Reporter/Times Herald Area Week 13 Football Previews
North Penn will look to continue its winning ways against Downingtown West when the two programs square off for the fourth time in the postseason Friday night at Crawford Stadium in a District 1-6A Semifinal.
Kickoff is at 7 p.m.
The two squads haven’t met in postseason play since 2008, but the Knights won that game along with two other playoff meetings — 2006 and 2002 — and are 3-0 lifetime against D-West in the postseason.
North Penn aims to advance to its third district final in the last four years and 13th overall — all under coach Dick Beck.
The top-seeded Knights come into this one a perfect 12-0, with their defense riding high. Evan Spann picked off a pass in the final minutes against Neshaminy and returned it all the way for a clinching touchdown to send the Knights to the semis.
North Penn has also been using tough running by Shamar Edwards and timely passing by quarterback Solomon Robinson to advance deep into the postseason once again.
Fourth-seeded Downingtown West comes into this one at 12-1, its only loss coming against No. 2 Coatesville, which squares off against No. 3 Garnet Valley in the other semifinal.
The Whippets gave up 331 rushing yards to Truman last week but rallied from 14 back and stayed alive with a last-minute, 39-yard field goal by kicker Dan Byrnes. Quarterback Ryan Wetzel hit Jackson Luneberg for a 31-yard connection to set up the game-winning kick.
Although the two squads seldom meet, they — at one time — used to open the season against one another.
North Penn defeated what was then Downingtown 14-7 in the 1988 season opener. The Whippets won the next three meetings. Playoffs included, NP is 4-3 lifetime against Downingtown West.
District 1-6A Semifinals
(4) Downingtown West at
(1) North Penn
Time/Place: 7 p.m. Friday, North Penn High School.
Records: Downingtown West is 12-1 overall and 5-1 in the Ches-Mont National. North Penn is 12-0 and 6-0 in the SOL Continental.
On Twitter: @khunter10 and @mpcabrey.
On the Air: The game will be broadcast on the radio on WNPV 98.5 FM/1440 AM.
Last Week: The Knights won a defensive battle with Neshaminy, 13-6. The Whippets won in dramatic fashion over Truman, 24-22.
Up Next: The winner advances to next week’s district final against No. 2 Coatesville or No. 3 Garnet Valley.
Last Meeting: The Knights rolled to a 51-21 win over the Whippets in the 2008 district semis.
Playoff History: The Knights and Whippets met two other times in the postseason, both contests won by North Penn. NP prevailed 21-17 over West in the 2006 district quarters and 35-12 in the 2002 quarters, over what was then Downingtown.
Players to Watch: Evan Spann made the big play for the Knights last week, coming up with a clinching interception and touchdown return against Neshaminy. West kicker Dan Byrnes drilled a 39-yard, game-winning field goal in the finals seconds against Truman.
Prediction: North Penn 28, Downingtown West 14.
District 1-5A Semifinals
(11) Unionville at
(2) Upper Dublin
Time/Place: 7 p.m. Friday, Upper Dublin High School.
Records: Unionville is 6-6 overall and 4-1 in the Ches-Mont American. Upper Dublin is 10-1 overall and 6-0 in the SOL American.
On Twitter: @emor09.
Last Week: The Indians stunned third-seeded Radnor, 28-7. The Cardinals shut out Cheltenham, 27-0.
Up Next: The winner advances to next week’s district final against top-seeded Penn Wood or No. 5 West Chester Rustin.
Players to Watch: The Cardinals racked up 293 rushing yards last week, including 96 by versatile quarterback, Mike Slivka. Meanwhile, running back Connor Schilling gained 174 yards on the ground for Unionville last week.
Prediction: Upper Dublin 33, Unionville 20.
Class 5A City Title
Archbishop Wood at
Time/Place: 1 p.m. Saturday, Northeast High School.
Records: Archbishop Wood is 7-3 overall and 4-2 in the Philadelphia Catholic League Red Division. Simon Gratz is 5-5 overall and 3-2 in the Philly Public League.
On Twitter: @khunter10.
Last Week: The Vikings held off Archbishop Ryan, 24-17. The Bulldogs advanced with a 14-6 win over Martin Luther King.
Up Next: The winner advances to next week’s PIAA-5A Quarterfinals, to take on Hollidaysburg or Wallenpaupack.
Players to Watch: Running back Tom Santiago scored the go-ahead touchdown last week for the Vikings and had two scores in all in the victory. Jordan Mariney is a speedy wide receiver for the Bulldogs.
Prediction: Archbishop Wood 31, Simon Gratz 7.