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When Mike Lippy stood in front of his Littlestown football team in those final, tense moments before its meeting with Delone Catholic last week, the Bolts coach didn't get animated or raise his voice. No rah-rah rants or pump-up speeches here.

Instead, he spoke with a calm tone, as if carrying on a conversation with the dozens of padded players in front of him.

"I told them I really am a firm believer in fate," Lippy (pictured above) recalled this week. "I thought last year when we lost two games to Delone, I thought those losses propelled us to dig real deep and think, 'What did we need to address? What did we need to change before playing them again? What did we need to do to be able to beat those guys?'

"I thought those two losses really prepared us to play them again this year."

We all know what happened after that pregame chat. Littlestown played immaculate football, rolling up a 38-7 lead on their neighborhood rivals before easing off the accelerator in the fourth quarter.

"Very few times do you plan something and rep it and rep it and rep it, and that's exactly how it turns out," Lippy said. "I can honestly tell you that Friday night, take away the last ten minutes of the game, and that's how it worked out for us."

Now, it seems natural to wonder if anybody in Division III can challenge Littlestown, which visits Biglerville Friday at 7 p.m.

On the surface at least, the Bolts have all the essentials. They have a dynamic quarterback in Austin Reynolds, a senior who watched each of his last three seasons end via injury. Through three games, he's done a good job making up for lost time: He's second in the YAIAA in passing yards (548) and eighth in rushing yards (295). He's already thrown for 10 touchdowns.

Reynolds is surrounded by plenty of skill position talent, led by running back Sean Doherty (235 rushing yards, 7 TDs) and receiver Seth Wren (231 yards, 3 TDs).

And that's all before you mention Littlestown's defense, which has allowed a grand total of 36 points so far. Twenty-two of those points were scored late in the fourth quarter of blowouts, with Littlestown's starters already on the sidelines.

The big talking point defensively this week for the Bolts was the return of 6-foot-7, 375-pound (no, that's not a typo) defensive tackle Isaac Dori to the lineup. The junior, who missed the first two games because of academic ineligibility, made four tackles and clogged up the middle against Delone Catholic's persistent running attack.

"He was on the team last year, but he didn't really play varsity-wise," Lippy said. "He was just a big, raw-boned kid. ... He finally got his chance to play Friday night and he did really well.

"You can coach all you want, but you can't coach 6-foot-7, 375. That's not just walking up and down the hallways all day long."

So who, if anybody, can beat Littlestown in the regular season? The obvious candidate would seem to be York Catholic, which visits Littlestown in two weeks. The Irish have rebounded nicely from a Week 1 slip-up against Kennard-Dale, having earned wins against Bermudian Springs and Fairfield. But you'd have to think, at this point at least, York Catholic would need its very best game to beat Littlestown.

Granted, it's only Week 3. And last week's win over Delone Catholic was just that -- one win.

But for right now, Littlestown seems to have the pieces to do damage beyond just the YAIAA.

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