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Frenzy Five: This week's top high school football matchups

York High hosts South Western Friday night in a YAIAA Division 1 clash that could have huge District 3 playoff implications.

YORK, Pa. — It's Week 9 of the regular season in Central Pennsylvania, so there's no shortage of big games on the docket this week. 

The FOX 43 High School Football Frenzy Game of the Week is the YAIAA Division 1 clash between South Western and York High -- a game that will have an impact on both the division title race and the district playoffs.

FOX43 and High School Sports live will be streaming a pair of games this week. The Thursday night clash between Steelton-Highspire and Trinity, and Friday night's rivalry game between Hershey and Lower Dauphin.

Both games will be streamed on Antenna TV and FOX43+.

Here's a look at this week's top games.


South Western (6-2) at William Penn (5-2)

There's plenty to play for this week for York High, which trails Central York by a half-game in the York-Adams Interscholastic Athletic Association Division 1 race and is on the District 3 Class 6A playoff bubble. A loss on Friday would be nearly fatal on both fronts.

As of this week, the Bearcats are ranked No. 7 in the District 3 Class 6A power rankings, which are used to fill out the eight-team playoff bracket. Since York still has a challenging showdown with Division 1 leader Central York looming ahead next week, its margin for error is slim if it wants to grab a postseason berth.

York has won five straight, including a nail-biting 40-37 victory over Spring Grove last week. Jaheim White had another huge game for the Bearcats, rushing for 232 yards and five touchdowns. 

In his last two games, White has racked up a ridiculous 659 yards and 11 touchdowns. 

South Western dropped out of contention in the division when the Mustangs dropped back-to-back losses to Dallastown and Central York in Weeks 4 and 5. But South Western is still in the thick of the Class 5A playoff hunt, ranked No. 6 in the power rankings (12 teams qualify). 

The Mustangs dusted Northeastern 42-7 last week to claim their third straight victory. 

QB Mark Risendale is a player to watch for South Western, with 1,030 passing yards and nine touchdowns. He's also second on the team in rushing, with 519 yards and seven scores.


Steel-High (5-1) at Trinity (5-3)

This Thursday night matchup in the Mid-Penn Capital pits the top-ranked team in Class 1A against the current leader in 2A and will pretty much decide the division title race.

The Class 1A bracket, where the top two teams advance directly to the title game, is a foregone conclusion; Steel-High is going to host Fairfield (2-5) on Nov. 5 for the district gold.

But Trinity only has a tenuous grip on the top spot in Class 2A, where the top four teams advance to the semifinals. Annville-Cleona, Delone Catholic, and Camp Hill (all 5-3) are breathing down the Shamrocks' necks. A win here would likely ensure Trinity of home-field advantage in the district playoffs. 

That's not going to be easy, though. Because Steel-High is -- once again -- loaded for a deep postseason run. The Rollers stomped Newport 68-14 last week and haven't scored less than 60 points in a month. It feels like a new star steps up every week for Steel-High, and last week it was Jaeion Perry, who racked up 229 total yards and three TDs. 

Alex Erby was his usual stellar self as well, completing 10 of 12 passes for 171 yards and three TDs.

Trinity is coming off a 26-0 rout of neighborhood rival Camp Hill last week, the Shamrocks' third straight win. Running backs Max Schlager and Messiah Mickens led the way for Trinity, accounting for 243 combined rushing yards and three touchdowns.

Gettysburg (7-1) at Northern (4-4)

The Warriors are currently sitting pretty at No. 3 in the Class 5A power rankings, but still have plenty to play for against the host Polar Bears. A win would guarantee that Gettysburg -- which just returned to the Mid-Penn this year after eight years in the YAIAA -- will claim at least a share of the Colonial division crown. 

Northern, one of three teams trailing Gettysburg by two games in the Colonial race, needs a win here to have any chance at a Class 5A playoff berth. The Polar Bears are on the wrong side of the bubble at No. 14, and only 12 teams get in.

The Polar Bears' 38-37 heartbreaker against Susquehanna Township last week dropped them in the power rankings, but an upset win over the Warriors would probably move them right back up. They'll look for a big night from junior RB Cole Bartrum, who has rushed for 1,042 yards and six TDs this season.

Gettysburg, whose only loss of the season was a 28-14 setback against New Oxford in Week 2, relies on the tandem of sophomore QB Brady Heiser (1,168 passing yards, 8 TDs) and senior RB Jayden Johnson (1,175 rushing yards, 8 TDs).

Cumberland Valley (6-2) at State College (8-0)

The Mid-Penn Commonwealth race was pretty much decided last week, when State College knocked off Harrisburg 20-6. The Little Lions can clinch at least a tie for the division crown with a win on Friday.

But that doesn't mean Cumberland Valley doesn't have anything to play for. The Eagles are looking to rebound from last week's 26-20 loss to Carlisle, which snapped their two-game winning streak, and need a win here to solidify their chances at hosting a first-round game in the eight-team Class 6A playoffs.

Senior QB Isaac Sines keys the CV offense, with 670 passing yards, a team-high 663 rushing yards, and 19 combined TDs.

State College is a District 6 team that plays in the Mid-Penn. In addition to being the lead dog in the Commonwealth, the Little Lions are ranked third in the state in Class 6A by Pennlive and fourth by Pennsylvania Football News.

Freshman RB D'Antae Sheffey is a player to watch for State College. He's got 969 yards and 13 touchdowns this season. Sheffey had 93 rushing yards and a touchdown in last week's win over Harrisburg.

Garden Spot (3-1, 6-2) at E-town (3-1, 7-1)

Both of these teams trail the lead dog, Solanco, in the Lancaster-Lebanon League Section 2 race, and both are comfortably positioned in the District 3 Class 5A power rankings. 

But this game still has a lot of meaning for both squads.

E-town came up three points short in its first-place showdown with Solanco on Oct. 7, falling 35-32. The loss cost the Bears their chance to win the section crown outright, so E-town must now turn its attention to maximizing its position in the district playoff bracket. The top four teams in Class 5A earn byes through the first round, and E-town is currently ranked fifth. A win here would be huge.

Garden Spot can still claim a share of the Section 2 title; the Spartans face Solanco next Friday in Quarryville. But a loss here would likely put the kibosh on that possibility -- and could also endanger their district playoff hopes, depending on how the teams ranked below them fare this week.

This game pits two of the league's best offenses against one another. E-town leads the league in total offense (483 yards per game), while Garden Spot (412 yards per game) ranks third. 

E-town quarterback Josh Ruby leads the L-L League in passing yards (2,253) and TD tosses (23), while Kye Harting has thrown for 1,519 yards and 17 scores for Garden Spot. He's also the team's rushing leader, with 802 yards and seven scores.

Logan Lentz (975 yards, 15 TDs) is E-town's top rusher, while Braden Cummings leads the league in catches (45), receiving yards (1,192) and touchdowns (15).

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