Since Episcopal Academy's season ended in early November, when Coatesville and Archbishop Wood were just starting their drives toward Hershey, the Churchmen's banner campaign got somewhat lost in the shuffle.
To refresh your memory, the Churchmen (quietly?) went 10-0, captured their first outright Inter-Ac League championship since 1982, and outscored foes by a combined 368-35.
Since the Inter-Ac is not part of the PIAA, the folks in Newtown Square were left to wonder how the squad would have fared, if slotted by enrollment in Class AA, against the likes of Imhotep Charter and West Catholic.
For posting the best mark in program history, Episcopal, guided by second-year coach Todd Fairlie, is The Inquirer's Southeastern Pennsylvania football team of the year.
A potent offense was led by quarterback Adam Strouss, the Inter-Ac's most valuable player, wingback Ian Strain, fullbacks Anthony Feliziani and Cody Russell, and wideout Quinn Hager.
A 3-4 defense that registered six shutouts was spearheaded by ends Dante Addona and Evan Butts, linebackers Matt McLaughlin and Teddy Ibarguen, and cornerback Terrell Smith. Only once did the unit give up more than a touchdown in a game.
Coach of the year. With apologies to Fairlie, the nod goes to Coatesville boss Matt Ortega.
After a 2-2 start, the explosive Red Raiders won 11 straight games before bowing to District 7's North Allegheny, 63-28, in the Class AAAA state final at Hersheypark Stadium.
"Our senior leadership was awesome," Ortega said. "The kids kept believing in the program and coaching staff. They bought into what we were doing."
Early in the season, Coatesville's spread attack featured a fairly steady dose of power-running plays. Ortega switched things up in Week 5, calling for more quick-tempo, four-receiver sets. That worked better with this speed-laden group.
Quarterback Emmett Hunt spread the ball among wideouts Chris Jones, Dre Boggs, Vinnie Williams and Jay Stocker and tight end Tyler Burke. That was mixed with carries from dangerous halfback Daquan Worley.
Since coming to Coatesville from William Penn-York in 2009, Ortega has gone 35-14. The 38-year-old, a Steelton native, played free safety at St. Francis (Pa.).
Game of the year. In the Catholic League Class AAAA final, La Salle nipped archrival St. Joseph's Prep, 28-27, in overtime before an overflow crowd at Plymouth Whitemarsh.
Sean Coleman made four TD catches, including a 5-yarder in the extra session, to spark the Explorers to their fifth straight league title.
Comeback player of the year. After having his appendix removed and sitting out the first two games of the season, Andrew Guckin played a starring role in Archbishop Wood's drive to the Class AAA state final.
In 13 games, Guckin carried 219 times for 1,979 yards and 30 TDs. Also solid as a linebacker, he rushed for a school-record 345 yards in a 56-35 romp over Bonner-Prendergast.
Rookie of the year. Josh Adams made quite a splash after arriving at Central Bucks South from Tamanend Middle School. The bruising sophomore netted 2,085 yards and 28 TDs on 257 attempts.
Freshman of the year. In 10 outings, Brandon McIlwain, a ninth grader at Council Rock North, completed 105 of 213 passes for 1,370 yards and nine TDs. He also rushed 165 times for 715 yards and 11 TDs.
Most emotional game. Three days after his brother and teammate Cole died from an apparent suicide, Chase Luxton caught a TD pass, the first of his varsity career, to propel Springfield (Montco) to an 18-6 win over Norristown.
Best defensive effort. La Salle, in handing District 11's Parkland a 28-7 defeat in a Class AAAA state quarterfinal, racked up 11 sacks. End Jon Naji took down QB Tim Baranek five times.
Biggest upset. In a District 1 Class AAAA first-round playoff, No. 16 seed Wissahickon shocked top-seeded and previously unbeaten Downingtown East, 38-35.