Rick O'Brien: SE PA FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS
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Rick O'Brien: SE PA FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS
By Rick O'Brien
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
We’ve dabbled a bit with football playoffs over the last two weeks, but the postseason will begin in earnest next weekend.
The Public League Class AAA and AAAA title games are scheduled for Saturday afternoon, with the AAA championship (Simon Gratz vs. Dobbins) at noon and the AAAA final (George Washington vs. Northeast) at 3:30. The doubleheader site, expected to be either Northeast or Germantown, will be determined tomorrow.
In the Catholic League Class AAA title matchup, Archbishop Wood will try to defend its crown against North Catholic. Wood downed North, 24-7, in Week 9.
The Catholic League Class AAAA semifinals mirror the last week of the regular season. Roman Catholic is pitted versus St. Joseph’s Prep (the Hawks won, 34-0, Friday), and Cardinal O’Hara is matched against La Salle (the Explorers prevailed, 24-14, Saturday).
The day, site and time for all three Catholic League playoff contests will be determined tomorrow.
In the PIAA District 1 Class AAAA tournament, two of the more intriguing matchups, both between league foes, are Abington vs. Neshaminy (Suburban One League National Conference) and Penncrest vs. Garnet Valley (Central League).
Neshaminy will seek to avenge a 28-24 loss to Abington, which was led by Sam Kind’s 233 passing yards and Anthony Hensley’s two touchdown catches, in Week 3. Garnet Valley could have its hands full again with Penncrest. The Jaguars barely beat the Lions, 28-27, in Week 4.
In the District 1 Class AAA and AAAA playoffs, all games are slated for Friday evening, except for the Upper Perkiomen-West Chester Rustin game in AAA. It is scheduled for Saturday at 1 p.m.
And it’s not a playoff, but there will be a playoff-like atmosphere when Chestnut Hill Academy and host Malvern Prep meet on Saturday (1 p.m.) at Deacon Field. The Blue Devils (4-0 league) can secure their first Inter-Ac League crown, while the Friars (3-1 league) can create a three-way tie, along with Haverford School (3-1), at the top.
Here are the playoff matchups:
District 1 Class AAAA
No. 16 seed Council Rock North at No. 1 North Penn, 7:30.
No. 9 Abington at No. 8 Neshaminy, 7.
No. 13 Conestoga at No. 4 Downingtown West, 7.
No. 12 Quakertown at No. 5 Avon Grove, 7.
No. 15 Unionville at No. 2 Pennsbury, 7.
No. 10 Council Rock South at No. 7 Ridley, 7.
No. 14 Penncrest at No. 3 Garnet Valley, 7.
No. 11 Downingtown East at No. 6 Norristown, 7.
District 1 Class AAA
No. 8 Upper Moreland at No. 1 Pottsgrove, 7.
No. 5 Upper Perkiomen at No. 4 West Chester Rustin, Saturday at 1 p.m.
No. 7 Academy Park at No. 2 Interboro, 7:30.
No. 6 Marple Newtown at No. 3 Owen J. Roberts, 7.
District 1-12 Class AA Sub-regional
No. 4 Lower Moreland vs. No. 1 Bok, at Southern, Saturday at 12 p.m.
No. 3 West Catholic vs. No. 2 Bishop McDevitt, at Southern, Saturday at 4 p.m.
District 1-12 Class A Sub-regional
No. 4 High School of the Future vs. No. 1 Calvary Christian, TBA.
No. 3 Del-Val Charter at No. 2 St. Pius X, Saturday at noon.
Catholic League Class AAAA Final
North Catholic vs. Archbishop Wood, TBA.
Catholic League Class AAAA Semifinals
Roman Catholic vs. St. Joseph’s Prep, TBA.
Cardinal O’Hara vs. La Salle, TBA.
Workhorse. In Chestnut Hill Academy’s 27-21 overtime triumph against Haverford School on Saturday, Ibraheim Campbell carried a career-high 39 times for 236 yards and four TDs, including the 10-yard winner.
In a stellar performance, the 6-foot, 195-pound senior tailback, who doubles as a cornerback, accounted for all but five of CHA’s rushing attempts. Quarterback Danny Gallagher (four) and fullback Tom Devlin (one) had the other carries.
Campbell, whose longest run was a 34-yarder on the last play in regulation, was aided by Devlin, also a linebacker, and an offensive line that included center Chris Howard, guards Brendan Spearing and Colin Kelly, tackles Matt Levin and Will Emery, and tight ends Brendan Plunkett and Bobby Keyes.
No quit. Haverford School deserves kudos for climbing out of the 14-0 hole it was in at the start of the fourth quarter. A pair of TDs by fullback Wyatt Benson, including a 10-yard shovel pass from QB Matt Lengel, was sandwiched by a 57-yard scoring pass from Lengel to halfback Carl Walrath. Among a cluster of four players, Walrath caught a ball (at about the 30) that was tipped at least twice.
Lengel was 6-for-16 passing for 130 yards and two TDs. Benson, at middle linebacker, and 6-3, 220-pound lineman Stephen Aitken were involved in 11 and 9 tackles, respectively. Benson, a Temple recruit, made nine solo stops.
Extra points. CHA’s Campbell plans to visit Stanford the weekend of Nov. 21-22. The other finalists include Northwestern, Boston College and Vanderbilt. But since he has decided not to visit Vandy, you can pretty much cross the Commodores off the list. … Against Haverford School, Campbell, Devlin, and defensive backs Brian Dones and Corbin Booker each made five tackles. … In Saturday’s Catholic League Class AA final, West Catholic junior two-way end Jim Lynch helped spark a 35-7 romp over Bishop McDevitt with six tackles, including two solo sacks, which resulted in a total loss of 32 yards. … Pennsbury senior linebacker Kevin Bree made six tackles, including four solo stops, and a first-quarter fumble recovery in the Falcons’ 27-20 OT win against Neshaminy on Friday. Classmate Colin Healy, a 6-1, 215-pound end, notched five solo tackles, including a third-quarter sack that resulted in a 10-yard loss.
Contact staff writer Rick O’Brien at 610-313-8019 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mentioned: Conestoga High School | Ridley High School | La Salle College High School | Council Rock High School South | Norristown Area High School | North Penn High School | Bishop McDevitt | Council Rock North | Del-Val Charter | Downingtown East | Downingtown West | Garnet Valley | Glen Mills | Interboro | Lower Moreland | Marple Newtown | Neshaminy | Northeast | Owen J. Roberts | Penncrest | Pennsbury | Pottsgrove | Quakertown | St. Joseph's Prep | Upper Moreland | Upper Perkiomen | Washington | Academy of New Church | Overbrook (PA) | West Chester Rustin