Tough road ahead for Ches-Mont teams

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS - Peter DiGio­vanni Colum­nist

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 pd­gio­vanni07@gmail.com. Fol­low him on Twit­ter @PeteDLN.

NATE HECKENBERGER — FOR DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Bishop Shana­han’s Josh Burke scores Fri­day against Rustin. The Ea­gles hit the road Fri­day to face No. 2 Academy Park.

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