On Nov. 3, Roman Catholic suffered a 36-7 whipping at the hands of St. Joseph's Prep. The Cahillites were held to 84 total yards and zero points in the first three quarters.

After that drubbing, coach Jim Murphy and his players easily could have written off any chance at winning the league championship.

Instead, they put together a major turnaround.

In a playoff quarterfinal, Roman topped North Catholic by a 28-10 score. In the semifinals, avenging a regular-season defeat, Roman surprisingly rolled past Father Judge, 35-10.

Finally, the Cahillites stunned St. Joseph's Prep, 10-9, to capture their first Red Division crown since 1999.

For its resolve in the playoffs, Roman, which went 12-2 overall, is The Inquirer's football team of the year.

Coach of the year.

At West Chester Henderson, longtime boss Joe Walsh directed the Warriors to a 12-2 record, the Ches-Mont League National Division title and the District 1 Class AAAA final.

Henderson, which went 6-6 in 2006, lost only to Malvern Prep and, in the district championship game to Ridley.

Walsh made a gutsy call with a little over a minute remaining in a first-round district matchup against Conestoga. He went for a two-point conversion instead of a game-tying extra-point attempt. On a successful right-side "speed toss" to Russell Jacobs, the Warriors walked away with a 21-20 victory.

Comeback player of the year.

After sitting out his junior year to concentrate on basketball, Ridley's Steve Egee played brilliantly for Ridley.

Egee, showing a strong arm and the ability to run, completed 141 of 211 passes (66.8 percent) for 2,007 yards and 21 touchdowns. The 6-foot-2, 185-pounder threw only seven interceptions.

In a Class AAAA state semifinal versus high-powered Parkland, Egee kept the Green Raiders close by connecting on 17 of 28 throws for 248 yards and two scores.

Runner-up:

After missing most of the 2006 campaign with various injuries, including a broken leg, Wissahickon's Vaughn Jacobs rushed for 1,720 yards and scored 18 TDs. The 5-7, 165-pounder, who doubled as an outside linebacker, was named the Suburban One League American Conference's most valuable player.

Most improved.

Perkiomen Valley's Zach Zulli, an up-and-coming junior, picked apart opposing defenses this season.

The 6-2, 170-pounder connected on 126 of 221 throws (57 percent) for 2,156 yards and 26 TDs, with six interceptions. He had a QB rating of 172.4.

Well-armed.

Picking only two quarterbacks for the all-Southeastern Pennsylvania team was especially difficult this year.

Here are some who could have just as easily been picked: Curtis Drake of West Catholic (1,325 passing yards), Aaron Haas of St. Joseph's Prep (1,381), John Harrison of La Salle (1,779), Mike Mattei of Chestnut Hill Academy (1,194), Kevin Morton of Abington (2,220), Ryan Nassib of Malvern Prep (1,237), Pete O'Connor of Downingtown East (2,011), Shane Pinzka of Lansdale Catholic (2,052), Steve Richter of Conestoga (2,576), Eric Van Wyk of Garnet Valley (1,553) and Zulli of Perkiomen Valley (2,156).

Contact staff writer Rick O'Brien at 610-313-8019

or robrien@phillynews.com.