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Rick OBriens football predictions

Posted Thursday, October 07, 2010 by Rick OBriens, Philly.com

The four-headed monster that was Garnet Valley's vaunted triple-option attack was cut in half in a Week 3 win at Conestoga.

The Jaguars, set to host Upper Darby in a Central League showdown at 7 p.m. Friday in Glen Mills, lost fullback Alex Warden (broken foot) and halfback Justin Pyle (high ankle sprain) to injuries in the road romp.

Senior Jake Helmes, a first-year starter at quarterback, has kept them on the winning track. The 6-foot-1, 175-pounder has carried 69 times for 495 yards and four touchdowns. Halfback Kyle Keyser likewise has been important, rushing 42 times for 256 yards and four scores.

Before going down, Pyle carried 33 times for 208 yards and three TDs, with Warden contributing 222 yards and four scores on 51 attempts.

Thomas Obi-Tabot is filling in for Warden at fulback, and Gerald McFadden has replaced Pyle at halfback.

Garnet Valley is 5-0 overall, 4-0 in the Central League, and ranked No. 9 in Southeastern Pennsylvania by The Inquirer. Upper Darby, coming off a 41-7 rout of Radnor, is 3-2 and 3-1.

The Royals' upset bid will be headed on offense by three running backs: rugged 6-foot-2, 220-pound senior Amara Kamara; 5-8, 150-pound sophomore Sonkarly Winpea; and 5-8, 165-pound junior Radean Thompson.

The leaders of Garnet Valley's 4-4 defense, coordinated by Rich Stroup, are inside linebackers Jeremy Irving (44 tackles, 41/2 sacks) and Ryan Van Horn (29 tackles), outside linebacker Johnny Blair (31), and free safety Connor MacNeal (25).

Can Upper Darby take advantage of the Jaguars' weakened offensive backfield? Not enough, we think, to reverse last year's 20-16 defeat. Pick: Garnet Valley, 31-13.

Last week: 9-6. Overall: 51-24 (.680 winning percentage).

No. 6 Cardinal O'Hara (5-0) at Red Lion Christian (2-0), 7 p.m. Friday. It's the last chance to catch eighth-grade phenom David Sills (17-for-28 passing, 367 yards, three TDs) play against an area team. Pick: O'Hara, 28-21.

Plymouth Whitemarsh (3-2, 2-0) at Upper Dublin (4-1, 2-0), 7 p.m. Friday. QB Andrew Derr, with Jeff Buchanan and Rich Orth as his leading targets, challenges the improved Colonials. Pick: Upper Dublin, 26-14.

No. 3 North Penn (4-1, 2-0) at Central Bucks West (4-1, 1-1), 7 p.m. Friday. This game brings back memories of the epic clashes of the late 1990s, when the Knights and Bucks were powerhouses. Pick: North Penn, 31-7.

Owen J. Roberts (3-2, 2-1) at Upper Perkiomen (2-3, 1-2), 7 p.m. Friday. The Wildcats' Ryan Brumfield (6,831 career yards) inches closer to becoming Southeastern Pennsylvania's all-time leading rusher. Pick: OJR, 32-21.

Malvern Prep (2-2) at No. 7 Downingtown East (4-1, 2-0), 2 p.m. Saturday. Before the Friars begin Inter-Ac League play, they take on QB Trey Lauletta and company. Pick: East, 30-21.


Other games to watch:

Olney (4-1, 3-1) vs. Fels (3-2, 3-0), at Northeast, 3 p.m. Friday. Pick: Olney, 14-12.

Norristown (3-2, 2-0) at Upper Moreland (4-1, 1-0), 7 p.m. Friday. Pick: Norristown, 26-24.

Bishop Shanahan (4-1, 1-1) at Coatesville (3-2, 0-1), 7 p.m. Friday. Pick: Coatesville, 27-14.

West Catholic (3-2, 0-0) vs. Bishop McDevitt (3-2, 1-0), at Cheltenham, 7 p.m. Friday. Pick: West, 35-13.

Central (3-2, 2-2) vs. Imhotep Charter (4-1, 3-1), at Germantown, 6 p.m. Friday. Pick: Imhotep, 26-12.

Bok (4-1, 3-1) vs. Communications Tech (3-1, 3-1), at Southern, 6 p.m. Friday. Pick: Bok, 36-18.

Conestoga (3-2, 2-2) at No. 2 Ridley (5-0, 4-0), 7 p.m. Friday. Pick: Ridley, 34-14.

Glen Mills (2-3) at Chester (3-2), 10:30 a.m. Saturday: Pick: Chester, 26-20.

Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/high_school/20101007_Rick_OBriens_football_predictions.html#ixzz11iwNqKZF
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