PIAA Class AA Championship Preview
Curtis Drake
Curtis Drake
Regional Recruiting Manager
Posted Dec 13, 2008
Bob Lichtenfels


This game is an interesting match-up featuring a Philadelphia Catholic league squad trying to become the first league team to win a PIAA football title and a District Ten team that has a chance at redemption after failing to make it to Hershey last season.

Wilmington Greyhounds (14-1) vs. West Catholic Burrs (14-1)

Time: 1:00 p.m. at Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey, Pa.

Media: Televised on PCNTV

Fast Fact: West Catholic is looking to become the first Philadelphia Catholic league team to win a PIAA football championship. Wilmington lost in the western Finals last season to eventual state champion Jeannette. Jeannette was led by now starting Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor.

Wilmington

OFFENSE: Wilmington runs a Wing-T offense and they certainly have plenty of firepower to do it right. The Greyhounds are led by junior fullback Derrick Burns (5-10/195). Burns has gained 1,403 yards and scored 20 touchdowns on 168 carries. Sophomore Sutton Whiting (5-7/150) will see the bulk of the carries from the wing. He ran for 834 yards and 12 touchdowns on 108 carries this season. Junior Jake DeMedal (6-1/170) adds depth with his 389 yards and six touchdowns on 66 carries.

Shane Wagner (5-11/175) has taken over the reins at quarterback. He has completed 88 of 171 passes for 1,333 yards and 21 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Wagner has a very talented trio of receivers to throw the ball to the smallest being Carson Sharbaugh (6-4/200). Sharbaugh has caught 18 passes for 308 yards and four touchdowns. Matt Wagner is a match-up nightmare with his (6-6/180) frame. Wagner has caught 31 passes for 429 yards and eight touchdowns. Wilmington has a nice target at tight end Dallas Hartman who (6-5/235) has caught 10 passes for 281 yards and five touchdowns.

DEFENSEThe Greyhounds defense like their offense is led by Burns who recorded 93 tackles as a linebacker in the Wilmingto 4-4 alignment. Sharbaugh is also a leader on defense with his 74 tackles. Defensive tackle Clint DeRosa (6-0/242) has recorded 74 tackles.

What To Expect: The Wing-T can give teams fits, no matter how fast they are. The misdirection of the Wing-T may actually benefit Wilmington against a much more athletically gifted West Catholic squad. If the Greyhounds can establish the run and set-up its play action package they may have a chance in this one.

West Catholic

Offense: The Burrs may feature the most explosive offense in the state. They have scored an astounding 741 points and rushed for more than 5,500 yards this season. The Burrs offense starts with Penn State commit Curtis Drake (6-0/165) at quarterback. Drake has thrown for 1,292 yards and 15 touchdowns. He has only thrown three interceptions all season. If Drake doesn’t beat you via the air he’ll get you with his legs. Drake has run for 1,527 yards and 21 touchdowns on 99 carries.

As if Drake was not enough the Burrs also feature a D-I prospect at tailback Rob Holloman. The speed merchant who is not a big back at (5-9/150) has gained 1,821 yards and has scored an amazing 41 touchdowns on 136 carries. The Burrs are not all small in the offensive backfield as Raymond Maples (6-1/200) provides the size and power. Maples has run for 1,132 yards and 16 touchdowns on 122 carries. Eric Young (5-9/160) is the Burrs leading receiver with 18 catches for 540 yards and nine touchdowns. The offensive line is anchored by (6-0/280) Victor McNair.

Defense: The Burrs are solid on defense led by junior defensive tackles Jake Zusek (6-2/290) and John Rupert (5-9/290). Also suring up the defensive front is end Chris Williams (6-2/215). Williams has tallied 60 tackles this season. Junior linebacker Dante Dickens is the Burrs leading tackler with 79 stops. Holloman is the leader in the secondary with five interceptions.

What To Expect: No one has stopped the Burrs offense this season except LaSalle. Since the loss the Burrs have been unstoppable. This could be a coming out party for Curtis Drake as thousands of Penn State fans across the state will likely tune in to see what he is made of. If the Burrs can contain the Wilmington Wing-T this one could get ugly.

PREDICTION : West Catholic 35 Wilmington 21



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