John Buffone, Pat Huggins and new co-host Matt Catrillo break down three intriguing Week 4 matchups in the Lancaster-Lebanon League. Video by John Buffone
Week 4 marks the beginning of section play in the L-L. While the first section game won’t make or break a title bid, a 1-0 record can go a long way in providing some much-needed momentum.
Record last week: 12-8
Overall record: 41-15
Winning percentage: 73%
THE GAME: Manheim Central (3-0) at Lampeter-Strasburg (3-0)
THE WINNER: Manheim Central
THE REASON: I changed this pick about five times and right before time ran out on me, I rolled with the Barons.
On offense, both teams are fully capable of explosive plays.
Defensively though, the Barons have only allowed 17 points this season while scoring 156. This game could very well come down to a big defensive play and in that aspect, I’ll give the edge to the Barons.
However, I wouldn’t be surprised with any result.
THE GAME: Penn Manor (0-3) at Lebanon (1-2)
THE WINNER: Lebanon
THE REASON: While the Comets are making strides, I’m going with the home team in this Section One matchup. The Cedars have put up some good offensive numbers against solid defenses so far this season and I expect them to edge Penn Manor this Friday.
THE GAME: Conestoga Valley (2-1) at McCaskey (2-1)
THE WINNER: Conestoga Valley
THE REASON: The Buckskins went down fighting last week; dropping a 35-26 game to L-S in the Lampeter Bowl but they were able to show off their multi-faceted offense. With quarterback Grant Stoltzfus, receiver Jose Barbon and tailback Connor Brinton, CV is going to continue to take steps in the right direction in 2016.
THE GAME: Ephrata (0-3) at Cedar Crest (2-1)
THE WINNER: Cedar Crest
THE REASON: The Mounts put up a better scoring effort last week but are giving up nearly 49 points per game while scoring just under 10. It will be hard for Ephrata to get in the win column this week against the Falcons, who could very easily be undefeated at this point.
THE GAME: Wilson (2-1) at Warwick (2-1)
THE WINNER: Wilson
THE REASON: The Warriors get the unusual and undesirable task of hosting Wilson after a loss. Look for the Bulldogs to set the tone early in this one.
THE GAME: Hempfield (0-3) at Manheim Township (1-2)
THE WINNER: Manheim Township
THE REASON: This game may end up being much closer than some think with two of Hempfield’s losses coming within six or less points.
I like Manheim Township’s offense a little better at this point so I’ll give them the advantage.
THE GAME: Solanco (1-2) at Garden Spot (2-1)
THE WINNER: Garden Spot
THE REASON: Both of these teams are going to try to establish run games in this one but if Solanco is going to keep up, they’ll need to plug up some of the holes on defense. The Mules have given up 46 and 47 points the past two weeks.
THE GAME: Elizabethtown (3-0) at Cocalico (1-2)
THE WINNER: Cocalico
THE REASON: This game is all-of-a-sudden much more interesting than most thought it would be before the start of the season. The Bears are rolling with their efficient offense and turnover-loving defense.
On the other side, Cocalico could very easily be 2-1 or 3-0 with two rough losses to start the season and head coach Dave Gingrich has now had three weeks to work out the kinks and get the Eagles’ veer offense ready to run.
THE GAME: Pequea Valley (3-1) at Northern Lebanon (1-2)
THE WINNER: Pequea Valley
THE REASON: Northern Lebanon gave up a ton of yards on the ground to Daniel Boone last week (270, to be exact) and that bodes well for Pequea Valley’s offense that loves to keep opposing defensive lines and linebackers guessing with their ground game.
Also, Northern Lebanon may be without Luke Funck this week which would put the Vikings at an even greater disadvantage.
THE GAME: Lancaster Catholic (2-1) at Berks Catholic (3-0)
THE WINNER: Berks Catholic
THE REASON: The Crusaders scraped out a close 12-10 victory over Trinity last week but this Friday they are heading on the road to take on a Berks Catholic squad that has pitched two shutouts on defense so far this season in addition to averaging 41 points per game.
THE GAME: Columbia (0-2) at Donegal (0-3)
THE WINNER: Donegal
THE REASON: Although Donegal has yet to score a point this season, I like them to get on track this week. The Indians have a number of players who can make things happen with the ball and this should be the week they starting cracking the goal line.
LEBANON COUNTY PICK
Annville-Cleona at Elco
The GameTimePA crew breaks down Week 4 matchups in the Lancaster, Hanover, Franklin-Fulton, York and Lebanon regions. Video by John Buffone