I came crashing back to reality last week after going 11-7 in week two. I used my head instead of my gut in a few picks and it came back to bite me. This week, I’m shooting from the hip and picking on instinct.
Last week’s record: 11-6
Overall record: 27-8
THE GAME: Cocalico (2-0) at Cedar Cliff (1-1)
THE WINNER: Cedar Cliff
THE REASON: The Colts rebounded from their trip to Ireland much better than Penn Manor did and was able to defeat South Western, 55-33. While Cocalico has looked sharp in their first two victories of the year, they’re working on a short week since this game is on Thursday night at Cedar Cliff. I’m giving the edge to the home team even though I believe the Eagles will be able to score a lot of points.
THE GAME: Cedar Crest (1-1) at Manheim Central (1-1)
THE WINNER: Manheim Central
THE REASON: Cedar Crest is going into a real hornet nest this week when they travel to Manheim to take on a Barons squad that has been stewing all week after a tough loss at Hempfield. Central made some uncharacteristic errors last Friday but look for them to coming out swinging hard. I like the Barons to win big here.
THE GAME: Reading (1-1) at McCaskey (1-1)
THE WINNER: McCaskey
THE REASON: I was waiting for McCaskey to prove me wrong and it only took them until week two to do it. The Red Tornado has a lot of talent and after defeating William Penn last week, they could be building up some momentum for this week in their home opener. McCaskey’s defense fixed some errors last week and if they can hold Reading to under 24 points, they should be in a great position to win.
THE GAME: Penn Manor (1-1) at Dallastown (2-0)
THE WINNER: Penn Manor
THE REASON: The Comets couldn’t follow up their win in Ireland with an encore against Lampeter-Strasburg. I’ll chalk it up to jet lag for now and I expect Todd Mealy to get his team prepared and fired up to bounce back against Dallastown this week.
THE GAME: Lampeter-Strasburg (1-1) at Conestoga Valley (1-1)
THE WINNER: Lampeter-Strasburg
THE REASON: L-S is riding high after their thrilling victory over Penn Manor last week while the Buckskins landed back to reality after they followed up their 70-0 win over Ephrata with a 26-7 loss to Solanco. The Pioneers have proven that they won’t quit at any time so far this season and I expect another big game from quarterback Bear Shank and the L-S offense this week.
THE GAME: Solanco (2-0) at West Chester Henderson (1-1)
THE WINNER: WC Henderson
THE REASON: I foolishly picked against Solanco last week and Mules fans will have a chance to chastise me again this week. I must admit that Solanco has played really well in the first two weeks but I think their hour trip east could prove to be their first loss of the season. The Warriors are coming off a one-point loss to Bayard Rustin and should be amped up to take a crack at the Mules. However, if Solanco can get their run game working with quarterback Noah McCardell and tailback Robbie Hassel, the Mules will have every chance to win this game. With that being said, I’ll accept all criticism if Solanco rolls this week.
THE GAME: Exeter (2-0) at Garden Spot (2-0)
THE WINNER: Garden Spot
THE REASON: The Spartans have essentially had total control in both of their wins this season including a ten-point win over Warwick last week. Quarterback Mitch Martin has already racked up six touchdowns with 540 yards with only one interception. I look for Garden Spot’s offense to continue rolling and possibly get their run game more involved.
THE GAME: Elizabethtown (0-2) at Middletown (1-1)
THE WINNER: Middletown
THE REASON: This could be a toss-up game but I am leaning towards the Blue Raiders simply because E-Town hasn’t shown that they can score enough points to win a game. The Bears have notched just one touchdown in each of their first two games and while Middletown hasn’t been much better, they have at least put together a three-touchdown performance last week against Northern York.
THE GAME: Donegal (1-1) at Palmyra (1-1)
THE WINNER: Donegal
THE REASON: Both of these teams were moderate surprises last week. Palmyra surprised a lot of folks with a 41-30 win over Elco and the Indians surprisingly fell flat in a 61-27 loss to Fleetwood. I expect Donegal to fix whatever was ailing them last week and get back on their feet against the Cougars.
THE GAME: Ephrata (0-2) at Warwick (0-2)
THE WINNER: Warwick
THE REASON: Here’s a stat: Ephrata has been outscored 135-0 in their first two games. That is not a typo. Warwick is most likely going to use this game as a chance to really work on their run game and clock control. I don’t think we’re going to see a 70-0 score this week but I still expect Warwick to roll. I sincerely hope the Mounts can get on the board this week, however.
THE GAME: Octorara (1-1) at Pequea Valley (2-0)
THE WINNER: Pequea Valley
THE REASON: I’m not getting off the PV bandwagon this week as they welcome Octorara to Kinzers. Coach Mike Choi has said that he truly believes his team will be increasingly better every week which has held true so far. PV scored eleven more points and allowed two less last week against Kutztown and I think they continue to ride that momentum this week.
THE GAME: Trinity (1-1) at Columbia (0-2)
THE WINNER: Trinity
THE REASON: Columbia is allowing a lot of points so far after giving up 35 to Eastern York and 48 to Delone Catholic last week. To make matters worse, the Crimson Tide have only score 21 total points and will have to be a little stronger up front if they want to compete in this game.
THE GAME: Littlestown (1-1) at Lancaster Catholic (0-2)
THE WINNER: Littlestown
THE REASON: Before the season began, Catholic coach Bruce Harbach said his team couldn’t afford to start 0-3 like they did in 2013. However, the Crusaders are on the cusp on repeating such a situation this week when they host Littlestown. Quarterback Jordan Scott improved last week against Governor Mifflin, completing 13-of-22 passes for 208 yards and two touchdowns but if the Crusaders want to win this this game, they’ll need more out of their run game while trying to tighten some things up on defense.
THE GAME: Manheim Township (1-1) at Governor Mifflin (1-1)
THE WINNER: Governor Mifflin
THE REASON: Township didn’t let their week one heartbreaker get in the way of 47-6 beatdown of Red Lion last week much like Governor Mifflin didn’t carry their tough week one loss to Wilson with them while they took down Lancaster Catholic, 44-19. This should be a heck of a game but I’m going to favor the home team in this one because I think they have a little more offensive firepower.
THE GAME: Wilson (2-0) at Central Dauphin (2-0)
THE WINNER: Wilson
THE REASON: The Bulldogs will travel outside of Reading for the first time this regular season when they travel to Harrisburg to take on undefeated Central Dauphin. This is another matchup that should be highly entertaining. Both teams have showed they can pull victory from the grasp of defeat but I’m rolling with Wilson because I expect quarterback Jake Templin to have a bounce-back game after throwing three picks last week against CD East.
THE GAME: Central York (0-2) at Hempfield (2-0)
THE WINNER: Hempfield
THE REASON: Here’s my hot take on the Knights: they are for real. Hempfield put together a very solid performance in their win over Manheim Central last week and took care of business on offense and defense. I’m rolling with the Knights this week over the winless Panthers.
Lebanon County picks
Elco at Lebanon
Hamburg at Northern Lebanon
Annville-Cleona at Schuylkill Valley
For more Lebanon County picks, check in with out friends at the Lebanon Daily News.