Live blog from Hershey – Cumberland Valley stuns McDevitt in 2OT; McCort routs Millersburg, 33-6
FINAL THOUGHTS FROM HERSHEY STADIUM: Gutty performance tonight by Cumberland Valley. Not many folks probably picked the Eagles to win, but lo and behold, look what happened. I made the comment that McDevitt is the “Gateway of the East” tonight, and that theory seems to have some validity right now, even though the Crusaders do have a PIAA title under their belts. In playoff games against good football teams, McDevitt either disappears or makes a lot of mistakes. Tonight was the latter. McDevitt didn’t disappear down the stretch, but 3 turnovers on downs from at or inside the CV 20 yard line is inexcuseable at this stage of the game, as are the 5 turnovers that actually show up on the state sheet – a muffed punt and 4 interceptions. Credit, though, to Cumberland Valley’s defense – holding Matt Johnson to an 18-of-32 night and only 1 touchdown pass.
Next week’s showdown in Altoona is going to be a dandy. State College won the first meeting, and won last year’s meeting in the regular season, too. No doubt CV will have a score to settle there. And, consider this – something has to give next week, Since moving to the western half of the playoff bracket, District 3 AAAA schools are 0-for-4 in those games. And District 6 AAA and AAAA schools combined have NEVER won a PIAA Western Final. So we’ll see who makes a little history at Mansion Park.
FINAL SCORE: CUMBERLAND VALLEY: 34, BISHOP MCDEVITT: 27. Johnson throws his 4th interception. Kevin Snyder picks it off in the end zone. CLASSIC, CLASSIC game from Hershey. Story and stats forthcoming, along with final thoughts.
TOUCHDOWN, Cumberland Valley, Travis Friend scores on 4th and goal from the 1. McDevitt with the ball, down 34-27
TOUCHDOWN, Cumberland Valley! Eric Sawyer hits #41, Colton Fitzpatrick on a 10-yard pass on the Eagles first play. We’re going to OT #2 deadlocked @ 27-all. CV will get the ball.
TOUCHDOWN, McDevitt. Jameel Poteat scores his 3rd touchdown of the game – a 3-yard run on McDevitt’s initial overtime possession. Extra point good! McDevitt leads, 27-20. Poteat has run for 159 yards and 3 scores.
Some stats: Matt Johnson has thrown for 233 yards and has 3 interceptions. His counterpart, Eric Sawyer, has only 4 completions for 141 yards. Jameel Poteat has run for 149 yards and 2 scores. Kevin Snyder has run for 132 yards and 2 scores and has two receptions for 84 yards. Huge games all around.
Cumberland Valley won the OT coin toss, and will go on defense, defending the south goal.
8:15 – WE’RE GOING TO OVERTIME! Lance Geesey’s 30-yard field goal attempt is short, and we’re going to bonus football deadlocked @ 20.
8:14 – :05 left in the game. CV just hit a 26-yard pass down to the McDevitt 13 yard line. McDevitt called a timeout to ice the kicker. It’ll be a 30-yard FG attempt.
8:05 – Matt Johnson 2-point run is GOOD! McDevitt has tied the game at 20 apiece with :53 left in the game. Cumberland Valley side is holding its collective breath. By far the game of the year, in my opinion. By far.
8:04 – TOUCHDOWN, McDevitt! Jameel Poteat scores his second touchdown – an 8-yard run with :53 left in the game. The Crusaders have to go for two here. They called timeout to discuss. Poteat has run for 149 yards. McDevitt has amassed over 450 yards of offense and 23 first downs.
7:58 – TOUCHDOWN, Cumberland Valley. Kevin Snyder scores on a 67-yard run around right end. 2:29 left in the game, extra point blocked. CV leads, 20-12. McDevitt still has a chance. It may be better than 1 in a million (reference to “Dumb & Dumber” here” – haha).
TWO-POINT CONVERSION NO GOOD! 4:08 left in the game, Cumberland Valley leads, 14-12. Poteat has run for 141 yards on 31 carries. Heck of an individual effort.
7:52 – TOUCHDOWN, McDevitt. Jameel Poteat scores on a 9-yard run, slicing Cumberland Valley’s lead to 14-12, pending the 2-point try.
7:43 – Johnson just threw his 3rd INT of the game. Johnson is now 13-of-25 for 159 yards with 3 picks.
7:39 – Cumberland Valley wide receiver just dropped a pass, and nobody was within 15 yards of him. McDevitt dodges a major bullet – still down 14-6 with 9:35 left
END OF THE 3RD QUARTER – Cumberland Valley leads, 14-6. Matt Johnson is an uncharacteristic 12-of-23 for 145 yards and has thrown 2 interceptions. McDevitt has nearly 300 yards of offense and 16 first downs, but only 6 points to show for it. 3 turnovers on downs from the CV 20 or inside the 20 havent helped.
7:27 – Eric Sawyer gets into the holiday giving spirit – throwing a pick to Sean Barowski. McDevitt with the ball at midfeld.
7:26 – Matt Johnson intercepted for the second time this game. CV takes over at its own 43, up 14-6.
7:21 – TOUCHDOWN, Cumberland Valley. One play after a muffed punt, Kevin Snyder scores on a 13-yard run. Extra point good – 5:56 left in the 3rd quarter, CV leads McDevitt, 14-6.
7:20 – McDevitt sacks Sawyer for a 7-yard loss, thwarting a CV drive. CV punts, McDevitt muffs it, and the Eagles recover at the McDevitt 13 yard line. HUGE play. 1st and 10, CV.
7:12 – TOUCHDOWN, McDevitt. Matt Johnson hits Dan Leonard on a 24-yard seam rout, extra point blocked. 8:27 3rd quarter, CV: 7, McDevitt: 6.
FIRST HALF STATS: Kevin Snyder has run for 26 yards on 10 carries, Travis Friend has 4 for 21 and a touchdown. Eric Sawyer is 2-of-4 passing for 92 yards. CV has 4 first downs.
McDevitt has racked up nearly 200 yards of offense, but has nothing to show for it. Jameel Poteat has 15 carries for 87 yards. Johnson’s added 40 yards rushing for the Crusaders on top of his 7 completions in 14 attempts for 68 yards with an INT. McDevitt has 10 first downs.
FIRST HALF IMPRESSIONS: McDevitt is moving the ball, but can’t push it in the end zone. The Crusaders have three turnovers inside Cumberland Valley territory, including two turnovers at the CV 20 and 6 yard lines, respectively. Cumberland Valley has hit two big pass plays on offense and played pretty good pass defense on Matt Johnson. If CV can keep it up, they’ll win.
6:46 – HALFTIME – Cumberland Valley leads, 7-0 over Bishop McDevitt. First half stats are forthcoming, along with some thoughts. Must catch my breath up here in the press box. The first half was frenetic in its pace.
6:40 – Cumberland Valley quarterback Eric Sawyer has only completed 2 passes tonight, but they’ve gone for gains of 34 and 58 yards. Not too shaboo.
6:39 – TOUCHDOWN, Cumberland Valley. Travis Friend scores on a 2-yard run after Eric Sawyer hit a 58-yard bomb to Kevin Snyder over the middle. Extra point good – :57 left in the half, CV leads, 7-0.
6:34 – McDevitt got to the CV 6 thanks to a SICK 12-yard pass play from Matt Johnson to Jameel Poteat (more on this at halftime), but turned the ball over on downs again. CV takes over with 2:47 left in a scoreless half.
6:29 – Four straight Poteat runs of 13, 12, 6, and 18 yards moves the Crusaders to the CV 15 yard line. 1st and 10, 3:49 left in the half.
6:28 – McDevitt has run for 112 yards to this point; CV only 21.
6:26 – This game is moving at a frenetic pace. Matt Johnson got picked off, but CV could do nothing. 6:49 left in the half, Still scoreless.
6:21 – Matt Johnson is 5-of-7 passing tonight, but for 42 yards.
6:18 – McDevitt doesn’t get interference call on a 4th down pass. McDevitt turns it over on downs again, this time at the CV 20.
END 1ST QUARTER – McDevitt and CV tied, 0-0, McDevitt with a 4th and 13 from the CV 20 yard line.
6:15: Johnson sacked by Travis Friend. 2nd and 29 McDevitt. Then Johnson hits a minus-9 yard pass to Poteat. McDevitt 3rd and 37. CV’s got momentum.
6:14 – Jameel Poteat rips off runs of 23 and 17 yards to the Cumberland Valley 30 yard line. Johnson then hits a 14-yard pass to Salath Williams on a 3rd and 11 to the CV 17.
6:09 – CV hits a 34-yard pass play, but gets stuffed at the McDevitt 30 yard line on 4th down. Still no score.
6:05 – McDevitt went for it on 4th and 1 at the Cumberland Valley 28. Matt Johnson stuffed on a QB keeper. CV ball, scoreless tie.
5:57 – Crowd for tonight’s game isn’t as large as I’d thought it would be, but, considering that it snowed much of the day, it’s not too bad. Probably about 3,000 or so here in Hershey. Rough estimate.
5:50 – Guess who makes an appearance at Hershey Stadium tonight? Harrisburg head football coach George Chaump. The guy knows a thing or two about football. Everywhere he’s gone, he’s produced good football teams. Between Central Dauhin and Harrisburg, he’s been to 3 PIAA semi-finals. If the CD East rumors are true….
5:30 – PREGAME THOUGHTS FOR MCDEVITT/CUMBERLAND VALLEY: The weather will definitely be a factor tonight – how so will remain to be seen. Cumberland Valley probably won’t have a repeat performance of last year’s eight-turnover fiasco against Wilson-West Lawn in a 35-7 loss. The Eagles run a nice Wing-T system and have an efficient junior QB named Eric Sawyer. Bishop McDevitt QB Matt Johnson has thrown for more than 4,500 career yards and 53 touchdowns. He’s thrown for 32 scores and only 3 picks this year. Jameel Poteat has run for over 2,700 yards, yet Johnson and the proficient McDevitt passing attack steals a lot of the headlines. Both teams average more than 38 points per game.
Finally, who, aside from WesternPAFootball’s Billy Splain, would have thought that the winner of the District 3 title game would face State College in a rematch for the right to play for the state title game?
5:20 – Oh, by the way, it’s still snowing. Not that that is breaking news, but it should add an interesting element to tonight’s game.
5:15 – Cumberland Valley’s band is marching into the stadium. They’ve got a nice cadence, and are moderately sized. Having a “12th Man” like that might help tonight, but the last time I checked, no marching band ever helped win a football game. Wait. Check that. Cal had some help from a Stanford trombone player in 1982.
4:40 – Some Bishop McDevitt players have taken the field and are going through warm-ups. Field here in Hershey has a coating of snow on it. A snow plow was working overtime to keep things cleared between the two games, and you can see the numbers somewhat and the hashmarks are fairly clear. Watching the snow plow invoked memories of the 2003 AAA state title game, when I was a junior in high school and a Manheim Central fan. To this day, I sometimes wonder why I subjected myself to harsh elements in consecutive weeks. The week prior against Strath Haven, there were 45-m.p.h. winds at Coatesville that cut right through you. Oh well. In order to be old and wise, you must first be young and dumb. So I guess I have an excuse. Haha.
FINAL THOUGHTS FROM MCCORT/MILLERSBURG: Bishop McCort will more than likely represent the East in the state title game. Their defense is flat-out nasty. I checked Tri-Valley’s stats on Maxpreps after the game here – they’ve got a good balance rushing and passing, but they’ll have to be very efficient and not turn the ball over. McCort could be in a slight world of trouble if they can’t run the ball against Tri-Valley, but the Crushers’ offensive line is pretty doggone good. McCort didn’t have to pass today – attempting only 2 passes, completing 1 for 7 yards…Josh Seidel and Chaz Merriman make a nice 1-2 punch in the Crusher Wing-T. Millersburg was not a bad football team, but they probably hadn’t faced a defense quite like McCort’s all season. McCort is in its first PIAA semi-final since 2002, when it lost to Seton-LaSalle. Tri-Valley is in its first Eastern Final since 1999, when it lost to Southern Columbia.
FINAL SCORE: BISHOP MCCORT: 33, MILLERSBURG: 6. Story and final stats are forthcoming.
3:08 – Keeper stat – McCort 52 carries, 243 yards on the game. Millersburg – 26 carries, 86 yards.
3:01 – Touchdown Millersburg. James Miller scores on an 8-yard run for the Indians. Two-point pass no good, Bishop McCort leads, 33-6 with 4:42 left in the game.
3:00 – Nolan Allman busts a 40-yard run for Millersburg. Allman has 2 carries for 41 yards. The Indians are putting together their best drive of the game, stringing 3 first downs. Will they break the goose egg?
2:52 – Millersburg flagged for holidng and a dead ball unsportsmanlike penalty. That means the Indians are faced with a 2nd and 29 situation. I saw a 4th-and-54 situation earlier this year in the WPIAL. Unreal.
2:48 – Here’s a keeper stat for you – Millersburg’s Justin Roach is just 2-of-11 passing for 11 yards. He’s thrown 3 interceptions.
2:43 – McCort forced to punt again. This time, the snap didn’t go over the punter’s head. McCort only has amassed 28 rushing yards in the secondn half, but that’s still better than Millersburg’s total. The Indians have zero net offensive yards this half, 15 for the game, and 1 first down.
2:39 – End of the 3rd quarter. McCort leads Millersburg 33-0.
2:36 – Millersburg appeared to be in business, 3rd and goal from the 4. But a sack and an incomplete pass doomed the Indians’ drive. Still no score for the Indians.
2:32 – A James Miller 3-yard run leaves the Indians half a yard shy of a 1st down. Millersburg still doesnt have a first down this game.
2:30 – Punt snap over McCort punter’s head. Millersburg takes over 1st and 10 at the Crusher 18 yard line. 1st break of the game for the Indians.
2:28 – McCort’s best offensive lineman, Shane Rugg, a 270-pounder, is down on the field, holding his right leg. He’s walking off the field and putting weight on the leg. Good sign for McCort. Losing him would be key.
2:24 – Millersburg attempted a trick play. Jared Wolfgang’s WR option pass was dropped. Millersburg was also flagged for holding on the play. When it rains, it pours. What do you say when its snowing?
2:21 – Luke James scores on a 1-yard run on 4th and goal. McCort botches the snap on the extra point, leading 33-0 over MIllersburg. Two points shy of the mercy rule.
2:18 – McCort’s Nate Moot intercepts a Millersburg pass. McCort 1st and goal at the 8.
2:08 – Word has it that Dane Domonkos took a shot to his kidney right before halftime. Not sure if he’ll come back. Josh Seidel hasn’t been in the game since early in the 2nd quarter. Word from John DeFazio is that Seidel has a hip problem and could play if necessary. But with the score 27-0, it’s unlikely to see Seidel return to this game. McCort has it well in hand.
2:00 – First half stats: McCort has outrushed Millersburg 191-4 and outgained the Indians overall, 191-15. Millersburg does not have a first down. McCort has 10 first downs. Seidel leads the way for McCort with 64 yards on 9 carries, but he’s not played since early in the second quarter. Dane Domonkos has run for 67 yards on 10 carries. Chaz Merriman has 59 yards on 10 carries.
Millersburg has 10 carries for 4 yards as a team. Justin Roach, the quarterback, has run for minus-10 yards and thrown for 11. Andrew Acker has 4 carries for 12 yards, leading the way for the District 3 champions. Millersburg has not been shut out this season.
1:56 – Mr. Bishop McCort football, John DeFazio, tells me a funny story about McCort’s District 6 championship victory. When it came time to award the trophy, Dane Domonkos, who also plays hockey for McCort, ordered his team captains and coaches NOT to touch the trophy because this Crusher team has bigger goals. So DeFazio took the championship trophy, and to this day, only he knows where the trophy is at. It will appear in the school’s trophy case after the Crushers’ last football game this season, whenever that may be.
1:55 – HALFTIME here at Hershey, Bishop McCort leads Millersburg 27-0. First half stats are coming. But McCort is just dominating this one.
1:40 – Dane Domonkos boots a 37-yard field goal just across the uprights. McCort leads 24-0 with 2:46 left in the first half. Domonkos now holds the Crusher record for most points scored in a season by a kicker, with 80. This Crusher team is going to have a monopoly on the school record books.
1:36 – McCort just got penalized for a false start, but that’s about the only thing that’s gone wrong for the Crushers today. McCort has outrushed Millersburg 132-8.
1:28 – Dane Domonkos returns a Millersburg punt 65 yards for a McCort touchdown. Extra point is good from Domonkos (this kid is automatic, folks), and McCort leads 21-0 with 10:08 left in the 2nd quarter. Just a gut feeling, and I mean no disrespect to Millersburg, but this game might be a shutout. McCort is looking strong.
1:24 – Andrew Acker has been the offense for Millersburg thus far. He’s got 3 carries for 8 yards. Millersburg has 9 yards of offense.
1:22 – Millersburg blocks a 42-yard field goal attempt by McCort. Indians with the ball, 1st-and-10 at their own 36.
1:19 – Through one quarter, McCort is up 14-0. A Crusher drive has stalled after a 30-yard Dane Domonkos run to the Indian 18 yard line. McCort, though, has outgained Millersburg 102-6 in total offense. This game is a total mismatch.
1:12 – Josh Seidel scores on a 22-yard touchdown run immediately following a minus-1 yard punt by Millersburg. Dane Domonkos extra point good – McCort 14-0 with 4:22 left in the first quarter.
That scoring run by Seidel was his 28th touchdown of the season, which adds to a McCort single-season record. What a season #21 has had – he’s over 1,700 rushing yards after his father passed away from cancer complications before the season started.
1:11 – Millersburg goes three-and-out. Held to minus-2 yards of offense and a terrible punt gives McCort the ball at the Indian 22 yard line. That’s right – a minus-1 yard punt. That’s rare.
1:07 – Chaz Merriman scores on a 3-yard run on 3rd and goal for McCort. Crushers lead 6-0, extra point pending, at the 6:02 mark of the first quarter. McCort ran 11 plays, all runs, for 54 yards. They’re averaging a hair under 5 yards per carry. Yes, I did that math in my head. Not bad for a former Communications major.
1:04 – Josh Seidel busts a run inside the Millersburg 10. 1st and Goal Crushers.
1:02 – McCort is moving the ball. They may not need to pass today. Already 6 carries for 26 yards and a pair of first downs.
12:57 – McCort will receive the opening kickoff. They’ll be moving into the snow.
12:52 – Millersburg takes the field. McCort is huddling near the visitor’s seats. Snow still coming down.
12:48 – There’s now about 100 McCort fans here in Hershey. The fan bus must have arrived. A McCort representative said that there would be one fan bus coming from Johnstown. Millersburg has about 300 fans on their side.
12:42 – Our photographer Jess Kovalcin said that she walked by the Millersburg locker room, and she said that she heard Beyonce music playing. The song was “Sweet Dreams.” If Millersburg wins, the Indians’ dreams will definitely be sweet.
12:31 – Might set a stadium attendance record today. There are about 50 fans from Johnstown. And maybe about 100 from MIllersburg. The low attendance from Johnstown in this weather is understandable. But Millersburg is from northern Dauphin County. Maybe fans are staying home and listening on the radio.
12:27 – Greetings from Hershey! Trying something new today – a live blog from a playoff game. Game 1 today from the Sweetest Place on Earth is Bishop McCort and Millersburg. McCort is looking to advance to its first state semi-final since 2002. Millersburg has never won a PIAA playoff game.
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