READING >> Cooper Lutz is already well-known in Berks football league circles. Gettysburg got acquainted Friday night.
The Berks Catholic senior running back rushed for 175 on eight carries on three touchdowns, all before the half, and scored a fourth on a 35-yard interception return as the top-seeded and unbeaten Saints dispatched Gettysburg, 48-18, in the District 3 4A playoff opener at Forino Sports Complex.
The Saints (11-0) draw East Pennsboro, 45-14 victors over Susquehannock, in the D-3 4A semifinals next Friday back at BC. Gettysburg, out of the York-Adams League, finishes at 7-4.
After five offensive snaps Friday night, BC led 14-0. The lead reached 41-0 at the break.
Lutz, with those four scores and running behind a vaunted offensive line which has the nuance of the Wing-T attack down pat from the trenches, was the major reason why.
“Cooper’s amazing,” BC head coach Rick Keeley said. “He is a very good football player, he’s our leader, he sets the tone in the weight room, pound-for-pound (Lutz is listed at 6-0, 194) he might be the strongest player in the state. He comes out to play every time and we just feed off of him.”
Lutz had touchdowns runs of 35, 79 and 29 yards. His 79-yarder erased a second-and-33 scenario, borne of a pile of yellow laundry, to make it a 21-0 gig with 47 seconds left in the first quarter. Any wind that may have been left in Gettysburg’s sails before that play disappeared.
Fullback Brandon George, nursing a sore ankle he tweaked in last week’s 28-0 rivalry win over Wyomissing, was not even needed. Backup Tom Molteni provided 70 yards on five totes in his stead.
“We have some big games coming up and we want to make sure (George) is healthy for them,” Keeley said.
BC’s Wing-T attack gave Gettysburg fits. Superior in the trenches and with backfield speed the Warriors could not match up with defensively, BC gained in excess of 300 offensive yards before the game was 15 minutes old.
“It’s so important,” Keeley said, “when you get momentum going like that right from the get-go, that’s amazing. We run the Wing-T and the kids love it; they believe in it. it’s an offense that is very hard for your opponent to replicate during the week. ‘Til their game speed catches up with our game speed, a lot of the time we can score a touchdown or two. And we did that tonight.
“Deception is key. It’s hard (defensively) looking in the backfield, trying to figure out who has the ball.”
The Warriors hung 16 points on BC’s second-string defense after halftime, issue well in-hand. That total included two 2-point conversion runs. The defense also nabbed BC’s second-string offense for a safety, one snap after CJ Carwll’s pick of Gettysburg quarterback Zach Ketterman gave BC the ball at its own 2-yard line.
The other side of the ball is also a big reason why BC remains a feared opponent as the season stretches deeper into November.
The Saints’ first-team defense STILL had not allowed a touchdown, after 11 weeks. Friday night’s win was BC’s ninth mercy-rule victory of the season; the Saints’ 41.3 point average margin of victory during the regular season set a Berks football record. The first-teamers held Ketterman to 1 of 7 passing in the first half for 55 yards; Gettysburg was also held to negative-net rushing yardage during that span.
District 3 4A quarterfinal
Berks Catholic 48, Gettysburg 18
Gettysburg – 0 0 8 10 — 18
Berks Catholic – 21 20 7 0 — 48
BC – Cooper Lutz 35 run (Jamin Smith kick), 10:32
BC – Luis Garcia 23 run (Smith kick), 8:25
BC – Lutz 79 run (Smith kick), :47
BC – Lutz 29 run (Smith kick), 10:25
BC – Lutz 35 int return (kick failed), 9:20
BC – Tre Dabney 43 pass from Terrance Derr (Smith kick), 7:31
BC – Dabney 48 run (Smith kick), 6:07
G – William Warren 27 pass from Zach Ketterman (Laion Smith run), 4:26
G – safety (running back tackled in end zone), 7:23
G – Ketterman 1 run (Bryce Newman run), 4:16