Rick's Picks, Week 8

North Penn's Kyle Mayfield in action against St. Joseph's Prep Sept. 14. He has rushed for 675 yards and nine touchdowns. RON CORTES / Staff Photographer
North Penn's Kyle Mayfield in action against St. Joseph's Prep Sept. 14. He has rushed for 675 yards and nine touchdowns. RON CORTES / Staff Photographer
Posted: October 19, 2012

For the second straight week, there will be an electric atmosphere at historic Poppy Yoder Field.

Last week in Perkasie, Pennridge handed previously unbeaten Central Bucks South a 21-10 defeat. At 7 p.m. Friday, in another key Suburban One League Continental Conference battle, the surging Rams will host four-time defending league champ North Penn.

Pennridge, ranked No. 5 in Southeastern Pennsylvania by The Inquirer, is 6-1 overall and 3-0 in conference action; No. 8 North Penn is 4-3 and 3-1.

In the power-points standings for the 16-team PIAA District 1 Class AAAA tournament, the Rams, with a 115.7 average, are tied with Plymouth Whitemarsh for third place; North Penn, with a 68.6 average, is tied for 22d.

That said, a loss would all but eliminate the Knights' shot at defending their district championship.

Mike Class is the catalyst for Pennridge's offense. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound junior halfback has rushed 172 times for an area-high 1,483 yards (8.6 yards per carry) and 17 touchdowns.

North Penn counters with senior tailback Kyle Mayfield, who has netted 675 yards and nine scores on 113 attempts.

In Week 10 last season, the visiting Knights blanked the Rams, 27-0, to clinch the conference title. Pennridge's last win in the head-to-head series came in 2004, by 35-27 in a then-National Conference duel.

Look for Dick Beck's squad, with a big effort from its leading run-stuffers, including tackle Derek Brandt and end George Shipp, to prevail in a taut contest. A 26-yard field goal by Brandon Mandes is the difference.

Pick: North Penn, 24-21.

Last week: 7-3. Overall: 58-16 (.783).

Other Friday games

Springfield, Delco (6-1, 6-0 Central) at No. 4 Ridley (7-0, 6-0), 7. Springfield quarterback Cameron Durham is expected back from a "lower-body" injury.

Pick: Ridley, 28-7.

No. 6 Coatesville (5-2, 2-1 Ches-Mont National) at West Chester Henderson (6-1, 2-1), 7. The Red Raiders are out to avenge last year's 21-13 loss to Henderson.

Pick: Coatesville, 30-14.

Roman Catholic (4-2, 1-1 Catholic AAAA) vs. No. 3 La Salle (6-1, 2-1), at Plymouth Whitemarsh, 7. The Explorers try to put a seven-turnover showing behind them.

Pick: La Salle, 35-14.

Strath Haven (4-3, 4-2 Central) at Haverford High (5-1, 4-1), 7. Eddie Durkin and Kevin Leyden have been quite the one-two punch for the Fords.

Pick: Haverford High, 23-14.


Bonner-Prendergast (3-3, 1-0 Catholic AAA) at Cardinal O'Hara (4-3, 0-1), 2. On defense, the host Lions must keep all eyes on Friars QB Jim Haley.

Pick: O'Hara, 27-20.

Central (4-2, 2-2 Public Gold) at Germantown (2-5, 0-4), 2. The Lancers look to rebound from a 21-14 loss to Gold Division leader Frankford.

Pick: Central, 23-12.

Haverford School (4-3, 1-0 Inter-Ac) at Germantown Academy (3-2, 0-1), 2:30. The Patriots will no doubt use last year's 55-0 loss to Haverford as motivation.

Pick: Haverford School, 23-10.

No. 1 St. Joseph's Prep (6-0, 2-0 Catholic AAAA) vs. Father Judge (2-4, 0-2), at Northeast, 7. The slumping Crusaders, slowed by injuries, are in a tough spot here.

Pick: Prep, 38-7.

Contact Rick O'Brien at 610-313-8019, robrien@phillynews.com, or @ozoneinq on Twitter. Read his blog, "The O'Zone," at www.philly.com/ozone

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