Week of Oct. 5, 2012
1. St. Joseph’s Prep (Record: 4-0. Previous Week: 1. Weeks Rated: 4.)
2. La Salle (Record: 5-0. Previous Week: 2. Weeks Rated: 6.)
3. Downingtown East (Record: 5-0. Previous Week: 3. Weeks Rated: 6.)
4. Archbishop Wood (Record: 4-1. Previous Week: 4. Weeks Rated: 6.)
5. North Penn (Record: 3-2. Previous Week: 5. Weeks Rated: 6.)
6. Central Bucks South (Record: 4-0. Previous Week: 8. Weeks Rated: 5.)
7. Imhotep Charter (Record: 5-0. Previous Week: 6. Weeks Rated: 6.)
8. Ridley (Record: 5-0. Previous Week: NR. Weeks Rated: 1.)
9. Coatesville (Record: 3-2. Previous Week: NR. Weeks Rated: 1.)
10. Episcopal Academy (Record: 5-0. Previous Week: NR. Weeks Rated: 1.)
By Joseph Santoliquito
Philadelphia, PA (CBS) — Dave Rackovan admits it. The Central Bucks South coach didn’t see this 5-0 start coming. Yet that’s where the Titans stand, as they head into their biggest challenge of the season visiting traditional powerhouse North Penn on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Central Bucks South features a spread offense that scores points in bunches. The Titans are among the highest-scoring offenses in the area averaging 47 points a game (235 points total), while giving up an average of 15.4 points a game (77 points total).
The Titans also feature one of Southeastern Pennsylvania’s best tailbacks, 6-foot-1, 190-pound sophomore Josh Adams, and a very capable quarterback in senior John Pileggi. This high-octane offense has benefitted from the protection provided by right tackle Tyler Paradysz, right guard Russell White, center Cory Outten, left guard Mike Clark and left tackle Mike McDermott. Paradysz and McDermott are the only returning linemen with any experience.
A lot of credit, too, has to go to Rackovan, who runs a fun though complex system, and his ability to teach the offense to his players in an easily understood way.
“I don’t think you ever expect to start a season 5-0,” said Rackovan, whose team posted a huge 44-28 victory over Souderton last week. “You look at things in terms of your own team, and I didn’t think we’d get out of the box as efficiently as we have. Souderton had a good defense, one of the best we’ll see all year. They came after us in the run game. But our quarterback is completing 85-percent of his passes.
“Going into the Souderton game, I didn’t know where we would be. We found out we are a good football team. Our kids love the offense we play. We try to play fast and try to have balance. We’re having fun.”
Winning can do that.
Adams carved up Souderton for 201 yards rushing and four touchdowns. He’s already rushed for over 1,000 yards in just five games. It’s his home-run ability that leaves defenses off balance in the Titans’ pass-oriented attack. Couple that with the sound decisions of Pileggi, who completed 12-for-13 passes for 226 yards and two touchdowns against Souderton, and it makes for a tough offense to stop.
“When we started playing for Coach Rackovan, we never worked with the spread offense before and it can be intimidating when you don’t know it,” Pileggi said. “But after working in the offense, it’s easy to comprehend and with how much we practice, we have it down pretty well. It’s basically a passing offense, but everyone is focused on Josh and packing in the box. We’ve been successful because we can pass and run. It works to our advantage.”
This Friday night poses a big test for the Titans. They will find out about themselves, if they are real contenders for the District 1 Class AAAA championship. The Knights may be 3-2 overall, but they have played a far tougher schedule than CB South.
“We know North Penn is North Penn, we’re 5-0 and we still feel we have a lot to prove,” Pileggi said. “Teams know about us now, we aren’t a secret anymore. It’s not over yet. We hope we can prove we are for real.”
Games of the Week
Archbishop Wood (4-1) at St. Joseph’s Prep (4-0), 7 p.m. Friday, at Plymouth-Whitemarsh High School: Wood, ranked No. 4, is the defending PIAA Class AAA state champion and though the Vikings lost a lot to graduation, they’re still a very formidable team. Freshman quarterback Tom Garlick is 6-foot-4 and if Prep is going to get Wood, now is the time. Andrew Guckin is an explosive runner, and the Vikings defense is very stingy.
Roman Catholic went up 7-0 on the Hawks, and Prep responded with 37 unanswered points in a 37-7 victory. No. 1 Prep may be the fastest team in the area—and the Hawks still feel as if they have something to prove. Prep coach Gabe Infante was not pleased with how his team played in the Roman victory, and was pleased his team wasn’t pleased, either.
This is a big test for both teams.
Wood gave up 24 points in a loss to North Penn. Prep was up 28-0 at halftime against North Penn.
Prediction: St. Joe’s Prep 35, Wood 20
Ridley (5-0) at Garnet Valley (4-1), 7 p.m. Friday: This Central League showdown may determine the league champion. Garnet Valley is coming off an upset loss to Springfield, when the Jaguars turned the ball over four times. The Jags are large and explosive. But they haven’t exactly been playing to their capabilities.
Ridley, meanwhile, has quietly surged along, playing great defense and outscoring its five opponents 156-53. The difference, Ridley doesn’t make mistakes while Garnet Valley has shown a penchant of doing that.
Prediction: Ridley 27, Garnet Valley 23
Joseph Santoliquito is a contributing sports blogger for CBS Philly.