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Saturday, June 15, 2024

Results: Week 4 Picks and Predictions

This week, we chatted with West Perry quarterback Marcus Quaker on The Spotlight with Andy Shay.

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) …


Picker: Week 4 – Overall – Perfect Picks
Adam Kulikowski: 13-9 — 78-33 — 0
Geoff Morrow: 18-4 — 77-34 — 0
Andy Shay: 15-7 — 76-35 — 2
Andy Sandrik: 14-8 — 75-36 — 0


  * In scorelines, home team in all caps

Thursday, Sept. 15


Bishop McDevitt 49, PALMYRA 3

Andy Shay: Bishop McDevitt 55, Palmyra 0: Anything other than this result would be a major surprise.

Geoff Morrow: Bishop McDevitt 56, Palmyra 7: A true mismatch. This one ended 75-7 last year. Honestly, the Crusaders probably shouldn’t be in the Keystone Division anyway.

Andy Sandrik: Bishop McDevitt 63, Palmyra 7: I really wish the Mid-Penn would adopt a promotion and relegation system, because it would be a heck of a lot more fun watching the Crusaders play in the Commonwealth Division. 

Adam Kulikowski: Bishop McDevitt 55, Palmyra 6: The Crusaders are a state title contender while the Cougars are working to rebuild a winning culture – two very different tasks at hand. 

Hershey 21, CEDAR CLIFF 20

Andy Shay: Cedar Cliff 30, Hershey 17: Been a little bit of an up-and-down ride for the Trojans defensively out of the gate. They need their best effort in this one to keep in touch. Cliff asks a lot out of a team to beat them. If they go down, the Colts usually go down swinging.

Geoff Morrow: Cedar Cliff 31, Hershey 14: While the Colts were stampeding past McCaskey last week, the Trojans took a step backward by dropping a 44-30 decision to (previously) winless Dallastown. No gimme here, but Colts have won nine of the last 10 in the series.

Andy Sandrik: Cedar Cliff 28, Hershey 21: Colts are coming in fully expecting to win here, and they should, but it’s going to be a struggle if they can’t establish the run. 

Adam Kulikowski: Cedar Cliff 27, Hershey 24: Colts seem to have found another gear with first-year QB Bennett Secrest under center. Can the sophomore keep the good times rolling Friday night? 

Mifflin County 28, LOWER DAUPHIN 7

Andy Shay: Lower Dauphin 27, Mifflin County 20: This one is all about defense in my book. Which one puts in a better 48-minute effort will go a long way to determining the outcome.

Geoff Morrow: Lower Dauphin 24, Mifflin County 14: Each team suffered through disappointing Week 3 results, with LD surrendering 41 points in a loss to Elizabethtown while the Huskies were blanked by Altoona. Something has to give here, and my Monopoly money is on the host Falcons.

Andy Sandrik: Lower Dauphin 23, Mifflin County 7: It’s awfully hard to come off a 38-0 loss and then board the bus for a tough road game the following week, like the Huskies have to do. 

Adam Kulikowski: Lower Dauphin 34, Mifflin County 20: The Huskies broke a long losing streak this year with a pair of victories to open the season. Signs say this will be a competitive matchup, but the Falcons have a few more pieces in the cupboard to swing the balance in this Thursday night tilt.  

Friday, Sept. 16


CUMBERLAND VALLEY 45, Central Dauphin East 14

Andy Shay: Cumberland Valley 31, CD East 14: It’s been a three-week grind for the Eagles, but they can’t afford to let off the gas in this one. They have the upper hand in this matchup and can’t rest on that 3-0 mark. 

Geoff Morrow: Cumberland Valley 30, CD East 20: If the Eagles win, they’re 4-0. Last time CV started 4-0? That would be 2017 when it also reached the District 3 championship game. That same season, East lost twice to CV by a combined score of 104-12. Does any of that matter now in 2022? No. But I’m kind of the “recent history” guy here, so there it is.

Andy Sandrik: Cumberland Valley 44, CD East 20: It’s just about impossible to piece together a non-con schedule to adequately prep your team for the Commonwealth, but that was quite an opening three weeks for CV. I think the Eagles deserve to be big favorites in this spot. 

Adam Kulikowski: Cumberland Valley 35, CD East 33: These first three weeks haven’t been a cruise for the Eagles, but the grind sharpens a team, right? 

CENTRAL DAUPHIN 42, Chambersburg 35

Andy Shay: Central Dauphin 24, Chambersburg 21: It was a much better overall outing from the Rams a week ago, but the result wasn’t there. That will be what’s required to avoid 0-4 because the Trojans are much better and are feeling pretty good about where they are – and rightfully so.

Geoff Morrow: Central Dauphin 27, Chambersburg 23: I realize the Trojans are off to a better start than the Rams this season, but it’s nearly impossible to imagine CD starting 0-4. This is their moment to turn things around.

Andy Sandrik: Central Dauphin 17, Chambersburg 13: Should be a close game. I’m setting the over/under at 30.5 and taking the under. 

Adam Kulikowski: Chambersburg 28, Central Dauphin 21: To me, this is a 50-50 game, so I’ll side with the team with a little more firepower offensively. 

Harrisburg 44, CARLISLE 15

Andy Shay: Harrisburg 42, Carlisle 28: I see this one as back-and-forth for very long stretches before a late Cougars surge puts the game on ice. Going to learn a lot about both squads this week.

Geoff Morrow: Harrisburg 39, Carlisle 32: This is a case where program strength overrides seasonal strength, because based on 2022 results thus far, the Herd might be the safer pick. However, I think most Mid-Penn football observers will look at the Cougars’ surprising home loss to Manheim Twp. last week and expect Harrisburg to make corrections. Add to that the fact that Carlisle has lost six straight to the Cougars since 2016, and NONE of those games has been competitive for 48 minutes, and you have prognosticators almost unifying in their predictions.

Andy Sandrik: Harrisburg 45, Carlisle 25: In my season preview I said Harrisburg was head and shoulders above the Commonwealth competition, and I still feel that way. That said, Carlisle has the horses to make this game worth the price of a ticket.

Adam Kulikowski: Harrisburg 35, Carlisle 28: How do the Cougars – still one of the most talented teams in District 3 – respond to the last-second loss last week to Manheim Twp.? We’re about to learn more about the character of this team. 

State College 55, ALTOONA 14

Andy Shay: State College 38, Altoona 21: We know Altoona isn’t intimidated by the Little Lions. So take that off the board. The Mountain Lions give SC their best shot on a pretty consistent basis. Not sure their best is enough, though.

Geoff Morrow: State College 23, Altoona 21: Mountain Lions have given the Little Lions headaches in recent meetings, including a stunning one-point victory in 2020. But this version of State High REALLY seems to have something special brewing. Gotta figure the Lil’ Lions are the Commonwealth favorites (just ahead of CV and Harrisburg) as we enter the start of division play.

Andy Sandrik: State College 33, Altoona 28: Safe money is on State College, but why do I sense a barn-burner at Mansion Park? 

Adam Kulikowski: State College 42, Altoona 28: The Little Lions are quickly becoming a contender for much more than a Commonwealth Division title. Picking against Mrs. 4th Down’s alma mater generally comes with a good scowl, but it’d be a 2020-esque upset if the Mountain Lions pull this one off.  


MILTON HERSHEY 35, Red Land 10

Andy Shay: Milton Hershey 19, Red Land 17: Each of these squads is looking for that next level of consistency and production on offense. That is where the rubber meets the road in this game. It’s a toss-up unless one offense finds a little something.

Geoff Morrow: Milton Hershey 16, Red Land 14: Patriots have shown significant progress from week to week under its new coach, and they’ll need another big step forward to knock off the Spartans. Doable, for sure. Neither offense has found a groove yet.

Andy Sandrik: Red Land 21, Milton Hershey 20: I’m giving the Keystone benefit of the doubt over the Capital in this matchup, but this seems like a coin-flip game all the way. 

Adam Kulikowski: Red Land 24, Milton Hershey 20: I wavered back and forth on this one. Great to see the Patriots notch a victory last week, I see them as a step or two further along in the effort to identify their offensive prowess. 


GETTYSBURG 27, East Pennsboro 11

Andy Shay: Gettysburg 28, East Pennsboro 24: This is one of those winnable games for both teams. The margins are tight in terms of the matchup. The old and perhaps tired cliche applies here that penalties and turnovers could be true difference makers.

Geoff Morrow: Gettysburg 26, East Pennsboro 21: Panthers bring a 3-0 mark into this one, but it’s the Warriors who put a hurting on a quality Boiling Springs squad last week. Note: This is Gettysburg’s first Mid-Penn Colonial game since losing 19-13 to Shippensburg on Nov. 1, 2013.

Andy Sandrik: East Pennsboro 25, Gettysburg 23: A battle between two teams that could each be the dark horse of the Colonial. I’m taking the Panthers here, but keep in mind I’m 0-3 picking Gettysburg games this season, with about a 50-50 shot of moving to 0-4.

Adam Kulikowski: East Pennsboro 28, Gettysburg 27: The Panthers sport a dynamic duo with Dakota Campbell and Keith Oates that should present a problem for Gettysburg to handle. 

Mechanicsburg 34, SUSQUEHANNA TOWNSHIP 27

Andy Shay: Mechanicsburg 17, Susquehanna Township 14: Offensively, these clubs seem on pretty equal footing in terms of where they are right now. The Wildcats’ defense has been keeping them in games, and it feels like that could be the difference in this one.

Geoff Morrow: Mechanicsburg 18, Susquehanna Township 13: Waffled on this pick for a while. Is the ‘Hanna back and ready to win games like this, or does the division losing skid hit 10 games? Are the Wildcats REALLY an 0-3 team, or are they one decent week from turning this around? We’ll find answers soon enough!

Andy Sandrik: Susquehanna Township 20, Mechanicsburg 19: This is either going to be a razor-thin win for the Tribe or a blowout win for the Wildcats, nothing in between. I’m going with my gut.

Adam Kulikowski: Mechanicsburg 21, Susquehanna Township 20: Tempting to “Trust the Process” as Coach Joe Headen would say, but I don’t believe for a second the Wildcats’ 0-3 record is indicative of their ability to be a tough out. 

NORTHERN YORK 17, Shippensburg 6

Andy Shay: Shippensburg 28, Northern York 14: The Greyhounds aren’t blowing the doors off everybody, and they are surrendering a few more yards and points than we’ve come to expect. And none of that matters because they simply have the firepower and experience to know what is required to get a win. That’s respect-worthy.  

Geoff Morrow: Shippensburg 35, Northern York 21: For most teams, I might consider this a trouble spot. But the Greyhounds, who last posted a losing season in 2006, aren’t most teams and inherently know how to avoid missteps. I expect their Colonial win streak to hit 11 games Friday night, though it’s notable that their last division loss came at Northern in October 2020.

Andy Sandrik: Shippensburg 28, Northern York 24: The thing I like most about this year’s edition of the Greyhounds is how comfortable they seem to be in tight spots and hostile environments. Northern is a really nice team and will land some haymakers, so victory will be within reach, but give me the ‘Hounds in a grindfest.

Adam Kulikowski: Shippensburg 34, Northern York 21: The Polar Bears are reeling a bit coming off a loss to Dover. Not good heading into a huge match up against the Greyhounds.

GREENCASTLE-ANTRIM 35, Waynesboro 21

Andy Shay: Greencastle-Antrim 26, Waynesboro 14: All the momentum you would want a team to have, the Blue Devils own it right now. They are flying high and you know exactly who they are. Waynesboro is still searching for some answers to questions it didn’t expect to need answers for. Big difference.

Geoff Morrow: Greencastle-Antrim 23, Waynesboro 8: It’s not just that the Blue Devils are winning; it’s HOW they’re winning. G-A appears on the path to posting its first winning season since 2015. Snapping an eight-game losing skid vs. its Franklin County rival would go a long way to making that happen.

Andy Sandrik: Waynesboro 25, Greencastle-Antrim 24: The Blue Devils are undefeated, amped up and ready to sock it to their rivals. It’s super tempting to take Greencastle here, but I’m going with the team that hasn’t lost this matchup since the year my fourth-grader was born. 

Adam Kulikowski: Greencastle-Antrim 21, Waynesboro 20: I’m officially on the G-A bandwagon. When are they serving the snacks? 


BIG SPRING 16, Camp Hill 6

Andy Shay: Camp Hill 28, Big Spring 20: There was a brief moment of pause for this one, and then I remembered the Lions’ defense has been lights out for 12 quarters. The Bulldogs’ front will present some different challenges, but the Lions have passed every test to date.

Geoff Morrow: Big Spring 33, Camp Hill 31: Now that the Bulldogs got that first victory out of the way, I expect they’ll be primed for the upstart Lions, who just keep knocking off quality foes to start this 2022 season. Can Camp Hill do it again and avenge last year’s 42-7 shellacking by Big Spring? Or will the hosts rise up and knock the Lions from the ranks of unbeaten?

Andy Sandrik: Big Spring 28, Camp Hill 21: Camp Hill reminds me of my gamer friend Nick, who downplays his abilities and congratulates me for winning before we even play, then he defeats me soundly. If Big Spring gives this anything other than an ‘A’ effort, it’s the Lions scoring another “upset” victory.

Adam Kulikowski: Camp Hill 32, Big Spring 20: The Lions made a loud statement last Friday night with their dominance of Upper Dauphin. We knew Drew Branstetter and crew would light up the scoreboard, but that defense is a game-changer for this edition of the Lions. (Tip of the cap to the CH coaching crew who had their gents ready for the trickery the Trojans have used to find success.)

Steel-High 74, BOILING SPRINGS 30

Andy Shay: Steel-High 33, Boiling Springs 24: Plenty of lessons and takeaways for the Bubblers from getting bumped off by Gettysburg. Just not sure this is the team you get some of those fixes worked out against. Rollers feel like they are sitting on a big game.

Geoff Morrow: Steel-High 32, Boiling Springs 28: Wholesale entertainment when these programs get together lately, and I have no reason to expect this will be any different. While the Rollers will be happy to play somebody local – the first two games were against Pittsburgh schools – the Bubblers need to shake off last week’s 15-point home loss to Gettysburg.

Andy Sandrik: Steel-High 36, Boiling Springs 27: Man, I wish we could have this game in Week 9 or 10, not Week 4. Will still be a fun game to hear those shoulder pads pop. 

Adam Kulikowski: Steel-High 36, Boiling Springs 30: This has Game of the Week written all over it. Find a good spot on the hill in Bubbletown and get some popcorn, ‘cause there’s sure to be some highlight-reel moments on tap.


JAMES BUCHANAN 27, Halifax 7

Andy Shay: James Buchanan 26, Halifax 19: Rockets have played three tight games and won two of them. And overall they have shown more consistency on defense, which gives JB a clear-cut advantage.

Geoff Morrow: James Buchanan 22, Halifax 19: Well, Halifax has two games listed on its Week 4 schedule – this one and another vs. Morrisville. Is this split-squad spring training kinda stuff? Because I’m not sure that’s gonna work.

Andy Sandrik: James Buchanan 33, Halifax 13: Assuming the MaxPreps roster for James Buchanan is even half accurate, I think the Rockets’ depth will play a big role against the Wildcats.

Adam Kulikowski: James Buchanan 21, Halifax 14: Rockets are more the well-tested team at this point in the season. That gives them the advantage in my book. 

JUNIATA 36, Newport 0

Andy Shay: Juniata 36, Newport 7: The struggles continue for Newport against a Juniata squad that was limited to fewer than 100 yards in a loss to West Perry last week. The Buffaloes have surrendered 145 points in three games.

Geoff Morrow: Juniata 40, Newport 8: Can’t imagine it was a joyful week of practice for the Indians. And the Buffaloes just don’t offer much resistance right now, so it’s another wrong place, wrong time for the ‘Port.

Andy Sandrik: Juniata 27, Newport 0: No TDs for the Newport offense over its last eight quarters, and I’m not convinced the Buffs are going to score against the Big Red defense this week, either. 

Adam Kulikowski: Juniata 35, Newport 7: No one expected the Indians to be blanked by West Perry last week. Don’t think for a second that their scoreless streak will extend into this week.

UPPER DAUPHIN 30, Susquenita 7

Andy Shay: Upper Dauphin 40, Susquenita 14: Mildly surprised these squads each have only one win under their belt. Still a lot to play for in the Liberty Division, and the Trojans’ pop on offense will show up in this one.

Geoff Morrow: Upper Dauphin 42, Susquenita 20: Trojans have put up a lot of points and nothing but victories when battling against the Blackhawks over the last four years. And despite its 1-2 non-league start, UDA still very much has reason to believe the Liberty is there for the taking.

Andy Sandrik: Upper Dauphin 38, Susquenita 21: UD is looking for four full quarters of execution, here. If the Trojans do that, they win big.

Adam Kulikowski: Upper Dauphin 38, Susquenita 24: The Trojans tipped their hand a bit to Camp Hill last week. Can they disguise their tells better in Week 4?  


NORTHERN LEHIGH 61, Pine Grove 0

Andy Shay: Northern Lehigh 42, Pine Grove 0: This brings to a close a brutal three-game stretch for PG, and there’s no reason to think this result won’t resemble the previous two 25+ point losses.

Geoff Morrow: Northern Lehigh 44, Pine Grove 7: Bulldogs are 3-0 and ranked No. 5 in Eric Epler’s Class A state rankings. The Cardinals, meanwhile, lost 48-0 and 38-13 to two DIFFERENT state-ranked programs the previous two weeks. This wraps up a brutal three-game stretch for Pine Grove.

Andy Sandrik: Northern Lehigh 45, Pine Grove 7: Yikes. Tough matchup for the Cards.

Adam Kulikowski: Northern Lehigh 43, Pine Grove 14: The Cardinals have to feel like they’ve been in a heavyweight fight each of the last two weeks after butting heads with state-ranked opponents … unfortunately they are about to go another round with the big dogs. 


LINE MOUNTAIN 26, Marian Catholic 19

Andy Shay: Marian Catholic 13, Line Mountain 7: Eagles came oh so close to springing a major upset last week … but remain winless. Don’t see a ton of points being scored in this one, and that favors Marian and its stingy defense.

Geoff Morrow: Line Mountain 23, Marian Catholic 18: Technically, we all correctly picked the Tri-Valley vs. Line Mountain winner last week, though I’d argue none of us deserved credit because the Eagles played ‘em tough and probably should have won while we all picked blowouts. But what prognosticator could have possibly seen that coming? Well, now we do see something coming. Marian might be 2-1, but Line Mountain learned something about itself last week and now has a chance to pocket its first victory of the season.

Andy Sandrik: Line Mountain 24, Marian Catholic 17: Head-check game for Line Mountain. The Eagles are coming off a loss, but in that loss, they were landing haymakers on unbeaten Tri-Valley for three quarters.

Adam Kulikowski: Marian Catholic 21, Line Mountain 20: Which Line Mountain offense will show up Friday night? The one that has struggled to move the rock through the first two weeks, or the one who almost upset Tri-Valley in Week 3? 

Minersville 30, WILLIAMS VALLEY 12

Andy Shay: Williams Valley 26, Minersville 20: This feels like a tight squeeze most of the way, but the Vikings clearly have more horsepower on offense overall, and that has to play a role to clear this hurdle.

Geoff Morrow: Williams Valley 29, Minersville 19: The Battlin’ Miners have been a tough out this season, so I expect they’ll keep it interesting vs. the Vikings for a while. But there’s just too much firepower on the WV side for me to pick against them.

Andy Sandrik: Williams Valley 35, Minersville 12: Everyone seems to think this game is going to be close, but it’s gonna be all Vikings, all night Friday. 

Adam Kulikowski: Williams Valley 38, Minersville 28: Go ahead and pencil in WV QB Isaac Whiteash for 200 through the air and RB Alex Achenbach for another 150 on the ground. That’s just how the Vikings roll each week when you look at the box at the end of the night

WEST PERRY 40, Trinity 14

Andy Shay: Trinity 28, West Perry 24: Don’t look at the win-loss records here; look inside the matchup – as in go really deep inside and look at the OL-DL. Whoever has the upper hand wins. This feels like a must-win game for Trinity, and the playing field is definitely more level for the T-Rocks compared to the previous two outings. If the Mustangs find open space, they will take advantage of it.

Geoff Morrow: West Perry 26, Trinity 22: This is arguably the most interesting game on our entire Week 4 slate. If you’re the Shamrocks, psychologically it might feel like a game at West Perry is a LOT more winnable after taking lumps against state powers Roman Catholic and Wyomissing. However, the Mustangs are 3-0 and coming off a VERY impressive shutout of Juniata. I think this will be close, though, because I have to believe Trinity’s tough-schedule confidence matters here.

Andy Sandrik: West Perry 28, Trinity 21: I think this comes down to who best can limit big plays, and for that reason I’m taking the Mustangs, who are allowing 2 points per game.

Adam Kulikowski: West Perry 31, Trinity 28: Give a listen to our interview with West Perry QB Marcus Quaker. The dual-threat junior is confident and has a much better understanding of what defenses are throwing at the Mustangs. Plus, Bob Boden’s bunch carries all the momentum after shutting out a quality Juniata program. 


Andy Shay: Tri-Valley 38, Schuylkill Haven 14: Bulldogs took some major body blows last week and still came out on top. Their run game struggled, and when that happens, it gets a little sideways for TV. I expect a full and resounding rebound here.

Geoff Morrow: Tri-Valley 28, Schuylkill Haven 13: If you’re young enough to play in this football game, you’ll have no idea what I’m about to write. But I saw this matchup and immediately started singing the Scorpions’ 1984 hit, “Rock You Like a Hurricane.” I honestly hadn’t thought of that song in at least a decade. So, thanks for the nostalgia, Schuylkill Haven!

Andy Sandrik: Tri-Valley 28, Schuylkill Valley 7: I hope the ‘Dawgs send a thank-you note to Line Mountain, not just for lighting a fire under their butts, but for showing them all the areas where they need to improve. Either way, this is not a good spot for the ‘Canes. 

Adam Kulikowski: Tri-Valley 31, Schuylkill Haven 14: And now we know how old GMo is. … I like the ‘Dawgs to have an easier go of it this week. 

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