With three weeks left in the regular season, drama is building in the Central League.
Garnet Valley (7-0) and Springfield (7-0) will meet next week in what could be the game that decides the championship. The Jaguars should have little trouble with Harriton this week, but the Cougars face a far tougher challenge on the road against Marple Newtown (4-3). The Tigers gave the Jaguars everything they could handle in a 34-31 loss last Friday.
Elsewhere, the Del Val League heats up as Academy Park (4-2) hosts Glen Mills (2-4) and Chichester (3-3) travels to Penn Wood (5-2) Friday night. Interboro (3-4) will look to reach the .500 mark Saturday morning at Chester (2-5).
Here is breakdown of the top-five games to watch this weekend:
Conwell-Egan (3-4) at Cardinal O’Hara (5-1), 6
The Lions continue to demolish teams. Last week’s 31-0 thumping of Lansdale Catholic marked their fourth shutout of the season. Two of O’Hara’s scores came via the defense as Taseer Jones returned an interception 91 yards to paydirt, and Justin Santilla returned a fumble 47 yards to the end zone. O’Hara’s defensive unit has 19 takeaways and five touchdowns, while holding opposing offenses to 95.5 yards per game. Of the Lions’ five wins, four have come by way of shutout.
Nick Kutufaris ran for a season-high 126 yards and a touchdown in the win over LC. Jones added 80 yards on 10 carries.
The Eagles have won two of their last three games, including a 30-3 rout of Bishop McDevitt last week. Star running back Patrick Garwo amassed 177 yards and three touchdowns.
Springfield (7-0) at Marple Newtown (4-3), 7
Ja’Den McKenzie rushed for two TDs and Jack Psenicska was 4-for-4 for 66 yards and two touchdowns as the Cougars made quick work of Harriton last week, 42-8. Geo Dotscias came off the bench to add a TD run.
This is the first of three consecutive road challenges for the Cougars, who are No. 2 in the Daily Times Super 7. After Marple Newtown, the No. 2-ranked Cougars travel to Garnet Valley (7-0) and Haverford (6-1) to wrap up the regular season.
The Tigers showed plenty of fight in a 34-31 loss to undefeated Garnet Valley. All-Delco quarterback Anthony Paoletti threw for 252 yards and a pair of touchdowns to wide receiver Dash Dulgerian (six catches, 170 yards). Marlon Weathers amassed 119 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. In the loss to Garnet Valley, Paoletti became the county’s career passing leader, surpassing his head coach, Chris Gicking.
Chichester (3-3) at Penn Wood (5-2), 7
The Eagles hung tough with Interboro last Friday, but suffered a 31-28 defeat. Andrew Rodriguez completed 16 of 28 pass attempts for three touchdowns. Andre Dean (four catches, 81 yards) had two TD receptions and Rashaad Shaw added five catches for 59 yards and a score.
The Patriots will play their first night game of the year at Kerr Field. They are riding a five-game winning streak as the No. 5-ranked team in the county. Kennedy Poles hauled in three catches for 123 yards and two TDs in the Patriots’ 20-14 win at Glen Mills.
Upper Darby (5-2) at Strath Haven (4-3), 7:30
The Royals could be the most underrated team in Delaware County. Last Friday they posted their fourth consecutive win with a 34-7 rout of Penncrest. During their winning streak the Royals are averaging 37.8 points per game. Senior quarterback Josh Gouch threw for 146 yards and a score and ran for 108 yards and two TDs. Senior running back Quaran Davis chipped in with 60 yards on eight carries and a TD.
The Panthers pummelled Conestoga, 44-7, for their second straight victory. Zack Hussein ran for 102 yards and two TDs, while Ethan Belville scored on a 46-yard fumble return.
Episcopal Academy (3-2) at Springside Chestnut Hill (4-2)
The Churchmen were plagued by penalties in their loss at Salesianum (Del.), 28-20. Maurcus McDaniel threw for 160 yards and two scores, and added 84 yards on the ground. DeeWil Barlee ran for 130 yards and a TD.
Springside Chestnut Hill saw its four-game winning streak fall by the wayside with a 25-24 loss to Northeast High. Ke’Shawn Williams is an exciting talent at wide receiver for the Blue Devils, averaging 17.4 yards per reception with two touchdown catches.