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St. Joseph’s Prep plays La Salle, then Archbishop Wood to open the Philadelphia Catholic League football season

Two-time defending PIAA Class 6A state champion St. Joseph's Prep will kick off the league season Oct. 17 vs. arch-rival La Salle, and meet reigning Class 5A state champion Archbishop Wood on Oct. 31.

La Salle’s Gavin Daly (left) looks for running room in the first half of its game at Manheim Township on Sept. 18.
La Salle’s Gavin Daly (left) looks for running room in the first half of its game at Manheim Township on Sept. 18.Read moreELIZABETH ROBERTSON / Staff Photographer

Two-time defending state champion St. Joseph’s Prep will meet arch-rival La Salle on Oct. 17 in the kickoff of an abbreviated Philadelphia Catholic League football schedule.

St. Joseph’s Prep, which has won the last two and three of the last four PIAA Class 6A state titles, also will meet Archbishop Wood on Oct. 31 in a rare clash of reigning state champions.

Archbishop Wood won the PIAA Class 5A title in 2019, but the Vikings have been bumped up to Class 6A this year.

The PCL football regular season, shortened because of the coronavirus outbreak, will end the weekend of Nov. 6-7, after which the top teams in each classification are expected to enter the PIAA state playoffs. The state finals for football are set for Nov. 27-28 at HersheyPark Stadium.

Teams that don’t qualify for the state playoffs or are eliminated in early rounds have the option of scheduling additional regular-season games through Nov. 28. There will be no PCL championship game.

The PCL football regular-season schedule includes only games between teams in the same classification. Additional games can be arranged by teams for weekends in which they are not slated to play in a league game, or after the start of the state playoffs.

St. Joseph’s Prep, which is regarded as one of the best teams in the nation, is tentatively scheduled to play a nonleague game against Bishop Sycamore of Columbus, Ohio, on Oct. 24 and also is looking to arrange another game against an out-of-state team, possibly on Oct. 10.

Because they are located within the city limits, St. Joseph’s Prep, Roman Catholic, Archbishop Ryan, and Neumann Goretti are subject to restrictions issued last month by the Philadelphia department of health. That guidance prohibits football or soccer games as well as practices in those sports that involve contact. Those teams will play their “home” games outside the city and are expected to arrange for occasional practices outside the city to allow for contact.

St. Joseph’s Prep is expected to use Bensalem High as the site of some of its games, including the Oct. 17 matchup with La Salle.

Here’s the schedule:

Oct. 17:

La Salle at St. Joseph’s Prep (Class 6A)

Weekend of Oct. 23-24:

Roman Catholic at Archbishop Wood (6A)

Monsignor Bonner at Archbishop Ryan (4A)

Neumann Goretti at Archbishop Carroll (3A)

Weekend of Oct. 30-31:

St. Joseph’s Prep at Archbishop Wood (6A)

Roman Catholic at La Salle (6A)

Cardinal O’Hara at Archbishop Ryan (4A)

Lansdale Catholic at Archbishop Carroll (3A)

Bishop McDevitt at Conwell-Egan (2A)

Weekend of Nov. 6-7:

St. Joseph’s Prep at Roman Catholic (6A)

Archbishop Wood at La Salle (6A)

Lansdale Catholic at Neumann Goretti (3A)

Cardinal O’Hara at Monsignor Bonner (4A)