The practice field at Berks Catholic is something to see, simply for the gaudy number of players in uniform. When the Saints line up to work out the kinks during the week, Berks Catholic can sometimes use four separate teams in two separate scrimmages.
Talk about being blessed, the Saints have about five running backs that could start for some programs.
So when York Catholic somehow managed to keep the defending District 3 Class AA champions bottled up in the first half Friday, something had to give. All that talent, all that size, all those boys from Berks County didn’t decide to hop on the bus and go home. Instead, they came out and finished off a 51-17 victory at York Catholic by scoring 35 of the final 42 points.
Emmanuel “Pop” Lacey rushed 15 times for 125 yards. Able to switch directions as he ran between the hash marks, often times he popped his runs outside only after he gained 10 yards between the hashes. But he had company. Todd Reedy carried the ball 11 times, rushing for 96 yards. Isaac Lutz needed just five carries to rush for 62 yards.
“Our coaches got in our faces a little bit and told us we needed to pick it up,” Lacey said. “We should have came out in the first half how we came out in the second half.”
Berks Catholic (3-0) rushed for 414 yards; York Catholic (1-2) rushed for 103 yards.
“All of our teammates are athletic, even our JV squad as you saw when they scored (in the fourth quarter),” Lacey said.
It was a case of Berks Catholic having too much. Too much skill. Too much beef on the line. Too many players to rotate in.
“That’s where our points come from our line … and this is the best line we’ve ever had at Berks Catholic,” Lacey said.
York Catholic quarterback Hakeem Kinard attempted to keep the Irish in the game, completing 9-of-16 passes in the first half. Included in the mix was an escape act. Kinard slipped out of a head lock from a defender, caused another pass rusher to bump into a lineman when he switched directions and then whipped a first-down pass on fourth-and-10 from the Saints’ 36. Although the Irish drive stalled, York Catholic managed to convert a wobbly 24-yard field goal.
York Catholic appeared to slow down the Saints running game on the ensuing kickoff, but Berks Catholic turned to quarterback Patrick Causa — who threw a 41-yard scoring pass to John Reedy. Reedy would finish with two catches, both for scores, for 65 yards.
York Catholic recovered yet again as Jakkar Kinard took a kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown to keep the Irish within a score, 16-10, at halftime.
But in the second half, Berks Catholic simply ran away with the game.
“I wanted to make sure we didn’t come in and play intimidated,” York Catholic coach Eric Depew said.
“We’re at a disadvantage (numbers wise), they are platooning guys. That can’t be an excuse, we just have to keep getting better. … I was pleased with a lot. There were a lot of positives, but we took the loss tonight against a real nice team.”