Cathedral Prep wins second 4A title in a row, defeating Imhotep 38-28
The Imhotep Panthers trailed by 1 point, 14-13, with just 48 seconds left in the first half. Starting at their own 20 after Cathedral Prep scored the go ahead touchdown on a Joe Mischler to Terry Roberts 17 yard td, the Panthers began a fast paced drive that led them to the Prep 35. Quarterback Jalen Sutton-Christian dropped back and was sacked 10 yards deep. During the play the ball came loose and Matthew Bauer pounced on the loose football at the Imhotep 45. Several plays later a Panther holding penalty set up a 37 yard field goal as time expired in the half giving the Ramblers a 17-13 lead. They never looked back and rolled on to a 38-28 win to capture their 2nd PIAA Class 4A State Title. “It was huge. I thought the second quarter we started to get control of things. Obviously they were moving the ball real well on us but coming out in the second half we decided we were going to do it (the onside kick), Lupo made a perfect kick and we were able to recover the ball and score” said Prep Head Coach Mike Mischler.
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Anthony Lupos 37 yard field goal as time expired in the first half.
Imhotep actually out gained the Ramblers 369 yards to 333, but it was the mistake category that hurt them. Losing 2 fumbles at key points in the game and racking up 14 penalties for 126 yards, Head Coach Nick Lincoln said: We kept shooting ourselves in the foot to frequently. We fumbled in the red zone twice. They took over the field position.
Imhotep began the game in just that fashion. Forcing the Ramblers to punt on the first drive of the game, the Panthers Tykee Smith carried four straight times getting to the Prep 14, but three penalties moved them back to the 27. The drive stalled on three straight incompletions at the 25.
Two plays later Mischler made his first of five connections with Terry Roberts, this one a short pass that Roberts turned in to a 64 yard gain. Billy Lucas finished the 5 play drive with a 2 yard td run and Lupo made it 7-0 with 4:05 left in the first quarter.
The Panthers responded, first going on a 14 play, 50 yard drive capped off with a 13 yard Tykee Smith run that looked to be stopped for a loss, but Smith changed direction and went untouched into the end zone. Anthony Gordon tied the game at 7 with 7:20 left in the half. On the ensuing kick, Lucas missed the rolling short kick and Myles Nicholson recovered for Imhotep at the Prep 24. 3 plays later Carl Jones went in from 5 yards out. The kick after missed but Imhotep had a 13-7 lead with 6:23 left in the second.
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Jones 5 yard td makes it 13-7
Prep responded before the half ended on a 7 play drive highlighted by a Mischler 19 yard run to put the ball at the Imhotep 17. On the next play Mischler found Roberts in the corner of the endzone. Roberts made a spectacular catch coming down just inside the line on the edge. Lupo’s kick made it 14-13, and the field goal before the half gave the Ramblers a 17-13 lead.
Prep lined up to kick off in the second half and Lupo tapped the ball to the right side where the Ramblers recovered the onside kick at the Imhotep 44. Four plays later Lucas, who had 99 yards on 17 carries with 3 touchdowns, put the Cathedral prep up 24-13 with a 14 yard run. “Ten point difference. That field goal and the onside kick, that’s credit to them. That was the difference in the game” said Panther Head Coach Nick Lincoln.
It was the next drive that may have broke the Imhotep players spirit. Traveling 65 yards in 10 plays to the Prep two yard line thanks to some creative play calling, Tykee Smith lined up in the wildcat to take the ball. He never got control and Kareem Carson recovered for Prep at the three. Mischler hit Tyler Oedekoven in stride for a 74 yard gain to the Panther 7. Mischler finished the drive from 4 yards out to put the Ramblers up 31-13 with 3:44 left in the third quarter. “I always had confidence in our team. Getting that onside kick in the second half, that was a huge confidence boost for our team and we just felt like we could score after that” said Billy Lucas.
Imhotep would score in the fourth quarter on a Sutton-Christian 21 yard td pass to Yusuf Terry making it Prep 31-21, but the Ramblers felt the momentum and struck right back on a Lucas 6 yard run. Suton-Christian connected on a 50 yard td with Terry to finish out the scoring.
Cathedral Prep claimed the “rubber match” and leads this 3 year championship series 2-1.
For Imhotep, Tykee Smith had 89 yards on 19 carries. Yusuf Terry finished with 162 yards receiving on 9 catches and 2 tds.
Cathedral Preps Joe Mischler finished with 199 yards passing and 1 td on an 8-13 effort.
We got 8 returning defensive starters and 9 offensive guys returning next year. We were just like are we going to keep battling or are we going to fold?
Tykee Smith is one of the best players in the state. He just keeps going.
We put ourselves in the situation were the mistakes and penalties cost us.
It’s not going to be fun collecting equipment, we just have to get right back at it. It’s tough cause we had a great season and we don’t win this game the kids feel like the season is ruined
We’re just going to come back harder and better.
Penalties killed us. We just made too many mistakes. We can’t worry about the past, we just have to go do the work
I just, like, they didn’t want to tackle at first. I was able to get free on his good night running the ball.
This feels great man, it’s awesome to win 2 in a row
They have great players.They’re going to be successful. They stumbled in week one but the are a machine.
Night and day the chemistry between Joe and Terry Roberts. They worked hard in the off season and they were clicking from week one.
They were taking away certain things, they changed their defense around from what we saw on tape. You just keep doing what you do. We just made the adjustments.
The stop on the 2 and they’re going in to score to make it a 4 point game but we go in and score on a 92 yard drive to make it a 18 point game. They was a back breaker for them I thought.
I feel like after they scored that second touchdown early, we buckled down as a team. The offensive line stepped up.
All these fans, this is just unbvelievable. Defense wins championships and that was what happened there.
On being injured for last years game: It’s nice coming out this year, finally had my legs under me. Offensive line did a great job giving me time.
He’s not just my coach, he’s not just my dad, he’s my best friend. I don’t think people realize how close we are. To be able to do this, win the title twice with him it’s something I’ll cherish forever.
It feels great. We definitely paid our dues, losing D10 and then losing states and then winning two in a row, I’m just so happy for the brotherhood we have and my team mates.
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