Plenty to be decided in high school football

Coaches preach constantly to take each game one at a time and to never look ahead.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t.

The final three weeks of the high school football regular season begin tonight, and there’s still plenty to play for and to be decided.

Altoona holds a very slim point lead over Mifflin County for a chance to play State College in the District 6 Class 6A championship game. A victory tonight over Cumberland Valley would do wonders for the Mountain Lions.

If Altoona doesn’t win tonight, it will have to beat either Harrisburg or State College if Mifflin County wins one of its last three games.

The only undefeated team in the Mirror’s coverage area, Chestnut Ridge, will likely stay that way when they host Bishop McCort tonight. However, the Lions close the season with a pair of very interesting games: at Bishop Guilfoyle and when they host fellow unbeaten Richland. The game against Richland will likely decide the Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference title.

The most interesting playoff classification will likely be in District 6 Class 1A.

Currently, the top five teams are all from the Mirror’s coverage area. Northern Cambria is No. 1 followed by Bishop Guilfoyle, Juniata Valley, Portage and Claysburg-Kimmel.

The top two have very tough schedules to close out the season. The Colts play at undefeated Ligonier Valley tonight before taking on Penns Manor and then one of the top teams in the WestPAC to close out the season in the Heritage Conference crossover game. The Marauders play at Forest Hills tonight before hosting Ridge and playing Bishop McCort.

That could open the door for Juniata Valley, which closes the season against Moshannon Valley (2-5), Glendale (1-6) and West Branch (4-3). The Green Hornets have already proven they can play well against good competition by handing Southern Huntingdon and Tussey Mountain their first losses.

Portage has a big game tonight against 4-3 Meyersdale before playing a game it should win against Conemaugh Valley. The Mustangs will close out the season against a Heritage Conference foe that will be determined by their place in the WestPAC standings.

Claysburg-Kimmel appears to have a rough road. The Bulldogs just lost to Juniata Valley and must travel to Northern Bedford tonight before taking on a pair of teams currently standing at 5-2 in Southern Huntingdon and Everett.

Twelve teams make the Class 1A playoffs, so getting one of the highest seeds means a bye and a week to get healthy.

Michael Boytim can be reached at or 946-7521. Follow him on Twitter @BoytimMichael