BETHLEHEM, Pa. - There weren't many surprises Friday night at Frank Banko Field in Bethlehem. Allentown Central Catholic quarterback Brendan Nosovitch came exactly as advertised.
He can run, he can break tackles, and he can throw - and he did all with a convincing amount of confidence and authority.
And like most of Archbishop Wood's top players, he'll be back next year.
If Archbishop Wood can take solace in anything after a tough, 49-27 loss to Central Catholic in Friday night's PIAA Class AAA semifinals, it's the fact that they have a good chance of seeing the same team again this time next year.
Archbishop Wood returns a strong core of players next season, including the dynamic running back duo of cousins Desmon and Brandon Peoples, strong safety Kyle Adkins, and two Division I recruits in two-way end Colin Thompson and two-way lineman Frank Taylor.
As long as it can stay healthy, Archbishop Wood (13-1) should again be one of the most feared teams in the state.
Wood's offense was hindered - and it showed Friday night - by the loss of Desmon Peoples for the postseason. Peoples rushed for 1,349 yards and 15 touchdowns in nine games before fracturing two bones in his foot against Cardinal O'Hara in the final game of the regular season. Those numbers were good enough to earn him Catholic League MVP honors.
In his absence, Brandon Peoples went over 100 yards in all three postseason games, finishing the playoffs with 63 carries for 432 yards.
The cousins should make for the most lethal running-back duo in the area next season.
But if Wood makes it deep into the playoffs again next season, a familiar group at Allentown will likely be waiting.
Central Catholic (15-0) returns Nosovitch, a junior, and both of his top targets, Jalen Snyder-Scipio and Kevin Gulyas, who are also juniors.
Nosovitch has 64 touchdowns this season, including two rushing and five passing against Archbishop Wood.
So if there weren't many surprises for Archbishop Wood on Friday night, there will be even less if they play Central Catholic next season.