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The Frenzy Five: Here are the games to watch in Week 8

Plenty of big matchups abound this week, including a neighborhood rivalry game between Camp Hill and Trinity in the Mid-Penn.

YORK, Pa. — As we head into Week 8 of the regular season, positioning in the District 3 power rankings begins to become as important as division races for the bulk of Central Pennsylvania's football teams.

The top eight teams in the district's power rankings make the Class 6A playoffs, the top 12 make the cut in 5A, 10 teams get in in 4A, six make the playoffs in 3A, four teams advance directly to the Class 2A semifinals and the top two teams in 1A move right to the title game.

The Frenzy Five this week features teams looking to solidify their positions for the postseason.

That's especially true for the Frenzy Game of the Week, which pits neighborhood rivals and Class 2A contenders Trinity and Camp Hill against each other.

Here's a look at that one, plus four other games to watch in Week 8.


Trinity (2-0, 4-3) at Camp Hill (1-2, 5-2): The Game of the Week between these neighborhood rivals will have an impact on the Mid-Penn Colonial race, but is also very important in terms of positioning for the District 3 playoffs. 

The Shamrocks and Lions are currently 1-2 in the power rankings in Class 2A, where the top four teams make the playoffs. Trinity holds a slim lead at the moment, but a Camp Hill victory would put the Lions on top. Trinity also trails Colonial leader Steel-High by a half-game in the division race.

Trinity has won four in a row after suffering through a three-game skid earlier in the season. The Shamrocks were idle last week, picking up a forfeit win over Middletown, which cancelled its season back in August. The last time they were on the field, the Shamrocks took down Big Spring 38-21.

Senior RB Max Schlager has been on a hot streak of late for Trinity; he had 176 yards and three touchdowns in Trinity's 26-14 win over Boiling Springs three weeks ago, and followed that up with two more touchdowns and a pair of interceptions in the Shamrocks' victory over Big Spring. Schlager has a team-high 386 yards and six touchdowns on the ground for Trinity.

Camp Hill is looking to rebound after a rough night against division leader Steel-High last week. The Rollers piled up 450 yards of offense and created five turnovers on defense on their way to a 71-20 victory.

That was just the second loss of the season for the Lions, who were also felled by Big Spring 16-6 in Week 4. 

Camp Hill loves to pass the ball; the Lions average just 31 yards per game on the ground. Sophomore quarterback Drew Branstetter has completed 104 of 174 pass attempts for 1,228 yards and 13 touchdowns. Six Lion players have pulled in at least 10 catches this season, with sophomore Alex Long (23-378, two TDs) leading the way.


State College (4-0, 7-0) at Harrisburg (4-0, 5-1): This Mid-Penn Commonwealth clash, set for 1 p.m. Saturday, is for sole possession of first place in the division race. Harrisburg could also use the boost in the District 3 Class 6A power rankings that a victory over the Little Lions would provide.

The Cougars are currently No. 3 in Class 6A, where the top eight teams qualify for the postseason. Harrisburg trails Commonwealth neighbor Cumberland Valley -- who already lost to the Cougars this season -- and L-L League Section 1 leader Hempfield.

Harrisburg has won four in a row since dropping a 24-20 decision to Manheim Township in Week 2. The Cougars throttled CD East 52-0 least week, riding strong performances from RB Mahkai Hopkins (143 yards, three touchdowns) and sophomore QB Shawn Lee Jr. (242 total yards, four TDs). 

Hopkins has a team-leading 548 yards and eight scores this season, with Lee is closing in on the 1,000-yard plateau (76-108, 963 yards, nine scores). 

State College is a District 6 team riding a seven-game winning streak. The only close calls so far are a one-point win over Downingtown East (32-31) back in Week 2 and a 19-8 victory over Central Dauphin on Sept. 23. The Lions knocked off Carlisle 49-20 last week.

Senior Finn Furmanek is a player to watch for State College. He's part of a QB platoon with junior Owen Yurka, and has 699 yards and eight TDs through the air. But he's also found the end zone four times as a rusher and has 13 catches for 184 yards and a TD as a receiver. 

Freshman D'Antae Sheffey has racked up 848 yards and 12 TDs on 104 attempts.

State College is ranked No. 4 in the state by both Pennlive and PA Football News, while Harrisburg is No. 6 in both polls.

Exeter Township (7-0) at Hempfield (6-1): It's a non-division matchup in the L-L League featuring a pair of first-place teams as the undefeated Eagles visit Landisville to take on the Black Knights, who are coming off their biggest win of the season.

Hempfield took over sole possession of first place in Section 1 with its 20-16, come-from-behind victory at Wilson last week. It was the Knights' fourth straight win since a 30-20 setback against Central York in Week 3, and it kept them in the thick of the race for the top seed in the District 3 Class 6A playoffs.

QB Jackson Landis threw for 265 yards and a touchdown against Wilson, boosting his season total to 1,044 yards and six scores. Landis also has a team-high nine rushing touchdowns. Running back Grant Hoover has 696 yards and four scores on the ground for the Knights.

Exeter holds a slim half-game lead over fellow unbeaten Manheim Central in Section 2. The Eagles have to wait until the regular season finale to meet the Barons in what will almost surely decide the section crown. Exeter is also well-positioned at the No. 2 spot in the Class 5A power rankings. The Eagles trounced Muhlenberg 42-8 last week. 

QB Mason Rotelli and RB Richie Karstien are the main cogs of the Exeter offense, which averages 355 yards per game. Rotelli has completed 49 of 66 passes for 875 yards and 14 scores, while Karstien has 692 yards and 10 TDs on 77 carries.

Exeter is ranked third in the state in Class 5A by Pennlive and second by PA Football News. Hempfield, which competes in 6A, is currently unranked in both polls.

Conestoga Valley (2-1, 4-3) at Manheim Central (4-0, 7-0): An old-school L-L League rivalry renews in Manheim as the Buckskins look to end the Barons' bid for a perfect regular season.

CV really needs this one; the Buckskins are currently No. 11 in the Class 5A power rankings, and 12 teams make the playoffs. A loss wouldn't necessarily be fatal, but it sure wouldn't help. 

The Bucks have won two in a row since a three-game skid earlier this season, including a 34-31 thriller against Governor Mifflin last week. 

Nick Tran leads a ground-heavy offense for CV with 708 yards and nine touchdowns. 

Central annihilated Lebanon 83-7 last week and has put up 153 points in its last two games. Brycen Armold racked up 151 yards and four touchdowns on just seven carries against Lebanon, while Zac Hahn threw for three touchdowns.

Armold has 1,069 yards and 18 scores this season, while Hahn has completed 71 of 120 passes for 1,341 yards and 20 scores.

Central is No. 1 in the District 3 Class 4A power rankings, No. 6 in Pennlive's statewide poll, and No. 7 by PFN.

William Penn (3-0, 4-2) at Spring Grove (2-1, 5-2): This divisional matchup will impact the YAIAA Division I race and could make a difference in the district playoffs as well. 

York High has a showdown looming with division leader Central York in Week 10, and needs a win here to keep its title hopes alive. The Bearcats are also No. 6 in the Class 6A power rankings, while Central checks in at No. 4.

Spring Grove's division title hopes are slim; the Rockets already lost 42-7 to Central last month. But the Rockets can still move up far enough in the Class 5A power rankings to earn a home game in the first round, so the stakes are high.

The Rockets have won three in a row since that Central York loss, including a 42-27 victory over Red Lion last week. Andrew Osmun scored five touchdowns in that game for Spring Grove. Osmun, a RB-QB hybrid, has 468 yards on the ground, 406 passing yards, and 12 total scores this season. 

York hasn't lost since dropping a 35-32 heartbreaker to Hempfield on Sept. 2. The Bearcats won a wild, 66-49 shootout with Dallastown last week. Senior Jaheim White -- who this week announced he'll play college ball at West Virginia -- had a career night against Dallastown, racking up 417 yards and six touchdowns on the ground and taking an interception to the house for another score.

White's output put him over 1,000 yards for the season, and he's got 20 scores on the ground as well.

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