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Haverford, Ridley headline opening weekend in the Central League

The second week of the high school football season marks the beginning of the Central League schedule.

The big game to watch is Haverford at Ridley. The Fords have had the Green Raiders’ number in recent years, excluding a 7-0 Ridley decision last year. In fact, Haverford has won three of the last four meetings.

Elsewhere, Marple Newtown looks to rebound from a devastating loss in the Sunshine State to Florida State University High School. The Tigers host Penncrest, which had a disappointing debut at Pope John Paul II.

Perhaps the most intriguing matchup in the Central League is Upper Darby at Garnet Valley. The Royals blanked Bonner & Prendergast, 35-0, while Garnet Valley, the No. 1 team in the Daily Times Super 7, enjoyed a 19-7 win over West Chester Rustin.

Here is a breakdown of five games to watch this weekend.

Haverford (1-0) at Ridley (1-0), 7

The Fords exacted revenge on Chester for last year’s setback with a 41-6 win last week.

Junior quarterback Jake Ruane threw for three touchdowns — one apiece to Jon Klee, Jordan Mosley and Ryan Odgers — while also rushing for a score. Haverford’s defense limited Chester to 46 yards of total offense and forced five fumbles.

The Green Raiders played angry last week, perhaps feeling slighted after they went unranked in the preseason Super 7 and Top 20. They quieted the critics with a resounding 38-20 victory over Father Judge. They didn’t waste any time as Ociele Miller took a Nick Layden pass 75 yards on the first play of the game. Layden, in his starting debut, went 7-for-13 for 202 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for a score.

Ridley will play its second of four straight home games to start the season. After Haverford visits Friday, Garnet Valley and Marple Newtown come to town.

Penncrest (0-1) at Marple Newtown (0-1), 7

Growing pains are expected for first-year head coach Andrew Pidgeon and his Lions, as evidenced by a 43-7 defeat at Pope John Paul II. Caleb Mahalik’s touchdown run and 71 yards on 10 carries highlighted a difficult first test.

The Tigers let an 18-point, fourth-quarter lead slip away at Disney’s Wide World of Sports. Florida High reeled off 19 unanswered points and scored the winning touchdown on a Hail Mary pass with less than a minute to play.

Dash Dulgerian finished with seven catches for 218 yards, which is the 12th-best single-game receiving performance in Delaware County history. All-Delco quarterback Anthony Paoletti was 12-for-26 through the air with 226 yards, including a 97-yard touchdown to Dulgerian.

Bonner & Prendergast (0-1) at Episcopal Academy (0-0), 7

The Friars had no answer for Upper Darby last Friday. In a 29-0 defeat, the Friars mustered only two first downs and 51 yards of total offense.

The Churchmen are looking to improve on a fifth-place finish in the Inter-Ac League last fall. They return their leading rusher, junior DeeWil Barlee, who amassed 572 yards and five touchdowns. Adam Klein, a Temple commit, anchors a very experienced offensive line.

Academy Park (0-1) at Unionville (1-0), 7

The Knights are looking to bounce back following a 27-20 setback to Pennsbury. It was AP’s first home loss since October 2013. Running back Kareem Burton and quarterback Skylor Fillis each eclipsed the 100-yard plateau on the ground.

The Indians leaned on Joe Zubillaga in last Friday’s 26-17 victory over Spring-Ford. The senior running back had 152 rushing yards, 39 receiving yards and seven tackles in leading the defensive effort.

Interboro (1-0) at Norristown (0-1), 1

The Bucs are fresh off a 26-13 decision over Strath Haven. The reigning Del Val League champions relied heavily on senior Kalie Kuyateh, who rushed for 134 yards and two touchdowns. Junior Tim Convery had a punt return for a touchdown and an interception.

The Eagles fell to Pennridge, 41-7. Izaiah Webb completed 10 of 17 pass attempts for 101 yards, two interceptions and a running score.

Kirk Wilson led the way on the ground with 57 yards on 18 carries.



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