We’re now five weeks into the 2015 football season and it’s time for the Week 5 edition of our GameTimePA awards. There’s a lot to 'soak' in (see what I did there?) 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 storyline: The rain.
Temperatures dropped below 45 degrees by the end of the night. Rain seemed to fall straight, then sideways, then in a swirling motion, and winds topped 20 miles per hour, making the overall experience that much worse for some. If any football fans wake up with the sniffles today, we know why.
Two games (West York vs. Kennard-Dale and Central York vs. South Western) had to be postponed, altering travel plans and preparations alike. There were 72....seventy-two....fumbles in 11 games. Holding on to the ball or attempting to throw the ball in the rain was nearly impossible. In the Eastern York-Dover game, there was a combined one pass completion.
What's the early forecast for next Friday night? 69 degrees and partly cloudy. We'll take it.
Biggest show of support: The fans who braved the driving rain storm and still made it out to the stadiums to cheer on their teams.
The fans who did make it out to the games Friday night bundled up under blankets, draped themselves in ponchos and held on to their umbrellas the best they could. Kudos to them for coming out and still supporting the players and coaches who were dealing with the weather as well. And the student sections were still loud at many of the stadiums, so great showing by them.
Biggest statement win: Northeastern.
It didn't matter that the Bobcats completed just one pass. It didn't matter that they managed just 75 yards of total offense. Why? Because the scrappy Northeastern squad found a way to win with a fumble recovery on a botched punt in the end zone, then a 65-yard fumble return for a touchdown.
Two weeks ago, head coach Jon Scepanski admitted that Northeastern wouldn't get the same buzz and attention as Dallastown, South Western and Red Lion in discussions about the division's best team until they picked up "solid program wins." Well a 5-0 start and a win over a strong Red Lion squad is a solid start.
Next week's game on the road against division rival Dallastown (also undefeated) has to be one of the biggest games in the young program's history.
Best Drake impression: Hanover.
Lyric: "What a time to be alive."
No one seems to know an exact date of the last time the Nighthawks started a season 5-0, but most agree you'd have to go back to the 1970s to find it. Coach Bill Reichart's squad has the borough abuzz and it's a great thing to see after decades of struggle. Regardless of how the rest of the season plays out, the fans, students and players will be able to talk about this season for years to come, so it is indeed as chart-topping music artist Drake put it, "What a time to be alive."
Biggest bounce back: Delone Catholic.
Coming off a tough loss to rival York Catholic, the Squires desperately needed a big bounce back performance. They got that in a 26-7 win over Littlestown. The Squires picked up 279 rushing yards, including 166 from senior Tavian Dorsey, but even more importantly, they didn't turn the ball over at all.
The win keeps Delone from slipping out of the division title race.
Best stat line: Bermudian Spring's Ashton West (27 carries, 255 yards, 5 TDs)
Raise your hand if you predicted a 255-yard, five touchdown performance from West, who came into Friday's game against Fairfield with 202 total yards and a 3.8 average yards per carry.
With that game, West went from 21st in the league in rushing yards to second, and jumped to the top of the leaderboard in rushing touchdowns.
Overall, a great performance for the Eagle when his team needed it most. Bermudian is winless no more.
Closing in on a record: York Suburban's Thomas Merkle.
After a 146-yard performance in a win against Ephrata, the Trojans' signal-caller is just 98 yards shy of the school's all-time passing record, currently held by Mike Beckley (4,048 yards). And with at least five games to go, Merkle is also just 944 yards away from the county's all-time record (4,894 yards) currently held by Spring Grove's Matt Marshall.