PIAA Semifinals

Class 3A

Danville at Wyomissing: Should be another interesting contrast of opposites down in the Reading Area. Will Wyomissing be “Mean” to Danville? Or will the Ironmen ruin Wyomissing’s “Reputation”? Will Danville be able to “Shake It Off” if the Spartans’ running game gets going? Will Wyomissing wrap the Danville pass offense in a “Cardigan”? OK, I’ll stop — if you didn’t know, Taylor Swift attended Wyomissing Junior/Senior High School for a while. This game is going to come down to line play. If you spent some time watching the Spartans’ game on TV against Lakeland last week, you saw a strong running game in the Spartans’ Wing-T offense. Wyomissing is led by two big tackles and two talented guards, who are quick and strong at 200 pounds, to do the pulling the Wing-T offense requires. The defense might be even better. But here’s where Danville might have an advantage in this weird 2020 season. The Spartans didn’t really play anybody. Middletown gave them their toughest game — 38-16 — in the District 3 championship game. The Spartans ran roughshod over their league opponents, but their four Division II wins in the Berks League came against teams with a combined record of 7-20 (take away Hamburg’s 4-3 record and the combined mark is 3-17). The Spartans haven’t seen an offense like Danville’s led by K.J. Riley. It should be an interesting chess match. Stopping one receiver can be easy, but with Danville’s variety of weapons in the passing game, the Spartans might have some trouble early. It’s really tough to pick against the Spartans, but I kind of feel this will be like the district title game with Montoursville. Danville’s offense is just too good, and the team has gelled so well, I think this will be closer than a lot of people think. Wyomissing 35, Danville 28.

Class 2A

at Selinsgrove H.S.

Bishop McDevitt vs. Southern Columbia: This is probably a year after most people figured the Lancers and the Tigers would meet in the state playoffs. Bishop McDevitt had a Division I-recruit in quarterback Lonnie Rice last season, but he’s a linebacker at the University of Buffalo this season. The Lancers’ best player this season in middle linebacker Semaj Bridgeman, who is already attracting Division I looks as a sophomore. Not many are giving Bishop McDevitt a chance — their coach has been posting inspirational memes on Twitter all week about persevering and not counting out the Lancers — and that might be a mistake, but the Tigers learned a valuable lesson last week. Things have certainly come easy for Southern Columbia, so when they went up by three scores on Richland last week, it’s not a surprise the Tigers suffered a letdown. The Rams almost made them pay for it, rallying to get within a touchdown. Richland had a chance to tie the game if it was able to score on its opening drive of the second half. Gavin Garcia returned an interception for a touchdown, and scored on a short touchdown run. All of a sudden, Southern Columbia was dominating again. It’s was a rare hiccup for a team that hasn’t trailed since the 2018 state championship game. Southern Columbia 35, Bishop McDevitt 14.

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