An early peek at playoff positioning for Lower Bucks schools

With Pennsbury and Neshaminy seemingly in great shape, and Council Rock South, Council Rock North and Truman all in contention, it’s not too early to start taking a look at the 16-team PIAA District 1 Class AAAA playoff picture.

Keeping in mind the power points will start appearing shortly, from this corner it looks like this will be one of the deepest districts in recent memory.

Consider you have Coatesville at 4-0 after it came up just short against Pennsbury in last year’s district final. Both Downingtown teams, West and East, are also 4-0 along with Upper Dublin and Perkiomen Valley.

Upper Dublin has been receiving particularly rave reviews and has avalanched its four opponents by a combined score of 177-34. Quakertown of the Sub One Continental Conference is also sitting at 4-0, although it did not play a particularly tough non-league schedule.

And then there are the Sub One National teams. Pennsbury is 3-1, but consider its loss was to Philadelphia Catholic League power La Salle.

North Penn at 2-2 also lost to La Salle and the Knights’ other setback was by a 28-24 score to Downingtown East. The lone blemish on Neshaminy’s record was a close call against Downingtown West.

Obviously, there are going to be some monster league collisions later in the year between Pennsbury, Neshaminy and North Penn, which seems to be rounding into its old form.

It’s also obvious to win the district is going to a very impressive achievement. Once it hits the quarterfinals it’s going to be one battle after another and many of the above teams are going to face a formidable opponent in the round of 16 because of the depth of the field.

Abington (0-4) at Pennsbury (3-1), Monday night, 7:00

There’s really not much to say about this game. It’s homecoming at Pennsbury and the chances of Abington ruining the night are remote to say the least. Showing some balance on offense with three TD passes by Mike Alley last week and its usual stifling defense, Pennsbury is really starting to hit its stride. Abington is winless and just got crushed on its home field by Neshaminy.

Bensalem (0-4) at Souderton (2-2), tonight, 7:00

The Owls did make a little offensive progress last week by scoring 16 points against C.B. South. Souderton was no match for Pennsbury last week, but you can’t read a lot into that. At this point it’s still more about improvement than wins and losses for Bensalem.

Bristol (2-2) at New Hope (4-0), Monday night, 7:00

This game could go a long way in determining the champion of the Bicentennial Athletic League. New Hope is 4-0 and has received superior play from a defense that has yielded just 26 points. Bristol just put 38 points on the board against Calvary Christian, a team New Hope beat, 21-6. It’s pretty simple: If the Warriors can run the ball effectively, they should win.

Valley Forge (0-4) at Morrisville (2-2), tonight, 7:00

Mo’ville dropped a 10-7 decision to Lower Moreland Monday night in a game it easily could have won. Other than a close call to Academy of Palumbo, the Cadets have been crushed three times. You have to like the way Derrick Savage is bringing the Dawgs along. Look for running backs Josh Smith and Zymir Williams to repeatedly gash Valley Forge on the ground.

Central Bucks East (3-1) at Council Rock South (2-2), tonight, 7:00

Following a slow start against Truman, Rock South showed how tough it can be with a 35-point explosion in the second half. Kyle Hickey gives South good speed in the backfield to go along with the power running of Brendan Patterson. East is a decent team and is looking to rebound from a loss to Rock North. But other than possibly Quakertown, Rock South should be favored in all of its league games.

Central Bucks West (1-3) at Truman (2-2), tonight, 7:00

After Truman’s second-half collapse last week against Rock South, C.B. West comes along at the perfect time for the Tigers. West did beat Norristown last week, but isn’t nearly as athletic as the Tigers. The one thing Truman does need to do is get healthy. Quarterback Mark Lopez-Shefcyk and running back Corey McCloud missed last week’s game with injury.

Neumann-Goretti (1-3) at Conwell-Egan (3-1), tomorrow, 1:00

The visitors have played some decent teams, but they have also lost three in a row. Its lone victory was over winless Valley Forge. Conwell-Egan finally got its offense going last week in a romp over a team from Yonkers, N.Y. Considering it has played pretty strong defense all year long, Conwell-Egan should prevail by a touchdown or two.

Pennridge (2-2) at Neshaminy (3-1), tomorrow, 7:00

At the moment, Pennridge projects as the fourth best team in the SONL. The Rams have good size along the lines and a power running game featuring 240-pound fuillback Nick Hirsch. What Pennridge can not do, however, is match Neshaminy’s speed. The Redskins have ane excellent chance of taking a 7-1 record into their last two games against North Penn and Neshaminy.

William Tennent (3-1) at Council Rock North (2-2), Saturday, 1:00

Led by former Bristol coach Leo Plenski, Tennent received some plaudits for its 3-0 start before getting destroyed by Quakertown. Rock North, meanwhile, picked up a huge win at formerly unbeaten Central Bucks East. If this game is close, it will say a lot about the quality of Quakertown.

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