A closer look at Washington-Northeast football game

Posted: October 21, 2010

For the Northeast players who were part of last year's 40-0 drubbing against George Washington in the Public League Class AAAA final, the first chance at redemption – there very well could be a second – comes at 6 p.m. Friday at Charlie Martin Memorial Stadium.

Last November, Washington, avenging a 14-12 regular-season loss to Northeast, earned their third straight league championship by sacking former quarterback Malik Stokes six times and holding the Vikings to two yards of offense.

This season's Week 8 renewal of the heated Northeast Philly rivalry will decide the Public League Gold Division regular-season title.

As the top two finishers, the Eagles (6-1 overall, 5-0 league) and Vikings (5-2, 5-0) are guaranteed a first-round playoff bye. They could meet again for the championship the weekend of Nov. 19.

Here is a closer look at the matchup.

Coaches. Washington's Ron Cohen is 231-63-2 in 26 seasons, with 11 Public League titles. For Northeast, Chris Riley, a member of the school's 1983 championship squad, is 12-6 in his second year.

Division I recruit. Northeast's Deion Barnes, a 6-foot-5, 230-pound defensive end, has narrowed his list of colleges to Penn State, Pittsburgh, South Carolina, Georgia, and Michigan.

Also a threat as a tight end and wideout, he has visited all but Georgia.

On a roll. After a 36-25 opening loss to St. Joseph's Prep, the Eagles have won six straight games by a combined score of 202-34.

Small but dangerous. The Vikings' rushing attack is headed by diminutive sophomores Marquise Edwards (430 yards, 4 scores) and Shimeek Carter (435, 3). The pair combined for 170 rushing yards in last week's 24-6 win over Germantown.

Fitting in. Washington senior quarterback and captain Tony Smith, a transfer from Father Judge, has thrown for 830 yards and 13 touchdowns. The 6-3, 220-pounder's top targets are Temple-bound Daquan Cooper, Nate Smith, and Albert Gaye.

Improved defense. In Northeast's five-game win streak, the Vikings have yielded an average of 10.2 points. In addition to Barnes, the leaders include tackle Treshawn Anderson; linebackers Camille Max, Paul Junelson, and Dennis Reindorf; and cornerback Lamont Davis.

Injured. The Eagles are expected to be without two seniors: linebacker Mike Wayne and offensive guard/linebacker Mike Moronese, both nursing knee injuries. Also, junior two-way tackle Tyrone Smith (5-11, 240) is questionable because of a shoulder injury.

Analysis. While Barnes and the Vikings are hungry for a payback victory, we can't see them having much success running the ball against quick-to-the-ball defenders such as ends Brandon Chudnoff, a Temple recruit, and Claudy Mathieu.

Pick: George Washington, 28-12.

Contact staff writer Rick O'Brien at 610-313-8019 or robrien@phillynews.com.

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