There’s still some drama left, sure.
There are still some teams that would love to cap an undefeated regular season this upcoming weekend – three are still out there in Southeastern, Pa. Some division crowns are still up for grabs.
But, really, most have been wrapped up. At this point, it’s time to start thinking playoffs.
The good news is, we’re seeing obvious strides being made by some of the area’s top teams entering the postseason.
St. Joseph’s Prep is clearly a better football team now than it was at the start of the season. The Hawks showed that this weekend in a 44-14 win over Roman Catholic.
That’s a scary thing for the rest of the state.
But the Hawks aren’t the only elite team making strides. La Salle looks to have put its hiccup loss to Roman Catholic behind it. The Explorers will have another chance to prove that on Oct. 29 in a final regular season game against Archbishop Wood.
That will be a fun game for fans of high school football. It will be a fun outcome for anyone interested in regular season rankings.
Next week also brings more Inter-Ac football. The league crown – which Malvern Prep appears to be running away with – is up for grabs.
And, of course, there’s North Penn, Quakertown and Garnet Valley needing to win to stay perfect.
So, yes, there’s still plenty of drama to coming up in the final week of the regular season. But, more than anything, it’s tune-up time for the top teams in Southeastern Pa., and playoffs are just around the corner.
1. St. Joseph’s Prep 5-2 (1)
The Hawks’ regular season has been a gauntlet. It’s designed that way and, after Saturday’s 44-14 win over Roman Catholic, it’s clear a nationally ranked regular season schedule is paying dividends. The Hawks look like a better football team now than when they lost to Milton in Week 2. This weekend, they jumped all over a Roman Catholic team that isn’t far removed from an upset of La Salle. Prep was in control of this game from beginning to end. They’ll have one more dress rehearsal next weekend, against Father Judge, before the postseason.
2. La Salle 7-1 (2)
Playing for the first time since losing to Roman Catholic, La Salle pummeled Father Judge, 55-14, on Friday night. Sam Brown needed just six carries to record 169 yards rushing – there are certain teams that, literally, can’t stop this Rutgers-bound back. Stevie Davis caught a touchdown pass and returned a kickoff for a touchdown for La Salle in the win.
3. Imhotep Charter 6-1 (3)
Imhotep’s regular season is a wrap – earlier than expected. The Panthers accepted a forfeit this weekend when Olney announced it didn’t have enough eligible players to field a team. Regardless, Imhotep has done more than enough to justify the preseason hype surrounding the team. And the Panthers appear ready to make noise in the 5A playoffs.
4. North Penn 8-0 (4)
What good would an undefeated season be without a bit of drama? North Penn stayed perfect with a 28-21 win over Central Bucks East on Friday night. But the Knights needed some late-game heroics in the form of Jalen Edwards’ 59-yard go-ahead touchdown reception with 5 minutes to play. Running back Khalani Eaton was his usual dominant self in the win. He carried the ball 19 times for 124 yards and a touchdown. He surpassed 4,000 career rushing yards in the win.
5. Malvern Prep 5-2 (5)
Malvern Prep recorded its second straight Inter-Ac League win this weekend in a 24-13 win over the Haverford School. Running back Isaiah Wright helped the Friars grind out the win with 25 carries for 164 yards and a touchdown. Andrew Connolly also snagged an interception in the win.
6. Archbishop Wood 5-3 (6)
Archbishop Wood had a buy this week in preparation for a final regular season game against La Salle, which, in its own right, should feel like a postseason game.
7. Garnet Valley 9-0 (7)
Unlike North Penn, Garnet Valley continued to make it look easy this weekend. The Jaguars brushed aside Springfield, 49-6, on Friday night. Only one team (Ridley in a 65-37 loss) has finished within 30 points of Garnet Valley this season. Garnet Valley just needs to get past Lower Merion next week to cap a perfect regular season.
8. Quakertown 9-0 (8)
Quakertown smoked Bensalem, 42-7, on Friday night to keep its perfect season alive. The win sealed the Suburban One Continental Division title for the Panthers. Quarterback Will Steich completed 8 of 14 passes for 146 yards and two touchdowns in the win. Tyler Woodman recorded 15 carries for 126 yards and two rushing touchdowns. He also returned a kickoff for a touchdown. Quakertown does have a division game against Harry S. Truman next weekend, but a perfect season appears imminent.
9. Neumann-Goretti 7-1 (9)
Neumann-Goretti topped Cardinal O’Hara, 30-6, on Saturday to clinch the Philadelphia Catholic League Blue Division title. Like most teams in these rankings, the Saints appear to be hitting their stride at the right time. They’ve allowed just 13 points in their previous three games.
10. Coatesville 8-1 (10)
Coatesville survived a tough Bishop Shanahan team in a 32-20 win on Friday night. The Red Raiders were up 26-0 after one quarter and extended the lead to 32-0 at the half. Quarterback Harrison Susi threw three touchdown passes in the win.
For any comments or questions about these rankings – or if you have an area high school sports story you think needs to be told, contact Chris Melchiorre at CMelchiorre11@yahoo.com.