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Academy Park, Interboro battle in a winner-take-all for Del Val supremacy

Here are five Delco football games to watch this weekend.

Friday

Interboro (8-1) at Academy Park (9-0), 7

The Bucs and Knights are playing for all the marbles. The winner captures the Del Val League championship, which Interboro hasn’t claimed since 2009. The Knights, meanwhile, are chasing their third Del Val crown in four years.

AP and Interboro are the top-ranked defenses in Delaware County in terms of points allowed, each yielding less than 10 points per game. The Knights have given up just 1,204 yards and 4.5 points, while the Bucs are allowing just 9.5 points.

The Knights have recorded five shutouts in nine games and are outscoring their opponents, 315-41. The Bucs have been blanked just once since 2006, when AP handed them a 16-0 loss at South Avenue Athletic Complex last fall. The Knights have won three consecutive meetings with the Bucs.

The Knights lead the county with 15 interceptions, including eight from All-Delco defensive back Clarence Buchanan. Offensively, the Knights feature Jermaine Wesley, who is the second-leading rusher in the county (1,231 yards, 14 TDs), and athletes Jeremy Demby (550 yards rushing) and Jawan Collins (seven TD catches).

Fueled by Chris Thomas’ career-high 170 yards rushing and three scores, the Bucs steamrolled Chichester last week, 41-7.

Garnet Valley (7-2) at Upper Darby (8-1), 7

In Delco’s other game of the week, the Jaguars are chasing after two things: a potential tie for the Central League lead and a guaranteed spot in next week’s District One Class AAAA playoffs. GV enters the weekend tied for 14th place in the field of 16, while the Royals are in 11th place and a win Friday night could give them a first-round home game.

The key will be whether Garnet Valley’s strong defensive front, led by linemen Tim Bradley and Brendan Granahan, can contain Royals running back Isaiah Bruce, who exploded for a school-record 322 yards in last week’s 49-0 rout of Lower Merion. Bruce is the No. 1 rusher in the county and is on pace to become just the seventh running back in Delco history to rush for 2,000 or more yards in a season.

Derrick West’s rushing touchdown in the second half helped lift the Jags to a 14-7 win over Conestoga last week.

Penncrest (2-8) at Springfield (5-4), 7

Another must-win game awaits the Cougars, who have saved their season by winning three in a row, including a 63-6 shellacking of Harriton last week. Senior linebacker Tom Becker had a pick-six as six Cougars scored touchdowns. Springfield occupies the eighth and final slot in the District One Class AAA playoff race, a mere 20 power points ahead of No. 9 Radnor (5-4), which plays Harriton.

The Lions have played the role of spoiler before. Last year, they defeated Marple Newtown on the final Friday of the regular season, snuffing out the Tigers’ playoff chances. Senior Ryan Kinnard excelled at running back and defensive back in Penncrest’s 20-17 loss to Marple a week ago.

Saturday

Germantown Ac. (7-1) at Haverford School (8-0), 1

The Fords are the heavy favorite to win out and capture their third straight Inter-Ac title. Ben Stallworth eclipsed the 100-yard mark on the ground and quarterback Tommy Toal completed his first eight passes en route to a 45-14 victory over Springside Chestnut Hill Academy last Saturday. In just five starts this year, Toal ranks second among Delco quarterbacks with a 177.38 efficiency rating and 15 touchdown passes.

The Patriots suffered their first loss of the year to Malvern Prep last week.

New Hope-Solebury (9-0) at Delco Christian (8-1), 7

The Knights host the Lions at Marple Newtown with the Bicentennial League championship at stake. DC, in just its sixth season as a varsity program, has won a District 1/12 Sub-Regional title, but is looking to claim its first league championship. Nazim Trammell-Wells and Amair Dorsey lead a run offense that has 332.8 yards per contest.

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