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PETE’S PICKS: Malvern Prep ready for big test vs. McDonogh in Maryland

Week 4 is already upon us, and the Ches-Mont League swings into action, while West Chester East goes for its fourth straight victory with a tough trip to Sun Valley.

But, likely the most competitive game of the weekend is taking place in Maryland, where Malvern Prep travels to play nationally ranked McDonough School.

Malvern Prep at McDonogh School (Md.)

McDonogh is coming off a 14-13 loss to Berks Catholic, so the hosts will be extra motivated to defeat one of the best teams in Pennsylvania.

Friar head coach Dave Gueriera talked about what a challenge McDonough will be.

“McDonogh is a very complete team,” Gueriera said. “They play physical and they play very fast. They are very well coached and the kids are ready to play every single week.”

Malvern Prep gets University of Delaware running back recruit Quincy Watson back after he missed the first two games. Watson is a fifth year senior and is not allowed to play against PIAA schools. The Friars are coming off a very impressive 35-23 win over La Salle in a game where quarterback Drew Gunther threw for 240 yards.

Pick: Malvern Prep 28, McDonogh School 21

West Chester East at Sun Valley

West Chester East piled up 302 yards rushing against Rustin last week, and besides running the football, the Vikings have been playing good defense, led by Tim Clifford and Mike Gray.

Sun Valley scored 88 points in its first two wins before losing to Cardinal O’Hara last week. Vanguards running back Julz Kelly will have to be contained by the Vikings.

Pick: West Chester East 28, Sun Valley 17

Avon Grove at Downingtown East

Avon Grove defeated Unionville for the first time in nine years last week, while Downingtown East blew out Roman Catholic. Cougar quarterback Luke Davis threw for two touchdowns and rushed for two more in the win against Roman Catholic.

Pick: Downingtown East 31, Avon Grove 14

Coatesville at Bishop Shanahan

Coatesville has done almost everything right so far in compiling a 3-0 record. Bishop Shanahan lost a heartbreaker to Daniel Boone, 39-33, last week. The Eagles are a young team and will not be able to stop the trio of Ricky Ortega, Aaron Young and Dapree Bryant. Coatesville is averaging 43 points per game and should reach that number Friday night.

Pick: Coatesville 49, Bishop Shanahan 7.

Downingtown West at West Chester Henderson

On paper this looks like a mismatch, as the undefeated Whippets take on the winless Warriors. Downingtown West has a very impressive running back in Tyriq Lewis to go along with quarterback Will Howard and receivers Dan Byrnes and Jackson Luneberg. Lewis rushed for 11 yards on just 17 carries and Luneberg caught six balls for 122 yards in the Whippets’ 35-14 wipeout of Neshaminy.

Pick: Downingtown West 42, West Chester Henderson 7

Unionville at Great Valley

This is a very important game for two struggling football teams. Unionville lost a close one to Avon Grove last week and the Indians can ill afford another loss if they want to qualify for the District 1 Class 5A playoffs. Great Valley has dropped its last two games, to Chester and Academy Park. Unionville has had trouble scoring points so far this season.

Pick: Unionville 21, Great Valley 14

West Chester Rustin at Kennett

This is a bad week to be playing Rustin, as the Golden Knights will be in a foul mood after losing to West Chester East, 31-21, last week. The Golden Knights gave up more than 270 yards rushing in the loss to the Vikings.

Pick: West Chester Rustin 34, Kennett 17

Oxford at Penn Wood

Both teams are undefeated, and the Patriots are very tough at home, but I like Oxford and Hornets quarterback Brett Kochmansky is a play-maker. I like the upset here.

Pick: Oxford 24, Penn Wood 21

Conestoga at Strath Haven

Conestoga is 0-3 and the Pioneers are having trouble throwing the football effectively. Strath Haven is a mediocre team, but unless Conestoga running back Milton Robinson has a monster game, I like the home team.

Pick: Strath Haven 28, Conestoga 14

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