FOOTBALL

York-Adams League Week 10 football preview: Capsules for each game

The final weekend of the regular season features a battle for the Division I title and several teams fighting for playoff spots.

Thomas Kendziora
York Dispatch

It’s that time.

We’ve reached Halloween weekend and Week 10 of the Pennsylvania high school football season. It’s the regular-season finale for teams across the state — some who know they’ll be advancing to the playoffs, some who know this is their final chapter and a few with their backs against the wall.

This week’s 11-game York-Adams League slate is headlined by Central York at York High, as the two rivals will go head-to-head for the Division I title. New Oxford and Delone Catholic can also clinch outright division crowns with road victories on Friday night. But there’s plenty more drama surrounding the PIAA power rankings and who will make the postseason.

Central York against Red Lion during their homecoming football game in Springettsbury on Friday, Oct. 14, 2022.

Here’s how the District 3 playoff chase is shaping up in each class with one week remaining:

Class 6A (19 teams, 8 spots): Central York is your current No. 1 seed, although Hempfield, Harrisburg and Manheim Township are all nipping at the Panthers’ heels. York High is No. 6 and could wreak havoc on the standings with a win Friday. Dallastown is No. 9, but the Wildcats can sneak in with a win and a Carlisle loss at Central Dauphin East. Red Lion is 16th and York Tech is 19th.

Class 5A (26 teams, 12 spots): New Oxford sits in third, its standing not affected by last week’s 28-0 loss to Cumberland, Maryland-based Fort Hill. South Western sits at No. 7 and Dover is right behind at No. 8. Spring Grove has moved up from 13th to 12th in midweek recalculations, but likely needs a win and/or some help from elsewhere. Northeastern is 25th.

Class 4A (23 teams, 10 spots): York Suburban is No. 8 and should be safe. This week’s matchup between Kennard-Dale (No. 9) and Susquehannock (No. 11) is likely for a playoff spot. West York is 15th and Eastern York is 19th.

Class 3A (14 teams, 6 spots): There’s currently a sizable gap between the top six and everyone else. Littlestown (9th), Bermudian Springs (10th), Biglerville (11th) and Hanover (13th) are all on the wrong side of the chasm.

Class 2A (7 teams, 4 spots): Delone Catholic is the provisional No. 2 seed but could surpass Annville-Cleona with a win and some help from the numbers. Fifth-place York Catholic needs a win, a Camp Hill loss to Boiling Springs and a dose of favorable math. (The Irish lost a head-to-head matchup, 20-17, at the Lions in Week 2.)

Class 1A (3 teams, 2 spots): Fairfield is all but locked into second place, which will merit a visit to Steel-High (7-1) next weekend.

So that’s one game for a division title, one win-and-in matchup and several more contests with seasons on the line. Get the popcorn ready.

Ten games kick off at 7 p.m. Friday, with York Tech visiting Hanover at 7 p.m. Saturday to close the York-Adams regular season.

DIVISION I

York High's Jahiem White, right, is pushed into the sideline by Central York's Nigier DeWitt defends during YAIAA Division I championship football action at Central York High School in Springettsbury Township, Friday, Oct. 29, 2021. Central York would win the game 60-14. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Central York (8-1, 5-0) at York High (6-2, 5-0): The Panthers are on a seven-game winning streak and have captured their last 25 division contests; they’ve outscored opponents by an average score of 42-20 this season. The Bearcats, meanwhile, have won six straight after a pair of narrow losses, scoring 40 or more each time out and bringing their season average to 46 points per game.

Both offenses, led by senior quarterbacks and Division I-bound running backs, will undoubtedly pile up points. The question is whether York High’s defense — which allows 29 points per contest — can make enough stops to keep the Bearcats in the mix. Recent history is on Central York’s side, but York High certainly has a chance.

Spring Grove (5-4, 2-3) at South Western (6-3, 2-3): While the Mustangs are safely in the Class 5A playoff field, the visiting Rockets may need to pull off a road win to extend their season. Spring Grove’s explosive run game will test a South Western defense that’s been stout on most nights but allowed 52 to York High last week. On the other side, the Rockets have surrendered 40 and 60 points in their last two outings to push them to the playoff bubble.

Dallastown (4-5, 3-2) at Red Lion (3-6, 1-4): It looked like the Wildcats’ 28-25 loss to Dover in Week 8 could have been a dagger for their season. But Dallastown gave itself a chance with last week’s 60-40 win over Spring Grove. The Lions earned their first division win last week by cruising past Northeastern, and they’ll look to close the season by playing spoiler on their home field.

DIVISION II

Susquehannock vs. New Oxford during football action at Susquehannock High School in Shrewsbury Township, Friday, Sept. 30, 2022. New Oxford would win the game 29-7. Dawn J. Sagert/The York Dispatch

Kennard-Dale (3-6, 2-3) at Susquehannock (3-6, 1-4): Both teams are limping to the finish — the Rams have lost three straight, while the Warriors have dropped five of six. Reigning D-II champion Kennard-Dale comes in off a 28-14 loss to Dover; Susquehannock’s defense had no answers in a 41-26 defeat at West York. But with these squads sitting ninth and 11 in the Class 4A rankings, respectively, someone will have a chance to wash away plenty of sins with a victory. 

Dover (7-2, 4-1) at West York (2-7, 2-3): The Eagles have their sights set on a potential playoff home game, while the Bulldogs have been out of the postseason picture for a while. West York has been more consistently competitive in the second half of the season, but a defense allowing 32.4 points per game will have its hands full with Dover QB Aric Campbell and WR Thomas Smyser.

New Oxford (7-2, 5-0) at Eastern York (2-7, 1-4): New Oxford used its divisional off week to challenge itself against a Fort Hill (Md.) team that improved to 7-1 with a 28-0 victory. But the loss wasn’t a setback for the Colonials’ goal of a top playoff seed, and they can cement that status with a win over a Golden Knights team that’s allowed 117 points in its last three outings.

DIVISION III

Delone Catholic head coach Corey Zortman during PIAA District III, Class 1-A championship football action against Steelton-Highspire at War Veterans Memorial Stadium in Steelton, Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021. Steelton-Highspire would win the game 42-20. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Delone Catholic (6-3, 6-0) at Fairfield (2-6, 2-4): The Squires are 25-1 in Division III games since 2019, and they’re one win away from three unbeaten campaigns in four years (only York Catholic last year got the better of them). Delone hopes a win over the Green Knights can bring the No. 1 seed in the district playoffs with it. Fairfield’s last victory in the series came in 2013. 

Bermudian Springs (4-5, 4-2) at Littlestown (5-4, 5-1): Both squads’ slow starts proved fatal to their playoff chances, but the host Thunderbolts have won five of six and the Eagles have taken four of five, with both teams losing only to Delone Catholic in that span. Littlestown would need a win and a Delone loss to finish tied atop D-III, while Bermudian Springs can finish .500 and grab a share of second in the division with a road win.

York Catholic (4-5, 4-2) at Biglerville (4-5, 2-4): The Fighting Irish kept their Class 2A playoff hopes alive with a 17-10 victory over Fairfield last week. Third-string QB Evan Kipple, thrust into action when multiple teammates were ruled ineligible, led a game-winning drive in the final minutes, giving York Catholic a distant chance of sneaking in this weekend. Biglerville won’t be part of the Class 3A bracket, but the Canners can close their season with a laudable .500 record after going winless a year ago.

York Tech (1-8, 0-6) at Hanover (2-7, 1-5): It’s been a forgettable fall for both of these teams, which occupy the bottom two spots in the D-III standings. York Tech has dropped seven straight, while Hanover has played the season without a full-time head coach. One of these teams, however, will close 2022 on a high note in this 7 p.m. Saturday kickoff, the last contest of the York-Adams League regular season.

CROSS-DIVISIONAL

York Suburban (5-4) at Northeastern (1-8): The Trojans completed their comeback from an 0-3 Division II start by finishing 3-3 with last week’s 42-12 win over Eastern York. The Bobcats closed D-I play 0-6 with a 52-21 loss to Red Lion. Northeastern has won the last four meetings against York Suburban, although the teams have not clashed since 2017.