HS 2013 PLAYOFFS ROUND 1
#1 Middletown - Bye Week
#2 Salesianum – Bye Week
#3 Dover vs. #6 St. Marks (Friday at 7:30 pm)
After a depressing loss last week to rival Caesar Rodney, Dover has a chance to bounce back against St. Marks and punch their ticket to the State Semi-Finals to meet Salesianum next Saturday night. Penalties killed multiple drives set up by the Senators and must improve in their discipline if they wish to slow down the Spartans offense which has turned it on at late this season, and has only allowed 13.4 points this entire season, and that includes the 54 points allowed to Paramus Catholic just a few weeks back.
This is the second time these two have met this season, and despite only falling by 8 points, St. Marks had a hard time stopping Dovers ground game which racked up a total of 253 yards on 26 rushes, an average of 9.73 yards per rush and with all three touchdowns coming on the ground. If the run defense can step up to the plate and get off the field after third downs, St. Marks should have no problem coming away with a victory this time. Dover may be at home this week, and is considered the underdog in this matchup according to some journalists throughout the state. Dovers keys to the game is just the opposite of what St. Marks is, but to stick with what they do best, run the ball, keep the Spartans offense off the field, and wear down the defense which has been the Spartans strong suit all year.
PREDICTION: Dover 26 St. Marks 24
#4 Caesar Rodney vs. #5 William Penn (Saturday at 7:30 pm)
Two teams that tied in playoff points coming tournament calculation time, but due to strength of schedule, Caesar Rodney will host William Penn Saturday night. The two teams losses came off of the same opponents, Salesianum, Middletown and St. Marks but that doesn’t mean much other than for Statistics. Back in week one, the Riders fell to Salesianum in overtime by 7 points, only to be blown out by Middletown the following week, since then, they have went (7-1) and may be the hottest team going into the playoffs.
William Penn however would give Salesianum and Middletown their toughest games of the season which could go a long way as for confidence for the Colonials. Running back Reggie Carroll has rushed for 1,784 yards on 200+ carries an average of 8.42 yards a gain, and for 19 touchdowns.
If the Riders can stop Carroll from getting out in the open where hes the most dangerous Caesar Rodney should roll on to the next round to face Salesianum or Middletown, two teams the Caesar Rodney would probably love to meet again, knowing that they can play Salesianum, and the fact that if they were to meet Middletown again it certainly wouldn’t be a repeat from back earlier in the season.
PREDICTION: Caesar Rodney 35 William Penn 21
#1 St. Georges vs. #8 Indian River (Friday @ Appo at 7:30)
In what could possibliy be the biggest game of the weekend, St. Georges will host Indian River at Appoquinimink tonight due to the fact that their stadium does not meet DIAA requirements for a playoff game. The last time the Hawks were featured as the first seed they were beaten by Archmere. Does Indian River have what it takes to cause a repeat in history for St. Georges?
The Hawks have featured probably the best duo of running backs in the state with the Selby brothers who have racked up a total of 1347 yards, with T. Selby rushing for 815 with 13 touchdowns, and K. Selby rushing for 532 for 9 touchdowns, and as dangerous as the running attack is, you still have to respect the passing game that they have with Zach Wright passing over 800 yards for 13 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions.
Don’t let the #8 seed mislead you, Indian River may be one of the better teams in the playoffs, with one of the tougher schedules to boot, the Indians feature one of the fastest paced offenses and will put that to the test against defense that averages only 2 touchdowns allowed in a game. The Indians were practically out of the playoff race until they beat Delmar a few weeks back, earning them the Henlopen South title and the automatic bid into the playoffs. The Key for the Indians to move on to the next round and face Hodgson, Tower Hill, or Delmar will have to be score quickly and get up on the Hawks, although they have proven to comeback from deficits like in the Caravel game, the offense is not really made to come back from behind, and to stop the twins that no one has been able to do all season.
PREDICTION: St. Georges 30 Indian River 27
#2 Hodgson vs. #7 Howard (Saturday at 11:00 am)
In a rematch from earlier in the year Hodgson will host conference rival Howard for the second time. In the first meeting, The Eagles defeated Howard 45-0 and in order for the Wildcats to make this one even close will be to not do whatever they did the first time.
Hodgson may be the best team in the Division, maybe even the state and with Ray Jones leading an offense that executes well, and with the speed the wide outs and backs have, makes this team a serious threat. Other than their games with Caravel and St. Georges, Hodgson has scored over 40 points in every game, including 60 against Mckean and last weekend when they scored 73 against Christiana. They have three shutouts and have kept Caravel and St. Georges under three scores in their respective games, something that not many, or any team has done for the last few years.
Howard must improve in all areas of the game if they wish to knock off Hodgson. Given that this matchup is a yearly rivalry, and the coaches know each other really well including their playbooks, anything can happen in this one, but the Cats must draw up some schemes that the Eagles haven’t seen before or it very well could be a trip down memory lane Saturday morning.
PREDICTION: Hodgson 42 Howard 17
#3 Tower Hill vs. #6 Woodbridge (Friday at 7:30)
In a game that doesn’t feature many well known athletes, two teams that aren’t known for playoff runs will have their chance at knocking off the other and move on into the second round for the first time in years. Last time Tower Hill was in the playoffs they fell to Hodgson 40-0 back in 2007. It certainly wont happen again as the Hillers have one of the better well rounded offenses that averages over 150 yards per game, and have won almost every game on their schedule by more than two touchdowns. With 17 interceptions on the year and 16 sacks, makes this defense a fearsome group of young men and should wreck havoc in the Blue Raiders backfield the entire night.
Woodbridge has entered the playoffs as probably one of the more surprising teams, in the offseason you wouldn’t have said that they would beat Appoquinimink, or Lake Forest, Sussex Tech or hang with Indian River and Delmar, but yet here they are in the post season for the first time in over a decade. In one of the most balanced offenses, Woodbridge averages over 170 yards on the ground every game with 140 in the air and 35 touchdowns on the season. They are led by Quarterback Logan Wescott who has the ability to squeeze the ball in a tight hole to his receivers or take off with his legs if need be and beat you. Wescott has thrown for over 1300 yards and rushed for over 600 yards, making this kid one of the most better dual threat Qb’s in the state of Delaware.
Despite not being your typical playoff contending powerhouse teams, this game could be one of the closest and better games of the weekend.
PREDICTION: Tower Hill 24 Woodbridge 28
#4 Delmar vs. #5 Caravel (Saturday at 7:30)
To Close out the weekend, what better way to end the first round with a classic like Delmar against Caravel. Two teams known for playoffs and championships and just over good football. Caravel may be bit more underrated than some thought going into the season, but they still are one of the clear cut favorites going into the playoffs. Derrick Groomes and Aaron Hudson may be one of the better QB – RB pairs that any program will see this season. Despite having lost Savage for the year, the Bucs still average over 200 yards on the groun and just about 100 yards in the air every game. The Defense which is led by Linebacker and all state nominee Matt Boylan which has carried his brothers to 15 sacks 6 of them being his, and has recovered 4 fumbles. With 9 interceptions on the year Caravel will give a struggling Delmars offense fits through the entire game.
Much like I just said, Delmar has struggled this entire season to get its offense going, besides last week scoring over 30 points for the first time since the first two weeks of the season against Chesapeake and John Carroll Maryland. If Delmar can slow down Caravels rushing game, and make Groomes try and beat them in the air, they may have a chance, but if they cant score over 24 points in this game, Caravel will be resting their starters before the end of this one for their likely opponent in Hodgson, Tower Hill or Woodbridge the following week.
PREDICTION: Caravel 37 Delmar 17