Week 2 game capsules: Tough test for the Downingtowns

Week two of the scholastic football season is full of nonleague games. Two of the better ones feature the two powerful Downingtown squads, which both had impressive opening week victories.
Tonight, Downingtown West, fresh off a 41-3 rout of Haverford High, travel up the Pennsylvania Turnpike to take on Neshaminy (1-0), while on Saturday, Downingtown East heads to South Philadelphia to take on Roman Catholic.
Downingtown West head coach Mike Milano, who traveled to north Jersey last week to view the Redskins defeating Montclair, 37-31, knows that Neshaminy will be a strong foe.
“Neshaminy came from behind against a team that has 25 New Jersey state titles, including the last two,” Milano said. “Neshaminy showed great resolve throughout the game. They are very big up front on both lines. Their quarterback (Mason Jones, who threw for 1,147 passing yards last season, started last year as a sophomore and is now a playmaker for them both as a passer and a runner.
“They lost an all state running back (D’Andre Pollard) to Villanova, but his replacement is a real workhorse. They have multiple packages of skill players and they run a two tight end, no tight end spread and full house backfield sets. Their receivers are all in the 6-foot-5, range and both can run. Their defense is stout again this year from their base 4-3 cover three alignment.
“Montclair scored on an interception return and a punt return and another of their scores resulted after a turnover gave them a very short field. This will be a real test for us and another great interleague District 1 football game.”
Will Dogba ran 172 yards last week and Jones accounted for 214 yards and two scores.
The Whippets had about a dream of a start as you can think of in the opener. QB Thomas Mattioni was a perfect 6-for-6 in the first half with a couple of TDs. West has multiple weapons that can hurt you and the defense limited Haverford to just three points. So the defensive woes that dogged the Whippets last season may have gone away
Pick: The Redskins are especially tough at Heartbreak Ridge where they do not lose often, but they lose tonight. Downingtown West 34, Neshaminy 21.
The Cougars (1-0) visit Roman Catholic (0-1) on Saturday after having an easy time against Frankford, winning 37-6. Running back Jack Kincade rushed for 110 yards and a TD behind the talented East frontwall.
Coach Mike Matta has played Roman the last three years and he talked about his opponent.
“Roman is always a very physical football team,” coach Mike Matta said. “They have some excellent skill kids and their quarterback (Phil DiWilliams) set a city record for passing yards. We have to cut down on some of the mistakes we made against Frankford last week to be successful against Roman.”
Roman looks to rebound after losing to West Catholic in New Jersey last week.
Pick: Although the game is at Roman, the East offensive line should be the difference as Kincade and quarterback Saunders Healy should both have big days. Downingtown East 31, Roman Catholic 14.
Friday’s games
West Chester Henderson (1-0) at West Chester Rustin, (0-1), 7 p.m.
The first battle of West Chester in the 2015 campaign has the host Golden Knights coming off a 28-14 loss to Harry S. Truman. Henderson defeated Chester in its opener. Henderson is a young team that has a good defensive line, and that will be key when you play Rustin. Sophomore C.J. Preston gained 126 yards for the Warriors.
Pick: It is never a good time to play Rustin, but getting them after a rare loss can’t help the young Warriors. West Chester Rustin 34, West Chester Henderson 20.
Bishop Shanahan (0-1) at Pleasantville (N.J.) (0-0), 7 p.m.
The Eagles played a very good second half against Germantown Academy after digging themselves a 16-0 hole at halftime. Quarterback Nick Skulski showed some good passing ability and should give the hosts fits through the air. Doug Costin had 15 tackles against GA and should open some eyes down in Atlantic City. The Greyhounds were picked to finish seventh in the eight-team Cape-Atlantic League National Division. They finished 0-10 in 2014.
Pick: Bishop Shanahan 28, Pleasantville 13
H.D. Woodson (DC) (1-1) at Coatesville (1-0), 7 p.m.
Woodson had a 8-2 record last season and they have enough starters back to give the Red Raiders a game. They come in at 1-1 having lost to St. Mary’s Ryken of Maryland.  Quarterback Jordan Young, who threw for 180 yards and two scores against Martin Luther King, should be the difference here.
Pick: Coatesville 30, Woodson 14
Episcopal Academy (48-14) at Conestoga (1-0), 7 p.m.
Conestoga torched Owen J. Roberts for 41 points last week. Episcopal Academy soundly defeated Wyoming Seminary. The Churchmen are big up front and have one of the best backs around in Dee Barley, who has more than 1,900 yards in his two years at the school. This is a tough nonleague game for Conestoga and a real test for the defense.
Pick: Conestoga 28, Episcopal Academy 24
Owen J. Roberts (0-1) at Great Valley (1-0), 7 p.m.
Great Valley came on late to defeat Phoenixville, 28-19, last Saturday. Quarterback Robert Geiss should be able to pick apart the Wildcats enough to get a home win. Junior running back Mark DeRobertis had a real big game against Phoenixville with 24 carries for 123 and an interception return for a TD.
Pick: Great Valley 24, Owen J. Roberts 14
Kennett (0-1) at West Chester East (0-1), 7 p.m.
Both defenses were shredded for lot of yards and points last week. The task isn’t any easier for the Blue Demons as they face prolific Vikings QB Jon Jon Roberts, although he had a subpar game against Academy Park. Kennett will try to get its offense going after gaining just 163 total yards versus Avon Grove.
Pick: West Chester East 38, Kennett 20
Malvern Prep (1-0) at Holy Spirit (NJ), 7 p.m.
Malvern had a week to savor its impressive 37-0 victory over Illinois’ St. Rita at Soldier Field. Holy Spirit is always one of the better teams in New Jersey, but are rebuilding after losing double-digit starters from last season. Malvern should they could be very explosive and put up scores in bunches behind Zac Fernandez and QB Nick Maras.
Pick: Malvern Prep 27, Holy Spirit 14
Octorara (0-1) at Daniel Boone (1-0), 7 p.m.
The Braves put up a real good effort in their opening week 46-41 loss to a good Fleetwood team. Daniel Boone is always tough at home and the home team should prevail here, especially after pitching a shutout against Cocalico in Week 1.
Pick: Daniel Boone 24, Octorara 14
Avon Grove (1-0) at Oxford (0-1), 7 p.m.
Break up the Red Devils. Avon Grove snapped a 20-game losing streak with a resounding 42-7 win over Kennett. Running back Nate Jones went wild, scoring five touchdowns and gaining 245 yards on the ground on just 14 carries. The defense allowed only 95 yards rushing. Oxford’s new triple-option attack was held to 79 total yards in a 50-6 loss to Solanco.
Pick: Avon Grove 35, Oxford 27
Exeter (1-0) at Unionville (1-0), 7 p.m.
This is the second stop on the Indians’ redemption tour. Last season, Exeter trounced Unionville, and returns arguably the best offensive lineman in the state in 6-foot-5, 285-pound Penn State recruit Micah Menet. Unionville has some big, talented lineman of its own, and should eke out a close win.
Pick: Unionville 21, Exeter 20

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