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Southern Columbia routs Rochester for Class A title

| Friday, Dec. 10, 2004

HERSHEY, Pa. - Make it three straight Class A titles for Southern Columbia.

Dan Latorre ran for 150 yards and four touchdowns, and the Tigers capped a perfect season with a 35-0 rain-soaked victory over Rochester to win the PIAA Class A championship on Friday. Southern Columbia joined Central Bucks West (AAAA) and Berwick (AAA) as the only schools to win three consecutive PIAA titles.

"This one's 10 times better," said Latorre, a senior quarterback. "This year was my year and for all the other seniors."

Henry Hynoski rushed for 132 yards and the Tigers had 432 yards of total offense.

Southern Columbia (15-0) beat the Rams in the title game for the second time in three years. Southern played its 10th championship game in 11 years and its fifth one against Rochester. It also won the championship in 1994.

The Tigers went wild, yanking on their state championship hats and dashing on the drenched turf toward the trophy. "This is ours, guys!" one yelled out among the crowd. "I just want to touch it!" screamed another.

They mobbed together for a team photo chanting "Three-peat!" and held up a banner that read "Angels on the Goalposts" with the numbers of former players Eric Barnes and Tarik Leghlid, who drowned last summer.

"It probably was the toughest with what the kids had to work through together and deal with," said coach Jim Roth. "It was as special as any for that reason."

Rochester (12-4) snapped a seven-game winning streak. The Rams have won three PIAA Class A title games.

With a heavy, steady rain falling, Southern Columbia did what it does best in relying on the running game. The Tigers - who rushed for 770 yards over Pius X in a quarterfinal game - ran 49 times for 398 yards against Rochester.

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