York-Adams League Week 8 football preview: Capsules for each game

Thomas Kendziora
York Dispatch
York High vs. Dallastown during football action at Smalls Athletic Field in York City, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022. York High would win the game 66-49. Dawn J. Sagert/The York Dispatch

Three weekends remain in the 2022 Pennsylvania high school football regular season. York-Adams League teams are about halfway through their division schedules, and while some squads might be out of the hunt for first place, everyone still has plenty to play for.

The district playoffs are fast approaching, and seeding will be decided by PIAA power rankings. While the ratings are determined in part by strength of schedule and number of games played, they look and function somewhat like straightforward standings. And the way to improve your position is by winning.

Here’s where each York-Adams League team sits in its class power rankings through Week 7:

Class 6A (19 teams, 8 spots): Central York 4th, York High 6th, Dallastown 9th, Red Lion 16th, York Tech 19th

Class 5A (26 teams, 12 spots): New Oxford 5th, South Western 6th, Spring Grove 8th, Dover 10th, Northeastern 25th

Class 4A (23 teams, 10 spots): Kennard-Dale 9th, York Suburban 11th, Susquehannock 13th, Eastern York 17th, West York 21st

Class 3A (14 teams, 6 spots): Bermudian Springs 9th, Littlestown 10th, Biglerville 11th, Hanover 13th

Class 2A (7 teams, 4 spots): Delone Catholic 4th, York Catholic 5th

Class 1A (3 teams, 2 spots): Fairfield 2nd

With divisions and classifications not exactly one and the same, these last three weeks figure to be full of moving parts. The 11-game league schedule for Week 8 includes 10 division contests and an intriguing cross-division matchup. Ten games will kick off at 7 p.m. Friday, with York High and Spring Grove taking the stage on Saturday afternoon.

Here’s the full rundown:

DIVISION I

Spring Grove's Cowan Ruhland (15) against Red Lion during their homecoming football game in Spring Grove on Friday, Oct. 7, 2022.

York High (4-2, 3-0) at Spring Grove (5-2, 2-1): Kickoff is set for noon Saturday in one of the more intriguing matchups of the weekend. The visiting Bearcats, who rode senior running back Jahiem White’s 417 rushing yards and seven total touchdowns to a 66-49 win over Dallastown last weekend, face a tough road test against the Rockets, who got five rushing touchdowns from quarterback Andrew Osmun in a 42-27 defeat of Red Lion. 

Red Lion (2-5, 0-3) at Central York (6-1, 4-0): The Panthers led 56-7 at halftime against Northeastern last week en route to a 56-14 victory. They’ve blown out Red Lion in the last two meetings on the field and won via forfeit in 2021. The Lions put up a fight against Spring Grove, but will need their best 48 minutes to stay competitive.      

Northeastern (1-5, 0-4) at South Western (5-2, 1-2): After the Bobcats drive nearly an hour across the county, they’ll square off against a stiff Mustangs defense allowing just 14.4 points per game. Last weekend, though, South Western started shaky and needed 17 unanswered fourth-quarter points to beat West York, 36-28, in a non-divisional matchup.

DIVISION II

York Suburban (3-4, 1-3) at Kennard-Dale (3-4, 3-1): These teams might be two games apart in the division standings, but they’re directly competing for a playoff spot. The Rams fell to ninth in the District 3 Class 4A rankings with last week’s blowout loss to New Oxford, while the Trojans climbed to 11th by earning their first district win against Susquehannock. York Suburban running back Mikey Bentivegna tallied over 300 yards in that game and will be the focal point of the matchup.

West York (1-5, 1-2) at New Oxford (6-1, 4-0): The Colonials looked the part of a Class 5A district contender with their 46-6 thumping of Kennard-Dale, and they’re firmly in control of their Division II destiny. Taking care of business down the stretch could merit a top-four playoff seed, which comes with a bye and an extra home game. New Oxford’s next obstacle is a West York team that’s taken two-score leads into the fourth quarter in each of its last two games (but blown both).

Dover’s Zacherey Townsend, right, tries to stop Eastern York’s Johnathan Rose during football action at Dover Area High School in Dover Township, Friday, Oct. 7, 2022. Dover would win the game  35-7. Dawn J. Sagert/The York Dispatch

Susquehannock (2-5, 0-3) at Eastern York (2-5, 1-2): Both teams need wins if they want to claw their way into the playoffs. The Warriors are looking to climb out of the division cellar. The Golden Knights are longing for an offensive spark after averaging nine points in their last three games. Susquehannock has 11-3 the edge in the series, including a 49-14 home win last year.

DIVISION III

Delone Catholic (4-3, 4-0) at Bermudian Springs (3-4, 3-1): Neither of these teams had a win through three weeks. The Eagles started 0-4. But they’ve won three straight games by 22, 29 and 26 points, while the Squires are undefeated in the division. All eyes will be on the run game — Delone leans on the duo of Brady Dettinburn and Gage Zimmerman, while three different Eagles have over 300 rushing yards this season.

York Catholic (3-4, 3-1) at Littlestown (3-4, 3-1): The Fighting Irish and Thunderbolts have seen their seasons follow similar scripts. Both started 0-3, and both lost one-score games against Delone Catholic, but neither has lost to anyone else in the division. Something will have to give Friday night in a matchup featuring a pair of All-Star quarterback candidates (Levan McFadden for York Catholic, Alex Popoff for Littlestown).

Biglerville (3-4, 1-3) at Hanover (2-5, 1-3): If the Canners can grab a fourth win between now and the end of the month, they’ll have their most victories in a season since they went 8-4 in 2015. The host Nighthawks battled against York Catholic in a 17-14 loss last weekend.

York Tech (1-6, 0-4) at Fairfield (1-5, 1-3): The Spartans haven’t won multiple games in a season since 2016, and they’ve seen five chances at that second win go sideways this fall. Fairfield has been held to a single score in each of the past two weeks.

CROSS-DIVISIONAL

Eastern York’s tries to stop Dover’s Lucas Runk, center, as he runs the ball in for a touchdown during football action at Dover Area High School in Dover Township, Friday, Oct. 7, 2022. Dover would win the game  35-7. Dawn J. Sagert/The York Dispatch

Dallastown (3-4) at Dover (5-2): This game also has interesting playoff implications, with the visiting Wildcats one spot out of the 6A field and the Eagles on the right side of the 5A bubble. Dallastown’s Owen Strouse and Dover’s Aric Campbell are two of the three leading passers in the York-Adams League, while Kenny Johnson and Thomas Smyser are among the league’s top receivers. It probably won’t be a 66-49 shootout like the Wildcats played last week, but expect fireworks nonetheless.