ALLENTOWN - Luke Spahits couldn't avoid thinking about it.
A loss in Saturday's Class AAA state semifinals would have meant that the senior running back had to turn in his equipment Monday and his high school career would have been over. And the 40-mile drive from Archbishop Wood to Allentown's J. Birney Crum Stadium left him with nothing to do but think.
By the time he got off the road and onto the field, Spahits knew what he had to do. Behind his two kickoff-return touchdowns and his team's dominant performance in all three phases of the game, Spahits and Wood earned one last game Friday after the Vikings topped previously unbeaten Berwick, 42-14.
"I was just thinking about what I could do to help my team and what my job was for the game," Spahits said. "Just planning on a way to execute it."
Spahits returned two kickoffs 75 yards for touchdowns, and Jarrett McClenton had a 56-yard punt return to the 1-yard line to set up another score.
Wood coach Steve Devlin noticed on film that Berwick (14-1) always kicked toward its own sideline, so he set up a wall of blockers that way, leading to three long returns.
"It's one of those things when you draw it up you hope it works," he said. "It kind of worked a few times."
McClenton had 23 carries for 167 yards and two touchdowns, including a 57-yard score. On defense, defensive end Chris Gary recorded four of his team's nine sacks.
"We wanted to make a point tonight," Devlin said. "All we heard was about the physical play of Berwick and this and that, but we play some pretty good football in Philadelphia. We wanted to make a statement, and we did."
Wood (12-2) will play in its third straight Class AAA championship at 7 p.m. Friday at Hersheypark Stadium against Bishop McDevitt of Harrisburg.
The state championship will be an even longer bus ride for Spahits and Archbishop Wood, which won the state final in 2011 before losing last year.
After the game, Devlin talked to his team about how different the last two trips home were. Going to Hershey, though, is where Spahits and his teammates will focus on getting a win and, like Saturday, finding a way to do so.
Berwick 7 0 7 0 – 14
Archbishop Wood 14 14 7 7 – 42
AW: Jarrett McClenton 3 run (Dan McDonald kick)
B: Trent Force 32 pass from CJ Curry (Olivia Seely kick)
AW: Luke Spahits 75 kickoff return (McDonald kick)
AW: Tom Garlick 1 run (McDonald kick)
AW: McClenton 57 run (McDonald kick)
B: Ian Mazonkey 11 pass from Curry (Seely kick)
AW: Spahits 75 kickoff return (McDonald kick)
AW: Tyrone Dean 1 run (McDonald kick)