League titles & playoff seeds decided this week

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By Joe Stokes

This Tuesday was election day in Pennsylvania and after all votes were counted the winners had a party and the losers went back to the drawing board. This weekend high school football teams across the state will enjoy or suffer the same fate as the politicians. The schedule makers saved the best for last as there are loads of big games to watch on Friday & Saturday as the regular season comes to a close.

Those at the top of the AAAA playoff list will not only be concerned with a higher seed but in many cases league championships. Ches-Mont, Central, Del Val, Suburban One and Pioneer Leagues all have showdowns for regular season bragging rights. Look for packed stadiums on Friday night for these contests.

The playoff race at AAAA continues to show Downingtown as the center for top seeded squads. The Whippets face the Cougars to determine regular season dominance and the number one seed. A few slots below has Spring-Ford hosting Perkiomen Valley for the Pioneer Athletic Conference championship and a possible third seed in post season play. However the real excitement may come at the bottom of the power ratings as Garnet Valley, Plymouth Whitemarsh, Pennridge, Council Rock South and Neshaminy are desperately hanging on to make the final sixteen.

The competition for playoff slots is fierce at the AAA level as well. Only eight teams extend their season in this group. Academy Park, Upper Moreland, Pottstown, Interboro, Pottsgrove and Great Valley lead the pack. Marple Newtown and Springfield hold the last two post season slots but just by a sliver. Interboro travels to Academy Park for the Del Val League championship game while Pottsgrove hosts Pottstown in a game that will impact AAA seeding.

This will mark the tenth season this writer has attempted to forecast the five toughest games each week. The last nine years the prognostication record stands at 445-188 while going 28-12 this season.

Last week the two week perfect streak came to an end, with the prognostications going 3-2. LaSalle, Haverford and North Penn pulled through as predicted. However Bishop Shanahan fell to Coatesville and Council Rock North upset Quakertown to account for the bad calls

Time to final regular season guesses…

Downingtown East @ Downingtown West

If you could combine the talent of these two squads you would have the makings of a nationally ranked team. However the Downingtown School District found it necessary to have two high schools. That decision many years ago set up what could be the best District One football game of the regular season. The Downingtown East Cougars have a perfect record with strong passing efforts of Saunders Healy and the running talent of Jack Kincade. The offense is bolstered by a stingy defense that has pitched two shutouts and no more than 21 points in any game this season. The Downingtown West Whippets have a perfectly clean 2015 record as well. Their high powered offense is fueled by receiving and running threat Jake Barr. QB Thomas Mattioni offers another quick strike threat that could drive even the best defensive effort crazy. This game certainly offers a possible preview of the District One Championship game in a few weeks. Give a slight edge to the Cougars with a solid defensive advantage.

Downingtown East 42   Downingtown West   38


Perkiomen Valley @ Spring-Ford

This game has the Pioneer Conference (PAC 10) football community all fired up. The league championship and possible third seed in AAAA playoffs is up for grabs. Both teams are undefeated and are sure to be a force in the post season. The Spring-Ford Rams are guided by QB Ricky Venuto by air and running back Matt Gibson on the ground. This combo is tough to defend Venuto passed for 200 yards and Gibson pounded out 112 yards on the ground in an easy 56-0 win over Pope Paul II last Saturday. However the Perkiomen Valley Vikings matched those numbers with QB Stephen Strum throwing for 384 yards and 2 TD’s while the defense shut out Upper Perkiomen for an impressive 45-0 win last Friday night. Penalties have been a concern for both squads this season but count on a clean contest to end the regular season. Home team wins this hard fought contest.

Spring-Ford 37   Perkiomen Valley 35


Interboro @ Academy Park

This contest seems like an annual event with the Interboro Bucs facing the Academy Park Knights for the Del Val League Championship. Knight’s running back Jermaine Wesley is full steam ahead this season and he is second in rushing so far in Delaware County. The Academy Park defense is tenacious as well with county interception leader Clarence Buchanan always a threat to end an offensive drive. The Bucs are always up for a challenge and Coach Steve Lennox has seen his team win eight straight games after an opening season loss to Springfield. Running back Chris Thomas has been following his blocks which led to a 41-7 win over Chichester last Friday. Another close game with the Knights staying unbeaten for now. These two teams could see each other again in the upcoming AAA playoffs.

Academy Park 26   Interboro   21


The rest of the fearless forecast

Upper Darby 29 Garnet Valley 28

Pennsbury 24   Neshaminy   20