If you are playing a home game in November in the District 3 football championships, it means one thing – you have had quite a successful season. And that is what the Fighting Irish of York Catholic had this year.
On a calm but cold and frosty Friday night, Nov. 12, York Catholic beat the Trojans of Upper Dauphin in every aspect of the game to easily win, 35-8, to capture the District 3 Class 2A championship.
“It feels great,” Head Coach Eric DePew said after the game, drenched by cold water after his elated players dumped the cooler on him in celebration. “We had a bad taste from last season’s championship [a loss to Camp Hill]. From day one, these kids talked about winning the District 3 championship. And they did it. This is just a great group of kids to coach.”
Upper Dauphin was no slouch coming in. Averaging nearly 50 points a game, the Trojans use every trick in the book offensively, totally designed around counter misdirection and stealth ball faking. The Fighting Irish held the potent Trojan offense scoreless the first half taking a 28-0 lead into halftime behind the stellar play of quarterback Levan McFadden, who directed the Irish offense with several great throws and nifty runs.
The Trojans also self-destructed with numerous motion penalties that put them in long yardage downs, and when they fell behind they turned the ball over to a York Catholic defense that hunted the ball on every down.
The 10-0 Fighting Irish celebrated heartily after the game with a sense of satisfaction in avenging last season’s district disappointment. In the state quarterfinals, the Fighting Irish fell 24-7 to the Burrs of West Catholic in Philadelphia, which is a program familiar with playing deep into the state playoffs every season. Class 2A football in Pennsylvania is loaded with programs that win convincingly at every level, with the likes of Southern Columbia, Mount Carmel, Beaver Falls, and West Catholic.
York Catholic belongs in that great class above. They have had the successful seasons to prove it, and one gets the feeling that a signature win at the next level is a taste not so far off for the Fighting Irish.
(Photos by Chris Heisey, The Catholic Witness.)
By Chris Heisey, The Catholic Witness