Weekend Notebook: Which team was most impressive in Week 1?

The most impressive teams from Week 1 were as follows (in no particular order):

Sun Valley: While unranked to start the season, the Vanguards have played themselves, at the very least, into the Super 7 picture. To be honest, they beat a woeful football program in Lower Merion, but if you’re going to win a game in which you’re heavily favorite, doing so in dominating fashion is the way. A breakout performance by Kijana Gordon (166 rush yards) and a fine all-around game from athlete Juwan Chandler (two interceptions, including a 91-yard TD return) gave the Vanguards their second straight 1-0 start. All told, Sun Valley’s defense racked up five turnovers and forced four fumbles. I’m not ready to call the Vanguards world-beaters quite yet, but a good start is a good start, regardless of competition.

Academy Park: Of the seven teams that debuted in the Super 7, No. 6 Academy Park was probably one the most impressive of the bunch. The Knights dominated from the moment the coin was tossed. A punt block for a touchdown and an 82-yard touchdown run by Jerry Lanier put the Knights in control. Defensively, they allowed zip. (Marple scored against AP’s backups.) An extemely satisfying opening night for the reigning Del Val League champs.

Garnet Valley: The Jaguars whooped Unionville, 35-14, quite the surprise considering the teams play closely-contested openers every year, so it seems. After Unionville jumped to a 7-0 lead, the Jaguars relied on running back Jake Irving and a strong performance by their secondary, as all four of Garnet Valley’s picks came from their DBs. With both teams working in new quarterbacks, it wasn’t a big surprise seeing the Jags lean on their ground attack, led by Irving and Vince Razzano (three TDs).

Ridley: The reviews of the Green Raiders’ 21-6 win over Glen Mills were mixed at best. While this inexperienced team showed typical Ridleygrit on defense, the offense left a lot to be desired. However, after a porous first half, senior quarterback Collin Wright hooked up with Sean Hackett and Tito Orji for touchdown passes as the Raiders would pull away. Glen Mills — which features a solid backfield headlined by returning starter Shaheem Dow — rushed 33 times for 145 yards. Not bad for a Week 1 performance, but Ridley has to cut that number down going forward. The bright spots included junior Ryan Dougherty (brother of two-time All-Delco Shane), who had a fantastic game at linebacker. Ridley’s D forced four fumbles and one interception.

Others: You have to hand it to Upper Darby, which erased a two-touchdown halftime defict against Bonner-Prendergast en route to winning a thrilling, 28-27 overtime decision. New QB Chris Rossiter stole the show (276 total yards)… Springfield fought fire with fire at Interboro. It was an ugly game for both offenses, but the Cougars showed plenty of moxie and out-toughened the Bucs, 13-7. If  young quarterback Charlie Carbin develops and playmakers emerge, the Cougars could be in store for a memorable season. The offensive line and front seven, especially, were dominant…Penncrest was the only team to shut anybody out, claiming a 20-0 win over Upper Merion. The Lions defense was flawless, limiting UM to a measly 115 total yards of offense. Episcopal Academy tailed off a bit in the second half, but overall looked pretty impressive in its 30-22 victory over Catholic League AAAA’s Father Judge.


And, for good measure, the biggest disappointment from Week 1 has was Cardinal O’Hara. I think it’s safe to say the Lions will get their Boardwalk Bowl loss to Archbishop Ryan out of their system as soon as possible and play a much cleaner game Friday night at Academy Park. They’re way too talented to think otherwise.

45 thoughts on “Weekend Notebook: Which team was most impressive in Week 1?

  1. Next 2 weeks we will learn a lot. Academy Park plays Ohara & Sun Valley, G.V. Plays Upper Darby & Ridley, O’Hara plays AP & LaSalle, Ridley plays Stoga & G.V, E.A plays interboro & Caravel Academy. The cream will rise to the top!

  2. Matt I think you’re over/down playing a bit here. AP, as good as they MAY be off paper (time will tell), Sun Valley, Penncrest just beat up on weaker opponents. Marple, UM, and LM are freshman/JV teams at best. Mind as well mentionChichesters win over Harriton as having Super 7 implications if you’re going to commend SV, AP, Penncrest for beating the likes if the teams they did.

    EA trailed off a bit? Didn’t they tally 0 in the entire 2nd half while allowing 19? From all accounts Judge was the better team except for a few early, costly miscues (90 yard KO return TD, 53 yard reception TD).

    As for Unionville, your thoughts are predicated on two things that you don’t know: Unionville is talented, and this was actually a blowout. Generally the unionville/GV game is tight, but unionville may just not be that good; it happens to programs occassionaly (north penn 2012, Ridley 2008). Unionville usually dominates, or shares, an extremely weak chesmont American League with Rustin, allowing them to gain playoff points, but in all that time they’ve made the playoffs they’ve never made noise; even when they’re good they’re not that good.

    Ridley was average, but Ridley average is better than most programs great. 19 new starters, 15-point win over big/strong glen mills. Not sure they are better than GV, Springfield, interboro, etc, but a 15-point win over GM is more impressive than 50 point wins over LM, Marple, upper merion

    Ohara lost, but they lost to a team that would most likely be top 2-3 in the central/IA, probably win the del Val. Oharas now seen talent while APs seen Marple; Ohara beats them next week.

    Springfield = GREAT WIN
    interboro = GREAT LOSS
    both respectable

    No mention of haverford? You were high in them.

    Ill write a super 7 for you, eventhough you’ll take assumptions about unionville and big wins over laughable Marple, upper merion and lower merion as more meaningful than victories over judge, glen mills, and interboro or losses to Ryan. Here’s how it should look:

    Garnet valley
    (If you think sun valley could/would bear Ohara you’re certifiable)

    Here’s my guess how yours will look:

    Garnet valley
    Sun Valley


    • Pretty close but I bet Interboro drops off completely, possibly rightfully so. Next weeks performance and game plan will tell us alot about the Bucs and where their headed this year

    • Felix,

      You’re making a lot of false assumptions.

      I guess I should clarify the whole point of this post. I’m not trying to make any wild claims about certain teams. I think it’s very difficult to gauge where any team is after the first week.. I am NOT convinced that Academy Park is the next Episcopal Academy of 2012, and they’ll blow out every opponent by 35 points, just because they had their way against an inferior Marple Newtown team. I realize AP is a much better team than MN.

      It’s too early to sit here and judge teams based on one week. I think the cream will rise over the next two or three weeks.

      All this was was a post highlighting some of the top team performances from Week 1. Nothing more, nothing less.

      You wrote: “Ill write a super 7 for you, eventhough you’ll take assumptions about unionville and big wins over laughable Marple, upper merion and lower merion as more meaningful than victories over judge, glen mills, and interboro or losses to Ryan.”

      Go back and try again.

      Where do I write that wins over Marple, UM and LM are more “meaningful” than victories over Judge, Mills and Interboro? Show me, because I never said a such a thing. Re-read the post. The first sentence, in fact. I state, “in no particular order,” teams that LOOKED the most impressive in WEEK 1. Whether that translates into future success, nobody knows

      So, let’s relax and just take this post for what it’s worth. If nothing else, I’m simply extending my kudos to those teams. Not a big deal.

    • It is interesting how EA scored 30 points in the first half on some “miscues” according to Felix the Cat but Judge scored only 19 points and none of those were “miscues”? Hummm….. that makes sense? The doubts were there last year for EA too each week as they went 10-0! Todd Fairlie has established a foundation of success which time will show deserves respect! This team may not go 10-0 but EA will no longer be the “door mat” of Delaware County! Teams can no longer check the Churchmen off as an easy victory.

      On a separate note, Judge’s coaches and players deserve a lot a respect for not packing it in after that first half. That is how boys should be coached and raised. Nice job Judge!

      • Yeah, Felix was off-base with pretty much his entire post.

        EA has built a very strong foundation. A Super 7 team all season, I would suspect.

      • Felix has EA as 3rd in his Super 7. The guy didn’t say the Churchmen shouldn’t be in it, just saw a poor second half from the team with the longest winning streak in Delco.

  3. Just wanted to say don’t say, don’t think of Ryan beating O’Hara as an upset. This year’s team is filled with three year starters just like O’Hara’s. The new RB helps us out tremendously. PCL football is a different beast. Just because O’Hara lost to us, in no way means they shouldn’t be the top team in Delco. They definitely still should be in the discussion. Losing to a team with arguably a top five OL in SE PA, and an amazing RB is nothing to be ashamed of. They played tough but too many turnovers. Don’t sleep on O’Hara. Also don’t sleep on us in the PCL 4a. Ryan is no joke this year.

    • Yeah, I don’t think it was an upset by any means. PCL AAAA teams are insanely good, but I think the general consensus was that O’Hara would find a way — based on their sheer talent alone — to pull out a win. Oh, well.

      • football fan: scrimmages are meaningless. The GV team of last year would have handled a 5-5 CO that never seemed to play on the same page last year, but I have high expectations for CO this year. This year I think it would be a great game, but alas they won’t play. EA/Ridley would have been a great game last year, but what can you do?

        Right now I have GV as the top team in Delco and CO as #2 simply because they have a loss, albeit to a very good team. I expect both to be top teams in Delco this year and it is too bad they don’t play and can’t meet in the playoffs.

    • Ryan’s Line arguably top 5 in SE PA? I think they are arguably the best if not top 2-3. O’Hara still top team in Delco by far just because they play the toughest schedule by no means is a sign that they arent. They will beat AP big next week mark my words. Ryan would beat Ridley and GV soundly. PCL football is a whole different level of competition just look at the Schedules Ridley,and Gv beating up on weak teams around Delco while Ryan just played O’Hara they will face Lasalle Prep Wood Roman and Judge among others. Ridley and Garnet Valley do not belong at 9 and 10 in SE Pa until they prove they can play with a tougher schedule. SJP just faced a reigning Texas State Champ and defeated them thats a real victory against a quality team. I advise you guys to get out of Delco and see more out of area football or read up on Pa Preps more and understand that the Central League and Del Val do not compare to the PCL and other divisions or simply just make this a Central League and Del Val 7 since you guys dont seem to see much PCL games. Both Ridley and Garnet Valley can be ranked as high up as they want and everyone can rant about them but they dont play enough high caliber teams to justify their ranking. O’Hara just played a top 8 team in SE Pa and plays Lasalle, Roman Wood all top 20 teams in SE Pa and they can win out the rest of their schedule i believe. Ryan is very very good team this year and they will prove it later on. They have a big line and lots of experience and returning starters. The Bullock kid can run….. O’Hara still competed against Ryan although making constant mistakes, letting up 3 big plays and 5 turnovers. Keep in mind the O;Hara defense only let up 3 real scores against Ryan all big plays they have work to do but were solid defensively the majority of the time inconsitent but by no means bad. They are still the best team in Delco and Ryan will go on this season to prove why they are for real this year when they compete with the likes of Prep, Lasalle and Wood. My real top 10 teams in SE PA 1. Coatesville 2. Lasalle 3. SJP 4. Wood 5. Imhotep 6. Ryan 7. Neshaminy 8. Pottsgrove 9. Downingtown East 10. O’Hara. Give Ryan some credit they are a top team in SE Pa or leave the PCL and inter ac out of this discussion because you guys clearly are ill informed.With that said O’Hara and Episcopal are the top teams in the Area untill these other teams get out of Delco and play some serious competition.

      • For what it is worth the Central League has to play 9 league games. So while the competition pool may be less than O’Haras in your opinion nothing can be done about it.

        PCL football has little to no restrictions upon them. I won’t mention the “r” word so lets stick with open enrollment. As long as the family has the means or demonstrates the need financially PCL schools can get athletes to come to there schools. It is what it is. Fact is O’Hara will lack attention in PCL until they beat Wood.

      • I was just adding on to what Ryan Raiders said and giving my two cents on where Ryan and O’Hara stand this year.Just saying Ryan is a top team in the area. Seems everyone likes to hate O’Hara yet they are the ones playing the the high caliber teams year in year out. No shame in a loss to a better team in Archbishop Ryan. If O’hara lacks attention in PCL untill they beat Wood who was arguably the best team talent wise in the state the past two years. Ridley, GV and these other teams should lack attention in SE Pa untill they beat a team in the top 10 outside of Delco. Homerism for PCL? This website is pure “homerism” for the Central Enough and Del Val. Just trying to get you guys to realize that Ryan is a serious contender this year in PCL AAAA arguably the best division in the State, no reason to trash O’Hara over a loss to them.

      • I don’t believe Ryan could stop Garnet Valley’s running game. Garnet Valley’s Offensive line is to big and physical for Ryan to handle.

      • I think you guys should get out to see the Ryan and Lasalle, Prep games if you get the chance. Very High level football between two top teams. As for Garnet Valley being bigger and physical then Ryan a team from Northeast? I have nothing to say against that other than you guys should get out to see Ryan this year. You cant make an observation and say so and so when you guys dont see teams outside of Delco. GV and Ridley are sharks in a goldfish bowl. The Central league usually only gets one out of league game which is why you cant make assumptions when GV chooses not to play a high caliber team and goes and plays Glen Mils a solid team at best.(They also dropped O’hara preseason this year from what I heard) Ryan very underrated this year i know this is delco football but it pertains to O’hara a team in Delaware County. Give Ryan credit for being under the radar and coming full circle as a program dont trash O’Hara for losing to high caliber teams. Rant about these Central Teams all you want but the fact remains that PCL Teams consistently make it deep in playoffs every single year because the cream rises against other high caliber teams which is why I dont see why to trash Ryan/Ohara who might be that team or will compete tough with that team who makes it to the state finals. When they do face Central/Del Val teams it is clear which division has the better talent ie. Ridley/Lasalle 09, Wood/Interboro 12 (FYI O’Hara actually almost beat Lasalle that year and competed with Wood scoring 14 and 28 on 1st team) both blowout games in State Playoffs. Ryan also competed very well against Prep and Lasalle last year and will do so again this year. Get on pa preps and read up on Ryan as well other teams outside of the Delaware County Area. Infrom yourselves. Good luck this year to all.

      • Ryan Underrated. O’hara not Overrated. Both high caliber teams still. I know this is delcofootball but if you guys are gonna trash O’hara over a loss to Ryan. Then do your research on them and realize that they competed tough in PCL AAAA last year. They will do so even better this year. Seems you guys are ill infromed about PCL so i dont see why to just not talk about them and not jump to conclusions because Central teams only get one out of leauge game so you cant tell who would beat whom. I advise you guys if you think Garnet Valley is bigger and more “physical” Than AR a team from northeast? Then you should get out and see them this year and realize they are for real.. They competed tough against Prep and Lasalle 2 teams consistently ranked in the top 4 in the state every year. They will do so better and possibly beat those teams this year. As for GV and Ridley you cant rank them when they only play Delco teams and I will not be impressed untill they beat someone outside of Central/Del Val. So rant and rave about them all you want all i know is whoever comes out of PCL 4a and 3a is going to make serious noise in the PIAA State playoffs. While GV and Ridley will be out 3 months from now losing to whatever team comes out of that district or the PCL team they face the week after. Same story every year Wait and See. Good luck to all this year.

      • PCL Football Fan: no doubt the PCL is a very strong league in football, but this is Delco blog and the PCL generally does not amount to much in Delco. Neither did the I-A until EA stepped it up last year, so that is why the Central has always gotten a lot of focus, along with the top Del-Val teams.

        EA got its due on this blog last year when they went 10-0. CO will get its due here if they play to their potential this year. They have the talent, but they underachieved last year due to team chemistry issues. I do hope CO steps it up and plays smart and focused football and does well in the PCL this year. That makes Delco look good as CO is a Delco school.

        The PCL schools in Delco are CO, B-P and AC. In recent years they all lose to GV and Ridley as well as other better Delco schools.

        That is the recent history in Delco so the PCL schools in Delco are not considered top-tier teams in the county until they prove otherwise. I’d be happy to see CO live up to its potential this year and be top-tier in Delco, if not the top team.

        Talking up SJP, LS and AW does not mean much as the focus of this blog is talking about and comparing Delco schools.

        I happen to be an I-A guy, but I don’t let that get in the way of supporting other Delco schools and and I don’t talk up the I-A schools outside of Delco unless a Delco school is playing one any given week.

        So i agree with you. If people want to talk up LS and AR, there is another blog you mentioned that covers all of SE PA. I understand those teams you mentioned and I catch some of their games. I just don’t blog about them here as it is off-topic to the blog itself.

      • to Andy, O’Hara beat GV in a scrimmage last year without 5 starters including Thad Smith

      • I’m not saying that Ryan is not a quality team. They are probably an outstanding team. However, don’t underestimate GV’s team this year. The guards are 6’7″ 255 lbs and 6’6″ 315lbs. The center is 6′ 255lbs. They play extremely physical and disciplined. GV scored 5 rushing touchdowns and only committed 1 penalty the entire game. GV’s defense picked the ball off 4 times and also only committed 1 penalty the entire game. GV is an extremely well coached team, and I believe they will surprise a lot of teams this year with their run game and defense. You should come watch a GV game this year before you make an assumption that they can’t hang with the big boys.

      • To Football dude: Teddy did better then I thought he would do in his first varsity game. He had no problem with Unionville’s best D-lineman.

      • I’m tired of hearing about O’hara too. “Ohara’s gonna do this, that, whatever”. GV, Springfield, & Ryan, and to some extent Interboro deserve the praise

      • To football fan : How do you win a scrimmage? Each team puts their 1’s in for 20 plays, and they only run 4 or 5 basic plays so they don’t disclose their playbook to the teams that they have to face during the regular season.
        If you noticed GV opted to scrimmage Downingtown East instead of O’Hara.

  4. Sun Valley beats up on Lower Merion and now they can play with anyone? The only teams on this article that actually played a good team were Springfield and Garnet Valley. Those are the two that deserve the praise.

    • By that logic, I suppose we should just ignore what the several other teams that won games did? I don’t think that’s fair.

      Again, I’m just pointing out the teams that had the best games … regardless of competition. It’s Week 1, I feel this is better time than any to praise as many teams as possible.

  5. I’m tired of hearing about O’hara this and that. they go out and get kids from, everywhere unlike sun valleys strath havens ridleys.
    Ohara should never have less then 10 wins a year

    • Please stop this nonsense. O’hara lost to Ryan. O’hara’s moving forward. As for the statement they should never have less then 10 wins is bogus. The funny thing is they didn’t even go out and get Blyden. Blyden was trying to come back to a competitive catholic school program hence why he didn’t go back to Shanahan. You guys overemphasize how many kids they go out and get. Please name them. Darden, a Norristown resident, went to O’hara because they’re a better program than the closest catholic school(Carroll). Seriously it’s ridiculous how much trashing of O’Hara is involved. Ask yourself this, with the kids committed (Smith, Weyler, Blyden) do they get the same college exposure at Penn Wood, Penncrest and Avon Grove. Not even close. Then the guys getting 1-AA interest (Darden,Kraiza,Cummings,Trainor), do they get that at Norristown, Springfield and Marple. Please get over it. In fact, Danny Algeo as much as you guys love to rip him, has helped put these guys on the map and set themselves up for a potential college football career. Yes they lost to Ryan, big deal. 5 turnovers will do that. O’Hara hasn’t had the pieces necessary to topple a Wood, Ryan, La Salle, Prep and even Roman. That’s how tough it is. The only loss where I would say they underachieved and should have won the game would be last year against roman and lansdale. Every other loss, the other team has simply been better. Ryan runs the table in the central league, so does O’Hara and Episcopal. Yet I don’t see anyone griping about how Episcopal goes out and can legitimately get kids. They haven’t had the talent to topple Wood since they dropped to 3a, and most likely won’t this year or for a few years in the future. Back when they were in 4a, they didn’t have the talent to topple La salle(State title and appearance) year later and Prep. And please if you want to talk about hyping a team, Ridley comes right to mind losing to a sixteen seed. Keep drinking the Central League juice while you can only wish your guys had the recruiting attention that the catholic league and i-a guys receive.

      • Jeff,
        While I agreed with mostly everything you wrote, there was a ton of complaining last year about EA and recruiting. It was to the point where I had to tell people to cool it, it was getting nasty.

        Anyway, public school supporters will always hate the way private and parochial schools do their business. The PIAA can’t stop it.

      • My bad Matt. I missed most of that last year. Honestly, I like this loss for O’Hara. A gut check this early in the season. Something they haven’t had in a while. Knocks them off their high horse, and gets them back on the field focused on football and even more hungry. The past few years they usually rattle off a few wins and then drop to LS,Wood and such. A loss this early might be a blessing in disguise.

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