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Steel-High Outlasts Trinity in Wild Shootout 42-37

Written by: on Sunday, October 22nd, 2023. Follow Sean McBryan on Twitter.


There were many future college football players on War Veterans Memorial Field in Harrisburg Saturday afternoon and all of them made plays.

It resulted in a back-and-forth shootout that Steelton-Highspire eventually won 42-37 over Trinity in a battle between Mid-Penn Capital opponents.

“Some of my best friends are on Trinity,” said Steel-High quarterback Alex Erby, who holds the all-time Pennsylvania high school football records for passing yards and touchdowns. “We might talk a little trash when we play but at the end of the day, I grew up with a lot of those kids. We make each other better.”

Erby will decide between Maryland, Minnesota, and Navy for where he will attend college and continue to play football at the next level on October 30. His brother, lineman Andrew Erby Jr., committed to Ohio two days ago.

Wide receiver Durrell Ceasar Jr. just picked up an offer from Shippensburg and running back Ronald Burnette certainly has the skills to play at the next level.

Burnette rushed for 176 yards and two touchdowns; Ceasar Jr. had a 76-yard touchdown reception, a 76-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown and an interception; and Erby threw for 139 yards and a touchdown.

Trinity running back Messiah Mickens is a Penn State commit and accumulated 167 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns.

The talent on the field created fireworks.

Trinity scored first on Christian Joy’s 21-yard TD run with 7:39 left in the first quarter after a roughing the punter penalty on fourth down moved the chains for the Shamrocks.

Steel-High lost a fumble on the next possession, but Ceasar Jr. intercepted a pass and appeared to return it for an 80-yard pick-six. The referees called the ball back to the 20 after an inadvertent whistle stopped the play.

It didn’t matter. Burnette answered with a 1-yard touchdown plunge to cap the 9-play, 80-yard drive with 6 seconds left in the first.

Ceasar Jr. returned a Mickens fumble for a 76-yard touchdown with 6:23 left in the second quarter and Caleb Wray hit Tanie Young on a slant route for a 19-yard with 1:05 left for the Shamrocks (4-1, 6-3).

The teams went into halftime tied 14-14.

The teams exploded in the third with Wray hitting Mickens for a 69-yard touchdown with 8:05 left, Jaeion Perry punching in a 4-yard score after Burnette’s 76-yard run with 7:34 left, Wray again hitting Young for a 45-yard score with 5:35 left, and then the most jaw-dropping play of the afternoon.

With the Rollers (5-0, 9-0) trailing 27-21 and the undefeated season on the line, Erby scrambled out left to his dominate hand, stiff-armed a defender, and unleashed a bomb to Ceasar Jr. who had gotten behind the Trinity safety.

Ceasar Jr. ran the rest of the way for a 76-yard touchdown to give the Rollers a 28-27 lead with 4:42 left in the third.

“The read was supposed to be backside,” Erby said. “I started scrambling out and saw Durrell. I was like, ‘I gotta break this.’ I gave a stiff arm and threw it as far as I could down field. Durrell Ceasar is a playmaker and I just tried to get him the ball.”

The play was a huge momentum shift, but Mickens and the Shamrocks answered with a 9-yard touchdown run on their next drive.

Burnette scored on a 2-yard run and Kameron Chisholm on a 64-yard run to make it 42-34 with 7:54 left in the game.

Kieran Finegan knocked in a 19-yard field goal for Trinity with 3:50 remaining.

The Shamrocks got the ball back with 22 seconds left at their own 43 after blocking a Steel-High punt but ran out of time to score the winning touchdown.

Steel-High heads to fellow unbeaten West Perry next week and finishes its regular season on November 4 against Halifax.

Trinity hosts Halifax next week to conclude its regular season.



Passing: Erby 10-11-0–139 (TD).

Rushing: Burnette 26-176 (2 TDs), Chisholm 3-70 (TD), Fuller 1-26, Perry 2-4 (TD), Erby 5-7.

Receiving: Ceasar Jr. 4-70 (TD), Perry 2-26, Evans III 2-23, Legrande 1-19, Chisholm 1-3.

Penalty: 14-126.

Punt-avg: 5-32.2

First downs: 14.

Fumbles-lost: 1-1.


Passing: Wray 10-22-1–199 (3 TDs).

Rushing: Joy 11-106 (TD), Mickens 21-70 (TD), Wray 5-2, Team 1-(-1).

Receiving: Young 4-83 (2 TDs), Mickens 3-97 (TD), Cappawana 3-19.

Penalty: 8-65.

Punt-avg: 3-30.7.

First downs: 17.

Fumbles-lost: 4-1.

Scoring Summary

Steelton-Highspire (9-0) 7 7 14 14 – 42

Trinity (6-3) 7 7 20 3 – 37

1st Quarter

T-Joy 21 run (Finegan kick) – 7:39

SH-Burnette 1 run (Hernandez kick) – 0:06

2nd Quarter

SH-Ceasar Jr. 76 fumble return (Hernandez kick) – 6:23

T-Young 19 pass from Wray – 1:05

3rd Quarter

T-Mickens 69 pass from Wray (kick blocked) – 8:05

SH-Perry 4 run (Hernandez kick) – 7:34

T-Young 45 pass from Wray (Finegan kick) – 5:35

SH-Ceasar Jr. 76 pass from Erby (Hernandez kick) – 4:42

T-Mickens 9 run (Finegan kick) – 3:13

4th Quarter

SH-Burnette 2 run (Hernandez kick) – 9:51

SH-Chisholm 64 run (Hernandez kick) – 7:54

T-Finegan 19 FG – 3:50

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