Coach: Alex Ramos (25-28 in five seasons) // YAIAA Division III // District 3 // Class AA
Zach Miller / GameTimePA.com
There are plenty of people ready to anoint Biglerville as the favorites in Division III.
The Canners boast a senior-laden team with many players returning from a team that made the playoffs last year, and the fact that division powerhouse Bermudian Springs is returning just one starter makes Biglerville the favorite in the eyes of many.
The Canners hear the hype, but they're not ready to call themselves the team to beat.
"We have to go out there and prove it," senior running back Scott Cooper said. "To the fans, to the media, to everyone."
But that doesn't mean they don't have high aspirations. The Biglerville program has been on the upswing, going from 1-9 in 2013 to 5-6 with a playoff appearance in 2014 under coach Alex Ramos, who said this team has more depth than any other team he's coached. Ramos also believes last year's playoff game, a 39-3 loss at top-seeded Berks Catholic, was a valuable experience for his team.
"It makes us more hungry," Canners lineman Victor Lopez said of that playoff loss. "The atmosphere was crazy, it makes us want to have a game at home. Having our own home crowd cheering us on for a playoff game would be huge for the community, that's a major goal."
Quarterback >> Senior Ben Hurda took over the starting quarterback role last season and will remain under center this year.
Running backs >> The Canners backfield is loaded with senior talent, led by Cooper, Dayne Showers and Colton Sentz. Cooper ran for 526 yards in eight games before breaking three bones in his foot.
Receivers >> Biglerville has senior talent on the outside, too, led by Nate Newberry and Gage McAuliffe. The Canners didn't throw the ball much last season, but they also used running backs as receiving threats when they did go to the air.
Offensive Line >> The line is the team's youngest unit on offense, and the Canners will turn to a couple sophomores to start alongside seniors Lopez and Nate Bowmaster. Ramos has confidence in sophomores Paul Asper and Brent Hayes to play major roles.
Defensive line >> Last year's sack leader, Nate Mentzer, is lost to graduation, but starters Lopez and Dalton Cox are both returning.
Linebackers >> The Canners' top two leading tacklers from last season, Hurda and Sentz, are both back in the middle of the defense.
Secondary >> There's plenty of returning senior talent in the defensive backfield, as well. Cooper and Showers, who had three interceptions each last season, are both back. Newberry is back as well.
Biglerville needs to replace kicker/punter Jordan Trostel. McAuliffe, who handled most of the kickoff returning duties last year, is back.
Save the date >> The Division III title could hinge on the season-ending rivalry game between Biglerville and Bermudian Springs on Nov. 6 at the Eagles' new turf field. The Canners haven't beat the Eagles since October 2008.
Bottom Line >> The Canners know they have the talent to claim the division title but staying healthy will be key. Although they have more depth than last year, they don't want to test it too much. Hosting a playoff game would certainly be an accomplishment.
Date/Result // Opponent // Time/Score
L // Annville-Cleona // 36-39 (2 OT)
L // Waynesboro // 13-14
W // @ New Oxford // 27-13
*W // Fairfield // 47-0
W // @ York County Tech // 23-6
W // Delone Catholic // 21-6
L // @ York Catholic // 20-27
W // Littlestown // 41-20
W // Hanover // 42-21
W // @ Bermudian Springs // 17-14
District 3 Class AA
- First Round // W // Hanover//30-7
- Semifinals // L // Wyomissing // 42-14
Result // Opponent // Score
L // Annville-Cleona // 0-10
W // Waynesboro // 34-28
W // New Oxford // 21-15
L // Fairfield // 19-20
W // York County Tech // 17-8
L // Delone Catholic // 6-18
L // York Catholic // 10-41
W // Littlestown // 28-14
W // Hanover // 28-6
L // Bermudian Springs // 7-42
District 3 Class AA
- Quarterfinals // L // Berks Catholic // 3-39