Archbishop Wood Advances
Five possessions. Five touchdowns. That is all the Vikings of Archbishop Wood needed to pull away and eventually defeat the Vikings of Allentown Central Catholic.
After reaching the end zone on their first five drives and tacking on a field goal right before half, Archbishop Wood posted a 36 on the scoreboard heading in to the locker room and they wouldn’t need to score again.
By a final score of 36 to 6 Archbishop Wood (12-2) defeated Central Catholic (9-6) and eliminated ACC from the PIAA AAA state playoffs and advanced to the AAA state final in Herhsey, Pennsylvania where Wood will get a chance to defend their title.
Bolstered by two 100-yard plus running performances from senior Andrew Guckin and junior Josh Messina, Archbishop Wood put this one away by halftime.
Guckin’s 131 yards on 10 carries and a touchdown led Wood’s rushing attack. After the game, the 5’11’’ 200 pound running back told me it was all part of the plan, “We know going in to each game that our game plan is for me to run the ball. We have a good game plan every week. We wanted to come out and get the early lead.”
Archbishop Wood followed that game plan superbly as they utilized big plays to put points up on the board. A 55-yard rush by Messina, a 10-yard rush by Guckin and a 55-yard rush by sophomore Jarrett McClenton all resulted in touchdowns for Wood.
Wood’s defense was tasked with the tall order of containing ACC’s senior Colin McDermott who has over 3,000 rushing yards this season as he ran for 379 last week against Selinsgrove. However, they rose to the occasion only allowing him to rush for 166 yards on 28 carries and one touchdown. Archbishop Wood’s head coach, Steve Devlin, knew he was going to be their toughest task, “We tried to bottle him up a little bit. We knew he was going to get some yards. We knew he was going to break a couple, but we didn’t want him to break the long ones. We really had a good first half.”
Devlin mentioned that his team had a good first half, as that is all this game really was, a single decent half of football. The second half was played entirely by Wood’s second team. The clock was continuously running as the mercy rule was in effect.
After recovering Wood’s only mistake of the game, a fumble on their own 7-yard line, Central Catholic put the ball in McDermott’s hands and let him scamper in to the end zone for their only points of the game.
Central Catholic was able to muster some decent drives, but could never produce points. ACC’s head coach, John Cupples, talked about that inability to cash in, “We were driving the ball. It was just inconsistent. We had some good throws and some good runs, but we weren’t finishing. When you are driving the ball and eating the clock like that you have to come away with points. When you don’t, it hurts.”
Archbishop Wood will be facing off the west region’s champion, Eric Cathedral Prep in the PIAA AAA state championship at Hershey Park Stadium in Hershey, Pa. on Saturday, December 14. That kick-off is set for 7pm.
Scoring by quarter
AW- 11:16 Messina 55-yard rush (Visco kick good) 7-0
AW- 6:46 Guckin 10-yard rush (Visco kick good) 14-0
AW- 11:05 McClenton 53-yard rush (Visco kick no good) 20-0
AW- 7:40 Garlick 53-yard pass to Rahill (Visco kick good) 27-0
AW- 3:12 Garlick 7-yard pass to Messina (2 pt. conversion failed) 33-0
AW- 0:10 Visco 26-yard field goal good 36-0
ACC- 0:5.1 McDermott 3-yard rush (Fidati kick no good) 36-6
ACC 0 0 6 0-6
AW 14 22 0 0-36
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