Bensalem in a position to upset G. Washington

Posted: August 31, 2007

This time last season, Tropical Storm Ernesto wreaked havoc with the first weekend of high school football.

With clear skies forecast for tonight and tomorrow, waterlogged fields should be a thing of the past - unless an absent-minded grounds crew leaves the sprinklers on overnight.

That said, let's get right to the selections. And, needless to say, this is for amusement purposes only. Possibly, if we have a horrendous first week of forecasting, it will be to the amusement of many.

Bensalem vs. George Washington, at Northeast, tonight at 6. After squaring off in Week 3 the last two seasons, the Owls and Eagles meet in the season opener this year. Washington won, 26-20, a year ago. Bensalem triumphed, 28-14, in 2005. In junior Gerry Davis, the Owls have a breakaway running back. Dylan Manni, a 6-foot-4, 225-pound tight end and defensive end, will challenge the Eagles up front. Washington is sparked by quarterback Clinton Granger. Look for an upset.

Pick: Bensalem, 21-19

No. 4 Neshaminy at Coatesville, tonight at 7. After losing to St. Joseph's Prep in the last two season openers, Neshaminy kicks off the 2007 campaign against the Red Raiders. Neshaminy has a mobile quarterback in Justin Kinney, a strong rushing attack, and a bunch of aggressive defenders led by outside linebacker Jason Ulmer. Coatesville, as usual, is big up front. Mark Mounayar is a 6-2, 295-pound center and nose guard. The Red Raiders will have a new look on offense, using the veer option.

Pick: Neshaminy, 27-6

La Salle at Plymouth Whitemarsh, tonight at 7. La Salle leads the series, 5-3-1. The Explorers won last season's installment, 29-8. Prolific passer John Harrison and 6-5 wideout Joe Migliarese are back for the defending Catholic League Red Division champions. The Colonials, favored to win the Suburban One League's American Conference, have a potentially potent rushing game. Their defense features 6-2, 270-pound tackle D.J. Fox and middle linebacker Jamie Thomas.

Pick: La Salle, 29-21

No. 5 Conestoga at West Chester East, tonight at 7. West Chester East romped past the Pioneers, 33-13, last season. Expect a different result this time. The host Vikings lost a boatload of seniors. Conestoga, a good bet to win the Central League, returns quarterback Steve Richter and Nihja White, a 6-foot, 195-pound wide receiver who has been offered a scholarship by Northwestern. Doug Costin is East's new coach, replacing 20-year boss Joe Carroll. Costin's coaching debut will not be an enjoyable one.

Pick: Conestoga, 46-15

Unionville at Interboro, tonight at 7:30. Interboro, trying to win its 10th consecutive Del-Val League title, lost 10 offensive starters from an 8-3 team. Still, the Bucs will be as physical and gritty as ever. Keep an eye on running back/defensive back Dave Hallinan, a four-sport athlete timed at 4.6 seconds in the 40-yard dash. Unionville is coming off an 8-3 season and will be powered by versatile quarterback Matt Carroll and 6-4, 315-pound two-way lineman Steve Caputo, a Division I-A recruit. Carroll runs for three touchdowns and the Indians should roll.

Pick: Unionville, 32-14

Other games to watch

Hatboro-Horsham at Pennridge, tonight at 7. Pick: Hatboro-Horsham, 19-14

Bishop Shanahan vs. No. 7 Cardinal O'Hara in Ocean City, N.J., tomorrow at 11 a.m. Pick: Cardinal O'Hara, 39-6

No. 9 Roman Catholic vs. West Catholic in Wildwood, N.J., tomorrow at 11 a.m. Pick: Roman, 22-13

North Catholic vs. Neumann-Goretti in Wildwood, N.J., tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. Pick: North, 16-0

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