AMBLER >> By the time a hustling Jake Doheny was headed for the Bishop McDevitt end zone, Lansdale Catholic knew it was headed for the playoffs.
Doheny’s interception and 20-yard return down to the Lancer 11 helped LC to an early 15-0 lead, and things were never in doubt from there as the Crusaders rolled to a 49-28 win over McDevitt on Senior Night.
“I just read the quarterback, where he was gonna throw it,” Doheny said. “It should have been a touchdown but I still got good yards (smile).”
The Crusaders assured themselves they’ll be playing in November, and will now get ready for the District 12-3A Final against School of the Future, the contest set for 1 p.m. Saturday at the South Philly Super Site.
“It feels great to finally win one,” Doheny said. “We had been struggling all season but we finally pulled through today.”
The Crusaders forced turnovers on each of the Lancers’ first two possessions, including Doheny’s INT.
“That was huge. That really drove us, gave us more momentum,” the senior linebacker said.
The takeaway set up an 11-yard run by a determined Danny Dutkiewicz, who bounced it out to the right and raced in for a 13-0 lead. After McDevitt jumped off sides on the extra-point attempt, Dutkiewicz ran in for two, boosting the margin to 15-0.
Dutkiewicz and Matt Casee would each score two-first half touchdowns in pushing the Crusaders to a 29-7 lead at the break. For the game, Dutkiewicz racked up 158 yards on 26 carries, Casee broke away to 103 yards on 17 carries, and the Crusader ground attack piled up 348 yards on the Wissahickon turf.
“It helps to have Matt Casee there full time, with Jake Doheny, Danny Dutkiewicz, and Mike Dutkiewicz did a great job commanding the offense,” LC coach Tom Kirk said of his QB. “The offensive line was just outstanding.”
With the ground attack gaining big chunks, the time was right for play-action, and Mike Dutkiewicz lofted a perfect pass to a wide open Nick Picozzi for a 23-yard score and a 36-7 lead in the third quarter.
Lancer quarterback Lonnie Rice scored three rushing touchdowns (two, 20, 22) on the night for McDevitt (5-5, 1-5 PCL Blue), but Doheny powered his way over the goal line for a seven-yard score and Evan Hannings raced away to a 51-yard burst, keeping it a comfortable margin for the Crusaders (3-6, 3-3 PCL Blue).
“Our kids really needed to step up offensively tonight and that was the whole goal,” Kirk said. “McDevitt is young and hungry. They’re really building a nice program.
“It was big for us to score a couple touchdowns early. Senior Night always does that to us. I think every year I’ve been here, the kids really come out pumped up to play. It’s nice to be playing in November. It’s a whole new season.”
McDevitt closed out its season but has some nice pieces in place, including Rice, a sophomore, and wide receiver Jon-Luke Peaker, a freshman.
“We started executing better as the game went on,” said Peaker, Rice’s favorite target with five catches for 87 yards. “We had to keep pushing, keep trying. Never give up.
“We have a bunch of new freshmen coming in next year too so we’re trying to build for the future, brick by brick.”
The Crusaders honored each of their 10 seniors before kickoff.
On playing such a pivotal role in Saturday’s contest, Doheny said: “It means everything. I’ll remember this for the rest of my life.”
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