By Joseph Pawlikowski
Special to The CS&T
West Catholic pulverized the Catholic League and won the AA City Title with its offense. Their first round state playoff game against Palisades was no different.
West trounced Palisades, 63-20, behind one of the best offenses in the history of the city, setting new records and extending records they have already broken this season.
One might think West would run into more adversity in the state playoffs, considering this is unchartered territory for the current roster. But West’s head coach Brian Fluck sees things differently.
“They were unfamiliar with our team and could not simulate our speed in practice. We have never been in state playoffs, but they hadn’t seen us before either,” Fluck said.
West Catholic won the Catholic League Blue spanision last year and its offensive core returned this year. After winning the newly aligned Class AA Catholic League title, the Burrs represented the Catholic League in the state playoffs for the time.
He had an inkling they’d be where they are now. “We knew we were eligible for the state playoffs this year and that was our goal from the get-go. Our tough preseason schedule properly prepared our team to work towards that goal,” he said.
After only 11 minutes of play, West led 22-0 and again Fluck was not surprised. “Our offense executed all year. I had no reason to believe that would change now,” he said.
Between West’s athleticism in skill positions and the statistics they have registered this season, Fluck has every reason to display such confidence. In each of the last three games, which were for the city title, sub-regional final and first round of the state playoffs, West scored at least 50 points.
The Burrs’ captains, Curtis Drake, Rob Holloman and Raymond Maples, have carried the offense. Led by Drake, the senior quarterback, the Burrs also rely on the running game from Holloman and Maples. Between the three of them, they have put up some incredible rushing statistics.
Last Saturday against Palisades, the triple threat combined for 24 carries for 512 yards and eight touchdowns. For the season Drake has rushed for 1,159 yards, Maples for 860 and Holloman for 1,665. Holloman scored four touchdowns on Saturday to tie the city record of 37 in a season, set in 2002 by Pat Kaiser of St. Joseph’s Prep, and he has a chance to break the city record for both total touchdowns and rushing touchdowns in a season.
While Fluck exhibits confidence in these extremely talented players, he also considers himself lucky to be their coach. “They are not only great players but great people as well,” he said. “I consider them family and treat them like my sons.”
Holloman and Maples are receiving spanision I offers and Drake has committed to Penn State. Fluck is looking forward to seeing their careers evolve beyond the high school level. “I am looking forward to watching them play on Saturdays and maybe even Sundays after that.”
Next up for West Catholic: the state quarterfinals against Dunmore High School, which will be played Friday, Nov. 28 at 7 p.m. at Northeast High School, Philadelphia.
Joseph Pawlikowski can be reached at email@example.com.