Back for its 12th season, the popular Intelligencer/Bucks County Courier Times ‘Let’s Talk Football’ features football beat writer Drew Markol. To stay on top of the high school football news in the area, visit the Intelligencer (http://www.theintell.com/sports/high-school/) and Courier Times (http://www.buckscountycouriertimes.com/sports/high-school/) web sites.
SuburbanOneSports.com: Quakertown saw its district run come to an end in a District One 6A semifinal game at Garnet Valley, falling to the top-ranked Jaguars 58-39. Your thoughts about that game.
Drew Markol: “Quakertown – they get to the semifinals at 12-0, and they have to play Garnet Valley, which has just been a juggernaut all season, and Quakertown absolutely threw a scare into them. They had a 24-20 lead at the half, picked up on an on-sides or squib kick to start the third quarter and had the ball pretty deep in Garnet Valley territory but couldn’t convert on third- and fourth-and-short, and the drive stalled. If Quakertown had scored there, that would have put them up by 11 points early in the third quarter, which would have made things a little more interesting. I don’t know if Garnet Valley would have folded – I doubt it. I think they would have come back because their offense scores so quickly, but absolutely, for sure, Quakertown had them thinking about what’s going on because Garnet Valley even ran a failed hook and ladder late in the second quarter to try and grab the lead back. It turned out they fumbled that, and it led to a field goal by Quakertown. You could see – that just reeked a little bit of desperation for Garnet Valley.
“It was a good effort. Quakertown again proved that they belonged. Quakertown head coach George Banas told me earlier in the week that this was the best Quakertown team there ever had been, and it’s hard to argue. They’re 12-1, they gave Garnet Valley a battle. We’ll see how Garnet Valley does against Coatesville in the district title game.”
Markol’s prediction: Coatesville 34, Garnet Valley 28
SuburbanOneSports.com: Quakertown will travel to Pennridge for the annual Thanksgiving Day game. Your thoughts.
Drew Markol: “You have to look at Quakertown as the favorite. That’s a spot they haven’t been a favorite in. Pennridge has won the last five meetings against them and leads big in the series. Quakertown won back-to-back in 2013 and 2014. You have to think if they can get in the right mindset - and I think they will because of how big this rivalry is – they will be favored to beat what is a pretty good Pennridge team. Pennridge has had some time since losing in the first round of districts to CB West to get ready for this game whereas Quakertown was preparing for other teams in the district. I think Thursday will be a pretty good one. It’s Quakertown’s chance to erase the taste of the district semifinal loss, and if they can beat their archrival, that would be a nice feather for them. For Pennridge – the Rams aren’t going to lie down. They never do against Quakertown. It was 21-14 last year. Most people couldn’t go to the game last year because of the pandemic, and there was a very, very small crowd. That will be different this year. There will a ton of people there. It should be a pretty entertaining game.”
Markol’s Prediction: Quakertown 21, Pennridge 13
SuburbanOneSports.com: Plymouth Whitemarsh came close to pulling off an upset of top-seeded West Chester Rustin in the District One 5A semifinals before falling 19-14. Your thoughts.
Drew Markol: “Plymouth Whitemarsh in the 5A semifinals played Rustin and did the same thing as Quakertown. They didn’t win the game, but they had a 14-13 lead and Rustin was able to take advantage of a short field to score late and win 19-14. It doesn’t take away what the Colonials were able to do this season with winning an American Conference title and then beating rival Upper Dublin in the district playoffs and giving a very good Rustin team everything they wanted in the semifinals. Dan Chang and that team should also be proud of what they were able to do this year. There had been a couple of lean years for Plymouth Whitemarsh several years ago, but that doesn’t happen often. This year was definitely not one of them, and Coach Dan Chang is looking for this kind of season to be the norm for his team.”