HERSHEY, Pa. - With an opportunistic offense and swarming defense, St. Joseph's Prep thoroughly dominated highly touted Pittsburgh Central Catholic to achieve perfection.
Neatly putting the finishing touches on a 14-0 campaign, the Hawks hammered the Vikings, 42-7, in the PIAA Class 6A final on Saturday night at chilly HersheyPark Stadium.
The Prep held District 7's Central Catholic, which went in averaging 48.9 points, to 133 yards rushing and 52 passing on 53 plays.
Gabe Infante's squad, which outscored its foes by 563-219 this year, captured its third state championship in four seasons.
"It's a great feeling for the senior class to go out like that," star running back D'Andre Swift said. "This was our goal, and we got it done."
The Hawks notched a pair of second-quarter touchdowns, taking advantage of a fumble recovery and a botched punt, to put the Vikings in a 14-0 hole.
On their first score, Swift followed linebacker Phil O'Connor's fumble recovery with a 34-yard TD burst.
Shortly after a flubbed punt gave the Prep the ball at the Central Catholic 35, quarterback Marquez McCray immediately connected with wideout Darryle Simmons along the right sideline for a 35-yard touchdown.
Some trickery gave the Hawks a three-TD cushion early in the third frame. Richard Carr accepted a pitch, rolled right, and tossed a 20-yard TD pass to fellow wideout Terrance Greene.
With just under 9 minutes left in the third quarter, Swift scored from the 1 to make it 28-0.
Central Catholic (14-2) finally found the scoreboard on Justice Evans' 19-yard burst at the end of the stanza. Greene returned the ensuing kickoff 94 yards to make it 35-7.
Swift carried 26 times for 140 yards and three scores. The Georgia recruit closed the scoring - and put the mercy rule into effect - on a 6-yard run with 3:58 to play.
"The score might not show it, but that was a good team we played," Swift said. "We just had a good game plan, buckled down, and went out there and got the job done."
Swift closed an outstanding high school career with 4,252 rushing yards. This season, despite being slowed by an ankle injury, he carried 148 times for 1,543 yards and 25 scores.
The Hawks' imposing offensive line was anchored by center Mack Grey, guards Jackson Evans and Carter Lynch, tackles Sal Cinaglia and Taron Hampton, and tight end Jack Crossed.
The defensive charge was anchored by linebackers James Johnson (13 tackles, with two sacks) and Bradley Cobaugh, ends Chris Lowndes and Rayshad Wallace, and strong safety Dillon DeIuliis.