Some teams will open season out of state
At 7 p.m. Friday at William Tennent, Archbishop Wood will face DeMatha Catholic, of Hyattsville, Md. The Stags went 11-1 last season and captured their first Washington Catholic Athletic Conference title since 2008.
Imhotep Charter will travel again to Youngstown State to play Cardinal Mooney, a traditional Ohio power, at noon Saturday. The Panthers prevailed, 49-21, last year.
At noon Sunday, St. Joseph's Prep will clash with Chicago's Mount Carmel, a two-time state champion, at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill.
Locally, the list of Friday night contests between locals includes La Salle vs. North Penn, Downingtown West vs. Haverford High, Garnet Valley vs. Unionville, and Frankford vs. Downingtown East.
Malvern Prep, guided by new coach Aaron Brady, will play Roman Catholic at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Wildwood's Maxwell Field.
Saturday in Wildwood, it's Haverford School vs. West Catholic at noon, followed by Episcopal Academy vs. Neumann-Goretti at 4 p.m.
In Ocean City, Cardinal O'Hara will begin the post-Coach Danny Algeo era vs. Prep Charter at 11 a.m. Saturday.
No. 9 Garnet Valley (11-1 last season) at Unionville (8-3), 7 p.m. Steve Palis takes over at QB for the Jaguars; Alex Pechin is back under center for Unionville. Pick: Garnet Valley, 34-28.
No. 8 Downingtown West (8-3) at Haverford High (8-3), 7 p.m. West QB Tyler McNulty can turn to a number of speedy rushers, including Jake Barr and Mike Riddick. Pick: West, 27-13.
Frankford (8-4) at No. 12 Downingtown East (4-6), 7 p.m. Frankford is banking on solid rushing efforts from Central transfer Ralph Hyland. Pick: East, 33-12.
DeMatha Catholic (11-1) at No. 2 Archbishop Wood (13-2), 7 p.m. The DeMatha defense features Shane Simmons, a 6-3, 225-pound junior end and Penn State commit. Pick: Wood, 28-13.
No. 6 Malvern Prep (8-2) vs. No. 18 Roman Catholic (4-7), 7:30 p.m. Friars QB Alex Hornibrook directs another tight win over the Cahillites. Pick: Malvern, 21-20.
No. 14 Father Judge (7-4) vs. No. 16 Archbishop Ryan (8-3), at George Washington, 11 a.m. Can Yeedee Thaenrat and the Crusaders slow ex-teammate and star rusher Samir Bullock? Pick: Judge, 17-14.
No. 23 Haverford School (6-5) vs. No. 20 West Catholic (9-3), 11 a.m. The Fords' Phil Poquie and the Burrs' Calil Wortham are dangerous ballcarriers. Pick: West, 26-23.
No. 5 Imhotep Charter (12-3) vs. Cardinal Mooney (10-5), noon. With rushers Tyliek Raynor and Mike Waters leading the way, the Panthers roll. Pick: Imhotep, 38-20.
No. 1 St. Joseph's Prep (12-3) vs. Mount Carmel (13-1), noon. One of the leaders for the Caravan is senior tight end and defensive tackle Cole Gryczan (6-6, 230). Pick: Prep, 31-14.