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Sunday, April 21, 2024

Sunday Morning QB: Unbeaten teams after six weeks of play; West Perry sets another record; what to look forward to in Week 7 and more

Get ready for the home stretch of the 2023 Mid-Penn Conference football season following a rather pedestrian Week 6 that didn’t include many marquee games.

I’m a big fan of the District 3 power rankings and how they are used to determine playoff bids. But after only six weeks, their relevance still doesn’t have enough meat on the bone for me to look at them in any detail. Join me in waiting one more week to talk playoff scenarios, possibilities and bracketology.

Only four teams remain unbeaten through six games. Bishop McDevitt showed its mettle by navigating a legitimate non-conference schedule in defense of its PIAA crown. The Crusaders will win the Keystone Division, again, and are favorites to repeat as District 3 Class 4A champs. No real surprise, there. 

Steel-High and West Perry are each 6-0 from the Capital Division, and the Mustangs will welcome the Rollers to Elliotsburg to close out the regular season. Could be a winner-take-all game, but remember Steel-High still has to play Trinity. The Shamrocks are a bit wobbly and banged up these days but want to have a say in this division.

The final unbeaten is East Pennsboro. The Panthers have revealed themselves as a complete team with assets on both sides of the ball and the ability to successfully play a variety of styles. They are the Colonial Division favorites and will be a tough team to knock off the stretch.

On the flip side of the coin there is only one team, Newport, that is winless in the 38-team Mid-Penn Conference. We’re rooting for the Buffaloes to get one.

Four unbeatens entering Week 7 feels about average compared to the last five or so years, but only one winless squad is definitely below the average at this point.

To give you an idea how lopsided this week was, there was only one game on the Week 6 schedule that was decided by fewer than 10 points. Trinity withstood a late comeback from Big Spring to hold off the Bulldogs 28-22 in Newville. Every other game was decided by 10 or more points and most weren’t close.

West Perry set a school record for points scored in a game with 72 against Boiling Springs and didn’t play its starters in the second half after putting up 56 prior to intermission. Bishop McDevitt, Central Dauphin, Hershey, Juniata, State College, Susquehanna Township, Cedar Cliff, Steel-High and Harrisburg all eclipsed the 40 points scored plateau. That’s 10 teams scoring at least five touchdowns in a game in the same week. And none of those games were competitive.

Another reason to give yourself a week before the postseason fire starts to burn: there are a handful of tasty offerings on the docket coming up this week that will help clarify what to expect for those clubs with aspirations to play beyond Week 10.

These Week 7 matchups deserve extra attention: Lower Dauphin-Cedar Cliff, Greencastle-Antrim vs. Susquehanna Township, West Perry at Big Spring, Bishop McDevitt-Hershey and I’ll throw in East Pennsboro-Northern for good measure.

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