Time flies when you’re having fun and picking high school football games. As Week 9 approaches and the chances to make noise in the section and district races decrease, now is the time when teams can make their final few statements of the season.
Last Week: 11-1
THE GAME: Solanco (8-0, 5-0) at Cocalico (4-4, 3-2)
THE WINNER: Solanco
THE REASON: The Eagles are reeling coming off a rough 21-15 loss to rival Manheim Central last week and are all but out of the Section Two race. However, Cocalico is also on the outside looking in when it comes to the District 3 playoffs (currently sitting at 19). A win over Solanco would go a long way in helping their cause.
I can’t pick against the Mules though with their aggressive run game and ability to control the clock while limiting turnovers.
In the end, this game could be over in less than an hour with the amount of times these two teams run the ball.
THE WINNER: Northern Lebanon
THE REASON: With both teams being heavily favored to win their Week 10 matchups, this could be a Section Three championship game for Donegal, who is hoping to at least get a share of the title.
Furthermore, both the Indians (25) and the Vikings (17) are outside of the Class AAA playoff picture right now and a win this week might be necessary to make a final push inside the top 16.
I like Northern Lebanon’s size up front and the fact that they are playing with a bit of a chip on their shoulder right now.
THE GAME: Garden Spot (4-4, 2-3) at Manheim Central (6-2, 4-1)
THE WINNER: Manheim Central
THE REASON: To elevate their Week 10 matchup with Solanco to “epic” status, the Barons will have to take care of Garden Spot, who is clinging to the final playoff spot in Class AAA right now.
Central showed a lot of resiliency last week with their comeback win over Cocalico and could be getting ready to play their best football of the year.
THE GAME: Conestoga Valley (3-5, 2-3) at Cedar Crest (3-5, 2-3)
THE WINNER: Cedar Crest
THE REASON: Neither of these teams is completely out of the playoff picture with the Falcons at the no. 17 spot and CV coming in at no. 19.
Cedar Crest has already ran their gauntlet in Section One (with competitiveness) and two more wins could very well slip them into the Class AAAA playoffs.
Give me the battle-tested Falcons in this one over a Buckskins team that allows nearly 40 points per week.
THE GAME: Hamburg (4-4) at Pequea Valley (4-4)
THE WINNER: Pequea Valley
THE REASON: There are a number of things for the Braves to play for in this one.
If they want to register their first winning record in school history, they must have this game. Also, Hamburg is currently resting in the final playoff spot in Class AAA with Pequea two spots behind.
This week is the perfect week for the Braves to make a statement about their 2015 season, which has been ho-hum to this point.
THE GAME: Manheim Township (6-2, 4-1) at JP McCaskey (3-5, 2-3)
THE WINNER: Manheim Township
THE REASON: The Streaks had a real letdown game against Wilson last week and they’ll have to battle through those emotions this week when they travel to McCaskey to take on the Red Tornado, who are four spots out of the Class AAAA picture.
I don’t expect any upsets but I do expect this to be a little closer than expected.
THE GAME: Hempfield (7-1, 4-1) at Warwick (2-6, 1-4)
THE WINNER: Hempfield
THE REASON: The Knights have an interesting matchup with Manheim Township in Week 10 so they’ll have to make sure this Week 9 game on the road isn’t taken for granted.
If Hempfield has their mind right, there’s no reason to pick against them in this game.
THE GAME: Columbia (1-7, 1-3) at Annville-Cleona (5-3, 1-3)
THE WINNER: Annville-Cleona
THE REASON: The Little Dutchmen are sitting at the no. 6 spot in the Class AA playoff picture right now and can’t afford to slip up against Columbia, who sits at the no. 7 spot in Class A.
The Crimson Tide is yielding 38.5 points per game while only just over 20.
THE GAME: Ephrata (0-8, 0-5) at Elco (4-4, 4-1)
THE WINNER: Elco
THE REASON: Plenty of pride to play for in this one. If the Raiders want a shot at a winning record, they need this game.
Meanwhile, the Mounts are running out of chances to clinch their first win of the 2015 season.
When it comes down to it, Ephrata just doesn’t score enough points for me to pick them.
THE GAME: Lancaster Catholic (3-5, 2-3) at Elizabethtown (0-8, 0-5)
THE WINNER: Lancaster Catholic
THE REASON: The Bears are averaging just 8.6 points per game.
That won’t be enough to compete with a Crusaders offense led by dual-threat Bryan Downey.
THE GAME: Lampeter-Strasburg (6-2, 4-1) at Lebanon (2-6, 0-5)
THE WINNER: Lampeter-Strasburg
THE REASON: The Cedars give up way too many points (44ppg) to keep up with the Bear Shank-led Pioneers offense.
THE GAME: Penn Manor (0-8, 0-5) at Wilson (7-1, 5-0)
THE WINNER: Wilson
THE REASON: The Comets are averaging just 10.5 points per game. The Bulldogs are only allowing about 10.5 points per game. This isn’t a good equation for Penn Manor.