Thomas Jefferson Jaguars (14-1) vs. Archbishop Wood Vikings (12-2)
Time: 7:00 p.m. at Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey, Pa.
Media: Televised on PCNTV
Fast Fact: Thomas Jefferson will be looking to repeat as PIAA Champions and win their third championship in the past four years.
OFFENSE: The strength of the Jaguars is always the running game. Head coach Bill Cherpak will tell you he wants to run the ball down your throat and you try and stop them. The ground game centers around senior running back Brian Baldrige. Baldrige has carried the ball 274 carries for 2,192 yards and 34 touchdowns in 15 games. He missed most of the Western Finals with a thumb injury, but the Jaguars showed that if they want to they can throw the rock.
Tyler Wehner is a mobile quarterback who makes things happen and the Jaguars have a number of targets that can hurt you. Tight end Brock DeCicco (6-5/230) is a four-star prospect who is headed to Pittsburgh. Junior standout Jim Giansante was the go-to guy in the Western Finals and he is the deep threat. The wildcard for the Jaguars is senior slot man Dan Virgin (6-0/175). No matter what the Jaguars do on offense it will all center around the offensive line led by offensive tackle Pat Eger (6-5/270) who is headed to West Virginia.
DEFENSEThe Jaguars use a suffocating defense that comes at you from all angles and loves to play smash mouth football. DeCicco is the leader of the defense. He is one of the best edge rushers in the state. Giansante is also a key cog in the Jaguars defensive scheme. Look for him to make his presence felt on special teams as well. He has big time return capabilities.
What To Expect: Thomas Jefferson will try and grind it out. The Jaguars love to run, run and run some more. But, that is where they get you. They will lull you to sleep and then hit the big play on you. If Baldrige returns to form you can expect him to get 20-30 carries. The Jaguars have a lot of returning players who have had a taste of the gold and that experience goes a long way.
Offense: The Archbishop Wood offense features a pretty balanced attack led by senior quarterback Sean McCartney (6-3/170). Senior tailback Sean Cunningham (6-0/200) leads a group of solid running backs. When McCartney goes to the air look for his favorite target to be Mike Maxwell (6-4/200). Maxwell is a talented senior who will present match-up problems. The Wood offensive line is led by Temple commitment Adam Citko (6-5/320).
Defense: The biggest star of the Vikings defense is also their smallest player defensive back Scott Adkins (5-8/145). Adkins was credited with a number of big hits and an interception to help seal up a tough win against Selinsgrove. Keep an eye out for two-way standout lineman Scott Kajmo (6-4/265)
What To Expect: The Vikings will come out with a ball control style of offense. They will pass, but it likely will not be often if Steve Devlin has his way. The Vikings are playing for the respect and honor of the entire Philadelphia Catholic League. That is a lot of burden for any team.
PREDICTION : Thomas Jefferson 28 Archbishop Wood 14