The Squires and Steamrollers can’t seem to get enough of one another.
For the third time in a calendar year, Delone Catholic and Steel-High will square off on the gridiron, and as in the previous two meetings, the stakes will be high. With a District 3 championship on the line, it doesn’t get much higher.
Steel-High comes to McSherrystown tonight to face Delone for the belt in Class 1A.
The Squires (6-0) flattened the competition during the regular season, bullying their way to a YAIAA-3 title. Tate Neiderer has run wild with nearly 800 yards and 16 touchdowns to date. Neiderer has rolled behind an offensive line that went from a question mark to a strength in a matter of weeks. The maulers up front have allowed Squire backs to churn out 300 yards per game, second-most among YAIAA teams.
Neiderer and backfield mate Cory Heffner will look for lanes against the Rollers (5-0), who are known more for their high-octane offense than their desire to play defense. And with superstars like wideout Mehki Flowers, why not? Flowers is a 6-foot-2, 195-pound missile who doubles as a supreme wideout and safety.
The Rollers sprint into tonight’s D3 title game averaging 55 points per game. Yep, 55 per clip.
Delone has seen Flowers and Co. before, and fared quite well. Last year Steel-High claimed a 35-28 regular-season win over Delone before the Squires turned the tables in the 2A semifinals, 39-27.
The winner of tonight’s clash will not only be a D3 king, but also have a game next week against the District 4 champion in the PIAA playoffs.
Bermudian Springs is no stranger to the postseason, and the Eagles find themselves in the mix in 3A. The Eagles punched their playoff ticket with a win over rival Littlestown last week. Their reward is a road trip to Middletown to face the powerful Blue Raiders.
Berm hasn’t followed a steady blueprint this season, instead different finding ways to win by whatever means necessary. Bruising back Savauri Shelton can soften up a defense with his power game, but like we saw last week, his arm is a weapon as well.
Ricky Pacana and Matt Zelenski give the Eagles enough options to keep opposing defenders honest.
The Blue Raiders are a solid bunch once again, but maybe not quite of the ilk that grabbed three straight district titles from 2016-2018, and fell just short in the finals last year against Wyomissing.
And speaking of the Spartans, tonight’s winner between Berm and Middletown is likely to get a taste of the unbeaten Spartans in next week’s title match.
UNBEATEN AND UNTIED: The Gettysburg girls’ soccer team closed the book on a remarkable regular season Wednesday night when they edged Susquehannock, 2-1. The victory gave Gburg a 12-0 record and a second straight YAIAA-2 title.
Gettysburg’s offense has been in overdrive all fall with Lora Bertram, Maddy Gaydon, Alivia Colgan and Co. blistering opposing keepers. The Warriors averaged just a shade under five goals per game (59 total) while allowing only seven.
The Warriors are tucked into third place in the 3A power rankings behind ELCO and Greencastle, which are both 13-0.
The beat goes on at Fairfield where the Knights refuse to soften their grip on the Division 3 crown. Fairfield (10-1-1) is once again a serious title threat in Class 1A, where it sits just behind Mount Calvary for the top seed in the upcoming playoffs. The Chargers (.611770) and Knights (.610379) were separated by the slimmest of margins on Thursday evening.
Bermudian Springs hopes to make a late surge that would put it in the 2A field. The Eagles (8-1-1) are sixth behind No. 5 Middletown and No. 4 Boiling Springs, with only the top four making the grade. Berm has a pair of road games left on the docket, including a big one today at York Catholic (9-2), the third-place team in 1A.
Since a season-opening 3-2 overtime loss to Fairfield, the Eagles have gone 8-0-1 behind a high-flying offense keyed by Avery Benzel and Bailey Oehmig.
CAN BVILLE JOIN BERM & THE OX?: Bermudian Springs and New Oxford have secured high seeds for the upcoming District 3 Field Hockey Championships. The Eagles, led by first-year head coach Kristy Zehr, are a perfect 12-0. With Melanie Beall spearheading the offensive attack and Keri Speelman patrolling the middle, Berm has outscored its opponents by a mind-boggling 56-2 ratio.
Both of the goals allowed came in a 3-2 win over West York.
The Eagles sit second in Class 1A behind Oley Valley (12-0).
The Colonials (10-1) have been nearly as impressive from a goals scored to allowed ratio, having banged the cage 44 times while giving up a dozen scores. Carrie Bair, fresh off a hat trick at Red Lion on Wednesday, is a handful in the open field. Morgan Sauter and Ally Mathis are dangerous scorers and the Colonials have a steady veteran in the cage in Morgan Scott.
New Oxford is third in the 2A power rankings, trailing Palmyra (9-2) and Twin Valley (11-1).
While Berm and Ox have playoff reservations in hand, Biglerville hopes to join the party. The Canners got a late start when their first two games were postponed, then took a 4-0 punch on the chin in their opener at Bermudian. Since then, Biglerville has outscored its opponents 26-5 to improve its record to 7-3-1. Senior defenders Hailey Steele and Morgan Martin, and junior Alyssa Smith have teamed with senior keeper Ivana Stanko to pitch seven shutouts.
Still, the Canners find themselves just outside the playoff field in 1A. Biglerville (.528619) narrowly trails Annville-Cleona (8-5, .538646) for the eighth and final playoff spot.
The Canners have a pair of opportunities to improve their standing as they travel to Fairfield today before hosting Delone Catholic on Saturday, the final day regular season games count toward the power rankings.
HEADING TO NEWVILLE: A strong pack of area runners will be on the course Saturday at Big Spring High School, home of the District 3 Cross Country Championships. The six races will have staggered starts to limit gatherings, beginning at 10 a.m.
Making the cut and earning a bid to the state meet will be more difficult than ever with a reduced number of qualifiers in place. Only the top 10 finisher in each race not on the winning team will advance to the PIAA meet.
Last weekend in the YAIAA Championships, Gettysburg freshman Winter Oaster put on a show. Oaster ran an 18:54.4, the fastest time posted by a Warrior girl on the home course. She placed second overall to Margaret Carroll of Northeastern, who blistered the field with a course record 18:26.2
Delone Catholic senior Julia O’Brien is aiming for a third trip to states. O’Brien was 16th last Saturday in 20:20.3.
On the boys’ side, Gettysburg ace Drew Cole looks to lead the charge. Cole ran to a seventh-place finish in 16:26.5 at YAIAAs.
District 3 Cross Country Championships
Saturday — Big Spring H.S.
Start times: 10 a.m. — Girls Class 1A; 10:45 a.m. — Boys Class 1A; 11:45 a.m. — Girls Class 2A; 12:45 p.m. — Boys Class 2A; 1:45 p.m.- Girls Class 3A; 2:45 p.m. — Boys Class 3A
Boys: Nathan Taylor (27)
Girls: Rebecca Durbin (28), Hannah Fletcher (29), Maddison Kuhn (30)
Boys: Liam Allen (156), Joey Caitlin (158), Ethan Darlington (159), Aden Davis (160), Jack Goedecker (161), Adam Lawrence (162), Ryan Murphy (163)
Girls: Annabelle Biggins (164), Jessica Crawford (165), Emma Goddard (166), Becky Hernandez (167), Ella Hughes (168), Julia O’Brien (169), Zoe Sanchez (170), Samantha Smith (171)
Boys: Kyle Davis (219), Levi Davis (220), Vincent Malpica (221), Matthias Sacco (222), Gabe Schubring (223), Matthew Turner (224), Camryn Wiles (225)
Girls: Morgan Dennison (226), Haley Hebenton (227), Honey Strosnider (228)
Boys: Colin Arnold (231), Jacob Bordatto (232), Ryan Clayton (233), Drew Cole (234), Gavin Cole (235), Auden Day (236), Sam Douds (237), Calvin Lang (238)
Girls: Marrin Crist (239), Winter Oaster (240)
Boys: Alex Lehigh (357)
Girls: Alyssa Meyers (358), Abigail Riedel (359), Sonya Yingling (360)
Boys: Evan Friel (435), Shernan Singh (436), Shernel Singh (437)
Girls: Paige Watson (438)
THIRD TIME THE CHARM? Delone Catholic appears to be a solo act when it comes to Adams County teams and the D3 girls’ volleyball playoffs. The Squirettes (10-2) are safely in the Class 2A field, where they are stationed in third place behind unbeatens Trinity and York Catholic. It was the Irish that dealt Delone both of its defeats this season (3-1, 3-0).
If the rankings hold form, Delone will have to hope the third time is the charm as they would face York Catholic yet again.
Head coach Jason Leppo, who earlier this season notched his 200th career victory in just 10 years at the school, will certainly have his squad prepared. And betting against the Squirettes come playoff time is a losing proposition.
Littlestown (8-4) looks to be one spot outside the cutoff in 2A, where only four teams qualify. The Bolts (.548481) trail Upper Dauphin (13-3, .571913) for the final spot.
In Class 4A, South Western (11-2) is holding steady in the sixth spot, two place above the cutline. The Mustangs are led by big hitter Emma Filipovits and Makayla Dyson, who directs a talented attack.