It was a second-half offensive explosion worthy of some sort of huge reward. In this case, the Pennsylvania 6A championship, and, appropriately, a giant Hershey’s chocolate bar to boot.
Facing a tight battle with just a 14-0 lead at halftime (and that thanks only to a touchdown pass in the final 20 seconds of the second), No. 13 St. Joseph’s Prep (Philadelphia) pulled away with four second-half touchdowns as Pittsburgh power Central Catholic’s defense was steadily worn down by a heavy dose of star running back D’Andre Swift and St. Joe’s overpowering lineman at the line of scrimmage.
The result was a 42-7 victory in Hershey, Pa., and Prep’s third state title in four years and first in 6A. This is the first year a Class 6A crown was handed out by the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association.
Swift, a four-star Georgia commit, finished his final high school contest with 140 yards and three key touchdowns, which was more than enough to back a particularly stingy St. Joe’s defensive front. The Hawks allowed just 185 total yards in the game while forcing a whopping four fumbles.
Prep quarterback Marquez McCray threw for 166 yards and a touchdown. Terrance Greene caught six of McCray’s 12 completions for 85 yards and a score. Swift finished his career with 4,252 yards.
Central Catholic receiver Justice Evans had the Vikings’ lone scoring play of the day on the final snap of the third quarter, but by that point the Hawks had already built up a 28-0 edge, making the end result all but a formality.
Indeed, rather than allow Central Catholic to claw closer, it was St. Joe’s that put the closing touches on a 14-0 perfect season and a second beatdown of Central Catholic with two more scoring plays in the final period, giving the Hawks and their fans plenty to celebrate on the drive back to Philadelphia.