2018 HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Week Zero game capsules for York-Adams League programs
- Central York looks to defeat West York for the fourth straight year.
- After winning a D-II title last year, Susquehannock starts its season with D-III foe Hanover.
- Littlestown hosts Boiling Springs, which the Thuderbolts have defeated easily the last two seasons.
The following are game capsules for York-Adams League teams in Week Zero of the high school football season. All games are at 7 p.m. Friday night.
►New Oxford at Bermudian Springs: The Colonials and the Eagles have faced off to start every season since 2012, with Bermudian winning all but one match-up. New Oxford defeated Bermudian 24-21 in 2015, but the Class 5-A Colonials have lost the other five games by a total of 86 points. Both teams return their signal callers. Soon-to-be four-year starter Chase Dull will lead the Eagles and junior Brayden Long, who led the league in passing a year ago, heads the Colonials. New Oxford hopes to end its 21-game losing streak, while the 3-A Eagles are aiming to get a jump on making the District 3 playoffs for a third straight season.
►West York at Central York: This crosstown rivalry hasn’t been much of a contest in the last two years. The Panthers have defeated West York by double digits each time. The Bulldogs haven’t won the match-up against the Panthers since West York’s 41-20 win in 2014 — the same season West won its last D-II title. Central lost Tim Sturgis, its top wideout from last season, but the Panthers return D-I first-team all-star QB Cade Pribula, as well as running backs Hunter Werner and Will Vandyke. The Bulldogs return quarterback Corey Wise, D-II 2017 Offensive Player of the Year Ay’Juan Marshall and first-team D-II wide receiver Andrew LaManna.
►Hempfield at Dallastown: The intensity may be turned up for this Week Zero match-up. Defending D-I co-champ Dallastown hosts the team that beat the Wildcats twice last season, including in the District 3 playoffs. Hempfield, out of the Lancaster-Lebanon League, defeated the Wildcats 38-14 in Week One and 31-28 in the first round of the playoffs. The Black Knights lost almost every one of their top offensive players from last season. Only 142 of the team’s 3,219 rushing yards return. The Wildcats return their top rusher in D-I 2017 Offensive Player of the Year Nyzair Smith, who averaged 11.3 yards per rush and led the league with 32 touchdowns. The game will also be the first in the Ron Miller era. Kevin Myers stepped down as head coach last season. Miller went 86-25 in nine years at West York.
►Gettysburg at South Western: The Mustangs have won this cross-division match-up the last three years. Gettysburg’s last win over South Western was 44-41 in 2014. The Warriors are coming off a 7-4 season, in which they made the playoffs, and return first-team D-II all-star running back Ammon Robinson. South Western went 3-7 last season and hope to replace running backs DeLunche Shaw, Josh Higdon and Grayson Wingert. The Mustangs defeated the Warriors last year, 21-14.
►Solanco at Northeastern: The Bobcats have played Solanco in Week Three the past two years, but the match-up with the L-L League school is now in Week Zero. Solanco went 4-6 last season and returns junior running back Nick Yannutz, who totaled 1,169 yards rushing and nine touchdowns a year ago. Northeastern went 6-4 last year and returns junior QB Zech Sanderson. The Bobcats won 21-7 last year and 44-7 in 2016.
►McCaskey at Red Lion: These two 6-A squads are facing off for the first time since before Red Lion head coach Jesse Shay’s tenure. McCaskey, which owns the second largest male enrollment in the district, finished 2-8 last year out of the L-L League, while Red Lion lost in the first round of the District 3 playoffs for the fourth straight season. Red Lion went 8-3 last season and returns more than half of its starters, including Elijah Workinger, a first-team D-I all-star linebacker and honorable mention running back.
►Lampeter-Strasburg at Spring Grove: The Pioneers have played Eastern York to begin the season the last few years, but the L-L League squad is traveling to Spring Grove in Week Zero. The Rockets are coming off a 1-9 season, and they lost nine seniors from last year’s team. L-S lost 21 seniors from last season, including the three main components of a deadly passing attack in QB Todd Shelley and wideouts Cameron Niemeyer and Kris Pirozzi.
►York High at Reading: The Bearcats were the biggest surprise in the Y-A League last season, turning a 1-9 2016 season into a 9-2 Division I co-championship in 2017. York High travels to Reading to take on the Red Knights from the Berks League. After losing three straight games to Reading between 2014-16, the Bearcats started their comeback season with a 26-14 win last year. Reading, the largest school in the state, hasn’t gone above .500 since 2014. York High returns running back Dayjure Stewart. Seth Bernstein is moving from tight end to QB for York.
►Dover at Shippensburg: The Eagles and the Greyhounds meet to start their seasons for a fifth year in a row. After Dover won in both 2014 and 2015, Shippensburg has won the last two contests, including last season’s 35-26 victory. The Mid-Penn squad lost QB Carter Vanscyoc, who threw for 1,700 yards and 18 TDs last year, while Dover is returning top skill players Brandon Lawyer and Derek Arevalo. Dover went 6-4 last year but hasn’t made the District 3 playoffs since 2013, when the Eagles won the D-II title.
►Eastern York at Columbia: After taking the last two years off from this match-up, the Golden Knights and Columbia will face off in Week Zero. The Knights defeated the Crimson Tide in 2014 and 2015, 35-14 and 24-0, respectively. Columbia, a L-L League team, was winless last year and has won only one of its last 24 games. Eastern, which went 2-8 last year, returns Demonte Martin, a D-II first-team all-star wideout and second-team defensive back.
►Susquehannock at Hanover: These two Y-A teams haven’t played in more than 15 years, but both have won division titles in the last three. Susquehannock went undefeated in D-II play last year to win the crown, and Hanover last won a D-III title in 2015. The Warriors return Dan Clapp, who ran for 700 yards and 10 TDs last year, while the Nighthawks lost their top running back, Justin Barnes, to graduation.
►Pequea Valley at Kennard-Dale: The Rams enjoyed their best season since 2010 last year, and they hope to continue the success into the new season against Pequea Valley, a 2-A school from the L-L League. K-D went 5-5 last season and returns one of its top rushers in Wyatt McCleary, who ran for 786 yards and seven TDs. The Braves beat K-D 30-14 two years ago but lost 20-7 last year.
►York Catholic at York Suburban: The Fighting Irish and the Trojans used to end their seasons playing each other as D-III foes. Now, since Suburban moved up to D-II, the two programs have faced off to start the season the last two years. York Catholic is coming off back-to-back D-III titles, and the Fighting Irish have beaten the Trojans each of the last two years. Running back Drew Snelbaker and outside linebacker Jarred Kohl lead the Irish, while the young Trojans hope to bounce back from a 2-8 season.
►Big Spring at Biglerville: After being a D-III co-champion in 2015, Biglerville has won only one game in the last two seasons. The Canners hope to revitalize the program in 2018, starting with a home game against 4-A Big Spring, which defeated 3-A Biglerville 63-3 last year and 49-7 in 2016. The Bulldogs lost 21 seniors from last year’s team that finished second-to-last in the Mid-Penn Colonial Division. The Canners return QB Cage Althoff, but lost their top three running backs.
►Delone Catholic at Trinity: This game is typically an even one. Delone and Trinity have split the last four meetings and neither team has defeated the other by more than two scores since 2012. Trinity lost its top QB, running back and wideout from last season. Evan Brady, a senior QB and a D-III first-team all-star defensive back, returns for the Squires — a team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2014.
►Penns Valley vs. Fairfield: In the only Week Zero match-up that pits two schools from different districts against one another, the Rams take on the Green Knights. Penns Valley, a 2-A school in District 6, went 3-7 last season and returns its starting QB Aaron Tobias and running back Ryan Ripka. The Green Knights are coming off a 4-7 season and their first playoff berth since 2013. This match-up is being played at Gettysburg High because of a mold outbreak at Fairfield.
►Boiling Springs at Littlestown: The Thunderbolts lost to Boiling Springs 35-0 in a disastrous 2015 season. In the last two years, however, Littlestown has gone 17-5, winning a share of the D-III title last season and defeating its opening-week foe by 24 and 28 points. In contrast, the Bubblers haven’t won a game since October 2015. Littlestown returns arguably its four best offensive players in QB Jakob Lane, wideout Jacob Thomas, running back Corbin Brown and lineman Malachi Fodor.
►York Tech at James Buchanan: These two teams haven’t faced off in more than a decade, but the two programs are in similar places. Tech was winless last season, while the 3-A Rockets went 1-8. Tech is coming off a season in which it scored 59 points all year, but the Spartans are returning one of their top offensive players in Terence Romey, who threw for 400 yards and ran for 500 a year ago. JB won the last match-up between the two teams, 35-0, in 2007.
Reach Jacob Calvin Meyer at email@example.com.