By Joseph Santoliquito

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Jason Vosheski doesn’t like to commit to a whole of things publicly. A little trick the Academy Park coach learned from his mentor, Ridley coaching legend Joe McNicholas.

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But what Vosheski, a Ridley grad now in his 11th year as the Knights’ head coach, would like to keep silent as long as possible is that his team is pretty darn good. In fact, the 4-0 Knights are arguably the best Class AAA team in District 1.

Academy Park, even in this time of instant-knowledge, social media, may have gone largely unnoticed in building its undefeated record. Though what’s hard to ignore is that the Knights have one of the best defenses in the area—at any level.

The Knights are giving up a paltry 6.5 points per game, leading every Class AAA team in the Eastern half of the state. That includes shutout victories over Penncrest and Bonner-Prendie.

Academy Park, the 2013 District 1 Class AAA champions, once didn’t have a feeder program, teaching many of its players the game of football for the first time at the high school level.

That has since changed dramatically. The Knights have been to the District 1 playoffs the last six-straight years. They’ve done it building a great feeder system in Sharon Hill, Collingdale, Folcroft and Darby Township. Over the last two years, each of those programs has won championships.

The Knights have reaped the benefits, producing stalwarts like defensive end Togba Porte II, outside linebackers Dazhon Miller and Will McQueen, and defensive backs Teddy Wright and Clarence Buchanan.

“During the course of the summer, we had an idea we would be fast and aggressive on defense, so how we’re playing defensively isn’t too surprising,” Vosheski said.

Still, you won’t hear Vosheski admit anything, as his Knights prepare to host neighborhood rival Cardinal O’Hara (1-3) this Friday at 7 p.m., weather permitting. The Lions put up 39 points in their first victory of the season.

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The 2013 Academy Park team finished 10-3, with two of its three losses coming to eventual PIAA Class AAA state champion Archbishop Wood and District 1 Class AAAA contender Pennridge.

“What we tell the kids is that they could be what they want to be,” Vosheski said. “Some days, we’re ready to take on just about anybody. Other days, we look like we’d struggle against a township league team. We’re getting talented players to stay home and come to Academy Park.

“There is talent here. It’s more about the day-to-day effort and the attitude to want to be great, not just good. That 2013 team had that. This team needs to get it. That’s where we struggle day-in and day-out. We’re not there yet.”

But it is looking good so far.

Games to watch this week:
Southeast PA
Malvern Prep (2-1) vs. St. Joe’s Prep (2-1) at Plymouth-Whitemarsh, Friday, 7 p.m. Malvern Prep is coming off a 21-14 loss to La Salle, while The Prep smoked traditional Ohio powerhouse St. Ignatius, 35-6, on Sept. 19. Malvern Prep will be challenged by Prep junior tailback D’Andre Swift, one of the nation’s leading rushers who picked up 190 yards of total offense in the St. Ignatius win.

Coatesville (4-0) at Downingtown West (4-0), Saturday, 7 p.m. This is a Ches-Mont League National Division showdown between two teams that can light it up offensively. The Red Raiders, led by quarterback Jordan Young, are averaging 37 points a point in their first four victories, while Downingtown West, behind QB Tom Mattioni, is averaging 41 points a game.

South Jersey
Delsea (3-0) at Paul VI (3-0), Friday, 7 p.m. The Crusaders are arguably the best team in South Jersey, having beaten Camden and Timber Creek in the last two weeks. Quarterback Quinn Collins will look to keep things going against the Eagles, led by quarterback Matt Vitale and receiver Lonnie Moore.

CBS Philly’s Area Top 10 Power Ratings For Oct. 2, 2015
1. Imhotep Charter (Record: 4-0)
2. St. Joe’s Prep (Record: 2-1)
3. Upper Dublin (Record: 4-0)
4. Archbishop Wood (Record: 4-0)
5. Coatesville (Record: 4-0)
6. St. Augustine (Record: 3-0)
7. Downingtown East (Record: 4-0)
8. Delsea (Record: 3-0)
9. La Salle (Record: 3-1)
10. Haverford School (Record: 3-0)

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Southeastern PA Top 10 Power Ratings For Oct. 2, 2015
1. Imhotep Charter (Record: 4-0)
2. St. Joe’s Prep (Record: 2-1)
3. Upper Dublin (Record: 4-0)
4. Archbishop Wood (4-0)
5. Coatesville (Record: 4-0)
6. Downingtown East (Record: 4-0)
7. La Salle (Record: 3-1)
8. Haverford School (Record: 3-0)
9. Downingtown West (Record: 4-0)
10. Perkiomen Valley (Record: 4-0)
Joseph Santoliquito