Downingtown East and Downingtown West to renew bitter rivalry

Downingtown East’s Garvey Jonassaint (10) celebrates with his teammates after scoring a touchdown in a 61-44 victory over North Penn last month.

Downingtown East is 6-0, has won its games by an average margin of 28.5 points, and owns the No. 2 spot in the power rankings for the PIAA District 1 Class 6A playoffs.

Downingtown West is 3-3, coming off a 38-17 loss to Avon Grove, and is currently on the outside looking in when it comes to being one of 16 teams to qualify for districts.

While the Cougars and Whippets appear to be headed in different directions, the latest chapter of the Battle of the Brandywine is expected to have the same intense atmosphere.

For the 14th time since Downingtown split in 2003, the crosstown and Ches-Mont League National Division rivals will square off at 7 p.m. Friday at Kottmeyer Stadium.

East owns an 8-5 lead in the head-to-head series and has won six of the last seven meetings. The Cougars cruised to a 42-20 victory last season.

Mike Matta’s squad is looking to continue its winning streak and move closer to its second National Division crown in the last three seasons and sixth overall.

For West, guided by Mike Milano, an upset victory would give its bid for a fifth district playoff berth in the last six years a big boost.

East is ignited on offense by running backs Garvey Jonassaint and Tim Aivado, multipurpose threat Brassir Stocker, and quarterback Bryce Lauletta.

Two weeks ago, the Cougars (3-0 league) totaled 306 rushing yards on 58 attempts in a 34-7 romp over Bishop Shanahan.

The Whippets offense is led QB Will Howard, running backs Andrew Ciliberto, T.J. Simmons and Owen Landis, wideout Dan Byrnes, wingback Josh Willenbrock, and tight end Ryan Wetzel.

West’s run defense has to dramatically improve against East. The Whippets (0-2 league) allowed Avon Grove’s Kevin Francis to rush for 390 yards and five TDs on 50 attempts.

Pick Six

Friday

Downingtown West at No. 4 Downingtown East, 7. The Cougars’ imposing offensive line is anchored by 6-2, 255-pound guard Carter Regitz.

Pick: East, 35-13.

No. 25 Spring-Ford (4-2) at No. 13 Perkiomen Valley (5-1), 7. Can QB T.J. Pergine and the Rams reverse last year’s 28-16 loss to the Vikings?

Pick: Perkiomen Valley, 36-28.

Harry S Truman (5-1) at No. 11 Pennsbury (5-1), 7. The Tigers defense is focused on slowing Falcons running back Nasan Robbins.

Pick: Pennsbury, 27-12.

No. 14 Neshaminy (5-1) at No. 15 Central Bucks South (5-1), 7. Redskins QB Brody McAndrew has hit on 79 of 131 passes for 1,245 yards and 12 TDs.

Pick: Neshaminy, 28-21.

Germantown Academy (3-1) vs. West Catholic (3-3), at Widener, 8. GA’s stout defensive line features Joe Cawley and Jimmy McGettigan.

Pick: GA, 20-18.

Saturday

Cardinal O’Hara (4-1) vs. Lansdale Catholic (2-3), at Wissahickon, 5. The Crusaders’ Matt Casee and Mike Dutkiewicz both have had back-to-back 100-yard rushing games.

Pick: LC, 20-14.