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Sun-Gazette power rankings Week 9

1. Jersey Shore (8-0): A victory tonight would clinch homefield advantage throughout the District 4 Class AAAA playoffs. Jersey Shore has earned homefield in each of the last three seasons, winning the championship each time. Since coach Tom Gravish took over in 2012, the Bulldogs are 9-1 in home playoff games, having won eight straight.

2. Canton (8-0): Speaking of impressive records, Canton is 31-6 over the past four seasons. And that is after it went without a winning season between 2012-17. Talk about an impressive turnaround. And a week from tonight, Canton will play for the NTL-I championship against rival Troy.

3. Muncy (7-1): Senior defensive tackle Matt McCauley has been outstanding up front this season. Come July, he is headed to Navy and will major in underwater welding. This reporter has trouble keeping his breath when running up the stairs, so I tip my stethoscope to McCauley.

4. Williamsport (4-4): Sophomore linebacker Alonzo Rice has played key roles in Williamsport’s last two wins. Rice made 10 tackles and collected two sacks last week after making a huge tackle for loss from the 1-yard line against Central Mountain.

5. Montoursville (4-4): Going back to the Mifflinburg game two weeks ago, Maddix Dalena has completed his last 10 passes and thrown four touchdowns. He also went over 1,000 yards for a second straight season last week.

6. Central Mountain (5-3): Running back Ryan Pentz has produced 11 touchdowns three ways this season. He also has scored at least once in five straight games.

7. South Williamsport (4-3): Win a road game tonight and South likely will be at home for the District 4 Class AA quarterfinals. South is postseason bound for a 10th straight season and has reached five district finals during that time while reaching the 2014 Class A state semifinals.

8. Cowanesque Valley (5-2): Not only is CV having one of the best seasons in program history, it also is in the running to earn the top seed in the District 4 Class AAA playoffs. The Indians are No. 3 right now and can make things mighty interesting in that pursuit if they win their final two games.

9. Milton (5-3): In addition to being one of the district’s most improved teams, Milton also leads District 4 in defensive touchdowns. The Black Panthers have totaled four defensive scores, returning three interceptions and a fumble. Special teams also have been involved, returning a blocked field goal for a touchdown.

10. Loyalsock (3-4): It’s hard finding a more explosive receiving tandem in District 4 than Rian Glunk and JerVal Weeks-Shuler. Together, that dynamic duo has produced 935 yards and 10 touchdowns, including three a week ago. On another note, Loyalsock graduate Bam Brima made three tackles for Pittsburgh in its 28-7 win at Virginia Tech.

11. Lewisburg (3-3): Keep an eye on Devin Bodden. The junior wide receiver caught three passes for a career-high 62 yards against Shikellamy and is averaging 15.7 yards per catch. He also has an interception.

12. Wellsboro (4-3): Although he has produced nearly 4,000 total yards during his scholastic career, senior Isaac Keane also has made a big defensive impact. He has intercepted three passes this season, giving him 12 during his four years.

13. North Penn-Mansfield (4-4): Kevin Alexander was one of the most accurate kickers in North Penn-Mansfield history from 2017-2020 and now his brother Caiden is making a big impact as well. Alexander is 19 for 20 on extra-point tries and has made 12 straight.

14. Montgomery (3-5): Since returning four weeks ago, Maurice Walters has made quite an impact. The senior wide receiver has caught 20 passes for 355 yards and four touchdowns. He also has returned a kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown.

15. Hughesville (1-7): Obviously, I know the backups were in, but not too many teams can say they outscored Southern Columbia in a half as Hughesville did in the second half a week ago. Sophomore Aiden Barlett may have provided a glimpse into the future, running for 41 yards on five carries.

16. Warrior Run (0-7): Warrior Run has a proud quarterbacking tradition and sophomore Ryan Newton is closing in on joining the 1,000-yard club. The first-time starter is 138 yards from reaching that milestone and has thrown eight touchdowns.

17. Bucktail (0-7): Zach Pick has been an outstanding linebacker during his four years starting and plays all over offensively. He also is becoming quite a special teams weapon, returning two kickoffs for touchdowns the last three weeks.

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