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Red Raiders Sports

Indians should have the edge

Posted Thursday, September 16, 2010 by By PETER DiGIOVANNI, Staff Writer - Daily Local News

Indians should have the edge

The first two weeks of the scholastic football season have been very entertaining. Tonight, Week 3 kicks off a day early due to Yom Kippur with four games on tap. Friday night brings six more games and then three area teams round out the slate Saturday.

In a big Central League bash tonight, Garnet Valley invades Teamer Field to take on the high-powered Conestoga offense, which is averaging 35.5 points per game. But a big clash in the Ches-Mont League, between Unionville and Avon Grove, is the game we are going to feature. Unionville at 1-1, can ill af

ford to lose another game for its playoff chances, while Avon Grove is 2-0 but untested after wins over Kennett and Oxford.

"Unionville is always very strong up front and I know they have some new guys, but (head coach) Pat (Clark) does a great job with them year after year," Avon Grove coach Marvin Dooley said. "They do not try to fool you much, they just like to line up and beat on you. They are always one of the most hard-nosed and physical teams around.

"They also have a real good quarterback in (Connor) Gades and Mason Popham is a real good back. We are going to have our work cut out for us. If they put eight or nine guys in the box to stop Brandon Monk, then we will put it in the air more. Toby (Fiala), had a big game last week throwing for over 200 yards so we feel we can go through the air if we have to.

"But, like I said, the thing with Unionville is that they like to line up and smack you in the mouth. Their kids are always tough so we have to be just as physical as they are. We like the way our tight end Sam Benson is playing. He is one of the best around. We had success throwing to him the other night. This will be a good one."

Pick: Unionville 21, Avon Grove 14.

Tonight's games

West Chester Henderson

at Plymouth Whitemarsh

The Warriors got things going last week against Great Valley, rushing for 324 yards and completely shutting down the Patriots. Plymouth Whitemarsh is under a first-year head coach and is rebuilding the program.

Pick: W.C. Henderson 34, Plymouth Whitemarsh 13.

Garnet Valley at Conestoga

'Stoga has so many offensive weapons, it is just not fair. Last week against Upper Darby, senior running back Blair Brooks exploded for five touchdowns. The Jaguars are also undefeated and can score a ton of points. This should be a shootout.

Pick: Conestoga 30, Garnet Valley 28.

Penn Wood at Great Valley

Great Valley has had trouble stopping the run in its first two games against Phoenixville and Henderson. Penn Wood defeated a good Penn Charter club last week and is 2-0 for the first time in a while. The Patriots feature 6-foot-9 Penn State signee Shawn Oakman up front. Oakman has four sacks already this season.

Pick: Penn Wood 21, Great Valley 17.

Friday's games

McKinley (D.C.) at Coatesville

This game boils down to McKinley taking a nice ride and getting a check. The Red Raiders will roll in this one as they get ready for Downingtown East next week. Coatesville's Kevin Berry is having a big year and quarterback Manny Stocker gets better every game.

Pick: Coatesville 42, McKinley 7.

Glen Mills at Downingtown East

The Cougars showed they could be physical up front in their easy win over Norristown. The three-headed monster of Trey Lauletta, Tyler Kroft and Drew Harris will be too much for the Bulls.

Pick: Downingtown East 35, Glen Mills 10.

Kennett at Twin Valley

Kennett has not shown any consistency on offense in its first two games, getting shut out by West Chester East last week. But Twin Valley is a team the Blue Demons can beat.

Pick: Kennett 20, Twin Valley 14.

West Chester Rustin

at West Chester East

East shut out Kennett, 14-0, last week, while the Golden Knights lost to Bishop Shanahan, 40-37. Rustin still managed some big plays and over 400 yards of total offense. East does not have the weapons Shanahan does on offense.

Pick: W.C. Rustin 40, W.C. East 20.

Octorara at Pequea Valley

The Braves gave up 29 points last week in a close loss to Big Spring, but the Braves still showed they can move the football. Valley is not a very strong team.

Pick: Octorara 28, Pequea Valley 20.

Solanco at Oxford

The Hornets have not stopped anyone defensively yet, and while they won't see the offensive firepower shown the past two weeks (Bishop Shanahan and Avon Grove), they will be in for another tought battle against Solanco. The Golden Mules are 1-1 and possibly a step or two ahead of Oxford this week.

Pick: Solanco 23, Oxford 13

Saturday's games

Malvern Prep at Bergen Catholic

The Friars were beat up by Roman Catholic last week while Bergen defeated Class AAAA defending champs, La Salle, 22-21. Bergen is also very physical and Malvern will have to find a way to run the football.

Pick: Bergen Catholic 27, Malvern Prep 14.

Downingtown West at Chester

The Whippets have only scored six points in their first two games. But their defense has been very tough and they should do enough to win a close one in Chester.

Pick: Downingtown West 14, Chester 10.

Chichester at Bishop Shanahan

Shanahan is on a Class AAA playoff push this season and Chichester, to be kind, is not very good.

Pick: Bishop Shanahan 45, Chichester 7.

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