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Reporter/Times Herald Football: Old rivals North Penn, Neshaminy clash in District 1-6A quarterfinals

North Penn's Shamar Edwards (8) leaps in the air to pick up extra yards during the Knights' game against Neshaminy on Friday, Aug. 24, 2018. (John Blaine/For 21st Century Media)

Two old friends will get together just in time for the holiday season, as North Penn hosts Neshaminy Friday in a District 1-6A Quarterfinal at Wissahickon High School.

Kickoff is at 7 p.m.

The top-seeded Knights come into this one unbeaten at 11-0, fresh off a 26-16 victory over Ridley in the opening round. The No. 8 Skins are 8-3 overall and made it into the quarters by virtue of a 35-7 rout of Haverford.

The two teams are back where it all began.

The Knights and Skins began their seasons with a double-overtime thriller at Heartbreak Ridge, with North Penn stopping a two-point attempt by Neshaminy to hold on, 34-33. Julian White’s tackle helped lock it up for NP.

The two teams have been doing this for a while, since “Pac-Man Fever” rocked the airwaves. The Knights and Skins first met in 1982, with North Penn winning a 19-6 decision.

The rivalry has endured.

Since then, the two squads have met eight times in the postseason. And both know how to land the knockout punch: the average margin of victory in those eight playoff games was 25 points.

The Knights took five of those eight decisions, including a 28-7 victory over the Skins in the 2015 district semis.

North Penn’s defense had a shutout going into the fourth quarter last week and gained big chunks of yardage on the ground: Shamar Edwards ran for over 100 yards and caught a 62-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Solomon Robinson. Neshaminy also had a big night in the trenches, paving the way for Chris James’ 159 yards and a score.

The winner of this contest punches its ticket to the district’s final four, to take on the winner of the No. 4 Downingtown West and No. 5 Truman contest.

(8) Neshaminy at (1) North Penn (District 1-6A Quarterfinals)
Time/Place: 7 p.m. Friday, Wissahickon High School.
Records: Neshaminy is 8-3 overall and finished 5-1 in the Suburban One League National Conference. North Penn is 11-0 and finished 6-0 in the SOL Continental.
On Twitter: @khunter10.
On the Air: The game will be broadcast on the radio on WNPV 98.5 FM/1440 AM.
Last Week: The Knights’ defense dominated in a 26-16 win over RIdley. The Skins rolled over Haverford, 35-7.
Up Next: The winner advances to next week’s semifinals against No. 4 Downingtown West or No. 5 Truman.
Last Meeting: North Penn won an opening-night thriller, holding off the Skins in double overtime, 34-33.
Playoff History: This is the ninth playoff meeting between the two, with North Penn holding a 5-3 edge in the series. The last postseason contest between the Knights and Skins was in 2015, with NP prevailing, 28-7, in the district semis.
Players to Watch: Knights running back Shamar Edwards ran for over 100 yards last week and also caught a 62-yard touchdown pass. The Skins’ Chris James rumbled for 159 yards and a touchdown last week.
Prediction: North Penn 27, Neshaminy 22.

(7) Cheltenham at (2) Upper Dublin (District 1-5A Quarterfinals)
Time/Place: 7 p.m. Friday, Upper Dublin High School.
Records: Cheltenham is 8-3 overall and is 4-2 in the SOL American. Upper Dublin is 9-1 overall and finished 6-0 in the SOL American.
On Twitter: @emor09.
Last Week: The Panthers prevailed, 28-21, over West Chester East. The Cardinals began districts with a 41-12 rout of Phoenixville.
Up Next: The winner advances to the semifinals against either No. 3 Radnor or No. 11 Unionville.
Last Meeting: Upper Dublin won 20-7 over Cheltenham in the regular season.
Players to Watch: Lucas Roselli ran for three touchdowns and had four in all for Upper Dublin last week. Nate Edwards provides a spark in the special teams for the Panthers — he took the opening kick back for a score last week.
Prediction: Upper Dublin 25, Cheltenham 20.

La Salle vs. St. Joseph’s Prep (Philadelphia Catholic League 6A Final)
Time/Place: 7 p.m. Friday, Northeast High School.
Records: La Salle is 5-5 overall and finished 3-2 in the Philadelphia Catholic League Red Division. St. Joe’s is 8-0 overall and 5-0 in the PCL Red.
On Twitter: @mpcabrey.
Last Week: The Explorers romped, 49-22 over Father Judge. The Hawks blanked Roman Catholic, 38-0.
Last Meeting: St. Joe’s was a 49-12 winner over La Salle in the regular season.
Players to Watch: Explorers running back Samuel Brown racked up 160 yards and a touchdown last week. Marques Mason is a dangerous running back for the Hawks.
Prediction: St. Joseph’s Prep 42, La Salle 21.

Archbishop Ryan vs. Archbishop Wood (Philadelphia Catholic League 5A Final)
Time/Place: 7 p.m. Friday, William Tennent High School.
Records: Ryan is 7-3 overall and 2-3 in the PCL Red. Wood is 6-3 overall and 4-2 in the PCL Red.
On Twitter: @ADRobinson3.
Last Week: Both teams were idle.
Last Meeting: Wood prevailed, 27-7 over Ryan in the regular season.
Players to Watch: Versatile quarterback Jahlil Sanders directs the Raider attack. The Vikings can give the ball to Tom Santiago and expect big gains.
Prediction: Wood 35, Ryan 17.



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