PIAA Class AAA state championship, Archbishop Wood (12-2) vs. Thomas Jefferson (14-1), at Hersheypark Stadium, tonight at 7

For Thomas Jefferson, this is familiar territory. The District 7 Jaguars will try for their second straight state title and third in five seasons.

Archbishop Wood, like the Catholic League, is a new kid on the PIAA block. The Vikings, playing a day ahead of Class AA title contender West Catholic, will attempt to become District 12's first state football champion.

Here is a quick look at the game:

Coaches.

Steve Devlin is 21-5 in two seasons at Archbishop Wood. In 14 seasons at Thomas Jefferson, Bill Cherpak is 151-29.

Records.

The Vikings are 12-2, with losses against Pennridge (43-42, in triple overtime) in Week 1 and West Catholic (28-17) in Week 5. The Jaguars are 14-1, with the lone defeat coming in Week 1 against Glenville (Ohio) by 34-13.

Fast facts.

Archbishop Wood has outscored foes by 475-27. It has won nine consecutive games by a combined score of 320-35. Cherpak could become the first coach in the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League to win three PIAA state crowns. The Jaguars have triumphed in 69 of their last 75 games.

Jefferson offense. The Jaguars, with a power-I formation and some spread sets, average 38.8 points per game. Running back Brian Baldrige is strong but not especially quick. Quarterback Tyler Wehner (111 for 198 passing, 2,498 yards, 30 TDs) is a throwing and running threat.

Wood offense.

With a multiple scheme, the Vikings are sparked by QB Sean McCartney (78 for 131, 1,282 yards, eight TDs) and halfback Sean Cunningham (286 carries, 1,749 yards, 26 TDs).

Jefferson defense.

The Jaguars, in a 4-4 set, have allowed 11.6 points a game. Their stalwarts are linebackers Matt Hufford (66 solo tackles, 32 assists) and Jim Giansante (44, 29), and free safety Ed Hasis (45, 21).

Wood defense.

Also using a 4-4 alignment, the Vikings have yielded 9.1 points a game. In their last nine outings, they have notched five shutouts. Only Conwell-Egan scored more than a touchdown in that stretch.

Analysis.

Archbishop Wood has had a stellar postseason, surpassing the expectations of most. But Thomas Jefferson has been here before, has more size up front, and has the ability on defense to keep McCartney and Cunningham under wraps.

Pick.

Thomas Jefferson, 34-17.

Wood Vs. Jefferson

Here are the probable starters for the Vikings and Jaguars:

ARCHBISHOP WOOD (12-2)

OFFENSE

Pos.    No.    Player                     Ht.         Wt.     Class

WR   11       Vince Furlong             6-4       180       Sr.

WR   18       Mike Maxwell            6-4      210       Sr.

C      55       Dan Grimes             6-0       240       Jr.

G      66       Scott Kajmo             6-1      280       Sr.

G      54       Gerry Campi             6-0       210       Sr.

T       60       Matt O'Connell          6-0       205       Sr.

T       70       Adam Citko             6-5       325      Sr.

TE      84       Anthony Narisi          6-1      210       Sr.

QB   14       Sean McCartney          6-3      170      Sr.

FB      42       Nick Devine             6-0      200      Sr.

HB   22       Sean Cunningham       6-0       200       Sr.

DEFENSE

Pos.    No.   Player                   Ht.       Wt.     Class

T      66       Scott Kajmo             6-1       280       Sr.

T      60       Matt O'Connell          6-0       205       Sr.

E      84       Anthony Narisi          6-1       210       Sr.

E      42       Nick Devine             6-0       200       Sr.

LB      9       Jerry Rahill                6-0       170       Sr.

LB      22       Sean Cunningham       6-0       200       Sr.

LB      29       Andy Hutchinson          5-8       175       Sr.

LB      18       Mike Maxwell            6-4       210       Sr.

S      14       Sean McCartney          6-3       170       Sr.

CB   24       Shane Miller             6-0       190       Sr.

CB   4       Scott Adkins            5-8       145       Jr.

THOMAS JEFFERSON (14-1)

OFFENSE

Pos.    No.   Player                   Ht.       Wt.     Class

WR    6       Dan Virgin                6-0       165       Sr.

T       74       Pat Eger                   6-6      270       Sr.

G       55       Dustin Vissari             5-10       268     Soph.

C       56       Sean Kundrat             6-2       262       Sr.

G       72       Rob McCall                6-1       259       Sr.

T       79       Shane McNally          6-2       240       Jr.

TE    10       Brock DeCicco          6-5       225       Sr.

WR    16       Ed Hasis                6-1       182       Jr.

WR    23       Jim Giansante             6-2       190       Jr.

QB    3       Tyler Wehner             5-11       185       Sr.

HB    20       Brian Baldrige             5-9       195       Sr.

DEFENSE

Pos.    No.    Player                   Ht.       Wt.     Class

E       10       Brock DeCicco          6-5       225       Sr.

T       58       Dan Pastore             6-4       254       Jr.

T      74       Pat Eger                   6-6      270       Sr.

E       72       Rob McCall                6-1       259       Sr.

LB    23       Jim Giansante             6-2      190       Jr.

LB    33      Anthony Greives          6-2      205       Jr.

LB    35       Matt Hufford             6-0       215       Sr.

LB    32       Ryan Vietmeier          5-9       180       Sr.

CB    6       Dan Virgin                6-0       165       Sr.

CB    17      Steve Licht                6-1       171       Jr.

FS    16       Ed Hasis                6-1       182       Jr.