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High School Top 10: St. Joe’s Prep Looking At History

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St. Joe's Prep junior defensive back John Reid (credit: Joseph Santoliquito)

St. Joe’s Prep junior defensive back John Reid (credit: Joseph Santoliquito)

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Southeastern PA Top 10

Week of Nov. 8, 2013

1. Imhotep Charter (Record: 8-1. Weeks Rated: 11.)

2. Pennsbury (Record: 9-1. Weeks Rated: 6.)

3. St. Joseph’s Prep (Record: 7-2. Weeks Rated: 11.)

4. Downingtown West (Record: 8-1. Weeks Rated: 1.)

5. Coatesville (Record: 9-1. Weeks Rated: 11.)

6. La Salle (Record: 8-2. Weeks Rated: 11.)

7. Archbishop Wood (Record: 7-2. Weeks Rated: 11.)

8. Garnet Valley (Record: 10-0. Weeks Rated: 6.)

9. West Chester Rustin (Record: 10-0. Weeks Rated: 5.)

10. Neshaminy (Record: 9-1. Weeks Rated: 11.)

By Joseph Santoliquito

Philadelphia, PA (CBS) —They know how long it’s been since a St. Joseph’s Prep team has won a Catholic League title in football. If they don’t, the Hawks will surely be reminded Friday night when they face their old nemesis, La Salle, for the second-straight year in the Catholic League Class AAAA championship, at 7 p.m. at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School.

The Prep has not won a title since 2005, in something called the “Catholic League Red Division,” which no longer exists.

La Salle, meanwhile, has won a PIAA Class AAAA state championship (2009) and the last five Catholic League (large school) titles during that time.

Prep, however, has never advanced to the PIAA state playoffs in football, since the Philadelphia Catholic League joined the PIAA in 2008.

“We know what we have to do,” Prep’s gifted junior defensive back John Reid said back in August. “We know what we’re up against, but we only judge things on what we can do.

“We can’t worry about what people say about my team or me. We haven’t accomplished anything. La Salle is still the Catholic League champs, and we have so much stuff to work on. The goals are simple—reach excellence.”

In four months, that attitude hasn’t wavered.

“We’ll see them again, I have a strong feeling,” Reid said after Prep’s 35-28 regular-season victory over La Salle on October 11. “It always seems to be us and them.”

But this time, Reid stopped short of any history-making talk. The Hawks actually have to beat the five-time defending league champs for that to congeal.

Games of the Week

Catholic League Class AAAA Championship

St. Joe’s Prep (7-2) vs. La Salle (8-2), at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School, Friday, 7 PM

Prep may not be denied this time. The Hawks have won six of their last seven games, the one speed bump coming in a 27-14 loss to a pretty good Archbishop Ryan team two weeks ago. Prep is averaging 34.2 points a game over their last seven games. La Salle, meanwhile, has outscored it last three opponents by an average of 37.3 to 8.6, which includes La Salle’s 35-0 shutout over Father Judge in the Catholic League Class AAAA semifinals last week. The twist of this game is that the pressure may lie with the challengers—Prep, and not defending champ La Salle. Here’s leaning toward the Hawks holding up to the pressure and beginning the first step toward history.

Prediction: St. Joe’s Prep 27, La Salle 23

PIAA District 1 Class AAAA First Round

North Penn (7-3) at Coatesville (9-1), Friday, 7 PM

These seem to be two teams heading in opposite directions at the most important time of the season. Coatesville, the defending Class AAAA Eastern Pennsylvania champ and state runner-up, lost Penn State-bound star Daquan Worley to a torn anterior cruciate ligament in a 42-20 victory over West Chester East on October 25. The struggling Red Raiders are coming off their only loss this season, 24-7, last week to Ches-Mont League rival Downingtown West. North Penn has won seven-straight games after opening the season 0-3.

Prediction: North Penn 24, Coatesville 18

PIAA DISTRICT PLAYOFFS/TOP 10

District 1 Playoff Matchups

(Higher seeds are home for the first three rounds)

Class AAAA (Championship weekend Dec. 6-7)

1. Garnet Valley (10-0) vs. 16. Council Rock North (7-3)

2. Rustin (10-0) vs. 15. Perkiomen Valley (8-2)

3. Pennsbury (9-1) vs. 14. Upper Darby (8-2)

4. Neshaminy (9-1) vs. 13. Unionville (8-2)

5. Downingtown West (8-2) vs. 12. Spring-Ford (8-2)

6. Coatesville (9-1) vs. 11. North Penn (7-3)

7. CB West (8-2) vs. 10. Plymouth Whitemarsh (8-2)

8. Abington (8-2) vs. 9. Upper Dublin (9-1)

Class AAA (Championship weekend Nov. 29-30)

(Higher seed is the home team for the first round)

1. Pottsgrove (10-0) vs. 8. Phoenixville (4-6)

2. Glen Mills (7-3) vs. 7. Springfield (Delco) (6-4)

3. Henderson (6-4) vs. 6. Bishop Shanahan (5-4)

4. Academy Park (7-2) vs. 5. Interboro (5-4)

Class AA

(Higher seed is the home team)

1. Imhotep Charter (7-1) vs. 4. Springfield (Montco) (5-4)

2. West Catholic (7-2) vs. 3. New Hope (8-1)

Class A

(Higher seed is the home team)

1. Bristol (8-1) vs. 2. Delco Christian (7-2)

3. School of the Future (3-5) vs. 4. Jenkintown (3-6)

Joseph Santoliquito is a contributing sports blogger for CBS Philly.

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