TribLIVE

| News


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Timely delay for lightning revitalizes Central Catholic

TribLIVE Sports Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

Monday, Sept. 5, 2011
 

First, lightning struck - twice. Then, Central Catholic brought the thunder.

District 12 power Archbishop Wood, trailing by three with 3:45 to be played, was on the verge of toppling Class AAAA No. 1 Central Catholic,following a 53-yard, play-action bomb to the Vikings' 13-yard line Sunday at the Gateway Kickoff Classic.

Moments later, lightning struck on the horizon at Antimarino Stadium. A 30-minute delay followed, and a refocused Central Catholic came up with a sterling defensive stop to preserve a 20-17 victory -- which was nationally televised by ESPN2.

"It's a team effort; everyone did their job and let me do what I had to do," said senior linebacker Gavin Sandidge, who went unblocked as he sacked Wood quarterback Joe Monaghan on third down for a 9-yard loss during the pivotal sequence, forcing a 40-yard field goal attempt that Nick Visco hooked left.

Sandidge's hit was one of three drive-stalling sacks put up by the Central Catholic defense, with the other two delivered by Arnel Farmer. The sacks highlighted a bend-but-don't-break approach against Wood, which features five players committed to Division I colleges and is the state's top-ranked Class AAA team.

"I've been doing this for 30-some years, but I actually said to someone, 'This is the best offense I've seen in a while,'" Central Catholic coach Terry Totten said. "Now, I've played bigger teams, but this was a team that moves the ball around to their different people very good."

Wood needed only two players for much of the afternoon -- senior running backs and cousins Desmon and Brandon Peoples. During Wood's four-play opening drive, Desmon carried three times for 32 yards, and Brandon sliced through the defense for a 29-yard touchdown run.

Both, however, were upstaged by Central Catholic's own big-play running back, Damion Jones-Moore. Following a sluggish start for him and his offense, the senior burst through Wood's large defensive line and dashed for a 51-yard touchdown near the end of the first quarter - a welcome sight after an injury-plagued 2010 season.

"I was working the whole offseason," said Jones-Moore, who added a 70-yard touchdown and finished with a game-high 191 yards. "I'm glad to see that it paid off."

Central Catholic took a 13-10 lead into halftime and stretched its lead to 10 points with a 13-play, 76 yard series on their first drive of the second half. Receiver Anthony Nixon turned a short pass from Perry Hills into a 33-yard score to cap the long possession.

Brandon Peoples closed the Wood deficit to three with a 19-yard run early in the fourth quarter and finished with 92 yards for the day, while Desmon had a team-high 97. But neither effort was enough against Central Catholic's timely defense.

"During the season, you're going to face adversity several times," Totten said. "So, to overcome it today was a great thing for us."

Photo Galleries

Gateway Kickoff Classic September 4, 2011

Gateway Kickoff Classic September 4, 2011

Central Catholic beats (Philadelphia) Archbishop Wood, 20-17 and Gateway is victorious over (Harrisburg) Bishop McDevitt by the score of 28-7 in the Gateway Kickoff Classic at Antimarino Stadium in Monroeville on Sunday September 4, 2011.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read News