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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Here's a look at this week's match ups

BISHOP MCDEVITT AT LANSDALE CATHOLIC TIME: Friday, 7:00 p.m., Wissahickon High School RECORDS: Bishop McDevitt is 1-2 after defeating Edison, 36-18. Lansdale Catholic is 3-0 after defeating Morrisville, 39-0. LAST SEASON’S GAME: McDevitt won, 14-12. OUTLOOK: Through its three-game win string to open the season, much has been made of the Crusaders’ offense, that features James Ward (23 carries, 170 yds. this season, two punt-return touchdowns last week) and RB Joe Schmid (19 carries, 116 yds.). But LC’s defense has been more than respectable, allowing just 173 yards per contest and a total of 40 points through those three contests. LC may be facing its most explosive foes in the Lancers, who boast QB Christian Connor (19-for-49, 398 yds., 5 TDs), RB Gerald Fuller (40 carries, 180 yds., including 120 last week) and playmaker Tymere Wilder, who not only has 125 yards rushing and two touchdowns, but nine catches for 238 yds. and three scores.

NORTH PENN AT CENTRAL BUCKS EAST TIME: Friday, 7:00 p.m., War Memorial Field RECORDS: North Penn is 1-2 after losing to Saint Joseph’s Prep, 31-3. Central Bucks East is 2-1 after losing to Abington, 21-6. LAST SEASON’S GAME: North Penn won, 35-0. OUTLOOK: For those doomsayers jumping up and down over the Knights’ 1-2 start, keep in mind that was how they began last year – and how much did that affect the outcome of their season? Anyway, North Penn opens its SOL Continental slate having never lost as a member of the conference (28-0) and faces an improved Patriots team that has already doubled last year’s win total and appeared to be on a legitimate roll until being shut down by Abington last week. East’s forte is running the ball, but its top two backs, Vince Thompson and Chris Burian, were held to a combined 30 yards a game ago. QB Zach Nelson popped off the bench last week to finish 6-for-8 for 124 yards. East’s main target in the passing game is Vince Careghini (7 catches, 147 yds.). Meanwhile, the injury-riddled Knights, who were held to 112 yards and five first downs last week, are looking to rebound from their worst loss since a 35-0 setback to Neshaminy in the 2007 district playoffs.

WISSAHICKON AT UPPER DUBLIN TIME: Friday, 7:00 p.m., Upper Dublin High School RECORDS: Wissahickon is 2-1 after defeating Central Bucks West in double overtime, 38-35. Upper Dublin is 2-1 after defeating Abraham Lincoln, 42-20. LAST SEASON’S GAME: Upper Dublin won, 17-10. OUTLOOK: See Sideline Insider

UPPER PERKIOMEN AT SPRING-FORD TIME: Friday, 7:00 p.m., Spring-Ford Middle School RECORDS: Upper Perkiomen is 0-3, 0-2 after losing to Pottsgrove, 56-7. Spring-Ford is 3-0, 2-0 after defeating Pope John Paul II, 56-31. LAST SEASON’S GAME: Spring-Ford won, 52-7. OUTLOOK: While the Rams can’t get caught looking forward to next weekend’s early-season showdown with Pottsgrove, the Indians seem to be just what the doctor ordered. Upper Perk has the PAC’s worst run defense (354 yds./game), and Spring-Ford would like nothing better than to hand the ball to Jarred Jones (34 carries, 341 yds.) and Yousef Lundi (24 carries, 255 yds.) and get out of Dodge with a win before preparing for the loaded Falcons. Upper Perk is led by QB Dylan Wesley (21-for-52, 237 yds.), the running of Aidan Schaffer (41 carries, 245 yds.) and big-play receiver Robbie Hinson (9 catches, 133 yds.)

PLYMOUTH WHITEMARSH AT UPPER MORELAND TIME: Friday, 7:00 p.m., Upper Moreland High School RECORDS: Plymouth Whitemarsh is 2-1 after losing to West Chester Henderson, 21-13. Upper Moreland is 2-1 after losing to Interboro, 27-21. LAST SEASON’S GAME: Plymouth Whitemarsh won, 31-0. OUTLOOK: The Colonials not only lost a game last weekend, they lost a number of players to injury. “We’re as depleted as we’ve been in a while,” said PW head coach Dan Chang, who added there would be a number of new faces in the Colonials lineup. For their SOL American opener, PW faces a Bears team that relies heavily on running backs Robert Knox (65 carries, 399 yds.) and Chris Kitchen (35 carries, 187 yds.). “Knox is a real hard-nosed runner, and (Upper Moreland’s) offensive line is probably the best drive-blocking line we’ve seen so far this year,” Chang said. “Their offense is patient, they’ll take three, four yards at a time.” As for PW’s MIA, they include OL Steve Kovacic and RB Brian Afflick, who Chang said would each miss a couple of weeks. “We’ve had a pretty good week of practice for the number of new guys stepping in,” Chang said. “We have to limit our mistakes this week and make them beat us.”

PERKIOMEN VALLEY AT POTTSTOWN TIME: Friday, 7:00 p.m., Pottstown High School RECORDS: Perkiomen Valley is 2-1, 2-0 after defeating Owen J. Roberts, 35-13. Pottstown is 2-1, 1-0 after defeating Boyertown, 51-47. LAST SEASON’S GAME: Perkiomen Valley won, 29-21. OUTLOOK: Like the rest of the PAC head coaches, Perk Valley’s Scott Reed saw Pottstown’s record-setting offensive show last week, when RB Monroe Hampton’s 306 rushing yards keyed an attack that rolled up a PAC-record 664 yards and 28 first downs. “They’re pretty darn good on offense,” Reed said. “They have a nice quarterback (Sage Reinhart) and some good athletes. And Hampton’s kind of in the mold of (Malik) Brinkley and (Corey) Baker.” Reed added he doesn’t want to get into a scoring battle with the Trojans, and is confident in the PV defense to slow Pottstown down. As for PV QB Rasaan Stewart, who missed last week’s game due to an injury suffered against Methacton two weeks ago, Reed said that he was questionable, pending an MRI on “a back or shoulder” injury. The coach also said he has no problem if Dakota Clanagan, who filled in for Stewart last week, has to do it again. “He did a nice job for us, and he’s prepared if he has to go again,” Reed said.

POPE JOHN PAUL II AT METHACTON TIME: Saturday, 1:00 p.m., Methacton High School RECORDS: Pope John Paul is 0-3, 0-2 after losing to Spring-Ford, 56-31. Methacton is 0-3, 0-2 after losing to Phoenixville, 37-10. LAST SEASON’S GAME: Methacton won, 31-21. OUTLOOK: Two 0-3 teams who are looking for answers. In PJP’s case, the Panthers have played three teams (Berks Catholic, Pottsgrove, Spring-Ford) who are a collective 9-0 this year, although head coach Mike Santillo said he felt his team should have been more competitive in those losses. Add to that a rising list of injuries, which will see two-way back Nick DiPrinzio and Dylan Algeo miss this week’s game and valuable RB/WR Chris Veisbergs (very questionable) and center Ryan Brennan (game-time decision) likely joining them on the sidelines, and the prospect of seeing Warriors QB Brandon Bossard again (“Methacton has handed it to us the last couple years and Bossard’s been the best quarterback we’ve played in that time”), and it’s no wonder Santillo looking to the sky. As for Methacton head coach Paul Lepre, he said he and his staff are “grasping at straws right now. “Offensively, we just can’t put enough plays together to hang on to the ball. Our last good, sustained drive came in the opener against Souderton. Defensively, we’re not able to get off the field. “We’ve had injuries – (FB) Nico Williams and Dustin Keim, who is our only returning lineman, are concussed, but injuries aren’t what’s hurting us.”

UPPER MERION AT NORRISTOWN TIME: Saturday, 1:00 p.m., Norristown High School RECORDS: Upper Merion is 0-3 after losing to William Tennent, 47-30. Norristown is 0-3 after losing to Central Bucks South, 42-0. LAST SEASON’S GAME: Norristown won, 34-6. OUTLOOK: Outside of the two programs, everyone is excited about Norristown opening its first on-campus football facility. Inside the two teams, the game’s location has barely come up in conversation. “It doesn’t matter to us,” said UM head coach Harold Smith, who works at Norristown. “I don’t think it matters to E.J. (Eagles head coach E.J. Smith) either. We just want to play the game and try and get that first win.” As for the Vikings’ troubles, which have seen the team extend its three-year losing streak to 23 games while allowing 133 points in three games, Smith said the Vikings coaching staff is at a loss. “Honestly, we just haven’t been disciplined and we’re still having problems tackling,” the coach lamented. “ We’re working on it, but it’s true – you really do have to learn how to win.”

ARCHBISHOP CARROLL AT CARDINAL O’HARA TIME: Saturday, 2:00 p.m., Cardinal O’Hara High School RECORDS: Archbishop Carroll is 1-2 after losing to Del-Val Charter, 28-17. Cardinal O’Hara is 2-1 after losing to La Salle, 38-6. LAST SEASON’S GAME: Cardinal O’Hara won, 60-24. OUTLOOK: Carroll, still licking its wounds after losing to D-V Charter, finds itself in the middle of a hot plate with a trip down Rte. 320 to face the Lions. O’Hara took it tough against La Salle last weekend, but Dan Algeo’s team is a very good one, led by RB Thaddius Smith (30 carries, 195 yds., 7 catches, 62 yds.) and elusive QB Dashawn Darden (27-for-50, 271 yds.). The Patriots got Shawn Springs out of sick bay last week, and he rushed for 65 yards. Evan Harvey (10 catches, 115 yds.) is rapidly becoming QB Sal Bello’s favorite target.

PEDDIE SCHOOL AT GERMANTOWN ACADEMY TIME: Saturday, 2:00 p.m., Germantown Academy RECORDS: Peddie School is 0-1 after losing to Poly Prep (Brooklyn, NY), 20-6. Germantown Academy is 1-0 after defeating The Hill School, 7-6. LAST SEASON’S GAME: Did not play. OUTLOOK: The Falcons haven’t been playing football quite as long as the Patriots, but this is their 126th season as a football program, and they should give GA all it can handle for its home opener. Peddie has but 27 players on its roster, but most are returning starters, including running backs Cal Parker and Rory Merklinger and fullback Brandon Louth, who is getting some Division One looks. Peddie has a big and experienced front, headed by Dylan Nir and Dave Ryslik. The Patriots came up big defensively in their opener, limiting the Hill School to just 164 yards. Offensively, QB Hayes Nolte was 14-for-25 for 139 yards, with Lou Stevens hauling in five passes for 63 yards.

LA SALLE AT MALVERN PREP TIME: Saturday, 2:00 p.m., Malvern Prep RECORDS: La Salle is 3-0 after defeating Cardinal O’Hara, 38-6. Malvern Prep is 2-1 after defeating Archbishop Carroll (D.C.), 42-7. LAST SEASON’S GAME: Did not play. OUTLOOK: La Salle head coach Drew Gordon can’t help but be impressed with the Friars, who are off to a solid start. “They’re well-coached, disciplined and they have good athletes,” he said. “They look strong, but a lot of that has to do with execution – they just don’t make mistakes.” Gordon admits his Explorers still have a ways to go, but he’s happy with the team’s quick start. “Our guys are doing real well offensively,” said Gordon, “and defensively, our guys are getting better each week.” As for the principals, La Salle has been led by QB Chris Kane (41-for-63, 665 yds., 9 TDs) and WR Sean Coleman (16 catches, 299 yds.) while Malvern is paced by QB Billy Ford (20-for-47, 335 yds.) and RB Eric Purnell (27 carries, 246 yds., 4 TDs). — DENNIS C. WAY


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