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Garnet Valley and Coatesville to clash again in District 1 football playoffs

Can Garnet Valley and Coatesville duplicate the drama of last year's PIAA District 1 Class 6A final?

Garnet Valley's Colin Robinson, center, Valley runs for a gain against Central League rival Haverford High.
Garnet Valley's Colin Robinson, center, Valley runs for a gain against Central League rival Haverford High.Read moreCHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer

Can Garnet Valley and Coatesville duplicate the drama of last year's PIAA District 1 Class 6A final?

Coatesville escaped host Garnet Valley, 35-28, on Avery Young's interception and 72-yard return for a touchdown with 19 seconds remaining at frigid Moe DeFrank Stadium.

This time, in a district semifinal, the No. 3-seeded Jaguars (12-0) visit the No. 2 Red Raiders (12-0) at 7 p.m. Friday.

Garnet Valley has outscored opponents by 489-138; the Red Raiders have won by a margin of 558-131.

The Jaguars' option offense is spearheaded by quarterback Cole Palis and running backs Colin Robinson, Danny Bradley, and Dominic Labricciosa.

Robinson has carried 139 times for 962 yards and 19 touchdowns. Bradley (81 for 670, eight TDs) and Labricciosa (103 for 631, four) are next in line.

In last year's loss to Coatesville, Garnet Valley netted 381 yards on the ground on 64 attempts. Mike Ricci's squad will need a similar effort to upend Coatesville on Friday.

The Red Raiders' quick-strike offense is spurred by QB Ricky Ortega, running back Aron Young, and receiver Dapree Bryant.

Ortega has completed 107 of 160 passes for 2,003 yards and 35 TDs; Young, a Michigan State recruit, has carried 123 times for 1,231 yards and 20 scores; and Bryant has made 48 catches for 962 yards and 17 TDs.

Garnet Valley looks to move closer to capturing its first district final since 2007, when it won at the Class 3A level.

Coatesville seeks to reach the championship game for the fifth time in the last seven years. It captured the 2012 crown (its other title came in 1992) with a 59-28 triumph over Spring-Ford.

In Friday's other District 1 Class 6A semifinal, No. 4 seed Downingtown West (11-1) takes on No. 1 North Penn (12-0) at 7 p.m. at Wissahickon.

Downingtown West rallied to beat No. 5 Harry Truman, 24-22, on Dan Byrnes' 39-yard field goal, his first of the season, with three seconds left in last week's quarterfinal.

Byrnes, who doubles as a receiver, QB Ryan Wetzel, halfback Tyriq Lewis, and fullback Tyler Alston ignite the Whippets offense.

Wetzel, previously a tight end, moved under center when junior starter Will Howard suffered a hand injury late in the first half of a 42-14 loss to Coatesville on Oct. 5.

North Penn looks to take a step closer to winning its eighth district title since 2002. In 2016, Dick Beck's squad outlasted Coatesville, 48-38, to gain top honors.

The Knights are fueled on offense by QB Solomon Robinson, running backs Shamar Edwards and Julian White, and receivers Jon Haynes and Evan Spann.

Pick Six


District 1 Class 6A semifinals

Garnet Valley at Coatesville, 7 p.m. The Jaguars defense struggles to keep up with speedsters Young and Bryant. Pick: Coatesville, 35-14.

Downingtown West vs. North Penn, at Wissahickon, 7 p.m. Can the Whippets return to earth after their thrilling, last-second win over Truman? Pick: Downingtown West, 23-20.

District 1 Class 5A semifinal

Unionville at Upper Dublin, 7 p.m. The host Cardinals have thrived behind QB Mike Slivka, running back Lucas Roselli, and Selvin Haynes. Pick: Upper Dublin, 21-7.

PIAA Class 3A first round

Conwell-Egan vs. North Schuylkill, at Lehighton, 7 p.m. Patrick Garwo (1,865 yards, 27 TDs) and the Eagles continue their drive toward Hershey. Pick: Conwell-Egan, 32-13.


PIAA Class 2A first round

West Catholic vs. Dunmore, at Northern Lehigh, 1 p.m. District 2's Dunmore has a dangerous ballcarrier in Rayshaun Dawkins (900 rushing yards, 13 TDs). Pick: West Catholic, 30-21.

District 12 Class 6A Final

St. Joseph's Prep at Northeast, 6 p.m. The Vikings offense is fueled by QB Charles Britt and running backs Marlon White and William Lawrence. Pick: St. Joe's Prep, 35-6.