Expect Wood, Imhotep romps

Wood tailback Jarrett McClenton (right) is a spark on offense for the Vikings. CHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer
Wood tailback Jarrett McClenton (right) is a spark on offense for the Vikings. CHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer
Posted: December 07, 2013

There's little chance of Archbishop Wood, despite its size and speed advantage, taking Berwick lightly.

The District 2 champions are 14-0, have outscored foes by 571-148, have a rich history that includes six state titles, and are guided by Pennsylvania's all-time winningest coach.

Wood, in trying to move closer to its second PIAA Class AAA state championship in three seasons, will take on longtime coach George Curry and the Dawgs in a semifinal at 7 p.m. Friday at J. Birney Crum Stadium in Allentown.

Curry, in his 37th season at Berwick, has compiled a career record of 437-96-5. He won Class AAA titles in 1988, '92, '94, '95, '96, and '97.

His grandson, C.J., is a second-year starter at quarterback. This season, the 6-foot-2, 195-pound senior has completed 114 of 198 passes for 2,105 yards and 21 touchdowns.

"He's a good field general, always gets his teammates in the right position," Wood coach Steve Devlin said.

C.J. Curry is a capable passer, but the Dawgs, who line up in various formations, thrive with a power running game spearheaded by halfback Dain Kowalski (145 carries for 1,002 yards and 18 TDs) and fullback Jorden Stout (127 for 685, 11).

"In a way, they remind me of the old Central Bucks West teams," Devlin said. "They want to smash you and beat you at the point of attack."

C.J. Curry's primary targets are Andrew Force (32 catches for 808 yards and 8 TDs) and Kyle Trenholm (30 for 540, 6). Olivia Seely, a female placekicker, has made 61 extra-point tries.

Berwick's defense has yielded an average of 10.5 points, 119 yards rushing, and 84 yards passing per game.

Wood (11-2) is spurred by junior tailback Jarrett McClenton (113 for 1,289, four TDs) and an imposing line anchored by tackle Ryan Bates (6-5, 285), guard Deion Oliver (6-6, 288), and center Ryan Neher (6-3, 240).

It has been a stellar run for the Dawgs, but it ends here. The Vikings, with continued dominance in the trenches, easily advance.

Pick: Wood, 42-14.

Last week: 7-5. Overall: 100-34 (.746).

Saturday

PIAA Class AA state semifinal

Imhotep Charter (11-2) vs. Berks Catholic (14-0), at Governor Mifflin in Shillington, 3 p.m. The Panthers, after losing to District 3's Wyomissing in this round last year, are eager to move closer to their first title.

Berks Catholic, with a wing-T scheme, netted 308 yards rushing in last week's 33-6 pounding of Troy. The Saints rotate two quarterbacks (senior Matt Kase and junior Patrick Causa) and four running backs.

Chris Warren (104 carries for 971 yards, 19 touchdowns) and Pop Lacey (101 for 894, 10) lead the District 3 champs in rushing.

Imhotep has a number of offensive weapons, including QB Andre Dreuitt-Parks, tailback Nasir Bonner, and athletic receiver Denniston Moore.

The well-coached Saints play disciplined football but, with their lack of size, are in way over their heads against the Panthers.

Pick: Imhotep, 46-7.


robrien@phillynews.com

@ozoneinq

www.inquirer.com/ozone

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