It's hard to believe it, but we've finally arrived at Week 10 of the high school football season.
I know, it seems like it was just yesterday that the 23 teams in the York-Adams League were funneling into the news building for high school football media day. Now, we're already at the end of the regular season.
And while some things are already set in stone regarding division winners — Dallastown and York Suburban have at least clinched a share of the Division I and Division II titles, respectively — even more remains unsettled going into Week 10. So, I'm here to break everything down of what's at stake when the teams kick off on Friday night.
Division I: As I mentioned, the Wildcats have already assured themselves at least a share of the Division I title with their win last week against Central York. It's deserving as well, considering that Dallastown is now the only remaining unbeaten team in the Y-A League, standing at a perfect 9-0 and 6-0 in league play. The Wildcats have also navigated the Division I schedule masterfully, taking down Northeastern after trailing by two scores in the fourth quarter and winning a road contest against South Western. Division I is, without a doubt, the toughest of the three divisions and Dallastown is one win away from conquering it without a blemish.
So, here's what's at stake this week. A victory by the Wildcats means they'll win the division outright. That's cut and dry. However, the Mustangs still have hope to share the division title with Dallastown after it took down the Bobcats last week. In order for South Western to capture a share of the Division I crown, it needs to beat Spring Grove on the road and then hope that the Wildcats slip up at home against Red Lion. If that scenario plays out, then both the Mustangs and Dallastown would share the Division I title with matching 6-1 league records. However, a loss by South Western to the Rockets eliminates all hopes of sharing the division crown.
Division II: Much like with Dallastown, York Suburban already clinched a share of the Division II title by remaining unbeaten in league play entering the final week of the season. Now, all the Trojans need is a win over Eastern York in Week 10, or a West York loss to Gettysburg and they'll be outright division champs for the first time since 1982.
Which, takes me to the scenario for the Bulldogs. Despite a disastrous non-league schedule in which West York lost all four of its games, it still feasted on familiar foes in league competition. The Bulldogs are 4-1 in league play and still have the outside shot of sharing the Division II title with Suburban, but need some help. It all starts with a win by West York over the Warriors to keep the hopes alive. Then, the Bulldogs would need the Trojans to get upset at home by the Golden Knights and the two teams would share the crown with identical 5-1 league records. But, with both teams playing weaker competition, wins for both Suburban and the Bulldogs seem likely, meaning that the Trojans should be sole champions of Division II.
But, hey, crazier things have happened before.
Division III: This is the fun division, especially after last week.
With Biglerville knocking off Hanover and ending the Nighthawks' undefeated season, it created a three-way tie atop the Division III standings along with Bermudian Springs. Yes, the Eagles still have a shot to win the division, despite beginning the year 0-4. That's what happens when the division has an abnormally bad year. It allows teams to stay in contention longer than you actually think they should.
But, here's the deal for this log jam at the top. The Canners must travel to Bermudian for the annual rivalry game. One of those two teams will wind up with a second loss and be eliminated from even sharing the Division III championship. Whichever wins assures itself nothing less than a share of the title.
Hanover, meanwhile, hosts Delone Catholic, which doesn't seem to be much of a challenge for the Nighthawks the way they've rolled through weaker competition. In all likelihood, we look to be heading to a joint-champion in Division III with Hanover and the winner of the matchup between Biglerville and the Eagles. However, the only way we can have a sole champion, is with a Nighthawks loss, which then makes the winner between the Canners and Bermudian the 2015 champion.
The Eagles have even more riding on this week's finale because a win could secure them the final District 3-AA playoff spot. A loss and they're season will end considering that they're currently No. 9 and only the top eight make the playoffs.
So, while a couple things have already been assured heading into Week 10, many more haven't. Meaning that this Friday night could shape up to be an epic regular-season finale.
District 3 outlook
For the duration of the regular season, I'll post an updated look at how Y-A League teams are fairing in the District 3 power ratings. Here's how things are shaking out after Week 9:
Class A (Four-team field): No. 3 - York Catholic; No. 5 - Delone Catholic; No. 9 - Fairfield
Class AA (Eight-team field): No. 4 - Hanover; No. 7 - Biglerville; No. 9 - Bermudian Springs; No. 14 - Littlestown
Class AAA (16-team field): No. 3 - Northeastern; No. 10 - York Suburban; No. 17 - Spring Grove; No. 20 - West York; No. 21 - Susquehannock; No. 24 - Dover; No. 31 - Kennard-Dale; No. 32 - Eastern York; No. 33 - New Oxford; No. 36 - Gettysburg
Class AAAA (16-team field): No. 6 - Dallastown; No. 10 - South Western; No. 12 - Red Lion; No. 21 - Central York; No. 27 - York Tech; No. 28 - York High
— Reach Patrick Strohecker at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow on Twitter @P_Strohecker