"It was a horrible, horrible night," West coach Mike Milano said. "We're using that loss as a motivational tool this week."
The series is deadlocked at 4-4. Here is a closer look at the matchup.
On a roll. Mike Matta's Cougars, ranked No. 2 in Southeastern Pennsylvania by The Inquirer, have outscored opponents by 266-127.
Lone slipup. West's only setback was a 21-7 loss at Caesar Rodney (Del.) in Week 3. The Whippets have since won four straight by a combined 126-22.
Prolific passer. For East, Richmond recruit Kyle Lauletta has completed 116 of 172 passes for an area-best 1,748 yards and 23 touchdowns.
Go-to rusher. West running back Mitch Meleski, who has been slowed somewhat by an ankle injury, has carried 69 times for 541 yards and six scores. Support comes from fellow back Tino Bunhu and quarterback Nick Pagel.
Pass-catchers. Lauletta's main targets are wideouts Jay Harris, a Michigan State recruit; Dayne Foley; and fullback Chris Beals. Of Beals, Matta said, "He just knows how to get open. It's something you can't teach."
Up front. The Whippets' spread/wing-T attack is fueled by a trio of linemen: 6-foot-4, 330-pound tackle Elijah Wilkinson, guard Chris Fagerli (6-0, 235), and center Jim McNeil (6-0, 220).
Headliners. East's top defensive playmakers are end Nelson Lee Lucas-Murphy, tackles Josh Ganzelli and Elijah Griffin, and linebackers Sage Stevenson-Panchisin and Wade Mastrog.
Big test. For West, the effort to slow Lauletta and company will be led by nose tackle Dan Specca, end Ian Nanni, linebacker Lucas McMahon, and free safety Evan Wolf.
Quotable. "We're as healthy as we've been since the start of training camp," Milano said.
Analysis. After watching Lauletta pick apart the Whippets last year, it's hard to pick against the red-hot Cougars.
Pick. East, 30-14.
Contact Rick O'Brien at firstname.lastname@example.org, or @ozoneinq on Twitter. Read his blog, "The O'Zone," at www.philly.com/ozone