York Suburban uses big plays to defeat Kennard-Dale, 35-13, and improve to 5-0. ROB ROSE, @robrosesports
It's hard to believe, but with a week left in September, the York-Adams League football regular season has already passed the midway point.
Of course, that's what happens when the season starts in the third week of August. You just gotta love those Week Zero starts during the dog days of summer.
But that's another topic for another day.
With every team in the league now having five games in the record books, it's time to take a look at what we've learned.
Here's a look at the best teams, the best players and biggest surprises thus far in 2019.
Best teams: Well, there are just two 5-0 teams in the league — Northeastern and Suburban.
And, in a quote that Bill Parcells made famous, "you are what your record says you are."
There's no doubt that 5-0 says a lot. The Bobcats and Trojans are the only remaining unbeaten teams in the league.
There's also little doubt, however, that the toughest tests for the Bobcats and the Trojans are looming.
Down the stretch, coach John Scepanski's Bobcats will face four teams with winning records. That includes games at Red Lion (3-2), at Central York (4-1) and at York High (3-2). Before the season, those three programs were generally regarded as the teams to beat in the division. If Northeastern can survive that road gauntlet unscathed, the Bobcats will almost certainly emerge as the Division I champion.
Suburban, meanwhile, will likely be heavily favored to win all of its remaining games, with one exception — an Oct. 11 home showdown against defending Division II champion Gettysburg (4-1).
The Warriors dominated the division a year ago, winning every game by at least 20 points, including a 41-0 pounding of Suburban. They don't appear quite as dominant this season, and coach Andy Loucks' 2019 Suburban crew is certainly a whole lot better than last year's 4-6 outfit.
Still, when the dust clears in late October, the best teams in the league may very well turn out to be the talented outfits from Central York and York High. Central's only loss came to traditional District 3 power Cumberland Valley in a game that the Panthers largely gave away with turnovers. York High's only losses, meanwhile, came to western Pennsylvania power Pittsburgh Central Catholic (4-1) and unbeaten Cedar Crest (5-0).
Best players: At this point, it's hard to argue against Northeastern's Manny Capo and York Suburban's Savion Harrison as the most dominant individual forces in the league.
Those two electrifying running backs have been the constants in helping their respective teams get off to unbeaten starts.
The 5-foot, 10-inch, 175-pound Capo has piled up 962 yards on 121 carries, averaging 8.0 yards per carry with 11 touchdowns.
The 5-9, 170-pound Harrison, meanwhile, has rushed for 815 yards on 81 carries, averaging a whopping 10.1 yards per carry, with 10 touchdowns.
Given the fact that both teams are near-mortal locks for the District 3 playoffs, it wouldn't be a surprise if both backs ended up hitting the 2,000-yard milestone.
Biggest surprises: Naturally, you would think the unbeaten squads from Northeastern and Suburban would dominate this category.
After all, neither team had a winning record last year. Suburban was 4-6, and Northeastern was 5-6.
Nevertheless, most folks knew in the preseason that Suburban, with a wealth of returning talent, would be a D-II force. Most folks also knew that Northeastern had the skill-position talent to contend in D-I.
It's hard to argue, though, that South Western is the league's biggest surprise. The Mustangs won just one game a season ago, and not much was expected from them this year. The senior-laden Mustangs, however, are currently sitting at 3-2 and are riding a three-game winning streak with victories over Carlisle, Dallastown and Red Lion. Before the season, most folks would've penciled in all three of those games as Mustang losses.
Of course, the toughest games for coach Chris Heilman's outfit are looming over the next three weeks (Central York, York High and Northeastern). Still, the Panthers, Bearcats and Bobcats know they can ill afford to overlook South Western. The Mustangs have proven they're no longer pushovers.
— Steve Heiser is sports editor of The York Dispatch. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.