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We’re coming down the stretch of the regular season and this week could decide a lot of team’s fates as they make a mad dash for the District 3 playoffs.

Last week’s record: 9-3

Overall record: 83-28

Correct pick percentage: 75%

THE GAME: Cocalico (6-2) at Solanco (5-3)

THE WINNER: Cocalico

THE REASON: At the beginning of the season, no one probably saw this game as a crucial Section Two showdown. However, a lot is riding on this game as Cocalico is back in the section race after downing Manheim Central last week. The Mules have plenty to play for as well with their playoffs hopes alive and well as of right now. Though Cocalico’s starting quarterback Dante Haines is most likely out, sophomore Brady Sawyer proved he could handle the Eagles’ decision-heavy veer offense. I’m going with Cocalico mainly because they got a big emotional boost from their win last week and have numerous weapons in the backfield. Don’t expect a cake walk in Quarryville, though.

THE GAME: Lebanon (2-6) at Lampeter-Strasburg (6-2)

THE WINNER: L-S

THE REASON: The Pioneers are coming off a solid 35-21 victory over Lancaster Catholic while the Cedars finally scored some points last week against Garden Spot but once again, gave up over 40 on defense. L-S needs to most likely win out to get a share of the Section Two title so a loss of motivation shouldn’t be expected. The Pioneers should put up plenty of points to win this week.

THE GAME: Donegal (6-2) at Northern Lebanon (7-1)

THE WINNER: Northern Lebanon

THE REASON: Northern Lebanon jumped into the driver’s seat for Section Three with a 32-24 win over Annville-Cleona last week. The Vikings can put themselves in a prime position with a win over Donegal this week since Columbia is their week 10 opponents. While both teams average about 30 points per game, Northern Lebanon allows almost a touchdown less on defense. I’m rolling with the home team in this one.

THE GAME: Wilson (8-0) at Penn Manor (6-2)

THE WINNER: Wilson

THE REASON: This was assumed to be the Section One deciding game at the beginning of the year and still could be when all is said and done. This is a game both sides have been looking forward to all season and emotions should be running high in Millersville. I have to go with Wilson simply because the team doesn’t have any glaring weaknesses. Penn Manor is certainly no slouch and should give the Bulldogs competitive game however.

THE GAME: Annville-Cleona (6-2) at Columbia (2-6)

THE WINNER: Cocalico

THE REASON: The Dutchmen suffered a rough loss to Northern Lebanon last week and a trip to Columbia might be what they need to get back on track. The Crimson Tide have given up 40+ points in three of their last five games so expect A-C to follow suit in that aspect.

THE GAME: Elizabethtown (0-8) at Lancaster Catholic (3-5)

THE WINNER: Lancaster Catholic

THE REASON: While the Crusaders aren’t playing their best football as of recent, they are big enough up front and have enough playmakers to take care of the Bears. E-Town is allowing almost 39 points per game so far in 2014.

THE GAME: Pequea Valley (4-4) at Hamburg (1-7)

THE WINNER: Pequea Valley

THE REASON: Hey, here’s a shocker; I’m picking Pequea Valley. In keeping with tradition, I’m taking the Braves on the road and I truly like how they match up this week. Hamburg is yielding over 32 points per game this season. Meanwhile, Pequea is allowing just 19.5. If the Braves can limit their turnovers, they’ll have plenty of opportunities to score this week. This would be Pequea’s fifth win; an accomplishment no one on the current team has ever experienced. There is plenty of motivation here.

THE GAME: Cedar Crest (2-6) at Conestoga Valley (2-6)

THE WINNER: Conestoga Valley

THE REASON: Both of these teams give up a lot of points but I’m going to give the edge to CV because their offense has shown (at times) that they can get into a track meet if that’s how the game begins to flow.

THE GAME: Manheim Central (6-2) at Garden Spot (6-2)

THE WINNER: Manheim Central

THE REASON: If the Spartans want any chance of slipping back into the section race, they’ll have to find a way to upend the Barons this week. However, they will be hosting a Central team that is looking for some retribution after falling to archrival Cocalico last week. Coach Mike Williams expressed last Friday that he’d be disappointed if his team didn’t have a great week of practice and came into Friday’s game with a lot of passion. That could be trouble for Garden Spot, who has dropped two of three since starting the season 5-0.

THE GAME: Elco (3-5) at Ephrata (0-8)

THE WINNER: Elco

THE REASON: There isn’t much to explain other than the Mounts are giving up over 48 points per game and are averaging just 2.5 points per game on offense. Despite some of their troubles, Elco should come out with a win.

THE GAME: McCaskey (3-5) at Manheim Township (5-3)

THE WINNER: Manheim Township

THE REASON: Both teams are coming off meaningful losses with the Streaks falling to Wilson in a Section One showdown and McCaskey losing leverage in the playoff race with a loss to Cedar Crest. I expect Township to take care of business at home this week against an inconsistent McCaskey defense.

THE GAME: Warwick (2-6) at Hempfield (5-3)

THE WINNER: Hempfield

THE REASON: The Black Knights’ offense looks to be back on track after scoring 34 and 38 points in the past two weeks while Warwick hasn’t scored over 20 points in a game since week two. I expect Hempfield to control the ball and keep Warwick out of the endzone.

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