District One-5A: Semifinals Preview



Written by: Michael Pietrangelo on Wednesday, November 16th, 2022


 Brendan Ricciardi & Willie McGonigle also contributed to this article.

Folks we’ve made it through two rounds of playoffs and are heading into the semifinals round. 5A has been relatively easy to predict up to this point, as the top four seeds are all still battling for the final two spots in the District One Championship Game next week. Upper Dublin cruised to a 35-0 victory over Great Valley, Plymouth Whitemarsh handled Chester 30-12, Strath Haven beat Springfield (Delco) 36-19, & West Chester Rustin took down Kennett 31-7. Follow with us as we preview the last two matchups. Make sure to follow along with us as we bring you live updates during the games on twitter: @ArtisticMayhem1 & @BPRicciardi @williepafn

Final Four Matchups:

(4) Plymouth Whitemarsh @ (1) Upper Dublin

(1) Upper Dublin

About the Cardinals: Upper Dublin enters the game undefeated at 12-0. The Flying Cards are the brackets #1 seed along with being PFN’s #1 ranked team in the statewide rankings. The Cards boast an impressive offense which averages 35.5 points per game while their defense is yielding an average of 7.75 points per. During the first two rounds the Cards have outscored their opponents 70-0. They cruised to a 35-0 win over (16) Academy Park in round one and then followed it up with a 35-0 thumping of (8) Great Valley last week. Defensive coordinator Dave Sowers looks to keep the goose egg going as his defensive starters really haven’t yielded anything of significance since they beat 6A North Penn back on September 9th , 32-28. They have an uphill battle this week facing a team who averages 39 points per game.

(4) Plymouth Whitemarsh

About the Colonials: The Colonials have an impressive 10-2 record and are the 4th seed in the district. PFN’s panel has them ranked 8th overall in the statewide 5A rankings.  The Colonial’s defense has yielded an impressive 10.0 points per contest.  Their offensive attack  which averages 39 points per is centered around senior dual-threat QB Aiden O’Brien who has passed for 788 yards & 12 TDs to go along with 1,012 yards on the ground & another 12 TDs.  Senior running backs Luke Winterbottom and Tommy Hannon are a 1-2 combo punch that most defenses can’t withstand. Luke has rushed for 981 yards & 13 TDs and Tommy has rushed for 562 yards & 12 TDs. The impressive part is that these stats are primarily from the first half of most games due to extensive leads. Defensively look for strong performances from the likes of DE Joe Foy (8 TFL, 5 sacks), DE Jared Kolsun (5 TFL, 5 Sacks), & LB Tommy Hannon (13 TFL, 3 sacks, 1 INT). Seven of their games resulted in less than 7 points scored.  Upper Moreland was the only team to put up more than 3 scores against them.


(3) West Chester Rustin @ (2) Strath Haven

(2) Strath Haven

About the Panthers: The Panthers are seeking their 13th district title championship berth where they have an impressive 11-1 record in those games. Last week the Panthers used two touchdowns by Austin Connor to survive the upset bid from their Central League League rivals. Sr Anthony Crawford has rushed for nearly 2000 yards this year which gives him the school’s single season rushing yards record. QB and Bucknell commit Sam Milligan led the Panthers ground attack last week with 86 yards only 8 carries.  Defensively Ben Farabaugh was all over the field with 14 tackles. The Panthers enter this week holding their opponents to an average of 9.2 points per game.

(3) West Chester

About the Golden Knights: Last week the Golden Knights revenged their only loss on the season defeating Chest-Mont American rival Kennett 31-7 in dominating fashion. This week the Golden Knights are seeking payback for last seasons District Championship game which saw them fall to the Panthers in double overtime by a score of 34-33. The Golden Knights are looking to advance to their fifth district championship game under head coach Mike St. Clair. Like the Panthers the Golden Knights run a wing-t offense with Daimon Jacobs, Chase Hatton and Antonio Santangelo handling majority of the carries with David McClain handling the QB duties. Defensively the Golden Knights enter play only giving up a total of 203 total yards combined in their two playoff games. Mike Labus and Jaysin Huynh are key members of the defensive unit.


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