It’s getting to be crunch time in the L-L League and this week will give us a much better idea who is going to grab those coveted section crowns. Some teams are working on short rest this due to last weekend’s rainstorms forcing some games to be played later than scheduled.
LAST WEEK: 11-2
THE GAME: Cocalico (6-1) at Lampeter-Strasburg (4-3)
THE WINNER: Cocalico
THE REASON: The Pioneers have a quick turnaround after playing Manheim Central on Monday (lost 56-31) and will face an equally tough opponent in Cocalico this Friday. The Eagles blew out Lebanon last Saturday, 48-0 thanks in part to tailback Spencer Moser rushing for 127 yards with three total touchdowns. L-S will have to find a way to slow down the high-powered Eagles offense if they want to keep it close. The winner of this game will have sole possession of second place in Section Two.
THE GAME: Annville-Cleona (2-5) at Pequea Valley (3-4)
THE WINNER: Annville-Cleona
THE REASON: Talk about two teams heading in two entirely different directions. The Braves have lost four straight since starting the season 3-0 while the Dutchmen have won two straight section games over Garden Spot and Columbia. All the momentum is with A-C who has scored an average of 34.5 in the past two weeks while Pequea Valley is averaging a mere 9 in their last two weeks.
THE GAME: Cedar Crest (2-5) at J.P. McCaskey (0-7)
THE WINNER: Cedar Crest
THE REASON: The Falcons haven’t been sharp the last few weeks; getting outscored by a total of 110-33 in their last three games. However, McCaskey hasn’t scored more than one touchdown in a game since Sept. 13 and are allowing an average of 39 points per game.
THE GAME: Elco (2-5) at Columbia (3-4)
THE WINNER: Elco
THE REASON: This is a tricky game because of both teams’ inconsistency. However, I’ll go with the Raiders because they have shown that they can put points on the board after their 59-20 performance over Northern Lebanon.
THE GAME: Garden Spot (5-2) at Northern Lebanon (2-5)
THE WINNER: Garden Spot
THE REASON: The Spartans aspirations of a Section Three title are fading fast with a 1-2 section record. Meanwhile, the Vikings find themselves in a tie for second place at 2-1. Despite section records, Garden Spot possesses too much muscle and firepower for Northern Lebanon to handle. The Vikings are giving up an average of 28.7 points per game.
THE GAME: Hempfield (4-3) at Lancaster Catholic (3-4)
THE WINNER: Lancaster Catholic
THE REASON: The Crusaders had a golden chance to jump to the head of Section One last week against Wilson but ultimately fell, 24-17. Now Hempfield is coming into town and this game should be physical in every sense of the word. I’m predicting a low-scoring game with both teams trying to control the ball and line of scrimmage.
THE GAME: Lebanon (4-3) at Conestoga Valley (2-5)
THE WINNER: Lebanon
THE REASON: If you subtract their overwhelming blowout losses to Manheim Central and Cocalico, the Cedars are averaging almost 38 points per game in 2013. The Buckskins however, finally scored over 20 points last week when they defeated Solanco, 23-13.
THE GAME: Manheim Central (7-0) at Ephrata (0-7)
THE WINNER: Manheim Central
THE REASON: After tallying their 500th win on Monday against Lampeter-Strasburg, there’s no reason to think that the Barons will slip up this week against the winless Mountaineers.
THE GAME: Schuylkill (4-3) Valley at Donegal (5-2)
THE WINNER: Donegal
THE REASON: The Indians are riding a four-game winning streak and currently have control of Section Three. Although it’s a non-section matchup, look for Donegal to continue its current intensity and have a solid day running the ball against the Panthers.
THE GAME: Warwick (3-4) at Penn Manor (6-1)
THE WINNER: Penn Manor
THE REASON: The Comets have outscored their opponents, 90-21 since losing to Lancaster Catholic on Sept. 27. For all intents and purposes, Penn Manor has to have this game to make next week’s showdown with Wilson worth something.
THE GAME: Wilson (7-0) at Manheim Township (4-3)
THE WINNER: Wilson
THE REASON: With Manheim Township, it seems like the games are always close but Wilson may have had a wake-up call last week in their nail-biter against Lancaster Catholic. Look for the Bulldogs to come out of the gates strong with some big plays.
THE GAME: Elizabethtown (3-4) at Solanco (0-7)
THE WINNER: E-Town
THE REASON: Although the Bears have yet to win on the road, their offense should provide enough points to beat the Mules are who still averaging under 10 points per game.