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Wood's season was dominant

The question wasn't if they would win. It was by how many.

Quarterback Joey Monaghan led a Viking offense that averaged 46.6 points a game. (David M Warren/Staff file photo)
Quarterback Joey Monaghan led a Viking offense that averaged 46.6 points a game. (David M Warren/Staff file photo)Read more

The question wasn't if they would win. It was by how many.

Save for a taut, Week 1 loss to Pittsburgh Central Catholic, which included a controversial missed field goal in the late going, that's how the 2011 campaign went for talent-filled Archbishop Wood.

You want dominance? After returning from Western Pennsylvania, the Vikings won their next 14 games by a combined score of 682-104. In five playoff contests, they triumphed by 309-56.

The season ended in fitting fashion, with Wood clobbering Harrisburg's Bishop McDevitt, 52-0, at Hersheypark Stadium to capture the program's first PIAA Class AAA state championship.

For putting aside three close-but-no-cigar showings and storming to the top of the mountain, Archbishop Wood, guided by fifth-year boss Steve Devlin, is The Inquirer's Southeastern Pennsylvania football team of the year.

An offense that averaged 46.6 points was spurred by the Peoples cousins, tailback Desmon and fullback Brandon; southpaw quarterback Joey Monaghan; and receivers Nate Smith and Kyle Adkins.

An incredibly stout defense, guided by second-year coordinator Mike Carey, yielded only 8.3 points per game and notched five shutouts.

Coach of the year. With apologies to Devlin, who has a 59-11 career mark, North Penn's Dick Beck gets the nod here.

After a 1-2 start, the Knights won 12 straight to make it to Hershey for the first time since earning statewide glory in 2003. District 3's Central Dauphin, managing the snow and clock a shade better, ended the streak with a 14-7 triumph.

Beck, with help from coordinator Ed Harkins, ironed out the kinks in a defense that gave up 44 points to La Salle in Week 1 and 51 to St. Joseph's Prep in Week 3. Beck had to deal with injuries to at least three starters.

In 10 seasons at the school, Beck, a lineman at Central Bucks West and Temple, is 119-21 (.850 winning percentage).

Comeback player of the year. After sitting out last season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament, Central Bucks South's Dan Brown carried 213 times for 1,875 yards and 37 touchdowns. Overall, the 5-foot-11, 185-pound senior notched an area-best 44 scores.

Best finish. On Oct. 22, Frankford put together an 11-play, 80-yard scoring drive in the closing minutes to beat George Washington, 21-20, and claim the Public League Class AAAA Gold Division regular-season crown.

Newcomer of the year. Frankford's Tim DiGiorgio, a junior southpaw playing varsity ball for the first time, threw for 2,317 yards and 30 TDs while leading the Pioneers to an 8-3 record and the Public League final.

Run of the year. With La Salle leading Nazareth by 35-33 in a Class AAAA state quarterfinal, Tim Wade, on fourth and 1, burst through the hole and dashed 56 yards for a clinching TD.

Rookie of the year. With his solid play at running back and cornerback, freshman John Reid helped St. Joseph's Prep to a 7-4 record. One of his four interceptions came in a Thanksgiving Day triumph over Malvern Prep.

Best come-from-behind win. Down by 26-0 at halftime, Hatboro-Horsham rallied to beat host Frankford, 27-26, in Week 1.

Best feel-good story. Colin Thompson and Wood's other players embraced John Shulby, who has Down syndrome, as part of the team. Thompson and Shulby, proudly wearing his No. 99 jersey at games, became friends while attending Doylestown's Holicong Middle School.