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Delco Football Friday: District dream’s still alive for six teams

Six Delaware County teams survived the first week of District 1 playoffs.

In Class 6A, Ridley and Garnet Valley punched their tickets to the quarterfinals. The Green Raiders cruised at home, while the Jaguars rallied to win on the road in a minor upset.

The top three seeds in the Class 5A tournament took care of business, as expected. Springfield, Academy Park and Marple Newtown each won in blowout style.

Finally, in the four-team Class 4A bracket, top-seeded Interboro made it look easy as the Bucs clinched a spot in the championship game.

Here’s a look at the Delco playoff slate Friday night:

Class 6A

Ridley (10-1) at Coatesville (9-2), 7

The fourth-seeded Green Raiders won their first district playoff game since 2012 with a 35-7 rout of 12th-seeded Plymouth Whitemarsh. Ridley forced three interceptions, including a touchdown return by Sean Crowley. Quarterback Cade Stratton threw for a touchdown and ran for a pair of scores.

The question for Ridley is whether its stellar defense, which has allowed 8.4 points per game, can stop the high-flying Coatesville offense. Coatesville is buoyed by freshman quarterback Ricky Ortega and freshman receiver Dapree Bryant, who connected for two touchdowns in last week’s 42-0 shellacking of Abington. Ortega has passed for 1,646 yards and 18 TDs.

Garnet Valley (9-2) at Neshaminy (11-0), 7

Among the Delco teams participating in the district playoffs, the 10th-seeded Jaguars (9-2) pulled off the biggest upset with a 21-14 victory over No. 7 Central Bucks South. Nick Juliano and Colin Davis hooked up on two scoring passes, including the game-winner with 11 seconds left in regulation. Do-everything senior Jacob Buttermore contributed 180 yards rushing and converted all three extra-point kicks.

The No. 2 Skins (11-0) needed a spirited comeback to avoid a disastrous first-round showing against 15th-seeded Pennridge. Neshaminy needed two touchdowns in the final seven minutes of regulation to close the deal. Dynamic quarterback Mason Jones’ 11-yard scoring pass to sophomore receiver Oleh Manzyk was the difference. Manzyk torched the Pennridge secondary for 212 receiving yards and three touchdowns.

Class 5A

Great Valley (7-4) at Springfield (10-1), 7

The top-seeded Cougars disposed of their Central League brethren, the Penncrest Lions, with a 38-0 rout last week. Joe Kennedy, David Strawley and Vince Puppio each had an interception return for a touchdown for a secondary that’s been excellent all season. Ja’Den McKenzie ran for 83 yards and a touchdown, while Philip Shovlin contributed 71 yards on the ground.

One of the Cougars’ top strengths will be put to the test against quarterback Ryan Geiss and wide receiver Ryan Hubley, who rank No. 1 in Chester County in passing and receiving yardage, respectively. The eighth-seeded Patriots dismantled No. 9 Glen Mills in the quarterfinal round.

Bishop Shanahan (8-3)

at Academy Park (10-1), 7

The No. 2 Knights recovered from a sluggish start against Radnor  by scoring 34 second-half points en route to a 44-17 victory. Running back Dazhon Miller amassed 167 yards and two touchdowns, while Skylor Fillis and Desmond Holmes each added long scoring runs. Since 2012, the Knights have the most district playoff wins of any Delco team.

The No. 7 Eagles accrued 372 yards of total offense and Brendan Dearing had six catches for 94 yards and a touchdown in a 41-7 thumping of Bayard Rustin. Dearing also had a kickoff return for a touchdown and an interception.

W.C. East (5-6) at Marple Newtown (10-1), 7

The Tigers earned their first home playoff win with a 35-7 romp past Upper Moreland. Running back Marlon Weathers led the way with 126 yards and three touchdowns, while Dash Dulgerian and Reilly Fillman each caught a touchdown pass from Anthony Paoletti, who leads the county in passing yards (2,376), touchdowns (23) and completion percentage (63.1).

The 11th-seeded Vikings ended a 10-year playoff drought with a 10-7 decision over sixth-seeded Unionville. Jake Bonnett’s 27-yard field goal late in regulation was the difference. The Vikings are coached by Dave Gueriera, Cardinal O’Hara graduate and lifelong friend of Marple Newtown coach Chris Gicking.

Class 4A

Pottsgrove (7-4) at Interboro (10-1), 7

The top-seeded Bucs are going for their second district championship in program history against a familiar playoff foe. Chris Thomas ran for 135 yards and three TDs in Interboro’s 49-12 pasting of Pope John Paul II. Longtime coach Steve Lennox earned his 300th career coaching win.

The No. 2 Falcons topped No. 3 Upper Perkiomen, 28-14, behind a stellar performance by junior tailback Rahsul Faison, who gained 360 yards on 29 carries.

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