This weekend's football game capsules
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.
Central York (1-5 Division I, 2-7 overall) at York High (0-6 Division I, 0-9 overall): For both teams, this is a season to forget. But, for one of them, this match-up provides an opportunity to end the season on a high note and maybe get some momentum heading into 2016. On paper, this looks like a game that favors the Panthers. They've been competitive in more games than the Bearcats. It's a shame that both teams are struggling, because traditionally, they're two of the more accomplished programs in York County history.
Red Lion (4-2 Division I, 6-3 overall) at Dallastown (6-0 Division I, 9-0 overall): This is the type of match-up that makes you love Week 10 of the high school football season. This is one of the most intense rivalries in the league, and when the two teams are good — like this year — the drama only increases. The Wildcats have already clinched at least a share of the Division I title and are going for a perfect regular season. The Lions would like nothing more than to go into Dallastown's home field and ruin the Wildcats' perfect season. The Lions could also make Dallastown share the division title. Red Lion has the talent and ability to do so, with the highest-scoring offense in the league. The atmosphere in this game should be electric. Both teams have a lot to play for, not only for bragging rights, but with postseason positioning also on the line.
New Oxford (1-5 Division I, 2-7 overall) at Northeastern (4-2 Division I, 7-2 overall): The Colonials snapped their seven-game losing streak with a win over York High last week, so they have that going for them. But, for the most part, after earning a season-opening win, what started as a potentially surprising season for New Oxford turned into more of the same from last year's winless campaign. While the two wins are an improvement, little was to be expected of the Colonials. They were clearly overmatched in some games this year against a loaded Division I. For the Bobcats, it's a bit disappointing that they didn't have either of their top two quarterbacks in last week's showdown against South Western. Had they had either Shannon Valenti or Blake Einsig available, then maybe this week they could be playing for the chance to share the Division I title with Dallastown. But, the potential of an eight-win season is nothing to sulk about for Northeastern and there's always the chance to solidify its No. 3 seeding for the upcoming District 3-AAA playoffs. The Bobcats should roll in this one.
South Western (5-1 Division I, 7-2 overall) at Spring Grove (3-3 Division I, 4-5 overall): This game also has a lot riding on it for both teams. Beginning with the Mustangs, after last week's win over Northeastern, they still have a chance to capture a share of the Division I championship with Dallastown. That was always the expectation for this program this year, so South Western will at least have a shot to accomplish that in the final week. As for the Rockets, they need a win to potentially keep their season alive. After last week's loss to Red Lion, Spring Grove slid from the 14th spot in the District 3-AAA power ratings to No. 17, or the first spot out of the playoffs. In the Rockets' first year under Head Coach Kyle Sprenkle, they've done some good things, but could ultimately be undone by a heavily back-loaded schedule that featured games vs. the Bobcats, Lions and Mustangs. If the Rockets lose to South Western, they'll be 0-3 in that stretch.
Dover (3-2 Division II, 4-5 overall) at Susquehannock (3-2 Division II, 4-5 overall): Here's a showdown between two teams that would like to finish at .500, despite not having any chance at making the playoffs. It's been a disappointing end to the season for an Eagles team that began the year with so much potential. But, the suspension of several players for the final three weeks of the season hampered the team's roster and is taking a toll. Over that time, the Eagles have gone from playing for first place in Division II to now just trying to salvage a .500 record. As for the Warriors, they've alternated wins and losses over the last six weeks, so they'd probably like to snap that streak and finish the year on a mini two-game win streak. Over the last five seasons, Susquehannock has only won six total games and the four wins this year are already more than it had in any of those five seasons. A fifth win would be a heck of a way to cap off the team's first year under Head Coach Steve Wiles.
Eastern York (1-4 Division II, 4-5 overall) at York Suburban (5-0 Division II, 7-2 overall): The Golden Knights have a chance to end the year .500, despite a bad run of games in division competition. Eastern is 3-1 in non-league games, but just 1-4 in the division. However, knocking off the Trojans won't be easy. Suburban has already clinched at least a share of the Division II title. Now, it'll look to claim its first outright division crown since 1982. Quarterback Thomas Merkle also became York County's all-time passing leader last week against Gettysburg, so he'll be looking to distance himself from the rest of the pack. Lastly, senior wide receiver Collin Mailman needs just 17 yards on Friday night to be the only receiver in the Y-A League to eclipse 1,000 on the year.
Kennard-Dale (3-6 overall) at Millersburg (5-4 overall): The Rams finished up their division schedule last week with a loss to Susquehannock. Now, they'll look to cap a good second half of the regular season with a victory on the road against a competitive Indians squad. Over the last four weeks, K-D is 2-2, or just one fewer win than the program had over its previous 25 games. As for Millersburg, this game means everything. The program is clinging to the final playoff spot in the District 3-A power ratings, meaning a win will earn it a postseason trip. However, a loss and the Indians could be done for the year.
Gettysburg (0-5 Division II, 1-8 overall) at West York (4-1 Division II, 4-5 overall): For the better part of the season, it was evident that this was going to be a rebuilding year for the Warriors, who experienced success in prior years under Head Coach Matt Heiser. Meanwhile, despite an 0-4 non-league showing for the Bulldogs, here they are with a shot at capturing a share of the Division II title. Should Suburban slip up vs. Eastern York, a win for West York will tie it at the top of the standings in the first season under Head Coach Jeremy Jones. More than likely, however, the Bulldogs look like they're headed for a runner-up finish.
Biglerville (5-1 Division III, 6-3 overall) at Bermudian Springs (5-1 Division III, 5-4 overall): It was to be expected that both of these teams would be in a position to at least have a shot at sharing the Division III title at the beginning of the year. How they got to this point, however, is completely different. The Canners were a trendy pick to win the division after being a team on the rise the last couple years. The Eagles, on the other hand, struggled to begin the year, starting 0-4. Since then, Bermudian has done nothing but win and is now in a position to finish the year 6-4, possibly share the Division III crown and sneak its way into a District 3-AA playoff spot. What's at stake in this match-up is this: Whoever wins will at least assure itself of being co-Division III champion and being in the playoffs.
Delone Catholic (3-3 Division III, 4-5 overall) at Hanover (5-1 Division III, 8-1 overall): It's all or nothing for the Squires this week. Even then, it might not be enough. Delone is currently the first team out of the District 3-A playoffs, needing a win to have any hope of extending its season past 10 games. But, it all starts with a win, and then maybe the Squires could get a little bit of help from Kennard-Dale if it could knock off Millersburg, which might see Delone and the Indians potentially flip-flop in the power ratings. However, it won't come easy vs. a Nighthawks team that's feasted on lesser opposition and is probably going to have a mean streak after having their undefeated season ended last week at Biglerville. With a win, Hanover can still earn a share of the Division III title with the winner of Bermudian-Biglerville game and keep a firm grasp on a home playoff date in the District 3-AA postseason.
Littlestown (1-5 Division III, 1-8 overall) at Fairfield (0-6 Division III, 1-8 overall): Both programs have seen better days. They are the two bottom teams in Division III. The only thing on the line in this match-up is which team will finish in last place. Despite owning the only division win between these two teams, a loss will send Littlestown to 1-9 overall, a game worse than the Green Knights. Meanwhile, Fairfield is looking to avoid being the only team in the division to go winless in division play. There isn't a ton of importance in this match-up, but there's a whole lot of pride on the line.
York Catholic (4-2 Division III, 4-5 overall) at York Tech (1-5 Division III, 2-7 overall), 2 p.m.: The Irish have basically wrapped up a playoff spot in Class A, but there's still a lot riding on this game. To start, York Catholic will want to finish .500 and enter the postseason on a two-game win streak. Then there's also the potential that, with a loss, the Irish could actually slide to No. 4 in the District 3-A power ratings, forcing them to take on powerhouse Camp Hill in the first round, rather than Steel High. Meanwhile, the Spartans haven't been the easiest of outs this year. There's something about Tech that makes teams struggle for a while, but the Spartans only rarely stick around for a full game. This week might not be any different. York Catholic possesses the ultimate X-factor in Jakkar Kinard, one of only two players in the Y-A League to rush for more than 1,000 yards this season.
— Reach Patrick Strohecker at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow on Twitter @P_Strohecker