A closer look at Archbishop Wood-St. Joseph's Prep

Posted: October 05, 2012

Archbishop Wood has been steadily gaining steam since a Week 2 loss to North Penn. St. Joseph's Prep has raised eyebrows in winning its first four games by an average of 20 points.

That said, Friday night's clash, set for 7:30 at Plymouth Whitemarsh, has the potential to be a midseason classic.

Here is a closer look at the Catholic League cross-division matchup.

Records. The Vikings, ranked No. 4 in Southeastern Pennsylvania by The Inquirer, are 4-1 overall. The third-ranked Hawks are 4-0.

Coaches. In his sixth season at Wood, Steve Devlin is 63-12 (.840 winning percentage). Gabe Infante is 15-11 (.577) in three years at the Prep.

History. The Vikings lead the recent head-to-head series, 2-0. They cruised, 42-7, in last year's rain-marred contest, and eked out a 21-20 victory in 2010.

TV. The game will be shown live on The Comcast Network. Jon Gurevitch will handle the play-by-play, and former Eagles linebacker Kevin Reilly will do the color.

Solid comeback. After sitting out the first two weeks because of appendix surgery, Wood tailback Andrew Guckin has rushed for 100-plus yards in three straight games. He doubles as a linebacker.

One-two punch. The Prep's rushing attack is sparked by halfbacks Vince Moffett and Olamide Zaccheaus. Moffett, a 5-foot-10, 180-pound junior, is also a pass-catching threat.

Rookie passer. Freshman Tom Garlick took over as Wood's quarterback in Week 3. The 6-4, 165-pounder has hit on 25 of 42 throws for 365 yards and four scores.

Dual-threat QB. The Hawks' Chris Martin has completed 42 of 70 passes for 530 yards and four touchdowns. The junior is also a threat as a rusher, often on draw plays.

Supporting cast. Guckin gets help on offense from fellow ballcarriers Jarrett McClenton, Josh Messina, and Jake Cooper.

Top targets. In addition to Moffett, Martin has wideouts Jawan McAllister, Cameron Chambers, and D.J. Durant at his disposal. John Reid is another threat out of the backfield.

Up front. Wood's offensive line is anchored by center Fran Walsh (6-1, 245), guard Deion Oliver (6-5, 275), and tackles Chris O'Connor (6-6, 285) and George Griffin (6-4, 285).

Good to go. Infante said 6-3, 230-pound offensive tackle Jon Runyon, who left late in Saturday's 37-7 win over Roman Catholic with an injury, will play against the Vikings.

Stalwarts. Wood’s top playmakers on defense are Guckin, tackle Tyler Smith, end Nick Arcidiacono, and cornerback Anthony Roakes.

Aggressive bunch. For Prep's defense, the leaders include tackle Paul Johnson, ends James Mooney and Shane Williams, linebacker Todd Jones, and strong safety Dan Sherry.

Analysis. The difference here, in what should be a taut contest, is the Hawks' overall speed, especially on defense.

Pick. Prep, 24-20.


Contact Rick O'Brien at robrien@phillynews.com, or @ozoneinq on Twitter. Read his blog, "The O'Zone," at www.philly.com/ozone

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