By Joseph Santoliquito

By Joseph Santoliquito

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — John Miller didn’t quake in his pants. In fact, his first reaction was a smile. The Academy Park senior just made history as the first District 1 5A champion in the PIAA’s new classification system. The Knights also made school history in becoming back-to-back district champions.

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Now comes “the beast.”

Over the last decade, no high school football program in the area has been as successful as Archbishop Wood. The Vikings have won two of the last three 3A state championships. Wood has been to four of the last five state 3A title games.

Standing in Wood’s way this year is feisty, speedy Academy Park, 24-18 winners over Springfield (Delco) in the District 1 5A championship last weekend.

Academy Park (13-1) will meet Wood (9-2-1) in the state 5A semifinals tonight at 7 p.m. at Plymouth-Whitemarsh High School. The winner will advance to the PIAA 5A state championship against the winner of Harrisburg and West Allegheny on Friday, Dec. 9 at Hersheypark Stadium at 7 p.m.

“I’m ready for Wood, because we’ve already and been here before,” Miller said minutes after beating Springfield. “I’m not afraid of Wood. I was on that field last year when we played (Imhotep Charter, losing 46-16, in the 3A state quarterfinals). We want a little revenge for the way we lost last year. But there will also be a little nervousness. I think a little nervousness is good. We’ll come out there and play like we normally play.

“We’ll play fast and play like a family. We respect them and what they’ve done. But I’ll tell this, we’re not afraid of them. We’re not afraid of any team. I know we’ve stuck this year. As long as we’re able to do that, we’ll be okay. We have something in store for them.”

Wood has beaten its four previous playoff opponents by an average of 48.25 to 13, outscoring them by a combined 193-52. Wood’s only two losses have come against a couple of beast in their own right, St. Joe’s Prep and Bergen Catholic.

CBS Philly’s Area Top 10 Power Ratings For Dec. 2, 2016

1. St. Joe’s Prep (Record: 12-0)

2. Imhotep Charter (Record: 12-0)

3. North Penn (Record: 14-0)

4. Timber Creek (NJ) (Record: 11-0)

5. Archbishop Wood (Record: 9-2-1)

6. Garnet Valley (Record: 11-3)

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8. Lenape (NJ) (Record: 11-0)

9. West Deptford (NJ) (Record: 11-0)

10. Perkiomen Valley (Record: 12-1)

Southeastern PA Top 10 For Dec. 2, 2016

1. St. Joe’s Prep (Record: 12-0)

2. Imhotep Charter (Record: 12-0)

3. North Penn (Record: 14-0)

4. Archbishop Wood (Record: 9-2-1)

5. Garnet Valley (Record: 11-3)

6. Perkiomen Valley (Record: 12-1)

7. Coatesville (Record: 11-2)

8. Malvern Prep (Record: 8-3)

9. Academy Park (Record: 13-1)

10. Springfield (Record: 12-2)

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—Joseph Santoliquito