Dontae Mason clutched green Gatorade bottles in each fist as he dragged his weary body near the Bishop McDevitt bench after authoring the game's pivotal touchdown.
Marian Catholic from District 11 had just seized third-quarter momentum by returning a blocked punt for a touchdown, cutting the Lancers' lead at the Northwest Super Site to just eight points.
Mason, however, returned the ensuing kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown, crisscrossing the field for his second return touchdown of the quarter, and helping the Lancers pull away to a 35-19 victory Friday night in PIAA State Class A first-round action.
"I was exhausted," said Mason, a 5-foot-9, 160-pound senior. "I ran from one side of the field to the other side, reading blocks, trying to find holes. It just worked out perfectly."
Mason had also returned the opening kickoff of the second half for an 86-yard touchdown. Additionally, he caught a 55-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter, finished with eight tackles on defense, played special teams, and was the holder for extra points.
But fatigue gave way to another emotion after the game.
"This feeling is awesome," he said. "Just to be able to win another game and go deeper in the state playoffs is a blessing."
McDevitt (6-6, 1-3) used stingy first-half defense to take control of the game. The Lancers allowed just three yards of offense in the first quarter (eight passing, minus-five rushing) and 95 total yards by intermission, when McDevitt led, 7-0.
Marian Catholic (8-5, 5-4) was led by K.J. Snerr's 121 rushing yards. However, its passing attack finished just 4 of 20 for 37 yards.
The Lancers defense was led by Amir Lockhart, who had two sacks, while Vince Dileo and Jaron Macon each added an interception. Macon's theft was a fourth-quarter pick-six that sealed the victory and gave McDevitt its fourth takeaway of the game.
Max Bryson passed for 142 yards and two touchdowns. Jayvonne Campfield also caught a touchdown pass and recovered a fumble.
"This just feels awesome," Mason said. "It's been my dream to just keep playing in the state playoffs. The team said we have to keep going and I said 'Come on, let's do it!' "
Marian Catholic 0 0 13 6 - 19
Bishop McDevitt 7 0 21 7 - 35
BM: Dontae Mason 55 pass from Max Bryson (Alex Wilson kick)
BM: Mason 86 kickoff (Wilson kick)
BM: Jayvonne Campfield 15 pass from Bryson (Wilson kick)
MC: K.J. Snerr 4 run (Snerr kick)
MC: Aaron Deangelo blocked punt return (kick failed)
BM: Mason 87 kickoff return (Wilson kick)
MC: Ethan Kuczynski 4 run (run failed)
BM: Jaron Macon 25 interception return (Wilson kick)