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St. Joseph's Prep rolls into 6A semifinals

D'Andre Swift had an another stellar outing for St. Joseph's Prep on Saturday afternoon in a PIAA Class 6A state quarterfinal against Parkland.

D'Andre Swift had an another stellar outing for St. Joseph's Prep on Saturday afternoon in a PIAA Class 6A state quarterfinal against Parkland.

The dynamic tailback gained most of the glory by carrying 18 times for a career-high 318 yards and two touchdowns in the Hawks' 38-17 triumph over the Trojans at Northeast.

As satisfying as the performance was for Swift, who was mobbed by well-wishers afterward, senior offensive lineman Jackson Evans was just as thrilled.

"There's nothing more rewarding than watching D'Andre run down the field and then get to celebrate with him in the end zone," he said.

With the 6-foot-4, 295-pound Evans as a season-long stalwart at left guard, the Prep is headed back to the state semifinals for the third time in the last four seasons.

"He's probably the most consistent player we have when it comes to his approach to the game," Hawks coach Gabe Infante said. "And he's a compassionate kid. He's shown that he genuinely cares for his teammates."

The Hawks (12-0) will take on District 1 champion North Penn (14-0) at 5 p.m. Saturday at Northeast for the chance to play for their third state crown on Dec. 10 in Hershey.

"It's a great feeling to be in this position," Evans said. "North Penn is very good, so we have to get back to work in practice and be prepared for them."

Evans, a second-year starter who is first-team all-Catholic League Red Division, has especially strong football bloodlines.

His father, Patt, who coaches the Prep's tight ends and long-snappers, starred at Strath Haven and the University of Minnesota and was a member of the developmental squad for the Dallas Cowboys.

His grandfather, Mike Evans, played at Boston College and was a center for the Eagles from 1968 to 1973.

"One of the great things about my family is that they never tried to push me into playing football," Jackson Evans said. "They said, 'Do whatever makes you happy.' I play because I genuinely like the game."

Evans was joined up front against District 11's Parkland (10-4) by fellow guard Carter Lynch, tackles Sal Cinaglia and Taron Hampton, center Mack Grey, and tight ends Jack Crossed and Nick DiPrinzio.

The Prep's Marquez McCray, who opened the scoring on an 11-yard keeper, connected on 12 of 16 passes for 142 yards. He hooked up with wideout Terrance Greene for TDs of 48 and 14 yards.

With the aid of two fumble recoveries and a blocked punt, the Trojans did all of their scoring in the first half and trailed by only 24-17 at the break. The Hawks gained breathing room on Swift's 6-yard TD run (he had a 59-yard jaunt three plays earlier) late in the third stanza.

A Prep defense that held Parkland to minus-23 yards rushing and 142 passing was led by linemen Chris Lowndes, Ryan Bryce (11/2 sacks), Jake Ballard, and Rayshad Wallace. Linebacker Phil O'Connor and safety Dejuan Dandridge made interceptions.

Evans is mulling scholarship offers from Air Force, Bucknell, Lafayette, and Lehigh.

Parkland 10 7 0 0 - 17

St. Joseph's Prep 14 10 7 7 - 38

SJP: Marquez McCray 11 run (Anthony Tigano kick)

P: FG Brian Hanton 41

SJP: Terrance Greene 48 pass from McCray (Tigano kick)

P: Ethan Imler fumble recovery in end zone (Hanton kick)

SJP: FG Tigano 35

SJP: D'Andre Swift 21 run (Tigano kick)

P: Juan Salas-Negron 8 pass from Mike Ruisch (Hanton kick)

SJP: Swift 6 run (Tigano kick)

SJP: Greene 14 pass from McCray (Tigano kick)