By PETER DiGIOVANNI
Tonight, the last area team left in the District 1 football playoffs, third-seeded West Chester Henderson, travels to Glen Mills for a Class AAA semifinal contest.
The second-seeded Battlin' Bulls (8-3) are rolling into the game, having won their last six games by a combined 157-43 margin. Glen Mills won the DelVal League and defeated Springfield (Delco) of the Central League, 32-18, in the opening roun.
The Glen Mills defense forced eight turnovers and got a 112-yard rushing game from its fleet back, Shaeen Dow, who has over 1,200 yards on the season.West Chester Henderson head coach Steve Mitten knows that Glen Mills defensively will try to crowd the line of scrimmage, similar to what Bishop Shanahan tried to do.
"We will probably see 10 men in the box to try to stop our running game again like Bishop Shanahan did to us last week,' Mitten said. "With Shanahan it was a not a case of what we were not doing, they were stopping us. They got a great game from Doug Costin, who is quite a player and only a sophomore. He was fantastic against us."But, we got going with that last drive in the fourth period. Our offensive line did a great job there for us and we have challenged our offensive line all season to win games for us. We feel our offensive line is the strength of our football team.
"Glen Mills is a a championship team that has won six game sin a row and everybody is talking about the eight turnovers Springfield had against them, well the Glen Mills defense had a lot to do with that. They are strong up front and they are physical. We are going to put the ball in the hands of our sophomore quarterback Matt Dinacci to run our option for us against them. Matt has come a long way and he is grasping the option for us. What people do not realize is that Matt has to make snap decisions and make reads under duress during the game. He has done a nice job for us and he has put in a lot of time to be able to make those reads in game situations.'
Henderson (7-4) advanced by holding off a strong challenge from Shanahan in its first-round game. The Warriors, despite playing with heavy hearts, pervailed, 21-14, against the Eagles. "Last week was a tough week for us and this will be to with the passing of Rich Lunardi, the father of our defensive coordinator, John Lunardi,' Mitten added. "Rich was a great man and we have to battle through this as a team and family."Glen Mills will be a stern challenge for us and they are very tough to beat at heir home field. We just have to do what we do and execute. They have had a couple of real good wins against Interboro and Academy Park during this run so they are a quality team.'
Another area team that played the Battlin Bulls this season was Malvern Prep, who defeated them, 31-10, in the second week of the season. "Looking back at Glen Mills the first thing is that they are athletic at every position and if you make a mistake they can turn it into six points in a hurry,' head coach Kevin Pellegrini said. "They are a physical team and they like to run the ball and you have to stop their running game. they do not throw the ball much but they have a real nice back."To beat them, I think you have to come ready to tackle and play responsibility football and the thing about them is they have gotten better each week of the season.'
When Glen Mills takes to the air, quarterback Dontae Coates will rely on tight end Kaheem Brower.
The Bulls would expect to see a steady dose of Garrett Girafalco on the ground. The ran for 184 yards and two scores against Shanahan.
Pick: The only common opponent Glen Mills and the Warriors have is Chester. In the opening week of the season the Warriors defeated the Clippers, 41-6, while nine the Bulls posted a 43-0 shutout. Dow is a real nice back who can break a play at any time, but the Warriors offensive line will open enough holes for Girafalco to have a big game and playing for a championship.West Chester Henderson 28, Glen Mills 14.