Archbishop Wood reaches state semifinals

Archbishop Wood's Jarrett McClenton (center) tries to outmaneuver Academy Park defenders Brian Ingram (left) and Jeff DeVaughn (second from right). CHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer
Archbishop Wood's Jarrett McClenton (center) tries to outmaneuver Academy Park defenders Brian Ingram (left) and Jeff DeVaughn (second from right). CHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer
Posted: November 30, 2013

Luke Spahits knew where he was going after he scored.

Archbishop Wood's senior fullback knew who deserved credit for those touchdowns. He made quick U-turns after his first two scores and found an offensive lineman running toward him, ready to catch him in his celebratory leap.

As it did after Spahits' first two scores, the offensive line carried Archbishop Wood in Friday's state Class AAA quarterfinal against Academy Park at Northeast, setting up six rushing touchdowns in a 42-14 win.

"I owe it all to them," Spahits said. "They make all the holes. They're huge and they do their job. All thanks goes to them."

Spahits ran for 43 yards and three touchdowns on seven carries while backfield mate Jarrett McClenton picked up 145 yards and a TD on 12 rushes.

"I really think the lines were the equalizer in the game," offensive lineman Deion Oliver said.

Archbishop Wood (11-2), the Inquirer's second-ranked team in Southeastern Pennsylvania, dominated the line of scrimmage with its defense as well. The Vikings shut down Jerry Lanier, the second-leading rusher in the area, and the Academy Park offense for most of the night.

The Knights (10-3), ranked 13th by The Inquirer in Southeastern Pennsylvania, picked up only 60 yards and three first downs, with 62 yards coming on two late scoring drives.

"Our defense never came to play like that before," Spahits said. "Everyone was just excited and came together. We were yelling, we were screaming, and we were really just having so much fun. . . . That was the spark."

With the win, Archbishop Wood advanced to next weekend's state semifinals, where it will face Berwick, which beat Clearfield, 44-7, Friday. Wood appeared in the last two AAA championships, winning in 2011.

"It's insane," said Spahits, who transferred from Hatboro-Horsham before the season. "If we lose, we're done. You hand in your equipment and that's the end of my high school career."

If his offensive line plays anything like it did Friday, though, it will carry his career one week longer.

Academy Park 0 0 0 14 - 14

Archbishop Wood 14 7 14 7 - 42

AW: Luke Spahits 8 run (Dan McDonald kick)

AW: Spahits 13 run (McDonald kick)

AW: Jarrett McClenton 5 run (McDonald kick)

AW: Spahits 1 run (McDonald kick)

AW: Joe Dutkiewicz 4 run (McDonald kick)

AW: Dutkiewicz 6 run (McDonald kick)

AP: Jerry Lanier 2 run (run failed)

AP: Lanier 35 run (Lanier run)


ncarroll@phillynews.com

@NickJCarroll

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