Week 6 Countdown to Kickoff: Central PA high school football preview

Friday Night Football

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — We’re over halfway done with the Central PA high school football regular season at Week 6. Some of the perennial powers are going to have to turn on the jets if they hope to make the district playoffs, while some of the most dominant teams are a blast from the past.

Join the abc27 sports team as they break down what you should expect from Week 6 of the season, the key matchups on the schedule, (thankfully) limited COVID-19 cancellations, and who won Play of the Week. Plus get your kickoff forecast to help plan your Friday evening.

Matchups to Watch

West Perry at Northern (Friday, Oct. 1 at 7 p.m.) – Northern (3-1) is one of the team’s in the Mid Penn that has potential to make a run in the District III playoffs. The Polar Bears have only lost to undefeated Spring Grove three weeks ago, and are coming off a 28-2 victory over East Pennsboro last week.

Quarterback Timothy Bonin has gone 30-for-53 for 388 yards, five touchdowns and just one interception through four games.

West Perry (3-2) comes into the game with momentum off last week’s 30-19 win over Mechanicsburg. The Mustangs only losses were to Big Spring 34-24 to open the season, and in Week 4 against Waynesboro 29-6.

The offense features a dual threat quarterback in Marcus Quaker. The QB has gone 38-for-65 for 507 yards, three touchdowns but five interceptions. He’s a mobile quarterback who has had 328 yards on 57 carries and three touchdowns.

The Mustangs have Trent Herrera at running back who has rushed for 356 yards on 74 carries and five touchdowns.

Cumberland Valley at CD East (Friday, Oct. 1 at 7 p.m.) – There a few teams being talked about as highly as CD East. The Panthers are 4-1 through five games with the team’s only loss coming in Week 1 to Manheim Township 24-21.

New Head Coach Lance Deane handily beat State College last week 34-13 and continue to dominate on offense. RB Macel McDaniels has 632 yards on 96 carries and four touchdowns. QB Terrence Jackson-Copney has yet to throw an interception and has gone 28-for-43 with 478 yards and four touchdowns.

Plus Penn State commit Mehki Flowers is getting it done on both sides of the ball with 24 receptions for 381 yards and four touchdowns; that’s good for 6th among receivers in the Mid Penn.

Cumberland Valley comes into the week at 3-2 off three straight wins, including last week 27-14 over Commonwealth division rival Altoona. (It’s important to note, head coach Josh Oswalt was in COVID-19 quarantine for that win as well).

QB Isaac Sines is the linchpin of this team as both the leader on offense and the teams kicker. He’s gone 48-for-85 for 625 yards, seven touchdowns and three interceptions. He’s also been a perfect 8-for-8 on extra points and 5-for-5 for field goals.

WR Griffin Huffman’s 16.5 average yards per catch is something to pay attention to, as well as the options J.D. Hunter provides for this offense.

South Western at Central York (Friday, Oct. 1 at 7 p.m.) – We know Central York and QB Beau Pribula have long been the favorites in YAIAA, but South Western has been a surprise this season.

After a 2-5 season in 2020, the Mustangs have a new coach in 2021/ First-year head coach Tony Shermeyer has completely revamped the teams offensive attack and it’s working. QB Shilo Bivins has made a name for himself going 76-for-116 for 929 yards. He has seven passing touchdowns with four interceptions and chips in four touchdowns on the ground.

Central York is ranked third in Class 6A in the state, and only played its starters for one half last week against Dover.

Warwick at Manheim Central (Friday, Oct. 1 at 7 p.m.) – This Warwick team has fallen on some hard times the past two games against Penn Manor and Hempfield. In the three games the Warriors lost (including Week 2 loss to CD East), the point differential was an average of just five points. And the Warwick offense is still No. 3 in the league with 385 yards per game.

Unfortunately for Warwick, going up against 5-0 Manheim Central will be anything but easy. The Barons are undefeated at this point for the first time since 2018, when Evan Simon took Manheim Central to the PIAA Class 5A State Championship. The rush attack for Central is led by RB Justin Heffernan who has 462 yards and five touchdowns. He leads the LL League with 104 carries. The Warriors are third-worst in the league against the rush this season.

The Barons only give up 166 yards on defense and are the best in the LL League against the rush. The pass rush is working with 18 quarterback sacks through five games.

Warwick has won the last three matchups between these Section 2 foes.

Friday Night Forecast

Mainly clear skies and cooler conditions prevail for another week of local gridiron action. Dry weather too holds for all games! Expect temperatures to fall after sunset easily into the low 60s and upper 50s. We also do not expect much of a breeze. 

Also in the show

Allie Berube will explain how COVID-19 is making its mark this season, plus who won abc27 Friday Night Football Play of the Week after the voting concluded on Twitter.

You can watch abc27 Friday Night Football starting at 11:15 p.m. each Friday night on television, or on the web on our Watch Live page. Damon TurbittAllie BerubeLogan Reever, and John Repetz break down the best games in the area, bring you closer to the action and give you a comprehensive look at the Mid Penn Conference, Lancaster-Lebanon League, and YAIAA each week.

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