PHILADELPHIA >> Needing 24 yards to reach 1,000 for the season, Matt Casee got 56, sprinting through a wide lane created by linemen John McCabe and Billy Piotrowicz and dashing away to Lansdale Catholic’s biggest gain of the day.
“It was awesome. We really wanted to get on them early,” Casee said. “Our offensive line just made a gigantic hole and I just went through it.”
That run, coming on LC’s second offensive play, put the Crusaders on their way, as Casee and the ground attack dominated the turf at the South Philly Super Site in a 42-30 victory over High School of the Future.
“The offense played great today. We knew we had to put points on the board and our goal was just to keep scoring and not let up,” said Casee, whose powerful strides helped LC pile up a 42-0 lead by the third quarter.
The victory advances the Crusaders to the District 1/12-3A Regional Final against old friend Conwell-Egan, at a site and time to be determined. LC took the regular-season match-up between the two, 31-21 back on Sept. 29.
Casee would finish with 164 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries, Danny Dutkiewicz added 89 yards and three scores on eight carries, and LC’s hard-charging offensive line pushed Future deep into the corner early.
“Our offensive line has played terrific the last three games,” Crusader coach Tom Kirk said. “We really like just being to control the ball so if we can do that, we’ll be okay.”
Casee, who now has 1,127 yards for the season, put LC in position to score first with his big gainer down the left sideline. On the next play, Dutkiewicz raced into the end zone from 11 yards out, quickly making it 7-0.
The Crusaders, who won 42-12 last week over Future for the district title, scored on all four of their second-quarter possessions, not including a kneeldown by quarterback Michael Dutkiewicz to end the half.
Casee showed great patience, sifting through his blocks and finding the end zone for a 13-yard score; Casee pushed into the end zone again on a two-yard blast; Danny Dutkiewicz made it in untouched on an 11-yard score; and then Danny Dutkiewicz’s 21-yard run — along with Brendan Menges’ fifth extra point — made it 35-0 at the break and ensured a running clock for the second half.
Said Casee of going over 1,000: “It feels great. I really owe it to my offensive line. They’ve been great all year, and really it’s been them. I just do my job and they’ve been making the holes and making it easy for me.”
LC (5-6), subbing in heavily in the second half, added to its lead in the third quarter with a 34-yard run by Evan Hannings.
Future (5-4) did all the rest of the scoring.
Joe Adside had two touchdowns — on runs of 82 and 54 — and Syree Grace had a four-yard TD run. The Firebirds went for two and got it all three times and then on the final play of the contest, with the clock at zeroes, Jamil Seagrane threw to Yashawn Coleman for a 41-yard touchdown and the final points of the afternoon.
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