The District 1-AAAA and 1-AAA football tournaments begin Friday with opening-round action. Here's a look at what to expect in the 16-team 1-AAAA tourney and eight-team 1-AAA draw:



First-round matchups: No. 16 Council Rock North (7-3) at No. 1 Garnet Valley (10-0); No. 9 Upper Dublin (9-1) at No. 8 Abington (8-2); No. 13 Unionville (8-2) at No. 4 Neshaminy (9-1); No. 12 Spring-Ford at No. 5 Downingtown West (8-2); No. 15 Perkiomen Valley (8-2) at No. 2 Bayard Rustin (10-0); No. 10 Plymouth-Whitemarsh (8-2) at No. 7 Central Bucks West (8-2); No. 14 Upper Darby (8-2) at No. 3 Pennsbury (9-1); No. 11 North Penn (7-3) at No. 6 Coatesville (9-1).

The favorites: Unbeatens Garnet Valley and Bayard Rustin. The Jaguars closed out their first unbeaten regular season in 32 years, but might have to make due without star back Jake Irving, who was injured in Friday's 30-0 win over Conestoga.

The Golden Knights, meanwhile, feature a smash-mouth brand of ball led by workhorse back Terry Loper and linebacker Sean Steinmetz. They hung 60 points on Octorara in Friday's regular season finale.

PAC-10's best bet: A year ago, Spring-Ford staged a memorable run to the District 1 final, falling to Coatesville. Jarred Jones, Mason Romano, Robby Varner and Co. are hoping to lean on that experience, but have a tough first-rounder against Ches-Mont champ Downingtown West, which has won seven straight since a 1-2 start.


Darkhorse: North Penn is playing like anything but an 11th seed right now. The Knights have won seven straight since an atypical 0-3 start and open against a Coatesville squad reeling after the loss of Penn State-bound star running back Daquan Worley.

Best first-round matchup: Perkiomen Valley vs. Bayard Rustin. The Rasaan Stewart-led Vikings are a dangerous No. 15 seed and could give the Golden Knights all they can handle.

The pick: Pennsbury. Since a 38-28 Week 1 loss to Easton, the Falcons — featuring 14 underclass starters — have reeled off nine straight wins, including Friday's eye-opening 31-3 beatdown of highly-regarded Neshaminy.



First-round matchups: No. 8 Phoenixville (4-6) at No. 1 Pottsgrove (10-0); No. 5 Interboro (5-4) at No. 4 Academy Park (7-2); No. 7 Springfield (Delco) at No. 2 Glen Mills (7-3); No. 6 Bishop Shanahan (5-4) at No. 3 Henderson (6-4).

The favorite/PAC-10's best bet: Pottsgrove has turned away all challengers, thanks to a stout defense led by Jeff Adams and Tyrone Parker and an offense featuring playmakers Marquis Barefield and Mike Fowler. The Falcons, who won district titles in 2009 and 2011, have wins over 1-AAAA qualifiers Spring-Ford and Perkiomen Valley and are the team to beat.

Darkhorse: Henderson. Senior running back Garrett Girafalco and the Warriors are battle-tested, with all four of their losses coming at the hands of teams who are in the District 1-AAAA tourney.Best first-round matchup: Interboro at Academy Park. The No. 4 seed Knights won the regular-season meeting, 38-14, but lost to the eventual champion Bucs in the semifinal round of last season's district tournament.

The pick: Pottsgrove. The Falcons saw last season end in a 31-28 semifinal loss to Henderson. A title-game rematch could be in the offing.

Follow Darryl Grumling on Twitter at @MercSmokinD.