The great Berwick teams coached by the legendary George Curry and the powerful Strath Haven teams who both won multiple titles in the Class AAA ranks are often referred to as Dynasty’s. So with Thomas Jefferson winning their third championship in the past five seasons and second in a row you can let the TJ dynasty talk begin.
Senior quarterback Tyler Wehner sat painfully by and watched the Jaguars win a title last year without him. After game seven he was suspended from the team for violating team rules. Wehner apologized to his teammates and was let back on the team. Wehner is happy and so are the Jaguars as Wehner had a hand in all five of the Jaguars touchdowns as he led Thomas Jefferson to a 34-7 win over Archbishop Wood on Friday night at Hersheypark Stadium.
Wehner ran for two scores and threw for three more for the (15-1) Jaguars. Wehner completed 8 of 13 passes for 156 yards and he rushed for 37 yards on 16 carries. The night started off rough for the Vikings as Patrick McFadden fumbled the opening kickoff and the Jaguars recovered at the Vikings 27. Wehner hit junior star wide receiver Jim Giansante for 22-yards on the first play and then the senior signal caller called his own number from 5-yards out and the Jags quickly led 7-0. Archbishop Wood came back to score on a Sean McCartney touchdown pass to make it 7-7. Little did the Vikings know that would be the end of the scoring for the evening.
Wehner would hit four-star tight end Brock DeCicco, a Pittsburgh recruit for two touchdowns. On the first score DeCicco made a circus catch in the middle of three Viking defenders. The second touchdown came when 5-foot-8 Scott Adkins was covering the 6-foot-5 DeCicco man for man. DeCicco skied over the diminutive defender later in the first half to give the Jaguars a 28-7 lead entering the half.
The second half featured another Wehner touchdown run to set the final at 34-7. The Jaguars then started riding the legs of senior tailback Brian Baldrige who carried 17 times for 120 yards on the night. He finished his senior season with 2,312 yards. It was bittersweet for Baldrige who missed the 2007 championship run with a knee injury.
Jaguars head coach Bill Cherpak became the first head coach from the WPIAL to win three PIAA titles. Cherpak has led his team to a remarkable 70-6 record and three state championships in the past five years. The Jaguars finished the season (15-1). Their only loss was on opening weekend at The Friends of Coal Classic in Wheeling, West Virginia against Ohio power Glenville.