Sun-Gazette power rankings: Week 5
1. Jersey Shore (4-0): One of the highlights of this job is seeing things you never have before. Even after you think you have seen it all. It happened again last Saturday when Jersey Shore ran 97 plays against Lewisburg. They ran 56 more plays than Lewisburg. It’s astounding watching the speed this Mario Andretti-like offense effectively operates at without tiring.
2. Williamsport (3-1): This San Francisco 49ers fan finds himself wondering if his team or Williamsport has been more snakebitten with injuries the last few seasons. Honestly, both make compelling cases. And yet the Millionaires are a play from being undefeated, so different players keep stepping up.
3. Loyalsock (3-1): There’s been nothing boring about defensive end David Boring’s performance thus far. The junior has wasted little time making a name for himself in his first year starting and collected his second two-sack performance a week ago. He also leads the team in tackles for loss.
4. Central Mountain (4-0): If not for a Williamsport offsides penalty, Central Mountain may be 4-0. It was a crazy ending, but there is precedent. Montoursville jumped offsides against Jersey Shore the previous week, so despite the extra point being good, Jersey Shore had to rekick. In a 1989 NFL game, the Chargers missed a game-winning field goal but were called for illegal procedure, the Eagles had to accept the penalty and the Chargers won when Chris Bahr cashed in on a second chance.
5. Canton (4-0): There’s not too many ways Riley Parker cannot score. He did so a fourth different way against Wyalusing, catching a touchdown. Parker has produced nine touchdowns this year via catch, rush, kick return and interception.
6. Muncy (3-1): The Indians logged some serious miles the last three weeks, going to CMVT, Wyalusing and Cowanesque Valley. It’s not shocking they went 3-0 because this program has thrived on the road, winning four district championships since 2016 away from home.
7. Montoursville (2-2): The problem at Mount Carmel was not necessarily the offense even though Montoursville scored seven points. The Warriors actually averaged 6.6 yards per play. The problem was they rarely had the ball with Mount Carmel running more than twice as many plays.
8. Milton (4-0): What a start it has been for a program which has won four games for the first time since 2013. The schedule grows much tougher starting tonight so the Black Panthers are hoping to make an even louder statement now.
9. Wellsboro (1-1): Keep an eye on conditioning tomorrow night with Wellsboro playing its first game in three weeks and Troy likely trying to run the ball at will. That could be the key in this big NTL showdown.
10. South Williamsport (2-2): I’m not sure there has been a more lopsided seven-point game during my tenure which stretches back to 1999 than the 7-0 South win at Athens last week. South outgained Athens 339-43, had 25 first downs to two for Athens and ran 48 more plays. Show someone those stats and he or she would have thought South won by 30 or so points.
11. Montgomery (2-2): The Red Raiders started so strong under new coach Christian Diggs. Now it will be interesting to see how they bounce back against a team which has not lost to the Raiders since 2009.
12. Cowanesque Valley (2-2): If CV stays focused and avoids adversity, this could be the best season it has produced in the 2000s. Most will say there is no such thing as a good loss, but that performance against Muncy was pretty close to earning that label.
13. Lewisburg (0-3): Much better days are coming for this program which has shown promise in each of its games. Give coach Eric Wicks time and I believe this program will make some massive strides the rest of this season and into the future.
14. North Penn-Mansfield (1-3): If it moves, Gaven Sexauer will hit it. The senior linebacker is among the area’s leading tacklers and was everywhere against Troy a week ago. Sexauer made 19 tackles, including a whopping 17 solos.
15. Hughesville (0-3): Senior Joey Swink has become quite the stat stuffer. He leads the team in passing, has run for a touchdown and has caught four passes. Swink also has a team-high two interceptions, a sack and averages seven tackles per game.
16. Warrior Run (0-3): With sophomore Ryan Newton throwing for 205 yards a week ago and freshman Samuel Hall running for two touchdowns last week, Warrior Run is building a strong foundation for the future. And after coming so close to victory at Central Columbia, the present looks promising, too.
17. Bucktail (0-3): The Bucks are playing an undefeated team for a second straight week, but keep battling. Tristan Probst is enjoying a breakout season and has both an interception and sack.