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High School Football Top Ten: No One Stopping Imhotep

Imhotep coach Albie Crosby has the Panthers winning again. (credit: Joseph Santoliquito)

Imhotep coach Albie Crosby has the Panthers winning again. (credit: Joseph Santoliquito)

High School Football Frenzy
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Week of Nov. 15, 2013

1. Imhotep Charter (Record: 9-1. Weeks Rated: 12.)

2. Pennsbury (Record: 10-1. Weeks Rated: 7.)

3. St. Joseph’s Prep (Record: 8-2. Weeks Rated: 12.)

4. Archbishop Wood (Record: 8-2. Weeks Rated: 12.)

5. Garnet Valley (Record: 11-0. Weeks Rated: 7.)

6. Neshaminy (Record: 10-1. Weeks Rated: 12.)

7. North Penn (Record: 8-3. Weeks Rated: 1.)

8. Abington (Record: 9-3. Weeks Rated: 1.)

9. Pottsgrove (Record: 11-0. Weeks Rated: 1.)

10. La Salle (Record: 8-3. Season over.)

By Joseph Santoliquito

They’re large, fast, and right now, no one seems to be able stop them. The Imhotep Charter Panthers felt they deserved a state championship last year, and are more than compensating for that lost opportunity this season by smashing every team they face.

Imhotep plays Catholic League Class AA power West Catholic for the District 12 Class AA championship—or city title—this Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Germantown High School’s Benjamin L. Johnston Stadium.

The Panthers have scored an area best 514 points over 10 games, averaging 51.4 points a game. Imhotep Charter has given up only 125 points, beating opponents by an average of almost 39 points a game (51.4 to 12.5).

Last year, the Panthers lost in the state semifinals to eventual Class AA state champion Wyomissing and star Alex Anzalone, 35-13, where the Panthers were pushed around for 275 yards rushing (148 yards by Anzalone) and 393 yards of total offense.

Panthers’ coach Albie Crosby vowed at the beginning of this year that his team won’t be shoved around again. So far, it hasn’t happened, and it doesn’t seem like it will any time in the foreseeable future.

A St. Joe’s Prep Parade?

St. Joseph’s Prep snapped one long standing streak when the Hawks beat La Salle, 30-20, to win their first Catholic League title since 2005. The Prep will now try to reach back even further this Saturday at 4 p.m., when it takes on Frankford at Northeast High School for the District 12 Class AAAA championship, or City Championship.

Here’s the history: The Prep last won a city title in 1977, when the Hawks edged Lincoln on a John Salera TD (courtesy of Tedsilary.com), 14-13, at Veterans Stadium. That’s been 36 years since Prep last won a city title in football (though, it has to be noted that the city series was suspended from 1980-2007, until the Public and Catholic Leagues revived it upon entry into the PIAA).

When Prep won the city title in 1977, the St. Joe’s student body, as lore has it, marched up Broad Street and demanded that the Mayor, then Frank Rizzo, recognize them as City Champions. If the Hawks get by Frankford, maybe the same thing occurs? Mayor Michael Nutter is a 1975 Prep graduate.

Oh those upsets

A metamorphosis sometimes takes place in football. The team that started out in August often times isn’t the same team that arrives in November. The attrition of a season can take its toll. Injuries occur and a team’s tires begin wearing thin. Sometimes, they fall off.

Take the case of two teams, North Penn and Coatesville. North Penn began the season 0-3, and though that was against three stellar teams, 0-3 is 0-3. Coatesville was the defending Eastern PA champs and last year’s state runner-up, returning a good nucleus. But when star Daquan Worley tore his ACL on October 25, that pretty much derailed the Red Raiders.

It showed last Friday, when No. 11 North Penn finished No. 6 Coatesville’s season with a resounding 31-0 victory in the first round of the PIAA District 1 Class AAAA playoffs. It wasn’t so much an upset in that North Penn won, but in how the Knights thoroughly dominated Coatesville, holding the Red Raiders to 185 yards of total offense.

The PIAA District 1 playoffs also served up two other upsets, when No. 15 seed Perkiomen Valley beat No. 2 Rustin, 26-6, and No. 12 Spring-Ford surprised No. 5 Downingtown West, 43-21.

District 1 Playoff Matchups

Class AAAA (Championship weekend Dec. 6-7)

8. Abington (9-2) at 1. Garnet Valley (11-0)

12. Spring-Ford (9-2) at 4. Neshaminy (10-1)

11. North Penn (8-3) at 3. Pennsbury (10-1)

15. Perkiomen Valley (9-2) at 7. CB West (9-2)

Class AAA (Championship weekend Nov. 29-30)

4. Academy Park (8-2) at 1. Pottsgrove (11-0)

3. Henderson (7-4) at 2. Glen Mills (8-3)

Class AA

2. West Catholic (8-2) vs. 1. Imhotep Charter (8-1) at Benjamin L. Johnston Stadium, Germantown HS

Class A

(Higher seed is the home team)

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

Game of the Week

PIAA District 1 Class AAAA Quarterfinal

North Penn (8-3) at Pennsbury (10-1) Friday, 7 PM

North Penn has won eight-straight games, including last week’s 31-0 thumping over Coatesville. Pennsbury is on a little roll itself, riding a 10-game winning streak, which includes a very impressive 31-3 victory over Neshaminy two weeks ago. Are the Falcons really 28 points better than Neshaminy, probably not. But Pennsbury has proven to be very good, good enough to stop the rampaging Knights. Here’s to a ceasefire on doubting Pennsbury.

Prediction: Pennsbury 31, North Penn 28

Joseph Santoliquito is a contributing sports blogger for CBS Philly.

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