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Red Raiders Sports

Playoff focus sharper for five teams

Posted Tuesday, November 02, 2010 by Peter DiGiovanni, Daily Local
Week 9 put the District 1 playoff picture in a little clearer light as four Class AAAA schools, Downingtown East, W.C. Rustin, Coatesville and W.C. Henderson would all qualify for the tournament if the season ended today. Bishop Shanahan is in the Class AAA dance for the first time and if they can defeat Downigntown West this week, then the Eagles may even get a home game in the first round.

This past week, West Chester Henderson moved Jake Richard to running back and inserted sophomore Strafford Foster at quarterback. Good move by head coach Joe Walsh. Richard can be effective from the running back spot, Foster rushed for 234 yards out of the option offense as Henderson set themselves up for a playoff win-and-you're-in situation this week at Downingtown East.  With Zach Jones finally back in the lineup, Henderson has the speed to go with power runner Ryan Brewer in the backfield.

Downingtown East laid waste to West Chester East, 47-7, and Drew Harris gained over 200 yards rushing, as usual. The Cougars held the Vikings to just 74 yards rushing and looked good, especially coming off the emotional win over Downingtown West a week ago. Many teams would have struggled with intensity in the same spot, but not the Cougars.

Coatesville continues to impress people and myself, in particular, as the Red Raiders hold Downingtown West to just 10 points. That is 10 points allowed now in the last two weeks by the Red Raiders defense. A win over Avon Grove this week would likely give Coatesville a top eight seed and a first-round home game.

The Class AAAA bracket was shaken up a little by the loss of top seed, Council Rock South, 34-24 to Abington last week. Ridley now moves to the top spot, while the Golden Hawks fall to number two ahead of Downingtown East. In a tie for the fourth spot are North Penn and Neshaminy. C.R. South fumbled the ball three times in the first half, dooming them to the Ghosts.

Another week, another easy game for West Chester Rustin. Quarterback Andrew Fithian is now up to 20 touchdown passes with no interceptions. I wonder if the Knights get a home game in the first round of the playoffs, will they play at Rustin on Saturday afternoon, or if they will ask Henderson to use its field to play on Friday night?

Rustin should take care of Octorara this week, then will probably need help to hold onto the eighth seed. Strength of schedule has hurt the Knights' point total.

Speaking of hurt, Great Valley has really suffered through a pretty bad season and the Patriots really need to win their last two games against two bad teams, Sun Valley and Harriton, to build some confidence for next season.

Owen J. Roberts exploited Boyertown last week, with running back Ryan Brumfield scoring six touchdowns and leading the way for the Wildcats. Owen J. should come in around 11th or 12th in the Class AAAA bracket.

Malvern Prep's Thanksgiving Day game with St. Joseph's Prep has been moved to Plymouth Whitemarsh from Villanova University.

Coatesville's Manny Stocker has not thrown an interception since Week 3 against Downingtown East. The Red Raiders are undefeated since that loss to the Cougars.

It has been a while, but when the Class AAAA seeds comeout, the name Central Bucks West will be on the list. It was not that long ago that the Bucks ruled District 1 and regularly beat North Penn.

Daily Local News

Football Top 10

1. Downingtown East: Cougars go for Ches-Mont National title against Henderson.

2. Coatesville: Is it just me or do the Red Raiders look better each week?

3. W.C. Rustin: Another Ches-Mont American title for the Knights.

4. W.C. Henderson: Do or die time for the Warriors this week.

5. Malvern Prep: Haverford School derails the Friars two years in a row.

6. Unionville: The Indians are playing hard right to the end.

7. Bishop Shanahan: Congrats to Eagles head coach Paul Meyers and his players and coaches.

8. Conestoga: The Pioneers offense explodes on Lower Merion.

9. Downingtown West: The Whippets miss the playoffs for the first time in a while.

10. Avon Grove: The Red Devils' Brandon Monk is quite a player.

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

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