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Dawgs’ fate Sealed

Written by: on Saturday, November 29th, 2008. Follow Frank Kastreva on Twitter.

Selinsgrove tops Berwick 14-6 to advance to Eastern finals
By Frank Kastreva,

WILKES-BARRE- Memorial Stadium saw one of its biggest crowds in recent years Friday night as the Berwick Bulldogs played host to district four’s Selinsgrove Seals in the eastern semifinals of the PIAA championships.

Berwick’s faithful packed the stadium like days of old rooting their beloved Dawgs on their quest for yet another state title.

Manheim Central nor Strath Haven would not be the team in the Dawgs way as years past at W-B Memorial.

Not even the one they called “The General” walked the sidelines as the natives chanted and barked their Dawgs on.

No, there’s a new sheriff in town with many of the same posse saddling up each week and once again guiding Berwick’s student athletes to football supremacy.

It would not be the Dawgs’ finest two and a half hours tonight, but yes Berwick is still known for their FOOTBALL team and small high school with a big college atmosphere on game days.

Crispin Field, the turf Berwick calls home has been quoted as being “A place were the football gods sleep” and the bulldogs who sit atop the fence that guard football lair own part of high school football history, guarding it well.

The Selinsgrove Seals would be the team to beat tonight owning one of the Dawgs two blemishes during the regular season a 28-3 loss in Selinsgrove during week five.

Berwick would keep the game much closer this time around and once again fed of their defense, coming up on the short end of a 14-6 ballgame.

Honestly, if you were to look at this one on paper the Seals come in a favorite, but Berwick’s determination once again is back and Selinsgrove needed all they could get out of their skilled players. To their credit they got just enough and may just find themselves in the state title game.

Selinsgrove took the 7-0 lead on the Dawgs with 4:53 left in the first quarter with Jr. Ryan Keiser setting the Seals up at the Berwick 11 yard line on a 57 yard scamper. Jr. RB Matt Wenrich would cap the drive on a short run.

The Seals were once again poised for more points with the ball at the Berwick 15 yard line, but fumbled the pigskin away. The ball was pick up by the Dawgs Sr. Zach Powell, looking to return it the distance, only to be tripped up by the shoe tops falling to the turf of W-B Memorial.

Although Selinsgrove would cough it up, that play may of sealed Berwick’s fate. If the Dawgs take that ball all the way home for a score, who knows with momentum and all what happens.

The Dawgs would eventually get on the scoreboard with Sr. RB Duff Law taking one 25 yards to paydirt via the ground game on the Dawgs first series of the second half. The PAT would be blocked with the score Seals 7 Dawgs 6.

Selinsgrove would take a 14-6 lead with 10:08 left in the game with Jr. Cory Briggs capping a the scoring drive on a five yard TD reception.

The Seals looked like they would put the Dawgs away late with the pigskin deep in Berwick territory, but a fumble recovered by the Dawgs once again gave them hope.

Berwick would move the ball a bit on their final series, but two batted passes by the Seals defensive line would put to rest any chance of the classic Berwick comeback.

Selinsgrove would grind out the clock, kneeling on the ball and salting away the 14-6 victory.

With the win the Seals will face Archbishop Wood, whom defeated West Chester Rustin 37-7 to advance to the PIAA eastern finals.

As for the Dawgs, its a pleasant thought knowing that next season with the warmth of summer in the air. Fans will be lining up at the gates of Crispin Field for yet another home opener in the heartland of high school football, knowing their beloved Dawgs will, “play like a champion.”

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Leave a Reply

18 Responses to “Dawgs’ fate Sealed”

  1. levi62 says:

    Great game… why aren’t there any pictures of it though?

  2. Vikes1 says:

    Rustin Fan
    Sounds like sour grapes to me. Rustin was completely dominated the entire game. Mike Singletary could not have helped your team in that game. Wood was bigger,faster,stronger,more athletic and obviously better coached. Your offense was so predictable. Run left.Run left. Run left. Your team was flat from the start of the game and it showed. The game was over by halftime. Oh by the way, Wood was missing their top WR with an ankle injury and their starting right guard but you never heard a word about it. If they played it probably would have been 56-7. It will be nice to actually watch a good football game Friday against a very good Selinsgrove team who is well coached.

  3. rustin fan says:

    the only reason wood did anything was bc rustins star linebacker went out with a knee injury. He stays in, its a different game.

  4. Woodman says:

    Thanks Mr. Fish! I agree with you, our offense can score on the best of them and our defense is equally tough. The Seals faithful have their chests pumped out right now and as well they should. However, the Rustin fans said how great District 1 was and how they could shut WOOD down. Look where that got them, CRUSHED!!! This should be a great game, and honestly I will be disappointed if it is not.

  5. JoeFish says:

    No, Woodman, you’re absolutely right. Wood will be tough, I totally agree… my dad played LB for Archbishop wood for 4 years, and remembers the shared sentiment: “Man, if the Catholic League winner could go to states, we’d whoop their butts”. Wood finally has that chance; my comment was, indeed, more of an “I hope that’s our toughest game all year” than “That WAS our toughest game all year”. I do expect a big game from your offense, which can score points with the best of them. Should be a great game.

  6. Bulldog Faith says:


    Great job on the article. What people don’t know about you is that you are a true High School Sports Fan and not even one from Berwick! I applaud you for all your articles. Your dedication to the student athletes in District 2 (both wrestling and football) is to be commended! I’m grateful, as all of District 2. Keep up the good work!

    As for the Berwick Program, it is in good hands with Coach Campbell. The kids believe in him and he believes in the kids. They will be back and contend nearly every year that Coach Campbell calls Berwick home. Seven returning starters on offense and a dominant defense line next year will pave the way to great things.

  7. Matt says:

    seals are a better football team bottom line

  8. Vikings91 says:


    Thank you very much! I’ve been saying this for a long time now. I’m sure the seals are a great team, but no one, and mean no one is giving the Vikings their due respect. Rustin had a great defense as well, and what do we do go out and do torch them. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

  9. Stephen Ridall says:

    Besides even if they do beat archwood bishop thomas jefferson will beat them.

  10. Frankie K says:

    To all your Selinsgrove fans, please no sour grapes you won and will be in the state finals as far as I am concerned. The story was certainly written from a Berwick perspective, being I don’t know much about the Seals history and I write for FREE about District 2 football and Berwick history for that matter. As I said the stadium was packed, now we all know the Seals draw huge crowds also, but the real story for the fans back in W-B is Berwick keeping their tradition alive after being sold off for just having a potato chip factory after the General left. GREAT game by Selinsgrove and their faithful also, but I think that goes without saying. My suggestion if you would like the story from a Selinsgrove perspective is to have one of your students who would like to start a journalism career write on your team each week. I’m sure would post all the storys. Remember folks we dont get paid here and this is more of a hobby for most then a job, therefore most of our writers will write with their heart on what they know, which is Berwick football for me.

  11. bob says:

    seals vs. tj state championship revenge will be had

  12. Woodman says:

    Mr, Fish,

    I believe Rustin’s fans thought the same thing going into their game. Then, WOOD ran for 250+ yards and threw for another 130 yards. Now we have a 1700+ rusher and a 1300+ yard passer, and a great defense to match. Have the Seals seen tean that has brought that resume to the table? I am sure that the Seals a very good team just to be were they are, but do not underestimate the Vikings!

  13. football mom says:

    You talk about Berwick’s faithful. Well, I think you neglected to look at the other side of the field. Fans came out for both teams.It turned out to be one of the best games I’ve seen in a long time. Both teams play tough. However, after reading this, it almost seems like I wasn’t at the same game as this writer. Were the Seals and the Seals faithfuls even there? I agree that Berwick played a great game. But the scoreboard reflected that the Seals played a better game. Give credit where credit is due.

  14. matt sheptak says:

    well even though it’s not gonna happen this year it will next year and that my prediction.

    matt sheptak

    a very big bulldawgs fan

  15. Craig says:

    After reading this article I find myself confused on who had the bigger fan base and who played the better game. I thought the Seals won.

  16. Keith says:

    It was a good season dawg’s may we retire the cleats and send the helmets back to the shelves until next year, along with the officiating in tonights game, scary wasn’t it..

  17. steve says:

    A team cannot ride their defense forever. Tonight bore witness to that statement. Unless Coach C. can come up with some offensive fire power for next year, this may have been the last hurrah for some time.

  18. JoeFish says:

    Helluva game; cars were lined up so far back that it took about 40 minutes to crawl the last 4 blocks to the stadium.

    Four years ago, I think it was, Selinsgrove lost to TJ 20-14 in OT in the state quarterfinals. At least one TJ coach said something to the effect of “The Selinsgrove game was definitely the toughest of the year.” Hopefully we’ll be able to say that about this game in two weeks (Mount Carmel in week 1 excepted).

    Everyone knew it would be a defensive struggle, and Berwick definitely gave a championship-caliber team all they could handle, allowing only two big plays to Keiser and forcing a bunch of turnovers; hopefully the moral of this story is that no one, not even Archbishop Wood’s 1600 yard rusher Cunningham, can move the ball on the Seals’ D.