There is Life After Elimination for the Archbishop Carroll High School football team.
Led by seniors Nick Lamey and Malachi Hansen, the Patriots kept alive an improbable playoff run with a pulse-pounding, 34-28 win over New Hope Solebury in a PIAA Class 3A District 12/District 1 subregional Friday night at Cardinal O’Hara.
Lamey secured the first PIAA playoff triumph in program history with an interception at the Patriots' three-yard line with 54 seconds on the clock.
That was one of several big plays by Lamey, who passed for three touchdowns, ran for another, grabbed two interceptions and unleashed a 50-yard punt from his own end zone.
“He’s not the biggest, not the fastest, but he just makes plays,” Archbishop Carroll coach Kyle Detweiler said of the 5-foot-10, 165-pound Lamey.
Hansen caught a touchdown pass, and returned a kickoff for another score as Archbishop Carroll (2-2) advanced to face the winner of Saturday’s District 4 championship game between Montoursville (8-0) and Danville (6-1) in next weekend’s state quarterfinals.
“It’s just an unbelievable thing, especially for our seniors, that they can take this piece of history. They were always the first,” Detweiler said.
The victory came six days after Archbishop Carroll seemingly was eliminated from playoff contention by a 28-21 loss to Philadelphia Catholic League rival Neumann Goretti in the District 12 Class 3A title game.
But on Monday, Neumann Goretti was bounced from the state tournament when a player tested positive for the coronavirus, allowing Archbishop Carroll to become the District 12 representative.
“Coach said, ‘God works in surreal ways,’ ” Lamey said. “Things didn’t work out for Neumann, but it’s always next man up.”
Detweiler said his team took advantage of an opportunity.
“The circumstances that led us to be here maybe we would have liked to be a little different. But, regardless, I’m just so proud of how these guys responded,” Detweiler said.
Lamey was 16-for-30 passing for 265 yards and the three scores. He also shook loose for a spectacular, 53-yard touchdown run.
“That was absurd,” Detweiller said of Lamey’s run. “I think he went through their whole team.”
Hansen caught nine passes for 189 yards. The Patriots also got a strong two-way game from senior Darryl Simpson, who caught a touchdown pass and registered two sacks and three tackles for loss.
Senior quarterback Phil Weinseimer was 15-for-31 for 261 yards passing and also ran for two touchdowns for New Hope Solebury (2-4).
New Hope Solebury 0 7 7 14 – 28
Archbishop Carroll 6 7 14 7 – 34
AC: Darryl Simpson 4 pass from Nick Lamey (kick fail)
NH: Phil Weinseimer 6 run (Chris Kolen kick)
AC: Lamey 53 run (Emmett McGill kick)
AC: Brennan Robinson 17 pass from Lamey (McGill kick)
NH: Ben Garritano 38 pass from Weinseimer (Kolen kick)
AC: Malachi Hansen 81 kickoff return (McGill kick)
NH: Joey Capriotti 1 run (Kolen kick)
AC: Hasnsen 61 pass from Lamey (McGill kick)