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St. Joseph's Prep primed for another quarterfinal clash with Parkland

The Hawks (11-0) will face District 11's Parkland (13-0) in a state football quarterfinal for the fourth time in five seasons.

Quarterback Marquez McCray (14) and St. Joseph’s Prep will take on District 11’s Parkland in a PIAA Class 6A quarterfinal at 1 p.m. Saturday in Bethlehem.
Quarterback Marquez McCray (14) and St. Joseph’s Prep will take on District 11’s Parkland in a PIAA Class 6A quarterfinal at 1 p.m. Saturday in Bethlehem.Read moreLOU RABITO

For the fourth time in five seasons, St. Joseph's Prep and District 11's Parkland will square off in the state football playoffs.

St. Joe's Prep has a 3-0 advantage on the Trojans. On the way to earning statewide glory, the Hawks triumphed by 38-17 last season, 34-30 in 2014, and 21-10 in 2013.

Gabe Infante's squad will take on Parkland, of Allentown, in a PIAA Class 6A quarterfinal at 1 p.m. Saturday at Bethlehem Liberty's Frank Banko Field.

St. Joe's Prep (11-0) advanced Saturday with a 31-0 blanking of Northeast in a rainy District 12 final at Charlie Martin Memorial Stadium. The Hawks, who posted their 25th consecutive victory, limited the Vikings to 97 yards rushing on 47 attempts.

The undefeated Trojans (13-0) earned their sixth consecutive District 11 title with a 30-6 win over Bethlehem Freedom at Northampton on Friday night.

Parkland is spurred on offense by running back Jahan Worth, a 6-foot, 225-pound fire hydrant who carried 21 times for 143 yards against Freedom.

The Trojans, who have outscored foes by 487-124, have a solid quarterback in Michael Ruisch. The 6-5, 190-pounder connected on 12 of 17 passes for 190 yards in the squad's latest win.

Worth doubles as a hard-hitting linebacker. He is supported on defense by fellow linebacker Nate Weider, linemen Xavier Huff and Jeremy Sell, and cornerback Juan Salas.

Against Northeast, the Hawks' Marques Mason carried 12 times for 106 yards. Backfield partner Kolbe Burrell rushed 10 times for 38 yards and a pair of scores.

The defensive effort was spearheaded by linebackers Phil O'Connor (12 tackles, with five solos) and Bradley Cobaugh (six, three), and lineman Jake Feehery (seven, five). The Vikings' longest gain of the night was Danny Scott's 16-yard, fourth-quarter run.

In 2015, with the aid of a controversial call, Parkland edged La Salle, 16-13, in overtime in a Class 4A state quarterfinal at Northeast. The Trojans reached the final before losing to Pittsburgh Central Catholic, 21-18, in Hershey.

On a roll

Third-seeded Unionville will make its first appearance in a District 1 final in 12 years when it takes on top-seeded Springfield (Delco) for top Class 5A honors at 7 p.m. Friday.

"I'm thrilled for our kids," Pat Clark, Unionville's 14th-year head coach, said. "But we have to play a very good football team to get it done. We'll see what happens."

The Indians (12-1) are fueled on offense by quarterback Alex Gorgone, multipurpose threat Joe Zubillaga, running backs Dante Graham and Joe Fariello, and wideout J.T. Hower.

Springfield (13-0) counters with a unit that is keyed by running backs Ja'Den McKenzie and Phil Shovlin, QB Jack Psenicska, and wideout Kyle Long.

In 1994, Unionville beat Methacton, 28-24, for the District 1 Class 3A title. The Indians advanced to the 2005 final before bowing to Strath Haven, 21-3.

Springfield is trying to capture the program's first district crown. The Cougars made it to the 2014 final before being blanked by Great Valley, 21-0.

Week 14

Here is the schedule for next weekend's playoffs.


District 1 Class 6A Final

Coatesville at Garnet Valley, 7 p.m.

District 1 Class 5A Final

Unionville at Springfield (Delco), 7 p.m.

PIAA Class 4A Quarterfinal

Imhotep Charter vs. Valley View, at Northern Lehigh, 7 p.m.

PIAA Class 2A Quarterfinal

Neumann-Goretti vs. Southern Columbia, at Lehighton, 7 p.m


PIAA Class 6A Quarterfinal

St. Joseph's Prep vs. Parkland, at Bethlehem Liberty, 1 p.m.

PIAA Class 5A Quarterfinal

Archbishop Wood vs. Wyoming Valley West, at Northern Lehigh, 1 p.m.

PIAA Class 3A Quarterfinal

Conwell-Egan vs. Palisades, at Northeast, 1 p.m.