District 3 playoff races: Who's in, who's on the bubble and who has work left to do
The PIAA released the first of its weekly District 3 Power Rankings on Monday, so we’re breaking down who’s in, who’s on the bubble and who has work left to do to make the District playoffs. Schools are listed by classification and only Hanover-Adams teams are included.
Class AAAA--Top 16 teams qualify for the District 3 M&T Bank Championships.
Work left to do: South Western (1-3, 1-0, 24th out of 29, .443).
A 1-3 start, even against solid competition, has left the Mustangs on the outside looking in, at least for now. South Western is eight spots behind the last playoff slot with six games remaining, plenty of time to make a move. The offense has proven it can carry the load behind Andrew Hartlaub, who has scored in every game. The defense looked better in its 34-27 win over New Oxford.
The schedule doesn't get any easier as the Mustangs travel to Central York, Dallastown and Northeastern with home games at the Corral against Red Lion, William Penn and Spring Grove sprinkled in.
Class AAA--Top 16 teams qualify for the District 3 M&T Bank Championships.
In: Gettysburg (3-1, 0-1, 12th out of 40, .650)
If the rankings would have been released a week ago, the Warriors probably had a solid chance of being in the top 10. But after a loss against injury-riddled Dover, the Warriors need to bounce back. A win against the 0-4 Susquehannock Warriors this week wouldn’t do much to improve their ranking since the formula takes opponents’ records into heavy consideration, but it would help keep them from slipping onto the bubble. Home games against Conrad Weiser (4th in Class AAA) and West York (10th) loom large in October.
On the bubble: Spring Grove (2-2, 0-1, 24th out of 40, .515)
The Rockets have almost the same story as Gettysburg because they probably would’ve been ranked higher last week before a loss to Dallastown, though a loss against top competition probably didn’t hurt their ranking too bad.
Injuries are starting to pile up in Spring Grove (Zack Stauffer, Nick Erickson, Shay Feulmer and Logan Hall) and head coach Russ Stoner will need to fill some holes on the fly to keep the Rockets’ playoff chances alive. Two straight road games against winless teams could have Spring Grove going into their homecoming game against Central with a 4-2 record.
Work left to do: New Oxford (0-4, 0-1, 40th out of 40, .268)
The Colonials find themselves in dead last among District 3 AAA schools after losses to Biglerville and South Western. A long winning streak could help coach Jason Thurston and the squad.
Class AA--Top 8 teams qualify for the District 3 M&T Bank Championships.
In: Bermudian Springs (4-0, 1-0, 3rd out of 14, .692)
The Eagles are in the best position for playoff contention among Hanover-Adams teams. They’ve given up double-digits in points just once this season (14 at Hanover) and have yet to be in a close game. The Colton Dull-Briton Shelton-Ryan Markle trio has the Eagles primed for a postseason run. There is a much bigger gap in percentage points between Bermudian and the teams behind them than Bermudian and the teams ahead of them.
On the bubble: Biglerville (2-2, 0-1, 9th out of 14, .461)
If the season ended today, the Canners would be left out of the playoffs, one percentage point behind the eight-seed. After winning one game in 2013, Biglerville has shown great strides but a playoff spot would be a great accomplishment. Every game the rest of the way is winnable for Biglerville, aside from maybe Bermudian, so don’t give up just yet, Canner Country.
Work left to do: Littlestown (1-3, 0-1, 11th out of 14, .369), Hanover (1-3, 0-1, 12th out of 14, .364)
What a rough year it has been so far for the Bolts. Two blowout losses and their first-ever loss to York County Tech leave Littlestown with plenty of work left to be done in the final six weeks.
There have been a few bright spots for Hanover (blowing out Kennard-Dale, scoring 14 against Bermudian), but the Nighthawks have just one win to show for it. It’s a down year for Division III so there are wins there for the taking and Hanover and Littlestown could each use four or five more.
Class A---Top 4 teams qualify for the District 3 M&T Bank Championships.
In: Fairfield (3-1, 1-0, 2nd out of 10, .562)
That matchup with Biglerville was most likely going to springboard one team toward a winning season and put the losing team in a tough situation. Luckily for the Green Knights, they were on the winning end, 20-19, and now sit in second place with plenty of cushion between them and the cutoff line. Could Fairfield be the team to knock off the mighty Bermudian Springs Eagles? We’ll find out Friday night.
Work left to do: Delone Catholic (1-3, 0-1, 8th out of 10, .323)
The Squires have had some tough luck. They were in the game until the very end against Trinity and lost on a last-second field goal to York Catholic. If a few plays had gone the other way, Delone could be sitting at 3-1 and in the category above with Fairfield.
The upcoming schedule in the next four weeks for Delone includes games at Littlestown and Bermudian and home games against Biglerville and Fairfield. Three wins in those four games would have Delone back to .500.