Peter DiGio­vanni makes his picks for this week­end’s nine games. Along with DLN-area sta­tis­ti­cal lead­ers

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

Week 8 is here and the Ches-Mont League divi­sional races are in full flight, while Malvern Prep be­gins In­ter-Aca­demic League play against Penn Char­ter Satur­day.

FRI­DAY’S GAMES NO. 14 UNIONVILLE AT NO. 4 DOWN­ING­TOWN EAST

The big game in the area is a bat­tle of the last two un­de­feated Ch­ester County schools as the 7-0 Unionville In­di­ans visit the 7-0 Down­ing­town East Cougars at Kottmeyer Sta­dium. Both teams are com­ing off big wins as the In­di­ans de­feated ri­val West Ch­ester Rustin, 28-21, while the Cougars held off archri­val Down­ing­town West, 28-14, in a game that re­ally drained the emo­tions of both squads. East head coach Mike Matta knows how tough Unionville is and he talked about the problems the In­di­ans present. “Unionville is a very good squad that has won sev­eral big games this year,” Matta said. “They do a lot of good things on of­fense that keeps you off bal­ance. No. 1 (Joe Zu­bil­laga) is one of the bet­ter play­ers we will face and they do an ex­cel­lent job get­ting him the ball in many dif­fer­ent ways. They are al­ways well coached and they play hard. The game will be a huge chal­lenge for us.” Unionville is no fluke. The In­di­ans have al­ready posted wins over Spring-Ford, Academy Park and Rustin, so the Cougars bet­ter not look past the In­di­ans to next week’s bat­tle royale with Coatesville. I think Matta keeps the Cougars grounded and they run the ball well enough with their three backs to get a tough win. The Pick: Down­ing­town East 28, Unionville 14

AVON GROVE AT NO. 5 COATESVILLE

This game looked like an­other mercy rule game for Coatesville four weeks ago, but Avon Grove has won four games in a row and beat Down­ing­town West and Bishop Shana­han the last two weeks. Hard run­ning Kevin Fran­cis is lapping the rest of the county in rush­ing with over 1,400 yards and the Red Devils de­fen­sive line is very phys­i­cal. Coatesville, quite sim­ply, is a level above the rest of the Ches-Mont League and the Red Raiders should win go­ing away at home.

The Pick: Coatesville 34, Avon Grove 14

DOWN­ING­TOWN WEST AT BISHOP SHANA­HAN

Both teams are com­ing off losses and Bishop Shana­han got hit by the in­jury bug against Avon Grove, leav­ing the Ea­gles a lit­tle thin. West needs a win to keep its flick­er­ing play­off hopes alive. The Pick: Down­ing­town West 27, Bishop Shana­han 24

GREAT VAL­LEY AT OC­TORARA

Oc­torara has given up an av­er­age of 36 points per game in its last four, all losses, and Great Val­ley put up 36 points on a pretty good Ox­ford de­fense last week in a 36-28 win.

The Pick: Great Val­ley 31, Oc­torara 14

KEN­NETT AT OX­FORD

Ken­nett got quar­ter­back Jake Dilcher back from in­jury last week and the Blue Demons’ se­nior threw for 127 yards and a touch­down in a tough 24-21 loss to West Ch­ester Hen­der­son. Ox­ford can move the foot­ball on the ground or through the air.

The Pick: Ox­ford 34, Ken­nett 24

WEST CH­ESTER HEN­DER­SON AT WEST CH­ESTER EAST

Hen­der­son got its first win of the sea­son last week, de­feat­ing Ken­nett, 24-21, and the War­riors got big games from run­ning back C.J. Pre­ston and quar­ter­back Joe Saulino. The Vik­ings are hav­ing trou­ble scor­ing points but will be sky high for their West Ch­ester neigh­bors.

The Pick: W.C. Hen­der­son 27, W.C. East 21

CON­ESTOGA AT PENNCREST

This is a matchup of two Cen­tral League teams that are re­ally trudg­ing along. I think Penncrest gets the win at home.

The Pick: Penncrest 20, Con­estoga 14

SATUR­DAY’S GAMES SUN VAL­LEY AT WEST CH­ESTER RUSTIN

Rustin likely lost the Ches-Mont Amer­i­can ti­tle with last week’s 28-21 loss to Unionville, so the Golden Knights should be in a foul mood. Look for Ty Pringle, who rushed for 112 yards and two scores against the In­di­ans, to have a real big game.

The Pick: W.C. Rustin 42, Sun Val­ley 14

PENN CHAR­TER AT MALVERN PREP

Malvern Prep should run the ta­ble in the In­ter-Ac and the road starts Satur­day against a Quaker team that is giv­ing up a lot of points.

The Pick: Malvern Prep 35, Penn Char­ter 20

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