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Three openers pair Delco teams

By 7 November, 2011August 18th, 2012No Comments

By Matthew DeGeorge, Delaware County Daily Times
November 07, 2011

The dotting of the “i”’s and crossing of the “t”’s in the District One playoff picture aren’t yet finished. But the matchups for the opening weekend of Districts are set, and they include a trio of games pitting Delco teams against each other.

Dates and times for this weekend’s games will be determined Tuesday when the pairings are made official.

In Class AAAA, the only Delco participants face off against each other in a rematch of one of 2011’s pivotal Central League games.

No. 5 seed Garnet Valley (9-1) will host No. 12 Ridley (8-2) this weekend after the dominoes fell in the final week of the regular season to align the Delco rivals.

Methacton’s win over Pottstown Saturday was enough to push Ridley out of a tie for 11th place into sole possession of 12th, while Garnet Valley’s win over Haverford coupled with West Chester’s Henderson’s upset of Downingtown East (No. 3 entering the final weekend of the regular season) to vault the Jaguars into fifth.

The foundations for Garnet Valley’s Central League title were laid by its Week 6 win at the Green Raiders, 21-19. Ridley was done in by a botched extra-point snap in that contest that forced them into a two-point conversion they were unable to convert with 1:46 remaining.

Needless to say, the Green Raiders are champing at the bit for another shot at the Jags.

“It’s always nice to get a rematch,” Ridley head coach Dennis Decker said after his team’s win over Lower Merion, 42-0, Saturday. “(GV coach) Mike (Ricci) is a great guy, they have a great team and coaching staff, so it should be fun next Friday night.”

The winner will book a quarterfinal date with the winner of No. 13 Central Bucks South and No. 4 Plymouth-Whitemarsh. Council Rock South earned the No. 1 seed in a field featuring no undefeated teams.

Five of the eight teams in Class AAA hail from Delco, setting up a pair of intra-county matchups.

No. 2 seed Springfield (8-2) will play host to No. 7 Academy Park (7-3). The Cougars stemmed the tide of a two-game losing streak that saw them fall out of the No. 1 spot with a 17-12 win over Marple Newtown Friday. The teams didn’t meet in the regular season, but Springfield opened its slate with a win over Interboro, which bested the Knights for second-place in the Del Val League.

The other Delco meeting pairs defending District champ, No. 5 seed Strath Haven (7-3), with No. 4 Marple Newtown (7-3).

The Tigers showed themselves to be District contenders with a surprising Week 3 domination of the Panthers, 24-7. But Marple Newtown has lost two of its last three games, while Strath Haven has won five of its last six.

The other Delco team in the Class AAA picture is Del Val runner-up Interboro (7-3), which garners the No. 6 seed and will travel to No. 3 Phoenixville (7-3). No. 1 seed Pottsgrove (8-2), fresh off a thrashing of Phoenixville, faces off against No. 8 Pope John Paul II (5-5) to round out what many believe to be one of the weakest Class AAA fields in recent memory.

In Class A, Delco Christian (7-1) holds the No. 1 spot in District One. The await the top team from District 12 for a sub-regional playoff.