Wood-Central Catholic a clash of big offenses
Archbishop Wood's long-awaited rematch with high-powered Allentown Central Catholic is here. Here is a closer look at the PIAA state Class AAA semifinal, scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday at Northeast:
Archbishop Wood's long-awaited rematch with high-powered Allentown Central Catholic is here.
Here is a closer look at the PIAA state Class AAA semifinal, scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday at Northeast:
Records. Wood is 12-1. Allentown Central Catholic, after a 2-5 start, is 9-5.
At stake. The right to represent the East against the winner of Friday night's semifinal between District 3's Bishop McDevitt, of Harrisburg, and District 7's Montour.
TV. The game will be televised live on The Comcast Network.
Standout. Central Catholic's Brendan Nosovitch, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound senior who accounted for 600 yards and seven touchdowns in last year's 49-27 win over Wood, has completed 228 of 367 passes for 3,541 yards and 37 touchdowns this season.
Nosovitch, ticketed for South Carolina, also has rushed 134 times for 841 yards and 14 TDs.
Receiving threats. Nosovitch's top targets are speedy wideouts Kevin Gulyas (113 catches for 1,956 yards, 26 TDs), Jalen Snyder-Scipio (67 for 1,123, 10), and Noah Robb (28 for 247, 1).
Ground game. Colin McDermott, a 5-11, 185-pound junior, is Central Catholic's go-to rusher. He has carried 253 times for 1,410 yards and 27 TDs.
Injury update. After sitting out last week's 41-22 win over Pottsgrove, linemen Frank Taylor (strained knee) and Nick Arcidiacono (groin) are expected to be back in Wood's lineup.
On the spot. Unless its front four can apply regular pressure on Nosovitch, Wood will need solid play from its defensive backs, including cornerbacks Kevin Sullivan and Ulis Jordan.
Analysis. Central Catholic is undersized on the line, which spells a big night for tailback Desmon Peoples and a comfortable Wood victory. The only question is how many times Nosovitch connects with Gulyas and Snyder-Scipio for TDs.
Pick: Wood, 45-21.