Archbishop Wood Wins PIAA Class AAA Football Title
Saturday, December 14, 2013 | 1:18 AM
Seventh year head coach Steve Devlin knew adjustments needed to be made and made they were in the Class AAA championship game at Hersheypark Stadium on Friday night as the Archbishop Wood Vikings used a pounding, time consuming ground game to defeat the Bishop McDevitt Crusaders to claim their second PIAA football crown with a 22-10 victory.
Jarrett McClenton set a PIAA Class AAA title records with 40 carries and 238 yards as the Vikings used a drive that last just over twelve minutes to extend the lead to 14-3 with 4:05 remaining in regulation time. Archbishop Wood possessed the football for almost 33 minutes of a 48 minute regulation game. The defense did their part, holding the Crusaders to just 19 yards and one first down in the second half.
Archbishop Wood was making their third straight title game appearance, crushing Bishop McDevitt 52-0 in the 2011 championship before falling to Erie Cathedral Prep 24-14 in last year’s title game
Bishop McDevitt controlled the first half, with their kicking game. Bobby Zwigart hit a 33 yard field goal in the first quarter, as the Crusaders drove 14 plays off the opening kickoff. The senior also handled the punting duties and hit a 59 yard punt on the final play of the first quarter and pinned Archbishop Wood inside their 20 on two occasions.
Devlin said he got on the kids a bit at halftime, that the Crusaders played well but not up to their standards. He knew the offensive line was strong and could change the tide of the game. The Crusaders ran 37 times in the second half, the Crusaders ran just nine plays after the break.
The Vikings opened the second half with an eleven play drive, McClenton scored on a four yard run. Bishop McDevitt drove to midfield but was forced to punt and that is where the game changed. Zwigart punted and pinned the Vikings at the three yard line. 21 plays later and 12:06 off the clock, using 19 runs and two pass plays with McClenton, who has gone over 32 hundred yards for his career, he is just a junior and getting looks from several Division I programs, he has scored 42 touchdowns.
The Crusaders could not pick up a first down as Nick Marsilio was sacked on third down and threw an incompletion on fourth down to give the Vikings back the ball. McClenton carried all four times, going in from 15 yards out with 1:35 remaining. The conversion snap was mishandled but holder Cody Fitzpatrick found Christian Lohin in the back of the end zone for a two pointer and a 22-3 lead.
That lasted 15 seconds as Bishop McDevitt found a way to score as Andre Robinson broke an 82 yard kickoff return for a touchdown, the Crusaders could not come up with the onside kick attempt and the Vikings were able to run out the clock.
The Vikings had 18 first downs to the Crusaders six and were 10 of 15 on third down conversions. Chris Gary led the way with five tackles and two sacks for the defense. Archbishop Wood finishes at 13-2 and with McClenton returning, will be a strong favorite to return for a fourth straight year.
Robinson led the Crusaders with 59 yards rushing on 14 carries, he gained just twelve yards after halftime. Bishop McDevitt ends the season at 14-2.
Archbishop Wood Vikings 0 – 0 – 7 – 15 = 22
Bishop McDevitt Crusaders 3 – 0 – 0 – 7 = 10
BM: Bobby Zwigart 32 FG 7:25
AW: Jarrett McClendon 4 run (Dan McDonald kick) 6:49
AW: Tom Garlick 1 run (McDonald kick) 4:05
AW: McClendon 15 run (Christian Lohan pass from Cody Fitzpatrick) 1:35
BM: Andre Robinson 82 kickoff return (Zqigart kick) 1:20
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