This weekend marks the kickoff of divisional play in the Catholic League.
In the Central League, Garnet Valley, Radnor and Springfield look to remain perfect.
Meanwhile the Del Val League squads continue nonleague competition as the start of conference play is still two weeks away.
Here are this week’s games to watch:
Ridley (0-3) at Radnor (3-0), 7 p.m.
When was the last time Radnor was considered a favorite against Ridley?
Last week the Raiders pummelled Harriton, 42-8. That came on the heels of a thrilling overtime win at Marple Newtown.
Running back Matt Cohen is the second-leading rusher in Delco with 383 yards. Sean Mullarkey is among the county leaders in passing yardage (41), touchdowns (five) and efficiency rating (170.64). Wide receiver Jahmair Rider is averaging 15 yards per catch.
It’s unusual for the Green Raiders to be playing out the string, but here they are. Barring a minor miracle and running of the table, they will miss the District 1 Class 6A postseason for the second year in a row. First things first: get in the win column.
Ridley came oh-so-close to upsetting Springfield last week, but fell in three overtimes, 17-16. Trailing 17-10, Hassan Chandler plowed into the end zone from a yard out. Instead of kicking the extra point, Ridley opted to go for the win … but Elijah Yakpasuo was stopped before getting across the goal line.
While the offense lagged behind, Ridley’s defense held Springfield to just 166 yards of total offense. Nate Desmond excelled from the linebacker position.
Garnet Valley (3-0) at Marple Newtown (2-1), 7 p.m.
The Jaguars rallied in the fourth quarter, winning a defensive slugfest at Haverford, 14-7. Cole Palis’ touchdown pass to Rory McGlackin with 11 seconds to play was the difference. Evan Hrivnak and Cade Brennan powered a tremendous effort by the Garnet Valley defense. The Jags remain the No. 1 team in Delco.
The Tigers edged upstart Lower Merion, 21-20. All-Delco rusher Marlon Weathers ran for 150 yards and two TDs. Alden Mathes had eight catches for 105 yards.
West Chester East (3-0) at Sun Valley (2-1), 7 p.m.
Sun Valley wants to make a good first impression in the Ches-Mont League. In years past the Vanguards have impressed early in the season, only to falter against a stiff league schedule.
In their home opener, the Vanguards fell to Cardinal O’Hara, 21-7. All-Delco athlete Julz Kelly recorded his county-leading 10th touchdown of the season, but the Vanguards were held to a season-low 154 yards of total offense.
The Vikings downed West Chester Rustin last week, 31-21, as senior running back Pierre Marchant finished with 144 yards and three TDs.
Bishop McDevitt (2-1) at Cardinal O’Hara (2-0), 7 p.m.
The Lions cracked the Daily Times Super 7 this week (No. 7) following their win over Sun Valley. Quarterback Luke Sprague has been impressive and running back Keed Kpoto ran for 200 yards last week. It has been years since the Lions have established a potent ground attack. You’d have to go back to when the late Dan Algeo was coaching to find the Lions’ most recent 1,000-yard rusher.
Notwithstanding its success on offense, where O’Hara has really shined is on the other side of the ball. John Caponi (sack), Brandon Schumm (interception), Cole Sprague (interception), Louie Perri and Joe Kelly were among the standouts who helped contained Sun Valley’s high-octane offense. In two games O’Hara has forced six turnovers and is holding opposing rushers to a hair over three yards per carry.
Look out for McDevitt star running back Jon Luke Peaker, who has rushed for 486 yards in three games. He went for 189 yards and a touchdown in a 28-6 rout of Chester last Saturday.
Archbishop Carroll (2-0) vs. West Catholic (2-1), Noon
The Patriots were unable to start their home game with Boys’ Latin last week, which allowed them to set their sights on their Catholic League Blue Division one week earlier.
Senior athlete Koran Butler, senior athlete Josh Bowman and junior quarterback Russell Minor-Shaw have powered an offense that has produced 96 points and 954 yards in two games. Russell Minor-Shaw has thrown for a county-high six TDs. As a rusher, Bowman is churning out 14.1 yards per carry.
The Burrs have notched two consecutive victories following a season-opening setback to Pottsgrove. Zaire Hart-Hawkins threw for four touchdowns in last week’s 40-14 rout of Hudson Catholic (N.J.). Jacir Savoy paces WC’s rushing attack with 260 yards and four TDs.
The game will be played on West Catholic’s practice field on Drexel University’s campus at 4300 Powelton Ave. in Philadelphia.
Oxford (3-0) at Penn Wood (3-0), 7 p.m.
The Patriots are set to play their fourth consecutive game at Kerr Field. Well, three-and-a-half is more like it….
Last Friday night they led Council Rock North 8-0 at halftime and the game was never resumed. District 1 officials declared last Sunday that Penn Wood was the winner.
Elijah Gleplay ran for 87 yards and the game’s lone score. Junior quarterback Desman Johnson attempted only five passes last week, but still owns the best passer rating in the county (214.97). Kennedy Poles has more receiving yards (378) than anyone in Delco.
This is an intriguing matchup because both offenses have been explosive. Brett Kochmansky is a dual threat at quarterback for the Hornets, who are averaging 30.6 points per game. In a 28-9 triumph over Owen J. Roberts in Week 3, Kochmansky was 9 of 14 passing with 167 yards and gained 117 yards on the ground. Oxford put up 50 points two weeks ago against Interboro.
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