By Joseph Pawlikowski
Special to The CS&T
Last weekend, four Catholic League games produced two new champions and set new city, school and inspanidual records.
The Catholic League Class AAAA held its semifinals Saturday, Nov. 8, featuring teams from the former Catholic League red spanision. La Salle College High School defeated its bitter rival, St. Joseph’s Prep, 31-28 with an outstanding performance by quarterback Drew Loughery. He completed 21 of 34 passes for a whopping 378 yards and four touchdowns. His passing yardage is a new city playoff record. Receivers Jamal Abdur-Rahman and Sam Feleccia both had over 100 yards receiving, combining for nine receptions and three touchdowns.
La Salle got the best of the Prep for the second time this year. The Explorers’ first win earlier in the year broke the Hawks’ 55-game winning streak in Catholic League regular season play.
La Salle will face Father Judge, which knocked off Cardinal O’Hara 30-14, in the Class AAAA final on Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. at Northeast High School. As an admirable gesture off the field, Judge will be collecting canned goods and non-perishable food items for their annual Thanksgiving food drive.
During Judge’s Class AAAA semifinal win over O’Hara, another amazing inspanidual effort was on display. Judge running back Curt Wortham carried the ball 26 times for 294 yards and four touchdowns. Standing only 5-ft. 5-in. and weighing 155 pounds, Wortham started the season third on Judge’s depth chart at running back. Yet, he led the Crusaders to the Class AAAA final, setting a school record for rushing yards in a game.
Despite the loss, O’Hara quarterback Tom Savage and running back Corey Brown both played very well. Savage threw for 201 yards and a touchdown. Brown had 151 all-purpose yards and a touchdown.
In the newly aligned Class AAA final, Archbishop Wood blew past Conwell-Egan, 44-14. This game saw action from the opening kick, which was returned by Egan’s Kerry McAnany 82 yards for a touchdown. The touchdown ended Wood’s incredible streak of five games without surrendering a point.
Wood quickly gained control of the game, which was out of reach by the fourth quarter. Their first touchdown came on a bizarre play. On Egan’s second offensive play, the ball was snapped over quarterback Matt Della-Croce’s head into the end zone and recovered by Wood’s Mike Maxwell for a touchdown. Running back Sean Cunningham led the offense with 30 carries for 210 yards and two touchdowns.
Wood will play Dobbins Saturday at 2 p.m. at Northeast High in the District 12 AAA final.
The Class AA city final was another rout, with West Catholic dominating Bok Tech, 55-0. Yet another amazing inspanidual performance: West’s quarterback Curtis Drake was responsible for four touchdowns – two rushing and two passing. Rob Holloman also rushed for two scores.
The game was quickly out of reach, with West Catholic leading 28-0 at halftime. The Burrs, who went 10-1 through the regular season, are now in a unique situation. They are the District 12 Class AA champions and qualify for the state playoffs for the first time in Catholic League history. Their next opponent is Ben Franklin, who defeated Lower Moreland on Saturday. They will play Friday at 7 p.m. at South Philadelphia High School in a sub-regional playoff.
Joseph Pawlikowski can reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.