Sun-Gazette power rankings: Week 4
1. Jersey Shore (3-0): Last week’s Montoursville victory made it four straight seasons in which Jersey Shore has mounted a game-tying or game-winning drive in the final minutes. The Bulldogs have won all those games and are 2-0 in overtime. They say “Tradition Never Graduates,” at Jersey Shore and that comes to excelling under pressure as well.
2. Montoursville (2-1): Few teams have a tougher stretch of games than the one Montoursville finds itself in right now. But it’s tough schedules like these which has helped the Warriors flourish over the years and become especially dangerous by playoff time.
3. Williamsport (2-1): Injuries have already began piling up for a team seemingly snakebitten in that department the last five years. The next man up, however, keeps producing with Nariq Burks providing the latest example.
4. Loyalsock (2-1): Think about how good Davion Hill is right now. Now think about how he mostly was playing basketball while fielding more Division I offers. Make no mistake, Hill is every bit as good on the field as he is on the court.
5. Central Mountain (3-0): Wildcats are winning the games they used to lose in the past. They are 3-1 in games decided by seven points or fewer the past two seasons and the defense has formed a wall when big stops are absolutely critical.
6. Muncy (2-1): I can’t remember a time in my 22 years covering area high school football when a quarterback did not throw an incompletion in consecutive games. Branson Eyer has done just that the past two weeks, going 10 for 10 for 309 yards and five touchdowns. A perfect quarterback rating is 158.3 and Eyer’s is 147.3
7. Canton (3-0): That a team as good as Canton is outside the top five speaks to the level of strong football being played in this area. The starting defense has allowed just one touchdown and the Warriors are 3-0 for a fourth straight season.
8. Wellsboro (1-1): Unfortunately, Wellsboro grew accustomed to the stops and goes of football being played during COVID-19 last year and are reliving that nightmare now.
9. Montgomery (3-0): A year after losing three straight home games following a season-opening road win, Montgomery is trying to completely flip that script tonight. A rejuvenated defense has helped spark this program’s best start since 1999 and that unit has produced nearly as many touchdowns (3) as it has allowed (4).
10. Milton (3-0): Who would have ever guessed that Milton would be the district’s first team to reach 1,000 rushing yards? And in three games? This is quite an impressive turnaround and after losing 16 straight games, the Black Panthers have won four straight going back to last year.
11. South Williamsport (1-2): South has produced 1,000-yard rushers every year since 2012. Lane Lusk and Clayton Swarthout both are showing they can make a run at extending the streak and each is averaging more than 100 yards per game.
12. Cowanesque Valley (2-1): This is the first time since 2012 that CV is 2-1. But this year feels a lot different than nine years ago. This team is much deeper than the 2012 squad, has built off last year’s strong finish and seems capable of making a run at its first winning season in decades.
13. Lewisburg (0-2): So you miss a week and the first game back is against the defending 4A Eastern Region champion? So much for easing back into things.
14. North Penn-Mansfield (1-2): Give the Panthers credit for going on the road and playing a strong program like Bald Eagle Area. That is the kind of game which will help this young team quickly grow and do good things.
15. Hughesville (0-3): It’s a step by step process right now for a young team trying to turn things around. A good step was taken at Danville as the passing game started coming alive. Getting both facets of the offense at the same time now would be another big step forward.
16. Warrior Run (0-2): For the Defenders to move forward they must stop hurting themselves. Warrior Run has shown some promising flashes but 10 turnovers have doomed it and had it quickly play catch up.
17. Bucktail (0-2): Dylan Cross does a bit of everything and leads the team in passing and rushing. He also is one of the team’s leading tacklers.