Winners ride to Chocolate Town
The four remaining teams in each PIAA playoff level are on the doorstep of a state championship berth and all expenses paid trip to Hershey. The hard work and lucky bounces will come together this weekend for eight teams that will survive to play just one more week in hope that this will be their year to celebrate.
Last week the predictions were a disaster as every team projected to win came up short. North Penn, Easton Area, Pottsgrove, Woodland Hills and Bishop McDevitt all failed to advance. This prognosticator feels the pain but will get back up and try again.
The last three years, this future teller has a 152-58 prognostication record and with a 2009 first fourteen week record at 50-20 it is hoped we can avoid the week thirteen setback.
This Saturday afternoon the AAAA eastern semifinal pits District Twelve and Philadelphia City Champions LaSalle facing District One Champion Ridley. This will be one great game to watch. Anyone close to Northeast High in Philadelphia at 1 PM should take a peek at two of the hardest working squads you will ever see. The Ridley Green Raiders are just loaded with players willing to take a hit for the good of the team. They needed that devotion to upset previously undefeated and top seeded North Penn last weekend by a score of 19-10. The Green Raider defense and special teams were clearly the difference in this hard fought win. The Knights appeared to be headed to the locker room with a 10-6 lead when Alex Nicolina took a last minute kick-off 93 yards for a Green Raider 13-10 half time margin. North Penn came out ready for a fight and drove to the Ridley four yard line on the second half’s first offensive drive. However the Ridley defense stuffed a fourth down plunge which set the tone for remainder of the contest.
The LaSalle Explorers had an equally tough challenge in a Saturday afternoon showdown in the snow with the Easton Area Red Rovers. The Explores had to fight back from an early 14 point surge by the Red Rovers. QB Drew Loughery used his legs for a 17 yard romp to the end zone followed by a 5 yard TD toss to tight end Steve Jones for a 14-14 tie at the half. The wind, snow and defense were the story in the second half, with a LaSalle field goal by Mike Bennett making the difference in a 17-14 victory.
The bottom line is that neither of these teams deserves anything but a state title. This Saturday Ridley figures out a way to pull this out and head for Hershey for the schools second chance at a Quad A state championship.
Prediction: Ridley 26 LaSalle 24
The rest of the fearless forecast
Prediction: Cumberland Valley 20 State College 14
Prediction: Selinsgrove 24 Archbishop Wood 13
Prediction: West Catholic 28 Lancaster Catholic 17
Prediction: Bishop McCort 34 Tri Valley 16
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