YAIAA football power rankings, Sept. 13
The rain has finally stopped (for now, at least) but not before making a mess of the Week 2 football schedule. Several local teams had to wait until Monday night to play their second game of the season. That means many teams will be dealing with short weeks, as we plow forward toward the meat of the high school gridiron schedule.
For now, here's a peak at our latest power rankings, which look a good bit different from our Week 1 top ten.
1. Delone Catholic (3) -- For all the talk of a more balanced offense, the Squires have actually thrown the ball less than they did early in last season. Delone (2-0) has passed 17 times so far this year, versus 22 in its first two games in 2010. The difference is that the Squires have been so much more efficient through the air this season. Junior quarterback Brett Smith has completed 11 of 15 passes for 235 yards, three touchdowns and no picks. Delone won't likely stray from its ground-and-pound roots, but teams know the Squires can throw the ball if needed. That makes a big difference.
2. Dover (4) -- The Eagles' second win may not have been as lopsided as their first, but it showed a different side of this senior-laden group. Dover smothered Garden Spot last Friday, holding the Spartans to 197 yards. It was evidence of a defense that Eagles and head coach Bill Miller feel should be significantly improved from last season. Team that with a steady run attack, and you have an intriguing football team.
3. Bermudian Springs (5) -- It looks like the Eagles (2-0) have another fine running back tandem on their hands. Last year it was Tyler Fitzkee and Austin Keller, the YAIAA' s first- and third-leading rushers, respectively. This season its Fitzkee and fellow senior Adam Berryman. The pair have thrived in Bermudian's bulldozing ground game, combining for 548 rushing yards and nine touchdowns so far. Fitzkee (pictured above) scored five touchdowns in a win against York Catholic last week.
4. Central York (T-1) -- The Panthers took an early lead against Cumberland Valley but couldn't make it last. Much like Red Lion last week, we can't penalize Central (1-1) too much for a loss to the district's resident quad-A bully. Indeed, the Panthers made of a game of it for a while. Central should fatten up on the next section of its schedule, with games against Hempfield, New Oxford and Susquehannock.
5. West York (7) -- Talk about a statement win. The Bulldogs' defense, full of players still growing into starting roles, shut down Berks County power Governor Mifflin in a 14-0 win last Saturday. West York need a boost in confidence after a draining defeat to Central York on opening night. Now West York just need to get its offense on track. (The Bulldogs have scored a total of 21 points in two games.) Knowing some of the weapons it has, that shouldn't be too much of a problem.
6. South Western (T-1) -- The Mustangs ran into a Cedar Cliff group this week teamed loads of experience with a huge stockpile of talent. The result wasn't pretty: A four-touchdown defeat split over two days because of weather. Still a lot of things to like about South Western. An important bounce-back game against Lower Dauphin at Hersheypark Stadium awaits.
7. York Suburban (9) -- What a difference a year makes. This new version of the Trojans -- a high-scoring, big-play bunch -- bears no resemblance to the team's 2010 version. York Suburban (2-0) has already scored almost as many points in two games (69) as it did all of last season (74). With York County Tech up next, you'd think there's a good chance that trend could continue for at least one more week. Then the big boys come calling: Delone in Week 4, Bermudian in Week 5.
8. Littlestown (NR) -- Now that's more like the Thunderbolts program we've come to know. Littlestown laid a mercy-rule pasting on Hanover, and rediscovered the offense that had abandoned them Week 1 against Boiling Springs.
9. William Penn (NR) -- I think this is your wild card team in Division I. Not sure they can compete for a title, but the Bearcats have some solid size up front, and a group of skill players that should get better as the season goes on. Tavon Parker has shined at quarterback. This is the sort of team that can sneak up and surprise somebody.
T-10. Red Lion (6) -- I have a feeling the Lions (0-2) won't be staying here for long. That two-loss start is deceiving, when you consider Red Lion lost Week 1 to powerhouse Cumberland Valley and absorbed a heartbreaking to a very good Manheim Township team last Friday. This is a good football team.
T-10. Northeastern (T-10) -- The Bobcats had a rough Monday night across the river, dropping a 20-8 decision to Columbia. The schedule doesn't get any easier. Shippensburg comes to town this week, followed by a visit from William Penn and a road trip to Dallastown. Realistically, Northeastern probably needs to snag at least one of those three if it wants to keep its hopes of finishing .500 alive.