HERSHEY, Pa. - He had completed his longest pass of a forgettable night, but Jerry Rahill never saw it. Instead, he lay helmetless on the cold turf here at HersheyPark Stadium.
The smattering of Archbishop Wood fans cheered for Rahill as he stumbled off the field, woozy from a hit by Selinsgrove's Spencer Myers and dejected by a five-turnover performance.
It definitely was not the way the Vikings' star imagined his career ending.
"I don't really know," said Rahill, a senior. "It just didn't work out. I don't have much to say."
Rahill was intercepted four times and fumbled once in Wood's 28-0 defeat to Selinsgrove in the PIAA Class AAA state semifinal. He completed just 12 of 29 passes for 160 yards - and the majority of those yards came in the fourth quarter with the game already out of reach.
It was a far cry from the dazzling performances by Rahill that helped the Vikings advance this far. In the state quarterfinal against Pottsgrove, Rahill threw for 245 yards and scored three touchdowns. He also scored three times in the Catholic League title game against North Catholic.
But the Seals' defense bottled it all up. In 14 previous games, Selinsgrove had allowed just 89 total points. There was constant pressure on Rahill, and he rarely had a chance to set and throw.
"They're a good team," Rahill said. "They're tough kids, and they got the better of us. They put a lot of pressure. Our line did the best they could. It was just a little too much."
Four of Rahills' five turnovers came in the second half. After Wood forced a three and out on Selinsgrove's first possession of the second half, Rahill tried to set up a screen pass but threw it right to Seals lineman Jon Trego, who returned it 19 yards for a touchdown.
The offense never clicked for Wood. On the second play from scrimmage, the Vikings called time-out, clearly in disarray. Wood managed just 58 total first-half yards and Rahill was 2 of 10 for 22 yards.
"I'll live and die with Jerry Rahill at quarterback," Wood coach Steve Devlin said. "I wouldn't rather have anyone else there. He's such a great competitor. I love him to death."
On the final drive of the game, Rahill completed a 30-yard pass to Michael Downs, who was tackled at the Selinsgrove 1-yard line. The Vikings ran three plays and couldn't score.
Then, with one second left, Rahill threw his 29th and final pass, an incompletion out of the back of the end zone. The Selinsgrove celebration erupted around Rahill, who could only stand and watch in disbelief.