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Three more victories

Written by: on Thursday, December 3rd, 2009. Follow Joe Stokes on Twitter.


The regular 2009 high school football season ended with some great Thanksgiving Day rivalry games. Now for the teams remaining in the PIAA playoffs, three more wins will give them the ultimate prize of a state championship. This weekend is the next step towards that title run and local fans will be in for quite a show. 

Last week the predictions ended with a 4-1 call. The Interboro overtime loss to Pottsgrove in the AAA District One final was the only blemish to a good week of prognostications. Ridley, North Penn, LaSalle and Upper Darby all won as predicted and those winners in the playoffs live to face another foe this week. 

The last three years, this future teller has a 152-53 prognostication record and with a 2009 first thirteen week record at 50-15 it is hoped we can keep up the pace as the playoffs proceed. 

This Friday night seventh seed Ridley faces top seed North Penn at Coatesville High School with the winner being crowned the 2009 District One AAAA champion. This a long awaited match with North Penn seeking to avenge its 2006 playoff loss to the Ridley Green Raiders by a 21-7 score in the District One semifinal. The Knights have relied on running back Craig Needhammer and QB Todd Smolinsky to lead them to an undefeated season and playoff run. This week they run into a Ridley defense that has improved as this season has progressed. In last weeks contest Downingtown East’s running back Drew Harris was stopped cold and could only gain 45 yards on 19 carries in a frustrating 28-7 loss at Ridley. The Green Raiders also feature an efficient offense led by QB Colin Masterson along with running backs Dion Shaw and Jalen Randolph. This contest will be a war on the line of scrimmage and the outcome may well be determined by turnovers. The Knights are just a tad less likely to make the big mistake and will survive to face the winner of the LaSalle/Easton game. 

Prediction:    North Penn  24  Ridley  20 

The District Twelve and number two ranked in Ed Thomas’ Southeast Pennsylvania Top Ten LaSalle Explorers face the Easton Area Red Rovers from District Eleven on Saturday afternoon. The Red Rovers were forced to play two games in three days last weekend. Easton first won their traditional Thanksgiving game over Phillipsburg 26-10 followed by a big playoff win over Parkland on Saturday. QB Justin Pacchioli is supported by receivers Kadeem Pankey and Karon Hughes in a very talented multi attack offense. The Explorers won the Philadelphia City Championship with an impressive win over George Washington. QB Aaron Wilmer rushed for 140 yards and threw for another 166 yards for George Washington but it was not enough to stop a LaSalle from a 31-20 victory.

This contest could be a high scoring affair on a dry field. Easton has proven they can play under pressure and will advance to the state semi-final.  

Prediction:    Easton Area  35  LaSalle  31 

The rest of the fearless forecast: 

Prediction:      Pottsgrove  24  Archbishop Wood  16  

Prediction:      Woodland Hills  34  State College  17 

Prediction:      Bishop McDevitt  41  Cumberland Valley 20        

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