Two Del Val League teams took a big step to saving their respective seasons last weekend.
Academy Park, which was ranked No. 2 in the preseason Daily Times Super 7, fell to Pennsbury and Unionville before last Friday’s blowout of Great Valley. The Knights (1-2) face Boyertown Friday night.
Meanwhile, Penn Wood (1-2) earned a 26-7 win at Council Rock North, despite losing top running back Answered Gleplay to injury.
Both the Knights and the Patriots, who were district playoff teams last fall, have a chance to right the ship, so to speak, with a second straight victory this weekend. You can read more about Penn Wood’s quest in today’s Football Friday feature story.
Here is a look at the top five Delco football games to watch this weekend:
Marple Newtown (2-1) at Ridley (1-2), 7
This is the game of the week in the Central League. The Tigers have recovered from a season-opening defeat in Florida with consecutive routs of Central League foes Penncrest and Radnor. This week presents a tougher challenge for the Tigers. In a battle of 2016 co-Central League champions, the Tigers are in a position to hand the Green Raiders their third straight loss at Phil Marion Field. This could be a make-or-break game for the Ridley, which cannot afford to fall to 1-3 overall and 0-3 in the Central League.
Marlon Weathers rushed for 156 yards and three touchdowns to lead MN to a 45-14 rout of previously undefeated Radnor. Wide receiver Dash Dulgerian had four catches for 64 yards and, through the first three weeks, leads Delco with 426 yards receiving.
Ridley looks to bounce back from a 24-14 defeat to Garnet Valley. Ociele Miller amassed a team-high 89 yards on the ground, while quarterback Nick Layden added 78 yards and a touchdown.
Strath Haven (2-1) at Springfield (3-0), 7
Are the Panthers for real? That question will be answered by their performance against the Cougars, the No. 2-ranked team in the Daily Times Super 7. Haven hung tough with Interboro on opening night (26-13 loss) before consecutive blowout wins over Harriton and Lower Merion. Fullback Zack Hussein is having a great season. He rushed for 204 yards and two TDs in a 36-14 throttling of Lower Merion.
The Cougars leaned on junior quarterback Jack Psenicska (13-for-19, 222 yards, three TDs), wide receiver Kyle Long (6-137, two TDs) and a stifling defensive effort (DE Kevin Deal two sacks) en route to a 20-8 win at Upper Darby. The Cougars have allowed eight or fewer points in each of their first three games.
Radnor (2-1) at Upper Darby (1-2), 7
After scoring 92 points combined in their first two weeks, the Raiders had no answer for Marple Newtown last Friday. Radnor’s defense allowed six touchdowns and 413 total yards. Junior quarterback Sean Mullarkey threw for 99 yards and a touchdown, while running for a team-high 58 yards on 10 carries.
The Royals played reasonably well on defense in their loss to Springfield. The front seven, in particular, limited a potent Springfield ground game to only 85 yards on 31 carries. Wide receiver Nasir Greer led the way offensively with four catches and 85 yards, including a touchdown.
Perkiomen Valley (1-1) at Interboro (2-1), 7
The Bucs don’t necessarily have it easier this week after last Saturday’s brutal loss to Neumann-Goretti at the South Philadelphia Supersite. The positive, if you’re Interboro, is that Perk Valley is coming off an embarrassing loss of its own, a 28-0 shellacking at the hands of Pennridge. Quarterback Cole Peterlin was 17 of 27 for 133 yards, but with two interceptions. PV was outgained on offense, 460-184.
The Bucs would prefer to forget their 54-25 setback in Week 3. AFter jumping out to a 25-6, second-quarter lead, Neumann-Goretti rattled off 48 unanswered points. Kalie Kuyateh paced the Bucs with 128 yards on the ground with three TDs.
Cardinal O’Hara (3-0) vs Bishop McDevitt (3-0) at Cheltenham H.S., 7
The Lions passed their nonleague tests with aplomb, blowing out a pair of Public League foes before last Friday’s 24=6 victory over Chester. O’Hara has outscored its opponents, 111-6. In the win over Chester, Jamir Redd took a fumble recovery 76 yards to the end zone, while senior quarterback Bobby Siderio rushed for 74 yards and a touchdown.
McDevitt destroyed Valley Forge Military Academy, 56-14. Like the Lions, the Lancers haven’t played a very competitive nonleague schedule. Jon-Luke Peaker has been unstoppable. He leads the Philadelphia Catholic League with 519 rushing yards, to go with five touchdowns.
Top photo: Dash Dulgerian, who leads Delco in receiving yardage, leads 2-1 Marple Newtown into battle against Ridley (1-2) Friday night.
(Digital First Media/Pete Bannan)