Thursday, August 30, 2012

H.S. FOOTBALL: Ten games to watch in 2012

Dan Gavertz of North Penn runs for a large gain in first quarter of game against Souiderton on Friday, Oct. 21, 2011.  Photo by Mark C. Psoras


The wait is finally over as the high school football season gets under way this weekend. The 2012 is full of interesting storylines, from Tom Kirk taking over as head coach of Lansdale Catholic to any team in the Suburban One League Continental Conference finding a way to knock off North Penn.

So, just as a handy guide, here are 10 games that I think are the most interesting, from early-season clashes of state heavyweights to contest that determine league titles.

Friday, Aug. 31
La Salle at North Penn, 7:30 p.m.
Last time the two teams were on the field together the Knights punched their first ticket to Hershey since 2003 as they bested the Explorers 21-14 in the last year’s PIAA 4A semifinals. This will be the third straight season the two teams have met in Week 1, with La Salle winning both of those early matchups.

Saturday, Sept. 1
Lansdale Catholic vs. Prep Charter, 3:15 p.m., at Ocean City HS (N.J.)
This is less about the teams playing than the historical significance regarding Lansdale Catholic. This will be the first time in 40-plus years that Jim Algeo is not coaching the Crusaders. Game One for new coach Tom Kirk is down the shore with LC facing the Huskies of the Philadelphia Public League.

Saturday, Sept. 8
North Penn at Archbishop Wood, 7 p.m., at William Tennent
The second stage of its Philadelphia Catholic League tour has North Penn heading on the road against face Wood, which was absolutely dominant in claiming the 2011 Class AAA state crown. The Vikings averaged 48.7 points per game is they won their last 13 games, including a 52-0 victory over Bishop McDevitt of Harrisburg in the state championship.

The team' last meeting came in Week 1 of 2006 at Crawford Stadium with Wood coming away with a 25-18 win.

Friday, Sept. 14
Souderton at Neshaminy, 7 p.m.
This is the fifth straight season the Indians and Redskins have met, with the previous for coming in Week 1. The Redskins have won the three in a row against the Indians, including a 20-13 victory last year at Heartbreak Ridge. 

A win by Souderton here would be a big boost for Big Red going into the SOL Continental schedule.

Pennridge at Council Rock South, 7 p.m., at Council Rock North
The Rams come into 2012 with some expectations, so a win on the road against the District One Class AAA finalist Golden Hawks will send the message Pennridge should be taken seriously.

A safety off a block punt provided CR South its only points as it survived Pennridge at Poppy Yoder a season ago. The Golden Hawks went on to make the District One 4A final, while the Rams won seven of their next nine.

Wissahickon at Central Bucks West, 7 p.m.
Wissahickon used a 17-play, 95-yard touchdown drive in the fourth quarter to knock off CB West 21-14 in last year’s Week 3 SOL non-conference contest. The Bucks moved to a spread offense in trying to better their 5-6 record in 2011, while the Trojans went 7-3.

Friday, Oct. 5
Souderton at Pennridge, 7 p.m.
That start of the second half is a good time for two teams looking to be at the top of the SOL Continental – and also somewhere in the district playoff picture – to meet at Poppy Yoder Field. Mike Class ran for 141 yards and two touchdowns in a 27-7 Pennridge victory last season. Two years ago, the Indians own 10-7 on four-down TD in the final seconds.

Saturday, Oct. 6
Pottsgrove at Methacton, 1 p.m.
After three straight years losing to Pottsgrove by an average of 41 points, Methacton was a missed-two point conversion from taking the Falcons to overtime last season before ultimately falling 21-19.

Pottsgrove is also one of the three PAC-10 teams Methacton has not beaten since joining the conference in 2008 (Phoenixville and Perkiomen Valley are the other two).

Friday, Oct. 19
North Penn at Pennridge, 7 p.m.
This is the end of a three-game home stretch that will probably determine how Pennridge finishes this seasson. Following visits from Souderton and CB South – both of which tied the Rams for second in the Continental last year – in comes the Knights, who blanked Pennridge 27-0 in the teams’ previous contest.

Friday, Nov. 2
North Penn at Souderton, 7 p.m.
North Penn has dominated the rivalry since both have been in the SOL Continental, but this contest should have implications for both the conference race and the District One playoffs.

The Knights rolled 37-14 in 2011 at Crawford Stadium, yet there’s always a little more energy when NP and Big Red play in any sport.

OTHER GAMES TO WATCH: St. Joseph's Prep at North Penn (Friday, Sept. 14); Central Bucks West at Souderton (Friday, Sept. 21); Wissahickon at Upper Dublin (Friday, Sept. 21); Lansdale Catholic at Bonner-Prendergast (Saturday, Oct. 6); Central Bucks West at Central Bucks South (Friday, Nov. 2).

1 comment:


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