Mercury-Area Week 12 Preview Capsules

Friday’s games


Pottsgrove FalconsPOTTSGROVE (8-3) at SPRINGFIELD-DELCO (11-0), 7 p.m.Spring-field Delco Cougars

Last week: Fourth seed Pottsgrove defeated fifth seed Academy Park 13-12; top seed Springfield-Delco downed eighth seed Interboro 27-6.

Falcons facts/figures: Making eighth straight district semifinal appearance; lost 27-26 to Academy Park last year. … Seeking to return to final for first time since 2011, when Pottsgrove topped Phoenixville 42-13 for the 1-AAA crown. … Got dogged defensive performance last week, with Chris DeFrancesco collecting two sacks and Patrick Finn and Kysan Harrow notching one apiece. … QB Torin Verdone (1,237 passing yards, 16 TDs) ranks No. 1 in area in passing efficiency, RB Devon Fink is second in the area with 1,134 rushing yards and 13 TDs and WR Mike Fowler leads area in receiving yardage (853) and TD catches (11) while also leading the defensive secondary. … OT/DT Patrick Finn, a Bucknell commit, leads team with 91 tackles and three pancake blocks. … 26th-year coach Rick Pennypacker has a 211-88-3 career mark. … Losses were all to Quad-A teams with a combined 26-5 mark: Ben Franklin (41-7 in Week 1), Methacton (20-7 in Week 4) and Perkiomen Valley (49-21 in Week 9).

Cougars facts/figures: Ranked No. 9 in state in Class AAA by Pennsylvania Football News. … Defense forced six turnovers last week (including two interceptions by Mike Fleagle and one apiece by Pat Smyth and Lucas Spence), while Collin Braconnier rushed for 144 yards and Fleagle contributed a 24-yard TD reception. … Linemen Josh Sweeney, Brian Layden (21 sacks) Matt Cella and Dan Arhcibong and linebackers Adam Krauter and Ricky Sterling lead daunting defensive front for first-year coach Chris Britton. … QB Brian Allen is dangerous whether throwing (1,067, 12 TDs) or running (820 yards, 10 TDs) the ball.

Quotable: “They (the Cougars) are a great football team; they’re fast, strong, physical and disciplined,’ Pennypacker said. “They have some great skill players, and their front seven is probably as good as we’ve seen all year. We’re going to have to play great defense and play our brand of football.’

Other semifinal: No. 3 seed Bishop Shanahan (8-3) at No. 2 seed Great Valley (10-1).


DANIEL BOONE (7-4) at MILTON HERSHEY (9-2), 7 p.m.

Last week: 14th seed Daniel Boone defeated third seed Lampeter-Strasburg 34-14; 11th seed Milton Hershey beat No. 7 seed Gettysburg 27-14.

Blazers facts/figures: Making first quarterfinal appearance since 2011, when Boone fell to Wilson 27-7 in 3-AAAA quarters. … RB Paul Galanti rushed for 146 yards and one TD last week to take over the area lead with 1,173 yards. … WR Jonathon Charles has been a big-play threat down the stretch, recording at least three catches in each of the past six games and totalling 755 receiving yards to go along with a gaudy 26.0 yards-per-reception average. … Have enjoyed satisfying gradual ascent under third-year coach Bill Parks, going 10-6 over their past 16 games after losing 12 of the first 15 games of Parks’ tenure. … DE tandem of Cinque Ramsey (nine sacks) and Darius Hinton (seven sacks) both among area leaders, while senior MLB Jon Passifione quarterbacks the defense.

Spartans facts/figures: Have won 10 of 11 since season-opening 36-7 loss to Central Dauphin East. Lone other defeat came in Week 7 (41-27 at the hands of Boiling Springs). … QB Keonte Lucas ran for 169 yards and two touchdowns last week to increase his team-high rushing total to 1,140 yards (with 12 TDs). He has also thrown for 847 yards and 11 scores. … RB Qwasif Shabazz (827 yards) and WR Keith Hunter (29 receptions, 545 yards, nine TDs) are the other top weapons for coach Jeff Boger. … LB Mark Johnson had a 40-yard interception return for a TD last week. … Mid-Penn Capital Division champions. … Defeated Boone’s Berks League Section 1 foe Muhlenberg 27-7 in Week 2 (the Blazers beat the Muhls 21-7 in Week 5).

Quotable: “Their speed and athleticism is definitely our biggest concern,’ Parks said. “We need to play ball-control and fundamentally sound and execute our assignments. We have our work cut out for us; it doesn’t get any easier this time of the year.’

Other quarterfinals: No. 8 Manheim Central (8-3) at No. 1 Bishop McDevitt (11-0), Saturday, 1 p.m.; No. 13 Conrad Weiser (7-4) at No. 5 Red Land (8-3), Friday, 7 p.m.; No. 7 Cocalico (8-3) No. 2 West York (10-1), Friday, 7 p.m.


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