In addition to the highly anticipated Springfield-Garnet Valley matchup, which you can read more about in the Football Friday feature article, here are five games to watch this weekend:
Academy Park (5-2) at Penn Wood (6-2), 7
The winner earns at least a share of the Del Val League championship. The Patriots, winners of six in a row, haven’t claimed the title since 2010. Both teams began the year with two consecutive defeats.
In last week’s 40-0 rout of Chichester, Patriots sophomore quarterback Desman Johnson Jr. passed for a school-record 334 yards. Kennedy Poles had five catches for 189 yards and a touchdown, while Rahiem Bowens snagged six balls for 118 yards and a score. Bowens also returned a kickoff 81 yards to the house.
The Knights received an outstanding performance by quarterback Skylor Fillis in last week’s 34-0 blanking of Glen Mills. Fillis was 10-for-13 with 180 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for three scores.
Glen Mills (2-5) at Interboro (4-4), 7
This game features two clubs headed in the opposite directions. The Bulls have dropped two straight decisions following a shutout of Chester three weeks ago. In last Friday’s loss to Academy Park, GM mustered only 125 yards of total offense and turned the ball over three times. Leading rusher Quadir Gibson was held to 67 yards on 21 carries.
Following a four-game skid, the Bucs have reeled off three consecutive wins, including a 27-20 triumph at Chester last Saturday. Kalie Kuyateh eclipsed the 100-yard plateau for the first time in more than a month, while Joe Forte added 81 yards on 12 carries. Quarterback Jared Dellipriscoli ran for two scores and threw a touchdown pass to tight end Brett McLaughlin.
Malvern (2-4) at Episcopal (4-2), 7
How can Malvern and Episcopal exceed last season’s thriller. Connor Ringwalt’s 29-yard field goal as time expired hit the top of the left post and went over the crossbar to give the Churchmen a memorable, 37-34 victory.
EA is coming off an impressive 21-7 win over Springside Chestnut Hill Academy. DeeWil Barlee rushed for 189 yards and three TDs, giving him 862 yards and 14 TDs on the year. Milton Mamula registered five sacks to lead a vaunted defensive effort. Episcopal is No. 3 in the Super 7.
The Friars snapped a four-game slide with a 23-9 decision over Penn Charter. O’Shaan Allison rushed for 171 yards and quarterback Drew Gunther was 11-for-14 for 75 yards and a touchdown.
Neumann-Goretti (6-0) at Cardinal O’Hara (5-1), 7
If the Lions want to repeat as Catholic League Blue Division, they’ll have to solve the Saints, who have outscored opponents, 206-58. O’Hara’s top-ranked defense, which has allowed three touchdowns all year, will be tested against quarterback Chris Britt (760 yards, seven TDs), running back Leddie Brown (459 yards, six TDs) and wide receiver Jaron Macon (15 catches, 295 yards, four TDs).
Tyric Gould, Jamir Redd, Josh MaCalister-Afflick and Justin Santilla have fueled an O’Hara defense that has posted 20 takeaways while limiting opposing offenses to 139 yards per game. Running back Taseer Jones continued his recent surge in last week’s 20-13 win over Conwell-Egan, rushing for 191 yards and a touchdown.
Strath Haven (4-4) at Radnor (4-4), 7
The Panthers and Raiders are neck and neck in the District 1 Class 5A power rankings, in 11th and 12th place, respectively. Each team has an outside shot at earning a first-round home playoff game.
Strath Haven looks to rebound after a 21-7 defeat to Upper Darby, which has won five in a row. Zack Hussein led the way on offense with 84 yards rushing.
Radnor was shut out by Haverford, 10-0, and has scored only six points in its last two games. Defensively, though, the Raiders have been very effective in recent weeks. They are holding teams to six points per game over their last five contests.
Top photo: Academy Park’s Nate Holmes breaks from the pack during a game earlier this season. (Digital First Media/Pete Bannan)