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The long road to Hershey

Written by: on Thursday, September 5th, 2013. Follow Joe Stokes on Twitter.


Only eight high school football teams will survive the heat of summer camps, the early season frustrations, the mid-season grind and the playoff pressure. The squads that seem to make it each year must endure injuries, upsets and late season scares. However once December is here it will be clear that persistence, hard work and good luck must all come together for them to enjoy a weekend in Chocolate Town.

The 2012 season ended with North Alleghney, Erie Cathedral Prep, Wyomissing and Clairton celebrating in the winner’s circle. Hundreds of schools open the season each year with goal of a state title and yet only four can see the light.

The opening of each season is a clean slate and while there will always be favorites there are never any sure bets to win a trip to Hershey at seasons end.

The last seven years the prognostication record stands at 317-129 while going 50-24 for the 2012 season.

This second week of the 2013 season is upon us so it is time to dive right in with predictions on five of the most competitive contests this week.

One early season contest will be the featured game this week. The Downingtown West Whippets of the Ches-Mont League National Division travels to visit Suburban One National Conference powerhouse Neshaminy. This contest is one of those early season showdowns that could easily determine how these teams will compare to the top schools in District One. The Whippets were impressive in their opening season 56-14 win over Cheltenham last Friday night. They used three quarterbacks and ten running backs in this offensive onslaught. Defensive back Lucas McMahon intercepted a third quarter pass to set up a Jimmy DiSantis TD for a 35-14 lead that put the game out of reach for Cheltenham. The Neshaminy Redskins opened their season at home with a 33-0 win over Northeast High School (Phila.). Running back D’Andre Pollard opened the scoring with two first half TD runs and full back Blake Sullivan added two more scores to put this one in the win column. There is no question these two offenses can score early and often. The winner this week may well be the defense that rises up at game time. Count on the home team to prevail in this tight contest.

Neshaminy 28  Downingtown West  20

In an early season Central League showdown the Ridley Green Raiders travel to Conestoga Friday night. The Pioneers had a decent season last year with a 6-5 record. However D-1 quarterback Joe Viviano has graduated to Harvard and it will take some work by Coach John Vogan to get as much production at that position this year. Ridley is faced with the opposite dilemma, as they will field an experienced QB but must replace several linemen on both sides of the line. Count on Ridley to find a way to prevail.

Ridley  21  Conestoga  13

The rest of the fearless forecast:

Academy Park  23  Cardinal O’Hara  21


Episcopal Academy  31  Interboro  21


Coatesville  35  Central Bucks South  27

Follow on Twitter @EPAFootball

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One Response to “The long road to Hershey”

  1. NothinButSports24/7 says:

    Coatesville 46 Central Bucks South 13 …CV held CB South star & Division 1 prospect 6’3 RB Josh Adams to -9 yards on 13 carries…9 of them for loss…PSU recruit Dequan Worley led CV with 243 yards on 21 touches with 2 scores. Raiders defense was dominating… led by Tyler Burke’s many tackles, 2 sacks; 1 for a strip fumble & 2 interceptions…Worley also added his 2nd interception on the young season early in the 1st qtr.