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Henderson-Rustin backyard clash highlights week's matchups

Posted Friday, October 15, 2010 by Peter DiGiovanni, Daily Local News
We are heavy into the second half of the scholastic football season and there are some intriguing games on tap this weekend. Malvern Prep opens its Inter-Ac campaign, Bishop Shanahan tries to snap a two-game losing streak at Downingtown East, while Conestoga has to run the table to have a shot at qualifying for the Class AAAA playoffs, which begin in just four weeks.

Possibly the best game of the weekend comes Saturday afternoon as West Chester Henderson visits West Chester Rustin to take on the streaking Golden Knights, who have played lights-out since a Week 2 loss to Shanahan. Henderson and Rustin need this game for playoff points and the game has developed into quite the rivalry according to Henderson head coach Joe Walsh.

"It has becaome the rivalry for us with the success Rustin has had the last two years," Walsh said. "We have not done so well against them the last two years and we really would like a win against them. The coaching staff's know each other very well and their athletic director, Chris Lunardi, was on our staff at one time. They are good guys but we would like to beat them. This game is a very big deal to the kids also.

"We know they are good up front with Chase Hoyt being a four-year starter. He is very talented and they have (Will) Ridgeway, also who is very good. But

we feel we match up pretty well against them. Their quarterback is having a good year throwing the football.

"He likes to throw the ball up to (Anthony) Nash, so we will have to watch that from them. But, I feel they are still a run-oriented team that when they need to, they like to run the football. We did not do a good job stopping the run last week against Downingtown West so we know we have to be better this week.

Pick: The numbers favor Rustin, with the Knights leading the county in offense and defense, averaging 34 points scored per game and only letting up nine points per contest. But, I think the Henderson option will give the Knights a little trouble and I am going to go with the Warriors again this week, 23-17.

Bishop Shanahan at Downingtown East

The Eagles need a win badly for their Class AAA playoff hopes and they will try to throw the ball a lot. Shanahan leads the county with over 1,000 yards through the air. I think the Cougars make more plays, however.

Pick: Downingtown East 27, Bishop Shanahan 17.

Coatesville at West Chester East

Coatesville's Dae-Hon Cheung may be the quickest back in the Ches-Mont. East may have found something in sophomore quarterback Nick Scotese, who is 20-for-35. East has two good receivers in Chuck Phelan and Eddie Anderson, who is now back from injury. Speaking of receivers, Coateville's Kyle Kerrick leads the county with seven touchdown catches.

Pick: Coatesville 30, West Chester East 20.

Downingtown West at Avon Grove

The Whippets have won three games in a row while Avon Grove has struggled a little lately. For the Whippets, their defense has only allowed an average of 115 rushing yards in those three wins. Louis Smith caught 10 balls against Henderson last week and Avon Grove's secondary can be thrown on.

Pick: Downingtown West 24, Avon Grove 14.

Conestoga at Penncrest

The Pioneers should score early and often on the Lions' defense. 'Stoga does need a big game from its own defense, which in its three losses has given up an average of 361 yards on the ground.

Pick: Conestoga 38, Penncrest 21.

Malvern Prep at Penn Charter

The real season begins now for the Friars. Malvern's Sean Mooney is a threat at tight end and defensive end for the Friars. Fullback Bobby Scaramuzza was impressive against Downigntown East.

Pick: Malvern Prep 34, Penn Charter 13.

Octorara at Oxford

These two programs have shown some encouraging signs this season. For Oxford, quarterback Connor Hollenbach has over 800 yards passing.

Pick: Oxford 28, Octorara 27

Unionville at Sun Valley

Unionville head coach Pat Clark could not have been happy with his team's performance against Oxford last week. Pity Sun Valley.

Pick: Unionville 38, Sun Valley 7.

Great Valley at Kennett

The Blue Demons won their first game of the Scott Green era last week, so why stop now. Why stop now?

Pick: Kennett 17, Great Valley 14.

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

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