YAIAA football power rankings, Oct. 13
For the first time this season, we have a new No. 1. Bermudian Springs' 22-15 win over Delone Catholic handed the Eagles a clear path to a potential Division III title and, less importantly, the top spot in our power rankings.
But who comes after them? That's where we had some tough decisions. Check it out.
Last week's rankings here.
1. Bermudian Springs (2) -- No-brainer here. The Eagles (6-0) won Division III's showcase game last week, blending persistent offense with opportunistic defense. The latter of those two may be the most encouraging sign for coach Jon Defoe. The Eagles held Delone's powerful offense to 15 points and forced three turnovers. You won't find anybody in York Springs celebrating too much, though. Four games still remain, including a home matchup with a Littlestown team that will have revenge on the brain.
2. Central York (5) -- Bit of a surprise here, but I really like the way the Panthers (5-1) are playing. Spring Grove coach Russ Stoner called them "the best team in York County" on Friday night, and while the former Central assistant may be biased, his claim has some merit. No, the competition has not been great the last three weeks, but the Panthers have left no doubt in their trio of victories; they've won those games 151-6. Throw away a 27-6 loss to Cumberland Valley, and Central has allowed an average of 6.2 points per game. Not to mention the offense -- led by quarterback Brandon Baker -- has looked better lately. This team looks like the favorite right now in Division I.
3. Dover (T-3) -- I'll give them a slight edge over West York in the rankings this week, because it seems the Eagles were a bit sharper last Friday. But Dover (6-0) has one big thing going against it for this week's Division II showdown -- the absence of star running back Tanner Link, who was ejected from last Friday's win over Kennard-Dale and must serve a one-game suspension. I would suspect the Eagles will still be able to move the ball at times, but Link (and his 1,078 rushing yards) will be missed. Dover's other backs don't have his explosiveness.
4. West York (T-3) -- Power vs. Speed. That might best sum up the Bulldogs' matchup with Dover. West York (5-1) is probably the smaller team in most of its games. But it wins with speed, aggressiveness and sound technique. So while the size of Dover's line may seem daunting, West York has been here before. That said, the defense will need to avoid long drives, and the offense will need to hold onto the ball to give the "D" a breather. One thing to watch: The Bulldogs have had an impressive 8-1 turnover margin in their last two games.
5. Delone Catholic (1) -- Four spots is a long way to fall after a loss to a good team, but that's as much a reflection of the quality of the teams in front of them than anything. This is a very good football team, and one we have not heard the last of yet. A play here or there, and the Squires (5-1) might be the ones sitting atop Division III right now. That's just how it goes sometimes.
6. Red Lion (6) -- A fourth straight win for the Lions (4-2) this week, but there are definitely some concerns. Chief among them would be the status of their two running backs -- Jason Milton and Darrell Kendrick -- who were absent from the game for undisclosed reasons. So was defensive end David Telp. No word on yet on the status of those three. Still, the players that were on the field for the Lions picked up the slack in a win over William Penn. Dan Althoff picked up the slack on offense, and quarterback Tanner Klinefelter always gives his team a chance to win.
7. South Western (8) -- Lots of heavy hearts at South Western this week, following the death of junior receiver Ben Bynaker in a double murder-suicide on Sunday. Our hearts go out to the entire South Western family, and something like this certainly puts these things in perspective. We all take these games seriously -- they're the reason I have a job -- but at the end of the day, they're just games. Here's hoping the Mustang family, and all those connected to this tragedy, can find some comfort in the face of something so unthinkable.
8. Littlestown (7) -- The Thunderbolts (4-2) had to scrap to get a win against Eastern York on Friday, but they got it. Littlestown turned the ball over four times and allowed 214 rushing yards to Golden Knights running back Alex Cooley. But they got the job done. In the end, that's all that matters.
9. York Suburban (9) -- The Trojans sputtered early against Fairfield. Perhaps the long bus ride had something to do with it. Or perhaps Suburban (4-2) had its confidence sapped by two straight losses to Delone and Bermudian. Regardless, the Trojans eventually found their feet and rolled past the winless Green Knights. After this week's meeting with Hanover, Suburban will travel to Littlestown. Think there might be some points scored in that one.
10. Northeastern (NR) -- The Bobcats are back at .500 after a sloppy, 18-7 win against New Oxford. Northeastern no doubt knows it will need to play better going forward, but the win itself was essential. If Northeastern wants to keep its District 3 playoff hopes alive, wins against teams the Colonials are must-haves.
Honorable mention: Biglerville (3-3), Dallastown (2-4)