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September 20, 2013TweetFollow @achiappazzi
Each week, PaPreps will highlight some of the more intriguing match-ups of the weekend, from interesting locations to milestone moments to premium contenders going at it, we'll try and grab the best potential games of the weekend.
Later Friday night and again on Saturday, we'll post scores from around the state as they come across the Associated Press wire.
Week 4 Games of the Week
Pennridge at Academy Park
Buzz: A mixed-class fight between undefeateds in District 1, this is a chance for a little validation. Academy Park is a distant second to Pottsgrove in the District 1-AAA race, simply because Pottsgrove is more of a known commodity. Pennridge is fighting more recognition in Class AAAA, though many are well aware of the threat RB Michael Class presents. It might be Class' backfield mate, quarterback Matt Pasquale, who serves as the deciding factor on offense - Pasquale is averaging 165 yards per game to give Pennridge a balance that Academy Park doesn't come close to matching.
Abington at Council Rock North
Buzz: Two more undefeated teams in District 1, highlighted by sophomore CRN QB Brandon McIlwain and a suddenly up-tempo Abington offense. The Ghosts really are Galloping this year, thanks in large part to RB Craig Reynolds. Reynolds found the end zone five times in the opener and has seven touchdowns on the season. Abington's also found a quality quarterback in Anthony Lee, who has been very accurate early on. But neither team has truly been tested, so this is also a validation game. Abington has more experience, especially up front, and that could be a deciding factor.
Old Forge at Dunmore
Buzz: Not only is this a battle between two unbeaten Class A teams in District 2, but it's a battle between two of the Top 10 teams in the PaPreps Class AA Rankings. Dunmore, last year's Class A runner-up, comes as advertised thanks to RB Daiqwon Buckley and his impressive 245 yards per game. But Old Forge is not to be ignored, as the Blue Devils beat Dunmore at this stage of the season last year, only for Dunmore to squeak by with a 7-6 victory in the district title. You can bet revenge is on the mind again.
McDowell at No. 62 St. Ignatius in Cleveland, Ohio
Buzz: The only game involving a RivalsHigh 100 team, McDowell puts some Pa. pride on the line against an always tough Ignatius squad. The Trojans look pretty different from the team that hosted Ignatius last year, though. That team kept the ball on the ground, and while the running game is a key part of this year's offense, Jake Tarasovitch is also a threat under center. He's completed 63 percent of his passes, a sharp increase from last year.
New Brighton at Aliquippa
Buzz: The Game of the Week in the WPIAL, simply because the scoreboard might explode. New Brighton is District 7's most explosive offense, thanks to a no-huddle spread offense orchestrated by senior quarterback Gabe Greco. New Brighton might need every bit of it's 52.6 point-per-game offense if it's going to pull off the upset and move to 4-0. The Lions give up 30-plus points per game, not a good recipe against a team with Dravon Henry and Terry Swanson in the backfield. Aliquippa's defense is also nothing like New Brighton's seen so far this year.
West Catholic at Archbishop Wood
Buzz: The PCL's structure allows for a number of cross classification games, not only through traditional non-conference games but also within the PCL itself. Games such as this - as well as Wood's game against St. Joseph's Prep in two weeks - are always fun. It's a chance for a smaller school like West Catholic to prove its mettle. These look like two playoff teams early on, but Wood is likely the favorite. It's hard for the Burrs, or anyone else in the PCL, to match the strength up front that Archbishop Wood has had over the last few years.
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