Are Northeastern and Eastern York for real?
By the end of Week 2, there will be a lot of good teams in the YAIAA with a loss. Central York already has one. So does Red Lion and York Suburban. And by 9 p.m. Saturday, either Dallastown or West York will have a loss, as well.
Here's two teams you might not have expected to be 2-0 entering Week 3: Eastern York and Northeastern. That's two teams that had a combined six wins last year. Heck, Northeastern is in its second season of football ever.
During the Kennard-Dale vs. Solanco livechat Friday night, the word "playoffs" was thrown out referring to Northeastern.
I know what you're thinking. Playoffs?
It may not be as crazy as it sounds. Are these Class AAA teams for real? Let's take a look.
Northeastern: The Bobcats defense has been stellar so far in a pair of shutout wins. That includes a 21-0 win against Biglerville Friday -- a team that routed Northeastern last year. The Bobcats perceived improvement in such a short time is impressive. As far as playoffs go? It could be tough. Northeastern visits Central York next week, and two of its real must-win Divison II games -- Kennard-Dale and Susquehannock -- are both away. Besides an Oct. 30 meeting with Fairfield, the Bobcats may not be a significant favorite in any of their remaining games. None of that's to say Northeastern can't make the playoffs, just that they might have to score a few upsets to do it. Regardless, a team starting 2-0 in its second year of existence? That's fairly remarkable.
Eastern York: The Golden Knights' competition so far (Columbia and Donegal) hasn't exactly set the world on fire recently. But Eastern has two big factors going for it. First, experience. The Knights return 18 starters from last year's team. The other factor is their schedule. Let's break things down real quick. Eastern visits Fairfield next week -- a game they won 30-0 last year. Besides that, the Golden Knights have home games against Kennard-Dale and Susquehannock (Division II opponents who have been less-than-stellar so far) as well as York County Tech. Who's to say Eastern can't win two of those three games? Assuming a victory against Fairfield, that makes five wins. Steal another game somewhere and that could be all it takes. Remember, Kennard-Dale made the playoffs last year with a 5-5 record and only one really impressive win (Littlestown).
Here's the kicker: Guess which two teams play the final week of the regular season? That's right, Eastern York and Northeastern (with the Bobcats playing host). Could you imagine if both those teams go into that game with four, five, even six wins? Could be a lot of fun.
I know, I know. I'm getting way ahead of the game here. I'll freely admit I haven't seen either team play yet. And regardless, it's tough to know where Kennard-Dale and Susquehannock fit into the Division II picture. The Rams started last year 0-3 before sneaking into the playoffs, and the Warriors have run up against great competition so far.
Believe me, I'm not putting either in the playoffs yet. But if Eastern York or Northeastern could make a run at a postseason spot, it would make for a heck of a story.