Turkey Day game predictions

Thanksgiving Eve and Turkey Day games continue to take a backseat to playoff contests, but there are some games worthy of checking out.

By our count, 28 games are on tap over the next two days. Enjoy the action - and the holiday trappings.

By the way, if District 12 teams remain idle the weekend after Thanksgiving, how about a holiday matchup between perennial Catholic League powers Archbishop Wood (Class AAA) and La Salle (AAAA)? Now, that would be a must-see event.

Of course, the holiday pairing might not be needed if some schools (Conwell-Egan? West Catholic?) go by the wayside in 2012, the Catholic League realigns, and administrators smartly place the Vikings and Explorers in the same division.

Or, at the least, let's hope Wood and La Salle decide area bragging rights by scheduling an early-season nondivision tilt.

Last week: 7-2. Overall: 97-34.

Here is a look at some of the top holiday games:

 

Wednesday

Spring-Ford (9-2, 8-0) at Phoenixville (9-3, 5-3), 7 p.m. The Rams can clinch an outright Pioneer Athletic Conference championship. The Purple Phantoms, looking ahead to Saturday's PIAA District 1 Class AAA final against Pottsgrove, are likely to mix JV and varsity players. The series is tied, 10-10. Pick: Spring-Ford, 31-12.

 

Thursday

Archbishop Ryan (4-6) at George Washington (8-3), 10 a.m. Considering Ryan's improvement and Washington's drive to the District 12 Class AAAA final, it should be a taut game at Mickey Young Stadium. Ryan leads the series, 24-9-1. Pick: Ryan, 20-14.

No. 6 Malvern Prep (9-1) vs. St. Joseph's Prep (6-4), at Plymouth Whitemarsh, 10:30 a.m. Last year, the Friars nipped St. Joe's Prep, 14-13, in a snowy, sloppy affair. Malvern, with a 3-1 advantage, will try to spoil Skyler Mornhinweg's finale. Pick: Prep, 28-27, in overtime.

Father Judge (6-4) at Lincoln (7-4), 10 a.m. The Railsplitters are way overdue for a win against Judge, which is comfortably ahead, 32-3-1. Lincoln last got the better of its Rowland Avenue neighbor in 1989. Pick: Judge, 38-7.

Abington (9-2) at Cheltenham (5-6), 10 a.m. Abington quarterback Ken Cropper returns to Wyncote to take on his former teammates and possibly deal with boos from the Panthers' disgruntled faithful. Overall, the Galloping Ghosts lead, 54-29-6. Pick: Abington, 21-14.

Upper Moreland (2-9) at Hatboro-Horsham (4-7), 10 a.m. OK, so both teams have struggled this year. But the Route 611 Rumble is usually worth the price of admission. Hatboro-Horsham is in front, 50-25-5. Pick: H-H, 20-6.

Quakertown (5-6, 1-5) at Pennridge (6-5, 4-2), 10:15 a.m. The banged-up Rams have had the upper hand lately, including last year's 22-12 victory. Quakertown can avoid a losing season by notching a win at Poppy Yoder Field. Pennridge has a 50-26-5 advantage. Pick: Pennridge, 34-28.

Morrisville (1-8) at Bristol (2-7), 10:15 a.m. The Bulldogs and Warriors have been duking it out since 1928, with Bristol ahead by 42-36-4. Morrisville won, 49-27, last season. Pick: Bristol, 20-6.

Ridley (8-3) at Interboro (7-4), 10:30 a.m. The Green Raiders have dominated the series, but were blanked by the Bucs, 6-0, last year. Look for Jalen Randolph and company to fare better at finding the end zone this time. Ridley leads, 32-11. Pick: Ridley, 28-13.

Central (8-2) at Northeast (6-5), 10:30 a.m. It's the granddaddy of all Turkey Day games, with the series dating to 1892. The Vikings, who own a 54-51-10 advantage, are out for revenge after bowing to Central, 28-20, last month in a Public League first-round playoff. Pick: Northeast, 26-20.

Upper Darby (3-8, 2-6) at Haverford High (6-5, 4-4), 10:45 a.m. About two miles separate the schools. That makes for an intense and heated rivalry. The Fords cruised by 26-0 last year, but the Royals hold a 43-40-6 lead. Pick: Haverford, 36-27.

 


Contact staff writer Rick O'Brien at 610-313-8019, robrien@phillynews.com, or @ozoneinq on Twitter. Read his blog, "The O'Zone," at www.philly.com/ozone.