Playoff time! With only a handful of teams still playing, all contributors from our partners at 4th Down Magazine and our own reporters are providing our incite and best predictions for the remaining local playoff games.
As usual we have Geoff Morrow ((89-25, 3-0 last week in Sentinel-area games) and Jake Adams ((88-26, 3-0 last week). But in print this week we’re also adding Andy Shay and Andy Sandrik.
If you want to see their full weekly picks, visit 4thdownmagazine.com or download the app.
District 3 Class 6A semifinals
No. 4 Hempfield at No. 1 Cumberland Valley, 7
Andy Shay: Cumberland Valley 38, Hempfield 14: I’m going to ride the Eagles’ defense in this one. You give this CV unit a singular focus like the Black Knights are going to present, and I find it hard to imagine that defense not being fully prepared for what’s going to be thrown at them.
Jake Adams: Cumberland Valley 42, Hempfield 14: The Eagles’ Wing-T was on point last week against CD East. CV is going to roll to yet another District 3 Class 6A championship game.
Andy Sandrik: Cumberland Valley 28, Hempfield 14: Eagles have the horses to take control early and the defense to hold on late.
Geoff Morrow: Cumberland Valley 38, Hempfield 20: Always had a great deal of respect for the Black Knights, but the task here is quite tall. That CV defense is making things happen, and if the Wing-T plays ball control, it’s tough to imagine Hempfield having enough opportunities to keep pace.
District 3 Class 4A semifinals
No. 5 East Pennsboro at No. 1 Berks Catholic, 7
Andy Shay: Berks Catholic 42, East Pennsboro 14: I’m very well aware the Panthers’ defense is playing extremely well. And somehow I’m not sure that will matter. This is a tall order for the Panthers, but they know exactly what they are up against. The Saints’ defense is the single most dominant unit on the field.
Jake Adams: Berks Catholic 28, East Pennsboro 24: Going to see this one firsthand. BC has not faced a back like Onasis Neely, and any football fan should be excited to see the clash of great RB vs. great defense. The Saints have allowed just seven points per game (the win over Kutztown was a forfeit).
If Neely gets on a roll, I really think East Penn could win this one.
Andy Sandrik: Berks Catholic 28, East Pennsboro 21: BC has a stout defense, so I’m as curious as anyone to see how EP’s skill players hold up. Key for Panthers is to not let this game turn into a shootout.
Geoff Morrow: Berks Catholic 41, East Pennsboro 28: Saints have eight guys with at least 130 rushing yards this season, as they’ve buried every dang foe they’ve met. Panthers have one guy with a gazillion yards and a heck of a supporting cast around him.
This could be a highly entertaining game, especially if the East Penn defense finds a way to get a few stops and/or turnovers.