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Let the post season begin !!!

Written by: on Thursday, November 12th, 2015. Follow Joe Stokes on Twitter.

 

This autumn has been warmer than usual and with District One playoffs starting this weekend, it is about to heat up even more around local high school football fields. The top sixteen teams at AAAA level and the top eight teams at AAA level have endured the regular season and are now ready for that post season push.

The final week of regular season was full of excitement as league titles and playoff seeds were finally determined. Downingtown East won the top seed at AAAA level and will have home field advantage if they are able to continue their winning ways until the District One final. The same advantage will go to Academy Park at the AAA level. However this is a one and done tournament with frequent upsets every year.

This season has been full of surprise yet there are many familiar names on the playoff schedule. In addition to Downingtown East we have Downingtown West, North Penn, Neshaminy, Garnet Valley and Spring-Ford to name a few of the playoff survivors that have been in this position in the past.

This will mark the tenth season this writer has attempted to forecast the five toughest games each week. The last nine years the prognostication record stands at 449-189 while going 32-13 this season.

Last week was a respectable 4-1 prognostication record. Downingtown East, Spring-Ford, Academy Park and Upper Darby pulled through as predicted. However Neshaminy’s 16-14 victory over Pennsbury accounted for the lone bad call.

It is now time to pick the playoff winners !!!

Springfield @ Academy Park

Let’s look at an AAA clash between top seeded Academy Park and eight seed Springfield. Based on their post season standings you might think this would be an easy call. The Academy Park Knights are undefeated and won the Del Val League championship with a hard fought 7-6 win over Interboro last Friday night. However the Springfield Cougars clawed their way back into post season contention by winning their last four games and a 6-4 regular season record. The Knights needed a late game extra point kick by Nelson Warlow to save the perfect season. Although the Knights had to punt seven times a fourth quarter TD run by Jawan Collins tied the game before time ran out in this crucial contest. The Springfield Cougars had a much easier time in their 34-7 win over Penncrest. The Cougar defense led by Dan Archibong caused three second quarter turnovers that assured the victory. Junior QB Brandon DiChiacchio took over the offense in mid-season and this might be the key ingredient to give Springfield a shot at an upset.

Springfield  20  Academy Park 16

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North Penn @ Unionville

This game offers two mid-level AAAA seeds fighting for post season survival. The North Penn Knights are a familiar team to playoff action. North Penn has won their last seven games with one of the toughest Suburban One League regular season schedules. The Knights will rely on running backs Nyfease West and Nick Isabella to carry the load on Friday night. The Unionville Indians are one of the smallest schools to compete at the AAAA level but they finished the regular season with an 8-2 record and a Ches-Mont League American Division championship. Unionville has not had a playoff berth since 2011 and will have to adjust to the pressure without delay. QB Brendan Boyle gets offensive support from running backs Elan Nash and Brandon Boon. The prediction here goes to the Knights based on playoff experience and strength of schedule.

North Penn  31  Unionville 24

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Perkiomen Valley @ Haverford

The Haverford Fords have had one of those storybook seasons with a 9-1 record and a shot at a Central League title. QB Jack Donaghy has crushed the schools passing records and the steady hand of Coach Joe Gallagher has been rewarded with a seventh seed and a home game in the playoff opener. The Perkiomen Vikings come into this game with their own top notch QB in Stephen Strum. Strum passed for 292 yards last week against undefeated Spring-Ford. Both these teams lost first round games last year and would love to break that habit this Friday night. There is a slight edge to the visiting Vikings.

Perkiomen Valley  28  Haverford  24

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The rest of the fearless forecast

Council Rock North  30  Upper Darby  27

Spring-Ford  27  Neshaminy  21

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