The following are game capsules for Week 9 of the York-Adams League football season. All games are slated to start at 7 p.m. Friday unless otherwise noted.
Central York (5-3, 3-2) at Dallastown (7-1, 4-1): The Panthers took a step back in their quest for a Division I title last week when they lost to undefeated Red Lion. Still, the fact that Central was the first team to go into the fourth quarter against the Lions within a score, and keep a game against them within 10 points, proved that it’s a legit team. Now, the Panthers need to look at trying to salvage a District 3 6-A playoff berth. Awaiting them are the Wildcats, a team still in the hunt for a share of the D-I crown and also fighting to stay inside the 6-A playoff picture. This is a huge game for both programs and will have a lot of bearing on the postseason hopes of both. Dallastown won last year’s meeting, 33-14.
South Western (4-4, 3-2) at Northeastern (6-2, 3-2): The Mustangs have feasted on weaker opponents this season, while strugglng against good teams. This is one of those games against a good team. South Western has been very up and down this year, never stringing together more than a two-game winning streak or losing streak. The Bobcats are surging up the 5-A ratings after playing themselves out of the Division I title race early on. With two more wins to close out the year, there’s a very good chance Northeastern could work its way into a No. 2 seed in the 5-A power ratings and set itself up to potentially host two district games. The Mustangs’ defense dominated last year’s contest, leading them to a 24-7 win.
Red Lion (8-0, 5-0) at Spring Grove (4-4, 2-3): Of the three division leaders in the Y-A League, the Lions are the only team that can clinch a division title outright in Week 9. With a win over the Rockets and a Dallastown loss, Red Lion will secure the Division I title by itself with a week still to go in the regular season. Even with a win, the Lions will at least clinch a share of the crown for the first time since 2003. The Rockets, meanwhile, took advantage of a favorable early-season schedule, but have faltered in the back half. After beginning the year 4-2, Spring Grove has lost two in a row and will simply try to play spoiler against Red Lion. The Lions doubled-up the Rockets in 2015, 28-14.
Dover (2-6, 1-3) at West York (2-6, 2-2): This rivalry game will see one team get a third win, while the other will continue to be stuck at two. The Eagles have struggled to hold onto the ball this year, turning it over a league-high 26 times. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs are coming off a wild victory against Susquehannock in Week 8, when they scored on a Hail Mary to pull to within a point and then were successful on the two-point conversion to pull off the stunning win. West York cruised to a win in last year’s meeting, 39-14.
Central (Martinsburg) (8-1) at Eastern York (4-4, 4-1): The Golden Knights still have a chance to earn a share of the Division II title if they can win their Week 10 game against York Suburban. However, they must first finish out their non-league schedule against a very good Dragons team from the Altoona area that comes in on a six-game winning streak and has won three out of four road games on the year.
Gettysburg (5-3, 3-1) at York Suburban (6-2, 4-0): This is a huge Division II match-up, with a Warriors win creating a three-way tie atop the division standings, while a Trojans win would assure them of at least a share of the D-II crown for the second straight year. Gettysburg has been a revelation within D-II this year, potentially working its way toward a winning record after winning just once in 2015. Suburban is just two wins away from duplicating its 2015 season, when it also began the year 0-2, rattled off eight straight wins and won the D-II title for the first time in more than three decades. The Trojans blitzed the Warriors in last year’s contest, 45-14.
Kennard-Dale (0-5, 0-8) at Susquehannock (2-6, 1-3): If there was ever a chance for the Rams to potentially earn a win this year and avoid a winless campaign, this could be the game. K-D hasn’t been good this year, but if there’s a bright spot, it’s come with the team’s passing defense, which ranks fifth in the league, allowing just 85.3 yards per game. But, what makes this a winnable game for the Rams is the fact that the Warriors could have a hangover effect after their shocking, last-second loss to West York. However, Susky might just be a little bit better than its record indicates. It did beat Eastern York and has played in some close games. The Warriors won last year’s meeting, 35-17.
Littlestown (7-1, 4-1) at Bermudian Springs (6-2, 4-1): This is a key Division III showdown that still has some title implications hanging on the outcome. Should York Catholic slip up at any point over the final two weeks, the winner of this game could slide into a share of the D-III crown. Of course, this game also has major District 3 3-A implications, with the winner potentially becoming the No. 2 seed in the class, while the loser will most likely finish at No. 3 or No. 4. That is the difference between hosting a playoff game and having to travel. The Eagles shut out the Thunderbolts 35-0 a year ago.
York Catholic (7-1, 5-0) at Fairfield (4-4, 1-4): The Fighting Irish haven’t claimed a division title in 24 years, but that could all end with a win against the Green Knights. York Catholic can wrap up a share of the Division III championship with a win. If there’s anything the Fighting Irish have shown this year, it’s that when the games mean the most, they perform at their highest level. On the other side of the ball, Fairfield is still searching for a win against an opponent with a win. The Green Knights are as middle-of-the-pack as they come, beating the bad teams, but falling to good ones. Their 4-0 start is a distant memory. They're now struggling to snap a four-game losing streak. York Catholic crushed Fairfield a season ago, 59-14.
Biglerville (0-8, 0-5) at Hanover (4-4, 2-3): There are just two chances remaining for the Canners to grab a win and avoid going winless, but there’s a decent chance 0-10 is in the cards. Biglerville ranks near the bottom in nearly every statistical category in the league. The Nighthawks are coming off a nice road win over York Tech in Week 8 in a game that began at 10 a.m. They shouldn’t have much trouble with the Canners this year, although this game doesn’t have nearly as much shine as last year’s meeting that had Division III title implications. Biglerville doubled-up Hanover in 2015 during the regular season, 42-21.
New Oxford (0-8, 0-5) at York High (0-8, 0-5) (noon): One of these teams will earn its first — and probably only — win of the year, which makes this one of the more interesting games of the Week 9 slate. The Colonials have struggled mightily all year, putting up just 79 points in eight games, while allowing a league-high 354. The Bearcats, meanwhile, have been more competitive, but that hasn’t translated into wins. Fortunately, one of these teams will finally get rid of the goose egg in the win column, while the other can all but expect to go 0-10. New Oxford won last year’s game, 26-14.
Delone Catholic (5-3, 2-3) at York Tech (4-4, 2-3) (1 p.m.): The Squires have a chance to put up a nice seven-win season with two more wins, which is all they can really hang their hats on for the year. Delone has no chance to win the Division III title and little chance to make the District 3 2-A playoffs. Meanwhile, the Spartans, despite having a setback last week, will look to close out their home schedule with a win and at least assure themselves of having a .500 season. They’ve certainly been one of the league’s more surprising teams, and a win here could put head coach Charlie Troxell in Division III Coach of the Year consideration.
— Reach Patrick Strohecker at email@example.com