Talk about a wild week in the world of YAIAA football. Northeastern stunned unbeaten Dover. Littlestown won a thriller with York Suburban. And South Western continued its remarkable mid-season run with an away victory at Red Lion. In terms of entertainment value, you can’t beat the way the end of this season is shaping up.
It all makes for another topsy-turvy week for our power rankings. Check them out after the jump.
Last week’s rankings here.
1. Bermudian Springs (2) – The Eagles (8-0) have been locked on cruise control the last few weeks, but that will all change Friday. Littlestown will visit York Springs for a Division III clash, and you can bet last year’s 37-0 District 3 playoff shellacking will be fresh on the Thunderbolts’ minds. Bermudian should head into the game fresh; feature backs Tyler Fitzkee and Adam Berryman combined for just 14 total carries last week against Hanover. They still racked up 222 total yards and four touchdowns.
2. South Western (5) – What a remarkable turnaround the Mustangs (6-2) have had since that 49-14 drubbing at the hands of West York in Week 5. These players are on a mission, playing for both themselves and for fallen teammates Ben Bynaker. And if you didn’t already know Dillon Thomas’ name, it’s time to get acquainted. The sophomore running back had 201 yards last week and three touchdowns in a win over Red Lion. We should be hearing his name quite a bit over the next few years.
3. Delone Catholic (3) – The Squires (7-1) hold steady here, and with games against Eastern York and Hanover left, they have a chance to hold off Trinity for the No. 4 spot in the District 3-AA playoffs. This is not a team you want to play in the playoffs. Delone’s balanced attack makes game-planning against them difficult. And don’t forget, this team is a few plays away from a 10-0 record and a possible No. 2 seed in districts.
4. Dover (1) – One week after a monumental win against West York, the Eagles (7-1) got chopped down to reality this week. Northeastern shocked Dover early, then held on for an improbable upset. Now, we should find out a bit more about Dover’s mettle. They have two clearly winnable games left against New Oxford and Susquehannock, and still have a good shot to earn a home game in the District 3-AAA playoffs. Time for the Eagles to regroup and ready themselves for the stretch run.
5. Central York (7) – That’s how you respond to a tough loss. The Panthers (6-2) trampled all over a solid Dallastown team on Friday. Now comes a pivotal game with Red Lion that could go a long way toward determining both teams’ district fate. Central is currently in line for a home game in the District 3-AAAA tournament, but in order to keep that, the Panthers probably have to win out.
6. West York (4) – Speaking of rebound wins, the Bulldogs (6-2) returned to form with a mercy-rule victory over Kennard-Dale. West York must feel it has new life, at least from a divisional standpoint. Thanks to Northeastern’s win over Dover last week, the Bulldogs can still grab a share of their fifth straight Division II title if they win out. Of course, that means they have to knock off the division’s first-place team, the Bobcats, at home this Friday.
7. Northeastern (10) – Raise your hand if you saw that one coming? The Bobcats outplayed undefeated Dover, eventually holding on for a 28-21 home win. It was the biggest victory in the program’s brief history, and one that solidifies — for now — Northeastern’s grip on a District 3-AAA playoff spot. Those matters can wait, though. On Friday, the Bobcats (5-3) can earn a share of the Division II title with a win at West York. Can they pull off another upset?
8. Red Lion (6) – The Lions dropped a tight, 21-14 defeat to South Western on Friday, which makes this week’s visit to Central York critical from a district standpoint. Red Lion (5-3), which heads into this week at No. 12 in the District 3-AAAA power rankings, would rather not head into next week’s rivalry matchup with Dallastown playing for its playoff life. One final note: Lions senior defensive David Telp, who received some Division I attention before the season, has been dismissed from the team, coach Pat Conrad said. Telp has struggled to stay on the field this season for disciplinary reasons.
9. Littlestown (8) – The Thunderbolts (6-2) rallied for a win against York Suburban this week, scoring 28 unanswered points in a shootout victory. Now comes a game Littlestown has waited a whole year for; a showdown with the same Bermudian Springs side that bounced them from the District 3-AA playoffs last season. You can bet Mike Lippy’s side would love to return the favor by ruining the Eagles unbeaten season.
10. York Suburban (9) – That loss to the Thunderbolts means the Trojans (5-3) are facing an uphill climb to earn a District 3-AAA playoff spot. Suburban currently ranks 22nd in the district power rankings, with the top 16 teams earning a playoff spot. Even wins the final two weeks against Biglerville and York Catholic might not be enough to get it done.