RECORDS (Last week — Overall):
Andy Shay: 15-6 — 94-31
Andy Sandrik: 14-7 — 86-39
Geoff Morrow: 15-6 — 85-40
Adam Kulikowski: 13-8 — 80-45
Big Spring at Camp Hill, 7
Andy Shay: Big Spring 38, Camp Hill 14: The Bulldogs have evolved into a handful offensively and are feeling very confident in the direction they are headed. Lions just don’t have enough pieces to keep pace.
Bishop McDevitt at Lower Dauphin, 7
Andy Shay: Bishop McDevitt 49, Lower Dauphin 7: The Falcons have moved the needle forward lately, but this is a different type of ask. Crusaders are averaging more than 10 yards per play this season.
Geoff Morrow: Bishop McDevitt 46, Lower Dauphin 6: Since 2008, the Crusaders have simply dominated the Falcons, winning all 13 meetings, including the last five by an average score of 45-13. Meanwhile, since a Week 1 humbling by powerhouse La Salle College, McD has outscored three foes 193-14.
Andy Sandrik: Bishop McDevitt 44, Lower Dauphin 7: Coach Borelli at LD has done a great job of bringing the best out of his team while also disguising weaknesses. It’s going to be a tough game for the Falcons this week, but that has more to do with their high-powered opponent.
Adam Kulikowski: Bishop McDevitt 37, Lower Dauphin 7: Bishop McDevitt’s Stone Saunders has a QB rating of 138.8 — as a freshman with 13 TDs and a goose egg in the INT column. Yep, he’s going to be pretty good.
Central Dauphin at State College, 7
Andy Shay: Central Dauphin 31, State College 17: Nice to see the Rams’ offense come off the COVID-19 list and show more purpose and pop than it has all season. That might be a warning shot, too. Little Lions will need to show more firepower offensively than a week ago to keep up.
Geoff Morrow: Central Dauphin 38, State College 17: Rams have actually dominated the last two meetings, and I have no reason to believe the Little Lions can change that pattern, even at home. Noteworthy: With a loss here, State High is essentially out of the Commonwealth race, which is a rarity for the Lions this early in a season.
Andy Sandrik: Central Dauphin 44, State College 13: We were a little concerned about the Rams after two weeks away from football, but it turns out they were just well off enough to put up a 50-spot against Chambersburg. Road trips to SC are always hard, but I think CD is up for the challenge.
Adam Kulikowski: Central Dauphin 34, State College 21: Coach Mac and the Rams sure made the most of their mid-season COVID-forced hiatus, unleashing Max Mosey to drop 50 on Chambersburg. Tougher test on tap this week against State College.
Chambersburg at Carlisle, 7
Andy Shay: Carlisle 34, Chambersburg 29: I don’t think that three-game winning streak to start the season was a mirage for the Thundering Herd. This game is a tight squeeze all the way, but points will be had.
Geoff Morrow: Carlisle 33, Chambersburg 20: Both teams have lost to Commonwealth royalty over the previous two weeks, so this is a chance for each to regroup and get back on the winning track. I just feel the Herd are a bit stronger this season.
Andy Sandrik: Carlisle 36, Chambersburg 27: The Thundering Herd still have a chance to make this a memorable season, but snapping a two-game losing streak against Chambersburg is never an easy ask in this rivalry.
Adam Kulikowski: Chambersburg 28, Carlisle 27: Forcing Carlisle to rely on its aerial attack should be the focal point of the Trojans’ game plan — anything to get the ball out of the hand of the dynamic Ezeekai Thomas.
Cumberland Valley at CD East, 7
Andy Shay: CD East 27, Cumberland Valley 13: The Panthers’ defense eliminates the run game and forces offenses to be one dimensional. Eagles are more balanced, but there will be a lot on the QB’s plate in this one. CD East has been extremely balanced overall, and that’s a big key here.
Geoff Morrow: CD East 33, Cumberland Valley 14: Shout-out to Panthers assistant Jameel Poteat, who at this time last year was helping my wife and I finalize our house-buying process while simultaneously struggling through a winless CD East campaign, including a gut-wrenching 7-6 loss to CV. Poteat is one of those dudes who works hard at everything and hates to lose, and I know this season feels good to him and all the deserving Panthers. I think East gets its first win vs. CV since 2014, and I don’t think it’s particularly close, so long as Harrisburg on the horizon isn’t distracting.
Andy Sandrik: CD East 13, Cumberland Valley 7: Both teams have been trending up for weeks, but someone finally has to lose this Friday. I’m still not sure which way this one goes, but I have a good feeling about taking the under.
Adam Kulikowski: CD East 21, Cumberland Valley 14: This is shaping up to be one of those storybook years for the Panthers and first-year head coach Lance Deane. Good vibes keep rolling in Week 6. And for folks curious about the Eagles donning their black pants last week against Altoona — a kit traditionally held for playoff bouts — Coach Oz confirmed that it was in tribute to Tim Rimpfel.
Greencastle-Antrim at Waynesboro, 7
Andy Shay: Waynesboro 28, Greencastle-Antrim 24: I thought about this one for a long, long time. I believe the Blue Devils can win this game. It’s a toss-up in my book. Going to give the Indians the respect they’ve earned. G-A has to win one of these games, right?
Geoff Morrow: Waynesboro 28, Greencastle-Antrim 14: Though I wasn’t surprised to learn Franklin County is named after Ben Franklin — I was kinda hoping it was Aretha Franklin — I absolutely WAS surprised to learn the county was previously part of Lancaster, York and Cumberland counties before earning its own distinction in the late 1700s, back when former 4th Down picker Jeff Dewees was editor of the Chambersburg Daily.
Andy Sandrik: Waynesboro 33, Greencastle-Antrim 22: The Indians were flat in a high-stakes game against Shippensburg last week. Now they find themselves in somewhat of a must-win against an upstart G-A squad perfectly equipped to snap an eight-game losing streak to the ‘Boro.
Adam Kulikowski: Greencastle-Antrim 24, Waynesboro 21: This might be one of the best matchups on the slate. Watching the Blue Devils battle East Penn two weeks ago tells me they have the potential to pull off the upset.
Halifax at Juniata, 7
Andy Shay: Juniata 28, Halifax 0: How about that win for the Indians in Week 5? That’s next-level stuff defensively. The train keeps rolling for Juniata in this one.
Geoff Morrow: Juniata 30, Halifax 6: Indians have posted a couple of baseball-score victories, including last week’s 8-7 triumph over Middletown that I dang near predicted. (I was so mad at myself for not committing to the upset!) Doubtful this final score resembles a baseball result.
Andy Sandrik: Juniata 27, Halifax 7: Teams that lose their starting QB for the season often quit, but not these Indians, who seem to be playing even harder after their field general went down.
Adam Kulikowski: Juniata 40, Halifax 14: That Inidans’ defense has plenty of chops to cause havoc for the gritty Wildcats. Can Halifax offer enough defense to keep this one close?
Harrisburg at Altoona, 7
Andy Shay: Harrisburg 28, Altoona 7: Mountain Lions are good up front defensively, and their run game is functional. Just too one-dimensional for the Cougars, who are taking care of business in efficient order.
Geoff Morrow: Harrisburg 44, Altoona 19: Covering the six most recent meetings between these schools, dating to 2005 but including battles in 2018 and ‘19, the Cougars have THOROUGHLY DOMINATED the Mountain Lions by a combined score of 334-44. Don’t think this one will fit into that mercy-rule mold, though I still think Harrisburg wins handily — so long as they don’t start looking ahead to CD East next weekend. (Same warning given to Panthers up above.)
Andy Sandrik: Harrisburg 33, Altoona 12: Two straight losses for Altoona, which isn’t ever the way you want to go against the Harrisburg Cougars.
Adam Kulikowski: Harrisburg 34, Altoona 27: This might be the quickest game of the Week 6 slate with both teams likely to focus heavily on the run. Give me Kyle Williams as the X-factor.
Hershey at Cedar Cliff, 7
Andy Shay: Cedar Cliff 33, Hershey 7: Are the Colts a running team now? Just asking the question. I still see plenty of balance in this offense. Riding a hot RB is never a bad thing.
Geoff Morrow: Cedar Cliff 35, Hershey 6: If you’re the Colts, you take care of business here and start preparing for next weekend’s showdown at Bishop McDevitt. Trojans just don’t have the offense to compete right now.
Andy Sandrik: Cedar Cliff 24, Hershey 7: The Trojans’ defense can only keep these games close for so long before the offense needs to start catching up.
Adam Kulikowski: Cedar Cliff 30, Hershey 20: Jontae Morris sure looks like he is fully back from an ACL injury that stole his 2020 campaign. Also looks like the reins are off as the Colts prep for the stretch run.
Marian Catholic at Tri-Valley, 7
Andy Shay: Tri-Valley 34, Marian Catholic 6: Pretty clear Marian is struggling this season, particularly on offense where points have been hard to come by. And the Bulldogs’ defense is no slouch, either.
Geoff Morrow: Tri-Valley 35, Marian Catholic 0: The perfect tonic for getting over a somewhat surprising and thorough loss to Hamburg is welcoming an 0-5 team that doesn’t seem to know where the end zone is located.
Andy Sandrik: Tri-Valley 28, Marian Catholic 0: Tri-Valley can’t be happy with the way things slipped away against Hamburg last week. That’s not good news for Marian Catholic, which struggles enough on offense without an angry Bulldogs defense breathing down its neck.
Adam Kulikowski: Tri-Valley 45, Marian Catholic 7: The gents from Tamaqua (I love to say that town’s name!) have posted just 21 points all season. That’s just not enough production to get past the Bulldogs.
Mifflin County at Milton Hershey, 7
Andy Shay: Milton Hershey 28, Mifflin County 14: See how the Spartans respond to being upset victims. One bad quarter will torpedo most teams. This is a good opponent to find that winning feeling again.
Geoff Morrow: Milton Hershey 29, Mifflin County 7: The Huskies have scored 11 points in five games. That’s an ugly stat even if you’re talking about ice hockey.
Andy Sandrik: Milton Hershey 32, Mifflin County 6: For all their recent struggles, the Spartans have at least been competitive throughout the season. The same can’t be said for MiffCo, which hasn’t scored six points in a game since Week 1.
Adam Kulikowski: Milton Hershey 45, Mifflin County 7: Many would call what happened to the Spartans last week against Palmyra an upset. No such words will be uttered this week.
Panther Valley at Williams Valley, 7
Andy Shay: Williams Valley 42, Panther Valley 6: The Vikings are not a high-wire act anymore on offense, but they are efficient enough to be 4-1. Panther Valley has scored one touchdown in 12 quarters and is winless.
Geoff Morrow: Williams Valley 43, Panther Valley 0: The Panther Valley Panthers will pose minimal risk to the Williams Valley Williamses.
Andy Sandrik: Williams Valley 35, Panther Valley 6: The Vikings have often had to struggle for their 4-1 record, but win No. 5 should be their easiest get of the season so far.
Adam Kulikowski: Williams Valley 31, Panther Valley 7: Vikings are a little beat up right now, but who isn’t heading into Week 6? Plenty in the cupboard to get the ‘W’ and move on.
Pine Grove at Minersville, 7
Andy Shay: Minersville 20, Pine Grove 14: Two losses by a touchdown and another by two scores. PG is in almost every game. Just feel Minersville has enough in the tank to get three or more scores.
Geoff Morrow: Minersville 25, Pine Grove 14: Bounce-back time for the Miners, who two weeks ago put a hurtin’ on Williams Valley. Cardinals aren’t pushovers, but they need to show they can win close games.
Andy Sandrik: Minersville 28, Pine Grove 7: Points seem to come a lot easier for the Battlin’ Miners, but the score could be closer if Pine Grove’s defense turns in another stingy effort.
Adam Kulikowski: Minersville 34, Pine Grove 24: The Battlin’ Miners have no qualms tossing the pigskin around. Senior QB John Adams already has more than 1,200 passing yards with just 3 picks. That’s the steady hand that could cause problems for the Cardinals.
Red Land at Palmyra, 7
Andy Shay: Red Land 27, Palmyra 23: The trendy pick here is to go with the hot team, and that would be the Cougars. I’m going with the Patriots because … well, because I can. This is a “feel” pick for sure.
Geoff Morrow: Red Land 21, Palmyra 14: Definitely among the toughest games to pick this week. Here are two teams with minimal playoff hopes but with enough moxie to play disruptor. But what happens when the disruptors face each other? Patriots have fewer wins, but they’ve been the more consistent side. I guess that’s why I’ll pick ‘em.
Andy Sandrik: Palmyra 18, Red Land 14: Palmyra hit a major level-up last week during an impressive win over Milton Hershey. Now the Cougars have a really good opportunity to nail down their third win.
Adam Kulikowski: Red Land 28, Palmyra 14: To me, having the more established QB is key in this matchup. That checks the box next to Roman Jensen and the Patriots.
Shippensburg at Mechanicsburg, 7
Andy Shay: Shippensburg 33, Mechanicsburg 17: Greyhounds are more balanced, and that makes them more difficult to beat. Both sides of the ball are carrying equal weight. Wildcats will hang around, but over 48 minutes you have to lean toward Ship.
Geoff Morrow: Mechanicsburg 27, Shippensburg 21: Color me naive, but this feels like a potential trap for the Greyhounds. Despite last week’s surprising loss to West Perry, the Wildcats are solid and formidable, especially at home. And maybe, just maybe, Ship will be carrying a bit too much swagger into this game after handling Waynesboro with relative ease last week.
Andy Sandrik: Shippensburg 28, Mechanicsburg 14: I wasn’t sure what to make of the Hounds’ quick start considering their strength of schedule, but Ship’s decisive win over Waynesboro last week tells me Eric Foust’s boys just might be the team to beat in the Colonial.
Adam Kulikowski: Shippensburg 35, Mechanicsburg 28: Shippensburg skipper Eric Foust was confident his team could claim another Colonial Division title. Easy to see why with the way this Greyhounds squad has improved each week.
Susquehanna Township at East Pennsboro, 7
Andy Shay: East Pennsboro 28, Susquehanna Township 7: Not sure what to expect from the Panthers week-to-week. Inconsistent would be a phrase that comes to mind right away. Chance to steer the ship back on course. ‘Hanna is struggling.
Geoff Morrow: East Pennsboro 27, Susquehanna Township 20: All of Susquehanna’s foes from here on out currently boast winning records. While that might seem to spell doom for an 0-5 team, I see signs of improvement. If they’re not careful, the talented but unreliable Panthers could be victimized.
Andy Sandrik: East Pennsboro 36, Susquehanna Township 14: It’s a good thing I have a lot of hair, because I’ve been pulling it out all season trying to pick Panthers games. Township has been suspect on both sides of the ball, so I’m giving EP the nod.
Adam Kulikowski: East Pennsboro 21, Susquehanna Township 14: Ditto to the comments from my compadres above regarding the Panthers. They are the Colonial’s box of chocolates.
Trinity at Boiling Springs, 7
Andy Shay: Boiling Springs 34, Trinity 20: This will be a full metal jacket test for the T-Rocks and that 3-1 record. Something tells me the Bubblers are going to get pushed as well, though. Dandy matchup.
Geoff Morrow: Trinity 39, Boiling Springs 37: Here you have two clearly impressive teams that are a combined 7-2; however, what stands out to me is the losses by both teams are really the only closely contested games they’ve played. Which tells me both have talent, but both need to prove they can win playoff-type games. It’s one thing to rock overpowered foes to sleep; it’s something else to walk away victorious from a 48-minute grind. I’m going Shamrocks because I think they have slightly less pressure on them.
Andy Sandrik: Boiling Springs 28, Trinity 17: This is a rivalry game that each team fully expects to win. I think Boiling Springs has been a little more tested up to this point, and that makes a difference in a hard-hitting, four-quarter game.
Adam Kulikowski: Boiling Springs 31, Trinity 21: This is a physical test for the Shamrocks — one that I’m not sure they have faced yet this year. How do they respond to that first shot to the jaw?
Upper Dauphin at Line Mountain, 7
Andy Shay: Upper Dauphin 32, Line Mountain 7: Trojans are coming off a COVID-19 bye and will have plenty of gas in the tank to make it a struggle for the Eagles to keep up.
Geoff Morrow: Upper Dauphin 33, Line Mountain 10: While it was good to see the Eagles score a few touchdowns last week, they still haven’t matched through four games this year (29 points) what they easily surpassed in last week’s victory over the Trojans (46 points). Honestly, UD seems like its next level this season anyway.
Andy Sandrik: Upper Dauphin 34, Line Mountain 7: I was sad to see UD’s game against Steel-High get canceled last week. I know a win wasn’t in the cards, but the Trojans have been hitting hard this season and have certainly established themselves as a team to beat in the Liberty.
Adam Kulikowski: Upper Dauphin, 37, Line Mountain 14: The Trojans return from a COVID-forced pause. This was a team just starting to hit its stride before said pause.
West Perry at Northern York, 7
Andy Shay: Northern York 28, West Perry 20: Of course I’m going to continue to pick the Mustangs to lose these tape-measure games. I don’t mind being wrong again, either. Just think the Northern defense has a say in this outcome.
Geoff Morrow: Northern York 28, West Perry 27 (OT): Both programs have been especially difficult to judge this year, which of course makes it fun. I was the only one here to call the Polar Bears’ win over East Penn, but NOBODY saw something like 28-2 coming. Similarly, none of us gave the Mustangs a chance to beat Mechanicsburg. If I was picking one game to watch as a fan this week, this would be it.
Andy Sandrik: West Perry 17, Northern 10: No one expected WP to beat Mechanicsburg last week, and folks are going to be just as surprised when the Mustangs ride victorious back to Perry County on Friday.
Adam Kulikowski: Northern York 24, West Perry 21: I haven’t been able to peg West Perry all year, so the Mustangs likely walk away from this one on top. Just saying!
Middletown at Steel-High, 1
Andy Shay: Steel-High 40, Middletown 13: Two ships going in different directions. Rollers are coming off a COVID-19 bye, and the Blue Raiders suffered a monster upset loss to Juniata. Is there a chance for a course correction in 2021 on Cottage Hill? I just don’t see it.
Geoff Morrow: Steel-High 55, Middletown 21: “Steamrollers” is an appropriate name for what Steel-High is doing to its overmatched foes this year. Middletown has better pedigree than previous S-H opponents, but there isn’t enough offense there to counterpunch. Only reason I’m giving the Raiders 21 is I figure there’s a late-game touchdown or two once the result is no longer in doubt.
Andy Sandrik: Steel-High 45, Middletown 17: Not sure how this game goes any other way than a Rollers blowout.
Adam Kulikowski: Steel-High 54, Middletown 14: I’m just not sure anyone has the right counter punch for this Rollers team at the moment.
CANCELED: James Buchanan at Maryland School for the Deaf; Susquenita at Newport