Time to start counting the points

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By Joe Stokes

This is the time every season that high school football teams throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania begin to check where they stand with playoff points. So far after five weeks District One is led by Downingtown West, Downingtown East, Perkiomen Valley, Quakertown, Plymouth Whitemarsh, Upper Dublin and Spring-Ford. All these AAAA teams are undefeated and the next few games will determine post season prospects for the top sixteen in this category.

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 and Great Valley lead the pack and are also the only undefeated teams after week five.

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

Last weekend was wet and wild as a Nor’easter blew up the coast. Many teams were forced to reschedule or cancel their games. This Friday night won’t be as crazy weather wise but showers and thunderstorms could be rolling through close to game time.

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 429-184 while going 12-8 this season.

Last week went pretty well for the prognostications going 4-1. Downingtown West, Spring-Ford, Academy Park and Downingtown East all pulled through while picking Neshaminy over Pennridge accounted for the sole bad pick.

Time for the picks…

Archbishop Wood @ La Salle

What a showdown for these two District Twelve powerhouse teams. Wood is the two time Pa State AAA champion and may well be on their way to three peat if all goes well. Explorer QB Chris Ferguson will be on the hot seat to direct a potent running attack. Wood will rely on running backs Raheem Blackshear and Shaun Thompson to carry the offensive load. This game will be won in the trenches, Wood by a whisker.

Archbishop Wood 33   LaSalle   28


Garnet Valley @ Haverford High

These two teams are not only tied for second in the Central League but are locked together in the eleventh slot in AAAA playoff list. Both squads lost their first game of the season but have not tasted defeat the next four weeks. The Garnet Valley Jaguars rely on their ground game but last Friday found success in the air with QB Matt Hamby hitting Jacob Buttermore for a key TD in a hard fought win over Springfield. The Fords are led by QB Jack Donaghy who fired four TD passes and the defense pitched a shutout over Strath Haven on a rainy Friday night. The balanced attack of Garnet Valley will win this contest but it won’t be a walk.

Garnet Valley 31 Haverford   27


Marple Newtown @ Springfield

This is a battle of the cats in the Central League. The Marple Newtown Tigers are in a strange place for this program 5-0. The Springfield Cougars won the Central League title last year but have had a difficult start. Sophomore QB Anthony Paolettie is on fire and that may well be the difference.

Marple Newtown 27   Springfield 13


The rest of the fearless forecast

North Penn 28   Souderton   20

Plymouth Whitemarsh 35 Upper Moreland 17