Rick O'Brien: Roman has a tall order vs. Downingtown East

Posted: September 07, 2012

Two of the area's most feared pass-and-catch duos will be on display Friday night when Roman Catholic clashes with Downingtown East at Downingtown West's Kottmeyer Stadium.

For Roman, ranked No. 5 in Southeastern Pennsylvania by The Inquirer, quarterback Mike Keir, getting looked at by Division I-A and I-AA programs, has Notre Dame-bound wideout Will Fuller at his disposal.

No. 2-ranked East also can do serious damage through the air, with Richmond recruit Kyle Lauletta flinging the ball in the direction of Michigan State-bound Jay Harris.

In Roman's come-from-behind triumph over Malvern Prep on Saturday at the Jersey Shore, Keir, who has scholarship offers from Kent State and Massachusetts, completed 9 of 18 passes for 137 yards. Fuller snagged five passes for 58 yards.

East, with Lauletta hitting on 18 of 24 tosses for 314 yards and three touchdowns, rolled to a 42-18 victory over visiting Bonner-Prendergast last Friday. Harris made three catches for 124 yards and two TDs.

To take pressure off Keir and Fuller, the Cahillites need to have success with their running game. In the 28-27 win over the Friars, the bulk of sophomore tailback Dimetri Kelly's 159 rushing yards came after intermission.

East's ground attack is headed by 6-foot-3, 215-pound junior halfback Ryley Angeline, who carried 17 times for 63 yards and two TDs in Week 1.

Roman's defense, which gave up 202 passing yards vs. Malvern Prep, is headed by ends Hez Trahan and Patrick McCourt, and linebackers Chris Cruz-Johnson and Guy Campanella.

East's bid to flush Keir from the pocket and have him throw on the run will be led by 6-3, 265-pound end Elijah Griffin, a Coastal Carolina recruit.

After watching the Cahillites stumble somewhat out of the gate, we're siding with the Cougars in this one.

Pick: East, 35-20.

Last week and overall: 9-2 (.818).

Other Friday night games

No. 8 Garnet Valley (1-0) at Conestoga (1-0), 7 p.m. In what is the best of six Central League openers, the Jaguars, with their triple-option scheme, down the Pioneers. Pick: Garnet Valley, 28-23.

No. 10 Ridley (1-0) at Haverford High (1-0), 7. The Green Raiders opened with a 35-7 rout of Glen Mills. Haverford turned back Council Rock North, 23-10. Pick: Ridley, 26-7.

Malvern Prep (0-1) at Coatesville (1-0), 7. Despite losing, the Friars, with 398 yards of offense, impressed against Roman. Pick: Malvern Prep, 23-21.

Frankford (1-0) at Pennsbury (0-1), 7. Can the Falcons, coming off a loss to Easton, keep quarterback Tim DiGiorgio from lighting up the airways? Pick: Frankford, 27-14.

Unionville (0-1) at Souderton (1-0), 7. Unionville was nipped by Garnet Valley. Souderton, with 300-plus rushing yards, blasted Methacton. Pick: Souderton, 24-16.

Father Judge (0-1) at Council Rock South (0-1), 7. Both the Crusaders and Golden Hawks need to put disappointing Week 1 showings behind them. Pick: Father Judge, 26-21.

Saturday

Cardinal O'Hara (1-0) at Haverford School (0-1), 11 a.m. Last year's scheduled matchup was wiped out because of a strike by Catholic high school teachers. Pick: O'Hara, 20-7.

St. Joseph's Prep (1-0) vs. Gonzaga, D.C. (2-0), at U.S. Naval Academy, 1:30 p.m. The Hawks are riding high after quieting Tarean Folston and Cocoa (Fla). Pick: St. Joe's Prep, 28-13.

West Catholic (0-0) vs. George Washington (1-0), at Northeast, 6. The Burrs, after wisely deciding not to play David Sills and Eastern Christian Academy (Md.), finally hit the field. Pick: George Washington, 21-20.


Contact Rick O'Brien

at 610-313-8019, robrien@phillynews.com,

or on Twitter @ozoneinq.

Read his blog, "The O'Zone,"

at www.philly.com/ozone

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