2017 PIAA Class 5A Title Game Preview: Archbishop Wood (12) 11-2
Class 4A State Championship Friday, Dec 8, 7 pm
at Hershey Park Stadium
Head Coach: Steve Devlin
How they got here:
PIAA Football: Archbishop Wood preview
At Stake: PIAA Class 5A state title
Last weekend Archbishop Wood defeated Unionville 49-28. With the win, the Vikings head back to the state final to defend their 5A title. Last year they defeated Harrisburg 37-10 and have won four state titles.
Archbishop Wood is led by running back Nasir Peoples. In 2017, he has rushed for 1,571 yards on 207 carries and 25 touchdowns. The offensive line has two seniors, Tom Walsh and Albert Glasgow, leading the way.
My Take: This may not be the biggest line the Vikings have had heading into a state final game. But they have gotten the job done all year making big holes for Peoples to run through. Look for Nasir to have a big game on the ground and help open up the passing game.
The offensive line has to pickup all the stunts and blitzes that Gateway is going to throw at them.
Quarterback Jack Colyar passed for 1,152 yards on 72 of 138 passes and 10 touchdowns. He added five rushing touchdowns. Two receivers to keep a eye on Friday night are Kyle Pitts and Ryan Loughlin. Pitts has 20 catches for 371 yards and four touchdowns at the tight end position and Loughlin has 23 catches for 572 yards and five touchdowns.
My Take: Jack Colyar needs to manage the offense and not make any mistakes. Use your strength and what got you there. Feed “the beast”, Nasir Peoples. The more touches he gets, the better chance you have at winning state title number five.
Projected Offensive Starters
QB Jack Colyar 6’3 200
RB Nasir Peoples 6’1 195
FB Adrian Lambert 5’10 215
WR Ryan Loughlin 5’11 175
WR Jake Ross 6’ 175
TE Kyle Pitts 6’5 245
OT Connor Bishop 6’3 255
OG Albert Glasgow 6’2 255
C Tom Walsh 6’3 255
OG Brett Gross 6’ 225
OT Luke Stengel 6’4 235
The Vikings have to find a way to slow down Gateway’s high power offense. They are led by quarterback Brady Walker, who has passed for 4,396 yards, 43 touchdowns and ZERO interceptions.
His favorite target is Courtney Jackson. He caught 94 passes for 1,903 yards and 27 total touchdowns.
In the secondary Kevin & Brad Otto and Ryan Loughlin combined have 10 interceptions.
My Take: One of the key match-ups Friday night is the secondary of Archbishop Wood vs. Gateway’s passing attack. Can the Vikings create a turnover in the secondary and can they slow down that offense? Time will tell.
The Vikings have to limit their big plays and tackle in open space. They need to pressure the quarterback and try and contain him.
The Vikings played a tough early schedule going 2-2 against teams from Florida and New Jersey and in their league, St. Joseph’s Prep. They are battled tested and ready for Gateway. They have won nine straight heading into the state finals.
Projected Defensive Starters
DE Kyle Pitts 6’5, 245
DE Bill Shaefer 6’4 230
DT Connor Bishop 6’3 255
DT Dylan Urbanowski 6’2 230
OLB Joe Wade 6’2 190
LB Matt Palmer 6’2 220
LB Tyler Smith 6’2 230
FS Nasir Peoples 6’1 195
SS Ryan Loughlin 5’11 175
CB Kevin Otto 6’1 175
CB Brad Otto 6’1 175
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