Week of Nov. 30, 2012
1. La Salle (Record: 11-1. Previous Week: 1. Weeks Rated: 13.)
2. St. Joseph’s Prep (Record: 10-1. Previous Week: 2. Weeks Rated: 11.)
3. Archbishop Wood (Record: 10-2. Previous Week: 3. Weeks Rated: 13.)
4. Episcopal Academy (Record: 10-0. Previous Week: 4. Weeks Rated: 9.)
5. Imhotep Charter (Record: 13-0. Previous Week: 5. Weeks Rated: 13.)
6. Coatesville (Record: 11-2. Previous Week: 7. Weeks Rated: 8.)
7. Spring-Ford (Record: 12-2. Previous Week: 9. Weeks Rated: 2.)
8. Pennridge (Record: 12-2. Previous Week: 8. Weeks Rated: 7.)
9. Interboro (Record: 11-2. Previous Week: NR. Weeks Rated: 1.)
10. Downingtown East (Record: 10-1. Previous Week: NR. Weeks Rated: 1.)
By Joseph Santoliquito
Glenolden, PA (CBS) — They like this. They like the doubt, and the cackling laughter. They like the fact that probably no one, other than themselves, feels Interboro can pull off this herculean task and topple defending PIAA Class AAA state champion Archbishop Wood in the state quarterfinals Friday at 7 p.m. at Plymouth-Whitemarsh High School.
But it’s been like that for tiny Interboro all year. In fact, to hear Bucs’ legendary coach Steve Lennox, it’s always like that every year. They’re not big enough. They’re not fast enough. They can’t keep up with these high-octane teams.
Yet, every year Lennox places his team in a great position to win the Del-Val League championship and go deep into the District 1 Class AAA playoffs.
This season, this Bucs’ team, which may have been surrounded by more doubt than any of Lennox’s more talented previous teams, found that deep something extra to kick their way in and make history—winning Interboro’s first District 1 Class AAA championship by outlasting West Chester Henderson, 14-12, in the title game last week.
That victory comes on the heels of a pretty improbable journey. The Bucs won their district semifinal game over a very good Academy Park team, which beat the Bucs two weeks prior for the first time in 18 years by more than three touchdowns (49-26).
Now the Bucs are poised to shock Southeastern Pennsylvania and try and take out Wood, which is a combined 24-3 the last two years.
“We know it was definitely a hard way to get here; no one believed in us, we believed in ourselves, our coaches believed in us, and so did our fans,” Bucs’ senior quarterback Nick Rentos said. “Everyone else thought we wouldn’t be playing after Thanksgiving after the first AP [Academy Park] game. No one gives us a chance to beat Wood and we know that. We know Wood is no joke, and we know we’ll have to play a near-perfect game to beat them. I like the fact we know no one thinks we can win. It doesn’t put any pressure on us.
“We won’t beat Wood with penalties and turnovers, they’re way too good for that. We’re going to have earn their respect. We’re a little public school compared to Wood, because they can get anyone they want from anywhere. We’re a bunch of neighborhood kids who grew up together. I think it’s a great thing that we can do this together. It’s a great feeling doing it with guys you’ve known your whole life. It’s why I think we’re more of a team than they are. Being underestimated is going to help us; Wood is used to teams giving up. We won’t.”
Interboro defensive coordinator Mike D’Esposito is an evil scientist when it comes to concocting exotic defensive schemes. The Bucs will admittedly have their hands full with the larger Vikings. They’ll try and confuse Wood’s talented 6-foot-4 freshman quarterback Tom Garlick.
Plus, Wood’s Andrew Guckin is a powerhouse back that’s been tough to stop. He mowed over Bonner-Prendergast for 340 yards and six touchdowns in a 56-35 Vikings’ victory on October 26.
“Wood is a big team, their line is humongous and they have a good running back,” Bucs’ senior linebacker Rashon Fentress said. “We have to stop the run. We know it’s going to be a physical game. But we’re a team that won’t give up no matter what. I hope the district championship isn’t it. I want to win. I want to keep winning as long as we can.”
District 1 Class AAAA Championship
Coatesville (11-2) vs. Spring-Ford (12-2), 7 p.m. at Downingtown West High School
It’s an interesting matchup between two teams that really weren’t expected to get here. No. 9-seeded Coatesville reached the title game by outscoring its three playoff opponents by a combined 149-70, including a 63-point explosion over Neshaminy in the district semifinals (63-28 victory).
Led by senior quarterback Hank Coyne, No. 7-seed Spring-Ford had to take a much harder route, beating No. 2 seed Ridley and stopping Mike Class and No. 3 seed Pennridge, 35-24, last week in the district semifinals.