Eight teams remain in Delaware High School Football as we reach the semifinals this weekend.
No one on our staff could unlock the remarkable turnaround by Salesianum in their second meeting against Middletown, while Tower Hill's first victory over a tournament team this season proved elusive, as well.
Past performance never guarantees future results, and for three of this week's teams, they hope history does in fact reverse itself, as we sort out the four teams that will join Newark Charter and Smyrna's Unified Flag Football teams in Next Saturday's championship tripleheader at Delaware Stadium.
(Spoiler: No game is unanimously picked)
SEAN GREENE - Last Week - 4-2 (67%) Overall - 189-45 (81%)
DON VOLTZ - Last Week - 4-2 (67%) Overall - 179-55 (76%)
PHIL ALMQUIST - Last Week - 2-4 (33%) Overall - 176-58 (75%)
KEVIN HAYES - Last Week - 3-3 (50%) Overall - 173-60 (74%)
GARY SCHOFIELD - Last Week - 4-2 (67%) Overall - 147-63 (70%)
Friday, November 23
No. 6 Delmar (10-1) at No. 4 Woodbridge (9-2) - 7:30 (ESPN 930AM/102.1FM)
SEAN GREENE - Woodbridge 28-27
- It's hard to throw out Woodbridge's shut-out victory over Delmar back in Week 10 to win the Henlopen South, but the Wildcats changed tact last week using sophomore Dante Trader at QB. That gives the Wildcats a bigger run/pass threat against Woodbridge's outstanding linebacking corps. It may be his arm that ultimately wins this match-up, which should be the thrill we all wanted in the conference title game.
DON VOLTZ - Delmar 28-22
PHIL ALMQUIST - Woodbridge 28-21
KEVIN HAYES - Delmar 26-24
GARY SCHOFIELD - Woodbridge 21-16
CONSENSUS: This will be an excellent game. The picks are Woodbridge 3-2, all by a touchdown or less, which is what you want on a semifinal stage.
No. 3 Sussex Central (10-1) at No. 2 Dover (9-1) - 7:30 (Delaware 105.9FM)
SEAN GREENE - Sussex Central 21-7
- The quirkiness of the DIAA point system sends the Henlopen Champs on the road to the team they beat for the title in an intriguing re-match. On Central's natural grass, the high-powered Senators were stuck in neutral with under 100 yards of offense. Ultimately, the pick likely comes down to whether you think Dover's artificial surface can give them an edge over a Central defense that has given up double-digit points just twice all season. Jacon Peace and Jordan Magee have the talent, but will it show in the final result?
DON VOLTZ - Sussex Central 28-20
PHIL ALMQUIST - Dover 45-38
KEVIN HAYES - Sussex Central 24-14
GARY SCHOFIELD - Sussex Central 20-12
CONSENSUS: Sussex Central 4-1. Notably, Phil thinks Dover will get more points than Sussex Central gave up in the regular season (41).
Saturday, November 24
No. 5 Salesianum (9-2) at No. 1 Hodgson (11-0) - 11am
SEAN GREENE - Hodgson 20-14
- Rise and shine as Delaware's only undefeated team gets a chance to host a Salesianum squad coming off an upset of Middletown last week. There's reason to believe the Sals can pull off a second upset, as both of these teams are coming off of wins over the Cavs in their last game. Hodgson won 14-7, while Salesianum pulled off a 49-25 win. Hodgson defeated Sussex Central back in Week 1 on their field, and it very well could happen again, but this shouldn't be easy.
DON VOLTZ - Salesianum 20-14
PHIL ALMQUIST - Hodgson 28-21
KEVIN HAYES - Hodgson 28-22
GARY SCHOFIELD - Hodgson 27-14
CONSENSUS: Hodgson 4-1. Most think it will be close, but only Don went all the way to pick the upset.
No. 2 Friends (9-1) vs. No. 8 Tower Hill (9-2) - 2pm at Caravel
SEAN GREENE - Friends 17-14
- All year I'd been receiving notes that Tower Hill was really good, but their schedule-maker never gave them the chance for that quality in-state result. Well, they got it against A.I. duPont, and now they get a second track at Friends, who they lost to 10-3 on a RB pass. The venue moves from natural grass to Caravel's turf, which I think should help both offenses contend with the opposite's defenses. Friends' Wyatt Nelson, and perhaps yet another clutch kick from Jacob Jaworski, should give them another shot in a final.
DON VOLTZ - Friends 20-12
PHIL ALMQUIST - Friends 24-21
KEVIN HAYES - Tower Hill 16-13
GARY SCHOFIELD - Friends 23-20
CONSENSUS: Friends 4-1. Same as the other Saturday semi, all picks close, but this time it's Kevin, who has seen the Hillers more than the rest of the panel, who can pull off the reversal.