Rick O'Brien: Interboro will have hands full against powerful Arch. Wood

It's Interboro's turn at trying to derail the wrecking machine that Archbishop Wood has been in the PIAA Class AAA state quarterfinals.

Wood beat West Chester Rustin, 37-7, in 2008; eliminated Pottsgrove by 30-28 and 70-14 in 2009 and 2011, respectively; and showed Strath Haven the door, 24-14, in 2010.

The Bucs, fresh off winning their first District 1 AAA title, will clash with the District 12 champion Vikings in a quarterfinal set for 7 p.m. Friday at Plymouth Whitemarsh.

Many had wrongly counted Steve Lennox's squad out after it was whipped by Del-Val League champ Academy Park, 49-26, in Week 10.

The Bucs (11-2) rebounded with wins over Phoenixville (35-14), Academy Park (22-21), and West Chester Henderson (14-12).

Said Lennox, now in his 20th season: "I'm very fortunate to have tough, physical kids. They'll fight to the end."

Interboro's slot-I offense is sparked by quarterback Nick Rentos and fullback Sonny Armstrong. Rentos has completed 97 of 169 passes for 1,701 yards and seven touchdowns; Armstrong has rushed 113 times for 846 yards and five touchdowns.

Rentos' top targets are tight end Fentress (35 catches for 677 yards, seven TDs) and wideout Mark Everton (34 for 702 yards, eight TDs).

Wood, the defending state champ, comes in averaging 38 points. The Vikings are spurred by senior tailback Andrew Guckin (165 carries for 1,522 yards, 24 TDs).

Interboro's defense is led by Fentress and fellow outside linebacker Alex McCloskey, tackles Miguel Quinones and Eric Owens, and end John Bellano.

The Bucs could make things interesting for a half or so, but we see the Vikings pulling away down the stretch.

Pick: Wood, 41-20.

Last week: 1-3. Overall: 101-36 (.743).

Friday

Class A state quarterfinal: Bristol (9-1) vs. Dunmore (12-1), at Henzes Memorial Stadium, Peckville, 7. Bristol made a big splash last week by blanking high-scoring Williams Valley, 20-0, in a state opener.

Dunmore, of District 2, has two solid running backs: Daiqwon Buckley (156 carries for 1,366 yards, 17 TDs) and Austin Seamon (155 for 963, 12).

Pick: Dunmore, 35-7.

Saturday

Class AAAA state quarterfinal: Parkland (11-2) vs. La Salle (11-1), at Northeast, 1. La Salle is looking to advance to the state semifinals for the fourth straight season.

Against Parkland, which has won 11 straight, the Explorers' focus will be on wrapping up running backs Jarel Elder and Eli Redmond.

In last week's 49-41 win over District 2's Delaware Valley, Elder rushed 20 times for 233 yards and three TDs; quarterback Tim Baranek added 100 yards on 17 tries.

The Trojans average 40.1 points; Elder and Redmond are also dangerous as kick returners.

Pick: La Salle, 31-17.

Class AA state quarterfinal: Imhotep Charter (13-0) vs. Pen Argyl (11-2), at Northern Lehigh, 1. Imhotep, which has outscored foes by 584-66, is making its first appearance in states.

In its single-wing scheme, Pen Argyl, of District 11, relies heavily on Mike Racciato. The 5-7, 160-pound senior has carried 242 times for 1,412 yards and 19 TDs.

Racciato, a 2,274-yard career rusher who will wrestle at Pittsburgh, is expected to play despite being slowed last week by a calf injury.

Pick: Imhotep, 32-14.


Contact Rick O'Brien at robrien@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @ozoneinq.