Bonner-Prendergast roars back to beat O'Hara, 41-38

Two-way threat Mike Ockimey's interception of an O'Hara pass late in the fourth quarter seals the win. The Friars' Kyle Dawson is also back in coverage.    
Two-way threat Mike Ockimey's interception of an O'Hara pass late in the fourth quarter seals the win. The Friars' Kyle Dawson is also back in coverage.     (   DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff)
Posted: November 05, 2013

Mike Ockimey ripped off his helmet as he raced from the corner of the end zone to the Bonner-Prendergast student section. He waved his hands above his head, urging the fans to believe, no matter what the scoreboard said, that this wasn't done yet.

By the time Ockimey's interception sealed Bonner-Prendergast's improbable 41-38 victory at Cardinal O'Hara in the Catholic League Class AAA semifinals Sunday, the fans did not needed any prodding to leave their seats.

Not after watching the Friars (3-7) erase a 35-7 halftime deficit to advance to their third straight AAA title game. Bonner-Prendergast plays five-time defending champion Archbishop Wood on Saturday.

Quarterback Collin DiGalbo threw for three touchdowns and ran for three more. He tossed two TD passes to Ockimey, including the one that made it 35-21 in the third quarter and prompted Ockimey's venture to the stands.

"Never give up. Just play to the end, that's what was going through my head," Ockimey said. "I wanted to motivate the crowd, the team."

DiGalbo went 16 for 25 for more than 300 yards. Ockimey caught six passes for 135 yards.

In the first meeting, a 36-35 O'Hara win in overtime, the Friars blew a 15-point lead in the final 11 minutes, and Ockimey was mostly shut down in the second half.

Coach Greg Bernhardt told him the game plan this time was to throw to him whether he was open or not.

That's what happened when the 6-foot-4 senior caught a jump ball over perfect coverage from Thadius Smith at the 21-yard line to set up DiGalbo's go-ahead touchdown run with 1 minute, 41 seconds left.

"He's a big guy, he can get up," DiGalbo said. "No matter who goes against him, I have confidence in him that he's going to go get the ball."

The Friars roughed the kicker twice, once leading to a touchdown in the first half, the other to a field goal that gave O'Hara (5-6) a 38-27 lead in the fourth quarter. They also had a two-point conversion run called back on a hold in the fourth quarter.

"These kids are going to fight, and they're going to battle, and they're going to push back and keep going," Bernhardt said. "That's the part that didn't surprise me."

After Bonner took the lead, Smith returned the kickoff into Friars territory, and O'Hara quickly moved into field-goal range. Ockimey made a shoestring interception of a third-down pass at the 4-yard line with 17 seconds left to seal the win.

Bonner-Prendergast    0 7 20 14 - 41

Cardinal O'Hara 14 21 0 3 - 38

CH: Dashawn Darden 12 run (Steve Weyler kick)

CH: Lamont Veal 67 run (Weyler kick)

CH: Jeffrey Driggins 4 pass from Darden (Weyler kick)

CH: JT Blyden 20 run (Weyler kick)

BP: Collin DiGalbo 7 run (Adam Robinson kick)

CH: Darden 1 run (Weyler kick)

BP: Kyle Dawson 36 pass from DiGalbo (Robinson kick)

BP: Mike Ockimey 27 pass from DiGalbo (Robinson kick)

BP: DiGalbo 14 run (kick failed)

CH: Weyler 29 FG

BP: Ockimey 31 pass from DiGalbo (pass failed)

BP: DiGalbo 1 run (DiGalbo run)

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