A few days after Halloween, Sasquatch, also known as Bigfoot, surfaced in Warminster, found his way to Archbishop Wood, and walked into a film session for the Vikings' offensive linemen.
"He scared the hell out of me," Wood assistant coach Mike Carey said. "It was the coolest costume I've ever seen."
Inside that costume was Wood's Chris O'Connor, a 6-foot-7, 278-pound guard. It was Carey, the squad's defensive coordinator and offensive-line coach, who had nicknamed the hulking senior "Bigfoot."
"My mom [Anita] found the costume online," O'Connor said. "Coach Carey was pretty surprised. He laughed about it."
The nickname fits. The 18-year-old, called "Sasquatch" by teammates, wears size-16 shoes.
"I don't know where my height came from," he said. "My dad [Matt] is 6-foot-1; my mom is 5-foot-2."
Friday night, with O'Connor positioned at strong-side guard, Wood (11-2) will face District 11's Allentown Central Catholic (9-5) in a PIAA Class AAA state semifinal. The contest is set for 7 p.m. at Bethlehem Liberty's Frank Banko Field.
"I've always been kind of tall for my age," O'Connor continued. "Going into ninth grade, I had a huge growth spurt. I went from being 6-foot-2 to about 6-foot-5."
Since O'Connor was moved from tackle to guard after a Week 6 loss to St. Joseph's Prep, the Vikings have scored an average of 46 points.
"I think I'm better suited to playing guard, mostly because I'm best at being a drive-blocker," he said.
For his efforts in helping Wood defend its Catholic League Class AAA title, O'Connor earned second-team all-league honors. He started 10 games at guard last season.
"Chris is playing his best football right now," Wood coach Steve Devlin said. "He's got good flexibility. He's learned how to get low and use his positioning to succeed."
O'Connor is joined up front by center Fran Walsh (6-1, 245), fellow guard Diego Racanco (6-1, 235), tackles George Griffin (6-4, 285) and Ryan Bates (6-5, 260), and tight ends Nick Arcidiacono (6-4, 240) and Shane Neher (6-4, 230).
"We've come together real well as a unit," O'Connor said. "When we're blowing people off the ball like we've been doing, it's tough to beat us."
From last year's state-championship squad, Wood sent two offensive linemen to the Division I-A college ranks: Frank Taylor (Boston College) and Brandon Arcidiacono (Rutgers). Tight end Colin Thompson is at Florida.
"It's great practicing with players like that," O'Connor said. "You really learn a lot when it comes to technique and leverage."
O'Connor's approach to clearing space for tailback Andrew Guckin and protecting quarterback Tom Garlick?
"I try to beat up the guy I'm going against," he said. "I want to get him to the point where he doesn't want to play anymore. I want to see the look of defeat on his face."
The Warrington resident, an erstwhile basketball player, has scholarship offers from Lafayette and Lehigh. William and Mary, Coastal Carolina, Monmouth, and Villanova also have been in contact.
When his football days end, O'Connor might switch to protecting the public. His father, an ex-Wood fullback, is a lieutenant with the Doylestown Township police department.
"Yeah, I could see myself following in his footsteps," the younger O'Connor said. "I'm thinking of majoring in criminal justice in college."
Humble resigns. Jeff Humble has stepped down as Penn Charter's football coach after five seasons.
"I felt it was time to spend more time with my family," he said. "It was a great experience being the head coach at Penn Charter."
Humble compiled a 23-26 overall record. This season, the Quakers went 5-4 overall and 2-3 in the Inter-Ac League.