Adams County's version of Florida State-Clemson is upon the YAIAA Week 9 schedule. The winner clinches at least a share of the Division III title and likely takes over the No. 1 ranking in District 3 Class AA ratings.
The Nos. 1 and 2 teams in Class AA are now also ranked first and second in this week's YAIAA power rankings. A shakeup on top was made possible by Central York's 17-7 win against previous No. 1 Dallastown. Read the rankings below. Let us know what you agree with and what you don't by leaving a comment at the bottom.
1. Bermudian Springs (8-0) -- The Eagles' machine churned out another solid performance, but coach Jon DeFoe thought last week's win against 1-7 Hanover was an improvement over previous games. They will need to stay sharp for their toughest test of the season this week.
Last week: No. 2, beat Hanover, 43-6; this week: vs. Littlestown
2. Littlestown (8-0) -- Running back Dustin DeGroft passed 2,000 career rushing yards at Littlestown. Unlike DeFoe at Bermudian, Thunderbolts coach Mike Lippy did not think his team was as sharp against a York Suburban team that has given some opponents fits with its defense. "You can call it a trap game, or whatever you want to call it," he said, "I'm just glad our guys did what they did on a night we weren't nearly as sharp as we needed to be." Littlestown's defense has come up big when its offense has stalled. If they are not as sharp as Lippy would like, they are resilient.
Last week: No. 3, beat York Suburban, 26-6; this week: at Bermudian Springs
3. Central York (6-2) -- The Panthers can make a claim to No. 1, and should move up with another win. Central seems to be getting better as the season goes on, which makes the Panthers a dangerous team past Week 10. "This was the most complete game I've seen us play in a couple years," coach Brad Livingston said Friday night.
Last week: No. 4, beat Dallastown, 17-7; this week: vs. Red Lion
4. Dallastown (6-2) -- Wildcats coach Kevin Myers put their loss at Central in perspective Friday night: "This game can't beat us two weeks in a row, so we're going to have to get over it," he said. "We're going to have to do a better job of coaching them up." Although Dallastown cannot control its own destiny in league play, it still has much at stake in regards to District 3 playoff positioning.
Last week: No. 1, lost to Central York, 17-7; this week: vs. Spring Grove
5. Dover (6-2) -- Like Bermudian and Littlestown, Dover has its biggest game of the season and a Division II title at stake when it plays host to New Oxford. The winner clinches a share of the championship and will be one win away from an outright title. For two straight weeks, these Eagles have rushed around 400 yards with three running backs any team would enjoy: Isaiah Green, Jake McLean and Dorran Ledbetter. Scarier, none of the three are seniors.
Last week: No. 6, beat Dover, 42-13; this week: vs. New Oxford
6. New Oxford (6-2) -- Early last week, when the Colonials beat Kennard-Dale on Monday, coach Jason Thurston expressed concern over his team's slow start. Four days later, they answered by getting off to a faster start vs. Susquehannock. The caveat to that start was its defense, which needed to adjust after the Warriors stayed within striking distance for that first half in a 21-14 game. Entering Friday's games, Dover was 12th and New Oxford 13th in the Class AAA district rankings.
Last week: No. 7, beat Susquehannock, 41-14; this week: at Dover
7. Spring Grove (5-3) -- The season is quickly turning into a Jekyll-and-Hyde feel for Spring Grove, which gave up 23 unanswered fourth-quarter points against William Penn. This portion of the rankings also is a logjam, as Spring Grove, William Penn and Red Lion have beaten each other.
Last week: No. 5, lost to William Penn, 49-35; this week: at Dallastown
8. William Penn (4-4) -- Two Fridays after losing to Red Lion, the Bearcats' big fourth-quarter performance against Spring Grove was enough to vault them past the Lions, who dropped a tough one to the Rockets on Monday. Got that? William Penn's latest performance showed what it is capable of accomplishing and why opposing coaches are always leery of facing the Bearcats, regardless of record.
Last week: No. 9, beat Spring Grove, 49-35; this week: at South Western
9. Red Lion (4-4) -- First-year Red Lion boss Jesse Shay is making a strong case for coach-of-the-year honors. The former Bishop McDevitt defensive coordinator has turned a 1-9 team last year into a Division I contender. At 2-1 in league play, Red Lion visits Central York this week with a shot at first place.
Last week: No. 8, beat South Western, 20-13; this week: at Central York
10. York Catholic (5-3) -- Fairfield could make a case for this spot, too, having beaten the Irish. However, we'll make the same case as we did in ranking William Penn ahead of Red Lion: it was the slimmest of wins, and the game could have gone either way. Also, Hakeem Kinard is playing as well as any QB in the YAIAA.
Last week: No. 10, beat Eastern York, 26-7; this week: at York County Tech