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In this space every Thursday, I am predicting final scores for every game involving
The picks are divided into three sections -- 1.) Huck's Gems. 2.) Best of the Rest. 3.) Others.
I am predicting a final score on every game, and giving a brief opinion on each game in Huck's Gems. I will post total and individual category records of my selections.
---- Ed "Huck" Palmer
My primary focus here is not to just make predictions, but to have high school football fans get a look at some of the more interesting and compelling games going around the city for that weekend. Huck's Gems won't always pit the best teams versus one another. On many occasions, teams may not be as talented as some of the upper echelon teams, but nonetheless go out and produce some of the more enjoyable moments of the football season. For example, a Huck's Gem might include teams or team that feature a neighborhood rivalry, a dynamic offense, a bone-crunching defense, or a team who has an individual player who can create magic whenever he touches the ball. Please don't take exception if I happen to pick against your team one weekend. Remember this is all in fun. However, feedback is always welcomed.
---- Thank you, Ed "Huck" Palmer
DEC. 18, FINAL 2002 WRAPUP
LAST WEEK (0-1, .000) SEASON: (176-34, .838)
HUCK'S GEMS: (0-1, 46-14)
BEST OF THE REST: (0-0, 34-12)
OTHERS: (0-0, 96-9)
CL TEAMS: (0-0, 63-14)
PL TEAMS: (0-1, 94-19)
IA TEAMS: (0-0, 24-3)
Note from Huck:
---Another fantastic football season has come and gone. The high school football fans from Philadelphia were certainly treated to some exciting play. We can hope that next year's crop will be just as entertaining. Personally, my predicting numbers were a little down from last year, but we'll just have to live with that. Underneath are my totals for the first two seasons on Huck's Weekend Forecast. I thank everyone who sent me e-mails and who approached me in person concerning the picks. Whether I picked for or against your team, my interaction with readers was always fun and positive. I had the utmost fun doing this and hope to continue for many more seasons.
Total Record: (347-63, .846)
Huck's Gems: (86-27, .761)
Best of the Rest: (74-14, .841)
Others: (187-23, .890)
CL Teams: (121-23, .890)
PL Teams: (173-29, .856)
IA Teams: (44-10, .815)
LAST WEEK: (11-6, .647) SEASON: (176-33, .842)
HUCK'S GEMS: (4-2, 46-13)
BEST OF THE REST: (2-3, 34-12)
OTHERS: (5-1, 96-9)
CL TEAMS: (7-4, 63-14)
PL TEAMS: (8-4, 94-18)
IA TEAMS: (0-0, 24-3)
NEAR MISSES: (Actual score in BOLD.)
---Germantown over MLK (24-18, 24-10), Northeast over Central (26-20, 34-20), Carroll over Shanahan (28-7, 20-9), & Bartram over Univ. City (36-6, 26-6).
George Washington (10-1) vs. Frankford (10-1) (at NE, Saturday, 2)
---With snow on the way and cold air to stay points could be at a premium here. Weather played a part in the last meeting during the regular season for these squads. The game was played in a steady rain and Frankford defeated GW 20-6. Since that game the teams have combined to win 13 straight and have done so in impresssive fashion. Both squads are coming off solid dispatchings of CL Red schools on Thanksgiving. GW is looking for its third straight title. I sense a defensive game, that may be decided on a defensive score. Eagles party for a third staright year, 14-8.
(Due to time constraints, I am posting only score predictions this week.
Thanks for understanding. Huck)
LAST WEEK: (10-2, .833) SEASON: (165-27, .859)
HUCK'S GEMS: (3-1, 42-11)
BEST OF THE REST: (0-1, 32-9)
OTHERS: (7-0, 91-8)
CL TEAMS: (1-1, 56-10)
PL TEAMS: (9-1, 86-14)
IA TEAMS: (0-0, 24-3)
NEAR MISSES: (Actual score in BOLD.)
---SJ Prep over Roman (37-13, 38-7) & Bok over Edison (18-6, 24-6).
North Cath. (1-10) at Frankford (9-1) (Thursday, 9:45) FRK, 26-13.
Ryan (4-6) at George Washington (Thursday, 10) AR, 21-14.
Franklin (5-5) at Dobbins (7-3) (Thursday, 10:30) DOB, 23-8.
ML King (7-3) at Germantown (6-4) (Thursday, 10:30) GT, 24-18.
Central (6-4) at Northeast (6-4) (Thursday, 10:30) NE, 26-20.
LaSalle (8-3) vs. SJ Prep (Thursday, 10:30, at LaSalle Univ) SJP, 41-7.
BEST OF THE REST:
Father Judge (2-8) at Lincoln (2-8) (Thursday, 10) FJ, 35-12.
Overbrook (4-6) at West Philly (2-8) (Thursday, 10) 'BROOK, 8-6.
West Catholic (8-4) at Penn Wood (6-4) (Thursday, 10:30) PW, 26-21.
Neumann (6-6) at Southern (2-8) (Thursday, 10:30) SJN, 48-0.
Dougherty (0-9) at Olney (2-8) (Thursday, 10:30) OL, 20-16.
Bishop Shanahan (5-5) at Carroll (8-4) (Wednesday, 7:30) AC, 28-7.
Roman (10-3) at Roxborough (2-8) (Thursday, 10:30) RC, 52-8.
Edison (2-7) at Simon Gratz (6-4) (Thursday, 10:30) SG, 32-14.
Univ. City (0-10) at Bartram (8-2) (Thursday, 10:30) JB, 36-6.
Wood (3-7) at Tennent (1-9) (Thursday, 10) WT, 19-17.
Conwell-Egan (8-3) at Truman (3-7) (Thursday, 10) CE, 24-17.
LAST WEEK: (14-1, .933) SEASON: (155-25, .861)
HUCK'S GEMS: (8-0, 39-10)
BEST OF THE REST: (2-0, 32-8)
OTHERS: (4-1, 84-7)
CL TEAMS: (4-0, 55-9)
PL TEAMS: (9-1, 77-13)
IA TEAMS: (1-0, 24-3)
NEAR MISSES: (Actual score in BOLD.)
---Central over Bok (26-20, 23-14), GW over Franklin (24-0, 22-0), Carroll over Conwell-Egan (28-14, 21-14), & Malvern over Wyoming Seminary (24-17, 24-21).
PUBLIC LEAGUE SEMIFINALS:
Central (6-3) vs. Frankford (8-1) (Saturday 10:30, at NE)
Inside the Numbers:
---Central went on the road and defeated a tough Bok squad 23-14 last week. The Pioneers had their way with a young Mastbaum squad and frolicked 47-0. Central scores 27 ppg during the regular season, good for second best. They gained 293 yards per outing to lead all Pub teams. Frankford was the fourth highest scoring team in the Pub at a 24.6 clip. They were third in total offense with over 254 ypg. Defensively, Frankford gave up just 9 ppg, while Central surrendered 19.1 ppg. Frankford allowed just 109 ypg rushing, good for 6th best in the league. Frankford has won 6 straight games, since losing to Dobbins. In this stretch they have posted three shutouts and have allowed a total of 20 points. The Lancers backdoored their way into the playoffs after being mauled in the last regular season by Gratz, 47-20.
---Central relies heavily on the two-way talents of Quindel "Milky" Ladson. Ladson rushed for 102 yards in last week's win over Bok. On the season he leads the team in rushing with 642 yards and 8 TD's. Another threat for the Lancers is Chris Williams who can hurt you on a run, reception, or return any time he gets his hands on the ball. Williams has a total of 10 TD's on the year. He has combined for 812 running and receiving yards. Directing the offense is QB Marcel Quarterman. Quarterman has thrown for 619 yards and run for 397 yards. He can be a playmaker. WR/RB Jordan Anderson is also very capable when getting his hands on the ball, he has totaled 5 TD's. The defense is led by LB Masai Lord. Lord has been the Lancer defensive leader all season. Dominic Glover-Williams and Leon Richardsoon are also heavy contributors. Frankford is led by QB Darrell "DJ" Turner. Turner has completed 50% of his passes for 676 yards and 10 touchdowns. He is one of the more accomplished QB's in the league. RB Mikal Jones has been spectacular in the last two weeks. He has rushed 23 times for 294 yards in the last two games. On the season he 687 yards and 6 TD's. FB Joselito Cruz is a hard-running short yardage back. Cruz has 249 yards and 7 TD's. Freshman RB Brandon Norris is a nice a change-of-pace back who has 396 yards this year. The leading receiver is Adam Hartman (18-251-6 TD's). The defense is led by emerging Ervin Hook and Jeremy Benson. Joseph Farina, Arnold Mullins, and Michael Washington also provide strong defense.
What to Expect:
---The Pioneers won Division-A, routinely the toughest division and that has to count for something. They aren't as formidable has some of coach Tom Mullineaux's previous squads, but are good nonetheless. They will be physical and very prepared to play. On the offensive side of the ball these teams are equal, in-fact Central may have more pure weapons. However, Frankford possess a much better defense. Central has been victimized far too often this year. Tackling and being able to stop teams have been very suspect. Ladson is probably one of their top three defenders, but doesn't see much time on that side of the ball. He'll need to be involved for Central to have a chance. If Central can get some early momentum then we could be in for a goody. Something is telling me that it will be Frankford's day. They're too physical defensively and have been here before. Pioneers pound, 30-14.
George Washington (8-1) vs. Simon Gratz (6-3) (Saturday, 1:30, NE)
Inside the numbers:
---GW is searching for its third straight Pub crown, but must get through an improving Bulldog squad in order to get that chance. Gratz has been the surprise team in the Pub this year, coming out of nowhere to win Division-B. GW scores 26.5 ppg, good for third best in the Pub. They give up just 8.3 ppg, which is the fifth best total. Gratz scores at a 20.3 ppg clip (6th). They average the most rushing yards per game with 222.6 a contest. The Bulldogs give up 14.6 ppg. Gratz is coming off a highly impressive 30-0 shutout of Bartram. GW did some scoreboard blanking of their own with a 22-0 win over Franklin. The Eagles have won five straight games and posted three shutouts in that span.
---Gratz is led by the Pub's best running back in Tyree Watson. Watson has rushed for 1346 yards and 15 touchdowns this year. More amazingly, in the last two games he has amassed 603 yards on 37 carries, with 8 TD's. RB Vondell Parson is a nice compliment to Watson. He has rushed for 497 yards this year. Directing the offense will be Kyle Whiting. The Bulldogs get good two-way line play from Lamont Lee-Edgefield, Kyle Hatch, and Brian Simpkins. DB Voncel Harrigan leads the defensive backfield. The Bulldogs do possess one the Pub's best in LB Robbie Spivey a playmaker and sideline-to-sideline tackler. He will have to be blocked and blocked well. Watson has 5 picks on defense. GW will share the ball on offense, but getting the brunt of the work will be RB Larry Turner (83-643-9 TD's). RB/DB Andre Odom is a solid two-way player. He has scored 6 TD's and rushed for 273 yards. Veteran QB Marcus Kennedy has been solid running the offense. He has rushed for 8 TD's and thrown for 3 more. Also, he has intercepted three balls on defense. Leading the defense will by LB Jameel McClain a division-1 prospect. He is as physical and hard-hitting as they come. LB Ricardo Rivera is also a defensive-stopper.
---Early this year GW handled the Bulldogs 35-19. Gratz did much of their damage late to make the score more closer than it really was. In that game, Turner ran for 108 yards on just 10 carries. Kennedy completed 5-of-8 passes for 113 yards. Watson did run for 169 yards on 14 carries.
What to Expect:
---The Bulldogs are feeling good about themselves, and rightfully so, they are playing extremely well. However, they will need to be just about perfect to get by the more physical and deeper Eagles. Watson is a player who can take over a game and he just might have to do that in order for the Bulldogs to win. GW wants that third straight championship and in the second half of the year they have just been destroying their opponents. Look for Gratz to put up a good fight, but GW is the better team and should prevail. Eagles soar towards another, 26-14.
CL RED FINAL
Roman (10-2) vs. SJ Prep (11-0) (Sunday, 7, at NE)
Behind the Numbers:
---The Prep scores 44.7 ppg, gains 398.4 ypg on offense, and runs for 298 ypg. On defense, they allow just 9.9 ppg. They give up just 123 total ypg. All of this good for number one statistically in the CL Red. Roman scores 17.9 ppg and allows 16.3 ppg. They do possess the second best offense in the terms of total yardage at 280.6 clip. Last week the Prep once again found themselves in a game with O'Hara, but prevailed 38-13. Roman avenged their other loss of the year with a 9-6 victory over LaSAlle on K John Pendergast's 29 yard field goal with 12.5 left in the game. The Prep has not lost a game to a CL Red opponent since the 2000 championship game against O'Hara. They have produced 21 straight wins.
---The Prep are led by RB/K Pat Kaiser who has produced the greatest scoring season in Catholic League history. Kaiser has scored 31 touchdowns and accounted for 256 total points. Despite being contained last week, he has rushed for 1740 yards. QB Matt Stefanski has quietly produced, while playing in Kaiser's shadow. He has thrown for 1411 yards and 13 TD's, while completing over 50% of his passes. His main target is WR Steve Quinn. Quinn has 9 TD's on his 24 receptions, and has collected 639 yards. Danny Jones is very dangerous when he gets his hands on the ball. FB/LB Brian Tracz was injured last week and he will be missed. Tracz is one of the better junior football players in the area. The OL is led by John Quinn, Tom Noonan, and John Brewster. The defense is led by Quinn, Matt Parkhurst, Greg Ambrogi, and Nate Egner. Steve Quinn and Jones are also high-caliber defensive players. Jones has 6 INT's on the year. The Cahillites are led by QB Andre Sloan El who has run or thrown for 14 TD's. He has passed for 1078 yards. His leading receivers are Charlie Squitiere (25-391) and Pendergast (20-251). Roman likes to share the ball in the backfield. Leading the way is John Ortiz, who has gained 876 yards and scored 10 TD's. Ortiz averages over 8.5 ypc. FB Marc Patricelli (559 yds) and Andy Amaro (457 yds) have also chipped in. This duo has evenly split 10 TD's. The defense is led by LB Tom Bowen and DE Kevin Cahill. The defensive backfield is solid with Ortiz (3 INT's), Mike Gavin (3 INT's), and Sean Dolan (4 INT's). The offensive line is led by Jeff Grimmie and Chris Guinter.
---The Prep jumped on Roman early and pounded the Cahillites 41-7. The Prep gained 470 yards, with Kaiser running for 201 yards and Stefanski throwing for 178 yards. Roman could only muster up 37 yards rushing. Sloan El did throw for 121 yards.
What to Expect:
---It is very hard to look at this game and see how Roman can stay in it. The Prep has been that dominating. However, the loss of Tracz is huge and can't be overlooked. Roman will play hard and tough. You can tell this group believes in themselves. Do they have enough though to make the game interesting? Maybe. They'll have to play a perfect game and also get some help from the Hawks in the form of turnovers. They'll have to avoid that end-of-the-half score that the Prep so frequently gets. I think the Cahilltes will play tough and maybe have the Prep on the ropes to the tone in which O'Hara did. Though they were on the ropes in those games they still won by 21 and 25 points. Expect something on those lines. Prep parades, 37-14.
CL BLUE Final
Carroll (7-4) vs. West Catholic (8-3) (Saturday, 7:30, Norristown)
Inside the Numbers:
---The Burrs advanced to this game with an exciting 55-48 win over Neumann. The 103 total points were the most points scored ever in a city game. Carroll had to wait until Monday, but scored two late touchdowns and beat a tough Conwell-Egan team 21-14. The Burrs scored 27.1 ppg, totaled 348.9 ypg, and rushed for 309.3 ypg, all good for the top spot in CL Blue. Despite giving up 48 points last week, the Burrs led the Blue in defensive scoring at a 11.6 clip. They also had the #1 rushing defense, giving up 139.6 ypg. Carroll scored 26.6 ppg, second best in the division. They rushed for 243.7 ypg, also second best. Defensively, they gave up 14.4 ppg and had the #1 defense in total yards at 206.7 ypg. They also possess the second best rushing defense at 141.4 ypg. After losing their first four games the Patriots have won seven straight. West has won eight of their last nine games. Both teams are on a roll.
---Carroll is led by two-way and division-1 prospect James Roderick. On defense Roderick anchors the defensive line. On offense he is a bruising fullback that has run for 895 yards and 9 TD's. Giving him a hand on offense is RB Ryan Stewart (869 yds & 9 TD's) and Chaz Scott 617 yards combined running and receiving. Scott has scored 9 total touchdowns and Stewart averages nearly 8 yards per carry. QB Pat Brochet was the starter on last year's title team. He hasn't been as productive this year, but nonetheless is a solid performer. He has thrown for 584 yards and 7 TD's. K/DB Ryan McGoldrick is a solid kicker and a strong tackler on defense. LB Mike Cutone is also a Patriot leader on defense. Scott has 5 INT's on defense. Justin Faust anchors the offensive line, while OL/DE John Lachman is a solid two-way performer. LB's Paul Rambo, Bryan MaGuire, Mitch Yanak, and Wil Bradley all will be counted on to slow up the Burrs. The Burrs are led by RB Curtis Brinkley who seems to break a different record every week. On the year, the shifty, fast, and deceivingly strong back has rushed for 2514 yards and scored 26 TD's. Brinkley ran for 240 yards and 4 TD's last week. In his last four games, Brinkley has averaged 265 ypg. Astounding!!! Paving the way for Brinkley is underrated FB Chester Roebuck. Roebuck is a punishing blocker, but can also chew up the yardage when given the ball. On the year, Roebuck has rushed for 555 yards and nearly 8 ypc. QB Matt Rodia will be starting his second consecutive game. He showed good poise and leadership skills last week. WR Jonathon Jackson is a game-breaker. He has only 12 receptions, but averages 24.3 ypr. Jackson is also the leader on defense, and is being recruited heavily as defensive back. DB Rob Ramsey is a gutsy performer and hard-hitter for his size. Roebuck is the Burrs middle linebacker. OL/DT Will Grant is as good of two-way lineman you'll find. DT/C Frank Pirrotta is also a solid player. OL Mike Cannon is the Burrs next best lineman. DB Chris Diaferio has retu! rned an INT and two kickoff returns for scores, he has 3 INT's on the year.
---The Burrs sprinted to a 21-0 lead and went on to hang on 28-21 to give Carroll it's first league loss in four-year history of the CL Blue. Brinkley ran 28 times for 221 yards, and 3 TD's. West ran for 295 yards in that game. DE Derrell Hand had 2 sacks for the Burrs. The Burrs held Roderick to just 10 carries and 28 yards. Brochet passed for two scores and 85 yards. Chaz Scott had just one carry for 5 yards.
What to Expect:
---The Burrs should have confidence since they beat Carroll the first time around. Carroll will have revenge on their minds. They have won 7 straight since that game, and seemed to be focused. After that loss Carroll coach Dan Bielli changed his offense around. He put Scott back in the wing and since that time the gifted runner has averaged 7.5 carries. Thus, becoming more of a weapon. I expect Carroll to mix things up with Roderick, Stewart, and Scott running the ball. Defensively, they will have their minds set on stopping Brinkley. Easier said than done. Brinkley has been oozing with determination and when he gets rolling he is just a joy to watch. The Burrs have been getting good line play and when that happens things begin to click. Ramsey, Jackson, and Roebuck provide enough skill that they have to be watched, so you just can't concentrate on Brinkley. I expect some points to be scored, not as many as last week, but enough. I think it will take three touchdowns to win this game. It is hard to pick against Carroll because of their dominance since the inception of the CL Blue. Expect a highly entertaining tilt, that may come down to the waning moments. Burrs battle, 27-24.
BEST OF THE REST:
Franklin (5-4) at Bartram (7-2) (Thursday, 2:30) Frkl, 16-12.
Edison (2-6) at Bok (6-2) (Thursday, 2:30) Bok, 18-6.
Olney (2-7) at Dobbins (6-3) (Thursday, 2:30) Dobbins, 42-0.
University City (0-9) at Mastbaum (6-3) (Thursday, 2:30) Mastbaum, 38-6.
Overbrook (4-5) at Northeast (5-4) (Thursday, 2:30) NE, 24-0.
West Philly (2-7) at Germantown (5-4) (Thursday, 2:30) GT, 36-8.
Lincoln (2-7) at ML King (6-3) (Thursday, 2:30) MLK, 22-8.
Southern (2-7) at Roxborough (1-8) (Thursday, 2:30) Rox, 14-6.
LAST WEEK: (16-1, .941) OVERALL: (141-24, .855)
HUCK'S GEMS: (5-0, 31-10)
BEST OF THE REST: (3-1, 30-8)
OTHERS: (8-0, 80-6)
CL TEAMS: (4-0, 51-9)
PL TEAMS: (9-1, 68-12)
IA TEAMS: (3-0, 23-3)
NEAR MISSES: (Actual score in BOLD.)
---GW over Northeast (23-6, 26-0), Penn Charter over GA (34-17, 35-21), Bok over Southern (26-0, 20-0), Frankford over Lincoln (34-8, 35-0), Franklin over Edison (25-6, 26-0), Bartram over West Philly (26-6, 20-6), Episcopal over Haverford Sch. (32-13, 37-12), & Malvern over Loyola (Blakefield) (27-7, 34-6).
Note from Huck: I wanted to look at all of the playoff tilts this weekend. Thus, my previews are somewhat different. I don't intend to state stats or the names of players that much. I'd rather just comment on how I think things will go. I'm short on time, and this appears to be the best way to preview all of the games without using up too much time. Thanks to all!!!!
PUBLIC LEAGUE PLAYOFFS:
Bartram (7-1) at Simon Gratz (5-3) (Thursday, 2:30)
---This could be the most competitive game of all the first round matchups. The Maroon Wave possesses the stingiest defense in the league, but haven't really been tested that much. Their defense has been dominating second-rate opponents and it is hard to get a read on them. In the Bulldogs they won't be facing a second rate opponent. Gratz behind Tyree Watson and Vondell Parson will run the ball. Bartram will counter with Chironn "Goober" Davis. Davis has provided much of the offensive punch for Bartram this season. The Bulldogs have posted impressive back-to-back wins over Dobbins and Central to get the division crown. I think Bartram will be tough, but I don't know if they have enough firepower to win the game. I see Gratz scoring at least twice and concentrating on Davis while on defense making it difficult for Bartram to move the ball. Bulldogs bully, 20-6.
Central (5-3) at Bok (6-1) (Thursday, 2:30)
---How good is Bok? They sort of fall in to the same boat as Bartram. They play in Division-D, possibly the weakest of the four divisions. However, they will be prepared and well-coached. Central was destroyed by Gratz last week to the tone of 47-20. They were missing some key players and knew going in that they had locked up a playoff berth. Their defense has been very suspect at times. I'm sure Bok will try to keep the Lancer offense off the field and run the ball. One thing Central can do is score points and move the ball. Their offense will be a far cry from what Bok is used to seeing. In my opinion, Ladson, Williams, Anderson and Quarterman will be too mcuh for the Wildcats to handle. Lancers leap, 26-20.
Mastbaum (6-2) at Frankford (5-3) (Thursday, 2:30)
---The Pioneers beat GW in a rain-soaked game and squeaked past Northeast in OT to win Division-A. They haven't been your typical Frankford team. They do run the ball, but with Darrell Turner they are also able to pass some. Mastbaum throws the ball rather well, but they are extremely young. They are probably a year away from making serious noise. The Pioneers are deeper on both sides of the ball and in the end will wear Mastbaum down. Pioneers parade, 26-8.
George Washington (7-1) at Franklin (5-3) (Thursday, 2:30)
---The Eagles are the road team in this contest, but right now they just might be playing the best ball of any team in the Pub. As it stands, they are my pre-playoff favorite. They humbled Northeast last week 26-0 to clinch the second berth from Division-A. The Electrons have had a fine season and play tough, hard-nosed defense. They make GW earn everything, but the Eagles will be too physical and strong for them. The Eagles do the zapping, 24-0.
CATHOLIC LEAGUE PLAYOFFS:
O'Hara (7-4) vs. SJ Prep (10-0) (Friday, 7:30, at PW)
---The Lions just might be the second best team in the CL Red. However, they won't be getting their chance in the finals. They'll have to settle for a semifinal try at the powerful Hawks. Three ago O'Hara took a 17-9 lead into halftime against the Hawks. Only to see them flex their muscles in the second half and walk away with a convincing 38-17 win. However, the one-half success might prove to be key in the confidence factor. To stand a chance against a team like SJ Prep you to need to believe in yourselves first. The Prep has dismantled every team in i's path. Why should we think it will stop? Kaiser, Quinn, Jones, Stefanski, Tracz, and co. continue to roll. Prep pounds, 31-7.
Roman (9-2) vs. La Salle (8-2) (Saturday, 7:30, at PW)
---La Salle defeated the Cahillites 17-14 three weeks ago. They needed a late touchdown pass to do so. I suspect we'll see a similar hard-fought game this week. The Cahilltes are coming off a 42-20 pounding of Ryan, in a game that saw them nearly pile up 500 yards of total offense. It should be considerably tougher sledding this week against an Explorer defense that has been good all season. I think Roman has more on the offense side of the ball. La Salle is opportunistic and relies on a short field to score. In a game like this the La Salle program has much more experience. Roman is probably a year away from making a serious run. However, I like the Cahillites. On a late score, possibly in overtime I see them grinding one out. Roman roars, 16-13.
Conwell-Egan (8-2) vs. Carroll (6-4) (Saturday, 7:30, Norristown)
---Carroll gave CE their first loss of the season in the their first meeting, 28-21. CE is coming off an oh-so-close 13-10, overtime win over Kennedy-Kenrick. Carroll has won six straight games and appears to have peaked at the right time. They rely on the running of the three-headed monster in the names of; Roderick, Stewart, and Scott. All are very capable backs and each brings something different to the table. The Eagles appear to have lost some of that early-season zip they once possessed. Teams seem to have caught up with the running prowess of soph sensation Steve Slaton. For CE to pull this out they'll need tremendous games from their two defensive stars Rob Biernat and Matt Brazil. They'll have to force Carroll into passing situations, and hope for a pick or two. I think a dry field will help Egan, Carroll's run defense still appears to have holes. It's never out of the question that Slaton will break one or two. The way I see it is that Carroll has a ton of momentum and Egan appears to be unsure of themselves. Carroll conquers, 28-14.
Neumann (6-5) vs West Catholic (7-3) (Friday, 7)
---This is very difficult game to pick. Neumann is on a roll right now and has a ton of confidence, as do the Burrs after winning their first-ever CL Blue regular season title. The Pirates held on to beat a gritty McDevitt team last week 14-9. The same team that West beat the prior week 18-7. West won the regular season matchup 29-14, but that game was much closer than the final score indicates. West does have league MVP in rushing-supreme Curtis Brinkley. To Neumann's credit they were the only team to slow him down this year. Yielding just 100 yards on 17 carries in game one. The Pirates are big and physical, while the Burrs are speedier. It is going to come down to who takes care of the ball and makes the least amount of mistakes. The defenses are going to have to tackle Brinkley and Neumann's Jimmy Porreca early, for if they hit open spaces they could go the distance. In recent weeks the Neumann passing game has steadily improved. I have been impressed with the emergence of WR Jack Hatty. West does have some other gamebreakers besides Brinkley, namely WR Jonathan Jackson and FB Chester Roebuck. In a nailbiter of a game I see........Burrs best, 20-14.
BEST OF THE REST:
Dobbins (5-3) at Northeast (5-3) (Thursday, 2:30) Dobbins, 22-14.
Malvern (6-3) at Wyoming Seminary (NA) (Saturday, 1) Malvern, 24-17.
University City (0-8) at Olney (1-7) (Thursday, 2:30) Olney, 18-12.
West Philly (2-6) at Edison (1-6) (Thrusday, 2:30) WP, 14-12.
Southern (2-6) at Germantown (4-4) (Thursday, 2:30) G-Town, 32-6.
Roxborough (1-7) at ML King (5-3) (Thursday, 2:30) MLK, 29-8.
Overbrook (4-4) at Lincoln (1-7) (Thursday, 2:30) AL, 16-8.
LAST WEEK: (19-2, .905) SEASON: (125-23, .845)
HUCK'S GEMS: (5-0, 26-10)
BEST OF THE REST: (3-2, 27-7)
OTHERS: (11-0, 72-6)
CL TEAMS: (7-1, 47-9)
PL TEAMS: (9-1, 59-11)
IA TEAMS: (3-0, 20-3)
BULL'S EYE: George Washington over Lincoln, 39-6.
NEAR MISSES: (ACTUAL SCORE IN BOLD)
---Central over Germantown (34-26, 28-26), Franklin over Overbrook (15-6, 18-0), Bok over Mastbaum (14-8, 20-10), Penn Charter over Episcopal (27-7, 21-6), Frankford over Roxborough (37-8, 32-8), ML King over Edison (25-8, 26-14), & SJ Prep over Father Judge (48-13, 51-6).
Northeast (5-2) at George Washington (6-1) (Friday, 2:30)
--- The winner of this game will get second place in Division-A of the Public League. The loser will have to settle for beating up on other teams that don't make the Pub playoffs. For what seems like forever, Northeast, Frankford, and Washington have been the three teams battling for those two playoff berths. Both of these squads fell victim to Frankford already this season. The Vikings lost a heartbreaker of a game in overtime to the Pioneers. Their main runningback tandem have been the speedy Stanley Ebron and the bruising Mark Pasley. However, these two did not play last week and at this point their services for Friday are uncertain. If they can't go look for RB/DB Eric Clark the Vikings most versatile player to get the bulk of the work. QB Marcellus Sammons has proved to be elusive in the open field, but has not done a whole lot through the air. Northeast will need a couple of big passing plays. They will not be able to solely run on the Eagles. LB Warren Bartlett and DL Joe Tizol anchor a defense that has been quite stingy thus far. K Steven Sandberg is a reliable and dangerous kicker. The Eagles just might be playing the best of all the Pub teams at this moment. After their disappointing loss to Frankford, they have three convincing wins under their belts and have scored nearly 40 points a game in doing so. They will share the ball on the ground, but when the games have been competitive RB Larry Turner has been the workhorse. He has rushed for 468 yards and scored 9 touchdowns this season. QB Marcus Kennedy is seasoned veteran and knows how to win the big game. He completing nearly 50% of his passes and has thrown for 417 yards, while accounting for 8 touchdowns either running or throwing. OL/LB Jameel McClain is arguably the Pub's best player and has a few D-1 scholarships looking at him. He can create problems for opposing teams' offenses. OL Kyle Easley anchors a good bunch up front. In the Frankford game the Vikings proved to be a gritty bunch and probably should have won that game. Their off! ensive consistency is concern though. Playing up at GW is extremely tough, especially when a playoff berth is on the line. Eagles soar, 23-6.
Central (5-2) at Gratz (4-3) (Friday, 2:30)
---There is a logjam in the Pub's Division-B, with four teams still in the hunt for the two playoff spots. Much of how it turns out is predicated on the outcome of this game. The Bulldogs are one of the surprise teams of the year. They beat a good Dobbins team last week 6-0. The Bulldogs haven't made playoffs in a long time and a win here puts them in. If they lose they need a ton of help, and it's the kind of help you don't want to have to rely on. The star of Gratz is DB/RB Tyree Watson. Watson ran for 104 yards last week on just 9 carries. He has 743 yards and 7 touchdowns for the season. RB Vondell Parson has been a nice compliment to Watson by rushing for 330 yards this season. Watson anchors the secondary and has snagged 4 INT's this year. Another one of the Bulldog stars is TE/LB Robbie Spivey. Spivey is a tackling machine and will be counted on heavily this week. Gratz is going to have to get something from their passing game. A passing game that has thrown for just one touchdown coming into the contest. The Lancers lock up first place with a win and even with a loss they have a good chance of getting into the postseason. The urgency for them might not be as high, but I doubt they'll want to take any chances. They are led by RB Quindel Ladson. Ladson has rushed for 515 yards and 6 touchdowns. Slotbacks Chris Williams (380, 9 TD's) and Jordan Anderson (5-81, last week vs. GT) are equally as dangerous. Williams has averaged 26 yards a reception and Anderson is a slippery returner. The defense is led by hard-hitting LB Masai Lord and Dominic Glover-Williams. On paper, Central probably has more talent and natural weapons. However, Gratz is feeling good about themselves and can be physical. Traveling to Hunting Park won't be easy and suspect the Bulldogs will have a ton of support. Beating Dobbins has impressed me, and I hear a dangerous bark echoing throughout North Philly. Bulldogs bite, 18-14.
Penn Charter (7-1) at Germantown Academy (5-3) (Saturday, 1:30)
---The Inter-Ac championship is on the line this weekend. A Penn Charter win and they claim sole possession of the title. If GA can somehow pull-off the upset there will be a three-way tie for the league between PC,GA, and Malvern. GA was swarmed upon last week by Malvern and beat up and down the field to the tone of 43-13. Ouch! QB Sean Grieve and company were pushed around all afternoon. However, they have enough offensive firepower to make a game of any contest. Grieve, has thrown 23 touchdowns and 1,676 yards, while completing over 60% of his passes. These are incredible high school numbers. WR/RB Tyler Yerk (31-587) and WR Justin Holiday(540 yards, 6TD's) are his main targets. Yerk has run or caught 13 touchdowns. WR David Walsh 22 receptions and 303 yards would lead many teams and he is a viable option. Grieve and DB Tyler Stampone have combined for 6 interceptions in the defensive backfield. PC is led by Boston College bound QB Matt Ryan. Ryan has thrown for 1,014 yards and 12 touchdowns. He leadership skills and will to win are unmatched. RB/LB Tony McDevitt is as good a two-way football player in the area. Hard-hitting on defense and hard-running on offense. He has six rushing touchdowns this year. WR/DB Sean Singletary is one of the best juniors in the city. He has caught 22 passes for 379 yards and 6 TD's. From his defensive back position he has 5 interceptions. He has the ability to make the clutch and acrobatic grab. WR Rob Hitschler (8-190) has shown big-play capabilities. OL/DL Jarrod Williams is excellent up front for the Quakers. The only way I see Penn Charter losing this game is if they come out, after seeing what Malvern did, and take GA lightly. This close to a ring? I doubt that will be the case. This team knows how to win and wants this championship too badly, Quakers claim, 34-17.
Bonner (5-5) vs. O'Hara (6-4) (at Upper Darby, CL Red Playoff, Saturday 1)
---We'll find out some enough what team learned the most from their last game. Oh yeah, these teams played each other last week with the Lions claiming a 14-7 victory. When looking inside the numbers, O'Hara appeared to have really taken the play to the Friars. They outgained them 295-to-112. Still, when these two teams meet anything can happen. Last Week, O'Hara was led by RB Anthony Heygood who grinded out 117 yards on 29 carries. For the season the sensational back has 779 yards and 8 TD's. QB Craig Haywood played a complete game and will need to do the same this week. The strength of this O'Hara team lies within their defense. LB Corey Cannon anchors a stingy group, who have played well most of the year. DB's Bob Hogan and Tom O'Brien have shared 6 INT's. DT Omar Emmens can be a force along the line of scrimmage. The Friars will be relying on the young throwing arm of Andrew Case. Case has thrown for 593 yards since taken over the helm midway through the season. His favorite target is WR Paul McNichol (443 yards) who is a deep threat. WR Frank Nunan also has the talent to make big plays, as does WR Jordan McCauley. Bonner has bend-but-don't-break defense. The will fight it out all afternoon. Nunan, DB's Chris Eccles, and Dave Pasciolla are of the ballhawking nature and have 14 INT's between them. LB's Matt Asciutto and Anthony DiEmidio lead the linebacking corp. K Chris Schrader is as good as it can get when kicking the ball. He is very capable of deciding the game if given the chance. O'Hara in my mind is the more talented team here. They are stronger on offense and defense, not considerably, but stronger. However, Bonner can be very opportunistic and will need to be to buy themselves a break or two. I expect your typical Booner/O'Hara clash. I don't see Bonner having too much success running and putting that kind of pressure on a young QB such as Case might be too much to ask. O'Hara outlasts, 21-10.
Neumann (5-5) vs. McDevitt (5-4) (CL Blue Playoff, at NE, Saturday, 7)
---This teams played a spirited and exciting battle earlier this month. A game the Lancers won 35-28. In that game, Neumann failed on two pass attempts from the three-yard line, in the last 7 seconds of the tilt that would have capped a tremendous comeback. McDevitt is led by RB Lamar McPherson (598 yards). He has rushed for over 100 yards in three of the last four games. FB Demetruis Oliver can also be effective on short yardage and goal line situations. QB Robert Dougherty has thrown for 628 yards and 7 touchdowns. He as also scored three TD's with runs. WR Robert Henderson (16-242) is his favorite target. The defense is led by LB Brandon Edwards who registered 12 tackles last week against West Catholic. LB Andrew Kovach is also a vital part of the defense. LB Mark Tipson returned an INT for a touchdown last time these teams met. Lancer captain OL/DL Mike Haggerty was hurt last week against West and his availability is unclear. The Pirates have been on a roll since they lost to McDevitt winning three straight. Last week they knocked off league leader Conwell-Egan and dashed any hopes the Eagles had of winning the regular season title. RB Jimmy Porreca has had a terrific season. rushing for 1,251 yards and 16 touchdowns. RB's Billy Canady and Richard McMickens have combined for 924 yards and 11 touchdowns. This duo provide the Pirates with speed to the outside and average over 7 yards per carry. Porreca like to run in between the tackles and that mammoth offensive line. QB Jon Brady had a career game last week, throwing for 158 yards. He has steadily been improving. WR Jack Hatty and TE Al Meacham provide viable targets. The offensive and defensive lines are led by Ed McDuffie and Marques Slocumb. LB's Tim McGinn, Don Concannon, and DB Mike "Benji" Gillespie lead the defense. This should be a dandy of a game. Pirates will revenge on their minds, feeling they gave McDevitt the last contest. Neumann has a huge weight advantage and should be able to pound the ball. Their problem all year has been consistency. When they turn the ball over and don't tackle they can look really bad. However, when on their games, they are as good as anyone in the CL Blue. McDevitt was feeling good about themselves until the last two weeks, losses to Carroll and West. This should be an interesting contest and expect some points. Neumann numbs, 24-20.
BEST OF THE REST:
ML King (5-2) at Mastbaum (5-2) (Thursday, 2:30) MLK, 18-13.
Kennedy-Kenrick (4-6) vs. Conwell-Egan (7-2) (Friday, 7:30, at PW, CL Blue Playoff)
Bok (5-1) at Southern (2-5) (Saturday, 10:30) Bok, 26-0.
Ryan (4-5) vs. Roman (8-2) (Friday, 7, at NE, CL Red Playoff) Roman, 24-20.
Roxborough (1-6) at Dobbins (4-3) (Thursday, 2:30) Dobbins, 32-12.
Frankford (6-1) at Lincoln (1-6) (Friday, 2:30) Frk, 34-8.
Olney (1-6) at Germantown (3-4) (Friday, 2:30) GT, 43-12.
Edison (1-5) at Franklin (4-3) (Friday, 2:30) Frkl, 25-6.
Bartram (6-1) at West Philly (1-6) (Friday, 2:30) Bar, 26-6.
Overbrook (3-4) at Univ. City (0-7) (Friday, 2:30) 'Brook, 23-0.
Episcopal (3-6) at Haverford Sch. (0-8) (Friday, 2) EA, 32-13.
Malvern (5-3) at Loyola-Blakefield (NA) (Saturday, 1) Malvern, 27-7.
LAST WEEK: (18-3, .857) SEASON: (106-21, .835)
HUCK'S GEMS: (4-1, 21-10)
BEST OF THE REST: (4-1, 24-5)
OTHER'S: (10-1, 61-6)
CL TEAMS: (7-1, 40-8)
PL TEAMS: (8-2, 50-10)
IA TEAMS: (3-0, 17-3)
NEAR MISSES: (Actual score in BOLD.)
---Carroll over McDevitt (21-13, 21-14), SJ Prep over O'Hara (40-13, 38-17), Germantown over Gratz (26-22, 29-22), Overbrook over Edison (18-6, 22-0), Bok over West Philly (26-8, 20-6), Penn Charter over McDonough (MD) (28-13, 29-13), & West Catholic over Dougherty (41-7, 42-0).
Ryan (4-4) at LaSalle (7-2) (Friday, 7:30)
---The Explorers with their win over Roman last week have secured second place and a first round bye in the playoffs. They have won four close games in succession. Twice in the last three weeks they have used the combination of a punting mishap and a Touchdown reception from WR. Sean Agnew to escape with victories. The Red Raiders after a tough loss to Roman two weeks ago rebounded with a blowout win over North, 35-12. Frosh RB Joe Zeglinski ran for a season high 137 yards in the win. QB Joe DeLeo has thrown for 906 yards and 11 touchdowns this season. His main target is WR Kyle Gallagher (18-379-4). RB Brian Donohoe (10 TD's) was injured early last week, his status is uncertain. QB Joe F. Winning threw for a season high 134 yards last week. RB Max Mullineaux returned to action from being injured and was used sparingly. If Donohoe and Mullineaux are unable to go look for Chris Mulholland and Sean Guinan to pick up the slack. The Explorers are very solid defensively, but can struggle offensively at times. Ryan has been a gritty group for the most part of the season. With both teams already locked into their playoffs positioning look for both coaches to get out of the game with no significant injuries. I expect a close game. Explorers eek, 17-10.
O' Hara (5-4) at Bonner (5-4) (Saturday, 2:30)
---These neighborhood and long time rivals will fight it out this weekend to see who can be called the home team in next week's first round playoff game. The winner of this game gets fourth place, the loser fifth. However, if you expect these coaches to hold back considerably, then think again. The last two seasons have produced a couple of wars. Two years ago, the heavily favorite Lions were taken to the limit, 14-13. Last year, Bonner got some redemption with a hard-fought 16-14 win. O'Hara thought they had league power SJ Prep on the ropes last week. They led 17-9 at halftime, only to see the Hawklets score the games last 29 points. They are led by RB Anthony Heygood. Heygood who missed a couple of games early this year has bounced back with 4-straight 100-yard games. There were no ill effects from the injury on last week's 80-yard TD jaunt. O'Hara plays solid defense and are led by LB Corey Cannon a hard hitting leader. DT Omar Emmens, DB Tom O'Brien, LB Rich Prazenica are also good defensive players. QB/DB Craig Haywood leads the offense and is of the high-quality nature in the defensive secondary. The Friars hung on to beat Judge last week 35-20. Soph QB Andrew Case has faired quite well in his four starts, throwing for 524 yards and five scores. WR Paul McNichol is a threat every time he touches the ball, he leads the Friars with 21 grabs and 416 yards. Depending on the week, Bonner will share the ball in the backfield. Last week's leader was Tom DeVietro who rushed for 119 yards, including a 65-yarder that iced the game. The defense is led by DB's Chris Eccles and Dave Pasciolla who have combined for 11 picks. LB Matt Asciutto is aggressive and a good tackler. There is one thing you can expect here, a close game. I highly doubt we'll see a lopsided victory by either of the teams. On paper I think O'Hara has more talent, and just might be the second best team behind the Prep in the league. I'll go with that theory, and let's say.... Lions leap. 21-17.
Germantown (3-3) at Central (4-2) (Friday, 2:30)
---A big game in the Pub's Division B. A Central win all but seals a playoff berth and hinders G-Town's chances greatly. The Lancers pounded Roxborough last week 34-0, while Germantown had a nice win over Gratz 29-22. Central relies on high-powered offense and are scoring 28 points a game. RB Quindel "Milky" Ladson rushed for a season-high 172 yards last week. QB Marcel Quarterman has shown flashes of greatness all season, but needs to be a bit more consistent. RB/KR Chris Williams is very dangerous when the ball is in his hands. LB Masai Lord leads the defense. The Bears got a good effort from brassy RB Omar McDonnaugh last week when he rushed for 118 yards. QB's Brandon Cuff and Ryan Graves have shared QBing duties this year, but Graves has looked to have taken over lately. Graves has thrown for 7 touchdowns. His favorite target just might be one of the Pub's best in WR Akil Stokes who has snagged five scores. DB Tyree Jones (3 int's) and DT Paul Johnson lead the defense. Look for plenty of points, both teams will score. However, I think Germantown gives them up more frequently than Central does. In a high-scoring affair, Central commands, 34-26.
Germantown Academy (5-2) at Malvern (4-3) (Saturday, 1)
---GA escaped with a last-second 14-10 win over a gritty Episcopal team last week to keep its hopes of a magical season alive. Maybe this is a team of destiny, we'll have to wait and see. WR Justin Holiday snagged a 61-yard pass from QB Sean Grieve in the waning moments to steal the win from the Churchman. Holiday (32-535) is the leading receiver and has been clutch all season. Grieve has been tremendous by throwing for 1483 yards and 22 touchdowns. Also dangerous is RB/WR Tyler Yerk who has accounted for 792 yards running and receiving and scored 12 touchdowns. This trio will have to be working on all cylinders this weekend, for they probably haven't played a defense as strong as the one there going to see. The Friars have posted two-consecutive shutouts after their devastating loss to Penn Charter. They are led by RB/LB supreme T.J. Cascio. Cascio has 580 rushing yards and 9 touchdowns on the campaign. RB Duke McKeeta has also checked in with 307 yards. Malvern has used 17 different players to carry the ball this season. QB Dave Moore has thrown for 572 yards and rushed or thrown for 8 touchdowns. The defense is led by DB Mike Melvin (3 int's), DT Michael Meehan, and DT Kevin Lilly. GA when putting points on the board can be pretty to watch, but Malvern likes to play the game the direct opposite. Look for the Friars to maintain the ball with their physicality and make things difficult for Grieve and company. Malvern marvels, 24-14.
McDevitt (5-3) at West Catholic (6-3) (Saturday, 2)
---The best CL Blue game on the docket this week with huge playoff seedings involved. A West win and they can finish no lower than second, with a chance at the regular season title. If McDevitt wins, they will finish third and will have put themselves in better position going into the playoffs. The Burrs have never beaten the Lancers in CL Blue history. Last year, McDevitt handled West with rather ease, 26-0, and 35-0 in the playoffs. Expect a much closer game this year. The Burr offense has been producing at a high rate and lead the division in scoring, rushing yards, and total offense. They are led by franchise RB Curtis Brinkley who needs just 63 yards to eclipse the 2,000 mark for the season. The tough, speedy, and shifty open-field runner has scored 20 touchdowns. Not to be forgotten is WR/DB Jonathan Jackson who has produced big scoring plays in four of the last five games. He is equally as dangerous when he has the ball. FB Chester Roebuck runs for nearly 8 yards a carry. The defense is led by DT's Steven Williams and Will Grant. DB's Rob Ramsey, Jackson, and Matt Rodia supply support in the defensive backfield. The Lancers lost a tough one to Carroll last week 21-14. They had a chance near the end of the game after recovering an onside kick and driving to the Carroll nine only to be denied. RB Lamar McPherson has been getting stronger as the season goes along. QB Robert Dougherty has had somewhat of a roller coaster kind of year, but did throw for a season high 151 yards last week. His favorite targets are John Maha and Robert Henderson who have caught 21 balls between them. The defense is led by LB's Andrew Kovach and Brandon Edwards. At times the Burrs have been having trouble stopping the pass this year. McDevitt likes to use a balance of run and pass and will not rely on just one area. That could spell problems for West. In watching McDevitt I have seen some holes in their run defense. Neumann and Carroll both had multiple long runs against them. West will run the ball, and will run it well. It wouldn't surprise me if we saw a high scoring, seesaw kind of game with a big play winning it late. West wins, 26-24.
BEST OF THE REST:
Franklin (3-3) at Overbrook (3-3) Fkln, 15-6.
Mastbaum (5-1) at Bok (4-1) (Thursday, 2:30) Bok, 14-8.
Gratz (3-3) at Dobbins (4-2) (Friday, 2:30) Dobbins, 28-12
Penn Charter (6-1) at Episcopal (3-5) (Friday, 2:45) PC, 27-7.
Neumann (4-5) at Conwell-Egan (7-1) (Saturday, 7:30) CE, 17-12.
Northeast (4-2) at Olney (1-5) (Thursday, 2:30) NE, 34-0.
Univ. City (0-6) at Bartram (5-1) (Thursday, 2:30) Bartram, 26-0.
Frankford (5-1) at Roxborough (1-5) (Friday, 2:30) Frk, 37-8.
Lincoln (1-5) at George Washington (5-1) (Friday, 2:30) GW, 39-6.
Edison (1-4) at ML King (4-2) (Friday, 2:30) MLK, 25-8.
Southern (2-4) at West Philly (1-5) (Friday, 2:30) WP, 14-8.
Roman (7-2) at North (1-8) (Friday, 7) Roman, 31-7.
Father Judge (2-7) at SJ Prep (9-0) (Saturday, 7) SJP, 48-13.
Kennedy-Kenrick (4-5) at Carroll (5-4) (Saturday, 2) AC, 35-8.
Dougherty (0-8) at Wood (1-7) (Saturday, 7) AW, 27-7.
Haverford Sch. (0-7) at Blair Acad. (NJ) (NA) Blair, 31-7.
LAST WEEK: (18-2, .900) OVERALL: (88-18, .830)
HUCK'S GEMS: (3-2, 17-9)
BEST OF THE REST: (5-0, 20-4)
OTHERS: (10-0, 51-5)
CL TEAMS: (7-1, 33-7)
PL TEAMS: (9-1, 42-8)
IA TEAMS: (2-0, 14-3)
NEAR MISSES: (Actual score in BOLD.)
---Bartram over Southern (27-0, 19-0), Northeast over Lincoln (24-0, 20-0), McDevitt over KK (27-13, 30-8), Penn Charter over Haverford Sch. (45-7, 40-7), Dobbins over Germantown (24-16, 26-14), SJ Prep over Bonner (38-7, 42-7), Neumann over Dougherty (38-7, 40-0), O'Hara over North (35-6, 43-7), & West Cath. over Wood (26-7, 27-14).
Carroll (4-4) at McDevitt (5-2) (Saturday, 7)
---The Pats, after starting the season with four straight losses, have rebounded nicely and won four successive games. Last week they handed Conwell-Egan their first loss of the season 28-21. The two-time defending CL Blue champs look to be peaking at just the right time. However, they'll have to continue their strong play if they expect to knock off a dangerous McDevitt squad. Carroll got a tremendous effort from WR/DB/KR Chaz Scott in i's win over Conwell-Egan. Scott intercepted two balls and scored three touchdowns among other things in the game. QB Pat Brochet didn't throw for big numbers, but completed some key passes and turned in his finest performance of the season. RB's James Roderick and Ryan Stewart have been solid carrying the ball. This tandem has rushed for a combined 1,235 yards and 13 touchdowns. OL Justin Faust anchors an improving offensive line. The defense is led by Roderick, Scott, LB Bryan Maguire, LB Mike Cutone, and LB Paul Rambo. The Lancers will use this game to gage how far they have come. They do find themselves tied at the top of the CL Blue with Carroll, West and Conwell-Egan at 4-1. However, they were handled by Egan when the Eagles were without the services of RB Steve Slaton. They have yet to face West, so how far they have come is somewhat hard to judge. RB Lamar McPherson has rushed for 242 yards in the last two games. RB Demetrius Oliver can be a punishing runner at times. QB Robert Dougherty has been steady, but he may need to push it up a notch if McDevitt hopes to knock off the Pats. K/P Robert McHugh is hands down the best kicker in the league. If the game is tight, then McDevitt could have an advantage in this department. LB's Andrew Kovach and Brandon Edwards lead the defense. McDevitt will have to put Carroll in obvious passing situations on 3rd down if they expect to be successful. They'll also need to control the ball on offense. Carroll is the more talented team offensively, so forcing turnovers would be huge for McDevitt. I expect a competitive game, that! should come down to the fourth quarter. Both teams knows that win keeps them in the hunt for a first round bye and possible regular season title. Carroll looks to be a tad stronger. Patriots parade, 21-13.
Frankford (4-1) at Notheast (4-1) (Friday, 3)
---A huge game in Division A this week. Both teams are coming off shutouts and know a win here could go a long way in deciding a playoff berth. The Pioneers look to be the stronger team thus far. The teams have identical records, but Frankford schedule has been stronger. Northeast beat the Pioneers last year in a defensive struggle, 3-0. In Frankford's 35-0 win over Olney last week nine different runners carried the ball, with none getting more than four rushes. Expect RB Mikal Jones to get the bulk of the work this week. Jones has scored four TD's, while rushing for 355 yards. Make no mistake QB Darrell Turner is what makes the Pioneers go. He has completed 55% of his passes for 417 yards this season. WR Adam Hartman (15-227, 5 TD) has shown big play capabilities. The Vikings use the one-two running punch of speedster Stanley Ebron (334 yds, 4 td) and grinder Mark Palsy (4 td). They compliment each other nicely. QB Marcellas Sammons doesn't throw much, but when flushed out of the pocket he has shown some quickness. DB Eric Clark is one of the defensive leaders and a dangerous returner. LB Warren Bartlett is of the hard hitting nature. K Steven Sandberg is easily the best kicker in the PUB. He may be an effective weapon in the late stages. Frankford has already played games against Germantown, Dobbins and George Washington. This experience may aid them in what should be a close tilt. I'm little suspect of Northeast's ability to move the ball on offense. Nonetheless it should be a typical D-A battle. Pioneers party, 20-10.
Episcopal (3-3) at Germantown Academy (4-2) (Friday, 3)
---This could be a one-sided show or a dogfight depending on what Episcopal team shows up. The Churchmen have played some strong games this year, but have also produced some duds. They'll need to be working on all cylinders this week if they hope to stay around with one of the more offensive capable teams in the area. GA's QB Sean Grieve has been awesome this year, already throwing for two 300-yard games. He has hit on over 60% of his passes and thrown for 1,347 yards and 20 Td's. RB/WR Tyler Yerk despite missing two games is putting up tremendous numbers. He has scored 12 TD's combined running and catching. He has caught 22 balls for 491 yards. Grieve's other weapon is WR Justin Holiday (28-426). When Holiday and Yerk have both been on the field this year they have been very difficult to stop. RB Matt Brown is a capable rusher. WR David Welsh (16-199) is a nice third option for Grieve. The Churchman beat GA last year 14-11. They are coming off an 15-0 loss to Malvern. RB Mike Lamb has rushed for 427 yards. QB Garrett Wilson has combined to rush and throw for 699 yards. The Churchman have had eight different receivers catch a pass this year. The defense is led by DE Joe Rosati and two-way lineman Mike Norrett. GA has been putting points up on the board at an alarming rate. They have average nearly 41 points a game in their last four contest. The Churchman will need to control the ball for a good portion of the game. They'll need to be very physical with GA and try and frustrate them. That will be hard to do, especially with the confidence that Grieve and company bring into the tilt. GA stays hot, 31-14.
SJ Prep (8-0) at O'Hara (5-3) (Saturday, 1)
---I knew the Hawks were good, but this good. I got my first look at them last week in their rout over Bonner, 42-7. I was impressed to say the least. Head Coach Gil Brooks biggest challenge might be from keeping his team from getting overly bored. Sure, they have ton of talent, but what I marvel at the most is how they play game. Every player seems to know what they are doing and what they are supposed to be doing. Rarely do you see someone miss an assignment. They are textbook with everything, and that is what makes them so good. This weekend they face an O'Hara squad that when playing right might be their stiffest competition. The Lions are the last CL Red team to beat the Hawks in the 2000 CL Red championship game. Can O'Hara hang around in this one to make it interesting? Sure, anything's possible, but it is unlikely. They'll need to play virtually flawless football and get some help from the Prep. O'Hara RB Anthony Heygood is the type of back that can keep the Lions with their hands on the ball for long stretches. LB Corey Cannon is an excellent defensive player and swarms to the ball. If the Lions can somehow sneak Kevin Jones back into a uniform then there's a chance. Scratch that, Virginia Tech is hosting Temple this weekend. Prep pounds, 40-13.
LaSalle (6-2) at Roman (7-1) (Saturday, 1)
---This game decides who will be the second best regular season team in the CL Red. The winner here pretty much guarantees themselves a first round bye in the playoffs. Roman QB Andre Sloan El was great last week in Roman's come-from-behind win over a pesky Ryan team. Sloan El ran and threw his team to a victory. The highly athletic quarterback is one of the more exciting players to watch in the area. When it comes to leadership he has all of the tools to be one of the best. The Explorers will rely on RB Brian Donohoe (548 yds, 10 tds). These teams while they don't mirror each other have found themselves in similar type games. I expect a brawl come Saturday. Look for defense to dominate at times and for turnovers to play a key part. Look for LaSalle to carry a slim lead into the fourth quarter and then watch Sloan El produce some more late game heroics. Roman roars, 14-13.
BEST OF THE REST:
ML King (4-1) at Bartram (4-1) (Friday, 3) Bartram, 13-6.
Father Judge (2-6) at Bonner (4-4) (Friday, 7) Bonner, 27-13.
Neumann (3-5) at Wood (1-6) (Friday, 7) SJN, 20-7.
Franklin (2-3) at Mastbaum (5-0) (Friday, 3) Mast, 24-12.
Gratz (3-2) at Germantown (2-3) (Saturday, 11) G-Town, 26-22.
Univ. City (0-5) at Southern (1-4) (Thursday, 3) UC, 8-6.
Conwell-Egan (6-1) at Kennedy-Kenrick (3-4) (Friday, 7:30) CE, 35-8.
Malvern (3-3) at Haverford Sch. (0-6) (Friday, 3) Malvern, 34-0
George Washington (4-1) at Olney (1-4) (Friday, 3) GW, 32-0.
Central (3-2) at Roxborough (1-4) (Friday, 3) Central, 40-12.
Overbrook (2-3) at Edison (1-3) (Friday, 3) 'Brook, 18-6.
Bok (3-1) at West Philly (1-4) (Friday, 3) Bok, 26-8.
Ryan (3-4) at North (1-7) (Saturday, 7) Ryan, 27-7.
West Catholic (5-3) at Dougherty (0-7) (Saturday, 1) West, 41-7.
McDonogh (MD) (2-4) at Penn Charter (5-1) (Saturday, 12) PC, 28-13.
Lincoln (1-4) at Dobbins (3-2) (Saturday, 11) Dobbins, 27-0.
LAST WEEK (14-7, .667) OVERALL: (70-16, . 814)
HUCK'S GEMS: (3-3, 14-7)
BEST OF THE REST: (2-2, 15-4)
OTHERS: (9-2, 41-5)
CL TEAMS: (5-3, 26-6)
PL TEAMS: (7-3, 33-7)
IA TEAMS: (2-1, 12-3)
LAST WEEK'S NEAR MISSES: (ACTUAL SCORE IN BOLD)
Frankford over GW (14-8, 20-6), Germantown over Roxborough (34-16, 38-12), Episcopal over Lawrenceville (26-12, 27-12), Lincoln over Olney (19-12, 14-12), & West Philly over UC (15-6, 21-8).
George Washington (3-1) at Central (3-1) (Thursday, 3)
---The best game in the PUB this week by a good distance. Both teams coming off big games that were played in the rain last week. The Lancers defeated division rival Dobbins, 7-6. GW fell to their divisional rival Frankford, 20-6. The Lancers have won three straight contests after losing their opener at Germantown Academy. They live off a high-powered offense, but with the rain last week had to settle for a 51-yard punt return by Jordan Anderson to secure the win. RB's Quindel Ladson, Chris Williams, and QB Marcel Quarterman have all rushed for over 200 yards this season. Quarterman has also passed for 327 yards. The defense is spearheaded by Masai Lord who registered 15 tackles and an INT last week. For GW, they are led by QB Marcus Kennedy. RB Larry Turner rushed for 83 yards in the loss last week and has been the featured back as of late. The Eagles have sputtered on offense at times this year. Their defense has been pretty solid and they'll have to remain that way if they hope to slow down the Lancers. Central has too many weapons and GW not enough right now. I see......Central celebrates, 26-18.
Bonner (4-3) at SJ Prep (7-0) (Saturday, 7)
---The Hawklets took on another CL Red challenger in Roman last week and wasted no time is dismantling the Cahillitles. Another week, another same-old-story. This week it happens to be the Friars who were the team the Hawklets beat to win the CL Red championship last year, 31-6. Will the Friars have revenge on their minds? Probably, but will it matter? The Hawklets have looked so, so impressive in hammering every single one of their opponents this year. No need to go into details about who will star. You know the names already, Stefanski, Kaiser, Jones, Tracz, Quinn, Paterson, Quinn (again), etc., etc., The Friars received a spark off the bench last week from soph QB Andrew Case. The fiery newcomer threw for 212 yards and three scores from the second quarter on. His main target was WR Paul McNichol (3-124-2td's), including an 81-yarder. WR/DB Frank Nunan is a polished leader and will fight you to the end. The leading rushers are Steve Jones and Tom Devietro who have 645 yards between them. DB's Chris Eccles and Dave Pasciolla each have four INT's. The Prep just has too many weapons, not to go along with intangibles, coaching, and fundamentals. The youngster Case needs to go into the game with a, I have nothing to lose attitude. If he plays loose and carefree then he may find some success. Things like feeling pressure, over-thinking and it could be very, very long night. Expect the Hawklets onslaught to continue, Prep punishes, 38-7.
Ryan (3-3) at Roman (6-1) (Friday, 7:30)
---The Cahillites won 6-straight to begin the season and then were brought back to earth in the worst way last week. Roman was crushed by CL Red headliner SJ Prep, 41-7. Hopefully, for the Cahillites sake they have moved on from that and started focusing on capturing the second or third spot in the division. See, those spots have created a mad scramble for a few teams. Each knowing that a fourth place or lower finish will in all likelihood get them a semifinal date with the Prep. Defensively, Roman is led by LB Tom Bowen, DE Charron Fisher, DE Kevin Cahill, DB John Ortiz, and DB Sean Dolan. Ortiz and Dolan will have to be on guard because Ryan QB Joe DeLeo will put the ball up in the air. He has already passed for 685 yards. However, DeLeo was picked four times last week in his team's 27-21 loss to Bonner. Roman is led as always by QB Andre Sloan-El. Something tells me he may put some numbers up, both running and passing this week. RB Marc Patricelli should see a lot of work. Exclude last week's debacle and the Cahillites have executed nicely and performed well. I expect them to get back on track, but not without a fight from the pesky Red Raiders. Roman conquers, 30-20.
LaSalle (5-2) at Father Judge (2-5) (Friday, 7)
---The Explorers narrowly and luckily escaped with a victory last week at O'Hara, 12-7. In the game's final moments O'Hara snapped a punt over the head of the punter which setup the improbable finish. A few plays later QB Joe W. Winning found Sean Agnew in the back of the endzone for an 11-yard TD toss. The Crusaders got back in the win column after four straight defeats with a 22-6 win over neighborhood rival North. The Explorers will use solid defense and a balanced offense when they are successful. Offensively, LaSalle has struggled some, but they are physical enough to move the ball at times. Against a suspect Judge defense they should at least find themselves in the endzone a few times. RB Brian Donohoe has 8 rushing TD's this year and will get his share of work this week. RB/K Max Mullineaux has been sorely missed, in both the running and kicking department. DB's Matt McGurkin and Brian Hogan each have three INT's to lead a secondary that should be tested by the pass-happy Crusaders this week. QB Mike Eaton has completed 50% of passes and thrown for 1151 yards. His favorite target is Carl Peterson (33-535). Peterson has already posted three 100-yard games this year. RB Joe Becht has scored 8 TD's and RB Chris Banks was featured last week when he rushed for 78 yards. DB/KR Tim Wacker can be dangerous on punts and kickoffs. If Judge can contain LaSalle on the line of scrimmage and give Eaton some time then this could be interesting. However, if Eaton is rushed and is picked a few times early then it could be a long night for the Crusaders. Coming off the O'Hara win, the Explorers might come out somewhat flat, but they should do enough to pullout the win. LaSalle lives, 34-21.
Conwell-Egan (6-0) at Carroll (3-4) (Saturday, 2)
---The top game in the CL Blue this weekend. The Eagles have the top spot in the division after last week's thrilling OT win over West Catholic, 13-6. After surviving their first true test of the season against the Burrs, their right back at it against a dangerous and improving Carroll squad. CE may still have some bad memories from the last two seasons and it's games against Carroll. Patriots have pounded the Eagles by a combine score of 89-0. However, this is not nearly the same Carroll team as those teams, but nonetheless they can still be formidable. After starting the season (0-4), the perennial league power has rebounded with three straight wins. They are led by the James "Big Rig" Roderick. Roderick anchors the defensive line and is a fullback who has rushed for 534 yards thus far. RB/DB Ryan Stewart (555 yards) is a steady two-way performer. WR/RB/DB Chaz Scott had seemed to be the forgotten man not to long ago, but all of that has changed. Scott has returned to his role as a wingback/slotback and gained 132 yards on just 15 carries in two games. This move as probably made the Carroll offense more potent, but may have also made them more one-dimensional. The passing game struggled in this week's win over Wood. The defense is led by LB's Mike Cutone, Paul Rambo, and Mitch Yanak. LB Will Bradley has also been solid. The Eagles must be feeling good about themselves and know a win here will all but sure up a regular season crown. The defense is the unit that got the job done last week against West. LB Rob Biernat made 17 tackles and was EVERYWHERE, he also blocked a PAT and recovered a fumble. DT Matt Brazil is great two-way player. Defensively last week he was in on 12 tackles, two of which were sacks. He spends a lot of time in the opposing team's backfield. DB's Dan Quinn and Dan Acevedo are solid backers. Soph sensation RB Steve Slaton was slowed last week, but should be primed for a breakout game this week. Slaton who is dangerous every time he touches the ball has rushed for 961 yards and 13 touchdowns. QB Derrick Savage had a career game last week, when Slaton was being contained. He threw for two scores and 118 yards, both career best. I think this will be a war of a game. I expect a little bit of offense and some good defense as well. Traveling to Radnor won't be easy, but if Slaton can get some success early it could spell trouble for the Pats. They'll need to stop the CE ground attack and control the ball. They also need to block Biernat and Brazil. That sounds like a tall order. I think the CE-express continues to roll. Eagles soar, 21-17.
BEST OF THE REST:
Lincoln (1-3) at Northeast (3-1) (Thursday, 6) NE, 24-0.
Episcopal (3-3) at Malvern (2-3) (Saturday, 2) Malvern, 35-10.
McDevitt (4-2) at Kennedy-Kenrick (4-3) (Friday, 7:30) McDevitt, 27-13.
Wood (1-5) at West Catholic (4-3) (Sunday, 1) West, 26-7.
Dobbins (2-2) at Germantown (2-2) (Saturday, 11) Dobbins, 24-16.
Olney (1-3) at Frankford (3-1) (Thursday, 3) Frk, 40-8.
Mastbaum (4-0) at Edison (1-2) (Thursday, 3) Mast, 29-8.
Franklin (1-3) at West Philly (1-3) (Thursday, 3) Frkl, 22-12.
Overbrook (2-2) at ML King (3-1) (Thursday, 3) King, 20-0.
Southern (1-3) at Bartram (3-1) (Thursday, 3) Bartram, 27-0.
Univ. City (0-4) at Bok (2-1) (Thursday, 3) Bok, 22-0.
Roxborough (1-3) at Gratz (2-2) (Saturday, 11) Gratz, 32-22.
North (1-5) at O'Hara (4-3) (Sunday, 1) O'Hara, 35-6.
Neumann (2-5) at Dougherty (0-6) (Saturday, 7) SJN, 38-7.
Haverford Sch. (0-5) at Penn Charter (4-1) (Friday, 3:15) PC, 45-7.
LAST WEEK: (17-3, .850) OVERALL: (56-9, .862)
HUCK'S GEMS: (4-1, 11-4)
BEST OF THE REST: (4-1, 13-2)
OTHER'S: (9-1, 32-3)
CL TEAMS: (7-1, 21-3)
PL TEAMS: (8-2, 26-4)
IA TEAMS: (2-0, 10-2)
LAST WEEK'S NEAR MISSES: (ACTUAL SCORE IN BOLD)
LaSalle over Bonner (17-7, 14-7), Conwell-Egan over McDevitt (17-14, 21-10), West Cath. over Neumann (26-13, 29-14), Roman over Judge (31-17, 23-14), Bartram over Overbrook (22-6, 21-0), Carroll over Dougherty (46-0, 45-6), Germantown over Lincoln (30-8, 30-0), Central over Olney (41-12, 41-0), Mastbaum over Southern (37-0, 31-0).
George Washington (3-0) at Frankford (2-1) (Friday, 3)
---During the last decade or so Division A of the Public League has in some years featured three of the top-flight teams in the league. The problem with that is that only two teams from each divisions make the playoffs. With that being said, the winner of this contest finds themselves in prime position to be one of those two teams. The loser, will have its back against the walls. The Eagles are the two-time defending pub champion. They have beaten the Pioneers three times in this span and have only allowed a total of six points in these games. Traveling to Frankford won't be easy though. The Pioneers have a bad taste in their mouths after last week's loss to Dobbins, a team GW defeated two weeks ago 12-0. The Pioneers are led by versatile QB Darrell Turner. The emergence of frosh RB Brandon Norris was evident last week. The youngster would have stole the show if it wasn't for a late Mustang rally. Norris finished with 161 yards in his varsity debut. The return of RB Mikal Jones should add more fuel to the Pioneer offense. Jones had rushed for 214 yards in Frankford's first two contest. DB Ervin Hook paces the secondary with two INT's. The Eagles like always will share the ball on offense, 13 different backs have carried the ball. RB's Larry Turner and Andre Odom are the featured runners. QB Marcus Kennedy is a seasoned veteran and will be able to match Frankford's Turner with experience. LB Jameel McClain can be a force and playmaker on defense for the Eagles. This should be a tight contest and I don't suspect we'll see a whole bunch of scoring. Whichever QB makes the big play late could be the difference. I don't see one dominant team in the PUB, and with this being the case. I think it just might be Frankford's turn to knock off one of the unbeatens. Pioneers parade, 14-8.
Bok (1-1) at Bartram (3-0) (Thursday, 3)
---Usually the golden game of Division D. The Maroon Wave have been impressive in handling some lesser lights of the pub. Their defense has given up a mere six points in three games. This unit is led by LB Marvin Snipes, LB Kajaun Mack, DT Roy Malcolm, DT Richard Mink, LB Jeremy Welzcher, and DB Alvin Tate. They have been greedy in allowing opponents any kind of success thus far. On the offensive side of the ball QB Todd McCoy is still feeling his way, but the franchise of this unit is RB Chironn "Goober" Davis. Davis has rushed for 302 yards and 4 TDs in the first three games. Showing signs of becoming a possible force on offense is the emergence of Snipes as a fullback. Since garnering that position two games ago, the punishing runner has rushed for 161 yards on just 16 carries. Snipes has also scored 4 TDs, three different ways. It was hard to get a read on the Wildcats after their opening week loss to King. A game that was played in a steady to heavy rain. However, Bok bounced back nicely with a quality road win over Franklin last week. Leading the offense is RB Akeem "Feathers" Green. I do get the impression that the defense is the strong point of coach Tom DeFelice's squad. This group is led by Marcelluas Barnes, Hakim Leach, and Tanif Henry. Bartram probably has more talent, but Bok will be prepared and well-coached. These teams played a gem of a game last year. Bartram won at Bok, in double-OT, 20-14. Davis is far and away the best offensive player on the field and that proves too much for the Wildcats. Bartram bests, 20-8.
Dobbins (2-1) at Central (2-1) (Friday, 3)
---This appears to be the premier matchup in Division B this year. If this game is anything like the teams' last two meetings then we won't be disappointed. The Mustangs have defeated the Lancers the last two seasons, 6-0 and 27-26. Both teams seem to have enough in place to make a serious run at a pub title. Dobbins behind two-late TD's by Khalif Boldin bested a good Frankford team last week. Boldin rushed for 181 yards in that game. Central has whipped-up on opponents the last two weeks by a combined score of 83-8. They lost their opener to a prolific Germantown Academy team 38-32. The Lancers can put points on the board, at a 38.3 per game clip. QB Marcel Quarterman has shown he can run and throw the ball. He already has a 100-yard rushing game and 200-yard passing game to his credit. Lancer RB Chris Williams is a threat everytime he touches the ball and is also a quality returner. FB/LB Quindel Ladson might be one of the top two-way performers in the league. A hard hitter on defense and a bully type of runner on offense. Helping him anchor the Lancer defense is LB Masai Lord. In FB/LB Lateef Ferguson, the Mustangs possess one of the more complete football players in the pub. He totaled 15 tackles last week against Frankford. Depending on the conditions I expect some points to be scored. However, a game played in rain could slow Central down and favor the more physical Mustangs. The weatherman is calling for some light drizzle for now, and going on that I do think Central will be able to move the ball. In the topsy-turvy pub, I'll go....Lancers leap, 29-24.
Malvern (2-2) at Penn Charter (3-1) (Friday, 3:45)
---The premier matchup in the Inter-Ac (Geez, there's a lot of premier matchups) this weekend. Both teams are coming off bye weeks and some rust may show. Don't expect it to stick around too long though. Both of these teams have an abundance of talent on both sides of the ball. The Friars have dominated league play the last two years. They whitewashed the Quakers 24-0 last year. The talented Friars have experienced losses twice this year, but they were to area powers SJ Prep and Downingtown. They have played a tremendous non-league schedule and that should undoubtedly help them in this tilt. RB/LB T.J. Cascio is a tremendous football player and will be counted heavily on in this one. The Friars will also need to get some production from QB Dave Moore. Moore has thrown for 332 yards this year, while Cascio has rushed for 319 yards and 6 TD's. DB Mike Melvin has picked three passes. The Quakers are led by Boston College-bound QB Matt Ryan, a gifted talent and even better leader. Ryan has thrown for 412 yards this season. RB/LB Tony McDevitt returned in the Quakers last game, but was not used as a runingback. McDevitt when running can be tough as nails. He is also a force on defense. RB Zack Zeglinski suffered an injury in week two and his status is uncertain. RB's Paul Sweeney and Hanif Hopkins have filled in nicely since McDevitt's and Zeglinski's injuries. Penn Charter's most explosive threat might be WR/DB Sean Singletary. Singletary is a clutch player, who has hauled in 13 passes for 258 yards, with 4 TDs. He'll have to be watched by the Friar defense. Penn Charter might have more options on offense, even with the injuries. However, they'll need all the playmakers they have to beat a more physical Malvern team. Malvern has bullied its opponents the last two years and will attempt to do it again. I look for a classic game that could feature both great defense and offense. Until someone knocks the Friars off it is hard to pick against them. Malvern meets challenge, 24-14.
Roman (6-0) at SJ Prep (6-0) (Saturday, 7:30)
---CB West, Malvern, Holy Cross,......Ryan, LaSalle, North all had thoughts, and all walked away with their tails between their legs. What makes this week's game against Roman any different? In all honestly, I don't think anything, but the Cahillites have shown that they are believers in how they play the game and that might count for something. The Hawklets have just been absolutely steamrollering all of their opponents. They have speed, are physical, well-coached, disciplined, and know how to play the game the right way. All ingredients leading to an unblemished season. However, don't expect Roman to just come in and hand the Prep the game. They will be prepared and will make the Hawklets earn everything they get. Prep RB/K Pat Kaiser has been a one-man scoring maching. He has already accumulated 127 points and is on his way to becoming the all-time one-season leader in that category. He has rushed for 15 TD's and gained 858 yards rushing. QB Matt Stefanski has quietly thrown for 725 yards and 5 scores. All of his TD passes have been to WR Steve Quinn, who has only 9 catches, but five have gone the distance. The defense is loaded with standout DB Danny Jones who already has 6 INT's. LB Brian Tracz is the Brian Urlacher of the CL Red, do not cross his path. DE John Quinn is a quality two-way lineman and DB Solomon Paterson is a talent in the defensive backfield. Roman will share the ball on offense between RB's John Ortiz, Marc Patricelli, and Andy Amaro who have combined for 1,003 yards and 9 TD's between them. QB Andre Sloan-El is the unquestioned leader of the Cahillites. He is dangerous with both his arm and legs. He has combined for 703 yards running and throwing, with 9 TD's. His favorite target is the crafty Charlie Squitierre (16-285, 3TD). The defense is led by DE Kevin Cahill who can match the strength of the Prep, LB Tom Bowen, and DB Sean Dolan who has three picks in the last two games. Without a doubt the Prep is the better team here and they are an easy three-touchdown favorite. ! However, they are due for an iffy game somewhere along the way. Roman is the type of team that can make things difficult for them somewhat. The Cahillites will need to control the ball for long stretches and keep it out of the Hawklets potent hands. Force a couple of turnovers and not turn the ball over themselves and we might have a ballgame. Prep coach Gil Brooks will not let his team fall asleep that much, especially against an opponent that comes in undefeated. The Prep should win comfortably, let's say......Prep pounces, 31-13.
West Catholic (4-2) at Conwell-Egan (5-0) (Saturday, 7:30)
---Two teams who have found themselves in the second half-to-bottom of the CL Blue since it started. Now find themselves in each teams' most meaningful regular season game in four years. Both teams come in with (3-0) marks and are both looking to improve on that in a big way. The Eagles have not beaten the Burrs since the Catholic League realigned to Red and Blue divisions. The Burrs handled the Eagles 33-14 last year, and with all of each team's key performers having returned you might think the same could happen. Well, think again. I expect an exciting and highly competitive football game. Not to get lost in the shuffle of this contest is one interesting sidebar. That would be the duel between standout runnigbacks, WC's Curtis "Boonah" Brinkley and CE's Steve Slaton. Slaton did not play last weekend because of tender ankle, but I highly doubt he misses this tilt. All the two have done thus far is chew-up opposing teams defenses. Brinkley leads the city with 1,343 yards, scored 12 TD's and has twice rushed for over 300 yards in a game. Slaton had accumulated 914 yards, rushed for 13 TD's and has an amazing 13.8 per rush average. This matchup alone is worth witnessing. It wouldn't surprise me a bit if the both of them combined for 500 yards. However, in the end the team who wins this game will probably be the team whose other core players step-up. These are not one-man teams and good performances from other players should be expected. Both teams' have quality fullbacks. The Burrs have found much success in giving the ball to FB/LB Chester Roebuck the last couple of weeks. The bulling back has rushed for over 100 yards in two consecutive games. When the Eagles aren't given the ball to Slaton, the fullback tandem of Mike Smith and Chris Schaefer have been productive. This duo have combined for 505 yards and 6 TD's. Amazingly, these teams have only combined to complete 12 passes. However, I wouldn't be surprised if a pass play turned out to be the difference in the game. The Burr defense is led by DT's ! Steven Williams and Will Grant. DB's Jonathon Jackson, Robert Ramsey, and Matt Rodia all played solidly against Neumann last week. Jackson is a burner and is a threat on returns. I wouldn't mind seeing a Jackson/Slaton dash. CE's defense is led by two-way lineman Matt Brazil who was awesome last week versus McDevitt. LB Rob Biernat is the Eagle tackle leader, while DL Brian Hrynczyszyn has emerged as a solid defensive player. DB's Dan Quinn and Dan Acevedo have seven picks between them. Quinn snared three of these picks last week. Picking a winner here is extremely tough, I've been floating different scenarios around my head all week. I think CE might be a tad more physical, but West has the advantage in speed. I have trouble calculating how good CE really is. Their schedule has been suspect thus far. West has quality wins over Carroll, Neumann, Judge, and went into the fourth quarter tied 7-7 against a (6-0) Roman squad. Then again, they lost to North, a team CE handled easily. Expect an exciting game, with plenty of points. More than a few long runs, returns, and plays may and should happen. West wins, 27-24.
BEST OF THE REST:
Bonner (3-3) at Ryan (3-2) (Friday, 3) Bonner, 17-10.
North (1-4) at Judge (1-4) (Saturday, 7) Judge, 24-20.
McDevitt (3-2) at Neumann (2-4) (Saturday, 1) SJN, 20-17.
LaSalle (4-2) at O'Hara (4-2) (Sunday, 1) OH, 20-14.
Edison (1-1) at Southern (0-3) (Thursday, 3) Edison, 26-6.
Mastbaum (3-0) at Overbrook (2-1) (Thursday, 3) Mast., 27-0.
Olney (1-2) at Lincoln (0-3) (Friday, 3) Lincoln, 19-12.
Northeast (3-0) at Gratz (1-2) (Friday, 3) NE, 26-12.
ML King (2-1) at Franklin (1-2) (Friday, 3) MLK, 16-12.
Haverford Sch. (0-4) at Germantown Acad. (3-2) (Friday, 3:45) GA, 42-14.
University City (0-3) at West Philly (0-3) (Saturday, 1) WP, 15-6.
Germantown (1-2) at Roxborough (1-2) (Saturday, 2:30) GT, 34-16.
Dougherty (0-5) at Kennedy-Kenrick (3-3) (Saturday, 2) KK, 30-13.
Wood (1-5) at Carroll (2-4) (Saturday, 7:30) AC, 27-0.
Lawrencville (NJ) (NA) at Episcopal (2-3) (Saturday, 3:30) EA, 26-12.
LAST WEEK: (19-4, .826) SEASON: (39-6, .868)
HUCK'S GEMS: (3-2, 7-3)
BEST OF THE REST: (4-1, 9-1)
OTHER'S (12-1, 23-2)
CL TEAMS: (7-1, 14-2)
PL TEAMS: (8-2, 18-2)
IA TEAMS: (4-1, 8-2)
---BULL'S EYES: Carroll over Neumann, 24-13.
---NEAR MISSES: McDevitt over Wood (13-7, 17-7), Penn Charter over Interboro (21-14, 28-14), King over Bok (14-8, 13-8), West Cath. over KK (34-15, 40-12), Overbrook over Southern (26-0, 24-0), and Ryan over Judge (24-14, 27-20).
Frankford (2-0) at Dobbins (1-1) (Friday, 3)
---The Mustangs will try to rebound after falling to GW last week 12-0. RB Khalif Boldin was held in check last week and will need to produce a little more if his team hopes to knock off PUB contender Frankford. Dobbins has been thinking they could be in the mix for a run at the PUB and a win here will put them right back in the hunt. The Pioneers struggled somewhat against Gratz, winning 14-0. They are led by one of the best QB's in the PUB in Darrell Turner. Turner has completed 68% of passes and thrown for 229 yards in two games. His favorite target is Adam Hartman (8-120). Mikal Jones and Jeremy Benson anchor the running game. I expect a competitive game that will likely come down to which team makes the big play in the final quarter. Turner's leadership could be the difference, but the Mustangs won't go down without a fight. Pioneers parade, 20-12.
O'HARA (3-2) at RYAN (3-1) (Saturday, 1:30)
---The Lions have a bad taste in the mouth's following last week's loss to Roman. That is the bad news. The good news is that they expect the return of star RB Anthony Heygood and QB Craig Haywood. Each has missed the last two games due to injuries. Heygood is as good a back as you'll find. His health is of great importance to the O'Hara success. Defensively, the Lions are led by DT Omar Emmons and LB Corey Cannon. Cannon was everywhere last week against Roman and was in on 15 tackles. The Red Raiders rebounded solidly with 27-20 win over neighborhood rival Father Judge. The week before they were pounced by SJ Prep. QB Joe DeLeo is connecting on over 50% of his passes. He has thrown for 485 yards and 7 TD's. His favorite target is Kyle Gallagher (12-258), Frosh. RB Joe Zeglinski rushed for 102 yards against the Crusader defense last week. He'll need similar number this week if Ryan expects to win. DB Chris Bakos made two plays that led to scores last week. A healthy Heygood might too much for the improved Red Raiders. Expect a very competitive game and a few exciting and possibly long scores. Lions leap, 24-17.
BONNER (3-2) at LASALLE (3-2) (Sunday, 1)
---A very important game in the CL Red this weekend. Both teams want to see where they stand and this is a good test for both of them. Both know that a second or third place finish in the division will go a long way in not having to face SJ Prep in a semifinal playoff match up. The team who wins here puts themselves in good position to avoid that exact situation. Bonner is coming off a 31-13 win over North, while LaSalle was drubbed by SJ Prep 49-12. Bonner is using their third QB of the year in soph. Andrew Case. Case played rather well last week throwing for over 100 yards. However, the Explorer defense he will be seeing this week will be a far cry from the one he witnessed last week. He'll have his work cut out for him. The Friars will have to establish some sort of running game to remove the pressure from the inexperienced Case. That running game has been nonexistent at times this year. The Explorers are led by RB Brian Donohoe and QB Joe W. Winning. The services of talented RB Max Mullineaux will still be missed. Don't be surprised if you see a defensive struggle, as both teams will get after you defensively. The offense could get sloppy at times, but hard hitting should be plentiful. It seems to me that LaSalle is a tad better on both sides of the ball and will be ready to bounce back. Explorers excite, 17-7.
CONWELL-EGAN (4-0) at MCDEVITT (3-1) (Saturday, 7)
---Finally, a true test for the rising Eagles. With three blowout wins under their belt and a solid win over Wood behind them CE finally gets a true test. The Lancers will be one of the better defensive football teams on CE's schedule. A thing of concern is the health of soph sensation RB Steve Slaton. In last weeks' blowout of Dougherty the aforementioned Slaton ran for 173 yards on just 7 carries. However, it came at a price, with a sprained ankle. My sources tell me that he should be ready and was only taken out of the game for precautionary reasons and because the score was so lopsided. Fullbacks Mike Smith and Chris Schaefer are good runners, especially when teams key on Slaton so much. their effectiveness without Slaton have yet to be seen. LB Rob Biernat and DE Matt Brazil are the defensive leaders. The strength of the Lancers team is undoubtedly their defensive unit. They'll have to be in prime to fashion if they expect to stop Slaton and company who average 34 points per contest. LB Brandon Edwards, LB Mike Haggerty, DE Andrew Kovach and DB John Maha are headliners. Offensively, this unit has struggled. In last week's win over Wood the runningback combination of Demetruis Oliver and Lamar McPherson only complied 75 yards on 26 carries between them. They'll have to find more running room this week. QB Robert Dougherty is still trying to get settled in and this would be a great time to have a breakout game. Both teams have quality kickers in BM's Robert McHugh and CE's Matt Fischer. A deciding field goal by one of these players would not surprise me. Expect Egan not to have the success they've had in their opening four games. McDevitt's is too well-coached and defensively sound for that. However, a healthy Slaton should be able to break at least one, if not two. The Lancers will try to control the ball and keep it out of Egan's hands. Slowly the torch in the CL Blue is starting to be passed from the likes of Carroll and McDevitt. This week Conwell-Egan shows what they have. Eagles fly, 17-14.
WEST CATHOLIC (3-2) at NEUMANN (2-3) (Saturday, 1)
---The Pirates have beaten the Burrs in three consecutive contests and have done it rather soundly. Payback will be on the mind's of this ever-improving West squad. In this game you have the speed of West versus the size of Neumann. The Pirates are going to try and control the ball by running FB Jimmy Porreca (530 yds, 8 td's) behind that mammoth offensive line. Look for them to occasionally run a speed sweep to RB's Billy Canady and Richard McMickens who have had their share of good moments this year, while combining for 549 yards. They'll also try to hit huge TE Al Meacham in the middle of the field to keep the Burrs honest. Make no mistake, Neumann's is not a come-from-behind team, so grabbing a lead early for them is essential in their success. The West offense has been rolling of late, averaging 33.3 points in its last three contest, all wins. RB Curtis Brinkley has been piling up yardage at an alarming rate. Already the explosive back has rushed for over 1200 yards and 11 TD's. He has accumulated two-three hundred yard games in the last three weeks. Stopping him will be a true test for the Bucco defense. The line play and the blocking of FB Chester Roebuck and TE Derrell Hand have been exceptional. Roebuck has also proved to be a not-so-bad runner himself. He rushed for 105 yards on just 9 carries last week. Which team makes the least amount of mistakes will be without a doubt a major key. If West grabs a lead early then they should prevail, but if the game is close going into the final quarter Neumann may have the advantage. West wins, 26-13.
BEST OF THE REST:
George Washington (2-0) at Gratz (1-1) (Friday, 3) GW, 18-6.
Bok (0-1) at Franklin (1-1) (Thursday, 3) Frkl, 18-14.
Roman (5-0) at Judge (1-4) (Saturday, 1) RC, 31-17.
Lancaster Cath. (NA) at Germantown Acad. (2-2) (Saturday, 1:30) GA, 35-24.
Bartram (2-0) at Overbrook (2-0) (Thursday, 3) Bartram, 22-6.
Carroll (1-4) at Dougherty (0-4) (Friday, 7) Carroll, 46-0.
Lincoln (0-2) at Germantown (0-2) (Friday, 3) GT, 30-8.
Northeast (2-0) at Roxborough (1-1) (Friday, 3) NE, 27-0.
Olney (1-1) at Central (1-1) (Friday, 3) Central, 41-12.
Univ. City (0-2) at Edison (0-1) (Friday, 3) Edison 14-6.
West Philly (0-2) at ML King (1-1) (Friday, 3) MLK, 20-6.
Southern (0-2) at Mastbaum (2-0) (Friday, 3) Mast., 37-0.
Episcopal (1-3) at Carvel (DEL) (NA) (Friday, 7) Epis. 22-18.
SJ Prep (5-0) at North (1-4) (Saturday, 1:30) Prep, 45-0.
Kennedy-Kenrick (2-3) at Wood (1-3) (Sunday, 1) Wood, 24-19
RECORD LAST WEEK: (20-2, .909)
HUCK'S GEMS: (4-1)
BEST OF THE REST: (5-0)
CL TEAMS: (7-1)
PL TEAMS: (10-0)
DOBBINS (1-0) vs. GEORGE WASHINGTON (1-0) (at Northeast, Friday, 7)
---The premier matchup in the pub this weekend. Both squads coming off solid wins. The Mustangs boggled down MLK 20-6, while GW slipped past Sussex Tech (DEL) 14-7. I imagine that both teams have had this early season game circled on their respective schedules. GW is the defending Public League champion and that has to count for something. They are led by heady QB Marcus Kennedy. The problem is, does Kennedy have enough around him to make a run at another crown? LB/FB Jameel McClain is a headliner on both sides of the ball. RB Andre Odom showed flashes in the opener. They'll need some additional help from other players if they hope to remain a true pub contender. The Mustang players are eager to get things rollin' and they are led by two of the better players in the city. RB/DB Khalif Boldin and FB/LB Lateef Ferguson are as good as one-two-punch out there. The duo combined for 139 yards on 20 carries in their team's win over King last week. Coach Doug Macauley has high hopes for this group and the week's game will give him a good idea of where his team stands. Look for a tight game, where the defenses may take over for huge parts. Expect a few big plays to decide the tilt. It looks to me that Dobbins has a few more big-play type players. Mustangs move-up, 18-14.
SJ PREP (4-0) AT LASALLE (3-1) (being played at Plymouth-Whitemarsh, Saturday, 1)
---We'll all have to hold our breath during this game. For if the Prep rolls again, it could be a long, long year for the rest of the CL Red. These teams are heated rivals, so bouts of quality play from both sides should be plentiful. The Prep easily beat the Explorers in their two meeting last year, 21-0 and 35-6. However, the first game was scoreless at halftime. This La Salle team is much improved from last year. Though the Prep was hit hard by graduation, they have just seemed to have reloaded. RB/K Pat Kaiser is outscoring teams by himself. He has already rushed for 567 yards and 10 TD's. QB Matt Stefanski has been quite reliable leading the offense. His main targets are Steve Quinn and Danny Jones. Jones is also a star in the secondary. FB/LB Brian Tracz will be sure to be handing out some punishment. Whether it be on blocks or tackles. Like most LaSalle teams this one is built around good team defense, and they'll need plenty of it stay in this contest. DB Brian Hogan had three-INT's against North last week. The offense is moving the ball more this year led by, RB's Brian Donohoe and Max Mullineaux. QB Joe F. Winning has been productive thus far. Most people around the league want this to be a competitive game. A blowout will certainly dampen the hopes of the other teams in the league. I think La Salle will be well prepared, but this Hawklet squad has been whipping-up on people. Prep pounces, 27-7.
O'HARA (3-1) at ROMAN (4-0) (Saturday at Conshohocken's Garthwaite Field, 7)
---This might be the most competitive game in the CL Red this weekend. The Cahillites have been playing quality ball on both sides of the line of scrimmage. O'Hara, which has been plagued by the injury bug, have banged out two consecutive wins. There's a chance this weekend that star O'Hara RB Anthony Heygood will return. If he can't go look for RB's Steve Cook and Anthony Lucidonio to carry the load. This tandem torched the Father Judge defense last week for 314 yards. They are both capable backs, even if they're not in the same league as Heygood. QB Craig Haywood also fell to injury, and QB Matt Campbell has relieved nicely. Not to take anything away from O'Hara's offensive performance last week, but they should expect to see a stiffer challenge from the Roman defense. A defense that is led by LB Tom Bowen and DB Johnny Ortiz. Ortiz picked two balls off in a win over Bonner last week. The Roman offense has been consistent. They like to use both the run and pass, and have been effective with both. QB Andre Sloan-El can beat you with both his arm and legs. The backfield has received 772 yards and 8 TD's from the trio of, Ortiz, Andy Amaro, and Marc Patricelli. All are capable runners. WR Charles Squitiere is emerging as a solid playmaker out wide. I expect a very competitive game, in a good atmosphere for high school football. Picking a winner here is very difficult, but I'll go with.....Lions roar 21-17.
NEUMANN (2-2) at CARROLL (0-4) (Saturday at Radnor, 2)
---Two weeks in a row the Carroll football program finds itself in my top games of the week. This game is so important for coach Dan Bielli and his struggling bunch of Pats. Lose this game and morale could sink to a new level. Despite Carroll's winless record, there still seems to be enough there for a successful season. However, to start the path of success they will have to be leery of an intriguing Neumann squad. Carroll is going to have to get more from mammoth fullback James Roderick. The "Big Rig" was bottled down to just 28 yards on 10 carries against West. He'll need to be much more of a force if Carroll hopes to get into the win column. RB Ryan Stewart (34-240) has been the Pats most consistent runner to date. QB Pat Brochet is a seasoned veteran and his experience should help getting his team back on track. WR Chaz Scott is probably Carroll's best weapon, but in my opinion he has been underused this season. Here is a kid who almost combined for 1,000 yards last season running and catching the ball. He has exactly 1 rush this year. I understand that he has been moved outside, in a position formerly occupied by Notre Dame's Maurice Stovall, but he needs more touches. LB's Paul Rambo and Mike Cutone anchor the defense. Which Neumann team will we see this weekend? In consecutive weeks I witnessed the Pirates get shellacked by Episcopal and Roman. True, those teams may have been better, but not that much better. Conditioning seemed to be one of the problems. A cool day will go along way for the Neumann big people. FB Jimmy Porreca (444 yards, 7 TD's) has been solid. RB's Billy Canady and Richard McMickens aren't every down backs, but are the team's speediest players. The line is huge and they should have an advantage over an average-sized Carroll squad. The key to Neumann's success is not to fall behind early. This team is not built to play catch-up. They will want to grind it out with Porreca and the mules in front of him. Carroll knows the importance of this game and I think this likely could be! the difference. Look for them to make fewer mistakes and win a close one. Also, K Ryan McGoldrick has a quality leg and this could be the difference. Carroll finally, 24-13.
WOOD (1-2) at MCDEVITT (2-1) (Saturday, being played at Cheltenham, 1)
---These two teams had a couple of wars last season, both won by the Vikings. First, they outlasted the Lancers 6-0 in OT. That set the stage for the rematch in the playoffs. Where the Vikings were also victorious 10-7. I expect another defensive battle. Both teams seem to be down from last year. However, these rivals will still go at it hard. Each squad will rely on bruising style fullbacks. Wood's Bob Prieto and McDevitt's Demetrius Oliver will get the bulk of the carries. Also, each squad will rely on inexperienced quarterbacks in, BM's Robert Dougherty and AW's Dane Mangin. Mangin can be tricky with the ball. He'll need to come up with a few nice plays to aid the offense in this one. The defenses are led by Wood's Anthony Mora, a bruising lineman and LB Josh Kosinski. McDevitt is led by LB Brandon Edwards, DE Andrew Kovach, and DB John Maha. McDevitt seems to have more experience in the D than the Vikings. This will probably help them in the end. Look for a hard fought game, that may get sloppy on offense at times. Look for McDevitt K Robert McHugh, who is arguably the Lancers best weapon to provide a spark. Lancers pierce, 13-7.
BEST OF THE REST:
Germantown (0-1) at Northeast (1-0) (Friday, 3) G-Town, 26-17.
Father Judge (1-3) at Ryan (2-1) (Saturday, 7) Ryan, 24-14.
Interboro (3-1) at Penn Charter (2-1) (Saturday, 10:30) PC, 21-14.
WC East (4-0) at Malvern (1-2) (Saturday, 1) Malvern, 27-7.
Gratz (1-0) at Frankford (1-0) (Friday, 3) Fkd, 32-12.
Edison (0-0) at Bartram (1-0) (Thursday, 3) Bartram, 26-6.
King (0-1) at Bok (0-0) (Thursday, 3) MLK, 14-8.
West Catholic (2-2) at Kennedy-Kenrick (2-2) (Friday, 7:30) West, 34-15.
Central (0-1) at Lincoln (0-1) (Friday, 3) Central, 30-8.
Roxborough (0-1) at Olney (1-0) (Friday, 3) Roxb, 18-12.
Univ. City (0-1) at Franklin (0-1) (Friday, 3) Fkn, 25-8.
Mastbaum (1-0) at West Philly (0-1) (Friday, 3) Mast, 22-7.
Overbrook (1-0) at Southern (0-1) (Friday, 3) 'Brook, 26-0.
North Catholic (1-3) at Bonner (2-2) (Saturday, 7) Bonner, 24-6.
Germantown Acad. (1-2) at Hun School (NA) (Saturday, 1) GA, 23-14.
Episcopal (1-2) at Hill (2-0) (Saturday, 2) Hill, 26-13.
Boy's Latin (MD) (NA) at Haverford Sch. (0-3) (Saturday, 1:30) Havd., 28-14.
Dougherty (0-3) at Conwell-Egan (3-0) (Saturday, 7:30) C-E, 42-0.
LAST SEASON'S FINAL RECORDS:
OVERALL-SEASON: (171-29, .855)
HUCK'S GEMS: (40-13, .755)
BEST OF THE REST: (40-2, .952)
OTHERS: (91-14, .867)
GERMANTOWN (0-0) at FRANKFORD (0-0) (Thursday, 3)
--- These teams have combined for a 34-10 record over the last two seasons and are usually among the upper echelon of the PUB. This has shaped up as the premier matchup in the PUB on this opening weekend. The Pioneers who failed to make the playoffs last season have hopes this year and are led by versatile QB Darrell Turner. These teams met late in the season last year, after Germantown was knocked out of the playoffs by George Washington. They played a spirited and entertaining game, won by Frankford 15-12. The Bears are led by big play receiver Akil Stokes. Look for a hard hitting game, with both teams looking to make statements. The Bears might have lost a tad more personnel than Frankford, so I give the Pioneers the edge. Frankford flies, 22-8.
MALVERN (1-1) at DOWNINGTOWN (3-0) (Friday, 7)
--- Another strong test for the Friars, who rebounded with a 42-14 thumping over W.C. Henderson after being pounced by SJ Prep 21-7. The Whippets are a serious threat and state playoff contender. They no doubt will have revenge on their minds. Malvern humbled Downingtown by tone of 35-7 last season. This is the last season that Downingtown will be one school before separating into an east and west section. They are on path to making it a memorable one. They have averaged 44.7 points per game thus far this year in three blowout wins. Malvern will have to get strong performances from QB Dave Moore and two-way standout TJ Cascio. I don't suspect that Downingtown will put as many points on the board as they've been, but nonetheless will be tough to contain. The Friars will need to control the ball and force some turnovers to be effective. Look for a great high school football game, with tremendous atmosphere. Downingtown looks to be a tad stronger this year. Whippets win, 27-14.
BONNER (2-1) at ROMAN (3-0) (Saturday, 2:30)
---This is an important early season game for both teams. Each wants to see where it stands in the ever-tough CL Red. The Cahillites have used a good combination of run and pass in their three wins. QB Andre Sloan-El is as versatile as any player in the league. He has showed a nice touch and the knack for getting out of the pocket. His leadership skills and confidence look to be improving with each game. RB's Andy Amaro, Marc Patricelli, and John Ortiz share the ball on the ground and compliment each other nicely. WR Charles Squitierre is Sloan-El's main target at receiver. The Cahillite defense is not overly big, but have played great team defense in their wins. Bonner rebounded with a nice win over Passaic Tech (NJ) after losing to Interboro. The offense has struggled. QB Drew Zagursky suffered a concussion last week and his status for this week is uncertain. If he can't go look for Frank Nunan to regain control. Nunan led the Friars in week one in their win over Upper Darby. Nunan may not be the passer Zagursky is, but adds athleticism and running ability. WR Paul McNichol is a threat out wide and as usual the Friars play tough defense led by LB Matt Asciutto and DB Chris Eccles. Look for a physical game that should come down to the fourth quarter. Roman looks to be playing better right know and have a more balanced attack on offense. Roman rises, 17-10.
SJ PREP (3-0) at RYAN (2-0)
--- How easy will getting through the CL Red be for the Hawklets? This game could tell us a lot. The Prep just completed an impressive non-league sweep of CB West, Malvern, Holy Cross (NJ) is rather convincing fashion. Who said the Prep would be down some this year? OHH, it may have been me. Not after this showing. QB Matt Stefanski and RB Pat Kaiser have picked up where Vince Gallagher and Kyle Ambrogi had left off for the Prepsters. DE John Quinn, LB Brian Tracz, and DB Danny Jones lead a tenacious defense. The Red Raiders have been very impressive in two shutout wins over Pennsbury and Wood. QB Joe DeLeo has been near perfect in directing the offense. His favorite target is Kyle Gallagher, a quality receiver. Ryan looks to be headed in the right direction and it wouldn't surprise me that if before too long, they regain that 90's dominance. However with that being said, they are no match for the Hawklets just yet. Prep pounces, 31-7.
CARROLL (0-3) at WEST CATHOLIC (1-2) (Saturday, 2)
--- Let's go over some of the numbers. In Carroll's last two seasons, both as CL Blue champs they have absolutely dismantled the rest of the teams in the division. They are a perfect (18-0). Get this, have outscored divisional foes a mind-boggling 755-63. There closest divisional games have been two 21-point wins in that span. Will this continue? Though Carroll will be again very tough, I don't expect these kinds of lofty numbers. They have just come off an (0-3) tough non-league schedule, but were beaten handily in two of those losses. RB/DT James Roderick is a load and will make things difficult on both sides of the ball. QB Pat Brochet is an experienced leader and passer. His favorite target is WR Chaz Scott, who is highly athletic. Two years ago Carroll was unbelievably awesome. Last year they were very good. This year there are still signs of greatness, but I think they have made their way back to the pack some. The Burrs top six players are very good, but is there enough depth for them to make a run? RB Curtis Brinkley is arguably the best back in the city. He is fast, agile, and strong. However, I think is best attribute is his unbelievable natural football instincts when he has the ball. DB/WR Jonathan Jackson can be a game breaker. LB Chester Roebuck, DB Robert Ramsey, and DT Will Grant lead the defense. I suspect that Carroll will run Roderick up the middle and RB Ryan Stewart on the speed sweep. The Burrs will have to contain this and force some turnovers. To win this game West will probably have to have a few great individual performances. Look for Brinkley to break one and the Burrs to hang tough, but Carroll will eventually wear them down. Also, until someone from the Blue gives the Pats a game they have to be the team to beat. Carroll continues, 27-15.
BEST OF THE REST:
ML King (0-0) at Dobbins (0-0) (Thursday,3) Dobbins, 18-8.
Central (0-0) at Germantown Academy (0-2) (Friday, 3:45) GA, 24-12.
Father Judge (1-2) at O'Hara (2-1) (Saturday, 1) OH, 34-17.
Wood (1-1) at Conwell-Egan (2-0) (Saturday, 7:30) CE, 21-14.
Episcopal (1-1) at Penn Wood (1-2) (Saturday, 10:30) PW, 20-14.
Southern (0-0) at Olney (0-0) (Thursday, 3) Olney, 26-0.
University City (0-0) at Overbrook (0-0) (Thursday,3) 'Brook, 32-8.
Bartram (0-0) at Lincoln (0-0) (Thursday,7) Bartram, 12-6.
Sussex Tech (DEL) (NA) at George Wash. (Friday, 3) GW, 19-6.
Franklin (0-0) at Northeast (0-0) (Friday, 7) NE, 25-7.
LaSalle (2-1) at North Catholic (1-2) (Saturday, 1) LaSalle, 35-0.
McDevitt (1-1) at Dougherty (0-2) (Saturday, 1) McDevitt, 34-0.
Kennedy-Kenrick (2-1) at Neumann (1-2) (Saturday, 1) Neumann, 26-14.
Mastbaum (0-0) at Roxborough (0-0) (Saturday, 10:30) Mast., 28-6.
Gratz (0-0) at West Philly (0-0) (Saturday, 10:30) Gratz, 16-12.
Penn Charter (1-1) at Peddie (NJ) (Saturday, 2:30) Peddie, 27-21.
Haverford School (0-2) at Hill Sch. (1-0) (Saturday, 7:30) Hill, 32-14.