By Matt Smith
We’re approaching the second weekend in November and seven teams from Delaware County are competing for district titles.
In District 1, Garnet Valley and Haverford are alive in the 6A tournament. The Central League champion Jaguars host Plymouth- Whitemarsh Friday night, while the Fords will look to pull off another upset on the road Saturday at Downingtown East.
The Class 5A bracket features an all-Del Val League showdown between co-champs Penn Wood and Academy Park, Friday at Knight Park. Meanwhile, Strath Haven looks to extend its season with a win at Ches-Mont League power Kennett.
The District 12 Class 4A semifinal between Bonner-Prendergast and Archbishop Carroll takes place Saturday afternoon at Cardinal O’Hara.
As the 2019 season winds down, it’s time for our annual analysis of the Delco season by the numbers.
0>> Wins by Interboro, which has allowed 433 points in nine games (48.1 ppg). The good news for the Bucs is they have two more cracks at getting that elusive first victory. Chichester visits Saturday in a game that was originally postponed Oct. 18. Interboro then wraps up the year on Thanksgiving Day at Ridley.
8>> Games in which Bonner-Prendergast has allowed 14 points or less. The Friars, who have held the opposition to 10 points per game, are 8-0 in those contests. The Bonner defense has been led by senior linebackers Oscar Uduma, Charles Ingram and Jared Nesbitt, as well as defensive backs Nasim Rhodes-Nelson, Ayden Garnes, Gavin Hunt and Ian Edwards.
8.5>> Sacks for defensive end Alex Westburg, who earlier this year tied a Garnet Valley single-game record (3.5). Westburg and the Jags defense forced three fumbles and held Owen J. Roberts to 117 yards of total offense en route to a 41-0 win in the opening round of the district tournament.
9.7>> Points allowed by Haverford High over 11 games, including a 49-14 shellacking of Spring-Ford last week, the first playoff win in program history. Since their 0-2 start, the Fords have given up only 54 points in nine games, a testament to coach Joe Gallagher and coordinator Dan Milewski’s spectacular defensive unit that has improved with each game.
13 >> Career interceptions for Haverford’s Trey Blair, a program record. The Buffalo recruit’s defense in the secondary gets overshadowed by his production at quarterback, but you won’t find a better shutdown DB in the county. Remarkably, he got just his first interception of the season last week because teams know better than to throw in his general vicinity.
20.5>> Yards per catch by Academy Park senior Malik Johnson in the Knights’ last two games. Johnson is among a handful of offensive weapons for Academy Park and he has excelled in the receiving game as well as the defensive secondary. Johnson snared five catches for 117 yards and a TD in AP’s 26-0 rout of Oxford last week.
24 >> Interceptions made by the Chester defense, which is believed to be a county record by one team in a single season. Rafiqe Hilliard led the way with five picks and sophomore Darron Miller chipped in with four. The Clippers posted three straight shutouts to begin the season and finished 7-3, their first winning season since 2008. The future is bright for coach Ladontay Bell’s program.
66.4 >> Completion percentage of Episcopal Academy quarterback Maurcus McDaniel, who leads all Delco passers in that category. McDaniel is one of three QBs with 1,000 yards through the air and on the ground, joining Blair and Academy Park’s Barry Brown, both of whom are competing in the District 1 quarterfinals this weekend. McDaniel will look to guide the Churchmen to the Inter- Ac title by defeating Haverford School in a winner-take-all showdown Saturday.
95>> Total tackles for Strath Haven senior linebacker John Prochniak, according to stats compiled by the folks at Havenfootball.net. Prochniak has been the anchor of a defensive unit that has racked up 10 fumble recoveries, eight interceptions, and 53 tackles for loss. In addition, Prochniak has enjoyed the best season of any Delco running back, posting 1,117 yards and 15 touchdowns. Prochniak leads the Panthers into the second round of the District 1 Class 5A tournament at Kennett Friday.
344>> Rushing yards averaged per game by Garnet Valley. The Jaguars have been the No. 1 rushing team in Delco every year since at least the 2010 campaign, and this season is no different. Jake Morin, who has been the Jags’ MVP this year, leads the way with 13 rushing scores. Greg Reynolds (750), Jake Morin (668), Ryan Gallagher (657), Sam Morin (428) and Reece Malek (408) have all run for at least 400 yards this fall.
1,574 >> Rushing yards for Haverford’s Blair, who amassed 449 all-purpose yards at Spring-Ford last week. Blair’s season rushing total leads all Delco players. His 309-yard rushing performance against Spring-Ford ranks second all-time in program history for a single game. In addition to his seven passing touchdowns, Blair has 20 rushing TDs and has returned a punt to the end zone.
7,515 >> Career passing yards for Penn Wood senior Desman Johnson, who broke the county record earlier this year. He is the only QB in history to eclipse 7,000 career yards. The All-Delco has thrown for more than 2,000 yards in each of the last three seasons. This week he was named first team All-Del Val League for a third straight year. Johnson has piloted the Patriots to three straight Del Val titles. All that’s missing from Johnson’s historic career in Lansdowne is a district title.
To contact Matt Smith, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @DTMattSmith.