|Staff photo by Tom Kelly IV/ Kyle Lauletta and Downingtown East have a huge National Division showdown with Coatesville ona Friday night full of division battles.|
By PETER DiGIOVANNI
Week 4 of the scholastic football season gets off to an early start tonight, but two huge Ches-Mont League games and a top Class AAAA team in La Salle visiting Malvern Prep top the weekend docket.
Undefeated Downingtown East (3-0) travels to Coatesville to take on the 2-1 Red Raiders in a National Division war. Coatesville is coming off a tough 28-21 road win over Central Dauphin East last week, while the Cougars blew out Pennsbury, 42-28, at Kottmeyer Stadium.
There are plenty of star power on both squads, but Coatesville head coach Matt Ortega knows his crew better be wary of one Cougar in particular.
“The thing with Downingtown East is that their quarterback (Kyle) Lauletta is so good,” Ortega said. “He throws to all his receivers, he sees the field well and he can beat you with his legs. When they run that empty backfield he is real tough. We have to not let him run the football on us.
“We like our quarterback too in Emmett Hunt. He has been in big games before for us and on the basketball floor. All his teammates have confidence in him and he is playing very well right now. This should be a great game and the kids are really pumped up for it.”
Lauletta has the Cougars’ humming, throwing for 290 yards and four touchdowns last week. Coatesville’s biggest playmaker in wide receiver Chris Jones, who come off a 189-yard, three touchdowns performance against C.D. East.
Pick: Plenty of talent on both sides and I think a very close game. Downingtown East 28, Coatesville 21.
In the American Division showdown, West Chester Rustin, which has allowed just 14 points in its three wins, heads to Unionville to take on the 2-1 Indians. It was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the Golden Knights (3-0), but Unionville head coach Pat Clark says he knows better.
“There is no rebuilding at Rustin,” Clark said. “They have such a good program it just goes on. They are four-time defending champs and they play great defense. We are going to have to find a way to score enough points on them to beat them.”
Adam Burke has been a force for the Golden Knights, scoring three more touchdowns last week, giving him 13 on the season.
Pick: For the last four years, I have picked Unionville and I have been wrong. Here goes. Unionville 21, W.C. Rustin 17.
Great Valley (2-1) vs. Octorara (1-2) at Solanco H.S., 7 p.m.
The Braves are coming off a big win over Pequea Valley and the Pats are rolling after destryoing Penn Wood.
Pick: Great Valley 31, Octorara 14.
Conestoga (1-2) at Marple Newtown (1-2), 7 p.m.
The Pioneers have lost two in a row and need a win badly to stay in the Class AAAA playoff hunt. Joe Viviano should have a big day on the Tiger defense.
Pick: Conestoga 28, Marple Newtown 20.
Penn Wood (0-3) at Downingtown West (2-1), 7 p.m.
After the way D-West lost in Delaware last, this looks like a rout at the hands of some angry Whippets. Penn Wood has lost its three games by a combined 107-49.
Pick: Downingtown West 42, Penn Wood 7.
Oxford (3-0) at Sun Valley (2-1), 7 p.m.
The 3-0 Hornets have been playing some very tough defense this year and Sun Valley was shut out by Academy Park last week.
Pick: Oxford 14, Sun Valley 7.
West Chester East (0-3) at West Chester Henderson (3-0), 7:15 p.m.
This is stil a very big game to the West Chester kids and coaches. The Warrrios are 3-0 and have played lights out defense in all three games. It should continue here.
Pick: W.C. Henderson 28, W.C. East 7.
Haverford School (1-2) at Kennett (3-0), noon
Hard to judge the 3-0 Blue Demons so far, but the option offense run by head coach Scott Green should give the Fords fits.
Pick: Kennett 24, Haverford School 14.
Avon Grove (0-3) at Bishop Shanahan (1-1), 1 p.m.
Both teams need a win badly, but the Red Devils give up a lot of yardage on the ground. Take the very young Eagles here at home.
Pick: Bishop Shanahan 28, Avon Grove 14.
La Salle (3-0) at Malvern Prep (2-1), 2 p.m.
The Explorers are a popular pick to win the PIAA Class AAAA crown. La Salle will have to stop the Friars’ Eric Purnell to win. Both teams are big up front. This should be a great Saturday matchup.
Pick: Upset special. Malvern 28, La Salle 27.
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