rushing QB in school history and tied for first in total touchdowns. No wonder the Mustangs are 16-2 in their last 18 games.

State College announces its presence

Prior to the season I was fairly certain State College had some tools to be a contender for championships at any level in the state. Then the Little Lions were pushed by Williamsport to start the season, lost to Downingtown East and had a game canceled because of lightning storms.

So I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect from this State College squad when it made a road trip to surging Central Dauphin to play the Rams at The Speedway. On some levels I think the Little Lions wanted to learn about themselves at the halfway point.

And the Rams delivered a haymaker early, taking the first play from scrimmage 60 yards and scoring on the opening drive. What impressed me was the response by State College. It was very telling.

The Little Lions’ offense powered up and scored 31 straight points, and the defense locked down CD’s run-focused offense. State College was dominant. I don’t think the Rams played poorly, either.

Little Lions QB Eddie Corkery is a weapon, and he has plenty of options at WR led by Ty Salazer. The Rams had no answer for State College’s short passing game built on accuracy from the QB and speed on the edges.

CD is a quality opponent and was playing its best football of the season coming into this tilt. State College simply announced its presence on many levels with authority.

You play to win the game

Playing to win in the dying stages of a game, or in overtime, is something I’ve always admired. Risking a loss by gambling to win is a tough call but one I’m on board with.

Waynesboro squandered a 21-point lead at Northern, and in the fourth quarter found itself down by a touchdown. The Indians rallied and pulled even with 5:55 to play. New head coach Mark Saunders, the former Chambersburg skipper, played to win and went for two to grab a 29-28 lead that stood up.

Last week Big Spring went for two in overtime to edge Camp Hill instead of rolling the dice in a second overtime. Central Dauphin did the same earlier this season to win on the road at Wilson.

Trinity could have kicked a field goal in the dying seconds to force overtime with West Perry at COBO Field a week ago. Instead, T-Rock head coach Jordan Hill made the absolute right call and went for the win. The Shamrocks pass play on fourth down failed. Maybe you question the play call, but the decision was about winning while not being afraid to lose, either.

Quick hits

  • Harrisburg was in full snooze mode at Cumberland Valley before a halftime reset took place. The Cougars, behind 338 passing yards along with 85 rushing yards and four touchdowns from QB Shawn Lee Jr., dropped a five-touchdown bomb on the Eagles the final 24 minutes. Harrisburg WR Elias Coke had seven grabs for 193 yards and three TDs.
  • As expected the Colonial Division battle between unbeatens East Pennsboro and Greencastle-Antrim was a tight squeeze. The Panthers’ offense didn’t have the explosive extra gear but instead went into grind mode. That’s because the Blue Devils kept the game inside their box. QB Keith Oates III had three rushing TDs and led East Pennsboro with six tackles. The contribution of RB JJ Gossard (105 rushing yards on 21 carries) was the game-changer for the Panthers. Winning (final score 24-13) when it’s not easy will serve this Panthers team well. 
  • CD East is 3-2 at the halfway point and moved to 1-1 in the Commonwealth Division after drubbing Altoona on the road at Mansion Park. Not much was expected of the Panthers to start the season, and to be honest, their schedule has been very favorable. Still, you are what your record says you are. RB Jared Porter had 219 rushing yards and a TD while also snagging an INT in the three-touchdown win. The Panthers still have State College, Harrisburg and rival Central Dauphin, who is also 3-2, to play. The really tough games are coming, but opportunity still exists for a .500 season. That would’ve been unexpected in the preseason.
  • Did Chambersburg really beat Carlisle 3-0? I was sure the score was wrong. It’s 2023 after all. Why do I really like that scoreline?

High School Football: Andy Shay’s Elite 11 Rankings After Week 5

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11. West Perry5-011
Twas a night to let off the gas for the Mustangs, who had no trouble with James Buchanan. West Perry had 40-plus points at halftime and put it on cruise control.
10. Steel-High5-010
Midway through the second quarter, the Rollers trailed on the road at Big Spring 7-6. By halftime it was 25-7 following three quick-strike touchdowns, and Steel-High cruised from there.
9. Wyomissing4-09
The Spartans will welcome undefeated ELCO to Bob Wolfrum Field Saturday.
8.Manheim Central4-18
No problem for the Barons at home against a Warwick side that beat No. 6 Cocalico to open the season but hasn’t won since. Barons led 28-0 at halftime and put the running clock into play in the third quarter.
7. Exeter Township5-07
It only took one quarter for the Eagles to put 29 points up on the scoreboard against winless Lebanon on their way to a 51-0 halftime cushion.
6. Cocalico4-16
For the fourth time in five games the Cocalico defense held the opposition to two or fewer touchdowns. This time it was against previously unbeaten Lampeter-Strasburg in a gritty 24-10 victory.
5. State College3-15
After falling behind early, the Little Lions took complete control the rest of the first half, scoring 24 unanswered points on their way to a 31-13 road victory at Central Dauphin.
4. Central York5-04
Was in a dog fight with two-win South Western, leading 14-0 after three quarters. Pitt recruit Juelz Goff sealed it with a 51-yard gallop in the fourth quarter to put Panthers up three scores.
3. Harrisburg4-13
Wasn’t easy for the Cougars against the one-win Eagles at Cumberland Valley for a half. Harrisburg exploded for 35 second-half points to pull away and post a 42-7 triumph.
2. Manheim Township5-02
After rolling up 48 points in a comfortable win over Hempfield, the Blue Streaks have scored a whopping 240 points this season. This team is rolling quality opponents, too.
1. Bishop McDevitt5-01
This was potentially the biggest challenge the Crusaders might face in the Keystone. By halftime McD led previously unbeaten Cedar Cliff 41-0 on its way to a 48-7 road victory.

Pennsylvania high school football: Scores, highlights from Week 5 in Mid-Penn Conference and midstate

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It’s Cocoa Bean Bowl Week.

It’s also State College-Central Dauphin Week. And Steel-High vs. Big Spring Week (yes, you read that right).

Week 5 of the Mid-Penn Conference football slate has the makings of one of the most important of the season, with heated rivalries and some crucial matchups that will have outsized outcomes on several intriguing division races. So we’ve got you covered here for all the action.

As always, bookmark this page on your phone, laptop or tablet to follow every matchup and see every highlight from the Mid-Penn and some of the teams in the Colonial-Schuylkill League. We’ll update scores throughout the night on this page, and you can follow our Twitter feed below for minute-by-minute updates.

PIAA football: Week 5 Mid-Penn analysis, staff picks and previews

Each week 4th Down Magazine will preview the weekend slate, predict the winners and provide extra analysis. Here’s everything to get you ready for Week 5 of the PIAA high school football season:

Mid-Penn Conference football schedule and scores: Week 5

Looking for the latest updates and final scores from this weekend’s games around the Harrisburg area? We have you covered:

Thursday, Sept. 21

  • Susquehanna Township 28, Shippensburg 19
  • Gettysburg 41, Mechanicsburg 20
  • Waynesboro 29, Northern 28

Friday, Sept. 22

  • CD East 28, Altoona 7 Final
  • Chambersburg 3, Carlisle 0 Final
  • State College 31, Central Dauphin 13 Final
  • Harrisburg 42, Cumberland Valley 7 Final
  • Bishop McDevitt 48, Cedar Cliff 7 Final
  • Lower Dauphin 35, Red Land 7 Final
  • Mifflin County 20, Palmyra 10 Final
  • East Pennsboro 24, Greencastle-Antrim 13 Final
  • West Perry 47, James Buchanan 13 Final
  • Steel-High 46, Big Spring 7 Final
  • Trinity 48, Boiling Springs 14 Final
  • Middletown 14, Camp Hill 7 Final
  • Juniata 35, Halifax 14 Final
  • Line Mountain 27, Susquenita 21 Final
  • Upper Dauphin 30, Newport 6 Final
  • Tri-Valley 21, Executive Education 8 Final
  • Jim Thorpe 47, Pine Grove 7 Final
  • Loyalsock Township 24, Williams Valley 7 Final

Saturday, Sept. 23

  • Hershey at Milton Hershey, 1:30 p.m.

Pennsylvania high school football live updates and highlights

Click on this Twitter/X list link to follow updates from area teams and reporters from tonight’s games.

High School Football: Results: Picks and Predictions for Week 5

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EXPLAINING OUR PICKS: It’s Week 5 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.

This week’s edition of 4th & Goal, our weekly show with Andy Shay and Jake Adams, we’re taking a closer look at the Liberty Division, what stood out in Week 4, who some of the conference’s best ‘Big ‘Backs’ have been historically and chatting with Hershey’s Angel Cabrera.

2023 Standings

Picker: Week 5 — Overall — Perfect Picks

Andy Sandrik: 13-9 — 105-33 — 0

Adam Kulikowski: 18-4 — 104-34 — 0

Andy Shay: 18-4 — 99-39 — 1

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

THURSDAY, SEPT. 21

Susquehanna Township 28, Shippensburg 19:

Andy Shay: Susquehanna Township 20, Shippensburg 14: There is a certain style the Greyhounds need to play in order to win games. It starts with defense. The ‘Hanna Tribe are 2-2 but both losses are by a point.

Andy Sandrik: Shippensburg 17, Susquehanna Township 14: Ship is 2-0 in one-score games, while ‘Hanna is 0-2. Use that information however you’d like, but the only thing I can say with confidence is this could very well be a one-score game.

Adam Kulikowski: Susquehanna Township 33, Shippensburg 20: Perennially a division favorite, the Greyhounds seem vulnerable this year. Can the Indians take advantage?

Gettysburg 41, Mechanicsburg 20

Andy Shay: Mechanicsburg 28, Gettysburg 26: Wildcats have rebounded nicely from an 0-2 start and have moved the needle forward on many fronts. Warriors will find their points, but have also surrendered 130 points in four games.

Andy Sandrik: Mechanicsburg 33, Gettysburg 24: I like the game-to-game improvement I’m seeing from this Mechanicsburg squad. With that said, the Wildcats will be facing a desperate 1-3 Warriors team and could have their hands full. 

Adam Kulikowski: Mechanicsburg 38, Gettysburg 28: The Warriors’ defense is suspect, and the Wildcats have enough firepower to take advantage. Look for this one to be a high-scoring affair. 

Waynesboro 29, Northern 28:

Andy Shay: Northern 20, Waynesboro 7: Couple of 1-3 teams who have identical struggles to put points on the board. Defense has kept the Indians and Polar Bears in games. Only a combined 105 points scored in eight games.

Andy Sandrik: Waynesboro 13, Northern 7: Something tells me the first team to score a TD in this game will be the winner. 

Adam Kulikowski: Waynesboro 14, Northern 7: Can’t argue with the logic of my crony pickers. Winner just might be the team whose defense or special teams finds a way to put points on the board.

FRIDAY, SEPT. 22

CD East 28, Altoona 7

Andy Shay: CD East 27, Altoona 24: At times through the first month each team has shown some firepower against lesser opponents. Feels like a level playing field on many fronts, but that extra gear slightly favors the Panthers. Tough road game for them.

Andy Sandrik: Altoona 24, CD East 20: This is one of those coin-flip games that is going to come down to which team can scrap harder. I’ll take the Mountain Lions and the consistent running of Bron Mosley, who’s averaging 117 yards per contest.

Adam Kulikowski: CD East 34, Altoona 30: Picking against the Mountain Lions always seems to get me in trouble with my wife, a proud graduate of Altoona, but here we are. 

Chambersburg 3, Carlisle 0

Andy Shay: Carlisle 29, Chambersburg 26: This game has so many box-of-chocolates elements for me that it creates a fascinating matchup. Trojans have the better record, but Thundering Herd have a couple one-score losses and have shown more consistency on offense.

Andy Sandrik: Carlisle 28, Chambersburg 18: Nothing like watching my kids’ school, Carlisle, go to battle against Chambersburg, my wife’s alma mater. Give me the Herd with a rebound win. 

Adam Kulikowski: Chambersburg 26, Carlisle 21: Call it an upset if you’d like, but the Trojans have some serious speed which could present matchup problems for a Carlisle club coming off a physical tussle with Harrisburg. 

State College 31, Central Dauphin 13

Andy Shay: State College 31, Central Dauphin 27: Feel comfortable saying the Little Lions deserve to be the favorite here and are built for games like this one. However, if the Rams team that slayed Coatesville shows up and plays at that level, not sure State College has any say in the outcome.

Andy Sandrik: Central Dauphin 28, State College 21: I’m trying to hold off on the “CD is back!” stuff for at least a few more weeks, but if the Rams pull off this win, you’ll know they are for real.

Adam Kulikowski: Central Dauphin 27, State College 26: Watching the Rams’ defense dominate Coatesville earlier this season told me what my compadre is not yet ready to admit. Rams are back and again a force. 

Harrisburg 42, Cumberland Valley 7

Andy Shay: Harrisburg 42, Cumberland Valley 7: Just where these two teams are this year. Anything other than a result that looks like this will be a mild surprise.

Andy Sandrik: Harrisburg 49, Cumberland Valley 14: Stuck in standstill traffic on I-83 en route to the Orioles game, I listened in as Harrisburg absolutely dismantled a decent Carlisle squad. I’m feeling those same vibes as the young Cougars march into Chapman Field, gaining confidence with each game. 

Adam Kulikowski: Harrisburg 55, Cumberland Valley 13: The Eagles found a way to score last week in a thrilling victory against CD East, but the Cougars present a very different challenge.

Bishop McDevitt 48, Cedar Cliff 7

Andy Shay: Bishop McDevitt 42, Cedar Cliff 7: This has nothing to do with the Colts and what they are accomplishing this season. The gap in critical spots is simply that big.

Andy Sandrik: Bishop McDevitt 44, Cedar Cliff 21: Cedar Cliff is as good as it has been in years. Can the Colts hang with the overpowered Crusaders for one quarter? Two? 

Adam Kulikowski: Bishop McDevitt 45, Cedar Cliff 20: There have been years when this matchup was closer than any of the experts predicted — and that’s a credit to the always well-coached and talented Colts squads. This year just doesn’t feel like that is a likely scenario.

Lower Dauphin 35, Red Land 7

Andy Shay: Lower Dauphin 30, Red Land 14: Quietly, Lower Dauphin has gone about its business and won three of its four games playing its style of football. The Patriots have allowed 85 points over the last eight quarters and are struggling to keep their offense in the game.

Andy Sandrik: Lower Dauphin 33, Red Land 16: I’m still eagerly awaiting the season debut of Falcons’ stud Ty Millhimes, who will hopefully return from an injury, but in his place LD has gotten a steady effort from senior RB Dakota Sary, who is giving the Falcons more than 100 yards per game. 

Adam Kulikowski: Lower Dauphin 35, Red Land 10: The Falcons have yielded just 38 points through their first four games while the Patriots are allowing nearly 30 ticks a game. 

Mifflin County 20, Palmyra 10

Andy Shay: Mifflin County 21, Palmyra 17: I expect points to come slowly and will take solid execution to crack the opposition’s defense in this one. Slow and steady wins the race, and the Huskies are comfortable playing that game from in front.

Andy Sandrik: Palmyra 23, Mifflin County 17: One big play or turnover could make the difference in what I see as a game between two evenly matched teams.

Adam Kulikowski: Mifflin County 26, Palmyra 24: There’s no doubt the Cougars are a much-improved squad from a year ago. A win against Mifflin County would be the club’s signature victory as we reach the midway point of the regular season. I’m just not sure they are ready. 

East Pennsboro 24, Greencastle-Antrim 13

Andy Shay: East Pennsboro 27, Greencastle-Antrim 14: Nobody has been able to get a handle on this Panthers offense to date, and that’s for a reason. The Blue Devils can’t let East Penn make this game a chase for points to the finish. The Panthers will look to do just that.

Andy Sandrik: East Pennsboro 28, Greencastle-Antrim 21: I love the tension and excitement that comes when two undefeated teams meet on the field. No reason to believe this won’t be a thriller, as well. 

Adam Kulikowski: East Pennsboro 34, Greencastle-Antrim 20: The Panthers will pose serious problems for any club with their dynamic duo of wideouts. Keeping pace for 48 minutes will be a challenge for the Blue Devils. 

West Perry 47, James Buchanan 13

Andy Shay: West Perry 49, James Buchanan 0: Mustangs are legitimate contenders for the Capital Division crown. This won’t be a test, and it comes at the right time.

Andy Sandrik: West Perry 55, James Buchanan 0: If you’re that JV player busting your tail on the scout team, you’ve got to be looking forward to playing at least a full half of varsity football, if not more. 

Adam Kulikowski: West Perry 58, James Buchanan 6: We already know the outcome of this one. The only question is just when do the Mustangs get their starters a rest and some of the young lads an opportunity to see the Friday night lights. 

Steel-High 46, Big Spring 7

Andy Shay: Steel-High 42, Big Spring 14: Just want to point out Big Spring is 3-1 after a thrilling OT win over Camp Hill last week, and the Bulldogs only loss was by three points. They might not be a pushover for the Rollers, but hard to see the lads from Newville keeping pace over 48 minutes.

Andy Sandrik: Steel-High 50, Big Spring 25: Steel-High has Big Spring outclassed across the board, but don’t think these Bulldogs are going to go down without giving the Rollers their best shot. 

Adam Kulikowski: Steel-High 45, Big Spring 20: This has been a resurgent season for the Bulldogs. Consider this just a bump in the road against a team that has all the pieces to raise another state championship banner. 

Trinity 48, Boiling Springs 14

Andy Shay: Trinity 28, Boiling Springs 7: Pretty sure the T-Rocks’ star RB will see little or no action in this one. Couple of tough last-play losses for Trinity, and how you respond matters more than the setbacks.

Andy Sandrik: Trinity 45, Boiling Springs 7: A big win in this rivalry game would put Trinity right back on track in Capital Division play. 

Adam Kulikowski: Trinity 38, Boiling Springs 13: Shamrocks are primed to release some frustration out on the Bubblers after back-to-back losses in tight contests against top-notch opponents.

Middletown 14, Camp Hill 7

Andy Shay: Camp Hill 28, Middletown 7: Nothing for the Lions to be upset about when your first loss comes in overtime. Confident this group will rebound against a Blue Raiders team that has trouble keeping up.

Andy Sandrik: Camp Hill 21, Middletown 7: My newest landscaping customer, renowned PA football expert Eric Epler, agreed with me when I said Middletown had the size to make life a challenge for Line Mountain last week. I feel the same way this week, but what do I know, I’m just some guy with cordless hedge trimmers.

Adam Kulikowski: Camp Hill 31, Middletown 20: For all the struggles the Blue Raiders have endured in their comeback season, they may make this closer than some expect. 

Juniata 35, Halifax 14

Andy Shay: Juniata 33, Halifax 14: So Halifax is 3-1 and Juniata is 1-3 and this is not considered an upset. Indians ran an opening killer three-game gauntlet and are better for it. That will show up.

Andy Sandrik: Halifax 28, Juniata 14: This is my “I should know better” pick. Juniata has been much more tested than Halifax this season, but I’ll stay on the Wildcats hype train for one more week. 

Adam Kulikowski: Juniata 26, Halifax 20: This is no disrespect to the Wildcats, whose fans have taken to Sandrik’s bullish Halifax picks. 

Line Mountain 27, Susquenita 21

Andy Shay: Line Mountain 29, Susquenita 20: Starting to have some concerns about the Eagles’ offense after back-to-back 14-point outings. The Blackhawks surrender 36 points a game, so points can be had.

Andy Sandrik: Line Mountain 28, Susquenita 14: Two straight weeks of blowout losses isn’t the way Susquenita wanted to come into this match against the preseason Liberty Division favorite.

Adam Kulikowski: Line Mountain 35, Susquenita 24: Congrats to the Gibney brothers, who set new career records at their respective positions last week. As for what to expect from their team on any given week, I just don’t have a pulse.

Upper Dauphin 30, Newport 6

Andy Shay: Upper Dauphin 41, Newport 14: The winless Buffaloes are struggling to compete, and the Trojans don’t play very nice when they can dictate the tempo of a game.

Andy Sandrik: Upper Dauphin 43, Newport 7: Tough matchup for a Newport team that’s averaging 3.25 points per game. 

Adam Kulikowski: Upper Dauphin 45, Newport 6: It’s never fun picking a team to lose in the fashion that our crew has for Newport. Buffaloes simply are out-gunned in this matchup. 

Tri-Valley 21, Executive Education 8

Andy Shay: Tri-Valley 23, Executive Education 21: I could see this one going either way, but the path the Bulldogs have navigated to 2-2 seems like a road that will serve them well in this game.

Andy Sandrik: Tri-Valley 27, Executive Education 20: Nothing about this will be easy, but Tri-Valley’s defense, which can apply pressure in the backfield and force turnovers, has me convinced the Bulldogs have a chance.

Adam Kulikowski: Tri-Valley 21, Executive Education 14: Give some props to Tri-Valley sophomore linebacker Cole Gemberling. This lad has racked up 36 tackles and 2.5 sacks, emerging as a force on defense for the Bulldogs through their first four games. 

Jim Thorpe 47, Pine Grove 7

Andy Shay: Jim Thorpe 31, Pine Grove 14: A couple of one-win teams that have lost by pretty big margins. Difference here is Jim Thorpe has scored nearly twice as many points overall as the Cardinals.

Andy Sandrik: Jim Thorpe 39, Pine Grove 23: After starting the season slow, Jim Thorpe’s offense has piled up 79 points over its last two games. Pine Grove is also coming off a season-high in points scored, but the Cardinals can’t afford to let this turn into a shootout against the Olympians.

Adam Kulikowski: Jim Thorpe 45, Pine Grove 21: The Olympians have some nice pieces on offense — highlighted by 6-foot-2 junior wideout Justin Yescavage, who is averaging more than 20 yards per catch. 

Loyalsock Township 24, Williams Valley 7

Andy Shay: Loyalsock Township 26, Williams Valley 22: All I know is the Lancers have played back-to-back hammers in Southern Columbia and Danville. Both those squads are state ranked, and LT wasn’t rolled in either game. The Vikings’ defense needs to be a difference-maker to pull off this upset.

Andy Sandrik: Williams Valley 33, Loyalsock Township 32: This could very well be a lopsided loss for the Vikings, I have that much respect for this LT team that played within three points of state-ranked Danville. But this is a different game in a different week, and I’ll take my chances with Williams Valley pressing the Alex Achenbach button.

Adam Kulikowski: Loyalsock Township 31, Williams Valley 27: Stopping the Achenbach is never a small feat, and the Lancers have yielded nearly 7 yards per carry. Biggest question is whether Williams Valley has the troops to slow the Lancers’ air attack. 

SATURDAY, SEPT. 23

Hershey 33, Milton Hershey 22

Andy Shay: Hershey 27, Milton Hershey 20: Love the annual Bean Bowl matchup, and this year it could be a dandy. Spartans can be super explosive at times but have trouble holding teams down. The Trojans are built for close games and are comfortable in their own skin. This easily could be the other way.

Andy Sandrik: Hershey 26, Milton Hershey 19: Tough call, but I’ll go with Hershey controlling the offensive flow with the hard running of Angel Cabrera and the accuracy of dual-threat QB Cameron Sweeney, who is completing 77% of his passes this fall. 

Adam Kulikowski: Milton Hershey 28, Hershey 27: This has the makings of one of the best tilts on the docket in Week 5. Spartans, who have won six of the last 10 contests, look to regain the Bean after Hershey claimed bragging rights in 2022.

Mid-Penn Conference Player of the Week Sponsored by Vertical Raise PA: Trey Good

Two teammates can now call themselves 4th Down Magazine Mid-Penn Conference Player of the Week.

This time, for Week 4, it’s East Pennsboro receiver, and defensive back, and punter, Trey Good, joining his quarterback Keith Oates III, who won it earlier this season. Good had a heckuva game in a 42-24 win over Gettysburg to kick of Colonial Division Play, catching five passes for 187 yards and three touchdowns of 55, 80 and 22 yards. He also had an interception, tackle and four punts averaging 39.8 yards.

It was a mammoth week in the polls, with 13,509 votes cast, and Good won a thriller. He picked up 6,508 votes from Panthers fans, beating second-place Bryce Staretz (4,186), the running back/linebacker from Cumberland Valley

Good and the Panthers visit Greencastle-Antrim on Friday at 7 p.m. in Week 5 action.

Week 4 Colonial-Schuylkill League Player of the Week: Sage Smeltz

We’re not going to shy away from it, this is cool.

Sage Smeltz, a junior kicker from Williams Valley is the Week 4 4th Down Magazine Colonial-Schuylkill League Player of the Week. She is the first female athlete to win the honor.

And Smeltz certainly deserved it. She drilled the overtime, game-winning field goal in the Vikings’ 31-28 victory over Minersville. It was a 21-yarder and her first of the season. Talk about ice in the veins. She also went 4 for 4 on extra points and is 13 of 16 this season on PATs.

A total of 3,708 votes were cast, with Smeltz beating her Vikings teammate, running back Alex Achenbach, who had 736 votes for the nod. Williams Valley (3-1, 1-0) visits Loyalsock Township on Friday at 7 p.m.

High School Football: Mid-Penn Conference News and Notes after Week 4

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Each week, we’ll take a look through the Mid-Penn Conference, highlighting notes that stood out to us and news you need to know.

The first week of division play in the Mid-Penn Conference didn’t disappoint. We saw plenty of exciting match-ups and a few wrote their names into their school’s record books.  

Here are five observations from the week that was and the weeks coming up. To share updates on your team for a future edition of our News & Notes, email us at 4thdownmagazine@gmail.com

This week’s edition of 4th & Goal, our weekly show with Andy Shay and Jake Adams, we’re taking a closer look at the Liberty Division, what stood out in Week 4, who some of the conference’s best ‘Big ‘Backs’ have been historically and chatting with Hershey’s Angel Cabrera.

Gibney brothers reset Susquenita record book

The Gibney household had plenty to celebrate Friday night despite Susquenita’s 44-27 loss to Upper Dauphin. Quarterback-receiver pair Derek and Drew Gibney each broke Blackhawks records. Derek, the senior Blackhawks gunslinger, set a new high-water mark for career passing yards with 4,356, surpassing the previous mark of 4,327 set by Eric Mullen in 1987. His brother, Drew, set the mark for most career receiving yards with 1,318, breaking Evan Miller’s mark of 1,317 yards in 2013.

Harrisburg’s Calvin Everett reaches milestone

Harrisburg coach Calvin Everett reached a milestone Saturday in his team’s 60-7 victory against Carlisle. A week after a disappointing loss against Manheim Township, the Cougars notched a Commonwealth Division win that was also the 100th career victory for Everett. The accomplishment comes in just his 13th season as head coach of the storied program. Six of his 13 seasons surpassed 11 victories, and under his leadership the Cougars have reached the PIAA state championship tilt in 2016, 2018 and 2022. Everett is still searching for his first state title.

Hershey vs. Milton Hershey has extra luster

This year’s battle for the Cocoa Bean has a little extra luster with both Hershey based teams showing plenty of might. Milton Hershey (3-1) possesses the upper hand with six victories in the last 10 matchups while the Trojans (3-1), off to their best start since 2020, hold bragging rights after their 28-21 victory last year. You can learn more about the history of the Cocoa Bean game here. Watch Saturday’s game online here.

Mid-Penn grads key Lebanon Valley College win

A pair of former Mid-Penn Conference standouts made their mark for Lebanon Valley College in its 31-3 victory against Misericordia on Saturday. Chambersburg’s Malaki Blair hauled in four passes for 73 yards and a touchdown, while Milton Hershey grad Dion Bryant rushed for 44 yards and a touchdown in the victory.

CD East product Chase Edmonds injuried

Former CD East standout running back Chase Edmonds suffered a sprained knee in Tampa Bay’s victory Sunday against the Chicago Bears. Edmonds is expected to miss the next month of action and could land on the injured reserve. The Fordham product has 1,816 career rushing yards since entering the NFL in 2018.

Eric F. Epler’s State High School Football Rankings after Week 4

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CLASS 6A 

Rank – Team – District – Record – Previous 

1. St. Joseph’s Prep (12)          — 3-1 – 1 

2. Pittsburgh C.C. (7)               — 4-0 – 2 

3. North Allegheny (7)            — 4-0 – 3 

4. Parkland (11)                       — 4-0 – 4 

5. Central Bucks West (1)        — 4-0 – 5 

6. Central York (3)                   — 4-0 – 7 

7. Manheim Township (3)       — 4-0 – 8 

8. Downingtown East (1)        — 4-0 – 9 

9. Nazareth (11)                      – 3-1 – 6 

10. Central Dauphin (3)          — 3-1 – NR 

Teams to watch: Downingtown West (1) 4-0, Garnet Valley (1) 3-1, Harrisburg (3) 3-1, State College (6) 2-1.  

CLASS 5A 

Rank – Team – District – Record – Previous 

1. Imhotep Charter (12)          — 4-0 – 1 

2. West Chester Rustin (1)      – 3-0 – 2 

3. Cathedral Prep (10)             – 2-1 – 5 

4. Exeter Township (3)            — 4-0 – 6 

5. Roman Catholic (12)           – 3-1 – 4 

6. Peters Township (7)            — 4-0 – 9 

7. Strath Haven (1)                  – 4-0 – 8 

8. Upper St. Clair (7)               — 4-0 – NR 

9. Southern Lehigh (11)          — 4-0 – NR 

10. Penn Hills (7)                     – 3-1 – 3 

Teams to watch: Cedar Cliff (3) 4-0, Cocalico (3) 3-1, Pine-Richland (7) 2-2, Springfield-Delco (1) 3-1, Whitehall (11) 3-1. 

CLASS 4A 

Rank – Team – District – Record – Previous 

1. Bishop McDevitt (3)            – 4-0 – 1 

2. Aliquippa (7)                       – 3-0 – 2 

3. Thomas Jefferson (7)          – 4-0 – 3 

4. Allentown C.C. (11)             – 4-0 – 4 

5. Pope John Paul II (1)           – 4-0 – 5 

6. Jersey Shore (4)                   – 3-0-1 – 6 

7. Selinsgrove (4)                    – 3-0-1 – 7 

8. McKeesport (7)                   – 3-1 – 8 

9. Manheim Central (3)          — 3-1 – 9 

10. Lampeter-Strasburg (3)     — 4-0 – 10 

Teams to watch: Armstrong (7) 3-1, Bethlehem Catholic (11) 4-0, Bonner-Prendergast (12) 2-1, Central Valley (7) 3-1, Twin Valley (3) 4-0. 

CLASS 3A 

Rank – Team – District – Record – Previous 

1. Belle Vernon (7)                  – 3-0 – 1 

2. Wyomissing (3)                   – 4-0 – 2 

3. Avonworth (7)                     – 4-0 – 3 

4. Neumann-Goretti (12)        – 2-1 – 4 

5. Scranton Prep (2)                – 4-0 – 5 

6. Danville (4)                          — 4-0 – 8 

7. North Schuylkill (11)           – 3-1 – 7 

8. West Perry (3)                     — 4-0 – 9 

9. Loyalsock (4)                       – 2-2 – 6 

10. Central (6)                         — 4-0 – 10 

Teams to watch: Beaver Area (7) 4-0, Elizabeth-Forward (7) 4-0, Knoch (7) 4-0, Lancaster Catholic (3) 4-0, Northwestern Lehigh (11) 4-0. 

CLASS 2A 

Rank – Team – District – Record – Previous 

1. Southern Columbia (4)        – 4-0 – 1 

2. Farrell (10)                           – 4-0 – 2 

3. Westinghouse (8)                – 3-0 – 3 

4. Richland (6)                         – 4-0 – 5 

5. Bald Eagle Area (6)              — 4-0 – 8 

6. Central Clarion (9)               — 4-0 – 7 

7. Washington (7)                   — 4-0 – 9 

8. Troy (4)                                — 4-0 – 10 

9. Trinity (3)                             – 2-2 – 4 

10. Berlin Brothersvalley (5)   — 4-0 – NR 

Teams to watch: Dunmore (2) 3-1, Mount Carmel (4) 2-2, Sharpsville (10) 4-0, Steel Valley (7) 2-1, Williams Valley (11)  3-1. 

CLASS 1A 

Rank – Team – District – Record – Previous 

1. Steelton-Highspire (3)         — 4-0 – 1 

2. Bishop Canevin (7)              — 3-0 – 2 

3. Canton (4)                           — 4-0 – 3 

4. Northern Bedford (5)          — 4-0 – 4 

5. Lackawanna Trail (2)           – 4-0 – 5 

6. Windber (5)                         — 4-0 – 7 

7. Redbank Valley (9)              — 4-0 – 9 

8. Cornell (7)                           — 4-0 — 10 

9. Lakeview (10)                      — 4-0 – NR 

10. South Side (7)                   — 4-0 – NR 

Teams to watch: Juniata Valley (6) 4-0, Minersville (11) 3-1, Muncy (4) 3-1, Rochester (7) 3-0, South Williamsport (4) 4-0.