Four weeks into the season, there is another shakeup in our YAIAA football power rankings. Last week, it was Fairfield breaking into the top 10 for the first time. The Green Knights are still here and 3-0 for the first time in their 11-year varsity football history.
This week, though, Dover's ascension takes flight and moves the Eagles into the top five. The top 10 can be found below and you are encouraged to give your take on the rankings in the comments section below. What did we get right or wrong? What is your top five or 10?
1. Dallastown (2-1) -- A close, gritty loss at 3-0 Penn Manor was not enough to dethrone Dallastown from the top of these rankings. The Wildcats' early schedule included three teams that made the District 3 playoffs a year ago. This week they get another 3-0 team that is on pace for a postseason appearance if it keeps winning in Dover.
Last week: No. 1, lost to Penn Manor, 13-10; this week: vs. Dover
2. Bermudian Springs (3-0) -- The defense got back on track and the rushing game was its usual self for the Eagles last week. They move up a spot for being consistent, if nothing else.
Last week: No. 3, beat Eastern York, 38-0; this week: vs. York County Tech
3. Spring Grove (2-1) -- The Rockets' goal-line standing in the final two minutes against West York could be one of those pinnacle moments of the season.
Last week: No. 4, beat West York, 10-6; this week: vs. Kennard-Dale
4. Littlestown (3-0) -- A candidate for surprise of Week 3 was Littlestown's win against Delone. It was not because the Thunderbolts won but how resounding their victory was against the Squires. The last few YAIAA Division III titles have come down to Littlestown and Bermudian Springs. Both teams are on the fast track to making that happen once again.
Last week: No. 5, beat Delone Catholic, 47-7; this week: vs. Biglerville
5. Dover (3-0) -- The other candidate for surprise of Week 3 was Dover's victory at Red Land. As we stated last week, the Patriots would likely have been our No. 2 team if this was a York County power ranking and not just a YAIAA ranking. The Eagles can make a strong case they should be No. 2 and, if they can beat Dallastown this week, No. 1. Their four-spot jump in these rankings from last week is a credit to what they achieved so far and have the potential to gain with the now QB-RB combo of Logan Ambrose and Isaiah Green on offense. Perhaps most impressive about Dover's victory against Red Land was its ability to outgain the Patriots -- a team that has made its living grinding teams with the running game -- 338-156 on the ground.Last week: No. 9, beat Red Land, 23-14; this week: at Dallastown
6. Central York (1-2) --The last time Central faced a Hempfield squad not at full strength, the Panthers took advantage. They could not do that this time, as backup QB Sam Kramer stepped in for injured starter Mike Edwards and rushed into the end zone with a final-minute touchdown. Coincidentally the Panthers have now seen Kramer, a sophomore, twice in two years.
Last week: No. 2, lost to Hempfield, 28-21; this week: vs. Susquehannock
7. Delone Catholic (2-1) -- The manner in which Delone lost at Littlestown has to be a head-scratcher for Steve Wiles' bunch. Wiles said afterward: "I told them they will have to take it as a man and learn from this and grow up. We were boys and they were men."
Last week: No. 6, lost to Littlestown, 47-7; this week: vs. York Suburban
8. South Western (1-2) -- Two close losses to quality opponents; first Cedar Cliff two weeks ago at home and last Friday on the road at Central Dauphin. This week provides no rest, either. The Mustangs get New Oxford, easily the most deserving team that is not included in this week's rankings.
Last week: No. 7, lost to Central Dauphin, 17-14; this week: vs. New Oxford
9. West York (0-3) -- Through this point last season, West York used its perfect mark against YAIAA Division I opponents as a calling card. This year, that schedule has left a much younger team bruised and somewhat battered. Only somewhat because of the improvement this Bulldogs team has shown in its losses. That strength of schedule is what keeps the Bulldogs in the top 10 over a 2-1 Division II squad such as New Oxford. If the Colonials can beat South Western, they not only should leapfrog the Mustangs but also the Bulldogs.
Last week: No. 8, lost to Spring Grove, 10-6; this week: at Red Lion
10. Fairfield (3-0) -- It has taken the Green Knights three weeks to match their school record for wins in a season. The 2007 Fairfield team went 3-9 (and yes, qualified for the District 3 Class A playoffs when it allowed eight teams.) With a last minute win against York Catholic, is there a football program with more momentum right now?
Last week: No. 10, beat York Catholic, 13-12; this week: vs. Eastern York