Spring Grove and quarterback Matt Runge will face Shippensburg in the first round of the District 3 Class AAA playoffs.
Spring Grove and quarterback Matt Runge will face Shippensburg in the first round of the District 3 Class AAA playoffs. (The Evening Sun -- file)


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    A look at the Hanover-area football games heading into the first round of the District 3 playoffs:

    South Western at Governor Mifflin

       WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday.
       LAST PLAYOFF APPEARANCE: Lost in the District 3 Class AAAA quarterfinals in 2011.
       RECORDS: South Western, 6-4; Governor Mifflin, 8-2.
       OUTLOOK: South Western is coming off an emotional win against rival Spring Grove and heads into the playoffs with a lot of momentum. Led offensively by running back Dillon Thomas' 1,322 yards and 16 touchdowns. Defensively, the Mustangs are second in the Hanover area with 255.8 yards allowed per game.

    Governor Mifflin started the season with two losses. Since then, it has outscored opponents 272-102 and a huge 56-30 win in the last week of the regular season earned it a share of the Berks Section 1 title.

    Governor Mifflin has outscored opponents 166-44 in the second and third quarters. The Mustangs will have the unenviable task of defending Governor Mifflin's three-pronged ground attack of Ryan Barbon (993 yards), Jan Johnson (624), Thomas DePaul (480).
       COACH SPEAK: "We need to play our game. We are getting better each game. The exciting thing is we haven't played our best football yet."-- South Western head coach Damian Poalucci.

    Spring Grove at Shippensburg

       WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday.
       LAST PLAYOFF APPEARANCE: Lost in first round of the District 3 Class AAAA playoffs in 2010.
       RECORDS: Spring Grove, 7-3; Shippensburg, 9-1.
       OUTLOOK: Led by senior quarterback Matt Runge and running back Jeff Delaughter, the Rockets are averaging 364.5 yards per game out of the spread. Delaughter finished the season as the leading rusher in the Hanover area with 1,367 yards and 13 touchdowns.

    A five-point loss to Northeastern in Week 6 is the only blemish on Shippensburg's record, a team whose success is predicated on running backs William Burt (1,057 yards and 12 touchdowns) and Ty Kater (897, 11). In the last three weeks, the Greyhounds have outscored their opponents 69-13.
       COACH SPEAK: " They (Shippensburg) are a solid football team. They run the power version of the Wing-T. In order to be successful, we are going to have to stop the run."-- Spring Grove head coach Russ Stoner

    Biglerville at Trinity

       WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday.
       LAST PLAYOFF APPEARANCE: Lost in the first round of the District 3 Class AA playoffs in 2008.
       RECORDS: Biglerville, 8-2; Trinity, 9-1.
       OUTLOOK: The Canners earned their second playoff berth in the history of their football program.

    Despite losing to Bermudian Springs last week, head coach Alex Ramos can take some positives. The Canners scored points on a Bermudian Springs defense that was almost impenetrable all season long. The Eagles entered the game allowing only 123.3 yards per game of total offense. The Canners put up 309.

    The Canners have a three-headed monster at running back in Jordan Wenk, Oakley Fissel and Joe Hurda. The three combined for 2,474 yards rushing and 36 touchdowns. Quarterback Tanner Cool is the model for efficiency, going 59-for-87 for 1,143 yards, 12 touchdowns and only two interceptions..

    The Shamrocks head into the playoffs riding an eight-game winning streak. They have a balanced offensive attack, 1,960 yards rushing and 1,729 passing. They are led offensively by quarterback Mike Boguski. who is 117-for-200 for 1,694 yards, 18 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Shamrock running back Adam Geiger has 18 touchdowns and 1,337 yards on 156 carries.
       COACH SPEAK: "They have a good running back. They have a quarterback that, if you give him time and let him get out of the pocket, will hurt you. Danny Jackson (wide receiver), is very, very good."-- Biglerville head coach Alex Ramos.

    Littlestown at Wyomissing

       WHEN: 1 p.m. Saturday.
       LAST PLAYOFF APPEARANCE: Lost in the first round of the District 3 Class AA playoffs in 2011.
       RECORDS: Littlestown, 7-3, Wyomissing, 10-0.
       OUTLOOK: Littlestown earned a trip to the playoffs for the eighth time since 2000. The Thunderbolts, routinely referred as a passing team in the Mike Lippy era, are averaging more than twice as many rushing yards per game (250.5) than passing (110.1). Running back Dustin DeGroft has rushed for 849 yards and 11 touchdowns and, while his numbers are down from last year, Crouse has thrown for 1,053 yards, 12 touchdowns and only six interceptions.

    The Spartans enter the game with 394 points on the season and have allowed only 99. They are lead by Alex Anzalone, a Notre Dame recruit. Anzalone has rushed for 810 yards and has scored 19 touchdowns. Wyomissing has passed for only 572 yards while rushing for 2,920.
       COACH SPEAK: "We have to be able to move the ball and get first downs. We cannot fumble the ball or get sacked."-- Littlestown head coach Mike Lippy.