Week 6 is here and it’s “make or break” for some teams in the L-L. Headlining this week is the Section Two showdown between Manheim Central and Cocalico but there are plenty of other intriguing matchups around the league. Here are this week’s bold predictions.
Last week: 10-3
THE GAME: Manheim Central (5-0) at Cocalico (5-0)
THE WINNER: Cocalico
THE REASON: It’s hard to believe that one of these teams is actually going to lose this week. I’ve weighed this pick back and forth and honestly, I wanted to call it a push. But since that can’t happen, I’m going to give the edge to the Eagles because of home field advantage and the opportunity to leave Section Two with a big statement. Key players for Central will be QB Colin Fry and tight end Taylor Geib while the Eagles veer offense runs through QB Jhet Janis and is complimented well by a backfield of Spencer Moser and Mitchell Shober.
THE GAME: Columbia (2-3) at Pequea Valley (3-2)
THE WINNER: Pequea Valley
THE REASON: I haven’t picked against the Braves yet this season and that has come back to bite me the last two weeks. However, I’m sticking with Pequea Valley because they are averaging over ten points more per game than the Crimson Tide and have allowed fewer points on defense.
THE GAME: Conestoga Valley (0-5) at Ephrata (0-5)
THE WINNER: Ephrata
THE REASON: Mercifully, something has to give this week. The Mountaineers are only averaging 14 points per game but the Buckskins are only averaging 10.2. Both teams have allowed at least 27 points in every game this year so this could be in incredible sloppy yet entertaining game.
THE GAME: Elizabethtown (2-3) at Lampeter-Strasburg (3-2)
THE WINNER: Lampeter-Strasburg
THE REASON: The Pioneers have rattled off three straight wins after losing their first two games and I expect them to keep rolling this week at home. L-S has averaged 35 points in the past three games while E-Town is coming off their best offensive performance last week after a 37-7 win over winless Conestoga Valley.
THE GAME: Fleetwood (3-2) at Northern Lebanon (2-3)
THE WINNER: Fleetwood
THE REASON: Northern Lebanon is a few plays away from a much better record. In their three losses, the Vikings have lost by just an average of 3.6 points. However, they will be running into a Tigers offense that is averaging 33.4 points per game and is only allowing 17.8. This could be a close game but I’m taking Fleetwood.
THE GAME: Garden Spot (4-1) at Annville-Cleona (0-5)
THE WINNER: Garden Spot
THE REASON: The Spartans bounced back from their loss to Donegal in a big way last week when they rolled Elco, 48-14. Garden Spot is simply too big and too talented for the Dutchmen to hang around for four quarters.
THE GAME: Manheim Township (3-2) at Cedar Crest (2-3)
THE WINNER: Cedar Crest
THE REASON: I’m not going to buy too much stock in the Falcons 35-0 loss to Wilson last week. Township’s offense is nowhere near as explosive as Wilson’s; averaging only 17 points per game. Edge goes to the home team here.
THE GAME: J.P. McCaskey (0-5) at Penn Manor (4-1)
THE WINNER: Penn Manor
THE REASON: Comets coach Todd Mealy called his team’s loss to Lancaster Catholic last week the worst game his team has played in two years. I can’t even imagine the week of practice Penn Manor has gone through and an angry Comets squad spells bad news for the Red Tornado.
THE GAME: Solanco (0-5) at Lebanon (3-2)
THE WINNER: Lebanon
THE REASON: The Cedars were embarrassed, 72-0 last week at Manheim Central and need a game to take out some aggression and build their confidence back up. This should be that game. The Mules are averaging less than seven points per game and are coming off a bad loss of their own after falling to Cocalico, 48-0.
THE GAME: Warwick (2-3) at Lancaster Catholic (2-3)
THE WINNER: Lancaster Catholic
THE REASON: The Crusaders pulled off an amazing final drive that ended in a Rafael Mateo game-winning catch against Penn Manor last week. After the game, Coach Bruce Harbach said that his team got their pulse back. I look for them to get a stronger heartbeat this week against the Warriors who have just been to inconsistent to feel confident about.
THE GAME: Wilson (5-0) at Hempfield (3-2)
THE WINNER: Wilson
THE REASON: This matchup is being overshadowed by Central/Cocalico but expect some serious physicality in Landisville Friday night. The Black Knights have outscored their opponents, 83-14 at home and sport some impressive size up front. However, it’s impossible to pick against Wilson until they reveal some real blemishes.
THE GAME: Cedar Cliff (5-0) at Palmyra (1-4)
THE WINNER: Cedar Cliff
THE REASON: Palmyra has been outscored 104-28 since their lone wine against Donegal in week three. This week should be more of the same when the Cougars host a Cedar Cliff team this is averaging 41.8 points per game while only allowing 10.