Crucial three weeks ahead in YAIAA football (column)
Here are the top football performers from Week 7 of the YAIAA season. Christian Arnold
The final three weeks of the season are crunch time for every team in the YAIAA, but for Red Lion, Dallastown and Central York it will been even more so with the division title and District 3 playoff implications on the line.
All three teams play each other, starting with Central York hosting Red Lion in Week 8. The Wildcats then host the Panthers in Week 9 followed by a rivalry showdown between Dallastown and Red Lion in Week 10.
Suffice it to say there will be plenty of intrigue over the next three weeks of the season. But for the Lions, Wildcats and Panthers it will be a crucial stretch where they can barely afford to lose one game, let alone two.
However, with the way the schedule is set there will be a combined three losses to hand out to these three teams by the end of this stretch. Now this comes with the assumption that Dallastown, Red Lion and Central all win during the weeks they aren’t playing one another, so things could change, but the impact for the team that gets handed two of those three losses is twofold.
The obvious one being that the team will lose out on winning the Division I title, as well as likely missing out on a trip to the District 3 Class 6A playoffs. Even one loss could have a big impact for one of these teams.
Red Lion, who has made it through seven weeks without a loss, is third in the Class 6A power rankings and is in line to host a District 3 playoff game at Horn Field if it continues to win. But even one loss could put that standing in jeopardy.
If the Lions win out the rest of the year, they will more than likely start the playoffs on their home field. If they drop one or two of their next three games, they could still make the playoffs but would probably start on the road.
Dallastown and Central York are both in playoff position, but both teams have already suffered losses during the course of year. The Wildcats, with one loss on the year, likely could lose one of their final three games and still make the playoffs.
Central York is in a more precarious situation having already lost two games this season. One loss over the next three games would not necessarily eliminate the Panthers from the postseason, but it makes qualifying for the district playoffs difficult. Two losses over that span could very well knock them out altogether.
A similar situation is brewing in Division III between York Catholic, Bermudian Springs and Littlestown. While the Fighting Irish, Eagles and Thunderbolts won’t see one another in Week 10, they will bump into one another in the previous two weeks and there is plenty on the line.
Three teams are battling it out for the Division III title, with York Catholic and Bermudian Springs undefeated in divisional play. They’ll play one another in Week 8 with the winner taking sole possession of first place in Division III.
There are also district playoff implications on the line in Week 9 when Bermudian and Littlestown go head-to-head. The top four teams in Class 3A make the playoffs and both teams are in playoff position. However, with such a small margin of teams making the postseason, it leaves little room for error and the Week 9 winner could very well knock the other team out of postseason contention.
For all three of the Division III leaders any loss over the final games of the season could impact their playoff aspirations, so the next three weeks are crunch time for them as well.