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FOOTBALL: Philadelphia Catholic League Play is About to Begin PSD is in The Huddle With The Red Division

08/29/2018, 3:00pm EDT
By John Knebels - Producer Angela DelVecchio

By: John Knebels- contributors videographer/editor Zamani Feelings, photographer Kathy Leister: reporter/videographers Ben Medland, James Williamson, Chip Frenette:  Editor/Graphics Austin Ampeloquio



There is no other league like it.  The PCL Football Season is about to begin.  Philly Sports Digest gives you a glimpse of the grit, hard work and drive that goes into each practice...before the coin toss.

When you amass a 13-1 overall record, a Red Division Catholic League championship, and a berth in the PIAA Class 6A state final, it should be a reason for celebration.

Tell that to St. Joseph’s Prep.

The Hawks saw last year’s perfect season come to an end on a freezing cold December night in Hershey, thus denying them a fourth state title in five years. So this year, nothing less than a state crown will satisfy most of the Prep faithful.

Starting with a visit to the University of Maryland on August 31 to face Baltimore’s St. Frances Academy, the Hawks will try to live up to their 17th-ranked billing by USA Today when they face the 8th-ranked Panthers.

The preseason keeps getting tougher, with a meeting against St. Peter’s Prep (NJ) at Rutgers University, and then a home bout at Widener University versus Our Lady of Good Counsel (NJ).  

With senior All-Catholic center Anthony Cerrutti leading a line that will block for fellow All-Catholic running backs Kolbe Burrell (junior) and (senior) Marques Mason (both combined for 1,627 yards and 28 touchdowns last year), the Hawks are once again the proverbial team to beat. They also possess some bling on their roster with the return of sophomore Jeremiah Trotter (son of former Eagle linebacker Jeremiah Trotter) and the addition of sophomore transfer Marvin Harrison, Jr. (son of Hall of Fame receiver Marvin Harrison, a Roman Catholic alum), who tallied six touchdowns at La Salle as a freshman. Much-ballyhooed sophomore quarterback Kyle McCord should be fun to watch. 

                  ST. JOSEPH'S PREP FOOTBALL                       PREVIEW 2018

Senior (C) LB Cooper Kim talks about the mood of his team.

HC Gabe Infante talks about bringing out the best in each player.

Senior (C) RB Marques Mason talks about his team's character.

Until someone sneaks into the mix, there are only two squads that will be considered a threat to the Prep’s throne.

La Salle (7-4) graduated most of its starters, though All-Catholics Brett Mallee (senior wide receiver; 386 yards and four TDs last year) and senior running back Manny Quiles (342 yards, nine TDs) are back.

In a misleadingly distant 34-10 loss to state juggernaut Imhotep, the Explorers led, 7-6, at halftime. Junior QB Jack Machita completed 17 of 39 passes for 125 yards and a touchdown. Junior Jalen DeVose gained 54 yards on 12 carries.

           LA SALLE HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL              PREVIEW 2018

Senior (C) LB Brendan Frusco  talks about his team's outlook for the season.

HC John Steinmetz talks about meeting the challenges of each player and team expectations.

Senior (C) DT Ronnie Ross talks about what he wants others to know about his team.

Archbishop Wood (12-2) won the Class 5A state championship, its fourth in five years and fifth in seven. Now equipped with a new coach in the form of 24-year-old former Wood and Ursinus College standout Kyle Adkins, the Vikings started anew by dropping a 16-7 decision to McDonogh of Maryland.    

The new running back tandem of seniors Leroy Pendleton and Chris Blackstone (touchdown and interception) combined for 100 yards on 19 carries. Senior Jack Colyar returns at quarterback after compiling 1,169 yards and 11 touchdowns passing. All-Catholic two-way senior linemen Connor Bishop and Brett Gross are top-notch. Senior twin brothers Kevin and Brad Otto man the secondary after intercepting a combined seven passes last fall.

                  ARCHBISHOP WOOD FOOTBALL                     PREVIEW 2018

Senior (C) OT, DL Connor Bishop talks about the mood and main goal of his team.

New HC Kyle Adkins discusses no changes in coaching style.

Senior (C) QB Jack Coylar talks about his team's readiness.

Archbishop Ryan (6-7) opened with a 38-30 slugfest victory over Bartram. Returning senior QB Jahlil Sanders threw for 119 yards and a TD, and he gained 31 yards and a score on the ground. Electric sophomore Tyreek Chappell enjoyed a sensational debut with 71 yards receiving and 35 more rushing. Chappell scored two touchdowns, one by reception and another via a kickoff return.

Other key Raiders to watch include All-Catholic senior linebacker Colin Boyd and senior free safety/wide receiver Kyron Long (led with 20 catches for 209 yards; caught three for 56 and threw a 44-yard completion against Bartram).

              ARCHBISHOP RYAN FOOTBALL                  PREVIEW 2018

Senior (C) LB Colin Boyd talks about his team's determination.

HC Frank McArdle talks about the nucleus of his team this season.

Senior (C) WR Kyron Long talks about his team's dynamics

Father Judge (4-8) dispatched Ridley, 35-21, as second-year senior QB Shane Dooley completed 10 passes for 235 yards and three TDs while rushing for 84 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries.

All-Catholic senior wide receiver (705 yards receiving on 42 catches; 413 yards rushing; nine total touchdowns, including two kickoff returns) Katob Joseph is already in midseason form, snaring four passes for 117 yards and two scores. Junior safety and wide receiver Shane McGovern (two touchdowns, one on an interception return and another on one of his three receptions) helped lead the Crusaders’ secondary.

                   FATHER JUDGE FOOTBALL                     PREVIEW 2018

Senior (C) QB Shane Dooley talks about the character of his team.

HC Mike McKay discusses the toughness of the league and the importance of a good start.

Senior (C) WR Katob Joseph talks about the mood of his team and what he looks forward to most.

Roman Catholic (3-9) lost to Blue Division toughie Conwell-Egan, 38-20, but the underclassmen-laden Cahillites saw significant promise in quarterback Rhyme Robinson. The sophomore completed 10 of 21 passes for 227 yards and two touchdowns. Fellow soph Ivan Thorpe caught four passes for 129 yards and a touchdown; yet another 10th grader, Nadir McLeod, added two for 58 and another score. Junior Brian Burton’s 32 yards on four carries sparked the running game.

                   ROMAN CATHOLIC FOOTBALL                  PREVIEW 2018

Senior (C) LB Duran McAliley talks about the mood of his team this season.

HC Jim Murphy talks about the new season and new goal mentality of his team.

Senior (C) QB Jeff Grosso talks about making the most out of his senior season.

Tag(s): Home  Schools  Philadelphia Catholic  Football  Red Division  Father Judge Football 6A  La Salle Football 6A  Roman Catholic Football 6A  Saint Joe's Prep Football 6A  Arch. Ryan Football 5A  Arch. Wood Football 5A