District 3 football breakdown for YAIAA
Nine YAIAA football teams are headed to the playoffs, the final District 3 power rankings revealed Saturday night.
YAIAA Division I schools Dallastown and Central York maintained their standing in the Class AAAA rankings and will have home games next week. Meanwhile, Littlestown -- after needing two Berks Catholic opponents to lose Saturday -- remained No. 1 in 2A. Dover, Bermudian Springs and York Catholic also qualified for playoff home games.
Here is the breakdown for the four classifications:
Third-seeded Dallastown and No. 5 Central York were on track for Class AAAA playoffs for quite some time. Both qualified last year and saw their seasons end on the road at repeat No. 1 and defending district champion Wilson.
This year both of the YAIAA’s top big schools are scheduled for first-round home games. As for facing Wilson (10-0), Central could travel there as early as the semifinals. Dallastown is on the other side of the bracket.
Despite finishing second to Central in the YAIAA Division I standings, the Wildcats were ahead in the district because of two wins the Panthers did not possess -- a home win vs. Lancaster Catholic and road win at New Oxford. Both of those teams are 3A playoff squads.
• Who’s in: No. 3 Dallastown (8-2) vs. No. 14 Lebanon (7-3). No. 5 Central York (8-2) vs. No. 12 Exeter (8-2).
• Who’s out: Red Lion remained 18th after a loss to Dallastown. A win likely would have punched the Lions a ticket to Week 11.
Dover not only celebrated a YAIAA Division II title on Friday night, a championship it clinched outright after sharing two years ago with Northeastern and West York, but locked up a first-round home game. The Eagles are fifth and joined by Spring Grove and New Oxford.
The Rockets jumped from outside the top 16 to No. 13. New Oxford, despite its home loss to West York in Week 10, hung on with 16th and final spot.
Also, soon-to-be YAIAA member Gettysburg is in at No. 14. The Warriors (6-4), who lost their Mid-Penn title game to Shippensburg, are slated to visit No. 3 Cocalico (9-1).
• Who’s in: No. 5 Dover (8-2) vs. No. 12 Milton Hershey (8-2). No. 13 Spring Grove (6-4) at No. 4 Conrad Weiser (7-3). No. 16 New Oxford (6-4) at No. 1 Bishop McDevitt (9-1).
• Who’s out: Red Land (4-6), of the Mid-Penn Keystone Division, fell to No. 18 after its loss to Susquehanna Township. West York moved up to No. 25 as the next best YAIAA school.
Littlestown needed two teams that were not even on its radar this season to lose Saturday if it hoped to maintain the No. 1 ranking. Those teams, Blue Mountain and Pope John Paul II, did lose. The development allowed the Thunderbolts to stay ahead of Berks Catholic (10-0), which owned wins against those teams.
That also means the only way a Littlestown-Bermudian Springs rematch can happen is if both teams make the district finals in three weeks.
• Who’s in: No. 1 Littlestown (10-0) vs. No. 8 Annville-Cleona (4-6). No. 3 Bermudian Springs (9-1) vs. No. 6 Hamburg Area (5-5).
• Who’s out: No other YAIAA schools were in contention.
A potential York Catholic-Fairfield rematch is for naught. After Week 10, York Catholic moved up from No. 3 to 2, while Fairfield dropped from second to fourth in this four-team playoff field, which will not begin until Week 12 of the season.
• Who’s in: No. 2 York Catholic (7-3) vs. No. 3 Upper Dauphin (7-3). No. 4 Fairfield (6-4) at No. 1 Steel-High (9-1).
• Who’s out: Delone Catholic (4-6), which suffered its first losing season since 1991, finished fifth. The Squires won last year’s district title.