YAIAA football power rankings, Week 7: Rockets move up

Spring Grove’s Jeff Delaughter breaks into the open field against Central York last Friday. The Rockets beat the Panthers, 41-34.

Last week’s rankings here.

A reminder of the process behind the Top 10: Don’t think of these as a straight-on measure of which team is better in a head-to-head sense — obviously, if that were the case, the top five would be loaded with Class AAA and AAAA teams most of the time. Instead, think of them as a gauge primarily of which team is playing the best, with record, quality of opponent(s), classification, etc., also factored in.

These are for fun, so treat them as such. That said, please do chime in with your own thoughts in the comments. Opposing opinions are always welcome.

T-1. West York (T-1) – Pretty straighforward last week for the Bulldogs (6-0), who had little trouble with Susquehannock during a shutout victory. West York’s defense continues to be quietly dominant, and the offense has plenty of muscle. Senior receiver Zack Smith leads the YAIAA in receiving yards (539) and touchdowns (7) and ranks second in receptions (31). More on him in my notes column this week, so stay tuned for that. The Bulldogs host rival Dover this week, and you can bet they’ll want to avenge a defeat to the Eagles last season.

T-1. Bermudian Springs (T-1) – Sorry, still not picking between these two. Bermudian’s dominance this season has been staggering. Last week, the Eagles (6-0) faced a Delone Catholic that that had registered back-to-back 40-plus point games. Berm held the Squires to 55 total yards, and has now given up just two touchdowns to opposing offenses this season. Yes, two. The Eagles are even getting some state-wide mention. A little lull hits now, with games against Fairfield and Hanover followed by a tough finishing stretch at Littlestown and home against Biglerville.

3. Spring Grove (5) – Say hello to last week’s big winner. The Rockets (4-2) secured the most significant victory to-date of Russ Stoner’s tenure, a 41-34 win at home against Central York. Afterward, Stoner said that the YAIAA Division I title “runs through Spring Grove.” We’ll find out if that is indeed the case, but for now Spring Grove is playing some high-quality football. Defense had been the backbone of this team, but scoring 41 points against the Panthers shows that Stoner’s team can win in other ways, too.

4. Biglerville (7) – It took a trick play, an overtime session and few costly miscues by their opponent, but the Canners (5-1) somehow escaped York Catholic with a huge victory. Biglerville’s 21-20 win keeps it in the Division III title hunt, just one game back of Bermudian Springs.

5. Dallastown (8) – Wildcats (3-3) starting to creep up these rankings, after three straight wins. Last week’s victory over South Western was probably their most impressive of the season. Critical stretch of games coming up, however, with games at William Penn, vs. Central York and at Spring Grove.

6. Central York (3) – The Panthers remain something of an enigma — loaded with speedy, dangerous skill talent, but also hit-or-miss in other areas. Central (3-3) needs to beat South Western this Friday to stay in the YAIAA Division I race.

7. Delone Catholic (4) – After two impressive wins, the Squires (3-3) simply couldn’t get anything going against Bermudian. Afterward, Delone coach Steve Wiles pretty much conceded his team’s position the Division III title race. Still plenty to play for, though — the Squires figure to be players in the District 3-A title picture.

8. York Catholic (6) – Speaking of Delone, the Irish (3-3) find themselves in a similar situation after that heartbreaker against Biglerville. How fitting, then, that York Catholic and Delone play this Friday in McSherrystown. Could this be a preview of a future district playoff showdown?

9. Littlestown (T-10) – Thunderbolts (4-2) got back on track with a comfortable win over Eastern York. Littlestown only threw six times, instead racking up 393 yards on the ground. Hey, if the ground game is working, why try anything else?

10. Northeastern (T-10) – What to make of this Bobcats team? They weren’t necessarily overwhelming last week against New Oxford, but a win is a win. If Northeastern (4-2) can get by Susquehannock on Friday, it will then face a pair of regular season-defining games — at Dover and vs. West York.

In the mix: Dover (3-3), South Western (3-3), William Penn (2-4), York Suburban (3-3).

About John Clayton

Prep sports writer at the York Daily Record/Sunday News.
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