The second season begins (corrected)
The race to Hershey has finally arrived and a mix of new comers and old guard will be kicking off playoff action this weekend across the state. Here in Southeast Pa local fans will be treated to some of the best football action in years. One has to wonder how many of us believed Council Rock South would be the AAAA number one seed while Pottsgrove sits atop of the triple A District One heap.
The last regular season action featured teams with their back against the playoff wall battling to get into the post season. Just a few weeks ago it seemed possible that powerhouse squads North Penn and Neshaminy could be frozen out of the District One field. However a final push by the Knights and Redskins got them back into the race just in time.
At the AAA level number another couple of old friends faced playoff uncertainty as well. However Strath Haven and Interboro while in the second tier of the final eight will offer tough competition to the new top seeds Pottsgrove, Springfield, Phoenixville and Marple Newtown.
The last five years, this future teller has a 247-96 prognostication record while going 33-17 for this season.
The week ten predictions went moderately well as this humble writer went 3-2 as Springfield, Monsignor Bonner and Garnet Valley all won as predicted, while Pennsbury fell to desperate Neshaminy squad and West Chester Henderson rode a second half rally to defeat Downingtown East to account for the two prediction setbacks.
Let’s tackle the upcoming playoff action with some well reasoned projections. The one thing about this year’s post season is that there are no overwhelming favorite to take the District One titles at any level. The big question is how will the new comers hold up against the old guard through the playoff hunt. One such clash will feature West Chester Rustin hosting North Penn this Saturday afternoon. We all expect North Penn to be around every season but West Chester Bayard Rustin has been on a roll since an early season loss to Downingtown East and has relied on running backs Joe Palladino and Conner Burke to control the clock and keep the defense off the field. North Penn has been here before and they are well prepared by Coach Dick Beck. The Golden Knights have been clutch but the strength of schedule will prove out as the Knights of North Penn live to fight another day.
North Penn 34 West Chester Rustin 28
The AAA playoff action includes a Central League rematch between Strath Haven and Marple Newtown. In a battle of the cats the Marple Newtown Tigers prevailed over the Strath Haven Panthers 24-7 in regular season action. However the old guard Panthers have been on the prowl with running backs James Griffin and Tevon Howie hitting full stride in the last few weeks. The Tiger’s leading rusher Cimirrow Moat has been hobbled by injury problems and could only play one quarter in last week’s loss to Springfield. Count on Haven coach Kevin Clancy to come up with the winning game plan to advance.
Strath Haven 27 Marple Newtown 16
The rest of this week’s fearless forecast:
Interboro 17 Phoenixville 13
Abington 31 Pennsbury 20
Neshaminy 21 Unionville 17
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