This weekend's high school football game capsules for York-Adams teams
Here are the Week 4 preview capsules for games involving York-Adams League teams. All games begin at 7 p.m.
Northeastern (3-0) at Central York (1-2): Roughly six miles separate these two foes, so you know there's some trash talk between the two sides. The Bobcats come in rolling, scoring the most points (101) in the Y-A League through three non-league games. Northeastern has scored at least 30 points in every contest, led by quarterback Shannon Valenti. Meanwhile, the Panthers enter as the second-worst scoring defense out of the 23 Y-A League teams, giving up an average of 39.3 points per game. However, they've also played the much tougher schedule of the two teams, already having faced West York, Cumberland Valley and Hempfield. Central enters battle-tested, while this will most likely be the Bobcats' toughest game thus far.
Spring Grove (1-2) at Dallastown (3-0): The Rockets enter a game under .500, but a play or two in their favor in Week 3 against York Suburban and this team could be 2-1. Spring Grove enters ninth in the Y-A League in offense (292 yards per game), while also only allowing 263.3 yards per game on defense, good for sixth in the league. Under first-year coach Kyle Sprenkle, the Rockets have been competitive in two of their three games, with the exception being in the opening week against Cumberland Valley. However, the Wildcats enter as one stingy group. Dallastown has only allowed 14 points all year and all of those came in Week 1, which means, yes, this team is working on a two-game shutout streak. The Wildcats' offense hasn't been overwhelming, but it hasn't had to be, needing only to hit double digits to put themselves in a position to win.
South Western (2-1) at New Oxford (1-2): The Mustangs are a definite favorite in Division I this year and rightfully so. After getting pasted by Cedar Cliff in Week 2, South Western bounced back, shutting down the high-flying Carlisle offense, holding it to only 14 points last Friday. The Colonials, on the other hand, lost their last two games after beginning the year with a surprising win. They've been more competitive in all three games in 2015 than really at any point in 2014, which is definitely encouraging. However, New Oxford will need a special kind of performance Friday night if it wants to get the Mustangs' title quest off to a rocky start.
York High (0-3) at Red Lion (2-1): The Bearcats have shown the signs of a team struggling to replace a lot of missing pieces from last year's team. With that said, they also had a tough schedule to begin the year, with Reading, McCaskey and Harrisburg on their non-league schedule. The Lions, meanwhile, are a close loss to Manheim Township in Week 2 away from being undefeated. They look like a team ready to make the next step under head coach Jesse Shay, which would be winning a Division I crown. That quest starts Friday against York High.
Dover (1-2) at Gettysburg (1-2): This is a battle between a couple of teams under .500, but they have gotten there in different paths. The Eagles could easily be 2-1, had they not suffered a 36-35 loss to Big Spring in Week 2. However, Dover has looked like a legit Division II contender with a strong offense and respectable defense. The Warriors, on the other hand, should feel fortunate being 1-2. Their only win was a 21-14 decision over New Oxford, but nothing has been pretty so far for Gettysburg. The Warriors rank at, or near, the bottom in almost every offensive and defensive statistical category. It's certainly a far cry from last year's team that went 8-3 overall, finished 4-2 in Division II and wound up in second place.
West York (0-3) at Eastern York (2-1): Chalk up the Bulldogs' winless start as one of the big surprises as we begin league play. West York's first two games were ones in which it was very competitive, and a play or two here or there could've been the difference between winning and losing. However, last week's 21-point defeat to Red Lion was not encouraging and makes you wonder if this team has the talent to be a threat in the Division II race. One of the few bright spots for the Bulldogs so far is running back Cadence Thomas, who ranks fourth in the league with 260 yards rushing through three games. If West York was a surprise for all the wrong reasons, then the Golden Knights have opened a lot of eyes for all the right ones. A 13-6 defeat last week to undefeated Hanover is the only blemish on their record. Eastern is one of three teams in the Y-A League that is allowing less than 10 points per game, surrendering just 25 in three games (8.3 per game).
York Suburban (1-2) at Kennard-Dale (1-2): The Trojans were certainly deserving of winning at least one of their first three games and finally got rewarded last week. Under first-year coach Andy Loucks, Suburban has been competitive and that comes from a strong passing attack. Through three games, Thomas Merkle is leading the league in yards, with 620, while also throwing five touchdowns compared to three interceptions. His favorite target, Collin Mailman, is also leading the league in catches with 20 so far and sits in third with 297 receiving yards. The Rams finally got a good enough defensive effort in Week 3 to help out their offense. K-D's win last Friday against York Tech got it in the win column for the first time in 2015, despite having an offense that ranks with some of the best teams in the Y-A League. The Rams are tied for fifth in scoring offense at 25.3 points per game, while Dalton Stike and Kyle Wooldridge have proven to be one of the most lethal quarterback-wideout combos in the league, connecting 15 times for a league-high 313 yards.
Susquehannock (1-2) at Exeter Township (3-0): With a seven-team division, one team in Division II has a non-league game each week. This week it's the Warriors. Unfortunately for Susquehannock fans, it won't be an easy one. The Warriors are giving up 27.3 points per game, putting them in the lower half of scoring defense in the Y-A League. That number could get inflated after this week, too, when they go up against a potent Eagles offense. Through three gams, Exeter Township is averaging 42.7 points per game and only allowing 15.0. That doesn't bode well for Head Coach Steve Wiles and Susquehannock.
Hanover (3-0) at Bermudian Springs (0-3): The Nighthawks have done it all in their three wins so far. They've blown out opponents on offense, shut out a team on defense and won a defensive struggle in a battle of unbeatens last week. It's still to be determined if this team is for real, but every indication points to Hanover being there right to the end in the Division III race. Meanwhile, the Eagles might sit in the top spot of biggest early-season surprises. Last year, Bermudian didn't lose until the District 3-AA semifinals. Now, this year, making the playoffs seems like an after thought to just winning a game. The Eagles rank 20th (out of 23 teams) in scoring offense at 12.3 points per game, while surrendering 23.7 points per game on defense.
Fairfield (1-2) at Biglerville (1-2): The Green Knights do everything big, whether it's winning or losing. In their two losses this season, they've lost by an average of 41.0 points per game. In their lone win, they won by 28. Because of that inconsistent play, Fairfield ranks in the bottom third of the league in almost every statistical category. Hardly a recipe for success. The Canners on the other hand, finally got rewarded for competitive play, earning their first win last Friday against New Oxford. Biglerville is the perfect example of how a record doesn't tell the whole story. The Canners lost their first two games by a combined four points and then cruised past the Colonials by 14. That's a plus-10 point differential with a 1-2 record. This could be the first step to competing for a Division III championship.
Delone Catholic (1-2) at York Catholic (0-3): The Squires' rush defense took a real hit last Friday, when they allowed more than 400 rushing yards to powerhouse Union City (Tennessee). But, that game didn't mean much more than just a loss in the win-loss column and could actually prove to be more valuable as league play begins. The Irish, however, have looked nothing like the eight-win program from 2014. If there is a bright spot with this York Catholic team it comes in the form of Jakkar Kinard, who is trying to fill the shoes his older brother Hakeem left behind last year. Hakeem, as you might recall, was the Division III Player of the Year. This year, Jakkar has rushed for 197 yards in three games, good for 11th in the league.
York Tech (1-2) at Littlestown (0-3): After a Week 1 win over Pequea Valley, rumblings about an improved Spartans team picked up. But, after losing to Kennard-Dale last week and dropping to 1-2, they've stopped. Tech still ranks near the middle of the league in most statistical categories, which should help it stay competitive in the tight-knit Division III landscape. The Thunderbolts, meanwhile, haven't been good so far in 2015. They've lost their first three games by an average of 29.3 points per game. Still, this is a winnable game for Littlestown and that would be enough to move it to the top of the standings in Division III.
— Reach Patrick Strohecker @firstname.lastname@example.org.