Yes, Neshaminy pretty much cruised to a 28-10 win over Suburban One League National Conference rival Abington in Week 4.
But the rematch, in a PIAA District 1 Class AAAA quarterfinal set for 7 p.m. Friday at Harry E. Franks Stadium in Langhorne, has the makings of a taut contest.
That's because Julien Ireland, a quick-footed quarterback, has Abington's offense playing at a much higher level. For the season, the converted tailback has carried 188 times for 1,082 yards (5.8 yards per carry) and 18 touchdowns.
Ireland, a 4,551-yard career rusher, also has improved his passing skills. In last week's district opener against Cheltenham, the 5-foot-10, 180-pound senior threw four TD passes, on just five attempts, as the fifth-seeded Ghosts crushed the 12th-seeded Panthers, 47-7.
In 11 games, Ireland, operating mostly from the shotgun formation, has connected on 36 of 77 passes (46.8 percent) for 748 yards and nine scores, with seven interceptions.
Abington, which totaled 350 rushing yards against Cheltenham, also is fueled by halfback Ray Schreiner and wideouts D.J. McFadden and Tim Salley.
In a seven-game win streak, the Ghosts (9-2) have outscored foes by 266-98. The highlight was a 45-35 triumph over previously undefeated Council Rock South in Week 9.
Neshaminy (10-1) likewise comes in on a roll. After a Week 7 defeat against C.R. South, the fourth-seeded Redskins posted four wins by an average of 23 points.
Halfbacks Sean Ulmer (137 carries for 969 yards and 10 TDs) and Anthony Woodroffe (125 for 808, 11) make up Neshaminy's potent one-two rushing punch. Villanova-bound fullback Corey Majors (52 for 411, 8) is also a threat.
Charlie Marterella has hit on 112 of 186 passes (60.2 percent) for 1,642 yards and 16 TDs. In last week's first-round matchup against 13th-seeded Upper Dublin, he threw for three touchdowns and ran for another in a 41-13 romp.
While the peaking Ghosts should make things interesting at Heartbreak Ridge, we say the Redskins prevail and move close to their first district crown since 2004. Pick: Neshaminy, 24-21.
Last week: 12-5. Overall: 110-54.
District 1 Class AAAA Quarterfinals
No. 10 Central Bucks West (9-2) at No. 2 Council Rock South (10-1), 7 p.m. Friday. Can C.R. South slow down tailback Rashaad Williams, who gashed No. 7 Coatesville for 427 yards and five touchdowns on 27 carries in a 42-28 win? Pick: C.R. South, 26-21.
No. 16 West Chester Henderson (8-3) at No. 8 West Chester Rustin (10-1), 1 p.m. Saturday. W.C. Rustin has won the last three meetings, including last month's 27-18 decision. Henderson's 14-13 upset of top-seeded Ridley made us believers in the Warriors. Pick: Henderson, 20-14.
District 1 Class AAA Semifinals
No. 5 Springfield, Delco (8-3) at No. 1 Strath Haven (10-1), 7:30 p.m. Friday. Returning to Wallingford, Matt Craig (1,810 rushing yards, 32 TDs) and the Cougars look to reverse a 27-7, Week 10 loss. Pick: Strath Haven, 28-14.
No. 7 Interboro (6-5) at No. 3 Pottsgrove (9-2), 7 p.m. Friday. Expect plenty of bone-crushing hits in this rematch. If the game is anything like last year's final, won by the Falcons in overtime, it'll be well worth the price of admission. Pick: Pottsgrove, 21-7.
District 12 Class AA Championship
Bok (8-2) vs. West Catholic (9-2), at Southern, 11 a.m. Saturday. Concerned about possible rowdiness and vandalism from spectators after a Friday night tilt, South Philly residents had the final moved back 17 hours. It won't change the outcome. Pick: West, 36-6.
District 12 Class AAA Championship
Dobbins (10-1) vs. Archbishop Wood (11-0), at Northeast, 4 p.m. The Vikings will survive without tailback Desmon Peoples (foot injury) against the overmatched Mustangs, but the bigger question is how they'll do without him in the state tourney. Pick: Wood, 41-0.
Contact staff writer Rick O'Brien at 610-313-8019 or firstname.lastname@example.org.