Playoff Picture Clearing Up
Last weekend there were several key matchups that decided league championships as well as the fate of many playoff seeds. Results from last weekend continued the season trend of establishing 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, Pennsbury and Ridley are much closer to sealing a lower post season slot.
The surprises are also found at the AAA level. Despite a 42-41 Springfield (DELCO) loss to Garnet Valley the Cougars remain the number one seed with two weeks to go. Springfield is followed by Phoenixville, Pottsgrove, Marple Newtown, Academy Park, Strath Haven, Interboro and Pope John Paul as those in the top eight as we enter week nine.
The weather was chilly but pleasant last weekend as local teams fought to keep their hopes alive for a post season berth. The eighth week of the season was a good one for this humble prognosticator. This writer’s record was 4-1 as Glen Mills, Archbishop Wood, Downingtown East and North Penn all won as predicted. The sole loss was a heartbreaking one point loss by Springfield to Garnet Valley in a game that decided the Central League Championship.
The last five years, this future teller has a 240-93 prognostication record while going 26-14 for this season.
As we look toward week nine the revenge factor will be in play as Strath Haven travels to Springfield. In 2010 Springfield came up short on two occasions against the Panthers. The second loss in the AAA playoffs set the tone for this season’s campaign. Many Springfield players have pointed to this game as a measure of their improvement in this regular season. Springfield seemed to be well on their way to a Central League Championship last week as the jumped out to a 21 point first half lead over Garnet Valley. However the Jaguars have been known for coming back and they surged once again to squeeze out the 42-41 win. QB Ryan Strain will need the help of running Cameron Durham to keep the hard charging Cougar offense on the field and in the end zone. However the key to victory this week will be defense. They must find a way to slow Haven running back Wellington Zaza and the passing of QB Kevin Mohollen to avoid another shootout. Strath Haven will be in survival mode as a loss could put their playoff hopes in doubt but the Cougars will recover just in time for a big win.
Springfield 38 Strath Haven 26
The Del Val League showdown between perennial league champion Interboro and Academy Park features another team that needs a win to assure a playoff slot. Interboro suffered a tough three point loss to Glen Mills that cost them a shot at the Del Val League crown last Friday night. If the Bucs were to suffer a similar fate this weekend it could cost them a post season. Coach Steve Lennox used every trick in the book including a half back pass from John Bellano to Shawn Framton to set up a TD late in last week’s contest only to lose as Glen Mills responded with a late scoring drive of their own. Interboro will need to keep the pressure on a well designed Academy Park defense led by linebacker Emmanuel Daynuah. The Bucs have a tradition of clutch performances and they will find a way again this Friday.
Interboro 30 Academy Park 27
The rest of this week’s fearless forecast:
Council Rock South 35 Abington 31
Coatesville 34 Downingtown West 21
Archbishop Wood 42 Cardinal O’Hara 23
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