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District 1 playoffs start with a beauty: Pennridge vs. Quakertown

Pennridge quarterback Zak Kantor looks to pass during the Rams' game against Central Bucks South on Friday, Oct. 20, 2017. (Debby High/For Digital First Media)

Thanksgiving comes early this year as Pennridge will open the postseason against its old rival, Quakertown, in the first round of the District 1-6A Playoffs.

Kickoff is 7 p.m. Friday at Helman Field.

The seventh-seeded Rams come into this one on a five-game winning streak, finishing the regular season with a record of 8-2, including a 5-1 mark in the Suburban One League Continental Conference.

Pennridge, No. 10 in this week’s Pa. Prep Live Top 20, got by Central Bucks East in the regular-season finale last week, 28-12.

The 10th-seeded Panthers, who have won five out of their last six, completed the regular season with a 42-23 victory over Plymouth Whitemarsh. Quakertown is now 7-2 overall, finishing 5-1 in the SOL American.

Upper Dublin’s Anthony Cerminara makes a grab for Quakertown’s Christian Morano during their game on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. (Bob Raines/Digital First Media)

The last meeting between the two came in the annual Thanksgiving Day battle, with Pennridge rolling to a 55-27 victory in 2016. The last time the two squads played twice in one year was in 2014, with Quakertown taking both that fall — 14-10 in the playoffs and then 8-7 in the Turkey Day battle.

The ground game will be key for both squads Friday night at Helman.

Evan Exner and Nick Tarburton were part of a robust ground attack last week for the Rams while Michael Terra gained over 100 yards in the victory for Quakertown.

Tim Shevlin is the big-play receiver for Quakertown and will have to be accounted for. Quarterback Brad Bryan looked sharp last week for the Panthers, completing seven of his 10 passes.

In addition to piling up 356 rushing yards last week, Pennridge got a solid performance out of quarterback Zak Kantor, who threw two touchdown passes against East.

The winner of this game advances to next week’s district quarterfinals, to take on either No. 2 Perk Valley or No. 15 Penn Wood.

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