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In a Thriller: Swift leads St. Joe’s Prep back to Hershey

Written by: on Sunday, December 4th, 2016. Follow David Mika on Twitter.

 

davidweek142016aPHILADELPHIA: Georgia commit D’Andre Swift rushed of 275 yards on 32 carries and four touchdowns to lead St. Joseph’s Prep over North Penn (14-1) in a thrilling 35-25 win Saturday night at Northeast’s Charles Martin Memorial Stadium on cold and windy night.

“Hats off to a great North Penn program. They gave us everything tonight,” said Head Football Coach Gabe Infante. “We have a lot of respect for them. Coach Beck does a tremendous job and those players played their heart out. It is a shame someone had to lose tonight.”

Prep (13-0) advances to next Saturday night’s game against Pittsburgh Central Catholic who defeated Wilson (3) 63-21. This will be the Hawks third appearance in Hershey in the last four years. Prep won the Class 4A titles in 2013 & 2014.

A lot of fans were anticipating this matchup for weeks. There was a lot of HYPE and not many games live up to the hype. This one did!

The first quarter was like to heavy weight fighters sizing each other up until Prep landed the first real blow. Swift broke free from the line and went 29 yards for the score. Prep led 7-0 with three minutes left in the first quarter.

“My offensive line did a great job opening the holes for me tonight,” said Swift. “It was a hard fought win tonight against a great team.”

The Knights answered back early in the second quarter. Reece Udinski found his favorite target Ricky Johns for the 14-yard touchdown pass. The game was tied up at seven after Kelly MacNamara’s extra point was good.

Any momentum North Penn had was short lived. Terrance Greene responded with an 81-yard kickoff return for the score. The Hawks led 14-7 with 10:30 left in the first half.

The Knights drove deep in the Hawks territory but Prep’s Richard Carr ended the drive intercepting Udinski’s pass in the end zone.

At halftime Prep led 14-7.

North Penn came out of halftime and dominated the third quarter. Udinski to Justis Henley for an 30-yard touchdown pass tied the game up at 14 with five minutes left in the quarter.

The Knights defense came up with a huge defensive play late in the third quarter. Owen Verespy blocked the Prep punt and the Knights took over on Prep’s 40. After a time out by Prep to try and ice MacNamara, she calmly nailed the 28-yard field to give the Knights their first lead of the night, 17-14.

As North Penn dominated the third quarter, it was Swift’s time to dominate the fourth quarter. He seemed to turn it up a notch scoring three touchdowns in the fourth quarter. He had touchdown runs of 27, 12 and one.

“When number seven wants to go he goes,” said Infante. “He is a difference maker and he is that special. When he decides he wants to take over a game he does.”

Udinski added a touchdown pass to Nick Dillon for 37 yards. He finished the game passing for 278 yards on 20 of 39 completions with three touchdowns and three interceptions.

The Hawks Chris Lowndes had a huge fourth down stop with about ten minutes left in the game and forced a Udinski fumble late in the game when North Penn was driving in their territory.

“We preach a lot in practice to go after the ball and tonight we got the big play when we needed it,” said Infante. “It was great to see something we work on a lot pay out for us tonight.”

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