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Imhotep-Cathedral Prep Class 4A football championship preview

IMHOTEP CHARTER (13-0) vs. CATHEDRAL PREP (13-0). Thursday, 7 p.m., at HersheyPark Stadium. TV: Live on the Pennsylvania Cable Network.


Thursday, 7 p.m., at HersheyPark Stadium.

TV: Live on the Pennsylvania Cable Network.

History. In last year's Class 3A final, Imhotep blasted Cathedral Prep, 40-3, for its first state crown.

How they got here: Imhotep downed District 11's Bethlehem Catholic, 24-13; District 10's Cathedral Prep topped District 3's Berks Catholic, 28-14.

About Imhotep: The Panthers, under first-year boss Mark Schmidt, are making their third appearance in a state final. They bowed to District 7's South Fayette, 41-0, in Class 2A in 2013. . . . Imhotep has outscored its foes by 542-53. In averaging 41.7 points, its offense has been sparked by quarterback Nasir Boykin, running backs Amir Lewis, Isheem Young, and Chris Wells and receivers Justin Harris and Aamir Brown. Boykin, a southpaw, connected on 11 of 18 passes for 190 yards and a score against Bethlehem Catholic. He clinched the win over the Golden Hawks with a 39-yard TD run. Young, a 5-foot-11, 195-pound junior and Division I prospect as a free safety, carried 15 times for 122 yards and a score. . . . The Panthers' imposing offensive line is anchored by tackle Justin Johnson (6-7, 335), center Brashon McCrae (6-2, 290), and guard Arick Lochetto (5-11, 250). . . . Imhotep's defensive line features middle guard Jalen Denby, tackle Saleem Lockett and ends Kamal Harrison and Omar Speights. Speights (6-2, 230) is a rising sophomore and Division I prospect. Linebacker Amin Black recently picked up a scholarship offer from Villanova. . . . The hard-hitting Young has 20-plus scholarship offers, including from Alabama, Florida State, Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State. . . . Schmidt guided Neshaminy to a 15-0 record and the 2001 Class 4A state title with a 21-7 win over District 7's Woodland Hills. Three years later, his Redskins advanced to the final before falling to District 7's Pittsburgh Central Catholic, 49-14.

About Cathedral Prep: In his 15th season in charge of the Ramblers, Mike Mischler has compiled a 157-39 record. . . . The Ramblers have reached the state final for the sixth time and the third in the last five seasons. They last took top honors with a 24-14 win over Archbishop Wood in the 2012 Class 3A final. . . . Junior quarterback Joe Mischler, the coach's son, has thrown for 2,753 yards and 37 TDs. His top target, Tyler Oedekoven, has 47 catches for 1,111 yards and 16 scores. Running backs Matt Lupo and Billy Lucas have totaled 1,608 yards and 27 TDs. Fredrick Scruggs, a 6-3, 265-pound offensive guard, has offers from Michigan State, Penn State, and Ohio State, among others. . . . Cathedral Prep's defense is keyed by linebacker Matt Bauer, a 6-3, 215-pound junior who has committed to Notre Dame. Support comes from fellow linebackers Jerry Roberts and Kyle Carter. Scruggs doubles as a defensive end. . . . Anthony Lupo has converted 65 of 68 extra-point attempts.

Pick: Imhotep, 34-28.

- Rick O'Brien