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Friday football preview: Inter-Ac play begins, and it’s crunch time for many District 1 teams

Penn Charter (4-1) looks to upend favored Malvern Prep (6-0) in Friday afternoon's Inter-Ac League opener.

Running back Edward Saydee (6) and Penn Charter look to knock off unbeaten Malvern Prep on Friday afternoon.
Running back Edward Saydee (6) and Penn Charter look to knock off unbeaten Malvern Prep on Friday afternoon.Read moreLOU RABITO / Staff

Week 8 in Southeastern Pennsylvania football is highlighted by the start of Inter-Ac League play and continued jockeying for playoff positioning among District 1 teams.

The first of three Inter-Ac contests is Friday afternoon's matchup between defending champion Malvern Prep and Penn Charter in East Falls.

Malvern Prep is favored to claim its third straight league crown (it shared top honors with Germantown Academy in 2016) and seventh in the last 12 seasons.

Springside Chestnut Hill Academy visits Episcopal Academy on Friday night, and Haverford School travels to Germantown Academy on Saturday afternoon.

Among the pivotal District 1 Class 6A games when it comes to the power-point standings is Downingtown East (7-0) vs. Downingtown West (6-1); Harry S Truman (6-1) vs. Abington (4-3); and Pennsbury (3-4) vs. Council Rock South (5-2).

Malvern Prep is 6-0 and has won by a combined score of 208-107. Penn Charter (4-1) has won three straight since a 41-14 loss to Conwell-Egan.

Malvern Prep's wide-open offense is fueled by quarterback Drew Gunther, running back Quincy Watson, and receivers Lonnie White, Ryan Iacone, TyGee Leach, and Keith Maguire.

Gunther has completed 78 of 145 passes for 1,335 yards and 13 touchdowns; White and Iacone have combined for 38 catches for 592 yards and four scores.

Penn Charter has an electrifying halfback in Edward Saydee. The Temple recruit and school's all-time leading rusher has carried 70 times for 768 yards and 11 TDs.

Saydee is supported on offense by QB Kyle Jones, running backs Matt Marshall and Brendan Thomas, and tight end Ryan Maloney.

Penn Charter, which last season went 5-1 while placing second to 6-0 Malvern Prep, is seeking its first league title since 2006.

Pick Six


No. 3 Malvern Prep at No. 19 Penn Charter, 3:45 p.m. Can Saydee and Co. snap an 11-game losing streak against the vaunted Friars? Pick: Malvern Prep, 38-21.

No. 20 West Catholic (6-1) at No. 10 Conwell-Egan (7-0), 7 p.m. The winner will take the driver's seat in the Catholic League Blue Division. Pick: Conwell-Egan, 26-19.

No. 8 Garnet Valley (7-0) at No. 25 Radnor (6-1), 7 p.m. Radnor has a strong one-two punch in QB Sean Mullarkey and wideout Jahmair Rider. Pick: Garnet Valley, 28-13.

No. 4 Downingtown East (7-0) at No. 9 Downingtown West (6-1), 7 p.m. East has a 9-5 advantage, with a four-game win streak, in the neighborhood rivalry. Pick: East, 34-21.


No. 1 St. Joseph's Prep (4-0) vs. No. 5 Archbishop Wood (4-2), at William Tennent, 1 p.m. Wood needs to slow the Prep's potent and quick-strike offense. Pick: St. Joe's Prep, 31-14.

La Salle (2-4) vs. No. 14 Archbishop Ryan (6-1), at George Washington, 1:30 p.m. A late Gavin Dionisio field goal is the difference in a taut and physical contest. Pick: Ryan, 24-21.