Archbishop Wood might be in need for a more spacious football trophy case.

For the sixth consecutive year, the Vikings seized the PIAA District 12 Class AAA title Saturday afternoon at Northeast High School. And although the Vikings said all the politically correct things afterward, this one was a thorough shellacking immediately after the opening kickoff.

Asked to summarize his feelings following Wood’s 52-8 victory over Public League champion Martin Luther King , Wood coach Steve Devlin said that no matter how many people might have opined that the game would be easy, he and his players were not among them.


Wood sophomore quarterback Tom Garlick supported his coach’s claim.

“We never take any team lightly,” said Garlick, whose five completions resulted in three touchdowns, two by junior Jake Cooper. “That’s not how we’re coached. Every game is a separate challenge.

“King has a lot of really good players. We knew that going in. Our coaches had us prepared. They called a great game, and we executed on offense and defense.”

The Vikings, whose pursuit of a state championship begins next week, could have won by a much larger deficit. However, per PIAA rules, as soon as a team moves ahead by 35 points, the remainder of the contest is played without stopping the game clock.

Considering that the Vikings (9-2 overall record) scored twice within the opening three minutes of the first quarter and increased the margin over MLK (9-3) to an eye-popping 52-0 at halftime …

You get the idea.

The gaudy first-half numbers included Wood’s offense reaching the end zone seven times and kicking one field goal in nine tries. Buoyed by junior Jarrett McClenton (75 yards and a touchdown) and senior Joe Dutkiewicz (48 yards and two scores), the Vikings’ running game produced 205 yards.

Meanwhile, the Vikings’ defense swarmed King’s talented senior quarterback Joseph Walker on nearly every play. Of Wood’s four sacks, senior end Chris Gary supplied three of them. Cooper and junior Justin Rubin each had an interception. Collectively, the defense allowed only 97 yards of offense.

“We played a thorough game,” Devlin said.

And then some.


John Knebels can be reached at