Downingtown West beat Downingtown East.
Downingtown East beat Coatesville.
Coatesville beat Downingtown West.
Good luck separating the three District One Class 6A powers, each of whom ended up with a one-third share of the Ches-Mont National Division title.
The latest Southeastern Pennsylvania football rankings have the Whippets at No. 2, the Cougars at No. 3 and the Red Raiders at No. 4. But that’s this week’s Top 10.
Last week’s rankings were different. Next week’s rankings could change as well.
It’s been that kind of season for three teams with a combined overall record of 25-4 and clear designs on the District One Class 6A title.
On the brink of the tournament, here’s the new Top 10, with last week’s ranking in parentheses:
1. St. Joseph’s Prep (1) 6-2: Kyle McCord passed for five touchdowns in the first half as the Hawks beat Archbishop Ryan, 65-7, for their fifth straight win, clinching the Catholic League Red Division regular-season title for the eighth year in a row. The Prep hosts Father Judge in the PCL Class 6A semifinals on Friday and should meet the La Salle-Roman winner in the title game Nov. 9 at the Germantown supersite.
2. Downingtown West (3) 9-1: Tariq Lewis ran for two scores and Will Howard passed for a pair as the Whippets bounced back from a tough loss to Coatesville with a 41-7 win over Avon Grove, securing the top seed in the District One Class 6A tournament. Downingtown West will host Pennsbury in Friday’s opening round.
3. Downingtown East (6) 9-1: The Cougars made a statement by rallying from a 24-14 deficit in the second half for a 28-24 win over Coatesville. Junior running back Stanley Bryant led the way, operating behind an offensive line that slowly but surely seized command of the game. “The foundation of our program,” coach Mike Matta calls the Cougars’ offensive line. The Cougars are the No. 4 seed and host No. 13 Perkiomen Valley in the playoff opener on Saturday night.
4. Coatesville (2) 7-2: The Red Raiders looked to be in command when Ricky Ortega threw his best pass of the night, rolling right and tear-dropping a perfect spiral in the left corner to tight end Jordan Engler for an apparent touchdown that likely would have produced a 28-14 lead midway through the third quarter vs. Downingtown East. But an illegal lineman downfield penalty nullified the touchdown, Coatesville settled for a field goal and a 24-14 lead, and Downingtown East rallied for the victory. Ortega threw three touchdown passes and Dapree Bryant became the Philadelphia-area’s all-time leader in career receiving yards, but it was a tough end to the last regular season for the four-year standouts. Coatesville is the No. 7 seed and will host No. 10 Souderton in the first round.
5. Episcopal Academy (5) 8-0: This is the Year of Living Dangerously for the Churchmen. But they’ve made it work, winning three consecutive Inter-Ac League games in daring, dramatic fashion. Quarterback Maurcus McDaniel led the way again, passing for 128 yards and three scores and running for 144 yards in a 29-27 win over three-time Inter-Ac champion Malvern Prep. Episcopal Academy is two wins -- both of which, if form holds, will be pulse-pounders -- from its first perfect season since 2012. The Churchmen visit Germantown Academy on Saturday.
6. Neumann Goretti (4) 10-0: Late touchdowns runs by Tysheem Johnson and Malik Griffin made the Saints’ 30-9 win over Lansdale Catholic look a lot more convincing than it was on the field at the South Philadelphia supersite. This was a 12-9 game early in the fourth quarter. Johnson scored on an 87-yard kickoff return and a 67-yard run, and Griffin busted loose for touchdown runs of 47 and 27 yards in the game’s final six minutes. Top-seeded Neumann Goretti hosts Lansdale Catholic on Friday in a rematch in the first round of the Districts 12 and 1 Class 3A tournament.
7. Northeast (7) 9-1: Will Lawrence ran for two touchdowns and the Vikings dominated the line of scrimmage in a 54-0 win over Fels in the first round of the Public League Class 6A tournament. The shutout was Northeast’s fifth of the season. The Vikings have won six in a row, allowing a total of 18 points. Northeast hosts Lincoln on Friday in the semifinals.
8. La Salle (8) 7-2: The Explorers beat Roman Catholic, 30-6, Saturday night in the regular-season finale. Now they have to do it again in the PCL Class 6A tournament as the teams will meet Friday night, with the winner almost certainly facing No. 1 St. Joseph’s Prep on Nov. 9 in the title game.
9. Garnet Valley (9) 9-1: Sturdy second-half defense and big plays from quarterback Ryan Gallagher sparked the Jaguars to a 42-24 victory over Ridley that secured a second straight perfect Central League season. Gallagher ran for scores of 64, 33 and 10 yards. Garnet Valley is the No. 3 seed in District 1 Class 6A and will host 14th-seeded Owen J. Roberts in the first round.
10. Archbishop Wood (10) 6-3: The Vikings rolled to a 56-20 win over Father Judge, their third win in four games, with the lone loss to No. 1 St. Joseph’s Prep. Archbishop Wood is off this weekend and will meet Archbishop Ryan in the PCL Class 5A title game Nov. 9 at the Germantown supersite.