This weekend's game capsules for York-Adams League football teams
Here are the Week 5 preview capsules for games involving York-Adams League teams. All games begin at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted.
Central York (0-1 Division I, 1-3 overall) at South Western (1-0 Division I, 3-1 overall): Nobody expected the Panthers to lay the egg that they did against Northeastern last Friday night. The 42-0 drubbing is probably one of the worst home losses, if not one of the worst losses overall, in the 34-year tenure of Head Coach Brad Livingston. Now, Central goes from getting blown out by one Division I favorite to facing another, this time on the road. The Panthers are giving up 40.0 points per game, the second-most points out of the 23 teams in the Y-A League. Meanwhile, the Mustangs have won back-to-back games and are scoring 22.5 points per game. This one sets up to be a dominating performance by South Western, while Central continues to get beat up by a grueling first-half schedule.
Dallastown (1-0 Division I, 4-0 overall) at York High (0-1 Division I, 0-4 overall): In a match-up between one of the best teams in the Y-A League and one of the worst, this one shouldn't give the Wildcats much trouble. Dallastown finally had its two-plus-game shutout streak ended by Spring Grove last week, but is still only allowing six points per game. Don't be shocked if the Wildcats add another shutout to their impressive start. The Bearcats enter having scored just 18 points in four games. Expect both teams' respective streaks to continue through Week 5.
Red Lion (1-0 Division I, 3-1 overall) at Northeastern (1-0 Division I, 4-0 overall): This is, without a doubt, the premier game in the Y-A League this week. The Division I race looks to have as many as four contenders in it — Dallastown, South Western and these two teams. That means that whenever any of those four teams get together this season, it'll be one heck of a match-up. There isn't a whole lot separating these two teams in the stat categories. The Lions and the Bobcats rank first and second in scoring offense; fourth and third, respectively, in scoring defense; first and second in team offense, respectively; sixth and fifth, respectively, in team defense; and first and second in rushing offense, respectively. If there is any X-factor in this game, it could be Red Lion's running game. The Lions have the top two rushers in the league in Alex Keough and Dylan Gurreri, who have combined for 825 yards on 115 carries. Buckle your seat belts because this will be a doozy.
New Oxford (0-1 Division I, 1-3 overall) at Spring Grove (0-1 Division I, 1-3 overall): After beginning the year with a shocking win, the Colonials have lost three straight. However, for the most part, they've been competitive, not getting blown out in any of their losses. For the improved New Oxford program, this is certainly a winnable game as it continues to grow under its first-year head coach, Jason Warner. The Rockets on the other hand, were just the latest team to feel the wrath of the Dallastown defense. However, much like the Colonials, Spring Grove has been competitive after its opening week loss to Cumberland Valley under new head coach, Kyle Sprenkle. This will be a pivotal match-up between two programs which are both showing signs of improvement. A second win could go a long way in that development.
Eastern York (0-1 Division II, 2-2 overall) at Dover (1-0 Division II, 2-2 overall): After a nice 2-0 start to begin the year, the Golden Knights have come back to earth a bit since. They've lost their last two games by a total of 28 points, including giving West York its first win of the year last Friday night in a 42-21 blowout. Even after allowing 42 points to the Bulldogs in Week 4, Eastern is still No. 1 in team defense, allowing just 154.3 yards per game. The Eagles, meanwhile, aren't standing out in any particular area, but they've shown the ability to, both, blow out teams and get dominated. Still, Dover does have a plus-18 point differential despite only being .500. Dover has one of the deeper teams in Division II, which should, over the next six games, play out in its favor.
Kennard-Dale (0-1 Division II, 1-3 overall) at West York (1-0 Division II, 1-3 overall): In a contest between two one-win teams, one is a surprise to be at 1-3, while the other was to be expected. The Rams are a team that many thought would struggle this year, but it hasn't been because of the offense. K-D has a number of standout performers on the offensive side of the ball, including QB Dalton Stike, wide receiver Kyle Wooldridge and dual-threat running back Chase Carlile, all who rank near the top of the league in their respective categories. Despite being one of five Y-A League teams to go winless in non-league play, West York got league play rolling in the right direction with a 42-21 win over Eastern last week. West York's first-year head coach, Jeremy Jones, knows the Division II landscape pretty well from his time as an assistant with the Bulldogs under Ron Miller and as the head coach at York Suburban, so this should be when West York makes its playoff push.
Gettysburg (0-1 Division II, 1-3 overall) at Susquehannock (0-0 Division II, 1-3 overall): The Adams County Warriors have taken a sizable step back from their 8-3 year in 2014. Already having matched its loss total from last season, this is a game that Gettysburg feels as though it should win and one that it really needs to win if it wants to contend for, not only, a Division II crown, but a spot in the District 3-AAA playoffs. Meanwhile, the York County Warriors are playing their first division game of the year. Susquehannock was shut out by Exeter Township, 35-0, last week and would like to kick off division play in a much better fashion. A positive sign for the team from York County is that Gettysburg's defense is vulnerable to big plays, which could be a major factor in the outcome.
Ephrata (0-4 overall) at York Suburban (1-0 Division II, 2-2 overall): In this non-league match-up, the Mountaineers don't really stack up well defensively against the Trojans' spread attack. Ephrata has given up 163 points in its four losses, or 40.8 points per game. That should make it easy pickings for Suburban QB Thomas Merkle, who leads the Y-A League with 806 yards passing in four games. Merkle is within 300 yards of breaking the school passing record and a little more than 1,000 away from breaking the York County record. A big game this Friday night will go a long way in keeping him on a good pace to end the year as York County's all-time passing leader, as well as getting the Trojans their third consecutive victory.
Bermudian Springs (0-1 Division III, 0-4 overall) at Fairfield (0-1 Division III, 1-3 overall): The Eagles are in unchartered waters. After making the District 3-AA playoffs in six of the last seven seasons, one more loss this week will all but end any shot of making it to the postseason this year. The graduation game finally caught up to Jon DeFoe's club. Bermudian has a minus-42-point differential, which translates to an average margin of defeat of 10.5. The Green Knights, meanwhile, haven't been competitive in any of their three losses. Their lone win came against a lowly James Buchanan side and you could argue that, despite holding a slightly better record than the Eagles, Fairfield is probably the underdog in this game.
Littlestown (1-0 Division III, 1-3 overall) at Delone Catholic (0-1 Division III, 1-3 overall): The Thunderbolts emphatically put a disappointing non-league slate behind them with a big 23-6 win over York Tech last week. In the victory, the 23 points was not only a season high for the offense, but the six points given up were also a season low. Prior to allowing just six points against the Spartans, Littlestown was allowing 38.0 points per game in its three defeats. Moving on to the Squires, they're a confusing bunch. It was probably shocking that they lost their opener to Trinity, but then bounced right back against Columbia. A loss to Union City (Tennessee) wasn't telling. That result was a forgone conclusion. But the loss to winless York Catholic to begin division play last week came as a bit of a surprise. Delone has a good running attack with the two-headed monster of Sean Sneeringer and Tavian Dorsey. The two have combined for 597 rushing yards and eight touchdowns in 2015.
York Catholic (1-0 Division III, 1-3 overall) at Hanover (1-0 Division III, 4-0 overall): The Irish are finally in the win column after knocking off Delone last Friday night. The team is riding the coattails of junior running back Jakkar Kinard, who's already rushed for 354 yards and four touchdowns. The rushing totals are good for third in the league. Now, York Catholic will try to make it two in a row and restore some of those winning ways from a 2014 season in which the program went 8-4 overall and 6-1 in Division III. However, putting together a winning streak won't come easy. The Irish have to travel to face the undefeated Nighthawks. After each of Hanover's first three non-league wins, the team still had doubters about how good it truly was, and if its record was only a product of weak competition. But, after slipping past Bermudian Springs last week, the Nighthawks are starting to gain more and more believers. Also, Hanover is outscoring opponents 109-34. Tough to argue against that.
Biglerville (1-0 Division III, 2-2 overall) at York Tech (0-1 Division III, 1-3 overall), 2 p.m.: After two close losses to begin the year, the Canners look like they finally found their winning touch. They've won their last two games by a combined 61 points, including last Friday's division opener over Fairfield, 47-0. A trendy pick to win the Division III crown, Biglerville very much looks the part and might just be one of two teams, with Hanover, to really contend for the title. Meanwhile, after a surprising win to open the year, the Spartans haven't built off of that success, mired in a three-game losing streak. Since scoring 27 points in its win over Pequea Valley, York Tech has only scored 38 points since, a mere 12.8 per game. This could be a long afternoon for the Spartans vs. a team that has seemingly found its stride.
— Reach Patrick Strohecker at email@example.com.