Imhotep Charter and Cathedral Prep to clash again for PIAA state championship
The teams have met in three state finals. Cathedral Prep has the edge.
Here we go again!
Imhotep Charter will take on District 10’s Erie’s Cathedral Prep for statewide football glory for the fourth consecutive season.
Imhotep rolled to a 40-3 victory at the Class 3A level in 2015; Cathedral Prep prevailed in each of the last two Class 4A finals, by a 27-20 decision in 2016 and 38-28 last year.
Imhotep (11-2) appears primed to regain the top spot after crushing District 2’s Valley View, 37-9, in the quarterfinals and District 11’s Bethlehem Catholic, 41-6, in the semifinals.
But Cathedral Prep (12-3) is likewise playing at a high level. The Ramblers hammered District 7’s South Fayette, 42-10, in the quarters and District 3’s Bishop McDevitt, 48-7, in the semis.
The Panthers and Ramblers will square off for the Class 4A crown at 7 p.m. Thursday at HersheyPark Stadium.
The Imhotep offense is spurred by quarterback Jalen Sutton-Christian, multipurpose threat Tykee Smith, running backs Sy’Mear Williams and Saint McLeod, and receivers Yusuf Terry and D’Shaun Seals.
Jalen Sutton-Christian completed 11 of 16 passes for 163 yards and a touchdown against Bethlehem Catholic. He also scored on a 2-yard keeper.
“I think that was the best game I’ve ever seen him play,” Panthers second-year coach Nick Lincoln said. “He made a lot of smart throws.”
Smith, a West Virginia recruit, ran for TDs of 93 and 31 yards. The Baylor-bound-Terry, who is also also dangerous on jet sweeps and direct snaps out of the Wildcat formation, made six catches for 86 yards and a score.
Cathedral Prep’s offense is ignited by running back Billy Lucas, dual-threat QB Regan Schleicher, and receiver Jack Oedekoven.
Lucas has carried 216 times for 1,799 yards and 23 TDs; Schleicher has hit on 84 of 164 throws for 1,280 yards and 16 scores; and Oedekoven has 37 receptions for 769 yards and 10 TDs.
Lucas rushed 17 times for 138 yards and four scores vs. Bishop McDevitt.
“He’s got a good mix of speed and strength,” Lincoln said. “We’ve got to concentrate on keeping him from ripping off big gains.”