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Coatesville at Downingtown East highlights Week Nine

Week Nine of the scholastic football season features a big Ches-Mont League National Division game between Coatesville and Downingtown East that will go a long way to deciding the division champion. On the American Division side, both Kennett and Great Valley will try to stay undefeated in league play heading into their showdown next week.

Here is a look at all the weekend action:

Coatesville (7-0) at Downingtown East (7-1), 7 p.m.

Downingtown East loves to run the football with its power running game. Bo Horvath leads area rushers with 1,387 yards on the ground. The problem for East is that the Red Raiders are first in the Ches-Mont League in run defense, allowing just over 30 yards on the ground per game.

They will have to throw the football with quarterback Jamy Jenkins to open things up for the run game.

Jenkins has completed 51 of 81 passes this year and has the ability to make some plays. Coatesville linebackers Matt Luton and Brendan Barthmaier lead a very talented group of defenders. Defensive lineman Takiyah Lynch is also a handful.

When the Red Raiders have the football, Harrison Susi – a very good dual-threat quarterback – will try to exploit the Cougars’ secondary, which has been giving up some big plays at times this season. Amir Haskett is a threat to break a big reception every time he is targeted. Haskett had two touchdown receptions last week against Bishop Shanahan.

Coatesville head coach Matt Ortega has missed the last two games due to being put on administrative leave, but sources have said he might be back for this one.

Pick: Coatesville 28, Downingtown East 21

Downingtown West (6-1) at Bishop Shanahan (3-4), 7 p.m.

Downingtown West is one slim point from being undefeated. Last week, the Whippets knocked Chester from the undefeated ranks with an impressive 34-19 win. Quarterback Quinn Henicle has completed 39 of 58 passes for 832 yards and 13 touchdowns this season. Downingtown West has the edge up front, as linemen Cooper Young and Ryan Howard should be able to open holes for the stable of backs.
Shanahan played a very good first half last week against Coatesville before dropping a 52-20 decision.

The Eagles are really banged up right now, but QB Zack Ferraro did throw for 228 yards.

Pick: Downingtown West 42, Bishop Shanahan 14

Avon Grove (4-4) at Interboro (5-3), 7 p.m.

Interboro has a very strong running game that averages close to 200 yards per game. The visiting Red Devils will have to stand up to the ground attack. Last week, Avon Grove allowed 193 yards on the ground to Downingtown East in a 35-7 loss and will have to do better tonight.

Pick: Interboro 24, Avon Grove 14

West Chester Rustin (5-2) at Great Valley (7-1), 7 p.m.

West Chester Rustin is getting some of its injured players back and that means they will try to run the Wing-T all night at the Patriots’ defensive front. which has been very good this season. Great Valley looked awfully impressive in a 34-7 win over Unionville.

Running back Jack Coffey exploded for 125 yards on the ground on only 10 carries. Damion Jacobs will be the key threat for Rustin. Jacobs is a very fast and elusive rusher who went for 135 yards in a 42-14 rout of Sun Valley last week. Chase Hatton is another talented runner for head coach Mike St. Clair.

Pick: Great Valley 24, West Chester Rustin 21

Sun Valley (4-4) at Kennett (5-3), 7 p.m.

Kennett is two wins away from an outright Ches-Mont American Division title. Although the visiting Vanguards are much improved under head coach Ernie Ellis, I cannot see the Blue Demons tripping up in this one. The Kennett defense pitched a shutout last week in downing West Chester East, 14-0. The Blue Demons have been good all season defensively, and should have another good effort.

Pick: Kennett 28, Sun Valley 7

West Chester East (0-8) at Oxford (3-5), 7 p.m.

It has been a tough season for the visiting Vikings, but their defense did hold Kennett to just 14 points last week. The problem here is that Oxford quarterback Dustin Long should have time to find receiver Corey D’Antonio enough to make a difference. D’antonio has close to 500 yards receiving on the season. The Hornets’ air assault should be enough win a close one.

Pick: Oxford 28, West Chester East 20

Unionville (3-5) at West Chester Henderson (0-7), 7 p.m.

Last week, West Chester Henderson dropped a tough 22-20 decision the road to Oxford. It was the highest point output of the season for the Warriors, who have not stopped playing hard for first-year head coach Bob Brice. Unionville has dropped two games in a row and they need a win for its 5A playoff chances. Last week, Unionville allowed Great Valley to rush for 273 yards on the ground.

Pick: West Chester Henderson 17, Unionville 14

Saturday’s Games

Radnor (2-5) at Conestoga (5-3), 12 p.m.

Conestoga has dropped two games in a row, combining for just 14 points combined in their two losses. Conestoga needs a win badly because they go on the road to undefeated Garnet Valley next week. Conestoga should be able to get its running game going, as the Raptors are giving up a lot on the ground this season.

Pick: Conestoga 27, Radnor 14

Haverford School (6-0) at Malvern Prep (6-0), 1 p.m.

The Malvern Prep defense is arguably the best in the state. The Friars have pitched two shutouts in a row, outscoring the two defeated squads, 66-0. The defense is allowing a meager three points per game if you can believe those numbers. The Fords are talented and undefeated themselves, and will likely be the Friars’ biggest hurdle on the way to a second consecutive Inter-Ac League title.

Pick: Malvern Prep 21, Haverford School 7

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