This weekend's game capsules for York-Adams teams
Here are the Week 8 preview capsules for games involving York-Adams League teams. All games begin at 7 p.m. Friday.
Central York (1-3 Division I, 2-5 overall) at Red Lion (2-2 Division I, 4-3 overall): Of the three divisions in the Y-A League, Division I is without a doubt the toughest. That means, for struggling teams such as the Panthers, trying to navigate the treacherous waters and win football games is no easy task. Central finally snapped a four-game losing streak in Week 6 against New Oxford, but instantly found itself back in the losing column last week. Now, the Panthers must travel to face the Lions, a team fighting for its playoff life, hovering at No. 13 in the most recent District 3-AAAA power ratings. Any chances of Red Lion winning the Division I title are all but gone. However, it's still one of the more talented programs in the division. It won't be an easy task for a Central squad that can't afford any more slip ups this season and keep its district playoff hopes alive.
New Oxford (0-4 Division I, 1-6 overall) at Dallastown (4-0 Division I, 7-0 overall): The Colonials haven't won since Week 1 and are simply over-matched in the loaded division. New Oxford ranks 18th of 23 Y-A League teams in turnover differential at minus-four. That's not a good sign for the Colonials, who are going up against a Wildcats team that boasts the top turnover differential in the league at plus-11. Dallastown is also the No. 1 scoring defense, allowing just 10.1 points per game, the first time its been in double figures since Week 1. This game doesn't seem to provide many challenges for the Wildcats, especially not after taking on Northeastern and South Western the last two weeks and getting through those tough match-ups unscathed.
Northeastern (3-1 Division I, 6-1 overall) at Spring Grove (3-1 Division I, 4-3 overall): It's pretty common knowledge that Y-A League teams don't fare too well in District 3 play in the two larger classes. With that said. Northeastern has generated some buzz within the area about what it could do come playoff time in AAA, if it continues to win. The Bobcats are one bad fourth quarter against Dallastown in Week 6 from being undefeated. They righted the ship this past Friday, and from the looks of their remaining opponents, shouldn't finish with fewer than eight wins in the regular season. The Rockets on the other hand, aren't pushovers. Spring Grove has rebounded from a rough early stretch that saw it go 1-4 and has since won three straight. The Rockets are currently seeded No. 13 in the District 3-AAA power ratings and one more win could seal a return to the postseason. However, beginning with this game against Northeastern, Spring Grove's remaining schedule is mighty tough and it will take a special effort in one of the games to come away with that fifth win.
South Western (3-1 Division I, 5-2 overall) at York High (0-4 Division I, 0-7 overall): The Mustangs could never fully catch up to Dallastown last week, but they deserve credit for giving themselves a chance on the final play to force overtime. Unfortunately, a last-second pass was intercepted in the end zone and they suffered their first division loss of the year. Still, South Western is in a good spot to contend for the Division I title and will have an easy opportunity to get back on that path this week. The Bearcats have started to put up some points the last three weeks. In fact, they've scored 42, which is more than two-thirds of their entire season total. However, York High still hasn't figured out how to prevent the opposition from scoring, so it still hasn't sniffed a win. This could be another long night for the Bearcats, as their incredibly tough schedule continues to haunt them.
Dover (3-0 Division II, 4-3 overall) at York Suburban (3-0 Division II, 5-2 overall): This is not only the premier match-up of the week in the Y-A League, but it could ultimately be the game that decides the Division II champion. Both teams come in undefeated in division play and are doing it with first-year head coaches and very different philosophies. Beginning with the Eagles, they're a team piecing together their quarterback spot, now working on their third and fourth options, both of whom began the year at other positions. On the stat sheet, Dover won't jump out at you in any category, for good or bad, but it's steady and that counts for something. Meanwhile, the Trojans have the No. 1 passing attack in the league, led by senior quarterback Thomas Merkle. He's thrown for more than 1,400 yards this season, with 15 touchdowns, and is completing 60 percent of his passes. His weapons outside aren't too shabby either. Collin Mailman leads the league in receiving yards with 663 and teammate Brad Smith is seventh with 435.
Eastern York (1-3 Division II, 3-4 overall) at Kennard-Dale (1-3 Division II, 2-5 overall): The Golden Knights haven't really strung anything together since beginning the year 2-0, but sit just a game under .500. With a favorable match-up this week, this seems about as good a time as any for Eastern to get back to level terms for the first time since being 2-2 after Week 4. The Golden Knights have feasted on lesser competition this year and go into this game as favorites. However, this Rams team isn't necessarily as bad as its 2-5 mark. The team can put up points, however it struggles defensively. With that said, K-D did snap its three-game losing streak last week by coming from 14 points down in the fourth quarter against Gettysburg and winning in overtime. A win like that can build character and may be the start of something moving forward.
West York (2-1 Division II, 2-5 overall) at Susquehannock (2-1 Division II, 3-4 overall): Oh, how this season could be so much different for the Bulldogs had just one or two plays gone their way. West York has lost games this year on a last-minute touchdown pass and a last-second field goal, which occurred last Friday night against York Suburban. Overall, the Bulldogs have lost three games by one score, which ultimately could be the difference between making the district playoffs and not. Meanwhile, the Warriors are part of the logjam of teams within a game of first place, but haven't shown any true signs of being a threat to win the division. Susquehannock has alternated wins and losses over its past five games, but is being out scored in that span by 32 points — not necessarily what it takes to be a division champ.
Gettysburg (1-6 overall) at Conrad Weiser (5-2): This season just can't end soon enough for the Warriors. After being mired in a disappointing 2015, Gettysburg finally looked to have something positive going for it through three quarters last week against Kennard-Dale. But, a fourth-quarter collapse that resulted in an overtime loss handed the Warriors their fifth consecutive defeat. Now, they leave the division for the final time this year to take on a tough Scouts team. Conrad Weiser has won five of its last six games, which includes a win over a Reading school that has done a number on a couple Y-A League teams this year. The Scouts also sit in the No. 13 spot in the District 3-AAA power ratings, so they don't have a lot of room for error with three games to play. This should be an easy victory for CW.
York Catholic (3-1 Division III, 3-4 overall) at Bermudian Springs (3-1 Division III, 3-4 overall): This is about how the Division III race is going. Most of the teams had horrible non-league performances and now some are getting it together in division play. The end result is a few teams contending with Hanover for the division lead, despite having losing records. These are two of those teams. Both have found their 2014 form by taking down familiar foes in the division. During a mini two-game winning streak for the Irish, they've leaped from fifth in the District 3-A ratings to No. 3, which has them in the playoffs and avoiding powerhouse Camp Hill in the semifinals at the moment. Meanwhile, the Eagles look nothing like the team that went unbeaten during the regular season last year, yet find themselves in a familiar spot in the Division III race. Despite starting the year with four straight losses, Bermudian has answered with three consecutive wins. While not all the victories have come easily, wins are wins, and even if it doesn't result in a whole lot this season, it could result in solid momentum for 2016.
Littlestown (1-3 Division III, 1-6 overall) at Biglerville (3-1 Division III, 4-3 overall): The Thunderbolts are mired in their second three-game losing skid of 2015. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like they'll have a great shot of stopping this one at three. There isn't necessarily one place to start when it comes to explaining where things have gone wrong for Littlestown, but turnover differential is a good place to begin. The Thunderbolts have the third-worst turnover differential at minus-eight, committing 15 turnovers while only forcing seven takeaways. Meanwhile, the Canners had everything going in the right direction, but had a surprising setback last week when they lost to York Catholic. Still, as long as Biglerville can take care of business against Littlestown this Friday night, it'll set up a showdown that will most likely decide the Division III winner in Week 9 against Hanover.
Delone Catholic (1-3 Division III, 2-5 overall) at Fairfield (0-4 Division III, 1-6 overall): The Squires can't afford any more hiccups this year if they want to have any shot of making the District 3-A playoffs. Only four teams make it to start and currently they're seventh. The positive news for Delone is that it shouldn't have much problem with the Green Knights this week, a team that ranks at or near the bottom in basically every category. If there's any positive to this Fairfield season, it's the fact that the team has scored in double figures three straight games. However, that does little good when you're allowing 38.1 per game.
York Tech (1-3 Division III, 2-5 overall) at Hanover (4-0 Division III, 7-0 overall): The Spartans earned their first division win of the season last week, defeating Fairfield 30-14. Their reward? A date with the high-flying Nighthawks. Despite being just 2-5 on the year, Tech has actually been respectable on defense. It's in the middle of the pack of the Y-A League in most categories, but has been held back by the offense. Meanwhile, this looks to be another cakewalk for Hanover, a team that is picking apart a division that is having a down year. This should serve as one final tune-up game for the Nighthawks before they travel to Biglerville next week for what should be their toughest match-up of the season.
— Reach Patrick Strohecker at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow on Twitter @P_Strohecker