District One 6A Playoff Preview
by Dave Ferris
In an effort to spread the championship wealth around, the PIAA has expanded its number of classifications from four to six based on enrollment. District One now has 33 teams in 6A. Sixteen of those teams make the playoffs. The new 6A looks a lot like the old 4A with the higher enrollment schools at the top. The most notable impact for District One is that last year’s champion, Upper Dublin, is now in 5A, but they will not have an easier road to a championship because Archbishop Wood is also in 5A. Any school may choose to move up in classification but not down. The three best football programs in PA are private schools and are now spread across the top three classifications. St. Joe’s Prep is in 6A, Archbishop Wood is in 5A, and Imhotep is in 4A. All three are ranked #1 in the state in their respective classifications. That means more domination by private schools. At least in the old system, Wood and Imhotep had to battle it out for a championship. Not anymore. In the top three classifications, public schools will now see fewer championships.
Here is a link to classifications by district:
District One 6A Playoffs Round 1 Friday, November 4 at 7:00
(16) Haverford 6-4 at (1) North Penn 10-0
North Penn beat LaSalle for the first time in seven regular season meetings and has been unchallenged by anyone so far this year. That will likely not change this weekend. NP has handily beaten six of the teams in this year’s D1 playoffs. If you include La Salle, who is in the District 12 playoffs, that makes seven playoff teams they have beaten in a 10-0 regular season. Haverford plays in the Central League which includes of many 5A schools. This one should be a romp.
(9) Central Bucks East 8-2 at (8) Spring-Ford 8-2
East has lost to #7 seed CB South and #1 seed North Penn. Last week they dominated Pennridge 35-0 to propel them into the playoffs. S-F lost to powerhouse Wilson West Lawn in 2OT and to #3 seed Perk Valley. Given their seatings and records, this should be a good one.
(12) Plymouth Whitemarsh 8-2 at (5) Ridley 9-1
Ridley is one of the most prolific playoff teams in D1 history and they are back after missing last year. They play in a weak league and lost to 5A Springfield, so they may be overrated. PW lost to Souderton and Quakertown. Those two teams have a combined 9 losses. This game is a toss-up.
(13) Abington 6-4 at (4) Coatesville 9-1
Under first-year head coach Kevin Conlin, Abington is back in the playoffs after missing out last year. Coatesville has lost only to Cumberland Valley 41-21 and is ranked 9th in the state. Coatesville should take this one.
(14) Penn Wood 7-3 at (3) Perkiomen Valley 10-0
Perk Valley has been very strong in their league for several years, but the weakness of that league has often given them overrated status. With back-to-back 9-1 seasons and now a 10-0 season, they may be poised to move up. PV has transitioned to a new coach without missing a beat. Penn Wood plays in a weak league and has an unimpressive record. They last made the playoffs in 2010. Perk Valley should win going away.
(11) Souderton 6-4 at (6) Downingtown East 8-2
Souderton has one quality win over a team with a winning record, 38-23 over Plymouth Whitemarsh. Downingtown East has lost only to highly ranked teams North Penn and Coatesville. East has not had great playoff success but should be favored in this one.
(10) Garnet Valley 8-2 at (7) Central Bucks South 8-2
Garnet Valley is a seasoned playoff team making the playoffs more often recently than any other team. They suffered two one-touchdown losses to Ridley and Haverford. CB South’s two losses came to the two undefeated the top-seated teams in D1 – North Penn and Neshaminy. CB South might have the edge in this one.
(15) Pennridge 5-5 at (2) Neshaminy 10-0
Neshaminy has been their usual juggernaut-self this year under second-year head coach Steve Wilmot. These two met early in the season with Neshaminy sneaking by Pennridge in a come from behind 31-24 win. Since then, Neshaminy has surged including an impressive 42-14 win over CB South. Pennridge has played a tough schedule losing to three undefeated teams (Neshaminy, North Penn & Perk Valley) and two 2-loss teams (CB South and CB East). 16-seeds have won in the past but momentum is on the side of Neshaminy.
Only Garnet Valley has made the playoffs in each of the last six years. Pennsbury has now missed the playoffs for the first time in six years after losing many key players and their head coach.
Pennlive.com 6A State Rankings (district in parentheses)
1. St. Joseph’s Prep (12) — 8-0
2. Pittsburgh C.C. (7) — 9-1
3. North Penn (1) — 10-0
4. Neshaminy (1) — 10-0
5. State College (6) — 9-0
6. Perkiomen Valley (1) — 10-0
7. McDowell (10) — 9-1
8. Central Dauphin (3) — 8-1
9. Coatesville (1) — 9-1
10. North Allegheny (7) — 8-2
Teams to watch: Central Bucks South (1) 8-2, Cumberland Valley (3) 7-2, Delaware Valley (2) 8-2, Emmaus (11) 9-1, Ridley (1) 9-1, Wilson (3) 8-1.
Follow EasternPAFootball.com on Twitter @EPAFootball
Share This Post: