SOUDERTON AT NORTH PENN
TIME: Friday, 7:30 p.m., North Penn High School
RECORDS: Souderton is 2-7, 2-4 after defeating Hatboro-Horsham, 21-6. North Penn is 6-3, 6-0 after defeating Central Bucks West, 50-14.
LAST SEASON'S GAME: North Penn won, 11-10.
OUTLOOK: This is one of the area's fiercest rivalries, although one would have to go back to 1989 to find the last time Souderton topped North Penn on a football field (although, to be fair, the two did not play each other between 1991 and 2007).
Last year, the Knights needed a win in the regular-season finale against Souderton, and help, to sneak into the playoffs. North Penn got its win, but not its help.
It's been a season to forget for the Big Red, but don't anticipate them forgetting who they're playing this week.
Souderton's playmakers include QB AJ Curotto (50-for-88, 635 yds.), receiver Manny Nieves (32 catches, 590 yds.) and running back Blaker Gular (96 carries, 468 yds.).
Meanwhile, the Knights have averaged 325 rushing yards over each of their last four games, so don't expect them to fill the air with footballs.
PERKIOMEN VALLEY AT UPPER PERKIOMEN
TIME: Friday, 7 p.m., Upper Perkiomen High School
RECORDS: Perkiomen Valley is 7-2, 6-2 after losing to Pottsgrove, 23-12. Upper Perkiomen is 1-8, 1-7 after losing to Phoenixville, 21-0.
LAST SEASON'S GAME: Perkiomen Valley won 47-14.
OUTLOOK: With the dream of a Pioneer Athletic Conference
The Indians feature a 1,000-yard rusher in Aidan Schaffer and a receiver with nearly 700 yards receiving in Travis Kline. But their downfall has been a defense that yields 367 yards and 40 points per contest, while their turnover plus-minus is a scary-bad minus-13.
As for PV, it is hopeful of getting playmaker and leading receiver Dakota Clanagan on the field after he suffered a slight quad pull last week.
PLYMOUTH WHITEMARSH AT SPRINGFIELD
TIME: Friday, 7 p.m., Springfield High School
RECORDS: Plymouth Whitemarsh is 7-2, 6-0 after defeating Upper Dublin, 28-23. Springfield is 5-3, 3-3 after defeating Upper Moreland, 18-16.
LAST SEASON'S GAME: Plymouth Whitemarsh won, 28-6.
OUTLOOK: The Colonials need this one to secure their third straight SOL American Conference crown, so it would seem likely the three-headed rushing monster of Jose Mora-Vega (140 carries, 906 yds.), Brian Afflick (121 carries, 800 yds.) and QB Connor Hanlon (74 carries, 578 yds.) will get its share of touches.
Hanlon has been on fire lately, rushing for 304 yards and five touchdowns over the last two weeks.
The Spartans have been very dangerous this season, with only one of their losses coming against a team with a losing record (Cheltenham). Last week they rallied from an early 14-0 hole with QB Brendan Doyle's two touchdowns giving them a win against Upper Moreland.
POTTSTOWN AT SPRING-FORD
TIME: Friday, 7 p.m.., Spring-Ford Middle School
RECORDS: Pottstown is 1-8, 1-6 after losing to Methacton, 38-6. Spring-Ford is 7-2, 6-1 after defeating Owen J. Roberts, 47-3.
LAST SEASON'S GAME: Spring-Ford won 55-20.
OUTLOOK: Over the past four weeks, the Rams' opponents have boasted a combined record of 8-28 (with five-win Methacton being the only foe with more than a single victory).
The magical misery tour continues with a date with the Trojans, the fourth PAC program the Rams have faced over the past month that has just one victory on its season's ledger.
Meanwhile, the Rams seem to be peaking going into the postseason. Their defense has allowed just 167 yards per game during their four-game win streak, while RB Jarred Jones has been the area's hottest rusher, racking up 682 yards and 12 touchdowns on the ground over the last four contests.
UPPER MERION AT UPPER DUBLIN
TIME: Friday, 7 p.m., Upper Dublin High School
RECORDS: Upper Merion is 3-6, 1-5 after losing to Cheltenham, 42-26. Upper Dublin is 8-1, 5-1 after losing to Plymouth Whitemarsh, 28-23.
LAST SEASON'S GAME: Upper Dublin won, 24-14.
OUTLOOK: See Sideline Insider.
UPPER MORELAND AT WISSAHICKON
TIME: Friday, 7 p.m., Wissahickon High School
RECORDS: Upper Moreland is 3-6, 2-4 after losing to Springfield, 18-16. Wissahickon is 5-4, 4-2 after defeating Norristown, 30-14.
LAST SEASON'S GAME: Wissahickon won, 55-13.
OUTLOOK: After a down-and-up season that started at 1-3, the Trojans get to finish over .500 and with a four-game win streak if they can capture their season-ender against the Bears.
That's not an automatic, considering UM features a 900-yard rusher (Tyler Whitmore has run for 963), a 900-yard passer (Charlie Hooker has thrown for 961) and a very reliable receiver (Tommy Robinson with 29 catches).
The Trojans, meanwhile, sputtered offensively last week against Norristown, managing just 122 total yards. But showing off its resiliency, Wissahickon used a Josh Smith kickoff-return touchdown and Jimmy Gorman's block and return of a field-goal attempt to slip past Norristown.
FATHER JUDGE AT LA SALLE
TIME: Friday, 7 p.m., Plymouth Whitemarsh High School
RECORDS: Father Judge is 6-3 after defeating Roman Catholic, 10-7. La Salle is 7-2 after defeating West Catholic, 42-12.
LAST SEASON'S GAME: La Salle won, 17-16, this past Oct. 5.
OUTLOOK: The Explorers open PCL Class AAAA postseason play with a semifinal matchup against the Crusaders, a team that had them down, 16-0, in the first half in their first meeting of the year before La Salle rallied for a one-point win.
While left-hander Zach Carroll (52-for-126, 737 yds.) is a capable QB, Judge has shown a preference for running the ball behind the one-two punch of running backs Marquis Seamon (102 carries, 581 yds., 6 TDs) and sophomore Yeedee Thaenrat (121 carries, 868 yds., 9 TDs).
Counting both regular season and playoffs, the Explorers have defeated the Crusaders eight straight times, with Judge last winning in the regular season matchup in 2008.
LANSDALE CATHOLIC AT ARCHBISHOP WOOD
TIME: Friday, 7 p.m., William Tennent High School
RECORDS: Lansdale Catholic is 6-3 after losing to Cardinal O'Hara, 41-21. Archbishop Wood is 7-2 after defeating Bonner-Prendergast, 49-6
LAST SEASON'S GAME: Archbishop Wood won, 35-6, this past Oct. 12.
OUTLOOK: Two teams that love to run the football clash in this opening-round PCL Class AAA playoff contest.
Wood, naturally, is coming off back-to-back appearances in the Class AAA state finals (winning in 2011), and is seeking a third straight. Its weapons include rock-hard FB/LB Josh Messina (44 carries, 435 yds.), RB Jarrett McClenton (77 carries, 876 yds.) and QB Tom Garlick (50-for-96, 940 yds.).
McClenton gashed LC for 178 yards when the two teams met back in October.
And while Wood prefers to run, LC lives by it. How much? Eighty-eight percent of the Crusaders' offensive plays from scrimmage this year have been running plays.
PHOENIXVILLE AT METHACTON
TIME: Saturday, 2 p.m., Methacton High School
RECORDS: Phoenixville is 4-5, 4-3 after defeating Upper Perkiomen, 21-0. Methacton is 5-4, 5-3 after defeating Pottstown, 38-6.
LAST SEASON'S GAME: Phoenixville won, 37-10.
OUTLOOK: The Warriors can lock up their third straight winning year and give themselves a chance to win as many as seven games in a season (they close their year next week against winless Norristown) for the first time since 2000 (when they had eight wins) if they can defeat the Phantoms this week.
Phoenixville began its PAC campaign at 3-0, but have won just once in league play since, last week's shutout over Upper Perk in which the Phantoms held the Tribe to just 84 yards.
Offensively, the Phantoms rely heavily on RB Justin McDougal (95 carries, 431 yds.).
Methacton got a second straight 100-yard rushing game from Michael Cassidy in last week's win.
CHELTENHAM AT NORRISTOWN
TIME: Saturday, 2 p.m., Norristown High School
RECORDS: Cheltenham is 4-5, 3-3 after defeating Upper Merion, 42-26. Norristown is 0-9, 0-6 after losing to Wissahickon, 30-14.
LAST SEASON'S GAME: Cheltenham won, 21-0.
OUTLOOK: The Eagles have their last chance to win in conference, and, more importantly, snap their 16-game losing streak, against the Panthers, who are looking to get back to the .500 mark for the first time since a Sept. 20 win over Springfield.
"They're a typical Cheltenham football team,' said Eagles head coach E.J. Smith. "They're dangerous, and they just got their running back (Greg Morris) back (from injury). We're going to have to be ready.'
In Morris' absence, the Panthers have gotten major production from QB Marcus Heimann, who last week against Upper Merion ran for two touchdowns, threw for another and added still another on a 65-yard punt return.
OWEN J. ROBERTS AT POPE JOHN PAUL II
TIME: Saturday, 2 p.m., Pope John Paul II High School
RECORDS: Owen J. Roberts is 1-8, 1-6 after losing to Spring-Ford, 47-3. Pope John Paul II is 1-8, 1-7 after losing to Boyertown, 21-14.
LAST SEASON'S GAME: Owen J. Roberts won, 20-12.
OUTLOOK: This one could end up as either the highest or lowest scoring game of the PAC season as the Wildcats feature the conference's worst defense (402.8 yds./game) and its second-worst offense, while the Golden Panthers feature the conference's second-worst defense and its worst offense.
OJR features one of the PAC's top rushers in Wyatt Scott (211 carries, 845 yds.) while PJP, playing its season-ender, is led by RB Nick Howarth (89 carries, 539 yds.).
GERMANTOWN ACADEMY AT SPRINGSIDE CHESTNUT HILL ACADEMY
TIME: Saturday, 2 p.m., Springside Chestnut Hill Academy
RECORDS: Germantown Academy is 4-4, 0-3 after losing to Haverford School, 28-0. Springside Chestnut Hill is 5-3, 1-2 after losing to Episcopal Academy, 28-20.
LAST SEASON'S GAME: Springside Chestnut Hill Academy won, 28-14.
OUTLOOK: The Patriots are coming off their third straight Inter-Academic League loss, and are desperate to get back on the winning track.
GA's offense, while prolific in gaining passing yardage, was blanked by Haverford School last week and has just 266 rushing yards in three Inter-Ac starts.
SCHA is led by QB Paul Dooley, who tops the team with 501 rushing yards while throwing for 983 yards and 13 touchdowns.
GA is winless in its last 15 Inter-Ac starts and has not beaten Springside Chestnut Hill Academy since 2006.