The chase is on in the Central League.
Although Garnet Valley controls its fate, the Jaguars aren’t in the clear (yet). Sure, the chances of anyone beating the Jaguars over the final four weeks of the regular season are about as slim as the Eagles winning their final 12 games, but there are four one-loss teams behind GV — Haverford, Marple Newtown, Ridley, Strath Haven — who pose a moderate threat.
The Jags’ final two games end are at home against Strath Haven and on the road at Ridley. It’s possible that one of those teams would be fighting for not only positioning in the District 1 playoffs but a piece of the Central League title.
And winning the league title still means something … even if you are forced to share it.
Here are five games to watch this weekend:
Ridley at Marple Newtown, 7
The Green Raiders (5-1) have quietly been one of the most consistent teams in the county. After a lopsided defeat at Strath Haven in Week 3, coach Dave Wood has seen his team total 124 points in blowouts of Conestoga, Penncrest and Upper Darby, who are a combined 5-13. Friday is Ridley’s chance to beat a winning team for the first time. Last week, Gavin Kingsborough stole the show with a pair of touchdown catches and a career-high 146 yards on the ground in a 35-14 win.
The Tigers (5-1) followed their best win of the season — a 17-12 decision against an Upper Darby squad missing its starting quarterback and All-Delco running back — with their poorest performance last Friday. In a 10-0 defeat at Strath Haven, the Tigers managed a season-low 165 yards of offense. Their defense allowed a season-high 209 yards rushing.
Upper Darby at Radnor, 7
The Royals (2-4) have been decimated by injuries to three of their best players: Quarterback Kevin Kerwood, running back Kareem McAdams and Dezhan Peterson, all sidelined indefinitely. Corey Robinson, Darryl Farmer and James Tuayemie have picked up the slack offensively, but the Royals are riding a three-game skid and looking to save their season. Robinson has started at quarterback in place of Kerwood.
The Raiders (3-3) have one of the top quarterback-wide receiver tandems in Delco. Sam DiLella is first in passing TDs (11), second in yards (1,016) and sixth in QB rating (139.55). Last week, DiLella was 8-for-8 for 153 yards and two TDs in a 54-21 rout of Penncrest. Jahmir Dixon leads the county in receiving yards (391) and touchdowns (seven).
Chester at Penn Wood, 7
After a 4-0 start, the Clippers (4-2) have suffered back-to-back losses, including a 20-18 defeat at Chichester last week. Dymiere Stevenson threw for two touchdowns, and Malik Langley returned a kick 80 yards to pay dirt, but the Clippers were playing catch-up all night after falling behind 14-0.
The Patriots are reeling after losing two in a row at home for the first time since 2015. In those games, All-Delco quarterback Des Johnson has thrown for 575 yards and four TDs, but four interceptions. Jordin Jones had his second straight 100-yard receiving output, finishing with seven catches for 105 yards and a score against Academy Park.
Interboro at Academy Park, 7
The Bucs (0-6) put forth their best game of the season, a 14-7 overtime loss at Unionville. For a young team that has struggled, the competitive defeat was a step in the right direction. Zach Keeney had an excellent game on both the offensive and defensive lines for Interboro, which is seeking its first victory since last year’s District 1 Class 5A tournament opener.
AP (5-1) proved it is the team to beat in the Del Val with last week’s 21-6 victory at Penn Wood. AP’s defense forced four turnovers, including interceptions by Devon Covert, Malik Johnson and Alphonso Hayes. Covert ran for a pair of touchdowns.
Arch. Carroll at Neumann-Goretti, 6
This Catholic League clash is for sole possession of first place in the Blue Division. Both the Patriots (4-2) and Saints (6-0) enter with 3-0 records against divisional foes.
Carroll quarterback Russell Minor-Shaw ranks third among Delco passers in yardage (1,009) and touchdown passes (nine). Moreover, the senior is the second-leading rusher with 561 yards and seven TDs. Last week the Patriots won their third consecutive contest, a come-from-behind, 27-23 decision over Conwell-Egan.
N-G is fresh off a 44-0 shellacking of Bishop McDevitt. Tysheem Johnson, who has received offers from several Division I programs, has run for 729 yards and 11 touchdowns.