Today, my Section 9 semifinal playoff practice tour took me to two Class C schools, James I. O’Neill and John S. Burke Catholic.
O’Neill is the two-time defending champion and Burke Catholic is certainly a contender for the title. The Raiders have been without reliable quarterback Keegan West for the last two weeks due to a broken thumb on his non-throwing hand. O’Neill will certainly need him against Millbrook (8-0) in the semifinal at 4 p.m. Friday at Faller Field in Middletown.
So, is West a go? As it stands now, West is what they call in the business, a game time decision.
Here is what West had to say. He didn’t participate in practice on Wednesday:
O’Neill (5-3) is also out with hard-hitting linebacker Matt Newlin, out with a shoulder injury. The Red Raiders face Millbrook and its dangerous Wing-T offense. Millbrook defeated O’Neill 28-21 on Oct. 4.
Millbrook has to be the favorite, but O’Neill is a tough and gutsy bunch. You figure, if West is healthy and in the fold, the Raiders will make a game of this. Enter O’Neill wide receiver Nathan Shepherd. Shepherd will likely start at quarterback if West can’t play. Running back Malik Chambers has also seen time under center with West out.
Shepherd had this to say: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKsZZabQKrI
After O’Neill, it was on to BC, Burke Catholic. The Eagles have won five in a row since losing to Chester on Sept. 20. Each BC win has been by at least 15 points. The Eagles took out Liberty 46-12 last week.
Burke Catholic faces Liberty again in the Class C semifinals on Friday. BC two-way lineman Brandon Rawlins talked about Liberty, Part 2:
The Eagles did the job on Liberty last week without starting quarterback Justin Fenical, out with an ankle injury. Is Fenical a go this week? See Keegan West. Fenical, a junior, is also a game time decision.
With Fenical on the bench last week, standout running back Matt Przybocki was under center for Burke Catholic. He takes snaps as the back-up, but hadn’t seen game action since his youth days. Not a problem.
Przybocki threw for two touchdowns and rushed for two against Liberty last week. We caught up with Przybocki:
Stay tuned for the Varsity845 semifinal playoff show, which will be posted on V845 and on my Twitter account (justinrod845) later tonight.