Here’s a look at this weekend’s playoff football action in Southeastern Pennsylvania:
(All games are Friday at 7 p.m.)
Coatesville (10-2) at Downingtown West (12-1): Something has to give when the two-time reigning champion Red Raiders visit the Whippets, the top challenger to their supremacy, before what’s expected to be a capacity-plus crowd at Kottmeyer Stadium.
Coatesville is led by senior quarterback Ricky Ortega and senior all-purpose Dapree Bryant, a pair of Villanova recruits, as well as a defense that has improved over the course of the long season. Ortega has passed for 2,254 yards and 22 touchdowns and also run for 11 scores. Bryant has 16 touchdown catches and has scored 10 other touchdowns on runs and returns.
Downingtown West features quarterback Will Howard, a Kansas State recruit, as well as two-way end Sean Pelkisson, a Georgia Southern recruit, and running back Tyriq Lewis. Howard has passed for 2,238 yards and 26 touchdowns. Pelkisson has 93 tackles, including 27 for loss and 10 sacks. Lewis has set a Downingtown record with 35 touchdowns.
Coatesville handed Downingtown West its only loss of the season by a 29-21 score on Oct. 18. The winner of this game will meet District 3 champion Central Dauphin (11-2), which has a bye this week, in the Nov. 29 state semifinals.
St. Joseph’s Prep (9-2) vs. Nazareth (12-1) at Liberty: The District 12-champion Hawks have won eight in a row since starting the season with a 1-2 mark against national-caliber competition.
St. Joseph’s Prep is seeking its second straight state title and third in the last four seasons. The big question for the Hawks is the health of junior quarterback Kyle McCord, an Ohio State recruit. McCord, who has passed for 2,399 yards and 31 touchdowns, missed last Saturday’s victory over Northeast with a knee injury and is listed as “day-to-day” by coach Tim Roken.
Junior Malik Cooper stepped in for McCord in the 43-26 win over Northeast and ran for 103 yards ad two touchdowns. Senior Kolbe Burrell, a Buffalo recruit, is a workhorse back for the Hawks. He ran for 212 yards and three scores against Northeast.
Nazareth won the District 11 title for the first time since 2011. Quarterback Anthony Harris, who has an offer from Lehigh, and safety Nate Stefanik, who has 10 interceptions, lead the way.
The winner of this game will meet the winner of State College vs. Pittsburgh Central Catholic in the Nov. 29 state semifinals.
Academy Park (11-2) at Cheltenham (12-1): The visiting Knights have been living dangerously, winning their last two playoff games by a total of three points (8-6 over Penn Wood and 21-20 over West Chester Rustin).
Senior quarterback Barry Brown leads the way for Academy Park. He has passed for 1,620 yards and 17 touchdowns and run for 1,258 yards and another 14 scores. Senior Nasir Brown (112 tackles, 24 for loss) and senor Brian Daniels (102 tackles) lead the defense.
Cheltenham has set school records for wins in a season and has reached the district final for the first time in program history. The balanced Panthers feature senior quarterback Adonis Hunter (1,703 passing yards, 21 touchdowns) and senior running back Jamir Barnes (996 yards, 13 touchdowns) as well as senior all-purpose Nate Edwards (17 touchdowns). Senior safety T.J. Harris has nine interceptions.
The winner of this game will meet the winner of the District 3 title game between Cedar Cliff and Cocalico in the Nov. 29 state semifinals.
Archbishop Wood (8-3) vs. Southern Lehigh (12-1) at Pennridge: The Vikings have won four in a row since a loss to St. Joseph’s Prep and have scored a total of 151 points in their last three games.
Senior Ryan DiVergilis ran for a touchdown and picked off a pair of passes in a 51-14 win over Martin Luther King in the city title game. Junior quarterback Max Keller (1,073 passing yards, 15 touchdowns), junior running back Kaelin Costello (eight touchdowns) and junior all-purpose Carnel Pigford (718 rushing yards, 11 touchdowns) are players to watch for the Vikings.
Southern Lehigh, the District 11 champion, has won six in a row, averaging 50.1 points. Senior running back Asher Smith has run for a school-record 2,452 yards.
The winner of this game will meet the winner of Saturday’s game between Gateway and Peters Township in the state semifinals.
Imhotep Charter (8-4) vs. Dallas (13-0) at Lehighton: The city-champion Panthers have won seven of eight since an 0-3 start, with the lone loss by an 8-6 score to Public League 6A winner Northeast.
Senior quarterback Jalen Sutton-Christian and junior all-purpose D’Shaun Seals spark the offense, but the key for Imhotep has been the improvement of a young defense featuring sophomore ends Enai White and Keon Wylie.
Dallas won the District 2 title for the first time since 1999. Senior running back Lenny Kelley (2,276 yards, 33 touchdowns) and senior quarterback Mike Starbuck (1,607 passing yards, 20 touchdowns) lead the way.
The winner of this game will meet the winner of the Jersey Shore vs. Pottsville game in the state semifinals.
Bishop McDevitt (7-6) vs. Richland (12-0) at Chambersburg: The Lancers have won three in a row to reach the state quarterfinals for the first time since making this round in Class A in 2015.
Senior quarterback/defensive back Lonnie Rice, a Buffalo recruit, leads the way. Rice has run for 1,018 yards and 16 touchdowns and passed for 1,480 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Richland has scored 34 or more points in each of its last 11 games. Sophomore quarterback Kellan Stahl (2,512 passing yards, 38 touchdowns) is a player to watch.