PIAA Class 2A football championship breakdown: Serra Catholic vs. Southern Columbia

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Thursday, December 9, 2021 | 9:01 PM


PIAA Class 2A football championship

Serra Catholic vs. Southern Columbia

1 p.m. Friday, Hersheypark Stadium, Hershey

On the air: TV: PCN

PIAA titles: Serra Catholic 0; Southern Columbia 11 (1994, 2002, ‘03, ‘04, ‘05, ‘06, ‘15, ‘17, ‘18, ‘19, ‘20)

Serra Catholic (15-1)

Player to watch: Ryan Brooks

Brooks is the leading tackler on a defense that carried Serra Catholic through the WPIAL and PIAA playoffs. The senior defensive end is credited with 94 total tackles including 28 tackles for a loss. His total includes a team-high 15 sacks. Brooks led the Eagles with 13 tackles and two sacks in last week’s semifinal win over Farrell.

How they got here: WPIAL champion Serra Catholic defeated Beaver Falls, 35-12, in the district finals and District 10 champion Farrell, 27-18, in a PIAA semifinal.

Statistical leaders

Passing: Max Rocco, 125-237, 1,934 yards, 25 TDs, 8 INTs

Rushing: Machai Brooks-Duetrieulle, 172-1,037 yards, 8 TDs

Receiving: Terrell Booth, 44-868 yards, 14 TDs

Probable starting lineup

Coach: Jose Regus

Offense

QB, 15, Max Rocco, 6-1, 181, sr.

RB, 1, Machai Brooks-Duetrieulle, 5-6, 168, sr.

WR, 2, Pharoh Fisher, 6-2, 182, sr.

WR, 9, Terrell Booth, 6-0, 170, sr.

WR, 11, Jayvon Holt, 6-0, 173, sr.

HB, 14, Zack Weber, 6-0, 204, sr.

LT, 60, Drew Hairston, 6-0, 183, so.

LG, 52, Jadell Minniefield, 6-0, 236, so.

C, 58, Danny Opferman, 6-1, 257, sr.

RG, 53, Michael Schanck, 5-10, 220, jr.

RT, 55, Matt Bisceglia, 5-11, 207, sr.

Defense

DE, 5, Ryan Brooks, 6-2, 214, sr.

DT, 14, Zack Weber, 6-0, 204, sr.

DT, 6, Dior Blair-Brown, 5-10, 202, sr.

DE/LB, 53, Michael Schanck, 5-10, 220, jr.

LB, 1, Machai Brooks-Duetrieulle, 5-6, 168, sr.

LB, 19, Jaden Williams, 5-7, 175, sr.

S, 11, Jayvon Holt, 6-0, 173, sr.

S, 9, Terrell Booth, 6-0, 170, sr.

FS, 12, Elijah Ward, 5-10, 133, jr.

CB, 2, Pharoh Fisher, 6-2, 182, sr.

CB, 7, DaiQuan Chatfield, 5-9, 134, jr.

Special teams

K, 21, Caden Bauer, 5-10, 151, fr.

P, 34, Mike Schanck, 5-10, 220, jr.

Notable: Serra Catholic used an opportunistic defense to reach the state finals. The Eagles forced 15 turnovers in their past two games combined. Farrell had three fumbles and three interceptions in last week’s semifinal. A week earlier Beaver Falls lost the football nine time in the WPIAL finals. … Serra was the PIAA runner-up in 2007, losing to Steelton-Highspire, 34-15. … Booth and Ward are tied for the team lead with four interceptions apiece … Jayvon Campbell-Holt gives Serra two top receiving threats. He has 38 catches for 672 yards and eight TDs.

Southern Columbia (14-1)

Player to watch: Gavin Garcia

The Kent State running back recruit is the latest Garcia brother to star for Southern Columbia. He has 7,054 career yards after rushing six times for 107 yards last week. Older brother Gaige, a senior in 2019, graduated as an 8,232-yard rusher and scored the most touchdowns in state history (159). Another brother, Garrett, is a sophomore starter at linebacker.

How they got here: District 4 champion Southern Columbia defeated Mt. Carmel, 41-14, in the district final, District 6 champion Richland, 62-20, in a PIAA quarterfinal and District 11 champion Northern Lehigh, 56-14, in a PIAA semifinal.

Statistical leaders

Passing: Blake Wise, 34-55, 509 yards, 10 TDs, 6 INTs

Rushing: Gavin Garcia, 161-2,255 yards, 38 TDs

Receiving: Jake Rose, 26-541, 8 TDs

Probable starting lineup

Coach: Jim Roth

Offense

QB, 10, Blake Wise, 6-0, 145, so.

HB, 24, Braeden Wisloski, 5-11, 185, jr.

HB, 5, Gavin Garcia, 5-9, 185, sr.

FB, 3, Wes Barnes, 5-9, 185, jr.

WR, 29, Jake Rose, 6-2, 195, sr.

TE, 30, Ryan Kerstetter, 6-1, 175, jr.

LT, 54, Carson Savitski, 6-2, 250, sr.

LG, 65, Joe Quinton, 6-0, 200, sr.

C, 53, Gabe Leffler, 6-0, 195, sr.

RG, 72, Brett Horton, 5-11, 200, jr.

RT, 74, Chris Treshock, 6-2, 260, jr.

Defense

DE, 87, Derek Berlitz, 6-2, 245, sr.

DT, 57, Austin Reeder, 5-11, 195, sr.

DT, 28, Trevor Yorks, 5-8, 175, sr.

DE, 64, Logan Sharrow, 6-3, 190, jr.

OLB, 16, Mike Zsido, 5-11, 175, sr.

ILB, 32, Dominic Fetterolf, 6-0, 190, fr.

ILB, 23, Garrett Garcia, 6-0, 185, so.

OLB, 3, Wes Barnes, 5-9, 185, jr.

CB, 33, Connor Gallagher, 5-11, 165, sr.

CB, 29, Jake Rose, 6-2, 195, sr.

S, 5, Gavin Garcia, 5-9, 185, sr.

Special teams

K/P, 43, Isaac Carter, 5-11, 190, so.

Notable: Coach Jim Roth has 470 career wins, most in the state … Southern Columbia is a four-time defending champion after defeating Wilmington, 42-14, in the 2020 Class 2A championship. … The Tigers had a 65-game winning streak snapped Oct. 1, losing to Wyomissing, 42-21. The streak was one win short of Clairton’s state record of 66. … This is the Tigers’ fifth appearance in the finals in six years. They won four of the previous five appearances but lost in 2016 to Steel Valley. … Overall, this is Southern Columbia’s 20th appearance in the state final. The team reached the finals 13 times in 14 seasons from 1994-2006.

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at charlan@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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