Weather cooling off, playoffs heating up
The weather forecasters are promising a cold blast for all of Pennsylvania by this weekend. While temperatures may be cooling off the second round of high school football playoff action is heating up.
The first round of post season action offered loads of excitement and a few surprises last Friday and Saturday. In AAAA games the home team higher seeds won every contest and advanced to the second round. This also occurred at the AAA level as well. The big question this week is whether this trend will continue.
The last eight years the prognostication record stands at 399-172 while going 35-15 for this season. Springfield, Pottsgrove and Coatesville all one as predicted while West Chester Henderson’s win over North Penn and Garnet Valley’s win over Central Bucks South accounted for the failed picks last week. Only top competitive games have been chosen for this fearless forecast.
Pottsgrove @ Springfield
The Springfield Cougars continued that perfect season with a 27-6 victory over Interboro last Friday night. This was the second meeting between these two clubs with Springfield winning the season opener with similar 21-7 outcome. This contest was a bit sloppy with Springfield losing two fumbles and Interboro giving up three fumbles and four interceptions. Meanwhile the Pottsgrove Falcons pulled out a tight 13-12 win over Academy Park in tough night for the Del Val League entrants. Academy Park outgained Pottsgrove 263 to 130 in total yards but suffered 101 more penalty yards to even out that difference. While Springfield has an opportunistic offense it is the defense that will make the difference Friday night. Cougar defensive linemen Josh Sweeney, Brian Layden, Matt Cella and Dan Archibong shut down the Interboro running game and set up the fumbles and interceptions that led to impressive victory over the game Bucs. The Pottsgrove defense was also a key to their victory by fighting off four Academy Park drives into Falcon territory in the second half. Pat Finn and Chris DeFrancesco were credited with 16 tackles each in their one point win. This should be a low scoring affair with home team Cougars advancing to the AAA finals.
Springfield 19 Pottsgrove 13
Downingtown East @ Quakertown
We have another Cougar team in the playoff hunt this weekend with Downingtown East traveling to Quakertown in an AAAA match. These Cougars survived to win a 27-24 shootout over the high flying Perkiomen Valley Vikings when Drew Brennan kicked a 25 yard field goal as the clock ran out. Downingtown East is well prepared for close games with a 40-38 overtime win over Roman Catholic along with a 34-31 squeaker over West Chester East during the regular season. The Quakertown Panthers advanced to the second round with 14-10 over Thanksgiving Day rival Pennridge. Many were surprised by this victory believing the Rams had a tougher schedule in Suburban One National Conference. QB Alex Vera made several key passes including a TD pass to Kyle Baskin that made the difference Friday night. This is one game this weekend where the higher seed falls and the year of the Cougar prevails.
Downingtown East 31 Quakertown 23
Garnet Valley @ Pennsbury
The Garnet Valley Jaguars earned a place in the second round with a 35-15 win over Central Bucks South. Running back Derrick West and QB Steve Flanagan took advantage of great offensive line play by Justin George, Greg Schenk, Brian Smith, Shane Stabinski, Jake Arters and John DiPasquale. The offense was full throttle all night and with CB South star running back Josh Adams hobbled by an ankle injury there was little doubt of the outcome by the third quarter. The Pennsbury Falcons are on a mission with only one regular season loss to North Penn and the second seed they must be confident in their ability to advance to the third round. Pennsbury survived a high scoring 63-55 win over Downingtown West in round one. The Falcons running back Charles Snorweah may need a repeat performance of his seven TDs and 432 rushing yards to win this contest.
Pennsbury 47 Garnet Valley 38
Upper Dublin @ West Chester Rustin
The Upper Dublin Cardinals flew to Disney World ‘s Wide World of Sports Complex and a win over Coconut Creek, Florida to open their season and have been flying high all season long. They have but one loss to Abington in an otherwise spotless campaign. QB Ryan Stover along with key receivers Gary Fields and Matt Thompson have been tough to stop. They enter this game after a 48-14 victory over Council Rock North. The Golden Knights of West Chester Rustin won’t be a pushover as they had an equally impressive 47-13 win over Conestoga in round one last Friday night. Running back Terry Loper romped for three TD’s and the Golden Knights physical play may be what the doctor ordered for a hard fought win and trip to round three.
West Chester Rustin 30 Upper Dublin 27
LaSalle @ St Joseph Prep
There is no way to ignore the Philadelphia Catholic League AAAA championship game to be played at Northeast High School Philadelphia on Friday night. These two District Twelve powerhouses met during the regular season with the Hawks winning 35-31. The names and numbers are all too familiar for Explorers coach Drew Gordon and Prep coach Gabe Infante. This is just another chess match they may decide which team from the east will head to Hershey. Last time the guess here was LaSalle so why not keep it consistent.
LaSalle 27 St Joseph Prep 24
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