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Written by: Alec Eskin on Friday, December 3rd, 2021
It’s a game worthy of being a State Championship match-up instead we get it a week early in the PIAA 6A Semi-Finals. Two Southeastern Pennsylvania heavyweights will do battle in front of what’s sure to be a jampacked crowd Saturday night at Ridley’s Phil Merion Field with kickoff scheduled for 7pm. In one corner you have the undefeated District 1 Champions Garnet Valley Jaguars who enter Saturday’s night contest the number 1 ranked team in 6A by PFN. In the opposite corner you have the District 12 Champions St. Joseph Prep Hawks.
Records: St Joseph Prep:10-2, Garnet Valley 14-0
Head Coaches: SJP: Tim Roken, GV Mike Ricci
St. Joseph Prep Hawks #3 Ranked team in 6A by PFN
The Hawks come into Saturday’s matchup having won their 8th straight game by beating Bethlehem Freedom 24-21 last Friday night.
Offensively the Hawks are led by Sophomore QB Samaj Jones who has thrown for 964 yards on 86 of 144 passing and 9 touchdowns in addition to being the team’s leading rusher, rushing for 782 yards on 115 carries with another 12 touchdowns. It was Jones’s three scores last week that carried the Hawks to victory.
Kahseim Phillips(124-643) and Blaine Bunch (101-538) also shoulder the load of carries for the Hawks. David Washington is the team’s leading receiver hauling in 41 passes for 437 yards and 4 touchdowns.
The offensive line consists of Brad Harris Jr, George Reinhard, Julian Cervantes, Alec Treadway and Lakeem Steele
Defensively the Hawks are led by linebacker Josiah Trotter (Son of Philadelphia Eagles great Jeremiah) with 98 tackles. James Heard leads the team in sacks with 10.5 and total of 36 tackles. Anthony Sacca is the team leader in interceptions with 3, while Omillio Agard and Shamir Johnson are right behind him with two each.
The Hawks also have one the best kickers in the state in Antonio Chadha who is 45of46 on PAT’s and 7-11 on field goals including a long of 40 this season in addition to having over 100 touchbacks in his career.
Garnet Valley Jaguars District 1 Champions #1 Ranked team in 6A by PFN
Garnet Valley has just come off of a strong 54-15 win over Coatesville and won their first District One Championship since 2007. They are also 14-0 now for the first time in Garnet Valley history. There is a long list of reasons why the Jaguars are in the state semifinals. To start off, Shane Reynolds has gotten better and better as the playoffs have gone on. He had 225 and four touchdowns against Coatesville and had 245 yards and four touchdowns against Quakertown. He has certainly had a nose for the end zone. Then, Max Busenkell has had a historically good year under center for Garnet Valley, breaking the most touchdown passes in a season in Garnet Valley history. He has a very accurate arm and does not make very many mistakes, which can lead to a quarterback being dangerous for their opponents. He has only 26 touchdown passes on offense compared to two interceptions all year, so he has one of the best touchdown to interception ratios in the state of Pennsylvania. Lastly on offense, Garnet Valley has been winning in the battle of the trenches all year. Their offensive line was able to create huge holes in Coatesville defensive line and has been consistently doing this all year long. On defense, the strong suit has been their defensive line. Their ability to crate pressure in the backfield been the key to stopping their opponents. Garnet Valley is going to have its toughest task yet against St. Joe’s Prep and will have their hands full on both sides of the ball. However, they have the talent to compete with the them as this is shaping up to be one of the premiere games in all of Pennsylvania.
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