Week 1 picks & predictions
We’re mixing things up this year, in part because of our partnership with 4th Down Magazine.
Geoff Morrow and Jake Adams predict the winner of each game, with whatever tidbit they’d like to include on the game (or maybe not about the game at all).
If you want to see their picks against other writers from 4DM, and other predictions from around the Mid-Penn and Tri-Valley, go to 4thdownmagazine.com
All games listed are Friday at 7 p.m.
Big Spring at East Pennsboro
ADAMS: Big Spring 34, East Pennsboro 27: I’m not confident in this. A game with two very, very good backs could go either way. I give the slight edge to a Bulldogs unit that knows a bit more about itself after a Week 0 win.
MORROW: East Pennsboro 48, Big Spring 26: Two of the conference’s best RBs, Onasis Neely & Ryan Adams, trading TD runs.
Cedar Cliff at Penn Manor
ADAMS: Cedar Cliff 35, Penn Manor 16: Penn Manor isn’t the same team that handed the Colts a loss in Ireland a few years ago. Cedar Cliff, despite a bevy of new starters, should take care of business.
MORROW: Cedar Cliff 44, Penn Manor 17: I don’t think we’ll see 40-0 again, but guess here is Bobby Whalen’s debut as new QB goes quite well.
Coatesville at Cumberland Valley
ADAMS: Cumberland Valley 21, Coatesville 17: My gut says this comes down to CV forcing a big turnover. Either taking it to the house or returning it for great field position and turning the tide.
MORROW: Cumberland Valley 38, Coatesville 32: Red Raiders rattled off 10 straight wins after CV stuffed them by 20 last year. Hindsight reveals just how impressive that victory was for Mike Whitehead’s crew.
ADAMS: Cocalico 21, Red Land 14: Red Land needs to prove it can score with this rebuilt offense.
MORROW: Cocalico 20, Red Land 7: Eagles return 10 starters on defense from a team that last year posted three straight shutouts. That’s bad news for a Patriots’ offense searching for its rhythm.
Lancaster Catholic at Camp Hill
ADAMS: Camp Hill 27, Lancaster Catholic 20: Have to believe Zack Kuntz and Quinn Buffington connect this week and jump start this offense. And now that the stunner of Frank Gay resigning will be eight days old instead of mere hours, the Lions should come out better focused.
MORROW: Camp Hill 28, Lancaster Catholic 14: Lions are tough, and they’ll respond well after last week’s heartbreaking loss to Palmyra. But gotta get Zack Kuntz involved in the passing game.
Littlestown at Boiling Springs
ADAMS: Littlestown 27, Boiling Springs 20: I think the Bubblers will start fast and strong with a new coach and new energy, but it might take a few games to really find their stride.
MORROW: Littlestown 22, Boiling Springs 16: Bubblers’ skid is at 12 games entering Zack Stroh’s head coaching debut; Thunderbolts lost a lot from a team that won eight games last year and blanked Bubblers 28-0, but Boiling Springs did beat Littlestown 35-0 the year before.
Mechanicsburg at Carlisle
ADAMS: Carlisle 30, Mechanicsburg 14: So many questions I wanna see answered when I cover this one Friday. But if Brett Ickes has his QB, this offense should be able to put up points.
MORROW: Carlisle 30, Mechanicsburg 20: Wildcats have lost 20 straight and 24 of last 25, including an embarrassing defeat to rival Herd last year. Thinking this one is close for a while, but Herd and Gavyn Barnes find their footing in the second half.
Northern at Susquehannock
ADAMS: Susquehannock 20, Northern 14: I could be very wrong about this, but something tells me the Warriors will cause problems in the trenches as the Polar Bears continue to work in new starters.
MORROW: Susquehannock 25, Northern 22: Warriors lost five games by the skin of their teeth last year, including 14-12 to Polar Bears in Week 1. Feeling like things start to even out a bit for the YAIAA outfit this season.
ADAMS: Shippensburg 27, Dover 7: Carter Van Scyoc throws for 250 yards and a couple scores to kick off his “I’m the real deal” year.
MORROW: Shippensburg 22, Dover 19: Greyhounds hammered the Eagles last year, but guessing that won’t be the case this year. Still, like the combo of QB Carter Van Scyoc and RB Adam Houser to keep the Ship moving. Dover just added recently resigned Camp Hill head coach Frank Gay as an assistant.
Trinity at Delone Catholic
ADAMS: Trinity 25, Delone Catholic 20: It can be tough to predict some of these non-conference games because you only know one team. Think the Shamrocks win another nailbiter.
MORROW: Delone Catholic 20, Trinity 19: Corey Zortman’s Squires lost 20 dudes to graduation, and Shamrocks have some good parts in place. A win for Trinity is certainly possible, but they’ll need to avoid turnovers and bad penalties.
ADAMS: Palmyra 33, West Perry 13: I think the Mustangs will be better than last year, but the Cougars are a ways better.
MORROW: Palmyra 30, West Perry 16: Very impressed by Cougars’ comeback victory over Camp Hill. I think they have a keeper in new starting QB Grant Haus. Mustangs continue to make dramatic improvements and are a dangerous bunch now, but this would be a big, big upset.