By John Knebels

Sports Columnist

Before the game, players said they took turns challenging each other to play a near-perfect game.

Mission accomplished.

On a cold Saturday evening Nov. 6 at Plymouth-Whtemarsh High School, West Catholic’s football team scored a convincing 47-7 victory over Bishop McDevitt in the Catholic League spanision AA championship.

In winning their fifth consecutive spanision title, the Burrs refused to look past an opponent they had defeated rather handily during the regular season several weeks earlier.

“That’s one of the main reasons we play so well,” said senior wide receiver Jaelen Strong-Rankin. “We take each opponent very seriously.”

Strong-Rankin was the recipient of two touchdown throws from quarterback Anthony Reid, who finished a superb eight of nine, passing for 227 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for 51 yards and a touchdown on four carries.

Perhaps Michael Vick watched the tape of Reid’s spirited display before the Eagles dismantled the Washington Redskins Monday night; the two performances were quite similar. Taking advantage of a bigger and stronger offensive line than McDevitt’s defensive front, Reid seemed to do whatever he wanted.

“He’s such a force back there because if you try to stop him from throwing, he will run, and if you try and stop him from running, he will throw,” said senior running back Brandon Hollomon, who scored two touchdowns on eight carries for 88 yards and has now reached the end zone 14 times heading into Friday night’s city title bout with Public League heavyweight Bok High School. “Defenses don’t know what to do.”

Senior Teammate Quran Kant agrees.

“He’s a threat with his arm and his legs,” said Kant, who caught three passes for 105 yards and one touchdown. “He just makes things happen.”

West jumped to a 12-0 lead in the first quarter and put the game away with 22 more points before halftime. In the meantime, the Burrs’ defense was limiting McDevitt’s offense to only 127 yards, and an even 100 of them belonged to senior Gary Postell.

The Most Valuable Player of the AA spanision, Postell reached the century mark on his 16th and final carry, and it was his 20-yard touchdown scamper in the third quarter that prevented the Burrs from issuing a shutout.

Despite scoring his 23rd touchdown of the season, Postell was disappointed after the game.

“Inspanidual accomplishments are nice,” he said, “but honestly, I would trade them in for a win.”

West Catholic would most certainly not oblige.

John Knebels can be reached at