York-Adams League Week 5 football preview: Capsules for each game

Thomas Kendziora
York Dispatch

It’s Week 5 of the high school football season, and all 22 members of the York-Adams League are playing league opponents for the first time this fall.

This weekend, believe it or not, marks the halfway point of the regular season. It’s around now when teams transition from learning their identities to jockeying for playoff position. Division races are still in their infancy but are about to crystallize in a hurry.

York High against Northeastern during their football game in Manchester on Friday, Sept.16, 2022.

Ten of the league’s 11 games kick off at 7 p.m. Friday, with York Tech hosting York Catholic at 1 p.m. Saturday. Here’s the rundown of every game on the docket:

DIVISION I

South Western (3-1, 0-1) at Central York (3-1, 1-0): The Panthers still haven’t lost a Division I game since 2018, winning 21 straight and capturing three straight division titles in the process. It was the same old story in Central York’s 42-7 thumping of Spring Grove last week, which included a 35-0 halftime lead. On the other side, South Western looked dominant in the York-Adams League’s only 3-0 start before the Mustangs fell 20-13 at home against Dallastown.

Red Lion (2-2) at York High (2-2, 1-0): The host Bearcats, after losing their first two games by seven points, are back at .500 and absolutely scorching on offense. They’ve scored 54 points in consecutive weeks to bring their average to 41 per game. Red Lion fell 34-17 against a tough Elizabethtown squad last week for its second straight loss, and the Lions have leaks to plug on a defense allowing 32.3 points and 402.5 yards per contest.

Northeastern (1-3, 0-1) at Dallastown (2-2, 1-0): It’s homecoming for the Wildcats, who pulled ahead of South Western in the final seconds last week thanks to heroics from Caleb Fox and a go-ahead TD run by Drayden Lloyd. Northeastern is looking to shake off the cobwebs after a 54-9 home loss to York High. The Bobcats, who’ve averaged 153 rushing yards but only 69.3 passing yards per game, may need more success through the air in order to keep pace.

More:Week 4 football roundup: Dallastown stuns South Western in last minute

York Suburban against York Catholic during their football game in Spring Garden on Friday, Sept.9, 2022.

DIVISION II

York Suburban (2-2, 0-1) at New Oxford (3-1, 1-0): Mikey Bentivegna’s 192 rushing yards and two touchdowns weren’t enough for the Trojans in a 34-20 loss to West York last Friday. New Oxford, helmed by quarterback Jett Moore, continued its strong start with a 36-18 divisional win at Dover. The Colonials won this matchup 51-7 against a rebuilding York Suburban team last season.

Dover (2-2, 0-1) at Susquehannock (2-2): Both teams are looking to rebound after losses, although Susquehannock’s 49-0 defeat against Manheim Central didn’t impact the division standings. This matchup pits Aric Campbell and Dover’s offense against a feisty Warriors defense. This could also be a pivotal matchup for playoff power ratings down the line, even with the Eagles in Class 5A and the Warriors in 4A.

Kennard-Dale (1-3, 1-0) at West York (1-3, 1-0): The Rams and Bulldogs both found the win column for the first time last week and gained divisional head starts in the process. Kennard-Dale running back Gavin Sparks and West York defensive lineman Anthony Walters both earned D-II Player of the Week honors for their roles in those victories, and they’re set to collide on the gridiron Friday.

DIVISION III

Littlestown (1-3, 1-0) at Delone Catholic (1-3, 1-0): These two teams are still settling into their identities after 0-3 records in non-division play, but both rode their quarterbacks to commanding victories last week. Alex Popoff led the Thunderbolts past Hanover in a 50-6 rout, while Denver Ostrum and the Squires beat York Tech 49-25 last Saturday. 

Fairfield (1-2, 1-0) at Hanover (1-3, 0-1): The Green Knights, after losing twice in blowout fashion and pulling out of a game due to a lack of healthy players, cruised past Biglerville for a 25-7 win to start the division slate. They’ll look to improve to 2-0 in the division against a Hanover team that’s allowed 376.5 yards and 35.3 points per game thus far.

Bermudian Springs (0-4, 0-1) at Biglerville (2-2, 0-1): The host Canners already have two wins for the first time since 2019, but the loss to Fairfield exemplified the uphill battle Biglerville still faces. The Eagles are the lone winless team in the York-Adams League after losing 35-10 at York Catholic last Friday.

York Suburban against York Catholic during their football game in Spring Garden on Friday, Sept.9, 2022.

York Catholic (1-3, 1-0) at York Tech (1-3, 0-1): It’s a Saturday afternoon kickoff at York Tech, and the Spartans face the task of stopping Levan McFadden and the Fighting Irish offense. McFadden won D-III Player of the Week after throwing for 66 yards, rushing for 119 and catching three passes for 179 more as his team beat Bermudian Springs 35-10. York Tech fell to 1-3 with its 49-25 home loss to Delone Catholic last Saturday.

CROSS-DIVISIONAL

Spring Grove (2-2) at Eastern York (1-3): The Rockets and Golden Knights both lost their division openers last week, and only one team can right the ship in this cross-county matchup. Spring Grove’s offense never found a rhythm in its 42-7 loss to Central York, failing to record a first down until the late second quarter. Eastern York held a 21-6 lead at Kennard-Dale last week before surrendering the game’s final 41 points.