This weekend's high school football capsules for York-Adams teams
Here are the Week 9 preview capsules for games involving York-Adams League teams. All games begin at 7 p.m. Friday unless otherwise noted.
Dallastown (5-0 Division I, 8-0 overall) at Central York (1-4 Division I, 2-6 overall): With a win this Friday, the Wildcats will clinch at least a share of the Division I title, making it back-to-back seasons as the champion. The Wildcats continue to roll through the league slate, despite playing in the toughest of the three divisions. In recent weeks, the defense has given up some points — not many, but some — to the point where Dallastown is now giving up more than 10 points per game. But the offense has also picked up the pace over the last two weeks, making the Wildcats one of the most well-rounded teams in the Y-A League. As for the Panthers, at this point it's about playing out the season. They're out of the running for a division title and qualifying for the District 3-AAAA playoffs. Friday is Senior Night for Central York, so expect the seniors to leave it all on the field in their final home game.
York High (0-5 Division I, 0-8 overall) at New Oxford (0-5 Division I, 1-7 overall): There's nothing glamorous about this match-up, with two teams with a combined division record of 0-10 and overall mark of 1-15. The two sides are also on a combined 15-game losing streak, with the only win between the two coming by the Colonials in Week 1. There's also unrest in Bearcat country. At a board meeting last week, some parents expressed unhappiness with the direction of the program. This season can't end soon enough for York High. As for New Oxford, this is a good chance to record a second win and prevent itself from winding up in last place in Division I. Essentially, that's the only thing riding on this game.
Northeastern (4-1 Division I, 7-1 overall) at South Western (4-1 Division I, 6-2 overall), 7:30 p.m.: This showdown is the polar opposite of York High and New Oxford, with this one still holding some bearing on the potential outcome of the Division I championship. Whichever of these two teams wins this game, will still have an outside shot of at least claiming a share of the Division I crown. The Bobcats come on a roll. Northeastern did not let its one setback to Dallastown alter their season. Northeastern currently sits in the No. 3 spot in the District 3-AAA power ratings and might have the best shot to make some noise among the Y-A League big schools come playoff time. As for the Mustangs, this is a chance at redemption. After being a heavy favorite entering the year as the team to beat in Division I, a loss to Northeastern will end any hope of a division title and would mean both losses came against their two toughest division opponents on their home field. There's also the outside shot that by ending the year with three consecutive victories, South Western could host a first-round district game, rather than going on the road. There's a lot riding on this match-up.
Spring Grove (3-2 Division I, 4-4 overall) at Red Lion (3-2 Division I, 5-3 overall): You know it's late in the season when there's a lot at stake in so many games. This is another one of those. Both the Rockets and Lions are clinging to district playoff berths in their respective classes. For Spring Grove, it sits at No. 14 in Class AAA, where the top 16 make the playoffs. A win in any of the Rockets' two final games could clinch a playoff berth, but neither will be easy, with Red Lion and South Western lurking in a heavily back loaded division slate for Spring Grove. As for the Lions, a win in any of their final two games should also solidify their playoff standing. Right now, Red Lion sits at No. 13 out of 16 AAAA playoff teams. With a rivalry game looming in Week 10 vs. Dallastown, this is the Lions' best chance to chalk up a final win on the year and strengthen their district playoff spot.
West York (3-1 Division II, 3-5 overall) at Dover (3-1 Division II, 4-4 overall): Finally, a close game went the way of the Bulldogs. West York clawed out a 34-31 win over Susquehannock in Week 7, the first time the team won a game decided by one score in four opportunities. If nothing else, the Bulldogs' record isn't indicative of how hard they play, so they're not an easy win for any opponent. Meanwhile, the Eagles are dealing with off-the-field issues. A number of players are reportedly suspended for the season. That left Dover shorthanded and having to resort to its junior varsity team to fill some of the holes that are now open because of the suspensions. It's a disappointing end to what began as a promising season under first-year coach Wayne Snelbaker.
Eastern York (3-5 overall) at Pine Grove (1-7): The Golden Knights began the season with so much promise, beginning with two straight wins. Since, they're just 1-5, with their only win in that span against a Gettysburg program trying to rebuild. With that said, Eastern should win this game because the Cardinals are marred in a difficult season. Pine Grove is 1-7, but in reality has lost all of its games. It was awarded a season-opening victory by forfeit vs. Northern Lebanon, which used an ineligible player. In the team's seven losses, the Cardinals are losing by an average of 38.1 points per game. That's not good and should lead to a victory for the Golden Knights.
Susquehannock (2-2 Division II, 3-5 overall) at Kennard-Dale (2-3 Division II, 3-5 overall): The Warriors are fresh off a tough three-point defeat to West York last week, which continues an inconsistent first year under their new head coach, Steve Wiles. Susquehannock has alternated losses and wins over the last five weeks, going 2-3 in that stretch. At the beginning of the season, this looked like it would be another easy win for the Warriors, but this isn't the same Rams squad from even three weeks ago. At that point, Patrick Weider was still the coach of K-D. Now, since his departure, the Rams are using a two-coach system with Eric Updegrove and Christopher Grube. In that time, K-D has matched its win total in the last two weeks than it had in the entirety of Weider's year-and-a-half tenure (two). It's certainly a different Rams team than in the past, which makes this game more intriguing.
York Suburban (4-0 Division II, 6-2 overall) at Gettysburg (0-4 Division II, 1-7 overall): The Trojans looked great against a depleted Dover squad last week in, arguably, Division II's biggest game of the year. Now, Suburban is in the driver's seat to capture its first division or league title since 1982. With a win this week, the Trojans will at least earn a share of it, which they should accomplish against a rebuilding Warriors program. Also something to watch for with Suburban is quarterback Thomas Merkle's quest to break the York County passing record. Right now, he's only 225 yards from breaking it, a very possible total against a weak Gettysburg secondary. As for the Warriors, this season will certainly be a learning one for many of the young players on the team. Their shot of winning this one is slim, but football is such a week-to-week sport, especially on Senior Night, so maybe Gettysburg will provide its fans with one final good showing in 2015.
Bermudian Springs (4-1 Division III, 4-4 overall) at Littlestown (1-4 Division III, 1-7 overall): It might be a down year for the Eagles in terms of their overall record, but they're still dominating their familiar divisional foes. Granted, overall, this is a very down year for Division III, with only three teams currently in position to make the playoffs. As it stands, Bermudian isn't one of those three, yet it still has an outside shot of winning the Division III title, but needs some help in the final two weeks. The Thunderbolts are one of the D-III teams having a down year. Typically one of the better programs, Littlestown is in rebuilding mode and has struggled to piece together competitive games. So far, the Thunderbolts closest loss of the season was a 15-point defeat to Lancaster Catholic in Week 3.
York Tech (1-4 Division III, 2-6 overall) at Delone Catholic (2-3 Division III, 3-5 overall): The Spartans have caused problems for opponents this season, at least for periods of time. They hung right with the high-flying Hanover offense for a half, before finally succumbing in a rough second half. Against the Squires, Tech could stay close even longer and make a must-win game for Delone turn very tense late. The Squires are currently the first team on the outside of the four-team playoff in District 3-A, meaning that these last two games could make or break their season. Two wins should get Delone into the top four, but nothing is certain. What is certain is that one loss over the final two weeks for the Squires will all but spell doom for their season.
Fairfield (0-5 Division III, 1-7 overall) at York Catholic (3-2 Division III, 3-5 overall): At this point, Darwin Seiler and the Green Knights are just counting down the days until this long, tough season is finally over. It's been a nightmare for Fairfield, which has struggled to be competitive in games, even in a down year for the division. Meanwhile, this game couldn't have come at a better time for the Fighting Irish, who currently sit in the No. 3 position in the Class A power ratings. A playoff spot isn't guaranteed, but with one more win, it likely will be, and that should come this week. York Catholic shouldn't have much trouble with a downtrodden Green Knights squad, which could turn Senior Night into a playoff celebration.
Hanover (5-0 Division III, 8-0 overall) at Biglerville (4-1 Division III, 5-3 overall): In a division with only two real top-tier teams, this was always going to be the premier showdown. Now, it'll likely decide the division champion. The Nighthawks are one of two undefeated teams remaining in the Y-A League, yet have been scrutinized all year long because they haven't played tough competition. Well, this is their time to prove all the doubters wrong by going on the road and knocking off the team that everyone expected to be atop the Division III standings back in August. While winning the Division III crown outright is a long shot for the Canners, a victory over Hanover could very well assure them a shot of at least sharing the title. In addition, Biglerville currently occupies the No. 7 seed in the Class AA power ratings, and with only eight teams making the playoffs, the Canners have little room for error. With the Nighthawks currently the No. 3 team in AA, a win for Biglerville could help it jump up in those standings and lock up a playoff berth heading into the final week of the regular season. This one should be a battle.
— Reach Patrick Strohecker at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow on Twitter @P_Strohecker