PIAA Class 6A semifinal at a glance
No. 1 St. Joseph's Prep (12-0) vs. No. 3 North Penn (14-0) Saturday, 5 p.m., at Northeast At stake: The winner will meet either District 7's Pittsburgh Central Catholic (13-1) or District 3's Wilson (12-1) in the state final on Dec. 10 in Hershey.
No. 1 St. Joseph's Prep (12-0) vs. No. 3 North Penn (14-0)
Saturday, 5 p.m., at Northeast
At stake: The winner will meet either District 7's Pittsburgh Central Catholic (13-1) or District 3's Wilson (12-1) in the state final on Dec. 10 in Hershey.
How they got here: The St. Joseph's Hawks beat Public League champion Northeast, 44-6, in first-round action and knocked out Parkland, 38-17, in the quarterfinals. The North Penn Knights beat Coatesville, 42-25, in the first round and outlasted Garnet Valley, 48-38, last week.
History: North Penn has a 5-4 advantage in the head-to-head series, which began in 1999. The Hawks have won the last three meetings. The Knights won four straight from 2007 to 2010.
Key matchup: Watch how North Penn cornerbacks Justis Henley and Jake Hubler handle Prep wideouts Terrance Greene and Darryle Simmons.
Back on top vs. on the rise: The Hawks are seeking their third PIAA championship in four seasons. The Knights' District 1 title is their first since 2011, and their last state title came in 2003.
Go-to ball carrier: North Penn halfback Nick Dillon has rushed 175 times for 950 yards and 24 touchdowns. He is often joined in the backfield by fullback Anthony Andrews.
Swift riffs: North Penn must limit Swift's big plays. This season, Swift owns 18 rushing touchdowns on just 91 carries. On average, that's a score every five carries. In the air, Swift owns five touchdowns on 19 catches, which averages to one score about every 3.8 receptions. Combined, Swift has averaged a touchdown on about every 4.8 times he touches the ball.
Stalwart: The Knight's offensive line is anchored by center Matt Bevan, a 5-foot-10, 220-pound junior and first-team all-Suburban One League Continental Conference selection.
Passing game: St, Joe's Marquez McCray, who has thrown for 1,847 yards and 20 touchdowns this season, will likely have to make some plays in the air as the Knights are likely to focus on Swift In the backfield.
Special teams/turnover: Prep coach Gabe Infante said the Hawks treated last week's win as if it were a loss because of mistakes on specials teams and fumbles on offense. A repeat performance could mean doom against North Penn.
Strong leg: The Knights' Kelly Macnamara has booted six field goals and 61 extra points.
Rick O'Brien's pick: St. Joseph's Prep, 34-21.
Aaron Carter's pick: St. Joseph's Prep, 38-35.
- Rick O'Brien and Aaron CarterEndText