Vikings defeat Cardinal O’Hara 24-7 in the Catholic League AAA championship

By John Knebels
Sports Columnist

It seems that no matter what is needed, Archbishop Wood’s football team finds a way to supply it.

Two games fully illustrate this point.

During a regular-season slugfest with Class AAA foe Cardinal O’Hara, the Vikings’ defense was victimized for an uncharacteristic 34 points, but their offense responded with 48.

In the Catholic League championship against the same team this past Nov. 13 at a jam-packed Plymouth-Whitemarsh High School, the Vikings needed balance, and balance they got.

End result? Archbishop Wood celebrated its third consecutive Class AAA championship by defeating the Lions 24-7. The victory increased the Vikings’ perfect season to 11-0 and set up a date Nov. 20 with Dobbins Tech for the District 12 AAA title. {{more}}

Asked to assess which championship meant more, Wood coach Steve Devlin smartly evaded the answer.

“Each was different because they were three different teams,” he said. “Guys keep getting better and answer the call when it is their turn. They stay patient, and they play as a team. Different players step up when they have to.”

The Vikings were missing top-flight, wide receiver and defensive back Sam McCain, felled by a concussion sustained in the Vikings’ 41-7 semifinal win over Archbishop Carroll one week earlier.

Not only would the Vikings be without a tremendous player on the field, they would also be missing one of their top leaders.

Enter Colin Thompson.

An imposing physical specimen, the sophomore two-way end not only recorded two sacks, he caught an important seven-yard completion on a key fourth down call in the first quarter, thus keeping alive a scoring drive that culminated in a 22-yard touchdown run by junior All-Catholic Desmon Peoples.

Before the game would finish and he would have to be helped to the sideline with an ankle injury that he insisted was less serious than it looked, Peoples would dominate in typical fashion. He accumulated 175 yards on 29 carries and scored all three of Wood’s touchdowns, giving him an unbelievable 25 for the season, and it’s not over yet.

Peoples said he isn’t concerned about his mounting statistics. The one that means most to him, he said, was the win-loss column.

“I get a lot of good blocks and do what I can do,” he said. “The numbers take care of themselves.”

John Knebels can be reached at