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Steubenville Catholic Central – Wheeling Central Catholic Preview

Written by: on Tuesday, August 26th, 2008


It’s not a game that features a Pennsylvania football team, but, in the nightcap of the inaugural Friends of Coal Classic, it’s a game the provides plenty of intrigue.


The “local” match-up of the day pits Steubenville Catholic Central against four-time defending West Virginia Class “A” state champion Wheeling Central Catholic at 6 p.m. from Wheeling Island Stadium.


These two rivals, practically across the Ohio River from each other, have played an even 3-3 series the past six years.  This, if you will, is like a Game 7.


Wheeling won the 2003, 2006, and 2007 meetings by a combined margin of 92-35, while Steubenville won the 2002, 2004, and 2005 meetings by a combined total of just 20 points.


Wheeling CC has been very dominant of late, winning 33 consecutive games and posting an overall record of 49-6 (.890) since 2004, the beginning of its run of four straight state titles.


Here’s the impressive stat: the worst Maroon Knight team offensive output, speaking for an entire season since ’04, was 2005, when the Knights scored a mere 352 points while averaging 25.1 points per game.


That’s a far cry from the numbers that Central Catholic put up in 2007, when the maroon and white romped to a 14-0 record, scoring 703 points and averaging 50.2 points per contest.


Impressive?  You better believe it.  If Wheeling CC would have played a full 16 games in the PIAA, and averaged 50.2 points per game, the Knights would have scored 803 points, good enough for second in PIAA history behind Jeannette.


To give you an idea of the rarity of what Wheeling accomplished, only six PIAA affiliates have averaged over 50 points per game for an entire season, four of which accomplished the feat prior to 1928!


Individual player statistics for Wheeling CC were unavailable, but what is known about the Knights is that they are a running-oriented football team, and that should bode well for them because Steubenville allowed 222 rushing yards in a 27-13 loss to Columbiana HS to open its season.


Catholic Central, nicknamed the Crusaders, hasn’t been quite as dominant in terms of the won-loss record, posting a 30-18 mark since the start of 2004.


But, the Crusaders are just two years removed from playing in the Ohio Division-V state championship game, where it fell 28-0.


The blue and gold is led by quarterback John DiCarlo, who went 7-of-13 for 70 yards with a touchdown and an interception against Columbiana, and by running back Mickey Bednar, who ran for 126 yards and a touchdown in the season opener.

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