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Berwick vs. Archbishop Wood Preview

Written by: on Sunday, December 1st, 2013. Follow Vince Pellegrini on Twitter.


2013 PIAA Class AAA Football Eastern Final

Friday, December 6, 2013 at 7 PM at J Birney Crum Stadium in Allentown

Berwick (14-0) vs. Archbishop Wood (11-2)



Series History

First Meeting



Points Scored Per Game: Berwick, 40.8; Archbishop Wood, 40.1

Points Allowed Per Game:  Berwick, 10.6; Archbishop Wood, 11.5



Berwick – 89-69 (56.3%)

Archbishop Wood – 88-62 (59.4%)


Berwick’s Schedule

1 – Crestwood, 41-7 W

2 – at Pottsville, 56-7 W

3 – at Dallas, 37-7 W

4 – Wyoming Valley West, 42-28 W

5 – Selinsgrove, 36-0 W

6 – at Tunkhannock, 57-3 W

7 – at Williamsport, 48-7 W

8 – Pittston, 50-0 W

9 – Coughlin, 39-7 W

10 – at Hazleton, 43-7 W

11 – Crestwood, 14-13 W *

12 – Abington Heights, 35-28 W *

13 – Bethlehem Catholic, 29-27 W *

14 – Clearfield, 44-7 W *

*-playoff games



-With George Curry as the Bulldog head coach, Berwick has won 49 of their last 50 games when they’ve scored 21 points or more.

-Last year, Berwick finished 2-2 while allowing their opposition to post 20 points or more. This year, they’re 3-0 when the opposition registers that mark.

-Berwick has gained 200 or more yards rushing as a team in 6 of their last 7 games.

-In their last outing, the Bulldog defense forced 3 turnovers from Clearfield in a 44-7 win which saw the Bison holding a 7-0 advantage after the 1st quarter. Senior Dain Kowalski scored once on offense (12-yard run) and had a 76-yard interception return for a score to end the first half. C.J. Curry tallied 4 total touchdowns (3 rushing, 1 passing).


2004: Manheim Central 16 Berwick 13

-The Barons’ kicker Ryan Huber booted through a 35-yard field goal in the fourth quarter to break the 13-13 tie.

1997: Berwick 37 Manheim Central 0

-The Bulldogs’ signal caller Jeremy Chapin ran for 2 scores and threw for another 105 in the runaway win.

1996: Berwick 20 Allentown Central Catholic 3

-Central’s standout runner Tom Williams gained just 63 yards on the ground as Berwick forced 4 takeaways.

1995: Berwick 18 Manheim Central 17

-Manheim Central led 17-0 at the intermission; however, Dave Robbins ran in a 1-yard score for a touchdown with 1:36 left to give the Bulldogs a victory by a single point.

1994: Berwick 37 Manheim Central 30

-Jason Canouse intercepted an errant pass in the end zone with 27 seconds remaining to hold off Manheim Central’s attempt to tie the game.

1993: Allentown Central Catholic 13 Berwick 8

-Berwick’s 28 game winning streak was halted by Allentown Central Catholic.

1992: Berwick 29 Manheim Central 6

-Ron Powlus and Jason Soboleski scored twice, a piece, in the Bulldogs’ 29-6 win.

1990: Bethlehem Catholic 7 Berwick 3

-Spike Johnson found John Weiss on a 48-yard strike for the game-winning score with 1:15 left to eliminate the Bulldogs.

1989: Berwick 14 Manheim Central 10

-Berwick trailed 10-0 at the half but scored a pair of second half touchdowns to catapult themselves to their second straight title tilt.

1988: Berwick 16 Middletown 12

-Jake Kelchner’s game winning 1-yard keeper with 3:49 remaining was the difference as the Bulldogs punched their ticket to the first state championship game.


Archbishop Wood’s Schedule

1 – at Bensalem, 38-7 W

2 – at North Penn, 49-3 W

3 – at Frankford, 42-14 W

4 – West Catholic, 54-6 W

5 – Cardinal O’Hara, 41-0 W

6 – St. Joseph’s Prep, 21-31 L

7 – at Lansdale Catholic, 35-6 W

8 – at Archbishop Ryan, 7-22 L

9 – Bonner-Prendie, 49-6 W

10 – Lansdale Catholic, 49-26 W *

11 – Bonner-Prendie, 42-6 W *

12 – Martin Luther King, 52-8 W *

14 – Academy Park, 42-14 W *

*-playoff games



-Over the last six seasons, Archbishop Wood has compiled a 73-13 record (84.9%) and has won the District 12 title in each year. The last time the Vikings had finished with a losing record was in 2002 (3-8).

-Wood is 6-7 over their last 13 games when they’ve allowed their opponents to score 20 points or more.  When the Vikings score 24 points or more, they’re a perfect 37-0 since 2011.

-In only his 7th season, Steve Devlin has accumulated more victories (82) than any other coach in school history.

-Junior offensive tackle Ryan Bates (6’5, 280-lbs) has received offers from Penn State, South Carolina, Boston College, Pittsburgh, and Virginia. Ryan’s classmate Jake Cooper (6’2, 226-lb linebacker) has received interest from a number of large schools and offers from Pittsburgh and Temple. Also in the junior class, the Philadelphia Catholic League Player of the Year Jarret McClenton (5’9, 165-lb running back) has tallied such interest from the likes of Penn State, Nebraska, and Syracuse. Senior guard Deion Oliver (6’5, 275-lbs) was offered by Yale and is awaiting a number of small-FBS schools to offer.

-Former Vikings’ under coach Steve Devlin to play FBS football: Brandon Arcidiacono (OL/Rutgers), Nick Arcidiacono (TE/Rutgers), Desmon Peoples (RB/Rutgers), Nate Smith (DB/Temple), Frank Taylor (OL/Boston College), Colin Thompson (TE/Florida), and Nick Visco (K-P/Temple).



State Quarterfinal – Archbishop Wood 42 Academy Park 14


State Final – Erie Cathedral Prep 24 Archbishop Wood 14

Eastern Final – Archbishop Wood 36 Allentown Central Catholic 6

State Quarterfinal – Archbishop Wood 35 Interboro 7


State Final – Archbishop Wood 52 Bishop McDevitt 0

Eastern Final – Archbishop Wood 70 Allentown Central Catholic 14

State Quarterfinal – Archbishop Wood 41 Pottsgrove 22


Eastern Final – Allentown Central Catholic 49 Archbishop Wood 27

State Quarterfinal – Archbishop Wood 24 Strath Haven 14


Eastern Final – Selinsgrove 28 Archbishop Wood 0

State Quarterfinal – Archbishop Wood 30 Pottsgrove 28


State Final – Thomas Jefferson 34 Archbishop Wood 7

Eastern Final – Archbishop Wood 13 Selinsgrove 7

State Quarterfinal – Archbishop Wood 37 Bayard Rustin 7

Winner to play either Erie Cathedral Prep (13-0) or Bishop McDevitt (13-1) on Friday, December 13 at 7 PM in HersheyPark Stadium for the PIAA Class AAA Championship.

Follow on Twitter @EPAFootball

Leave a Reply

48 Responses to “Berwick vs. Archbishop Wood Preview”

  1. Joe Steele says:

    Name the player then. Stop making stuff up liar. Name the player

  2. Stephen Ridall says:

    I did I looked it up on Google and it says archbishop wood does not LaSalle u cheaters

  3. footballmom24/7 says:

    @Stephen Ridall well you heard wrong. You might have heard a comment or conversation about what Berwick fans have been talking about our team. Its called talent and we have it, our boys worked hard to get to Hershey and I will not let you or no one else steal their shine. We beat ya’ll fair and square, so lick your wounds and move on. Oh!! By the way the WHOLE! team is from Pennsylvania.

  4. Joe Steele says:

    @Stephen Ridall do you honestly hear how ridiculous you sound? First off I can name 10 would players on the team that live 10 minutes away from the school right now so thats just dumb. Second if you know anything about Philly football LaSalle has the son of the Eagle’s offensive coordinator on it so do some research. Third and this is my last thing…Berwick is nowhere near good enough to get back next year let alone beat Wood

  5. Stephen Ridall says:

    I heard one of your fans saying u guys recruit and there was only 3 guys from Pennsylvania on your roster and u guys cheated your coach was an offensive cordinator for the Philadelphia eagles but thats OK we will be back and next year it will be a different outcome

  6. footballmom24/7 says:

    I have been reading all of your comments on this page, so I’m going to put all of this recruit talk to REST!! Archbishop Wood DOES NOT RECRUIT!!!!!!The boys work hard to get into that school. We’ve gotten this far because of our talent, now move on!!!!

  7. HeavyD2544 says:

    42-14 final score. My prediction was 35-14, so I’ll say it again. Should have taken it to the bank. CJ Curry is a damn good quarterback. The kid had no one to throw to, and I thought Force (whom I mistakenly called Cross in an earlier comment) would be more of a factor. The line just couldn’t give him any time either. Its pretty scary that Wood returns 15 of their 22 starters next year including McClenton.

  8. Stephen Ridall says:

    Yes its postponed to 5 tomorrow

  9. tim says:

    I heard the game has been postponed. Any truth to that?

  10. Colin says:

    Blue and white,

    I hear you but this what the PIAA wanted. Former Piaa Chief Brad Cashman said so himself. He said we can now finally have a true state tournament. Its just not gonna happen my friend. The way things are now are the way they are gonna be.

  11. Blue & White says:

    How is the recruiting talk ridiculous? Thats like saying to a UFC fighter, here you can have a pair of brass knuckles, and you, you get nothing. Now fight! Now who has the upper hand in this fight?? My opinion is that the PIAA needs to change things.. Im not saying this because im a Berwick fan, even if it was WVW in 4A, southern in single A or any other public school, going up against schools that recruit is a big disadvantage. Simple as that…

  12. HeavyD2544 says:

    Interesting to see what people are thinking on here. It looks like the comment board is about even on who will win, but I’m sticking with my original prediction of 35-14 Wood. I saw a few people mentioning that they thought Bethlehem Catholic would win on team speed before. It ended up being a close win for Berwick, but Wood possesses a lot more of that than BC did. I’ve watched the Hazelton game on youtube and I will say that Berwick’s receiver Cross is a good sized player. I think they’ll have to throw more than normal, but he’s a guy Curry can complete some passes to for sure. In fact, I think Cross is gonna be a decent college player at an FCS school if one picks him up.

  13. Scott says:

    This whole recruiting talk is ridiculous. First off alot of the players on the team have been there all 4 years and families were alumni. Also wood does not go out and seek players kids want to play for wood and the kids tht transfer do tht on their own nobody recruits them and the piaa has to approve all transfers. Over the years they built a good program and people want to be part of it. All of this doesnt matter though bottom line it comes down to who shows up ready to play on friday. The best team will win the game and tht doesnt mean who has the best roster its who plays the hardest and who plays with the most heart when they step on the field.

  14. Billy Splain says:

    I don’t consider this a battle. It’s all good. Philly schools SHOULD be good in most sports as they have like a million kids to choose from, just as wpial schools should be good because Pittsburgh has like five hundred sixty thousand…lol..that said the pbrg schools are dropping off as the population decline continues in that region.
    on a side note, that SCA line? well hold on, they have to move up to AA next year.

    I do have a problem with schools that recruit.

  15. JiveTurkey says:

    I don’t wanna battle with you on this. You are one of the few articulate people that come on here and make some sense. Here is the reason why we, the Philly folk, feel like it’s us vs the state. Since D12 has joined the PIAA it seems that nobody, outside of D12, gives our teams any credit. Every time D12 wins a championship, or has a very good team, there are nonstop snide remarks as to how the team was built. It’s not just Imhotep, it was done with LaSalle, West, Wood, and with the basketball teams as well. All of the talk about this team should move up 2 classes because they have a big roster, them teams should have their own league because they’re to good. Enough is enough with that chatter. Nobody would dare question SCA moving up, even though they have an 80 man roster in A. I don’t care what class SCA plays in, but there is a double standard. I’ll be dead honest with you. I can’t stand the recruiting that goes on. Go after all the 8th graders you want, after that leave the kids alone. I can’t stand Wood, they have traditionally been the biggest recruiter of other high schools kids for years. Ironically they get a pass because they’re in the suburbs. Are they good? Yes they are, and I think they’re gonna beat Berwick fairly easily. I’ll root for Wood this week because of the over the top coming from up north. Come state championship game I couldn’t care less whether Wood wins or loses. However, it would be nice to see D12 bring 3 chips home.

  16. Billy Splain says:

    @Jiveturkey…It wasn’t meant as an insult when I said about Philly fans in general. It was more of a “philly fans chest pounding” comment directed at some of the statements about players and teams would not be able to compete in the Philly league. Wpial fans used to say the same type stuff….that attitude (which is the word I should have used over arrogant) has gone away. I am sure the “world against philly” type stuff will fade also. Sorry for the misspoken word

  17. Stephen Ridall says:

    That’s alright after the game Friday wood will have 3 losses and we will be going to hershey

  18. Mike says:

    …to set the records straight…I don’t think the argument is the private schools as a whole but it is the Philly schools that just entered in the post season picture a few years ago…any thoughts????

  19. RedDawgs77 says:

    Fair enough, and agreed public schools have dominated the Championships for years so I am not sure what others are thinking.

    Agreed at the end of the day just a game, and an exciting one for the kids. Hopefully fans on both sides can keep things in perspective. and enjoy well coached HS football.

  20. RedDawgs77 says:

    Ryan was a very good team that had a some I conference losses early in the season due to injuries to key players, including their QB. Ryan also beat Prep. Nobody in 4A Catholic League wanted to see Ryan in the playoffs, trust me. They were much better than their record. But Wood did lose, fair and square. Wood is very young this year across the board as they start mostly Juniors and Sophs so the loss actually was not the worst thing that could have happened to a young team to refocus them. It was a wake up call for them for sure.

  21. Billy Splain says:

    fwiw I think the private school argument is bunko. look at the past title games. Since 2000 in A only 3, in AA 6 teams, in AAA 4 and in AAAA only 2 catholic schools have played for or won a title. that’s 15 schools out of a possible 96 selections. Many of those are repeat appearances, Lancaster cath 2, wood 3, w alleghaney 2, pcc 3 and beth liberty 3 appearances….. 7 in aaaa, 4 winners…7 in aaa with 3 winners, 6 in aa with 4 winners and in A zero. that’s only 15 out of a possible 48 titles. That’s only about 25%. Hardly dominating.
    The “shouldnt even show up” comment is directed at the many predictions of a wood blowout, it wasn’t literal. As for the Dawgs page, well…I don’t know what they’re thinking. It’s silly.

  22. Perk Valley '75 says:

    Where do you park for J Birney Crum Stadium?

  23. DanD says:


    I’m sure the Berwick Facebook page says that but it’s not run by the school. It’s run by a fan or fans. We all need a reality check here. It’s not like the whole Berwick or Philadelphia community are reading this and making comments. It is just a few of us fans that enjoy high school football and in some cases obviously have no life but to worry about a high school game(me included…LOL). Can’t we all just enjoy the games. Berwick has played Catholic schools before and won and loss. Is Wood some great team who knows. In ’96 Berwick got pounded by Cleveland St. Ignatious. A program that is consitently ranked nationally. The next year we turned around and beat them. So will Berwick win? I hope so but if they don’t as usual with Curry we reload not rebuild and hopefully we can meet next year and take them down. I’m sure Wood will be thinking the same thing. Also Berwick doesn’t whine about private schools. We usually just beat them!! What is so funny is all the years we battle all these schools and so called fans think we hate them most of the time Curry is frieds with these coaches and they attend the Curry QB camps. We as fans need to realize not everyone is as passionate as some of us and it is only a game.

  24. RON says:

    Archbishop Wood is 11-2, losing to ST.Josephs Prep 31-21 and Archbishop Ryan 22-7. Prep is playing in the quad A eastern final this weekend. Archbishop Ryan had lost 3 games in a row before beating Wood. Can someone tell me how a team like Ryan that lost 3 games in a row defeat Wood? That’s one of the reasons Berwick fans feel they can defeat Wood !!

  25. boxer13 says:


  26. boxer13 says:

    To let everyone know I have not seen Berwick or Wood play and they both seem really good to get to this point of the season. What I’m thinking is if Berwick can stop Woods running game and contain some small passing they should do just fine.. I have seen some vid’s on both teams and they both look pretty big on both sides of the ball. So I’m going to take or pick [Berwick] in this game ‘but close’ 28-Berwick Wood-24 final … GOOD LUCK TO BOTH TEAMS AND HOPE THAT EVERYONE GETS ALONG.. THEY ARE ONLY ON SIDED STANDS THERE… From M-Central Barons

  27. JiveTurkey says:

    Agree with you completely. I think there is a bit of good humored smack talk back and forth. The only insult I have seen was a comment not directed specifically at Wood, but D12 in general. The comment was something to the effect of D12 fans reminding somebody of the D7 fans of the past. I believe the word was arrogant. Billy would probably know better than me how he stated the insult. I don’t remember verbatim, but it was an insult nonetheless.

  28. Mike says:

    ….whoaaaa Time Out!!!! Enough!!!! Take a look at yourself…you are acting lower than 15, 16 and 17 year olds…be thankful for what you have and lets enjoy the moment and look forward to a great match-up no matter what the outcome…shake hands at the end of the game and root for the winner to win the State Championship…getting beat by the state champs is no disappointment.

    Note: The WOOD fans and DAWG fans will be sitting on the same set of bleachers so lets get along and enjoy a great game!!!!!

  29. RedDawgs77 says:

    Not sure what sites you are looking at, but the constant hating and whining on Private Schools gets old. This site and another well known HS football site have had more than their share of whiners and haters.

    Show me the comment where someone said Berwick “shouldn’t even show up”? I have seen Wood supporters think their team will win, and most think convincingly. And I have seen Berwick fans think their team will win. On this thread alone, many Berwick supporters pick their team.

    BTW, the Berwick Facebook page clearly makes reference to “Let’s show the Private schools”.. Seriously?? Get over’s about the kids, not about whether you agree with Public or Private Schools.

    Honestly, I am sure most Berwick fans are good knowledgeable football fans, and

  30. Billy Splain says:

    @reddawgs: I’ve been all over the internet and don’t see any “hate” from Berwick fans on Wood. What I DO see is a lot of people basically saying that Berwick shouldn’t even bother showing up and Berwick fans defending their team…show me the “hate” please

  31. JiveTurkey says:

    If you didn’t want to make excuses, why did you rattle off excuses? I made a pretty funny post in response, but it didn’t make the cut. Apparently accusing people of being drug addicts or suffering from mental retardation is funny, but a bit of satire is frowned upon. You were responsible for neither nor, just some stuff that gets through, compared to stuff that doesn’t, is kinda confusing to me.

  32. JiveTurkey says:

    I don’t know about the drug addict comment, but just curious as to how that curry Kool-Aid tastes? Send me an e-mail address to contact you. Perhaps making a wager with my drug money would be putting it to a better use.

  33. O.L. Coach says:

    @Stephen, doubt Ii said any such thing; at any rate, last week doesn’t matter. AW is not Bethlehem Catholic.

  34. JiveTurkey says:

    I don’t want to sound like I’m making excuses, BUT 3 kids from Wood got food poisoning this week. Their star RB stubbed his toe a while back, the starting WR chewed his finger nails down a bit too short the other day, and the starting QB has a bad case of the sniffles last week. Kudos to the trainer that had a box of tissues ready for him while the defense was on the field. If this causes Wood to lose, they still had a great season. Mind you, I am not making any excuses.

  35. RedDawgs77 says:

    Well said. I think sometimes we all take things too seriously. The reality is that it is HS football and some 15-16-17 year olds will ultimately be disappointed. I can tell you the Wood community has a ton of respect for Berwick football and the history of the program. Word in Philly is that 10,000 plus might make the trek from Berwick- kudos to the community. I would just ask the Berwick fans show mutual respect for the kids from Wood. Regardless of your feelings toward private schools, these Wood kids have also busted their butts the last 6 months to get to this point. I see a lot of hate coming from
    Berwick tweets and Facebook. I do see Wood winning convincingly in this one, but if I’m wrong I will certainly be cheering for Berwick to represent the East. Here’s to an injury free game for both teams!

  36. Doug says:

    Wood 42 – Berwick 21

  37. Colin says:

    Good stuff Glenn!

    Isnt it crazy how adults can get so caught up in things like this?…kudos to Berwick for battling thru adversity.

  38. Glenn says:

    I don’t want to sound like I’m making excuses, but the fact is Berwick got hit hard with injuries, beginning the third play of the season. They lost three key linemen, one committed to Temple, and an outstanding defensive end. It’s hard to have that many injuries and play your A game. I have to give the Dawgs a lot of credit for doing as well as they have.

    I’ve also visited Wood’s website, and I must say they seem like a fine school with outstanding students and athletes, and a fine program. I hope it is a good clean game from start to finish. Remember humility in victory and graciousness in defeat. These are kids who will be playing their guts out for their schools, their parents, their coach, and their self-pride. Show them respect and you will be a better person for it.

  39. RON says:

    Berwick 35 Wood 28 in a shootout. neither team can stop the other team.

  40. brad says:

    Dawgs 24 wood 21 take that to the bank LETS GO DAWGS

  41. Colin says:


    Yes Beth.Cath. did have some speed at some positions. But nothing compared to what Berwick will see with Wood. Beca is a pretty average team. They struggled badly the week before against a so-so Southern Lehigh squad. But that doesn’t mean Wood will walk away with the game. I think it will be a close one. Ill be at the game and very much looking forward to the match up. I thought it would come down to these 2 squads for the East. I will say this…Wood will be far and away the best team Berwick has played to this point. That wont be the case for Wood.

  42. Stephen Ridall says:

    O.L coach u don’t know what your talking about that’s the same thing u said about Bethlehem Catholic and they lost.

  43. O.L.Coach says:

    Too much speed; Wood wins easily going away.

  44. HeavyD2544 says:

    Honestly, Wood is a much better team. We’ll see what happens, but Berwick hasn’t really played a tough schedule. Wood’s quarterback isn’t thought about much, but he’s a sophomore who helped lead them to a state final as a freshman last year. I’d say that kid is a future stud on a team that rarely has to use him. Wood wins 35-14 easily. Take it to the bank.

  45. Mike says:

    ….The Dawgs game plan is simple…STOP WOOD’S RUNNING GAME FOR 48 MINUTES!!!!!!

  46. Rollie Ciffo says:

    Should be a great game. Both teams are extremely well coached. I think the OL/DL are pretty equal. I think Berwick’s QB is better. But I think Wood overall has more team speed.

    Berwick’s got a long bus ride…over 75 miles…where Wood’s only got a 35 mile trip.

    Should be a great game between the old master and the young pup.

  47. Colin says:

    wish more ppl would take your advice my friend

  48. Mike says:

    …very impressive resume by both teams…hopefully the game will live up too all the hype and become a classic. Please remember they are just kids out there and trying their very best…and to all the bleacher bashers during the game…they are someone’s son (or daughter) out there…be respectful