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The Frenzy Five: Games to Watch in Week 7

Northern visits East Pennsboro in the Frenzy Game of the Week, but that's far from the only showdown on the docket.

YORK, Pa. — Welcome to Week 7 of high school football in Central Pennsylvania.

From here on, the games get even more meaningful, as division races and positioning for the District 3 playoffs are impacted by the results.

Take this week's FOX43 High School Football Frenzy Game of the Week between Northern and East Pennsboro as an example. 

Northern (3-3) is currently a game out of first place in the Mid-Penn Colonial division race, and is on the wrong side of the bubble in the District 3 Class 5A power rankings. The Polar Bears need a win Friday to keep both their division and playoff hopes alive. 

East Pennsboro (4-2) trails Colonial leader Gettysburg by two games, and is a game behind co-runner-up Mechanicsburg. To make matters worse, the Panthers have already lost to both of those teams -- so a division title is probably not in the cards. But EP is still very much alive in the race for a District 3 Class 4A playoff spot, and a win over Northern would go a long way toward solidifying their position.

So Friday's clash, set for 7 p.m. in Enola, is huge for both teams. And that's just ONE of the big games on the schedule this week.

The FOX43 Sports Team will get you ready for all the action with the Frenzy Pre-Game Show at 6 p.m., and will wrap things up with highlights and interviews in the Post-Game Show at 11. 

Here's a look at this week's Frenzy Five.


Northern (3-3, 2-1) at East Pennsboro (4-2, 1-2): The host Panthers got off to a great start, but come into this one having lost two of three, including a 10-7 upset loss to Mechanicsburg last week. They lost to front-running Gettysburg 27-11 in Week 4.

Last week, the Panthers scored on the game's first play, as QB Dakota Campbell hit a streaking Breckin Swope for a 64-yard touchdown. But EP did nothing offensively after that -- their next-longest play was a 13-yard run in the fourth quarter. 

As a result, they were shut out for the rest of the game in a deflating loss.

EP loves to run the ball, and they've got the weapons to do it. The quarterback platoon of Campbell and junior Keith Oakes leads the way with 556 combined rushing yards and eight scores, but running back Aaron Angelo (64-299, TD) is a force to be reckoned with as well. 

Northern has won two of its last three games, including a 29-18 victory against Greencastle-Antrim last week. The Polar Bears are in the meat of their schedule, with showdowns against Susquehanna Township, Gettysburg, and Mechanicsburg -- all of whom are ahead of or tied with them in the Colonial race -- coming up after this one. 

Quarterback Timothy Bonin (46-89, 585 yards, six TDs, three INTs) and running back Cole Bartrum (110-661, seven TDs) are players to watch for Northern.


Hershey (3-3, 3-0) at Bishop McDevitt (4-1, 3-0): It's a first-place showdown in the Mid-Penn Keystone division between the host Crusaders and the visiting Trojans. 

McDevitt has been on a rampage since its season-opening loss to Imhotep Charter. The Crusaders have won four in a row since (one game was canceled), outscoring their opponents by an average margin of 45.5 points per game. They throttled Milton Hershey 68-22 last week, building a 62-8 lead at halftime and resting their starters from there.

QB Stone Saunders, who accounted for seven touchdowns against Milton Hershey last week, has thrown for 1,341 yards and 14 touchdowns this season despite sitting out the second half of most of his games. Senior Marquise Williams, a Minnesota recruit, put up 108 rushing and 103 receiving yards and scored four times last week. He's got 607 yards and 12 scores on the ground this season.

Hershey started the season 0-3, but has reeled off three straight wins since then, including a 27-7 rout of Red Land last week. The Trojans got a handful of huge plays from wideout Marcus Sweeney, who scored touchdowns on the ground (an 86-yard burst), through the air (a 94-yard catch and run) and in the return game (a 91-yard score on the game's opening kick).

Sweeney is Hershey's leading receiver, with 27 catches for 579 yards and six scores). He also averages 11.9 yards per carry (20-237, TD) for the Trojans.

Hempfield (5-1, 3-0) at Wilson (5-1, 2-0): First place in the Lancaster-Lebanon League Section 1 race and positioning in the District 3 Class 6A playoffs will be on the line when the section-leading Black Knights visit Gurski Stadium in West Lawn to take on the Bulldogs in what could be their stiffest test.

Hempfield has won three in a row since a 30-20 defeat at Central York in Week 3, including a 34-7 rout of Penn Manor last week. The Knights' tandem of quarterback Jackson Landis and running back Grant Hoover have been especially tough to stop. Landis has thrown for 779 yards and five touchdowns, and added 130 yards and a team-high nine touchdowns on the ground, while Hoover (88-619, four TDs) is the section's leading rusher.

Wilson hasn't lost since the season opener, a 46-15 defeat against Philly powerhouse Roman Catholic. The Bulldogs dumped Governor Mifflin 32-14 last week. 

Led by coach Doug Dahms -- the latest in a long line of legendary Bulldog mentors -- Wilson has a balanced attack paced by running back Cameron Jones, who has found the end zone 12 times and racked up 466 yards on the ground. 

Quarterback Tommy Hunsicker has thrown for 595 yards and six touchdowns and is the team's second-leading rusher with 325 yards.

Elizabethtown (6-0, 2-0) at Solanco (6-0, 2-0): The stakes don't get much higher in this battle of unbeatens Friday in Quarryville. E-town and Solanco put their perfect records on the line in a game where the winner stays in the hunt for first place in Section 3 and grabs the top spot in the District 3 Class 5A power rankings.

We should note that Garden Spot (5-1, 3-0) actually leads both teams by a half-game in the section race, due to having one more section win to its credit. But the Spartans' one loss has them looking up at both E-town and Solanco in the power rankings. Garden Spot visits E-town in Week 9 and Solanco in Week 10, so the Spartans will likely have a say in the outcome of both races.

E-town, playing in its first season under coach Keith Stokes, was held to under 30 points for the first time all season in last week's 26-13 victory over Daniel Boone. The Bears boast the league's passing yardage leader in quarterback Josh Rudy, who has 1,595 yards and 15 touchdowns on 71 percent passing. The receiving duo of Braden Cummings (30-880, 11 TDs) and Cade Capello (30-356, four TDs) are hard to slow down, as is running back Logan Lentz (134-889, 14 TDs).

All in all, E-town leads the league in total offense, averaging 486 yards per game.

The best way to battle that offense is to use the run game and control the clock. Good thing that's exactly what Solanco wants to do every single week. The Golden Mules are the league's second-leading rushing team, averaging 294 yards per game on the ground. They've attempted just 29 passes in six games.

Cole Harris (113-506, six TDs), QB Brody Mellinger (105-423, nine TDs), Josiah Forren (53-405, five TDs) and Elijah Cunningham (33-300, two TDs) all have at least 30 carries for the Mules.

Kennard-Dale (3-3, 2-0) at New Oxford (5-1, 3-0): We'll wrap things up in the YAIAA, where the host Colonials have a slim half-game lead over the Rams in the Division II race. Both teams are currently sitting pretty in the power rankings of their respective District 3 classes, but need a win here to ensure they stay there.

K-D has won three in a row since starting the season 0-3. The Rams held off Fleetwood 20-14 in non-conference action last week.

Offense has been a bit of an issue for K-D; the Rams' average of 200 total yards per game ranks second-last in the entire YAIAA. Gavin Sparks (56-335, eight TDs) is the biggest threat on the ground, while QB Garrett McCleary (28-56-4, 339 yards, TD) is the top passer.

New Oxford boasts the league's top defense, allowing just 237 total yards per game, so K-D's offense faces a challenge.

On the other side of the ball, New Oxford QB Jett Moore is one of three 1,000-yard passers in the YAIAA, with 1,079 yards and 12 TDs on 68-of-107 passing. His top targets are Evan Schriver (27-357, five TDs) and Brennan Holmes (23-391, six TDs).

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