Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

St. Joseph's Prep-Central Catholic Class 6A football championship preview

ST. JOSEPH'S PREP (13-0) vs. PITTSBURGH CENTRAL CATHOLIC (14-1). Saturday, 8 p.m., at HersheyPark Stadium. TV: Live on the Pennsylvania Cable Network.


Saturday, 8 p.m., at HersheyPark Stadium.

TV: Live on the Pennsylvania Cable Network.

Radio: Live on 610-AM.

History: The Prep defeated Central Catholic, 35-10, in the 2013 Class 4A state final.

How they got here: The Prep turned back North Penn, 35-25; Central Catholic, of District 7, hammered District 3's Wilson, 63-21.

About the Prep: Gabe Infante has a 64-21 coaching record in seven seasons. . . . The Hawks, who have outscored foes, 521-212, this year, are bidding for their third state crown in four seasons. Their other 4A crown was gained in a 49-41 triumph over District 7's pine-Richland in 2014. . . . D'Andre Swift, ranked the No. 4 running back in the country by, has apparently made a full recovery from an ankle injury that slowed him in the middle of the season. The 5-foot-9, 215-pounder has carried 49 times for 586 yards and six touchdowns. Swift, who is ticketed for Georgia, has rushed for 4,112 yards in his career. . . . Junior Marquez McCray, a dual-threat quarterback, has thrown for nearly 2,000 yards and 20 TDs. He has carried 109 times for 368 yards and seven scores. His primary targets are Swift and wideouts Terrance Greene (42 catches for 656 yards, 8 TDs) and Darryle Simmons. . . . The Hawks' dominant offensive line is anchored by center Mack Grey (6-1, 280), guards Jackson Evans (6-4, 295) and Carter Lynch (6-6, 310), tackles Sal Cinaglia (6-3, 265) and Taron Hampton (6-3, 290), and tight end Jack Crossed (6-2, 210). . . . Defensively, the charge up front is led by tackles Ryan Bryce and Jake Ballard and ends Chris Lowndes and Rayshad Wallace. A rock-solid linebacking corps is made of Bradley Cobaugh, James Johnson and Phil O'Connor. Cobaugh has posted a team-high 81 tackles, with 47 solos. . . . The Hawks need to cut down on the penalties, as they were flagged eight times for 55 yards against North Penn. Swift's 50-yard, first-quarter TD burst was negated by an illegal procedure call.

About Central Catholic: Coach Terry Totten has a 137-20 record in 12 seasons with the Vikings. . . . Central Catholic has outscored its opponents, 734-214. It has won 14 straight games since a 35-14 loss to St. John's (D.C.). . . . The Vikings won their fourth Class 4A state title with last year's 21-18 victory over District 11's Parkland. They also won in 1988, 2004, and 2007. . . . Junior QB Troy Fisher has completed 78 of 135 passes for 1,754 yards and 22 TDs. Speedy tailback J.J. Younger has carried 163 times for 1,694 yards and 28 scores. Slot receiver Justice Evans has 38 receptions for 1,092 yards and 16 TDs. He's also a threat on the jet sweep run. . . . Central Catholic's offensive line is made up of center Donovan Slater (6-3, 285), guards Jake Trautman (6-4, 270) and Jake Hinish (6-3, 290), and tackles Kurt Hinish (6-3, 290) and C.J. Thorpe (6-5, 310). Thorpe has committed to Penn State. . . . Kurt Hinish, who doubles as a defensive tackle, and linebacker David Adams (6-2, 225) have both committed to Notre Dame. Another linebacker, Tim Terry, is always around the ball. . . . Ben DeSabato is 53 for 56 on extra-point kicks.

Pick: St. Joe's Prep, 24-20.

- Rick O'BrienEndText