It’s Week 8 and this is the time when teams are hoping to have a final burst to end their seasons on high notes or gain momentum as the playoffs near. Let’s see if I can predict who will soar and who will flame out.
Last Week: 10-2
THE GAME: Wilson (6-1, 4-0) and Manheim Township (6-1, 4-0)
THE WINNER: Wilson
THE REASON: At the beginning of the season, this was the game that was circled as the possible Section One championship game and it looks like that premonition is coming true.
This is a very difficult game to pick with Township’s explosive offense (34.8 ppg) and Wilson’s stonewall defense that allows just 8.5 points per game.
I think if Township can score over 20 points; they’ll be in a real solid position to win the game.
That’s much easier said than done however. This should be a great game but I’ll give the edge to the Bulldogs, who tallied their 54th straight league win last week vs Conestoga Valley.
THE GAME: Manheim Central (5-2, 3-1) at Cocalico (4-3, 3-1)
THE WINNER: Cocalico
THE REASON: This is certainly one of the better rivalries in the L-L so nothing that happens in the game will surprise me.
With the Barons dropping a rough 40-27 game to Lampeter-Strasburg last week, there is now a logjam of one-loss teams trailing undefeated Solanco in Section Two.
I picked Cocalico to win the section before the season began and if they want any practical shot at completing that mission, they need to take this game at home against a banged-up Barons squad.
THE GAME: Cedar Crest (2-5, 1-3) at JP McCaskey (3-4, 2-2)
THE WINNER: Cedar Crest
THE REASON: The Falcons have held their own against some of the elite teams in Section One, the most recent being a 38-35 loss to one-loss Hempfield.
If Cedar Crest can get a win on the road this Friday, they end their season one a two-game homestand that could get them to a .500 season.
THE GAME: Hempfield (6-1, 3-1) at Conestoga Valley (3-4, 2-2)
THE WINNER: Hempfield
THE REASON: The Knights didn’t play their best game against Cedar Crest last week but they could have still been reeling after their heartbreaking loss to Wilson the week before.
Either way, Conestoga Valley gives up a ton of points (39.4) and it’s unlikely the Buckskins can score enough points on offense to keep up with Hempfield.
THE GAME: Warwick (1-6, 0-4) at Penn Manor (0-7, 0-4)
THE WINNER: Warwick
THE REASON: Both of these teams would love to tally a win this week with two tough games looming at the end of the season.
The Warriors and Comets both give up a boat load of points but Warwick averages about 10 more points per game on offense and that just might be enough to win this game.
THE GAME: Lancaster Catholic (3-4, 2-2) at Lampeter-Strasburg (5-2, 3-1)
THE WINNER: Lampeter-Strasburg
THE REASON: The Pioneers are playing their best football of the year right now, which was evident after watching quarterback Bear Shank’s six-touchdown performance against Manheim Central last week.
With their defense tightening things up and their offense firing on all cylinders, I have to roll with L-S to down the Crusaders this week.
THE GAME: Elizabethtown (0-7, 0-4) at Solanco (7-0, 4-0)
THE WINNER: Solanco
THE REASON: Sometimes when an undefeated team takes on a winless team, the undefeated team will look past that game in anticipation of bigger games.
However, I can’t imagine Solanco coach Anthony Cox allowing his players to focus on anything besides Friday night’s game against the Bears to reach 8-0.
THE GAME: Lebanon (1-6, 0-4) at Garden Spot (3-4, 1-3)
THE WINNER: Garden Spot
THE REASON: The Spartans are on the outside looking in right now in the district playoff picture. If they want to start crawling back into the picture, they must have this game against a Lebanon squad that is on a four-game losing streak in which they’ve yielded nearly 200 points.
THE GAME: Elco (3-4, 3-1) at Columbia (1-6, 1-2)
THE WINNER: Elco
THE REASON: The Crimson Tide finally registered a win after downing Ephrata last week while Elco’s section title hopes took a hit after a heartbreaking 44-41 loss to Northern Lebanon.
The Raiders’ playoff chances are slim but I still expect them to come out and defeat Columbia, who is giving up almost 40 points per game.
THE GAME: Pequea Valley (3-4, 1-3) at Ephrata (0-7, 0-3)
THE WINNER: Pequea Valley
THE REASON: If the Braves are still set on registering their first winning season in school history, they’ll have to win out the rest of the season.
They have a favorable matchup this week against the winless Mounts, who have given up 310 points in seven games so far this year.
THE GAME: Donegal (4-3, 3-1) at Schuylkill Valley (2-5, 2-2)
THE WINNER: Donegal
THE REASON: A win this week won’t help the Indians in the Section Three race but they definitely need it if they want any outside shot at slipping into the playoffs.
THE WINNER: Northern Lebanon
THE REASON: The Vikings haven’t been blowing teams out recently but they have found a way to escape with three-point wins over Williams Valley and Elco the past two weeks.
Despite an undefeated section record, the Section Three race is still wide open so don’t expect Northern Lebanon to take this game lightly.
I like the Vikings’ size up front so I’m taking them in a close game.