Handing out awards for week 3 performances
We're now three weeks into the 2015 football season and it's time for the Week 3 edition of our GameTimePA awards. There’s a lot to soak in from Friday night’s action, so I decided to look back and hand out a few awards/superlatives. This will be a weekly award presentation, so tune in and enjoy.
The winners are…..(drum roll)….
Biggest statement: Hanover proving they're a legitimate threat in Division III.
I was on the Hanover bandwagon from the start, but it took a few games for others to catch on. The Nighthawks' matched their 2014 win total with
victories over James Buchanan and Kennard-Dale, but their 13-6 win against Eastern York was the biggest statement of the week. Last year, Eastern blew out Hanover, 58-0. This time around, Jordan Laughman ran for 149 yards and the defense, which finished last in the league last season, held Eastern to six points. The victory inspired head coach Bill Reichart to compare this team to the Hanover powerhouse teams of the mid 1980s.
The Nighthawks are for real. And it may be too early for title talk, but can Hanover make a run in the division?
Biggest trend: Up is down, down is up.
Teams that were good last year (Bermudian Springs and West York) are 0-6 combined this season. Meanwhile Hanover, Kennard-Dale, York County Tech, Susquehannock and New Oxford all have wins.
Best student section: York Suburban.
While the York Suburban crowd arrived late for the Trojans' home opener, we'll chalk it up to them being a little rusty, because when they did show up, they were loud. The student section went with a toga-theme and brought the noise all night. It clearly helped, as the Trojans picked up their first win of the season.
Biggest show of sportsmanship: Delone cooking barbecue for Union City and William Penn showing solidarity with Harrisburg.
The Squires were a friendly host to their opponents from Tennessee. On Thursday, Delone hosted a dinner where the coaches and players mingled before the Golden Tornadoes barbecued the Squires, 56-0, on Friday. See what I did there?
Still a great show of sportsmanship and a classy move by Delone Catholic.
William Penn's game against Harrisburg had to be moved from Friday night to Saturday morning amid security concerns stemming from an incident during the basketball season. Before the game, both teams formed a circle at midfield with Harrisburg and William Penn players standing side-by-side in a show of solidarity.
"I'm proud of how both teams reacted to the situation with that show of sportsmanship. We were here to play football," Bearcats head coach Shawn Heinold said.
Biggest bounce back: South Western defeating Carlisle, 17-14.
More specifically, South Western's defense. After getting embarrassed by Cedar Cliff, 42-14, in Week 2, the Mustangs bounced back and gave an impressive effort in Week 3, defeating Carlisle, 17-14. The Mustangs defense kept the high-powered Carlisle offense in check, limiting them to 14 points after the Thundering Herd came in averaging 51.5 points and 616 yards.
A 2-1 record against Gettysburg, Cedar Cliff and Carlisle after going 0-3 in that same stretch last season is big for the Mustangs.
Biggest play call: Northeastern rolling the dice on third-and-long with 1:31 to go.
With a minute, 31 seconds to go in the game and the Bobcats up by two, Northeastern quarterback Shannon Valenti hit David Ankney for 39 yards on 3rd-and-12 at midfield. That set up a 3-yard touchdown run with 21 seconds left and essentially sealed a 30-21 win for Northeastern over Susquehannock.
"The play was called and I went into the huddle and said, 'Big time players make big time plays,'" Valenti said. "I said this is the time we need a big play. We went out there and executed. After the play, I went up to Dave and said, 'What did I tell you.'"
Biggest oddity: Gettysburg and William Penn combining for 19 total yards in their losses.
Two separate games, two struggling offenses, and they managed to gain just 19 yards combined. Yikes.
Best stat line: How about Dallastown quarterback Cade Gold throwing for 215 yards and a touchdown on 13 completions? The lefty added 52 rushing yards and an 11-yard touchdown run as well.
Honorable mention: GameTimePA.com sports reporter Brandon Stoneburg going 18-for-18 in his Gridiron Challenge picks this week.