William Penn football coach Shawn Heinold felt bad for the players on both sides of the York-Harrisburg rivalry when security concerns moved their Week 3 game from Friday night to 11 a.m. Saturday.
"It's not the kids' fault. It's the social media, all stuff from the outside," Heinold said. "It forces us to have all these security officers here and have this game on Saturday, but safety is ultimately our priority. It's always going to be that way."
The morning started with both teams forming a circle at midfield, Harrisburg and William Penn players standing side-by-side in a show of solidarity. Heinold said coaches and administrators came up with the idea. The players held hands as the game officials and others stressed the need for sportsmanship during the game.
The game got physical at times — Harrisburg ended up with 11 penalties for 85 yards — but the situation never got out of hand. The bigger, stronger Cougars walked away with a 41-0 win, but neither team lost their composure even under a blazing hot sun.
"I'm proud of how both teams reacted to the situation with that show of sportsmanship. We were here to play football," Heinold said.
-- Brian Shea
South Western's traffic director
Carlisle brought its no-huddle, spread offense into the Mustang Corral on Friday night, averaging more than 50 points and 600 yards of total offense in the first two games of the season. But South Western held the Thundering Herd well below those averages in a 17-14 win.
Herd quarterback Eric Harris threw for 331 yards, but the team ran for just 32 yards, finishing 250 yards below its season average for total yards.
A big part of that success was the play of Mustangs junior safety Nate VanCampen.
A backup quarterback on offense, VanCampen was tasked with calling out all of the pass coverages while the coaches worried about calling the blitz schemes for the defensive line and linebackers.
"Nate is a tremendously smart kid," head coach Damian Poalucci said. "He's a backup quarterback for us, so he knows offenses well and he just knows the game so well."
Carlisle pushed the pace as it did in its first two games, but with VanCampen in the back directing traffic, most of Harris' completions were short passes that his receivers occasionally turned into nice pickups.
"Being able to trust Nate back there to make the calls made a huge difference for us," Poalucci said. "He read their formations and let all of our defensive backs know where they needed to be."
-- Tom Sixeas
Susquehannock shows promise
First-year Susquehannock coach Steve Wiles said he could sense a change this week after the Warriors upset York Catholic in Week 2.
Susquehannock matched last season's win total, defeating by 10 points a homestanding Fighting Irish team that had reached the District 3 Class A playoffs the past two seasons. Susquehannock had won just six games in the previous five seasons combined.
This week, the Warriors hung in with Division I Northeastern until a late fourth-quarter touchdown gave the Bobcats a nine-point victory at Northeastern.
"I think there is a feeling that they belong and they can play with people," Wiles, who also had coaching stints at Delone Catholic and Hanover. "That was one of the goals coming in here."
Susquehannock has one more non-divisional opponent in Reading-area Exeter Township next week before beginning Division II play against Gettysburg on Oct. 2. Road trips to York Suburban and Eastern York follow. Exeter Township is unbeaten after three weeks and has averaged 42.7 points a game thus far.
"Unfortunately, we have to play Exeter next week," Wiles said. "They are a large, quad-A school. But once we get into the league season, I think we'll be competitive. I think we match up well with a lot of teams in our division."
Senior wide receiver Nick Tannura has paced the Warriors offense with 18 receptions for 306 yards (17 yards per catch) and four scores after three games. Senior quarterback Josh Stoneberg has passed for five scores and 440 yards against two interceptions.
"We just have to stay healthy," Wiles said. "We have a few bumps and bruises right now, but staying healthy will be a key."
-- Colin Snyder
Biglerville gets in shape
Biglerville football coach Alex Ramos has repeated a number of times over the past three weeks that he knew his team had a difficult task in its first three opponents: Annville-Cleona, Waynesboro and New Oxford.
He didn't expect to be 1-2 at this point, but he realizes his team has learned some valuable lessons by rebounding from adversity, specifically in close losses the first two weeks before the Week 3 win against New Oxford.
One of those lessons is that the Canners have gotten themselves into the physical shape they need to play four quarters of football. The conditioning showed in Friday's 27-13 win over New Oxford.
"It's a new program that we have taken on this year, but we are not willing to share with anyone," Ramos said with a smile. "But they will tell you that it's different, and it's working."
The Canners put together a crippling drive in the third quarter to break open a close game as the line wore down the bigger Colonials.
"It's a new mentality," Ramos said. "I brought some of my track background to football, and I think it is really helping us as we condition through the week."
-- Brian Shea