Three teams put state rankings on the line, two teams try to add to title streaks and one budding rivalry is renewed to highlight Friday night’s football playoff schedule.
Old Forge, Scranton Prep and Valley View are each ranked among the top 10 teams in the state in their classifications as the playoffs move into their second week for most teams. After first-week byes, Friday’s schedule will be the playoff debut for the Blue Devils and Cavaliers.
Delaware Valley and Dunmore have long title streaks at stake in district championship games.
Lakeland is at Wyoming Area in a semifinal meeting of the last two District 2 Class 3A champions. Those titles, however, are just part of what could make this the most heated game of the night.
Old Forge (9-0) is the number-one team in the state in Class A, according to PennLive.com, going into its District 1-2-12 Subregional championship home game against Belmont Charter (8-1) from Philadelphia.
The Blue Devils are coming off their third off week. They have been idle this season for a bye, a forfeit and a COVID cancellation.
Scranton Prep (9-0) has sat out twice with a bye and a COVID cancellation. The Cavaliers, ranked third in the state in Class 3A, are home at Scranton Memorial Stadium against Mid Valley (9-2) in a District 2 Class 3A semifinal.
Valley View (10-1) is ranked ninth in the state in Class 4A going into its semifinal home game against Berwick (7-4).
Delaware Valley (8-3) has won all five championships in District 2 Class 6A since the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association made the move from four to six classifications in football. The Warriors have also won eight straight since an 0-3 start, including beating tonight’s opponent, Hazleton Area (8-3) on the road, 14-9.
Hazleton Area, which has only lost to DV in the last nine games, is the one hitting the road for the rematch in the 6A final.
Dunmore (4-6) has a longer streak, seven straight titles, as it heads to Lackawanna Trail (7-3) for the District 2 Class 2A final.
The Bucks last lost a district final to Old Forge in Class A in 2013, 27-7.
Dunmore moved up to Class 2A in the old four-class system the next year and won two of those titles before adding five more, also in 2A, since the move to six classes.
Defending district champion Lakeland (10-1) is at 2019 district and state champion Wyoming Area (9-1) in a Class 3A semifinal that features the best combined record of any of tonight’s matchups.
Both teams are on PennLive.com’s “teams to watch” list, putting them in the top 15 in the state in Class 3A.
A year before Wyoming Area’s state title, Lakeland kept a highly regarded Warriors team from making a run by going to Wyoming Area and pulling off a 21-14 semifinal upset.
Wyoming Area went to Lakeland early this season and handed the Chiefs their only loss, 19-14.
There is another excellent semifinal matchup among teams trying to get a shot at the state-ranked favorite in next week’s final.
North Pocono (9-2) is at Dallas (8-2) in another game between teams to watch, leaving them in the state’s top 16 Class 4A teams entering their district semifinal. North Pocono has won eight of its last nine. Dallas has won six straight.