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Red Raiders Sports

Battle of unbeatens top slate

Posted Friday, October 01, 2010 by staff writer Peter DiGiovann, Daily Local News

Week five is here and the league races are certainly heating up. Avon Grove hopes to keep its playoff hopes alive as they visit Downingtown East, while Coatesville and Unionville look to do the same on Saturday when those two old friends meet. But, the big game in the county will be the battle of the unbeatens, West Chester Henderson and Bishop Shanahan, who both stand at 4-0.

Both squads are coming off impressive victories last week and both present multiple problems for each other. Henderson head coach Joe Walsh talked about some things Shanahan does well and his feeling on where his team is right now.

"We are executing very well right now on offense and defense," Walsh said. "We have cut down on our mistakes the first two games and are playing solid football. This is a great group of kids we have and we are looking to go 5-0 this week and then keep it going. We started out strong last year too and finished at 5-5. This year the kids have a motto to finish the season like we started so we talk about last year a lot.

"As far as Shanahan, they are a very good football team. The first challenge

they present is they have a real talented quarterback in Egolf (Ryan). He has alot of kids to throw to. They go five receivers at times. They have a nice balance of pass and run and Number 1 (Keegan Lawton) is very good for them. They also have a sturdy defense that keeps you off balance so we have our work cut out for us.

"Our quarterback Jake Richard has been running the option well and against West Chester East our two quarterbacks completed eight of 10 so it gave the kids confidence to throw the ball because our guys caught it. This should be a very good game."

Pick: West Chester Hendderson 21, Bishop Shanahan 20.

Avon Grove at Downingtown East

The Cougars look ready to amp up a big offenive game with both the pass and run clicking at the same time. For the Red Devils, they have to hope running back Brandon Monk breaks enough big runs to keep them in this. For the Cougars, Jeff Kiely is a very impressive lineman.

Pick: Downingtown East 28, Avon Grove 14.

Strath Haven at Conestoga

This game will decide who will challenge Ridley and Garnet Valley in the Central League. Both teams score a lot of points with the Pioneers averaging 31 points per game. 'Stoga has the leading rusher in the county in Blair Brooks, who has rushed for 608 yards and 10 touchdowns so far.

Pick: Conestoga 35, Strath Haven 24.

Downingtown West

at West Chester East

The Whippets look ready to right the ship a bit, while the Vikings boast the leading receiver in the county in Chuck Phelan, who has caught 21 balls for 214 yards this season. West is stronger up front than the Vikings.

Pick: Downingtown West 27, West Chester East 14.

Great Valley at Oxford

For the first time this season, Great Valley ran for more yards than it passed for in the win over Octorara. Oxford lost in overtime to Sun Valley last week.

Pick: Great Valley 34, Oxford 13.

Octorara at Sun Valley

The Braves average 30 points per game, but they do not play a whole lot of defense. They won't need that much this week.

Pick: Octorara 35, Sun Valley 14.

Saturday's games

Kennett at West Chester Rustin

The winless Blue Demons improved last week in a 27-13 loss to Academy Park. Kennett's Ian Torello has rushed for 308 yards, averaging over seven yards per carry. Rustin is in a different league however with the top rated passer in the county in Andrew Fifthian, who has thrown seven touchdown passes and no interceptions. The Rustin defenese has not allowed a touchdown since a week two loss to Bishop Shanahan.

Pick: West Chester Rustin 40, Kennett 14.

Coatesville at Unionville

This is basically a make or break game for the playoffs for both teams. This should be a defensive battle with Coatesville coming out on top.

Pick: Coatesville 14, Unionville 7.

To contact staff writer Peter DiGiovann,i e-mail cpn11716@comcast.net.

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