Weather many times gets little attention when determining a football game, but on a rainy, raw night at J.T. Flaherty Field at Delone Catholic High School in McSherrystown, the sloppy conditions gave both top-seeded Delone Catholic and Steel High fits all night in the 1A District 3 championship.
It marked the third year in a row that the Squires have made the finals coming up a whisker short in 2018 to York Catholic and then to Upper Dauphin last year. And it was Steel High who came out sluggish, turning the football over twice early which led to an early Squire touchdown. Delone Catholic had a chance to put the Rollers in a deep hole after a second turnover gave Delone a short field. But the Rollers got a key defensive stop and drove the field to knot the score at 7-7 at the end of the first quarter.
From that point on, the Squires never had field position again as the Roller defense controlled the line of scrimmage and grounded Delone’s Wing T offense that got quite predictable to be fair. With a wet football, Delone could not threaten Steel High deep, and the Rollers crowded the box with nine defenders and just stymied the Squire’s running game.
Delone Catholic also turned the wet football over four times and had more than 120 yards of penalties – several personal fouls and pass interference calls that kept momentum on Steel High’s side through the final three quarters. Rollers’ running back Odell Greene had 154 yards gritty on the muddy ground, and he was the difference maker that doomed the Squires, 23-13.
“My seniors thought they were not going to get the chance to play their senior season. They are immensely grateful to have been able to play,” head coach Corey Zortman said afterwards in the soaking rain. “I wanted to win this for the kids, but I am super proud of them.”
By Chris Heisey, The Catholic Witness