EXPLAINING OUR PICKS: The 4th Down Magazine crew picks all games involving Mid-Penn Conference teams, as well as Schuylkill-Colonial League games featuring former members of the now-defunct Twin Valley Conference. Come playoff time, they’ll expand to include all District 3 teams, as well as the local District 4, District 6 and District 11 programs. Then they’ll get really bold in the state semifinals and start picking games across the state. The predictions are meant for entertainment purposes only because, truth be told, these guys aren’t very bright. Three of them are former full-time sportswriters (dummies), and the other decided to start a high school football magazine despite the fact he already works a full-time job. But, dangit, they like to watch football, think about football, write about football, and eat. That last one isn’t related to picking football games unless you count the mustard on the keyboard. As always, enjoy, and don’t take it too seriously. Nobody here hates any program. Any perceived disrespect is a figment of your imagination. Except Sandrik, who absolutely DESPISES … (transmission interrupted) …
2022 STANDINGS DURING WEEK 8
2022 STANDINGS THROUGH WEEK 8
Picker: Week 8 – Overall – Perfect Picks
Adam Kulikowski: 18-4 — 149-47 — 0
Andy Shay: 17-5 — 143-53 — 2
Andy Sandrik: 12-10 — 141-55 — 1
Geoff Morrow: 17-5 — 140-56 — 1
WEEK 8 SCHEDULE
* In scorelines, home team in all caps
Friday, Oct. 14
Carlisle 26, CUMBERLAND VALLEY 20
Andy Shay: Cumberland Valley 38, Carlisle 14: One of the most slippery and elusive quarterbacks I ever saw was Ben Dupree from Susquehanna Twp. I’m telling you Isaac Sines is a close second. He is making so much happen for this Eagles offense.
Geoff Morrow: Cumberland Valley 41, Carlisle 16: Dumbly picked against the Eagles last week, though that wasn’t because I doubted CV but, in hindsight, because I gave way too much credit to Central Dauphin. There are no such issues this week against the slumping Thundering Herd.
Andy Sandrik: Cumberland Valley 39, Carlisle 14: If Carlisle was 100%, which I’m not sure it is, I’d like the Herd to give CV a track meet. But something tells me the Eagles will win this one comfortably.
Adam Kulikowski: Cumberland Valley 45, Carlisle 20: The Eagles’ offense is humming along right now to the tune of around 30 points per game. That should be plenty to knock off the Thundering Herd.
Central Dauphin 34, ALTOONA 14
Andy Shay: Central Dauphin 20, Altoona 14: I like this matchup for both teams for a lot of reasons, and I know the Rams have injury concerns at the QB position. Call this a “feeling” pick, but I think CD pulls this one out.
Geoff Morrow: Altoona 28, Central Dauphin 20: It’s looking very much like the Rams will miss the playoffs for a second straight year, which is unheard of in CD territory. If the Rams have any hope whatsoever, this is a must-win.
Andy Sandrik: Altoona 21, Central Dauphin 14: If the Mountain Lions can find a way to play from ahead, this is a winnable game.
Adam Kulikowski: Central Dauphin 21, Altoona 20: This one is a 50-50 toss-up to me with the Rams banged up and embarking on a long journey. Call this a hunch that I’m sure to hear about from Mrs. 4th Down if I’m wrong!
Chambersburg 7, CENTRAL DAUPHIN EAST 3
Andy Shay: Chambersburg 28, CD East 19: That was a gut-punch loss the Trojans absorbed at Altoona. They have put together more quality football than their record indicates. On a level playing field like this, I like the Trojans.
Geoff Morrow: Chambersburg 23, CD East 14: Somebody will no longer be tied for last place in the Commonwealth after this one. Both teams are on four-game skids (0-4 in the division), but the Trojans have been a bit more competitive in their losses.
Andy Sandrik: CD East 20, Chambersburg 17: A risky pick, but this one’s a toss-up in my book.
Adam Kulikowski: Chambersburg 31, CD East 20: This one is all about pride as we grind into the final third of the regular season. Two clubs on the skids: Which will still fight on Friday night?
Mifflin County 24, HERSHEY 20
Andy Shay: Hershey 28, Mifflin County 14: The biggest difference here is Trojans have a QB-WR combination that can stretch a defense and create big plays. And you know it’s coming. I like Hershey’s defense against this Huskies’ offense.
Geoff Morrow: Hershey 25, Mifflin County 20: Assuming the Trojans can brush off a 70-0 loss to McDevitt last week — and they should, because the Crusaders playing in the Keystone is an ongoing joke — they should bounce back against the banged-up Huskies.
Andy Sandrik: Hershey 38, Mifflin County 9: Would you rather absorb repeated crushing blows from RB Angel Cabrera or get scorched in the passing game by Daniel Painter and Marcus Sweeney? Pick your poison. I think Hershey’s due for a blowout.
Adam Kulikowski: Hershey 31, Mifflin County 28: Earlier this year, I might have sided with the Huskies. But after watching Hershey running back Angel Cabrera bulldoze opponents earlier this year, I’ll lay stake to the team with the wrecking ball and a dangerous dual-threat QB.
CEDAR CLIFF 38, Palmyra 6
Andy Shay: Cedar Cliff 42, Palmyra 7: The Colts bring some serious momentum into this one with back-to-back grinder victories where the outcome was up in the air for a long time. Offense has been more consistent, and here it could explode.
Geoff Morrow: Cedar Cliff 38, Palmyra 6: Currently on the outside of the District 3 Class 5A playoff picture, the Colts have a favorable schedule down the stretch and could/should be right there at the end of the regular season. Tough to see the clawless Cougars (six-game losing streak) giving much push-back.
Andy Sandrik: Cedar Cliff 35, Palmyra 3: Cedar Cliff’s defense could very well shut out the Cougars, who are averaging 7.6 points per game.
Adam Kulikowski: Cedar Cliff 45, Palmyra 6: This is a game the Colts need to stay in the playoff hunt and one that should be handled quickly.
BISHOP McDEVITT 55, Red Land 14
Andy Shay: Bishop McDevitt 70, Red Land 0: Trust me, typing in this score is not fun. That’s just the reality of the gap the Crusaders enjoy over everyone else in the Keystone.
Geoff Morrow: Bishop McDevitt 71, Red Land 7: Whatever. It’s annoying to pick these games every year, especially at this point in the season. I enjoy McD’s non-league and playoff games, but these Keystone contests are boring.
Andy Sandrik: Bishop McDevitt 65, Red Land 3: For what it’s worth, Red Land is more likely to win this game than I am to qualify for the Boston Marathon.
Adam Kulikowski: Bishop McDevitt 63, Red Land 6: I’ll just channel my inner 1860 newspaper critic Jebidiah Atkinson on this one: “NEXT!”
SHIPPENSBURG 35, East Pennsboro 14
Andy Shay: Shippensburg 20, East Pennsboro 10: It’s tough to climb out of a nasty tough-loss spin cycle, and the Panthers are riding a two-game “bad beat” run. Ship’s offense has scored three touchdowns only once in its last four games. See how that plays out in this one.
Geoff Morrow: Shippensburg 17, East Pennsboro 14: Panthers have lost two straight heartbreakers, so I’m cautious about what happens this week in what should be another close game. For picking purposes, I gotta go with Ship, which hasn’t lost a regular-season game at home since Oct. 2, 2020 (Mechanicsburg).
Andy Sandrik: Shippensburg 35, East Pennsboro 15: I can tell you the ‘Hounds will come into this game feeling underappreciated and angry after once again having their stadium dreams dashed by the school board this week.
Adam Kulikowski: Shippensburg 21, East Pennsboro 20: I see this as a potentially close matchup, but I’ll side with the favorite if for no other reason than to protect my slim picks lead.
GETTYSBURG 42, Greencastle-Antrim 28
Andy Shay: Gettysburg 34, Greencastle-Antrim 7: There’s a formula that works for the Warriors, and they are riding that wave to a potential division crown in their first year back in the MPC after an eight-year absence. Blue Devils showed early promise but have stumbled lately.
Geoff Morrow: Gettysburg 33, Greencastle-Antrim 14: A tale of two seasons-within-a-season for the Blue Devils, who started 4-0 but have followed with three straight double-digit losses. Now they’re facing the Colonial leaders, who’ve won five straight. And it’s about to be six.
Andy Sandrik: Gettysburg 32, Greencastle-Antrim 7: Five straight wins for the Warriors. Three straight losses for the Blue Devils. Give me Gettysburg in a blowout.
Adam Kulikowski: Gettysburg 28, Greencastle-Antrim 14: The Warriors have proven to be a mighty big challenge for their Colonial foes this year. I see no reason for that to stop this week.
SUSQUEHANNA TOWNSHIP 38, Northern York 37 (OT)
Andy Shay: Susquehanna Twp. 28, Northern 21: The more consistent team this season of the two has been the ‘Hanna Tribe. This is a toss-up game all the way.
Geoff Morrow: Susquehanna Twp. 30, Northern 25: The ‘Hanna is back! Consecutive victories by a combined score of 61-23. Sitting somewhat comfortably in the District 3 Class 4A playoff picture. And earning a home favorite nod from me against a quality Polar Bears club coming off a wild two-OT victory at East Penn. Should be fun!
Andy Sandrik: Northern 33, Susquehanna Twp. 28: With the exception of the season opener, every single Northern game has come down to the wire. I see this one going no differently, with the Polar Bears making the last play to win.
Adam Kulikowski: Susquehanna Twp. 28, Northern 27: Well, well, well… Look at all the seats now taken up on the bandwagon! Tribe fans, just remember I sat alone in my pick of the Indians last week.
MECHANICSBURG 28, Waynesboro 0
Andy Shay: Mechanicsburg 17, Waynesboro 7: Couple of struggling offenses who combined average 11.5 points a game. The big difference here is the Wildcats’ defense has not struggled and the Indians’ defense has been tossed around a bit.
Geoff Morrow: Mechanicsburg 17, Waynesboro 10: The Wildcats’ defense has been consistently tough, and the ‘Boro offense has been consistently lackluster. Both teams have good kickers, though.
Andy Sandrik: Waynesboro 12, Mechanicsburg 10: Don’t forget that the ‘Boro led division frontrunner Gettysburg at halftime last week. There won’t be many opportunities in this one, so whoever can best take advantage will win.
Adam Kulikowski: Mechanicsburg 21, Waynesboro 17: Two low-scoring teams. Logic says it should be a low-scoring game, which of course means they will each probably throw 30-plus points on the board.
BIG SPRING 33, Boiling Springs 27
Andy Shay: Big Spring 33, Boiling Spring 20: This one is pretty simple for me in what otherwise is a pretty level playing field. The Bulldogs have the better and more experienced quarterback.
Geoff Morrow: Big Spring 27, Boiling Springs 21: It lacks the shine of recent seasons, but this rivalry contest between a pair of 2-5 squads should still kick up some interest and at least a handful of really cool plays. I just think the Bulldogs have a bit more in the cupboard.
Andy Sandrik: Boiling Springs 23, Big Spring 17: The Bulldogs were so close, yet so far away against West Perry last week. Facing the Bubblers’ defense after that adrenaline dump against the Mustangs is easier said than done.
Adam Kulikowski: Boiling Springs 24, Big Spring 21: The Bubblers might not have the luster they did a year ago, but their defense can still cause plenty of problems for Big Spring in this match up of 2-5 squads.
Trinity 26, CAMP HILL 0
Andy Shay: Trinity 27, Camp Hill 14: The best player on the field, Max Schlager, suits up for the Shamrocks. Camp Hill has struggled offensively the last couple of outings, and Trinity plays a very aggressive and attacking defense that can be burned if you can handle the pressure.
Geoff Morrow: Trinity 26, Camp Hill 18: Shamrocks have had two weeks to prepare for this rivalry showdown. I think that matters here, especially because the Lions — who hadn’t surrendered more than 17 points in any previous game this season — just gave up 71 to Steel-High on Saturday afternoon. Two teams feeling very differently about things coming into this one.
Andy Sandrik: Camp Hill 23, Trinity 21: You know that meme where Matthew McConaughey is smoking a heater and staring crazily at his phone? That’s me convincing myself that Camp Hill has a shot to pull yet another big upset.
Adam Kulikowski: Trinity 28, Camp Hill 21: Just toss out the 71 points Steel-High threw up against the Lions last week. The Lions’ defense has played tough otherwise all season. I expect that defense to show up against Trinity. But will it be enough?
SUSQUENITA 35, Halifax 0
Andy Shay: Susquenita 52, Halifax 7: Couple of teams have roughed up the Blackhawks. This is a game where they can do a little of that on their own.
Geoff Morrow: Susquenita 50, Halifax 7: The Blackhawks this season are 3-0 against teams with losing records, 0-4 against teams with winning records. This one will get them back to .500.
Andy Sandrik: Susquenita 45, Halifax 12: ‘Nita with a much-needed breather this week.
Adam Kulikowski: Susquenita 45, Halifax 6: Blackhawks have plenty of firepower to make this an easy decision against the undermanned Wildcats.
LINE MOUNTAIN 48, James Buchanan 8
Andy Shay: Line Mountain 34, James Buchanan 7: Line Mountain sophomore RB Ian Bates will be too much for the Rockets to deal with over four quarters. Enjoy the 200-plus miles of travel from Mercersburg to Mandata.
Geoff Morrow: Line Mountain 30, James Buchanan 14: While the Eagles have won three of their last four, the Rockets have lost three in a row and four of their last five. But, hey, at least it’s about 5 or 6 hours, round trip, in a bus. For a league game.
Andy Sandrik: Line Mountain 45, James Buchanan 10: Nobody was expecting JB to win any of its last three games against West Perry, Juniata, and Upper Dauphin, but, boy, when it rains on the Rockets, it pours. JB is giving up an average of 57 points per game during its three-game skid.
Adam Kulikowski: Line Mountain 45, James Buchanan 7: Ever since Line Mountain nearly knocked off Tri-Valley, the Eagles have been a different team. What they found centers around sophomore Ian Bates’ emergence.
UPPER DAUPHIN 20, Juniata 13
Andy Shay: Juniata 20, Upper Dauphin 19: Something tells me this is going to be a crazy finish, and the final five minutes will be full of unexpected twists and turns. Still … D-E-F-E-N-S-E. That’s the Indians’ speciality.
Geoff Morrow: Juniata 27, Upper Dauphin 20: This is for all the Liberty Division marbles. These two teams are a class above the rest of the Liberty this season, and both have been red hot — the Trojans starring on offense, the Indians on defense. And, when it comes down to it, you know what they say about defense and championships!
Andy Sandrik: Juniata 21, Upper Dauphin 10: Juniata has been leaps and bounds above its Liberty competition this season. Will that trend continue against the fast-paced Trojans?
Adam Kulikowski: Upper Dauphin 21, Juniata 14: There’s just enough trickery in the Upper Dauphin offense to confuse any defense, even one as stout as the Indians trot out each week. Does that mean it will be easy? No. But certainly winnable.
Pine Grove 23, SALISBURY TOWNSHIP 13
Andy Shay: Pine Grove 26, Salisbury Twp. 14: This is a real opportunity for the Cardinals (not the ones who went down to the Phillies in the National League playoffs). The Falcons have surrendered nearly 300 points and lost seven straight.
Geoff Morrow: Pine Grove 27, Salisbury Twp. 13: Some of us thought LAST week was the week the Cardinals slipped back into the win column. Some of us were wrong. But the winless Falcons have been blown out in six straight contests. So, well, THIS is the week PG gets its mojo back.
Andy Sandrik: Pine Grove 18, Salisbury Twp. 6: Allentown has been a blowout destination this season, but maybe the Falcons can give the Cards a game this weekend.
Adam Kulikowski: Pine Grove 27, Salisbury Twp. 14: If you’re a Cardinals fan, you might have had this one circled for a while as you scanned the calendar for winnable matchups.
TRI-VALLEY 21, Mahanoy Area 6
Andy Shay: Tri-Valley 27, Mahanoy Area 19: I’m confident the undefeated Bulldogs know what they are up against from this Golden Bears squad. That 4-3 record is a mirage. You sleepwalk through a quarter of this game, either side, and you are going down. T-V will be on point.
Geoff Morrow: Tri-Valley 28, Mahanoy Area 14: The Golden Bears gave Williams Valley all it could handle last weekend, and this one could easily be another down-to-the-wire finish. But the Bulldogs are chomping down on foes right now, so if you don’t bring your ‘A’ game, you lose, and you lose by multiple touchdowns.
Andy Sandrik: Tri-Valley 38, Mahanoy Area 27: This has “trap game” written all over it for Tri-Valley. I still think the Bulldogs win, but they might have their hands full along the way.
Adam Kulikowski: Tri-Valley 33, Mahanoy Area 20: If you haven’t had a chance to watch a few highlights of Mahanoy Area’s Colm McGroarty, I highly recommend it. This cat can be trouble — just not sure the Golden Bears have enough other pieces to knock off the ‘Dawgs.
WILLIAMS VALLEY 40, Marian Catholic 7
Andy Shay: Williams Valley 32, Marian Catholic 20: It’s not like Marian Catholic will have to guess where the ball is going. The Vikings don’t play many football tricks offensively. Limiting mistakes is key for WV to make sure MC doesn’t put another full-metal-jacket scare into the faithful in Williamstown.
Geoff Morrow: Williams Valley 26, Marian Catholic 13: The Vikings have had to survive some self-inflicted wounds this season, and they’re (mostly) finding a way to keep on winning. Tri-Valley looms in Week 10, but first things first means trying to tame the Colts here.
Andy Sandrik: Williams Valley 33, Marian Catholic 21: Vikings RB Alex Achenbach has posted 17 TDs in seven games this fall while averaging 8.2 yards per pop. If he runs like that again this week, look for WV to land its third straight win.
Adam Kulikowski: Williams Valley 36, Marian Catholic 14: Forgive me for looking ahead to that tasty Week 10 matchup against Tri-Valley for the Vikings. Both clubs should enter that one riding winning streaks.
Steelton-Highspire 68, NEWPORT 14
Andy Shay: Steel-High 70, Newport 6: I would be very happy if the Rollers kept it under 70 and cruised home late. Winning is a foregone conclusion in this one.
Geoff Morrow: Steel-High 76, Newport 6: Another horrible mismatch. The Buffaloes, who’ve been playing better lately, still gave up 52 to Susquenita last week. The Rollers, meanwhile, have scored 74, 61 and 71 over their last three games.
Andy Sandrik: Steel-High 71, Newport 0: If Steel-High wanted to, it could put way more points in this game than the 71 I predicted.
Adam Kulikowski: Steel-High 84, Newport 0: The only question in this one is how long it will take the Rollers to let off the gas.
West Perry 49, NORTH-PENN MANSFIELD 21
Andy Shay: West Perry 49, North Penn-Mansfield 7: This is a grab-bag game for the Middletown forfeit. Congrats to the Mustangs and Panthers for making this happen, and enjoy the road trip, West Perry.
Geoff Morrow: West Perry 55, North Penn-Mansfield 6: Hasn’t been a great season for the one-win Panthers from way up in Tioga County, but they’re filling a schedule gap for the unbeaten Mustangs (who were originally scheduled for a Week 8 showdown with Middletown), and I always salute teams who are willing to play tough non-league foes. And “tough non-league foe,” ladies and gentlemen, describes West Perry right now. They’ve come a LONG WAY since that dreadful multi-season losing streak.
Andy Sandrik: West Perry 55, North Penn-Mansfield 7: Thank you to the Panthers for picking up this game. Now I have a WP game to watch this week while I run on the treadmill. Make it 8-0 for the Mustangs.
Adam Kulikowski: West Perry 45, North Penn-Mansfield 13: OK, so I don’t have any fancy stats this week from the West Perry crew, but I’d like to know when was the last time the Mustangs were 8-0 to start the season?
Saturday, Oct. 15
State College 20. HARRISBURG 6
Andy Shay: Harrisburg 20, State College 10: Defense seems to take over when these two programs face off lately. Little Lions have found ways to win when it was dicey, and the Cougars are playing their best football of the season right now. Expect a physical game.
Geoff Morrow: Harrisburg 27, State College 24: I went back and forth a few times here before settling on the Cougars. These are outstanding programs, neither of whom will be the least bit intimidated. Both are explosive. The last two meetings have been low-scoring, each winning one. But only one team has a defense pitching shutouts, and that type of “you ain’t scoring, PERIOD” attitude swayed me to choose Harrisburg.
Andy Sandrik: Harrisburg 33, State College 17: The Little Lions have found a way to win every big game this season, but Harrisburg. I was going to go a little bit deeper with my analysis here, but I think “but Harrisburg” is sufficient enough.
Adam Kulikowski: Harrisburg 28, State College 27: In what might be the best matchup in the state in Week No. 8, my next five cookies would go to punching a ticket to this Severance Field battle. Give me the red-hot Cougars!
MILTON HERSHEY 49, Lower Dauphin 21
Andy Shay: Lower Dauphin 27, Milton Hershey 26: This is my final “feel” pick of the week. I just think right now the Falcons are in a good spot to endure this kind of game and come out on top. It’s that simple.
Geoff Morrow: Milton Hershey 30, Lower Dauphin 27: Tough one last week for the Falcons, and this could be another tough one. And it’s important, too — especially for LD — in terms of playoff chasing/positioning. While the State High-Harrisburg game is the premier Saturday afternoon battle, this one has the potential to be just as exciting.
Andy Sandrik: Milton Hershey 33, Lower Dauphin 27: The Spartans seem to have found their groove on offense after putting up 41 points against a stingy Mifflin County defense last week. I’m taking Milton Hershey in a close game.
Adam Kulikowski: Milton Hershey 34, Lower Dauphin 30: I always wonder just how good the Spartans could be if they ever had the same sort of offseason prep their foes have. Tough out for the Falcons in this one.
Canceled: West Perry at Middletown