The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


November 7, 2013

Harold Raker's column on high school football: So nice, let's do it twice

I know I have used this line before, but, although not as good as Jim Mora's "Playoffs!," it is still one of my favorites -- from the world of politics.

As the late President Ronald Reagan liked to say, "Well, there you go again."

Well, high school football fans, here they go again.

District playoff rematches are not uncommon. In fact, last season, Milton and Shikellamy played back to back, Milton winning big in the regular-season finale and winning a close one in the District 4 AAA semifinals in week 11.

But this year, there are five rematches in District 4 alone.

In Class AAA, which resembles a Heartland Athletic Conference-Division I tournament -- minus AA playoff participants Mifflinburg and Danville, of course -- Milton will make a return visit to Selinsgrove, where the Black Panthers rallied for a 33-28 win in week 7, and Shikellamy will entertain Jersey Shore for a second time, having won the first one 29-19, also in week 7.

In AA, Mifflinburg, which gave then-unbeaten Montoursville a scare on the road two weeks ago, treks back to Memorial Stadium for a rematch (Montoursville won 35-31), and Loyalsock hosts Towanda in a rematch of a Black Knights' 22-21 win in week 8.

In Class A, for the second time in four weeks, Bloomsburg goes around the block and plays at unbeaten Southern Columbia. The Tigers took a 50-13 win the first time.

So, how do coaches feel about playing a team they faced just a few weeks earlier?

Southern Columbia coach Jim Roth, he of the 21 District 4 Class A titles and six state championships, is not a fan, no matter the outcome of the previous matchup.

"I'd rather play someone different," he said this week. "Sometimes the team that loses (the first game) is more inclined to be happy with a rematch because they have an opportunity to change the outcome.

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