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Archbishop Wood to play in Class 5A title game

Brandon and Nick Arcidiacono played key roles in Archbishop Wood's drive to a PIAA Class 3A state football championship in 2011.

Brandon and Nick Arcidiacono played key roles in Archbishop Wood's drive to a PIAA Class 3A state football championship in 2011.

Five years later, Matt and Brian Arcidiacono are hoping to become the latest family members to be part of a state-title squad.

With Matt Arcidiacono turning in another strong effort at tackle, the Vikings dismantled Academy Park, 37-0, in a Class 5A semifinal Friday at chilly Plymouth Whitemarsh.

Last year, Wood fell short of its ultimate goal when it fell to District 12 rival Imhotep Charter in a semifinal.

"We didn't want to experience the same feeling that we had after losing that game," Matt Arcidiacono said. "That was terrible."

At 7 p.m. next Friday at HersheyPark Stadium, Wood (10-2-1) will take on the winner of Saturday afternoon's semifinal between District 3's Harrisburg (10-3) and District 7's West Allegheny (13-0).

Coach Steve Devlin's squad is a victory away from its fourth state crown in six seasons. The Vikings also won Class 3A titles in 2013 and 2014. They advanced to the final in 2008, and 2012.

Matt Arcidiacono, a 6-foot-2, 225-pound senior, is a second-year starter on the offensive line. Brian Arcidiacano is a 6-2, 235-pound junior and reserve lineman.

Their father, Mark, starred at Father Judge and went on to play at Temple. He is the uncle of Ryan Arcidiacono of Villanova fame. His eldest son, Gavin, played at Wood. Another son, Mark, was a lineman at St. Joseph's and earned a scholarship to Penn State.

Against Academy Park, Matt Arcidiacono helped the Vikings total 214 rushing yards on 40 attempts.

"He isn't blessed with the size of Brandon or Nick, but he has the same toughness and mentality," Devlin said.

Wood took a 17-0 advantage in the opening quarter. A pair of 7-yard touchdown runs by Raheem "Speedy" Blacksheer was sandwiched by Dan Zanine's 26-yard field goal.

Quarterback Jack Colyar's 1-yard sneak and 16-yard pass to tight end Kyle Pitts made it 31-0 at intermission. Colyar hit on 6 of 10 throws for 98 yards in the first half.

Matt Arcidiacono was joined up front by fellow tackle Anthony Diodato, guards Albert Glasgow and Connor Bishop, center Tom Walsh, and ends Pitts and Bill Shaeffer.

"We wanted to make sure we got ahead and then controlled the clock," Devlin said. "We knew they were going to be in trouble if they had to play from behind."

Blackshear carried 20 times for 178 yards. Backfield partner Shawn Thompson closed the scoring with a 1-yard third-quarter run around right end.

Academy Park (13-2) made a deep run in the playoffs for the second straight season. Last year, the Knights went 13-0 before losing to eventual Class 3A state champ Imhotep Charter by 46-16 in the quarterfinals.

Jason Vosheski has guided the Knights to a 49-14 record (.778 winning percentage) over the last six seasons, with four campaigns of 10 or more victories.

Archbishop Wood 17 14 6 0 - 37

Academy Park 0 0 0 0 - 0

AW: Raheem Blackshear 7 run (Dan Zanine kick)

AW: FG Zanine 26

AW: Blackshear 7 run (Zanine kick)

AW: Jack Colyar 1 run (Zanine kick)

AW: Kyle Pitts 16 pass from Colyar (Zanine kick)

AW: Shawn Thompson 1 run (kick failed)