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Heres how some football tournaments will go

Posted Thursday, November 11, 2010 by Rick O'Brien, Philly.com

There are 21 football playoff contests on tap this weekend. We'll provide game-by-game predictions Friday, including selections in five championship tilts: Catholic League Class AAAA and AAA, Public League Class AAAA and AAA, and District 1 Class A.

Today, we peer into the crystal ball and tell you how the District 1 Class AAAA and AAA tournaments will play out. At the AA level, we break down the four-team "subregional" that includes only District 12 members.

Here goes:

District 1 Class AAAA. In Friday's opening round, top seed Ridley, No. 3 North Penn, No. 4 Neshaminy, No. 6 Downingtown East, No. 7 Coatesville, No. 8 West Chester Rustin, No. 12 Cheltenham, and No. 15 Souderton advance.

So, we anticipate two upsets in the first round. Souderton, impressive in recent action, knocks off No. 2 Council Rock South; and Cheltenham, co-champion of the Suburban One League American Conference, upends No. 5 Abington.

C.R. South's once-impenetrable defense has struggled down the stretch, yielding 45 points to Abington and 25 to Council Rock North.

Souderton's junior-heavy offense has a solid one-two punch in halfbacks Tyler Scholl (116 for 818, 12 touchdowns) and Javon White (100 for 736 yards, 9). Support comes from fullback Joe McNamara (120 for 635, 2) and quarterback Tanner Allem (67-for-126 passing, 5 TDs).

Abington is riding a six-game winning streak, but we expect Cheltenham's underrated defense, allowing 13.9 points per outing, to keep fleet-footed QB Julien Ireland and tailback Ray Schreiner in check. That will set the stage for some late heroics from do-everything back Dan Rouse and/or rising signal-caller Kenneth Cropper.

In the quarterfinals, Shahaid Smith and Ridley handle Rustin, Suburban One League National Conference tri-champ Neshaminy ousts Cheltenham, speedy Coatesville runs past Souderton, and North Penn shows Downingtown East, paying for its Week 10 loss to West Chester Henderson with an unenviable trip to Crawford Stadium, the door.

In the semifinals, Neshaminy, with a ground game averaging 200-plus yards, surprises Ridley at Phil Marion Field; and North Penn, spreading the ball among its gifted playmakers, ends Coatesville's bid for glory.

The AAAA champion?

In a physical tussle between former Suburban One National rivals, North Penn, spearheaded by rugged fullback Dom Taggart and scatback Brandon Mercer, beats Neshaminy by two touchdowns and claims its second district crown in the last three years and fifth overall.

District 1 Class AAA. In first-round action, top seed Strath Haven downs No. 8 Upper Perkiomen; No. 5 Springfield (Delco), behind 3,613-yard career rusher Matt Craig, dismisses No. 4 Bishop Shanahan; No. 2 Upper Moreland beats No. 7 Interboro for a second time; and No. 3 Pottsgrove trips No. 6 Academy Park.

In one semifinal, Central League rivals Springfield and Strath Haven meet for the second time in three weeks. Behind fullback Thurman Fortune (1,450 rushing yards, 15 TDs), the Panthers, 27-7 winners in Week 9, triumph again.

In the other semifinal, Upper Moreland and Pottsgrove square off again. Last year, the Falcons eked out a 21-14 first-round win. This time, we like the revenge-minded Golden Bears to be the survivor of a taut contest.

The Upper Moreland-Strath Haven final will be the rematch of a season opener won by the Golden Bears, 14-7, in Willow Grove. On a neutral field, the Panthers notch their 12th straight victory and claim their first district crown since 2003 – and 10th overall.

Class AA subregional. Unlike the last two seasons, when District 1 was guaranteed at least one berth in a four-team tourney (Lower Moreland gained it each year), it's an all-District 12 affair.

Following the PIAA's "policies and procedures" for subregional playoffs, District 1 and 12 officials switched to a power-points qualification system. As a result, District 1's Springfield (Montco), with a sixth-place average of 82.2 points, was left on the outside looking in.

On Saturday at South Philly's Super Site, we expect top seed West Catholic to overpower No. 4 Del-Val Charter and No. 2 Bok to reverse a 14-0, Week 6 loss to No. 3 Communications Tech.

In the final, West Catholic ousts Bok for the third straight year and advances to play the victor of a District 2-11 subregional.

Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/high_school/20101110_Heres_how_some_football_tournaments_will_go.html#ixzz14yyxy1I5
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