RECORDS (Week 9 — Overall — Perfect Picks):
Andy Shay: 18-4 — 172-38 — 0
Andy Sandrik: 19-3 — 159-51 — 0
Geoff Morrow: 19-3 — 158-52 — 3
Adam Kulikowski: 15-7 — 149-61 — 1
Greencastle-Antrim at Shippensburg, 7
Andy Shay: Shippensburg 21, Greencastle-Antrim 10: You won’t catch the Greyhounds looking forward and getting surprised by the Blue Devils. There is a lot of fight in G-A, but Ship has easily countered teams that bring their very best to the table.
Geoff Morrow: Shippensburg 26, Greencastle-Antrim 15: First, kudos to the Blue Devils for snapping a three-game skid and winning one of the wildest games of the year last week. Second, I think the Greyhounds are ready for the playoffs to begin, as the Colonial cannot contain them. A win likely earns Ship a first-round playoff bye, too.
Andy Sandrik: Shippensburg 33, Greencastle-Antrim 13: Ship has made a habit of making good teams look bad, and I don’t see Greencastle bucking that trend.
Adam Kulikowski: Shippensburg 28, Greencastle-Antrim 17: Congratulations to the Greyhounds, your outright Colonial Division champions.
Altoona at State College, 7
Andy Shay: State College 21, Altoona 17: Pretty sure that District 6 title game win by the Mountain Lions a year ago is part of the conversation this week inside the State College meeting rooms. This one is a toss-up in my book all the way. Calling State College to come from behind and snatch the win!
Geoff Morrow: State College 24, Altoona 21: I generally believe the “revenge” factor is overrated, but I have little doubt the Little Lions snarl when remembering last year’s District 6 Class 6A championship loss to the Mountain Lions. Altoona erased a two-TD deficit in the final 8 minutes, then won its first district title in 18 years on a 2-point conversion with 1:22 remaining. If that heartbreak doesn’t motivate you, nothing will.
Andy Sandrik: Altoona 28, State College 21: I’m going to go against the grain with the experts here and take Altoona. The Mountain Lions beat State College last season, and they know they can do it again.
Adam Kulikowski: State College 28, Altoona 21: The Little Lions are getting healthy at just the right time to upset the applecart.
Big Spring at Middletown, 7
Andy Shay: Big Spring 34, Middletown 20: No rest for the Bulldogs after tipping over the applecart by rolling previously unbeaten Steel-High by 35. Will require the same effort and precision because the Blue Raiders are playing their best ball of the season and have put some puzzle pieces together.
Geoff Morrow: Big Spring 28, Middletown 21: I said last week that if Big Spring defied our four “expert” picks and knocked off unbeaten Steel-High, we owed the Bulldogs an apology. Well, you earned it. We apologize and should have believed in you. But, seriously, that triumph last weekend is the biggest regular-season win for Big Spring I can remember. Following up against red-hot Middletown will not be easy, but if we pick against the Bulldogs again, none of us will be allowed in Newville ever again.
Andy Sandrik: Big Spring 45, Middletown 28: If you told me in the preseason that Big Spring was going to blow out Steel-High this year, I would have laughed. Loudly. Fast forward to Week 10, where the Bulldogs sure seem like a formidable favorite on the road.
Adam Kulikowski: Big Spring 35, Middletown 28: Both teams just might be playing their best football of the season — that’s how you draw it up in training camp, right? Give me the gents who took down the Rollers a week ago in a drubbing.
Carlisle at CD East, 7
Andy Shay: CD East 21, Carlisle 14: Carlisle will be in this game because the Thundering Herd believe they belong this year. CD East doesn’t give games away and is very confident in what it is doing and doesn’t get rattled. If Carlisle loses this one, I’m still rooting for the Herd to be a playoff team.
Geoff Morrow: CD East 27, Carlisle 20: I don’t know that it’s impossible for the Herd to qualify for the District 3 Class 6A playoffs with a loss (especially if Hempfield loses to Penn Manor), but Carlisle needs a win to guarantee its first playoff berth since 2015. The Panthers, though, are headed to the postseason for the first time since 2017 and have earned the right to be favorites.
Andy Sandrik: CD East 21, Carlisle 7: The Panthers are 7-0 in games where opponents score 21 points or less. Carlisle has its best squad in years, but I’m not sure the Herd offense can break that 21-point barrier against this East defense.
Adam Kulikowski: CD East 28, Carlisle 21: Look, the Thundering Herd NEED this game to reach the postseason, so you know they are going to pull out every trick in the book to get out of The Speedway with the W. This one should be close, but the Panthers just seem to have a few more playmakers.
Central Dauphin at Cumberland Valley, 7
Andy Shay: Central Dauphin 28, Cumberland Valley 24: I like what the quarterbacks in this game bring to the table. I see this as a 60-40 game in terms of CD winning. The window is going to be tight. The Rams have a few more weapons in their arsenal, and that’s the difference maker in my book.
Geoff Morrow: Cumberland Valley 23, Central Dauphin 21: Hey, if CV pulls what could be considered a minor upset here, and Carlisle and Hempfield both lose, the playoffs seem within the realm of possibility for the Eagles. But I don’t have 12 math degrees, so I can’t — and won’t — try to do the actual power ranking arithmetic to figure this out. I just know that it’s tough to predict most CD vs. CV tussles.
Andy Sandrik: Cumberland Valley 35, Central Dauphin 27: This game isn’t exactly the district championship preview we’ve seen in years past, but make no mistake, there are plenty of playoff implications that come with this contest.
Adam Kulikowski: Central Dauphin 35, Cumberland Valley 28: The Eagles have an outside shot at a postseason berth — and that says a lot about the direction this team is headed.
Halifax at Midd-West, 7
Andy Shay: Halifax 20, Midd-West 12: It’s been a rough year on many fronts for both of these clubs. Just getting to the finish line has been a real struggle. Wildcats get to sip root beer from the victory mug.
Geoff Morrow: Halifax 18, Midd-West 13: While the one-win Wildcats have struggled with numbers throughout the season, the winless Mustangs have barely been competitive. Both teams are looking at this as a chance to end the season on a high note.
Andy Sandrik: Midd-West 21, Halifax 20: I know it’s been a rough season for the Mustangs, but with a full nine games under their belt, you’ve got to believe Midd-West has a puncher’s chance at home.
Adam Kulikowski: Halifax 28, Midd-West 14: Tip of the cap to the Wildcats on what must have felt like running an ultramarathon with the numbers with which they entered the season. Hoping a more robust crew emerges in the offseason to build reinforcements.
Harrisburg at Chambersburg, 7
Andy Shay: Harrisburg 34, Chambersburg 7: Wasn’t the best we’ve seen of the Cougars last week, but State College had something to say about that. Still, it was a win. And the momentum continues. Harrisburg won’t struggle in back-to-back games.
Geoff Morrow: Harrisburg 35, Chambersburg 14: Barring a hometown miracle, the Trojans will end this season on a seven-game losing streak. The Cougars, meanwhile, will clinch the Mid-Penn Commonwealth crown with a victory and wrap up a top-two seed in the upcoming District 3 Class 6A playoffs.
Andy Sandrik: Harrisburg 50, Chambersburg 7: Expected rain shouldn’t slow the Cougars down on Chambersburg’s beautiful turf field.
Adam Kulikowski: Harrisburg 45, Chambersburg 14: Harrisburg holds the keys to a home playoff game as the current No. 2 seed in 6A. No let down on tap from these Cougars.
Hershey at Bishop McDevitt, 7
Andy Shay: Bishop McDevitt 49, Hershey 0: In some respects, you could easily say this has been a little bit of a grind for the Crusaders navigating the Keystone Division portion of their schedule. Every single game is a blowout. Hershey struggles to score, and McDevitt will not.
Geoff Morrow: Bishop McDevitt 67, Hershey 7: Not only will this be the Crusaders’ eighth straight win, it will be their eighth straight mercy-rule win. This 2021 Keystone Division slate can’t end soon enough.
Andy Sandrik: Bishop McDevitt 63, Hershey 0: I know the Crusaders can only play the opponents that line up across from them, but, man, this season in the Keystone has been a yawn-fest. I’m excited to see McDevitt’s true potential in the postseason.
Adam Kulikowski: Bishop McDevitt 64, Hershey 7: Only question in this one is when do the Crusaders pull the starters with the playoffs on tap.
James Buchanan at Line Mountain, 7
Andy Shay: Line Mountain 33, James Buchanan 14: The season doesn’t seem quite so long and as much of a struggle when you close with a pair of wins after losing week after week after week. The Eagles have earned this.
Geoff Morrow: Line Mountain 39, James Buchanan 15: Break out the Eagles, who have a very real chance to end an otherwise forgettable campaign with two straight wins.
Andy Sandrik: Line Mountain 35, James Buchanan 13: What better way to end your season than with a home game against the Rockets?
Adam Kulikowski: Line Mountain 28, James Buchanan 14: Nice to see a little spark from the Eagles at the end of the season. Closing out a tough season with a second win would be huge for the gents in Herndon.
Juniata at Susquenita, 7
Andy Shay: Juniata 20, Susquenita 7: This is a more level playing field and, in those games, the Blackhawks have struggled a bit. Juniata’s defense is a machine, and points are nearly impossible to come by. That continues here.
Geoff Morrow: Juniata 22, Susquenita 14: Even if they lose, the Blackhawks are a good bet to qualify for the postseason for the first time since 2012. Meanwhile, the Indians haven’t allowed a single point since Oct. 1. They also haven’t played a quality opponent since Sept. 24, so they might forget what it means to be smacked.
Andy Sandrik: Juniata 21, Susquenita 7: No doubt about it, the ‘Hawks are confident after rolling up 112 points in two games, but this Juniata defense is no joke and will be looking to pitch its fourth consecutive shutout.
Adam Kulikowski: Juniata 28, Susquenita 20: Amazing to see what the Indians have been able to accomplish after star QB Jacob Condo went down in the West Perry game.
Mechanicsburg at East Pennsboro, 7
Andy Shay: Mechanicsburg 27, East Pennsboro 20: If you are talking about the 2021 Wildcats, then you are talking about a tight squeeze all the way, right? Win here and earn a playoff berth in a year when a LOT had to be different? That speaks volumes.
Geoff Morrow: Mechanicsburg 23, East Pennsboro 19: The Wildcats only seem to play close games. Can’t be good for the coach and parental blood pressure. But, hey, a team that’s tested will be headed to the District 3 Class 5A playoffs when this is over.
Andy Sandrik: East Pennsboro 24, Mechanicsburg 21: East Penn’s inconsistencies have been well documented this season, but I’m curious to see how much the Wildcats have left in the tank after having their hearts ripped out by Waynesboro with a split-second remaining in last week’s game.
Adam Kulikowski: Mechanicsburg 28, East Pennsboro 21: I never quite know what to expect from the Panthers. As my cronies stated above, the Wildcats have plenty to play for with a postseason berth within reach.
Mifflin County at Cedar Cliff, 7
Andy Shay: Cedar Cliff 48, Mifflin County 13: The focus this week for the Colts is getting what you need on offense and getting the defense in a better place moving forward. This is a working opportunity, so take advantage of it.
Geoff Morrow: Cedar Cliff 55, Mifflin County 20: We know the Colts can rack up yardage and put points on the scoreboard; but before they open the District 3 Class 5A playoffs, they need to clean up a few things on the defensive side, or the postseason will be a short one.
Andy Sandrik: Cedar Cliff 49, Mifflin County 12: Finish strong. Finish healthy. Those should be Cedar Cliff’s two main goals in the regular season finale.
Adam Kulikowski: Cedar Cliff 48, Mifflin County 21: Another tough season for the Huskies concludes without much success on the scoreboard. For the Colts, this has to be a tuneup for what Colin Gillen and crew hope to be an extended run in the 5A postseason.
Newport at Upper Dauphin, 7
Andy Shay: Upper Dauphin 39, Newport 7: This is all about tuning up the engine for the second season, and that should not be a problem for a Trojans squad that is consistent on a weekly basis and flourishes in chaos.
Geoff Morrow: Upper Dauphin 40, Newport 14: Impressive road win at Fleetwood last week for the Trojans, who will enter the upcoming District 3 Class 2A semifinal vs. Columbia on a seven-game winning streak after hunting Buffalo this weekend.
Andy Sandrik: Upper Dauphin 45, Newport 6: As dominant as the Trojans have been this season, they’re still looking for their first shutout. Newport seems like a prime candidate.
Adam Kulikowski: Upper Dauphin 45, Newport 14: Six Trojans have accumulated more than 200 yards rushing this year — nearly 2,600 as a team.
Palmyra at Lower Dauphin, 7
Andy Shay: Lower Dauphin 29, Palmyra 21: This is an interesting scrap, with the more boxed-up Falcons knowing what they have to do in order to succeed against the more combustible Cougars. Defense for the Falcons might be the hidden key here.
Geoff Morrow: Lower Dauphin 25, Palmyra 20: Give it up for the Falcons, who’ve won three straight competitive games to move into playoff position in Class 5A. One more win against a formidable foe in the Cougars, and LD is dancing in the postseason for the first time since 2015.
Andy Sandrik: Lower Dauphin 14, Palmyra 7: This Palmyra team kind of reminds me of my senior year at West Perry, when we got off to an awful start, but gained traction and won four of our last five games with an explosive offense. Our only loss during that stretch came to Northern in the pouring rain. If you’ve checked the weather for Friday, it’s going to be raining all day. Advantage: Lower Dauphin.
Adam Kulikowski: Palmyra 28, Lower Dauphin 27: I believe the Falcons are the favorites to win this scrap. Richie Kowalski, however, is an X-factor who could help tip the scale toward the Cougars.
Pine Grove at Marian Catholic, 7
Andy Shay: Marian Catholic 26, Pine Grove 13: This has been an uphill climb all year for the Cardinals. Although this matchup has some elements of being on equal footing, MC has won two straight, and confidence matters.
Geoff Morrow: Marian Catholic 20, Pine Grove 14: The Colts, winless just weeks ago, could close the season with three straight wins. The one-win Cardinals, meanwhile, just want something to celebrate. There’s a chance here.
Andy Sandrik: Marian Catholic 22, Pine Grove 7: Winning breeds winning. That’s what’s happening in Tamaqua as the Mustangs are looking to end a previously winless season on a three-game winning streak.
Adam Kulikowski: Pine Grove 21, Marian Catholic 20: This might be a homer pick, but I’m pulling for the Cardinals to end the season on a high note.
Red Land at Milton Hershey, 7
Andy Shay: Red Land 33, Milton Hershey 27: I respect how much is asked of Spartans RB Dion Bryant and the results he’s delivered. It’s a LOT. And Red Land knows it’s coming and won’t be able to fully contain him. But the Patriots have more options and haven’t had trouble finding ways to get some.
Geoff Morrow: Red Land 29, Milton Hershey 22: This would probably be described as a disappointing season for both programs, though less so for the Spartans who, remember, didn’t play at all in 2020. The Patriots’ only two wins are shutouts. While I don’t think another shutout is in the cards, I do think Red Land can close with a road victory.
Andy Sandrik: Milton Hershey 35, Red Land 27: It’s been a coulda, woulda, shoulda type of season for both teams, but with Dion Bryant on Milton Hershey’s squad, this story can have a happy ending for the Spartans.
Adam Kulikowski: Milton Hershey 28, Red Land 27: Closing games has been a challenge for the Patriots this season, and this one should be close coming down to the wire. Give the edge to the Spartans.
Susquehanna Twp. at West Perry, 7
Andy Shay: West Perry 33, Susquehanna Twp. 7: ‘Hanna has had trouble staying competitive, and this is the end of the rope. That’s always a tough scenario. And the Mustangs are juiced despite a crazy OT loss last week, and they always bring plenty of dog to the fight.
Geoff Morrow: West Perry 28, Susquehanna Twp. 13: Even at just 4-5, the Mustangs are still on track to host a District 3 Class 3A playoff game. But this is a worthy team that fights and competes and knows how to score. Young ‘Hanna, though, is facing a winless campaign and will post back-to-back losing seasons for the first time in a long time.
Andy Sandrik: West Perry 35, Susquehanna Twp. 14: Life is not easy for the Mustangs in this meat-grinder Colonial Division, but the battles they’ve fought will pay dividends in the playoffs after they get through winless Township this week.
Adam Kulikowski: West Perry 28, Susquehanna Twp. 14: A challenging season comes to an end for the Indians while the Mustangs are hoping to host a playoff game.
Trinity at Camp Hill, 7
Andy Shay: Trinity 40, Camp Hill 20: The T-Rocks have been more up-and-down than most, but change isn’t easy, and there are more bright spots when you peek into the near future under a new regime. The struggle has been very real for the Lions on many fronts. This is a rivalry game, though.
Geoff Morrow: Trinity 37, Camp Hill 21: The poor Lions have just been getting thumped by the upper-tier Mid-Penn Capital crew over the last four weeks, while the Shamrocks’ up-and-down rebuilding season has provided glimpses of a rosy view of the future under first-year head coach Jordan Hill.
Andy Sandrik: Trinity 45, Camp Hill 7: I’m just not seeing this being a close game. While the Shamrocks have had down-to-the-wire games against Capital studs Big Spring and Steel-High, Camp Hill hasn’t been nearly as effective in its matchups with the Bulldogs and Rollers.
Adam Kulikowski: Trinity 45, Camp Hill 20: The final results haven’t always shown the fight that the Shamrocks illustrated this year. But this is a team that has plenty to be proud of in ‘21.
Tri-Valley at Williams Valley, 7
Andy Shay: Tri-Valley 28, Williams Valley 20: This is vintage small-school, town-team football at its finest. A couple of one-loss squads that know exactly what they need to do and aren’t afraid to take chances. This pick is literally a wild guess at best. Box-of-chocolates game for me. No idea what’s going to happen. The best kind, right?
Geoff Morrow: Tri-Valley 27, Williams Valley 26: Valley vs. Valley. 7-1 vs. 7-1. Four-game winning streak vs. four-game winning streak. The Vikings have won three straight in the series, but in this coin-flip contest. I’m going with the Bulldogs on a late touchdown. This is, by far, 4th Down Magazine’s BEST game of Week 10.
Andy Sandrik: Tri-Valley 27, Williams Valley 14: The Vikings are back to their usual winning ways, but Tri-Valley won’t be scared when the game kicks off. Give me the Bulldogs’ defense, which has pitched five shutouts over its last seven games, to decide this contest.
Adam Kulikowski: Williams Valley 28, Tri-Valley 21: If you have five Sacagaweas, punch a ticket to this one. If you have five more, buy yourself a 50-50 ticket and take a stab at what might be a cool ‘G’ in winnings from the packed house watching two of the best small-school Schuylkill League clubs.
Waynesboro at Northern York, 7
Andy Shay: Waynesboro 21, Northern 7: Couple of squads bound for the second season get to start the next level a week early. I’m a big fan of defense having a big-time say in this result.
Geoff Morrow: Waynesboro 27, Northern 21: Two pretty darn good programs — both ticketed for the District 3 playoffs — meet for what is essentially the Mid-Penn Colonial’s runner-up trophy. This year, that is no small feat. Good luck to both in the postseason.
Andy Sandrik: Waynesboro 14, Northern 7: Rain-soaked Bostic Field is not a fun place to play, but I actually like the smashmouth Indians to excel in this environment.
Adam Kulikowski: Northern 28, Waynesboro 21: Two quality clubs thinking of bigger accomplishments in the second season. The Polar Bears, to me, still seem a bit underrated.
Boiling Springs at Steel-High, 1
Andy Shay: Boiling Springs 35, Steel-High 20: There is a script for the Bubblers, and they don’t stray very far off the reservation. That’s tough for a team that needs possessions to impact a game. Boiling Springs like to grind on the clock and keep the chains chugging along. The Bubblers, two years removed from an 0-10 season that this senior class experienced, are keen on winning a division crown outright. And that’s what is at stake here.
Geoff Morrow: Boiling Springs 33, Steel-High 28: This is suddenly such a difficult game to predict. The Rollers’ roll through the regular season ended with a thud last week at Big Spring. So what happens next? The Bubblers, who can clinch the outright Capital Division crown with a win, aren’t exactly the right opponent on which to find easy answers. Then again, this is a late October afternoon on Cottage Hill, so Steel-High might rebound in impressive fashion. Nothing here would surprise me.
Andy Sandrik: Boiling Springs 28, Steel-High 21: I think we all expected a good, hard losing effort from Big Spring against Steel-High last week. Then the Bulldogs blew out the Rollers. That makes Boiling Springs, which outclassed Big Spring in Week 7, the favorite here, no?
Adam Kulikowski: Steel-High 35, Boiling Springs 33: Big Spring last week punched the Rollers in the mouth. That shocked just about everyone. How will the Rollers respond in a game where they are no longer the favorite?