By Andy Shay:
Camp Hill claimed its 10th District 3 football championship in school history by taking out York Catholic in the Class 2A championship game.
First, congratulations to Camp Hill alum and head coach Tim Bigelow and his staff. Nothing is easy in the 2020 world of COVID-19 football, but when you have a short roster keeping it together takes everyone pulling on the same rope.
How about the Lions defense in the championship game? Playing that Capital Division schedule prepared Camp Hill’s defense for a big moment on the big stage. Holding the Fighting Irish to only seven points was a game-changer. The only touchdown they surrendered was on a trick play.
And how about the Lions offense grinding it out on the ground and using the talented right arm of quarterback Daniel Shuster to keep York Catholic off balance? That was big as well. I mean, the Lions had a drive in the second half that nearly drained 11 minutes off the clock.
Shuster finished with 275 passing yards and three touchdowns, Christian Doi had 174 total yards (118 receiving, 56 rushing) and caught a touchdown pass and that Lions defense delivered in spades.
Mechanicsburg ran into what a trusted Berks County football expert I know said is the best Governor Mifflin team he’s ever seen. I’ve seen a couple Mifflin squads that grabbed my attention, but I trust his judgment. Not only are the Mustangs that good with an FBS recruit at running back, they are dominant along the line of scrimmage and that’s a shortcoming in this matchup the Wildcats couldn’t hide. Mifflin dominated their District 3 Class 5A semifinal winning by 44 points. Don’t worry Mechanicsburg fans, Mifflin has done that to everybody this season. It has still been a stellar season for the Wildcats, and based on their schedule they plan to keep playing in 2020.
Northern wasn’t in bad shape Friday night against ELCO trailing 14-0 just before the half in their District 3 Class 4A semifinal. The Polar Bears put together a long drive just before intermission that stalled deep in Raiders territory. Northern lined up to kick a chip-shot field goal, after ELCO called three consecutive timeouts to ice the kicker, to try and cut the deficit to 14-3. ELCO blocked the kick, and Jake Williams took it 80 yards the other way for a touchdown that made it 21-0 for the Raiders on their way to a 42-7 victory.
Steel-High kept its perfect season intact by rolling District 4 champion Muncy in the PIAA Class 1A playoffs at Cottage Hill Saturday afternoon. This game was over by halftime as the Rollers raced to a 36-14 cushion at intermission. The explosion came early in this one. Odell Greene had 101 yards on nine carries and a TD; QB Alex Erby threw for 264 yards and four touchdowns; Damein Hammonds had five taches for 135 yards and three scores; and Mekhi Flowers added five grabs for 115 yards and a TD. All this was in the FIRST HALF. Muncy kept firing in the second half and made it very interesting down the stretch before falling 50-43.
Hershey dropped its first game of the season to a struggling Manheim Central squad that improved to 3-5 overall with a 24-21 victory. The Trojans’ downfall was third down on defense in the second half. They couldn’t get MC off the field. In the key drive that gave Manheim Central the lead 21-14, Hershey had the Barons in third-and-17, third-and-13 (really bad PI call against Hershey kept the drive alive) and third-and-7. The Barons converted all three. Then after slicing the deficit to 24-21 in the fourth quarter, Manheim Central converted three more third downs to run out the clock.
Good to see Bishop McDevitt back on the field after just missing the playoffs. The Crusaders cruised past Palmyra behind QB Lek Powell’s 275 yards and three touchdowns and WR Mario Easterly hauling in seven catches for 114 yards and a pair of scores to go along with a 66-yard punt return for a score.
Nice win by Cumberland Valley against a Carlisle team that was on a roll and looking to end its 15-game losing streak to the Eagles. Isaac Sines threw a pair of touchdowns, including the game-winner with 6:55 left to Gavin Conklin. Herd RB Sean Smith finished with 27 carries for 149 yards and a touchdown, but Carlisle turned it over three times on fumbles. Can’t give the ball away to the Eagles. They have a history of punishing teams that give them extra chances.
I was at the Wyomissing vs. Middletown District 3 Class 3A championship game Friday night. You can read my game story and Making The Grade take on the Spartans’ 38-16 victory. My biggest takeaway was Wyomissing is bigger, stronger and faster overall. That was it. The Blue Raiders did very little to hurt themselves and didn’t play a bad game at all.
Congratulations to Lower Dauphin coach Rob Klock and his Falcons for ending their 16-game losing streak with a victory over Mifflin County. You could see on film the Falcons were making strides this season. And it was rewarded against the Huskies. Klock has been down this road before with LD. He knows how to build it back up. Time and patience are required.
Greencastle-Antrim picked up a dramatic and crazy 23-21 victory over East Pennsboro Friday night. Adam Root hauled in a TD pass from Zack Cole with 50 seconds left to slice the Panthers’ lead to 21-20. The Blue Devils went for the win, but a run on the two-point try was stuffed by East Pennsboro. Then Greencastle recovered the onside kick, moved downfield and kicked an 18-yard field goal in the dying seconds to win it. CRAZY!!
My under-the-radar performance for this week goes to West Perry running back Trent Herrera. His 102 yards on 19 carries and two touchdowns in a 24-18 win over Waynesboro. It was the Mustangs’ first win of the season.