Cold night’s hot contests

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By Joe Stokes

The heat of summer 2015 has been swept away and this weekend will feature a touch of early winter chill. The one thing that this short cold spell will not cool down is the red hot league and playoff races. The District One AAAA seeds won’t be decided for a couple of weeks but for the top five teams only post season positions seem to be in question. Downingtown East, Downingtown West, Upper Dublin, Quakertown and Spring-Ford remain undefeated and late season battles for top dog are on the horizon.

The competition for playoff slots is fierce at the AAA level as well. Only eight teams extend their season in this group. Academy Park, Marple Newtown, Upper Moreland, Pottstown and Great Valley lead the pack.

It appears that Archbishop Wood, St Joe Prep and LaSalle are once again on track for post season play in District 12.

Last weekend’s action shook things up a little as Upper Dublin and Spring-Ford kept rolling along while Coatesville dropped out of the top sixteen after a tough one point loss to West Chester East.

This will mark the tenth season I have attempted to forecast the five toughest games each week. The last nine years the prognostication record stands at 432-186 while going 15-10 this season.

Last week was just fair for the prognostications going 3-2. Archbishop Wood, Marple Newtown and North Penn all pulled through while picking Garnet Valley over Haverford and Plymouth Whitemarsh over Upper Moreland accounted for the bad picks.

Time for the picks…

Downingtown East @ Coatesville

The Coatesville Red Raiders lost a heartbreaker last Friday night when a team they have dominated over the last eight years stunned them with a field goal in the last moments of the game. West Chester East broke the drought when Nick Phillips drilled that kick through the goal posts for the 31- 30 shocker. The loss dropped Coatesville out of a playoff spot in this week’s rankings. This Friday night may well be the end of post season dreams if the Red Raiders can’t overcome Downingtown East. The Cougars coasted to a 42-7 victory over West Chester Henderson last Friday to remain undefeated. The Red Raiders will face a fierce defense with talented line backers Matt Boorman, Brody Wilson and Seth Davis ready for the pass or running attack. Coatesville QB Jordan Young is always up for a challenge but the Cougars may have too many weapons to overcome.

Downingtown East 34   Coatesville 28


Radnor @ Upper Darby

This contest features two teams with limited success over many seasons. However the Central League has been very competitive this year and the winner of this game may well be rewarded with a playoff berth. The Upper Darby Royals are 5-1 and ranked number nine in the AAAA playoff race. The Radnor Raiders are 4-2 with the sixth slot at the AAA level. The Royals seem to be able to pull out the close games so far this season. Three point victories over Ridley and Conestoga have been impressive and have allowed the Royals to hope for a playoff run. Running back Isaiah Bruce has made the big plays when necessary and will need to do the same this Friday night. The Raiders followed the lead of Jack Wilson who rushed for 142 yards and the winning TD over Penncrest 34-31 last Friday night. Count on the Royals to continue t their close call winning ways.

Upper Darby 36 Radnor 31


St Joe Prep @ LaSalle

The LaSalle Explorers come off a disappointing 27-24 loss to Archbishop Wood. St Joseph’s Hawks were victorious over St Joseph’s New Jersey last week. While neither of these teams are playing at their highest level this year, the winner will be a dangerous opponent as the District 12 playoff representative.

St Joseph Prep 27 LaSalle   23


The rest of the fearless forecast

Downingtown West 35   West Chester East   20

Upper Dublin 26 Plymouth Whitemarsh 18