If you have a golden ticket to attend one Mid-Penn football each week of the regular season, which games would you watch?
Well, we’re here to help.
The Sentinel and 4th Down Magazine have picked 10 games, one each week, that you should definitely try to see if you’re not following a specific team or division. The picks are a combination of games picked because of the matchup, the rivalry, the importance, whatever. Whatever makes it the most interesting game that week, we’re on board.
There are two rules:
- You can’t see a team more than twice.
- You must see at least one team from each division.
This gets a little tricky.
Penn State’s Beaver Stadium is going to host one of these games this year, probably one involving the State College Little Lions. Whichever game gets picked to play in the biggest college stadium in the state immediately vaults to that week’s pick, and all the previous rules can be broken for that one occasion. No high school football fan should miss that experience.
But because we don’t know when that is, yet, we have to schedule this Golden Ticket for games we already know.
Go to: Lower Dauphin at Middletown
One reason why: It’s cliché, but you gotta start off with the Iron Spike Bowl, one of the greatest names for a high school rivalry that we know. Bonus: LD’s Rob Klock is back with a headset on.
Consider: CD East at Manheim Township, Mechanicsburg at Carlisle.
Go to: Central York at Cumberland Valley
One reason why: The Panthers finally gave head coach Josh Oswalt a win over his alma mater in 2018. The Eagles are likely to be better this season. Revenge?
Consider: St. Augustin Prep (NJ) at State College, Susquehanna Township at Milton Hershey.
Go to: Boiling Springs at Big Spring
One reason why: Both teams are going to be scrapping for wins this season, making this a particularly important meeting for the rivals. Also can’t pass up driving through farm country in the fall.
Consider: Central Dauphin at Manheim Township, Middletown at Bishop McDevitt.
Go to: Central Dauphin at Cumberland Valley
One reason why: Last year’s 37-7 Rams whooping is an aberration. The previous nine Rams-Eagles games were decided by two scores or less, including three straight by a FG or less.
Consider: Harrisburg at CD East, Shippensburg at Waynesboro.
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Go to: Boiling Springs at Trinity
One reason why: It’ll still be early in division play, and those early wins can go a long way to building momentum for the second half of the season. Both teams, struggling for years, need it.
Consider: Bishop McDevitt at Cedar Cliff, Steel-High at Middletown.
Go to: Central Dauphin at Harrisburg
One reason why: Other than it being another important battle in the Commonwealth and for Class 6A seeding, it’s a good chance to go see a whole bunch of Division I talent on one field.
Consider: Northern at West Perry, Chambersburg at Cumberland Valley.
Go to: Milton Hershey at Middletown
One reason why: Coaches selected the Spartans as the preseason favorite when they spoke to PennLive. So now’s the time for MH to prove it against the three-time defending District 3 champ Raiders.
Consider: West Perry at Shippensburg, Cumberland Valley at Carlisle.
Go to: Shippensburg at Northern
One reason why: It’s possible these two teams are unbeaten in Colonial play when they meet here, and the division is likely at stake here. Don’t expect pretty — last year the ‘Hounds won 7-0.
Consider: Chambersburg at Harrisburg, Camp Hill at Boiling Springs.
Go to: Susquehanna Township at Cedar Cliff
One reason why: Both teams return some tantalizing weapons on both sides of the ball. If the Colts indeed have retooled and are not rebuilding, this could be fun.
Consider: West Perry at Waynesboro, Trinity at Palmyra.
Go to: Big Spring at Shippensburg
One reason why: Come on, the Little Brown Jug is the best trophy in the Mid-Penn Conference. The Bulldogs aren’t likely to snap their skid against their rivals, but this is still worth the experience.
Consider: CD East at Central Dauphin, Red Land at Cedar Cliff.