Pittsburgh CC offense rolls past Millionaires in quarters

Williamsport’s Isaiah Hankins (22) looks to run against Pittsburgh Central Catholic on Saturday at Aloona’s Mansion Park in the PIAA Class 6A quarterfinals. (KATELYN HIBBARD/Sun-Gazette)

Williamsport’s Isaiah Hankins (22) looks to run against Pittsburgh Central Catholic on Saturday at Aloona’s Mansion Park in the PIAA Class 6A quarterfinals. (KATELYN HIBBARD/Sun-Gazette)

ALTOONA — Pittsburgh Central Catholic had 43 seconds if it wanted to add a score before the half Saturday afternoon against Williamsport. The two-time defending PIAA champions needed only 33 seconds.

The Vikings scored quickly at every turn in yesterday’s PIAA Class 6A quarterfinal at Mansion Park. Eight times their offense scored yesterday. The special teams added another touchdown in a 62-21 dismantling which ended one of the best Millionaire seasons in recent memory.

Williamsport allowed 499 yards of offense Saturday and allowed 60 points for the second consecutive season in its season finale. A Millionaire offense averaging 500 yards and better than 48 points per game was held to just 245 yards and three touchdowns, two of which came against Central Catholic’s first-team defense.

Central Catholic advances to the 6A semifinals where it faces Wilson (West Lawn) — a 28-14 winner over Cumberland Valley — Saturday at 7 p.m. at Mansion Park. The winner advances to the state title game.

“They are who we thought they were. They’re a well put-together team,” said Williamsport head coach Chuck Crews. “It was a little role reversal for us. We’re used to being on the other side of the mercy rule. We got humbled a little bit. We’re walking out of here with our pupils dilated, but our heads held high.

Central Catholic’s bulldozer offensive line featuring five Division I FBS and FCS recruits was better than advertised. They allowed Younger to run free for many of his 10 carries, not even making contact with a defender until he reached the secondary. The senior running back gained 212 yards yesterday, scoring four touchdowns, all of which came in a five-carry span bridging the first and second quarters.

It was a worst-case-scenario kind of day for a Williamsport defense which had shown marked improvement over the previous five weeks. The Millionaires allowed 40 points or more for just the second time this year, and allowed 60 points for the first time since last season’s finale in the Eastern Conference playoffs against Emmaus.

But the group just didn’t have an answer to penetrate an offensive line that averaged 6-foot-3 and 287 pounds. Central Catholic averaged 11.1 yards on its 32 carries. The first-team offense averaged 15.3 yards on its 17 carries before being lifted in the third quarter after taking a 56-14 lead.

Younger scored on runs of 48-, 52-, 18- and 48-yards in a five-carry span which turned a 7-7 game into a 35-7 Central Catholic lead in a 6-minute, 59-second span of the first half.

“They have a bunch of great athletes,” Williamsport’s Kurt Danneker said. “They do what they do, and they do it well.”

“(Younger) got loose today,” Central Catholic head coach Terry Totten said. “We stressed all week that this is an aggressive, gambling defense that stunts gaps, and if we can get through and we have man coverage, he might have some room to roll.”

That Vikings offensive line features Penn State-bound C.J. Thorpe, Notre Dame recruit Kurt Hinish, Yale recruits Jake Hinish and Donovan Slater, and Fordham recruit Jake Trautman. Throw fullback David Green (6-foot-2, 260 pounds) and receiver Evan Frazier (6-3, 190) into the mix blocking on the outside, and Central Catholic did as it wished on the ground.

Six of its eight offensive touchdowns were rushing touchdowns. And even running the ball, the Vikings were a big-play offense. The eight scoring drives covered an average of 52.75 yards on an average of 2.6 plays. The Vikings had six scoring drives of two plays or fewer. Their longest sustained drive was a seven-play, 56-yard march which ended with a 3-yard touchdown run by Notre Dame recruit David Adams with 1:12 to go in the second quarter.

“They were monsters up front. They’re grown men up there,” Williamsport’s Isaiah Hankins said. “The running back could go wherever he wanted. He had any type of hole he wanted. The line really sprung the running back.”

“They got Penn State up there. They got Notre Dame. Even Fordham looked good,” Crews said of the Vikings’ offensive line. “They are as advertised.”

“I didn’t expect that at all. That was surprising,” Totten said of his team’s running success. “On film, (Williamsport) was a very physical team. I did not see on film that we would have that kind of advantage up front.”

Williamsport showed good fight early in the game, forcing a punt on Central Catholic’s first possession. It the answered Justice Evans’ 58-yard punt return touchdown with an eight-play, 65-yard yard scoring drive to tie the score at 7-7.

Hankins had his hand in 45 of the 65 yards gained on the drive, completing two passes for 31 yards, including a 15-yard completion to Treyson Potts on fourth-and-6. He capped the drive with a beautiful scramble to his right which he turned into a 13-yard touchdown run.

Hankins getting free on the edge to make plays with his arm and legs is exactly what Totten was nervous about coming into the game. The senior who set nearly every single-season and career passing school record this year ran for 66 yards on 15 carries yesterday despite giving up 15 yards on two sacks.

“He creates. There’s no way to account for someone who can create and extend plays like that,” Totten said. “We have not seen that from the quarterback position this year, someone who could really dip and get outside. But we thought if we kept him inside of us, we at least had a chance.”

“The D-ends did a hell of a job containing and then they had a linebacker spying me,” Hankins said. “I had to pick a hole and go and get what I could. It was difficult, but I had to pick up whatever I could for my team and try to put my team in the best position to win.”

Hankins completed 11 of 19 passes for just 82 yards, his second-lowest rushing total of the season. The Vikings did a great job of rallying to anything lateral when the Millionaires tried to get its playmakers in space. Three of Hankins’ completions went for negative yardage. His longest completion was a 30-yarder to tight end Jalen Jackson down the seam in the fourth quarter.

“This is the best team I’ve seen my whole three years of varsity football,” Hankins said. “They were just very talented.”

Williamsport sophomore running back Potts ran 12 times for 71 yards, going over the 2,000-yard mark for the season. His 10-yard touchdown run in the second quarter gave him 34 rushing touchdowns this season. He became just the second back in school history to run for 2,000 yards in a season, joining Darrell Blackman, who did it twice.

“We couldn’t make consistent plays,” Crews said. “We made a play here or a play there. But to win a football game, you have to have consistency, and we did not have consistency.”

Pittsburgh C.C. 62, Williamsport 21

Pitt. Central Catholic     21 28 13 0 — 62

Williamsport     7 7 0 7 — 21

First quarter

PCC–Justice Evans 58 punt return (Matt Olon kick), 6:54

W–Isaiah Hankins 13 run (Angelo Girardi kick), 3:06

PCC–Younger 52 run (Olon kick)

PCC–J.J. Younger 48 run (Olon kick), 1:48

Second quarter

PCC–Younger 18 run (Olon kick), 9:41

PCC–Younger 48 run (Olon kick), 6:49

W–Treyson Potts 10 run (Girardi kick), 4:15

PCC–David Adams 3 run (Olon kick), 1:12

PCC–Justice Evans 46 pass from Troy Fisher (Olon kick), :10

Third quarter

PCC–Evan Frazier 74 pass from Troy Fisher (Johnathan Opalko kick), 7:11

PCC–Jack Rielly 25 run (no attempt), 6:23

Fourth quarter

W–Marty Clark 4 run (Girardi kick), 7:02

TEAM STATISTICS

PCC    WILL

First downs    15    12

Rushes-yds    32-357    37-163

Com-att-int    4-7-0    11-20-0

Pass yards    142    82

Total yards    499    245

Fumbles-lost    3-0    0-0

Penalties-yards    6-43    2-10

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING–Pittsburgh Central Catholic, J.J. Younger, 10-212, 4 TDs; Jack Rielly, 5-68, TD; David Marshall Jr., 2-44; David Green, 3-17; Tyler Jones, 1-7; Alexander Navarro, 2-6; Troy Fisher, 2-3; David Adams, 1-3, TD; Dontre Jones, 1-1; Gus Sunseri, 1-1; James Shaver, 1-(-1); Taylor Bocka, 2-(-2); Team, 1- (-2). Williamsport, Treyson Potts, 12-71, TD; Isaiah Hankins, 15-66, TD; Marty Clark, 7-19, TD; Elliott Walker, 3-7.

PASSING–Pittsburgh Central Catholic, Troy Fisher, 4-7-0, 142 yds., TDs. Williamsport, Isaiah Hankins, 11-19-0, 82 yds.; Elliott Walker, 0-1-0.

RECEIVING–Pittsburgh Central Catholic, Justice Evans, 2-59, TD; Evan Frazier, 1-74, TD; J.J. Younger, 1-9. Williamsport, Jalen Jackson, 4-53; Treyson Potts, 4-32; Elliott Walker, 2-10; Chance Bower, 1-(-7).

INTERCEPTIONS–None

RECORDS–Pittsburgh Central Catholic (13-1); Williamsport (12-2).

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