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Rick O'Brien: Cutoff Week: Who's in, who's close in District 1

Posted Thursday, November 04, 2010 by Rick O'Brien, Philly.com
Week 10 is marked by the cutoff date for the PIAA District 1 football playoffs. That said, it's time to take a look at the Class AAAA and AAA fields and how we expect things to shake out.

Of course, it all comes down to who wins, including non-playoff qualifiers, in the next two days. The "win points" and "bonus points" will then be tallied, and the qualifiers, along with their seedings, will be announced Sunday.

 
Class AAAA. The 16 teams with the highest points average qualify.

Definitely in: 1, Ridley (9-0 current record, 132 power-points average, 10-0 predicted finish); 2, Council Rock South (8-1, 125, 9-1); 3, Downingtown East (8-1, 121, 9-1); 4, Neshaminy (8-1, 120, 9-1); 4, North Penn, (8-1, 120, 9-1); 6, Abington (7-2, 108, 8-2); 7, Central Bucks West (7-2, 107, 8-2); 8, West Chester Rustin (8-1, 106, 9-1); 9, Coatesville (7-2, 105, 8-2); 10 (tie), Boyertown (8-1, 104, 9-1); 10 (tie), Cheltenham (8-1, 104, 9-1); 12, Owen J. Roberts (7-2, 101, 8-2); 13, Upper Dublin (7-2, 97, 8-2).

Looking good, but not in yet: 14, Souderton (6-3, 94, 7-3); 15, Penn Wood (8-1, 90, 9-1).

On the bubble: 16, West Chester Henderson (6-3, 85, 6-4); 17, Garnet Valley (6-3, 84, 6-4); 18, Spring-Ford (6-3, 83, 7-3); 19, Pennsbury (5-4, 77, 5-5).

Fourteen of the top 15 seeds (No. 13 Upper Dublin has a bye) are expected to win this weekend. The final berth in the tournament is up for grabs, since No. 16 Henderson visits No. 3 Downingtown East on Friday in a Ches-Mont League National Conference contest.

We predict East to defeat Henderson, and current No. 17 Garnet Valley to knock off winless Lower Merion. If that happens, the injury-riddled Jaguars, with an 89 power-point average, would beat out Spring-Ford (88) and Henderson (80) for the final spot.

Here are our predicted first-round matchups, taking into account the predicted total "win" and "bonus" points gained by each team in Week 10. (Bonus points: for each win on a team's schedule, it collects 10 points for every victory the team it defeated registers, regardless of the opponent's classification):

No. 16 Garnet Valley at No. 1 Ridley; No. 15 Penn Wood at No. 2 Downingtown East; No. 14 Souderton at No. 3 Council Rock South; No. 13 Upper Dublin at No. 4 Neshaminy; No. 12 Cheltenham at No. 5 North Penn; No. 11 Owen J. Roberts at No. 6 Abington; No. 10 Central Bucks West at No. 7 Coatesville; and No. 9 West Chester Rustin at No. 8 Boyertown.

If it plays out that way, an intriguing quarterfinal matchup could have Neshaminy, ranked No. 7 in Southeastern Pennsylvania by The Inquirer, squaring off against No. 3 North Penn. The two are former bitter Suburban One League National Conference rivals.

Also in the quarterfinals, in a Ches-Mont National rematch, Coatesville could visit No. 5-ranked Downingtown East. The Cougars held off the Raiders, 21-14, in Week 4.

Class AAA. The eight teams with the highest points average will qualify.

Definitely in: 1, Strath Haven (8-1, 130, 9-1); 2, Upper Moreland (7-2, 121, 8-2); 3, Pottsgrove (7-2, 112, 8-2); 4, Springfield, Delco (7-2, 104, 7-3); 5, Bishop Shanahan (6-3, 92, 6-4); 6, Academy Park (6-3, 84, 6-4).

Looking good, but not in yet: 7, Upper Perkiomen (5-4, 58, 6-4).

On the bubble: 8, Octorara (4-4, 57, 4-5); 9, Interboro (4-5, 56, 5-5); 10, Marple Newtown (4-5, 51, 5-5).

Here are our predicted first-round matchups: No. 8 Upper Perkiomen at No. 1 Strath Haven; No. 7 Interboro at No. 2 Upper Moreland; No. 6 Academy Park at No. 3 Pottsgrove; No. 5 Bishop Shanahan at No. 4 Springfield.

 


Contact staff writer Rick O'Brien at 610-313-8019

or robrien@phillynews.com.



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