Southeastern PA Top 10

Week of Oct. 11, 2013

1. Coatesville (Record: 6-0. Weeks Rated: 7.)

2. St. Joseph’s Prep (Record: 4-1. Weeks Rated: 7.)

3. Archbishop Wood (Record: 5-1. Weeks Rated: 7.)

4. Imhotep Charter (Record: 4-1. Weeks Rated: 7.)

5. Neshaminy (Record: 6-0. Weeks Rated: 7.)

6. La Salle (Record: 5-1. Weeks Rated: 7.)

7. Garnet Valley (Record: 6-0. Weeks Rated: 2.)

8. Pennsbury (Record: 5-1. Weeks Rated: 2.)

9. West Chester Rustin (Record: 6-0. Weeks Rated: 1.)

10. Pottsgrove (Record: 6-0. Weeks Rated: 1.)

By Joseph Santoliquito

Philadelphia, PA (CBS) — You may have to excuse St. Joseph Prep’s coach Gabe Infante if he doesn’t get overly vocal if his team gets down early tonight against archrival La Salle, in a Catholic League Class AAAA showdown at 7 p.m. at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School.

Infante has seen it before.

The Hawks were down 12-0 and 19-13 in their season opener against Dallas Jesuit and came back to win, 48-27. The Prep trailed state powerhouse Archbishop Wood, 21-7, in the first half last weekend and scored 24 unanswered points to best the Vikings, 31-21.

“I have the utmost confidence in my team,” Infante said. “The kids have excelled in almost every pressure situation we’ve put them in, that’s why we play the demanding schedule we have. It’s why we travel all over the country.”

However, the team that’s most taxed the Hawks the last five years sits right their backyard, La Salle. The Explorers, under mad scientist coach Drew Gordon, are 6-2 over that span against the Prep.

More importantly, La Salle has had a stranglehold of the Catholic League Class AAAA division, winning the last six titles. Prep has not won a Catholic League crown since 2005.

“We can’t change history, but we can make it,” as the first Prep football team to quality for the PIAA Class AAAA state playoffs this year, Hawks’ junior standout John Reid said back in August. “We know what’s ahead of us. Every team we play is great. But being realistic, the team we know we have to beat is La Salle.”

Like the team La Salle knows it has to beat to win its seventh-straight league title is Prep.

“I still have to get used to all of this,” said La Salle junior standout quarterback Kyle Shurmur, the son of Eagles’ offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur and transfer from St. Edward, of Lakewood, Ohio, a powerhouse program in a stud football state. “When I first got here [at La Salle] that’s all I heard about was Prep, Prep, Prep. We have to get there first.”

La Salle and St. Joe’s Prep have arrived now.

Game of the Week

St. Joseph’s Prep (4-1) at La Salle (5-1), Friday, 7 PM, at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School.

Really, you expected something different? The battle within in this battle comes between two stellar juniors—St. Joe Prep’s all-everything defensive back John Reid and La Salle’s Kyle Shurmur, who already owns a school record for yards passing in a game, throwing for 384 yards in the Explorers’ 40-28 loss to Imhotep Charter. Reid is a game-breaking defensive back who has been a major factor in each of Prep’s victory. That matchup alone promises to make this game intriguing.

Prediction: St. Joe’s Prep 35, La Salle 34

Joseph Santoliquito is a contributing sports blogger for CBS Philly.

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