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October 22, 2007 - Chris Masse
I have been covering high school football for the Sun-Gazette since 1999 but never have I been more excited about an upcoming week of football games. Week 9 features an array of big-time games laced with league championship and District 4 playoff ramifications. The only regret I have is that I get to cover just one of these games. The biggest game of all is the annual Montoursville-Selinsgrove grudge match that so often determines the CSC-I champion. Montoursville (7-1) can capture the title outright if its defeats visiting Selinsgrove Friday and Milton next week. If Selinsgrove (6-2) wins, it pulls into a tie for first place and both teams could share the championship. It takes a big game like Montoursville-Selinsgrove to trump some of those on the undercard, including Loyalsock at Bloomsburg. The Lancers (7-1) have already clinched a District 4 Class AA playoff berth but could take a big step toward possibly earning homefield advantage with a win and also could earn a share of their first CSC-II title if they win their last two games. Bloomsburg, though, is one of the state's best Class A teams and thumped five-time defending state champion Southern Columbia, 19-0. The NTL Small-School championship will be at stake when Canton (7-1) travels to Muncy (5-3). Both teams are 4-0 in the league and both teams are fighting for the fourth District 4 Class A playoff spot. Muncy surely has not forgotten about last year's 40-0 loss in Canton and would love to pay the Warriors back by reclaiming the league championship that Canton took from it last year. Both teams feature diverse offenses and stingy defenses so this could be one of the area's most exciting games. Speaking of exciting, Hughesville is back in the Class AA playoff chase making its game at Warrior Run one to watch as well. If the Spartans (3-5) win they could potentially pass the Defenders (4-4) in the standings. It's a contrast in styles as well. Warrior Run is a balanced and open offense while Hughesville features a smash-mouth running game. Jersey Shore's defense has been smashing opponents throughout the last four weeks and has helped the Bulldogs make the year's most dramatic turnaround. After going 2-9 last year, Jersey Shore is 5-3, is headed to the District 4 Class AAA playoffs and still has a shot at earning the No. 1 seed. Jersey Shore hosts archrival Central Mountain Friday and Thompson Street Stadium will be buzzing as the two teams play their biggest game in the nine-year history of this rivalry. The Wildcats (4-4) are in the hunt for a District 3-5-6 Class AAAA subregional playoff berth and would love to pay the Bulldogs back after last year's 17-0 loss. Most week's Jersey Shore-Central Mountain might be the game of the week. This week it is just one of many great games. That's why this is so exciting. That is one of the reasons why high school football is so much fun.
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