Tough road ahead for Ches-Mont teams
The first round of district playoffs went very well for area teams as six Ches-Mont League schools advanced to the quarterfinal round.
Most of them did it in style as Coatesville blew out Abington in 6A, while Bishop Shanahan and West Chester Henderson both had relatively easy wins in the 5A bracket. Downingtown East in 6A and West Chester East in 5A had tougher games, but in November you don’t get extra points for margin of victory.
In the 6A bracket, Coatesville rolled to a very impressive 42-0 wipeout of Abington. But, maybe more important than the win margin, was the emergence of another star in freshman Dapree Bryant, who hauled in five catches for 144 yards and two scores. Bryant is the son of former Coatesville basketball star Maurice Bryant, who was the point guard in the Red Raiders’ state championship season in 2000.
So, just what Coatesville needed was another talented skill position player to go along with quarterback Ricky Ortega, backs Aaron and Avery Young, and receiver Jadan Hudson. The rich get richer and Coatesville will host Ridley this Friday night. The Green Raiders allowed just 88 points in 10 regular season games to lead District 1, but I don’t think Ridley has seen an offense like the Red Raiders.
West Chester East won its first district playoff game since 2006 with a thrilling 10-7 victory over Unionville when Jake Bonnett buried the game winning 27-yard field goal with seven seconds to play. The Vikings will now travel to meet the three seed, Marple Newtown and the Tigers have a high powered offense that averages 36 points per game. West Chester East will have to get a big game from running back Jared Cooper, who rushed for 115 yards in the Unionville win. The Vikings
have to control the clock to keep the Tigers offense off the field.
Maybe the team playing its best football of the season in the 5A bracket is West Chester Henderson. The Warriors blew out Sun Valley, 42-16, in the first round, and with C.J. Preston having a big game, the Warriors waltzed past the Vanguards. The road gets tougher this week as Henderson must travel to meet No. 4 Upper Dublin, on the Cardinals’ home field. Upper Dublin is the defending district champion (in the old 4A bracket), but lost 28 seniors to graduation. Nick Mascetti and Ryan Brida have led a defense that is giving up just over 10 points per game for the Warriors.
Bishop Shanahan could not have looked any more impressive than it did in a 41-7 win over West Chester Rustin. Eagles quarterback Nick Skulski completed 13 of 16 passes and
Brendan Dearing had six catches for 94 yards and a touchdown. The Shanahan defense shut out the Golden Knights offense as Rustin’s only score came on a Pat Register kickoff return. The Eagles did not punt once, and now they will hit the road to take on the defending district champion and No. 2 seed, Academy Park.
Downingtown East downed a good Souderton team, 33-21, in a game that was tied at 14-14 late in the third quarter. The Cougars got three touchdowns from Jeremy Jennings and will need more of that offense this week as they travel to Perkiomen Valley to take on the the No. 3 Vikings and allworld quarterback Steven Strum, who has over 2,500 passing yards this season. Perkiomen Valley leads District 1 6A teams in average points per game (42) and the Cougars are going to have to find the offense to keep up.
Great Valley turned
the tables on a Glen Mills team that beat the Patriots in Week 3. Great Valley quarterback Robert Geiss had a big game, completing 26 of 34 for 290 yards. Mark DeRobertis caught an amazing 13 balls for 78 yards. Great Valley also hits the road and has a tall task at top-seeded Springfield-Delco. The host Cougars play good defense and Springfield showed its strength in a 38-0 victory over Penncrest.
So, with six teams still alive for a possible state championship — four in 5A and two in 6A — five of the six will hit the road for very tough games in the quarterfinals. Only fourthseeded Coatesville will be at home, and fifth-seeded Ridley will be no walk in the park for the Red Raiders.
Playoff football is here and this week the intensity will be ramped up a degree or two so area fans should get out and enjoy the show.
Peter DiGiovanni covers high school football for PaPrepLive.com and Digital First Media. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @PeteDLN.
Bishop Shanahan’s Josh Burke scores Friday against Rustin. The Eagles hit the road Friday to face No. 2 Academy Park.