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Red Raiders Sports

Playoff time

Posted Friday, November 12, 2010 by Peter DiGiovannia, Daily Local

Playoff time

Well, we've finally have made it to playoff time and five area schools are alive in their quest for a state crown. Downingtown East, Coatesville, West Chester Henderson and West Chester Rustin are all in the Class AAAA dance, while Bishop Shanahan holds the mantle in the Class AAA playoffs.

Area teams are all involved in rugged games this week, as you would expect come playoff time, but maybe none as tough as Coatesville hosting the No. 10 seed, Central Bucks West. The Bucks are 9-2, have scored more than 40 points five times this season, and their only losses have come to two other playoff teams, North Penn and Souderton. Red Raider head coach Matt Ortega knows what his team is up against in this big, first-round matchup.

"They are very, very good," Ortega said. "You would not believe they were 1-9 last season. Their tailback is probably in the top three in District 1. They have a solid fullback and a big wide receiver that can go deep. They will show us one of the best offensive lines we have seen this season and they are also good on defense.

"But we feel we can score on them and our quarterback Manny Stocker is ready for playoff football. He was 9-for-13 throwing the football last week against Avon Grove. He has great arm strength and he is starting to look downfield which is opening things up for us. He is comfortable in the spread offense or the five- and seven-step drop.

"We also get a lift from getting Dom Wilson back from injury and with Dom and Dae-Hon Cheung and Rasheed Baker-Wilson and Kyle Kerrick, we feel we have four or five guys that can hurt you."

Pick: This will be a good one. Central Bucks West has played a very good schedule and they can score points. But I look for Coatesville to move on at home with a 24-17 victory.

West Chester Henderson at Ridley,

7 p.m., (streaming live on WCHE1520.com)

West Chester Henderson enters the tournament as the No. 16 seed and for that the Warriors get to go to top seeded and defending District 1 champion Ridley to face the 10-0 Green Raiders. Henderson is coming off a huge 30-24 win over Downingtown East to just get in the playoffs and Warrior head coach Joe Walsh talked about his team's chances down in Delaware County.

"We feel we match up pretty well against them physically," Walsh said. "But, the thing with Ridley is that they have so many good athletes and they play with a lot of confidence, especially at home where they have the Green Mystique going for them.

"But, our quarterback Strafford Foster has had two really good games in a row and our defense is playing better than it has all season. The kids have played some tough games this year and they are very proud of the league they play in.

"We have a good feel about our chances and those nagging injuries that have bothered us this season are all gone now so we feel confident because we are playing our best football of the season right now."

Pick: Ridley only allows seven points per game and has shut out four teams this season. Henderson will have to play almost perfect football in this one. I think they will. Henderson 20, Ridley 14.

Owen J. Roberts vs. Downingtown East at Downingtown West, 7 p.m.

Owen J. Roberts visits Downingtown East in a battle of the six and 11 seeds and a battle of running backs between Owen J. Roberts' Ryan Brumfield, who has 34 touchdowns and has rushed for 2,548 yards, and the Cougars' Drew Harris, who has 22 scores and 1,621 yards.

Downingtown East will have to forget about last week's loss to Henderson and will have to wrap up Brumfield. The Cougar defense let Henderson break a lot of tackles last week. Owen J. has scored more than 50 points three times this season and their losses have been to Conestoga and Spring-Ford.

Pick: Downingtown East 34, Owen J. Roberts 28.

Boyertown vs. W.C. Rustin at W.C. Henderson, 7 p.m.

Boyertown comes in as the No. 9 seed to face West Chester Rustin, the eight seed at Henderson High School. Boyertown's only loss of the season came at the hands of Owen J.Roberts, 55-12. The Bears offense is very potent, scoring over 50 points three times and 40 points four other times.

But, a look at the Bears schedule shows wins over Allentown Allen, Twin Valley, Pottstown and the likes of the Pac-10. Rustin's schedule is also suspect, but the Knights beat a good Henderson team and Unionville is as good as anyone on the Bears schedule.

Pick: West Chester Rustin 28, Boyertown 14.

Saturday

Springfield (Delco) at Bishop Shanahan, 11 a.m.

In the Class AAA field, The Eagles made the playoffs for the first time and they face an offensive team coached by ex-Downingtown quarterback Dan Ellis who has revived the Springfield program. The Cougars average 36 points per game and have three losses to Ridley, Strath-Haven and Interboro.

The main man for Springfield is running back Matt Craig. He will get the ball often, but with an Ellis-coached team you can expect a lot of formations and the Cougars even run the Wildcat formation at times. Craig is very good and the Eagles will have to gang tackle him or it will be a long day.

Pick: Springfield 24, Bishop Shanahan 21.

Other games

Harriton 24, Great Valley 14.

Malvern Prep 21, Chesnut Hill 14.

West Chester East 31, Sun Valley 7.

Octorara 42, Chichester 17.

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

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