By TED SILARY
Some coincidences are weirder than others.
In effect, LaSalle High already has played State College this football season. It just happened to do so as Bishop McDevitt. Just not our Bishop McDevitt.
Confused? Let us explain.
Tomorrow at 7 o'clock at sure-to-be-frigid (and maybe snowy) Hersheypark Stadium, La Salle will meet State College - yes, the school is in the shadows of Penn State University - in the PIAA Class AAAA championship game.
And this week, up in State College, the talk has centered on the fact that La Salle is pretty much a carbon copy of Harrisburg Bishop McDevitt, which in Week 9 pinned a 28-17 loss on the Little Lions.
The navy-and-gold color scheme is only part of the mirror-image thing with that McDevitt. (La Salle coach Drew Gordon, meanwhile, is a product of our McDevitt.) As SC coach Al Wolski told the Centre Daily Times a few days ago, La Salle sports the same size and speed as Harrisburg's version of Mickey D along with a quarterback who can run and throw and big, tall receivers.
That QB is Drew Loughery. The speed merchant is Jamal Abdur-Rahman while the receiving corps features wideouts Sam Feleccia, Connor Hoffman and Kevin Forster, tight end Steve Jones, and even Abdur-Rahman.
What will State College offer defensively?
Well, in four postseason outings, the Little Lions have hustled for eight interceptions while holding the opponents to 34 completions in 71 attempts for 435 yards (6.1 per attempt).
La Salle has played five postseason games. Loughery's stats show 59 completions in 98 attempts for 856 yards (8.7).
State College is mostly a run-often team while alternating Dom Mills and Matt Mazzara at quarterback. Some long pass plays were important in the semifinal, though, as the Little Lions dumped Cumberland Valley, 35-13.
The squad also has a feel-good story in running back Bryan Schmidt. After suffering a midseason broken collarbone, Schmidt kept telling his teammates to make it to the state final so he could return to action.
Well, he dressed last Saturday and even posted a touchdown on a 73-yard run.