For the second time in as many weeks, first place in the Suburban One League’s American Conference will be decided by one game.
Last week, Plymouth Whitemarsh High emerged as the front runner after scoring late to topple Upper Dublin.
But at the same time, Hatboro-Horsham was staking its claim to the SOL American with a victory over Wissahickon.
So this week, the Colonials and Hatters will duel to see what program will sit in sole possession of the American.
And both sides are similar in their respective approaches.
The Hatters opened this year with three straight losses, but haven’t lost since.
Using a punishing ground game as their primary weapon, Hatboro-Horsham has pounded its way into first place.
The Hatters needed to throw only three times in the victory over Wissahickon as the likes of Anthony Kwiatanowski, Quentin Sullivan and Adam Suder helped them accumulate 433 yards, most on the ground.
“Anybody who knows anything about high school football knows it’s important to have a balanced attack, and that gets set up by the running game,” said Hatters head coach Mike Kapusta.
And that’s how the Hatters have bulled their way to the top.
But Kapusta has also seen enough of the Colonials to understand that’s how the Colonials have buffaloed their way into first place.
“They’re a well-coached football team,” Kapusta said. “They’re tough, and that’s what they pride themselves in.
“They’re going to run the ball and make you stop it.”
The Colonials move behind the 1-2 punch of Khan Jamal and Blaise Gravinese, while quarterback Joe Stoberl has grown into an accurate passer and a dangerous runner.
With both sides favoring the run, it’s likely time of possession will go a long ways to determining a winner.
Hatboro will need to contain the Colonials’ outside speed, which will test the edge, much in the way they did successfully in last weekend’s win over Upper Dublin.
The Hatters will run to set up their passing game, spearheaded by quarterback Chris Edwards and receivers Brandon Brandt-Crews.
“Whoever wins the line of scrimmage should win the game,” said Plymouth Whitemarsh head coach Dan Chang.
Souderton at North Penn
Time/Place: Friday, 7 p.m., at North Penn High School.
On Twitter: @khunter10.
Records: The Big Red are 4-3 overall and 1-3 in the Suburban One League Continental Conference. The Knights are 7-0 overall and 4-0 in the SOL Continental.
Last Week: Souderton earned its first SOL Continental win with a 38-20 victory over William Tennent while North Penn remained unbeaten with a 33-14 win over Central Bucks East.
Players to Watch: Souderton moves behind the one-two punch of QB Joey Corotto and RB Koby Khan, while the Knights saw QB Reece Udinski throw for 312 yards and three touchdowns a week ago, including completions to nine different receivers.
Prediction: The Knights keep their roll rolling, 42-14.
William Tennent at Pennridge
Time/Place: Friday, 7 p.m., at Helman Field, Pennridge.
On Twitter: @mpcabrey.
Records: The Panthers come into this one 0-7 overall and 0-4 in the Suburban One League Continental Conference. The Rams are 4-3 overall, including a 2-1 mark in the SOL Continental.
Last Week: The Panthers fell to Souderton, 38-20, while Pennridge bested Central Bucks West, 30-21.
Players to Watch: Tennent saw QB Mitchell Vierling throw for 124 yards and three scores a week ago. Pennridge got 147 passing yards and 60 more on the ground from QB Jagger Hartshorn.
Prediction: The Rams keep the heat on North Penn with a 34-9 win.
Central Bucks South at Central Bucks West
Time/Place: Friday, 7 p.m., at War Memorial Stadium.
On Twitter: @ADRobinson3.
Records: The Titans come into this one 5-2 overall and 2-2 n the Suburban One League Continental Conference. The Bucks are 4-3 overall, including a 1-2 mark in the SOL Continental..
Last Week: The Titans lost to Neshaminy, 42-14, while the Bucks lost to Pennridge, 30-21.
Players to Watch: The Titans rely heavily on QB Jack Johns and RB Tyler Watson, while the Bucks use the two-pronged QB attack of passer Josh Crecca and passer/runner Ryan Moylan.
Prediction: South rebounds with a 28-13 victory.
Cheltenham at Wissahickon
Time/Place: Friday, 7 p.m., at Wissahickon High School.
On Twitter: @BeGood1219.
Records: The Panthers come into this one 1-5 overall and 0-2 in the Suburban One League’s American Conference while.the Trojans are 1-6 overall, including an 0-4 mark in the SOL American.
Last Week: The Panthers fell to Quakertown, 43-6, while the Trojans were bested by Hatboro-Horsham, 42-13.
Players to Watch: The Panthers rely heavily on the passing and running talents of Yasin Abdul-Haqq while the Trojans got 109 rushing yards from Antaun Lloyd a week ago.
Prediction: Two struggling teams looking for a win. Bet on the Trojans, 21-13.
Pottstown at Upper Merion
Time/Place: Friday, 7 p.m., at Upper Merion High School.
On Twitter: @DwaySports.
Records: The Trojans are 1-6, 0-3 in the Pioneer Athletic Conference’s Frontier Division, while the Vikings are 2-5 overall and 1-2 in the PAC Frontier.
Last Week: The Trojans lost to Phoenixville, 27-18, while Upper Merion defeated Pope John Paul II, 24-21..
Players to Watch: The Trojans move behind the running talents of Isaiah Mayes (97 carries, 481 yds. 9 TDs) while the Vikings rely on the talents of QB JP Batten (33-75, 451 yds, 3 TDs).
Prediction: The Vikings make it two in a row, 26-13.
Methacton at Owen J. Roberts
Time/Place: Friday, 7 p.m., at Owen J. Roberts High School.
Records: Methacton is 1-6, 1-2 in the PAC’s Liberty Division, while the Wildcats are 4-3 overall and 2-1 in the PAC Liberty.
Last Week: The Warriors earned their first win of the year, 21-14, over Norristown, while Owen J. Roberts blanked Boyertown, 29-0..
Players to Watch: The Warriors rely on the running and receiving talents of senior RB Ryan O’Toole, and OJR has gotten 870 passing yards and eight touchdowns from QB Dawson Stuart and 403 rushing yards and seven touchdowns from RB Hunter Scherfel.
Prediction: The Wildcats roar, 33-12.
Norristown at Perkiomen Valley
Time/Place: Friday, 7 p.m., at Perkiomen Valley High School.
Records: The Eagles are 0-7, 0-3 in the Pioneer Athletic Conference’s Liberty Division, while the Vikings are 7-0, 3-0 in the PAC Liberty.
Last Week: The Eagles lost to Methacton, 21-14, while Perkiomen Valley defeated Spring-Ford, 28-16..
Players to Watch: The Eagles found a pass-catching threat last week in Aleazar Hill, who had better than 100 yards receiving against Methacton, while the Vikings welcomed back WR Justin Jaworski to their offense, to the tune of six catches and 101 receiving yards in the mammoth win over Spring-Ford .
Prediction: The Vikings can name the score, and they say, 41-0.
Pope John Paul II at Upper Perkiomen
Time/Place: Friday, 7 p.m., at Upper Perkiomen High School.
Records: The Golden Panthers are 3-4, 2-1 in the Pioneer Athletic Conference’s Frontier Division, while the Tribe are identically 3-4 overall and 2-1 in the PAC Frontier.
Last Week: The Golden Panthers were upset by Upper Merion, 24-21, while the Indians were trounced by Pottsgrove, 62-21..
Players to Watch: The Panthers have a 1,000-yard passer in Matt DeLaurentis (97-171, 1,104 yds,) while the Tribe has a thousand-yard passer in Zeke Hallman (86-157, 1,223 yds., 17 yds) and a running threat in Tyler Whary (115-818 yds.).
Prediction: The home team prevails, 27-21.
SCH Academy at Germantown Academy
Time/Place: Saturday, 1:30 p.m., at Germantown Academy’s Carey Stadium.
Records: The Blue Devils enter the game 4-1 and are playing their Inter-Academic League opener. The Patriots are 4-1 overall and likewise making their 2016 Inter-Ac debut .
Last Week: SCHA was idle last week, while GA came from behind to top West Catholic, 18-12..
Players to Watch: The Blue Devils are led by QB Matt Rahill, who has passed for 712 yards and run for 321 more. In a league characterized by top QBs, GA has one of the league’s best in Villanova commit duos in Kyle McCloskey (42-72, 655 yds, 9 TDs).
Prediction: The Devils, in a mild upset, 28-20.
Neumann-Goretti at Lansdale Catholic
Time/Place: Saturday, 5 p.m., at Wissahickon High School.
Records: The Saints (0-6, 0-3) remain winless in the Philadelphia Catholic League’s Blue Division, while the Crusaders are 1-5, 1-3 in the PCL Blue.
Last Week: The Saints were beaten by Bonner-Prendergast, 52-18, while the Crusaders were blanked by Cardinal O’Hara, 28-0.
Players to Watch: The Saints offense is led by Maurice Mazzccua who has 270 rushing yards and 13 catches, while the Crusaders rely heavily on QB Michael Basilii (39-91, 350 yds.) and RB Matt Casee (55-324 yds).
Prediction: The Crusaders offense, coming off back-to-back shutouts, comes alive in a 21-6 victory.
Roman Catholic at La Salle
Time/Place: Saturday, 7:00 p.m., at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School.
Records: The Cahillites come into this one 2-5 overall and 1-2 in the PCL’s Red Division. The Explorers are 4-2, 3-0 in the PCL Red..
Last Week: Roman lost to St. Joseph’s Prep, 22-10, while the Explorers enjoyed a bye.
Players to Watch: Roman has a top-flight QB in Anthony Butler (70-149, 848, 5 TDs) and receiver in Joey Bristow (25-298, 3 TDs).The La Salle offense was primarily based around RB Syaire Madden (118-768) until QB Tom LaMorte blew up two weeks ago, throwing for 263 yards and three scores against Judge.