West Allegheny to be tested by Prep's passing attack
PIAA class AAA Quarterfinals
West Allegheny (12-1) vs. Erie Cathedral Prep (12-0), 7 p.m. Friday at Veterans Stadium, Erie
For the third time in four weeks, a talented passing offense will test West Allegheny's defense.
Erie Cathedral Prep has one Michigan State recruit at quarterback and a second future Spartan catching passes, providing another significant challenge for an Indians defense that shut down the passing attacks of Montour and Thomas Jefferson.
“They've got a one-two punch that's special,” said coach Bob Palko, whose Indians travel Friday to Veterans Memorial Stadium for a PIAA Class AAA quarterfinal.
Prep quarterback Damion Terry has 2,860 passing yards and another 457 rushing. The 6-foot-4 senior has thrown 43 touchdowns this season, a District 10 record. Strong and accurate, Terry has completed 68 percent of his passes (175-256) with just six interceptions.
“He's the best we've seen by far,” Palko said. “He's calm, cool and he reads defenses very well.”
Terry threw six touchdowns in a 61-19 victory over Erie's Central Tech on Oct. 19, setting a school record for the state's No. 1-ranked team. He also had three games with five touchdown passes and twice threw four.
Three of his receivers have at least 30 catches, led by senior Delton Williams (6-2, 208), the team's other Michigan State recruit. He has 48 for 660 yards. Williams, who shifts between rusher and receiver, has 12 touchdown runs, eight scoring catches and three returning punts.
“They can run or throw the ball, and they're very good at both,” Palko said, “but their quarterback is the difference maker.”
Cathedral Prep's offense averages 51 points and 400 yards, but West Allegheny's defense has played well against pass offenses. The Indians held Thomas Jefferson to seven points in the WPIAL semifinals, when quarterback Joe Carroll added just one to his 34-touchdown total. A week earlier, Montour managed only three points against the Indians, when Devin Wilson was held to 14 yards.
KEYS TO VICTORY — WA: Control the ball with the running game. ECP: Keeping West Allegheny from building an early lead is key and prevent them from running the clock.
PREDICTION — Erie Cathedral Prep, 28-21