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Coatesville, St. Joseph’s Prep highlight football playoff action in Southeastern Pennsylvania

It's Ches-Mont League vs. Central League in District 1 6A semifinal action, while Catholic League powers St. Joseph's Prep and Archbishop Wood seek to secure another city crown.

Downingtown West quarterback Will Howard, a Kansas State recruit shown here against Downingtown East, leads the top-seeded Whippets into the district semifinals against Haverford.
Downingtown West quarterback Will Howard, a Kansas State recruit shown here against Downingtown East, leads the top-seeded Whippets into the district semifinals against Haverford.Read moreKRISTON JAE BETHEL / For The Inquirer

Breaking down the playoff action in Southeastern Pennsylvania football this weekend:

PIAA District 1

Class 6A semifinals

Coatesville (9-2) at Garnett Valley (11-1), Friday at 7: The seventh-seeded Red Raiders visit the second-seeded Jaguars in one of two clashes between Ches-Mont and Central League powers.

Coatesville has won 10 District 1 playoff games in a row and is the two-time reigning champion. The Red Raiders are led by senior quarterback Ricky Ortega and senior all-purpose Dapree Bryant.

Ortega, a Villanova recruit, has passed for 1,968 yards and 20 touchdowns with just two interceptions. He also has rushed for 10 touchdowns.

Bryant has scored 22 touchdowns, 15 on receptions. He also is a Villanova recruit.

Garnet Valley has won 11 in a row since a season-opening loss to Downingtown West. The Jaguars are averaging 48 points in the winning streak.

Operating behind a powerful offensive line, Greg Reynolds (982 yards), Jake Morin (743) and Ryan Gallagher (668) have rushed for a combined 42 touchdowns.

Haverford (10-2) at Downingtown West (11-1), Friday at 7: The 12th-seeded Fords try to keep their playoff run going against the top-seeded Whippets.

Haverford has won 10 in a row since starting the season at 0-2. Led by dual-threat senior quarterback Trey Blair, a Buffalo recruit, as well as a sturdy defense, the Fords have knocked off fifth-seeded Spring-Ford and fourth-seeded Downingtown East by a combined 58 points.

Downingtown West has averaged 51 points in its two playoff victories. The Whippets are led by senior quarterback Will Howard, a Kansas State recruit, as well as senior running back Tyriq Lewis. Howard has passed for 1990 yards and 23 touchdowns. Lewis has rushed for 1,518 yards and has scored 33 touchdowns.

Class 5A semifinals

West Chester Rustin (9-3) at Academy Park (10-2), Friday at 7: The seventh-seeded Golden Knights take on the second-seeded Knights.

West Chester Rustin has won three in a row, including a 14-7 victory over second-seeded West Chester East in the quarterfinals. That reversed a 27-7 loss to East in the regular season.

Academy Park has been led by senior quarterback Barry Brown, a run-pass threat. Brown has rushed for 1,150 yards and 14 touchdowns and passed for 1,436 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Senior defensive lineman Nasir Brown has sparked the Academy Park defense with 107 tackles, including 22 tackles for loss.

Kennett (10-1) at Cheltenham (11-1), Friday at 7: The fourth-seeded Blue Demons try to keep alive one of the best seasons in program history against the top-seeded Panthers.

Senior running back Garrett Cox and junior all-purpose Vince Cresci have led Kennett, which won the first playoff game in program history in the opener vs. Chichester, then took down Strath Haven in overtime in the quarterfinals.

Cheltenham has won nine in a row and set the program record for victories in a season. The Panthers’ offense features senior quarterback Adonis Hunter (1,588 yards, 21 touchdowns) as well as senior running back Jamir Barnes (933 yards 11 touchdowns). Senior safety T.J. Harris has nine interceptions.

District 12 title games

Class 6A

St. Joseph’s Prep (8-2) at Northeast (11-1), Saturday at 6: The visiting Hawks, widely regarded as the top program in the state, have beaten the Vikings in the city championship game three years in a row by a combined score of 124-20.

Junior quarterback Kyle McCord, an Ohio State recruit, has passed for 2,399 yards and 31 touchdowns. Junior wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr., who also has committed to Ohio State, has 36 catches for 832 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Senior Kolbe Burrell, a Buffalo recruit, leads the Hawks’ ground game with 771 rushing yards.

Northeast has won eight in a row, allowing a total of 18 points. The Vikings’ defense is led by junior linebacker Zaire McLaurin (80 tackles) as well as junior end Elijah Jeudy (11 tackles for loss, six sacks).

Junior Jon-Luke Peaker has run for 1,030 yards and 14 touchdowns and junior Tyreek Chappell is averaging 25.5 yards per catch with six touchdowns.

Class 5A

Martin Luther King (7-5) vs. Archbishop Wood (7-3), Saturday at 1 at Northeast: The Public League champion Cougars meet the Catholic League champion Vikings in the first game of a doubleheader.

Martin Luther King has won three in a row.

Archbishop Wood has won this city title game three years in a row since a 2015 loss to Imhotep Charter. The Vikings are led by junior running back Cardel Pigford (558 yards, nine touchdowns) and junior quarterback Max Keller (1,034 yards, 14 touchdowns.

Class 4A

Imhotep Charter (7-4) vs. Bonner-Prendergast (9-1), Friday at 7 at Germantown supersite: The Panthers have won seven of eight since an 0-3 start, with the lone loss by an 8-6 score to 6A Public League champion Northeast.

Senior quarterback Jalen Sutton-Christian leads the Imhotep offense, while junior safety Saint McLeod is one of several highly-recruited players on the Panthers’ powerful defense.

Bonner-Prendergast won the program’s first league title since 1994 with a 35-20 victory over Archbishop Carroll in the Catholic League final. Sophomore running back Mason Peterson, senior tight end James Welde, junior all-pupose Nasim Rhodes-Nelson and senior all-purpose Oscar Uduma are players to watch for the Friars.

PIAA playoffs

Class 4A first round

Bishop Shanahan (7-4) vs. Jersey Shore (9-3) at Selinsgrove, Friday at 7: The District One champion Eagles, who have won three in a row, are battle tested after playing in the Ches-Mont National with the likes of 6A powers Coatesville, Downingtown West and Downingtown East.

Class 3A first round

Pope John Paul II (10-2) vs. Tamaqua (10-2) at Owen J. Roberts, Friday at 7: The Golden Panthers scored the most significant victory in program history, stunning previously undefeated Neumann-Goretti 29-28 in the Districts 1/12 regional title game.

Pope John Paul II is led by senior dual-threat quarterback Kamal Gray, who has thrown for 2,530 yards and 35 touchdowns and also has run for seven scores.

Junior Justin Kormos (10 touchdown catches) and senior Dylan Walker (nine touchdown catches) are top receivers while senior Justin Mitala sparks the defense with 136 tackles, including 29 tackles for loss.

Class 2A first round

Bishop McDevitt (6-6) vs. Dunmore (8-4) at Lehighton, Friday at 7: The Royal Lancers won the regional title with a 9-8 win over old nemesis West Catholic.

Bishop McDevitt is led by senior all-purpose star Lonnie Rice, a Buffalo recruit. As a dual-threat quarterback, Rice has run for 855 yards and 14 touchdowns and passed for 1,356 yards and 11 touchdowns.