Here are three District 3 playoff matchups that feature games where the lower seed could possibly post a victory over a higher seed.
No. 3 Upper Dauphin (8-1) at No. 2 Columbia (8-1): This game might have some points scored. It would be a surprise otherwise. Columbia has a stud senior quarterback in Robert Footman. He powers an offense that averages nearly 45 points a game by throwing for almost 300 yards per outing. The Tigers throw it on average about 30 times a game.
He’s tossed 29 touchdowns already and also averages 5.8 yards per carry when he runs the rock. I still think Columbia is the favorite in this game, but Upper Dauphin will hunt. Their ground-focused offense is diverse and comes at you in waves, powered by Brady Morgan and Christian Snyder. The Trojans will throw it with more impact than you might think with Wil Laskowski. The Tigers are a solid favorite here, but if UDA doesn’t have a say in the outcome it would be surprising.
No. 5 Middletown (5-4) at No. 4 West Perry (5-5): OK, so this one is like the adult who knicks Halloween candy from the kids. Technically West Perry is the higher seed, but the Blue Raiders are the clear favorite here. The Capital Division has provided a more complete test for Middletown and the Blue Raiders come into this one winning three of its last four with a pair of shutouts including a 7-0 win over playoff-bound Class 4A squad Big Spring.
The Mustangs have over performed and overachieved all season. There’s a LOT to be said for that. But in this matchup, the Blue Raiders are playing their best football of the season and have more pieces fitting into place to make it difficult for the Mustangs. The upset here is West Perry winning.
CLASS 4A No. 10 Big Spring (7-3) vs. No. 7 Conrad Weiser (7-3): Despite losing to Middletown 7-0 in the slop of last Friday night to close out Week 10, I’m still bullish on the Bulldogs. Big Spring is making only its second ever appearance in the District 3 playoffs and won’t be hanging their heads over that Week 10 loss. They surrendered only one touchdown, and their offense was handicapped by the elements.
Big Spring runs the rock and opens up a defense by taking deep shots with QB Ethan Eisenberg using his strong arm to connect on more of those shots than he misses. A driving sideways rain takes that off the table. Shows the value of the diversity of this offense, though. Physically the Bulldogs are ready for this challenge, and the Scouts will be a full-metal-jacket test for sure. I’m not all that keen on the schedule Weiser has played, and they will give up some points.
But they are a proven tough out. Big Spring better bring its track shoes and work on pass coverage this week because Scouts QB Logan Klitsch, a junior, is a 2,000-yard passer who boasts a completion percentage north of 66%. Half of his targets go to Aanjay Feliciano, a 1,000-yard receiver, but there is some depth to their wideouts that could make it very sticky for the Big Spring secondary. I love this matchup. I think it’s one of the best games on the slate to kick off the second season.