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Week 3 preview: Dallastown out to continue hot start

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For the three Class 6A teams in YAIAA Division I, games against fellow 6A teams are crucial to their playoff hopes.

Dallastown already has a win against a 6A opponent this season after beating Hempfield in Week 1, and now has the chance to add one more before getting into a divisional schedule filled with 5A opponents.

This week, the Wildcats host Penn Manor, a team still looking to find its way. The Comets haven't won a game since beating Warwick on Oct. 17, 2014.

Dallastown will look to keep pounding the ball after running for 411 yards last week against West York. Zion DeVance ran for 123 yards in that game, emerging as one of the top rushers in the YAIAA.

Can the Wildcats start 3-0 and give a big boost to their playoff hopes in the first year of the new classification system?

Friday's games

Annville-Cleona at Hanover

Kickoff: 7 p.m.

Last year: Did not play.

The skinny: The Nighthawks are looking to start 3-0 for the second straight season. 

Little Dutchmen (1-2) must: Improve their play on defense. Annville-Cleona has given up more than 50 points twice this season and now faces an opponent that has scored 50 points in back-to-back games. 

Nighthawks (2-0) must: Keep Cam Mumma hot. The junior quarterback has been terrific in his first two games as the starter, completing 74 percent of his passes and tossing seven touchdowns. Another big game will boost his confidence heading into division play. 

Berks Catholic at York Catholic

Kickoff: 7 p.m.

Last year: Berks Catholic, 40-17.

The skinny: The Fighting Irish posted two good wins to start the year and now look to score a huge upset against a District 3 powerhouse.

Saints (2-0) must: Establish the run game. The Saints scored the most points in team history last season and have three-quarters of that backfield back. Running the ball has been a proven strength for this group.

Fighting Irish (2-0) must: Find other offensive options. The Fighting Irish have found success with the dynamic duo of Jakkar Kinard and Dan Yokemick, but they might need someone else to step up to be able to keep pace with the Saints.

Bermudian Springs at Shippensburg

Kickoff: 7 p.m.

Last year: Shippensburg, 26-16

The skinny: The Eagles are 2-0, but have some questions to answer after eking out a 21-18 win over Boiling Spring last week. 

Eagles (2-0) must: Start faster. Bermudian Springs has gotten off to slow starts two straight weeks and both times had to rally to win. It won’t be easier to come from behind against the 2-0 Greyhounds. 

Greyhounds (2-0) must: Slow the Eagles rushing attack. As usual, the Eagles are a run-first team and have rushed for over 250 yards in both of their games. Limiting the ground-game will put more pressure on sophomore QB Chase Dull. 

Central York at Hempfield

Kickoff: 7 p.m.

Last year: Hempfield, 42-14

The skinny: The Panthers look to rebound from a loss to powerhouse Cumberland Valley last week and get back on track heading into divisional play.

Panthers (1-1) must: Keep the chains moving. When the Panthers can't pick first downs, that fast-paced offense hurts the defense by not giving it a break. Giving the defense ample rest will be important in this game.

Black Knights (0-2) must: Finish drives. The Black Knights have been held to three touchdowns in two games, and they will likely need at least that many in this game to get into the win column for the first time this year.

Chambersburg at Red Lion

Kickoff: 7 p.m.

Last year: Did not play.

The skinny: The Lions look to add a win against a 6A opponent to their strong start so far this season.

Trojans (1-1) must: Stop the run. The Trojans defense was gashed by Shippensburg in the second half last week, and now faces a team that has 522 rushing yards this season.

Lions (2-0) must: Continue to limit turnovers. The Lions have turned the ball over only once this season, and continued success in that area will be crucial in a game that figures to be closer than their first two wins were.

Delone Catholic at New Oxford

Kickoff: 7 p.m.

Last year: Did not play.

The skinny: The two Adams County schools restart their rivalry in their first matchup since 2011. 

Squires (2-0) must: Keep spreading the ball around. The Squires have a number of quality running backs in Ryan Hart, Zach Hart and Logan Panzer who have all produced so far. Getting them all involved will help keep New Oxford off-balance. 

Colonials (0-2) must: Stop the run. This one is pretty simple. Delone Catholic likes to run the ball. New Oxford has struggled to defend the run so far, giving up 492 on the ground to Gettysburg last week. 

Garden Spot at Spring Grove

Kickoff: 7 p.m.

Last year: Did not play.

The skinny: The Rockets have kept the good vibes from last season’s District 3 playoff appearance going, but now they face a tough opponent from Lancaster County. 

Spartans (1-1) must: Get Jahad Jeffers going. The 5-foot-11, 225-pound battering ram running back has run for more than 100 yards in both of Garden Spot’s games. 

Rockets (2-0) must: Be ready for a tough game. The Rockets have won both games by a combined score of 77-9, but haven’t really been challenged yet. They’ll have some impressive players to deal with Friday, including Jeffers and quarterback Cameron Roth. 

Gettysburg at Waynesboro

Kickoff: 7 p.m.

Last year: Waynesboro, 33-0

The skinny: After earning its first win last week, Gettysburg looks to build momentum against a winless Waynesboro team. 

Warriors (1-1) must: Get Edny Celius going. The Warriors’ offense struggled in Week 1 but scored 44 points against New Oxford last week behind Celius, who rushed for 259 yards and five touchdowns. 

Indians (0-2) must: Be disciplined. Waynesboro outgained Lancaster Catholic 289-172 last week but committed 12 penalties for 125 yards and lost by three points. 

Littlestown at Eastern York

Kickoff: 7 p.m.

Last year: Did not play.

The skinny: The Thunderbolts can exceed last year's win total with a win in this one.

Thunderbolts (2-0) must: Keep that run game going. The Bolts are the only team in the league to have two players rush for more than 100 yards in back-to-back weeks. They've found a lot of success with that formula and will want to keep that going.

Golden Knights (0-2) must: Become two-dimensional. The Knights have been one of the best running teams in the league, but they have thrown for only 100 yards the entire season. Establishing a passing game will keep Littlestown off guard.

Northern York at Mechanicsburg

Kickoff: 7 p.m.

Last year: Northern York, 42-13

The skinny: The Polar Bears look to rebound from a shutout at the hands of Middletown last week.

Polar Bears (1-1) must: Find the end zone. Scoring points has been the Polar Bears' biggest challenge so far this year, scoring two touchdowns in a Week 1 win and none last week. A game against a team that hasn't won since 2014 provides an opportunity to get the offense on track.

Wildcats (0-2) must: Open up holes for the running backs. If the Wildcats are going to end their losing streak, a good place to start would be establishing a successful run game. They Wildcats only averaged one yard per carry last week.

Red Land at Dover

Kickoff: 7 p.m.

Last year: Red Land, 38-21

The skinny: The two York County teams square off a week after Red Land lost for the first time and Dover won for the first time.

Patriots (2-1) must: Get Justin Johnson going again. The star running back did rush for more than 100 yards last week, but Carlisle was able to keep him out of the end zone.

Eagles (1-1) must: Keep putting pressure on the quarterback. The Eagles pulled off the rare feat of forcing two safeties in a game last week, and now they look to put that same kind of pressure on the Patriots backfield.

Smithsburg (Md.) at Fairfield

Kickoff: 7 p.m.

Last year: Did not play.

The skinny: The Green Knights are in good position to start 3-0 before division play begins. 

Leopards (0-2) must: Stop Charlie Burnett. The sophomore running back is the key to Fairfield’s offense, rushing for more than 100 yards and scoring on a return touchdown the past two weeks. 

Green Knights (2-0) must: Get Darian Mort on track. The junior quarterback has run the ball very well this season but hasn’t thrown much after setting a school-record for passing yards last season. That’s mostly a credit to Fairfield’s strong rushing attack, but a nice game through the air would be good for Mort’s confidence. 

South Western at Carlisle

Kickoff: 7 p.m.

Last year: South Western, 17-14

The skinny: After getting blown out by a tough Manheim Township squad last week, the Mustangs now take on another imposing foe in undefeated Carlisle. 

Mustangs (1-1) must: Get the run game going. South Western’s wing-T offense revolves around the run, but the Mustangs managed just 87 yards on 32 carries (2.7 yards per carry) last week. 

Thundering Herd (2-0) must: Stay opportunistic. Carlisle forced five turnovers against Red Land last week. 

Susquehannock at Biglerville

Kickoff: 7 p.m.

Last year: Did not play.

The skinny: One of these teams will get its first win of the season.

Warriors (0-2) must: Get clicking on offense. Susquehannock has some playmakers but has scored just 29 points in two games.

Canners (0-2) must: Stop Jack Allred. The fullback is the key to the Warriors offense, rushing for 110 yards against York Catholic last week. The Canners defense has been suspect against the run so far. 

West York at Manheim Central

Kickoff: 7 p.m.

Last year: Did not play.

The skinny: The Bulldogs are still looking for their first win this season.

Bulldogs (0-2) must: Find more consistency on offense. The Bulldogs actually threw for more than 200 yards in last week's loss to Dallastown, but they've shot themselves in the foot all season with turnovers. Their minus-6 turnover differential ranks worst in the YAIAA. 

Barons (2-0) must: Stay aggressive on defense. The Barons held Donegal to negative yardage on 11 occasions last week in a 55-0 win.

William Penn at Cedar Cliff

Kickoff: 7 p.m.

Last year: Did not play.

The skinny: After a stressful week, William Penn runs into a District 3 powerhouse.

Bearcats (0-2) must: Build on the connection between Tallian Lehr and Robert Rideout. The quarterback-receiver combo connected for four passes for 55 yards last week.

Colts (2-0) must: Stay aggressive on offense. The Colts have dropped 40 points in back-to-back games, giving their defense plenty of breathing room.

York County Tech at Kennard-Dale

Kickoff: 7 p.m.

Last year: Kennard-Dale, 34-20

The skinny: The Rams are still looking for their first win, while the Spartans look to build on last week's victory against Eastern York.

Spartans (1-1) must: Let Josiah Smallwood air it out. Smallwood threw for two touchdown passes of 60 or more yards last week on his way to throwing for 233 yards in the game.

Rams (0-2) must: Stop the run. Hanover ran over the Rams defense last week to the tune of 369 yards. The Spartans haven't had much success running the ball yet this year and the Rams need to keep it that way.

York Suburban at Columbia

Kickoff: 7 p.m.

Last year: Did not play.

The skinny: The Trojans started 0-2 for the second year in a row. They hope to spark a repeat of last year, when they finished the season with eight straight wins.

Trojans (0-2) must: Eliminate the big play. Northeastern scored four touchdowns of 40 or more yards last week against the Trojans last week. Suburban needs to make the Crimson Tide put together long series to score points. 

Crimson Tide (2-0) must: Stop the run. The Crimson Tide held Delone Catholic to 33 passing yards last week, but saw the Squires run for 238 yards from a mix of backs. 

Saturday's game

Northeastern at Solanco

Kickoff: 7 p.m.

Last year: Did not play.

The skinny: Northeastern goes on an hour-plus car ride on a Saturday to try to keep its fast start going.

Bobcats (2-0) must: Keep mixing it up on offense. The Bobcats have taken advantage of their depth so far this year, mixing in a variety of ballcarriers to keep players fresh and keep defenses off guard. 

Golden Mules (1-1) must: Wrap up and tackle. The Golden Mules struggled with Conestoga Valley's option attack last week, letting rushers break loose from missed tackles.