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St. Joseph’s Prep And La Salle Ready For Big Rematch

Jon Daniel Runyan. Prep coach Gabe Infante and John Reid
High School Football Frenzy
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Top 10 

Week of Nov. 9, 2012

1. St. Joseph’s Prep (Record: 9-0. Previous Week: 1. Weeks Rated: 8.)

2. La Salle (Record: 9-1. Previous Week: 2. Weeks Rated: 10.)

3. Downingtown East (Record: 10-0. Previous Week: 3. Weeks Rated: 10.)

4. Archbishop Wood (Record: 8-2. Previous Week: 4. Weeks Rated: 10.)

5. Episcopal Academy (Record: 9-0. Previous Week: 5. Weeks Rated: 6.)

6. Imhotep Charter (Record: 10-0. Previous Week: 6. Weeks Rated: 10.)

7. Ridley (Record: 10-0. Previous Week: 7. Weeks Rated: 5.)

8. Coatesville (Record: 8-2. Previous Week: 8. Weeks Rated: 5.)

9. Pennridge (Record: 9-1. Previous Week: 9. Weeks Rated: 4.)

10. Central Bucks South (Record: 9-1. Previous Week: 10. Weeks Rated: 9.) 

By Joseph Santoliquito 

Philadelphia, PA (CBS) — They knew they would meet each other again. Only this time, expect to see a much crisper, much more sound game when La Salle plays St. Joseph’s Prep for the Philadelphia Catholic League Class AAAA Championship at 1 p.m. Saturday at Plymouth-Whitemarsh High School.

Prep won the first game between the top two teams in the area, 24-16, back on October 13 over four-time defending Catholic League champion La Salle. But it was a game that featured a combined 11 turnovers between them.

The Hawks, who are 9-0 overall, are the No. 1 team in the area and they’ve arrived there because of a great defense. Prep has only given up two rushing touchdowns this season, and a total of six.

Still, Prep coach Gabe Infante has a good idea what’s ahead for his team against La Salle, which is 9-1 and owned the Catholic League Class AAAA championship since 2008, and five of the last six Class AAAA Catholic League titles.

“They’re going to come out and play better than they did the first time; they’re a very well coached team, and they have great players, but we’ve been saying to our guys focus on the process,” Infante said. “Yesterday’s performance is not good enough to win the next game. We’ve been so focused and detailed day-to-day, not looking beyond anyone.

“At the end of the day, we’re going to be okay. I believe we’ll play a better game, too. I feel good about the fact there is nothing else we can do. I worked my team as hard as I can. They’re going to have to come out and play their A-game. We’ve driven these guys hard. We’re playing to be the best that we can be.”

It might be an idea to arrive early. The first game drew 8,000, but with something larger at stake, a predicted crowd of 10,000 is expected to arrive at Plymouth-Whitemarsh.

What could be at stake is the PIAA Class AAAA state championship. Because no team in the area seems to be better than either St. Joe’s or La Salle.

Prep last won the Philadelphia City championship in 1977, which is 35 years ago. The Hawks have a chance to break that long slide, but firs they’re going to have beat formidable La Salle.

Episcopal Academy Closes On Storybook Season 

In past years the Inter-Academic League rivalry between Episcopal Academy and Haverford School was just that—a rivalry game. Very seldom have both teams been good at the same time.

This year, they are.

But Episcopal Academy has far, far more to gain with a victory when the teams meet Saturday at 1 p.m. at Haverford School. The Churchmen have the best little story going in area high school football this season. A victory gives the Churchmen the big prize, their first outright Inter-Ac title since 1982, before Churchmen coach Todd Fairlie was born.

Episcopal is 9-0 and 4-0 in the Inter-Ac. The Churchmen have won more games this year than the three previous years combined. Since both teams are undefeated in the league, the winner will win the Inter-Ac championship. Haverford School is 7-3 overall and last won the Inter-Ac in 2010, winning it outright. Episcopal did win the Inter-Ac in 2004, but the Churchmen shared it with Penn Charter and Germantown Academy.

District 1 Class AAAA playoff picture

Downingtown East, with the pass-catch combination of quarterback Kyle Lauletta and receiver Jay Harris, is the No. 1 seed in the PIAA District 1 Class AAAA playoffs. The Cougars, who finished the regular season undefeated are looking for their first district championship in the 10-year history of the school.

Possibly standing in Downingtown East’s way is No. 2 seed Ridley, which features a stubborn defense, and watch for No. 3 seed Pennridge. The Rams had a bad game in their one loss to Bensalem, but otherwise have run over every team they’ve played this season, including some good ones, like Haverford School and Academy Park.

Don’t be surprised if it’s not a Pennridge-Downingtown East final, simply because Ridley doesn’t have the offense to hang with explosive teams like Downingtown East and Pennridge.

The X-factor is Downingtown East’s Lauletta. It’s incredibly tough to defend a quarterback who can pick apart a defense and call plays at the line of scrimmage.

The eight teams in the 16-team tournament with the highest point average will host the first-round games. The same format will prevail for the following three weeks. Play begins this weekend.

1. Downingtown East (10-0) vs. 16. Wissahickon (7-3)

2. Ridley (10-0) vs. 15. Downingtown West (7-3)

3. Pennridge (9-1) vs. 14. Abington (7-3)

4. Plymouth-Whitemarsh (9-1)vs. 13. Neshaminy (7-3)

5. Central Bucks South (9-1)vs. 12. Haverford (8-2)

6. Pennsbury (8-2) vs. 11. West Chester Rustin (8-2)

7. Spring Ford (9-1) vs. 10. Garnet Valley (8-2)

8. Unionville (8-2) vs. 9. Coatesville (8-2) 

District 1 Class AAA playoff picture

Pottsgrove the No. 1 seed and favorite, but if there is a team that bears watching, it’s Academy Park. The Knights, under coach Jason Vosheski, are having a fantastic season and they’re a team that features great speed. Tailback Jerry Lanier has rushed for over 1,100 yards, and if any team has a chance to beat Pottsgrove, it could be the Knights.

The four teams in the eight-team tournament with the highest point average will host the first-round games. The same format will prevail for the following week. Play begins this weekend.

1. Pottsgrove (10-0) vs. 8. Strath Haven (5-5)

2. Academy Park (9-1) vs. 7. Upper Moreland (6-4)

3. Interboro (8-2) vs. 6. Phoenixville (6-4)

4. West Chester Henderson (7-3) vs. 5. Springfield (7-3)