League Championships on the line
This weekend there are several key matchups that will not only decide league championships but also determine the fate of many playoff dreams. Results from last weekend continued the season trend of a new elite throughout Southeast Pa football. Abington, Plymouth Whitemarsh, Unionville, Council Rock South and West Chester Rustin now lead the AAAA District One playoff race while former power house squads North Penn, Neshaminy and Ridley are fighting to stay in playoff contention.
The surprises are also found at the AAA level with Springfield (DELCO), Phoenixville, Marple Newtown, Pottsgrove, Interboro and Academy Park rounding out the leader board, while old reliable Strath Haven is on the edge of elimination.
The winds were blowing hard and local teams fighting to keep the hope alive as the season is now past the mid-point. The seventh week of the season was the best one so far for this humble prognosticator. This writer’s record was 5-0 as Ridley, Council Rock South, Interboro, Monsignor Bonner and Glen Mills all won as predicted.
The last five years, this future teller has a 236-92 prognostication record while going 22-13 for this season.
As we look toward week eight no one can ignore the Central League contest between undefeated Springfield entertaining Garnet Valley. This game will most likely determine the eventual 2011 league champion. While Ridley and Marple Newtown could still be in the mix the schedule favors the Cougars or Jaguars at this point. The Springfield Cougars had to overcome some key injuries last week to grit out a 21-7 win over Upper Darby while Garnet Valley pounded Penncrest 35-13 after a slow start. The Jaguars have a two pronged attack with QB Justin Pyle directing a high powered running and passing effort that will keep the Cougar defense guessing. However Springfield has found a way to win both offensively and defensively this year. Linebacker Tyler Morrissey led the Cougar defense last week and held Upper Darby to just 45 yards on the ground and 36 passing yards on a night when injuries slowed the Springfield offense. QB Ryan Strain rewarded the defensive effort by combining with Cameron Durham on a key 21 yard completion deep into Royal territory followed by a TD run by Aaron Coyne to open the scoring. Springfield will need this kind of effort to fend off the hard charging Jaguars. Gotta believe Springfield is going to find away to keep the dream alive.
Springfield 31 Garnet Valley 27
The Del Val League showdown between perennial league champion Interboro and hard charging Glen Mills is another game that cannot be ignored. Glen Mills may be out of the playoff hunt with a 3-4 record for the season. However numbers don’t tell the whole story as those losses include Archbishop Wood, Downingtown East and West as well as Bethlehem Liberty. The Interboro Bucs enter this contest fighting for their playoff lives. They will probably need this win to qualify and keep their league championship hopes alive as well. The Battlin Bulls followed running back George Walker (287 yards) to big win over Academy Park last Friday night. The Bucs needed a team effort and the running skills of Austin Quiah to insure a 48-12 win over league rival Chester last Saturday. Count on the tough schedule and team speed to make the difference as Glen Mills sneaks out a close call.
Glen Mills 34 Interboro 28
The rest of this week’s fearless forecast:
Archbishop Wood 41 Monsignor Bonner 13
Downingtown East 35 Downingtown West 26
North Penn 28 Souderton Area 20
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