PIAA Class AAA State Semifinal
No. 4 Archbishop Wood (11-2) vs. Selinsgrove (14-0), 7 tonight at Hersheypark Stadium
Coaches: For Wood, Steve Devlin is 32-8 in three seasons. Selinsgrove's Dave Hess is 27-2 in two years.
Deja vu: At the same location, day and time last year, the Vikings knocked off the District 4 champions, 13-7, to earn a berth in the state final against the District 7 titlist, Thomas Jefferson.
Dominant: Selinsgrove, located along the Susquehanna River and about an hour east of State College, has outscored foes by 642-89 this season. It has won by 30 or more points 11 times. The closest game was a 35-28 victory at Class A's Southern Columbia in Week 7.
Potent attack: The Seals' I-formation, multiple, and spread offense is engineered by Cory Briggs. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound senior, bound for Harvard, has connected on 130 of 232 passes for 1,875 yards and 28 touchdowns.
Receiving corps: Briggs' top targets are wideouts Ryan Keiser (51 catches for 549 yards, 14 TDs) and Matt Ruby (19 catches, 259 yards, 4 TDs), and tight end Kyle Schuck (30 catches, 376 yards, 7 TDs).
Ground game: Selinsgrove's rushing attack is fueled by 5-9, 175-pound tailback Kyle Reinard (132 carries for 1,195 yards, 14 TDs) and 6-0, 225-pound fullback Matt Wenrich (59 carries, 437 yards, 7 TDs).
Interior: Hess said a Selinsgrove offensive line that averages between 220 and 225 pounds is anchored by 6-1, 240-pound center Jon Trego.
Defense: Switching between 4-4 and 3-5 schemes, the Seals have allowed just 6.4 points per game. They have a rock-solid linebacking corps.
Quotable: "Archbishop Wood is an excellent football team, especially up front," Hess said. "I don't know how you control an offensive line that averages about 265 pounds. It's going to be a gigantic challenge for us."
Analysis: The Vikings are bigger in the trenches, but Selinsgrove has the big-game experience and overall quickness to overcome the size differential. Wood has come a long way since an 0-2 start, but we think it comes up short here.
Pick: Selinsgrove, 27-21.
- Rick O'Brien