Cathedral Prep beats TJ in battle of western bohemoths
Written by: Billy Splain on Saturday, November 26th, 2016
Contributed by Guest Writer Jeff Hoener
QB Joe Mischler led the Erie Cathedral Prep Ramblers to an impressive 30-13 victory over WPIAL champ and previously undefeated Thomas Jefferson at Baldwin HS on Friday night. Mischler completed 18-31 passes for 208 yards and 2 touchdowns and also rushed for 68 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries.
Erie Prep got the opening kickoff at their own 29 yard line and after 3 plays netted only 5 yards punted on 4th and 5, but a roughing the punter penalty gave them a first down at their 44. The drive was eventually stopped by a Nick Friewald interception, TJ managed to get a first down but was then forced to punt and ECP started their second drive on their own 33 yard line. QB Joe Mischler capped off a 67 yard, 12 play drive with a 20 yard TD pass to wide receiver Tyler Oedekoven on fourth and 2, but the PAT was blocked by Luke Petruzzi and ECP led 6-0 with 46 seconds left in the first quarter.
TJ put together a nice drive with a mix of passes and Quinton Hill runs and had a first and goal at the 10 yard line, but a false start penalty and sack on third down left them faced with fourth and goal from the 23. TJ eschewed a long FG attempt and QB Bobby Kelley overthrew Zane Zandier in the end zone, so ECP took over on downs. The teams then exchanged punts with ECP taking over at their own 30 yard line. QB Mischler finished the 7 play, 70 yard drive with a 16 yard TD run, Anthony Lupo kicked the PAT and ECP led 13-0 with 2:24 left in the first half. TJ tried to answer before halftime and a 24 yard scramble by QB Bobby Kelley left them with a first down on ECP’s 33 yard line with under 2 minutes to play, but 4 straight incompletions gave ECP the ball on their 33 with 1:18 left until halftime. Prep methodically moved the ball with their hurry up offense and Mischler found wideout Terry Roberts with a 33 yr TD pass and after the successful PAT led 20-0 with 6 seconds left before a stunned partisan TJ crowd. The total yards at halftime were as lopsided as the score as Prep held a 245-123 advantage.
TJ answered to start the 2nd half with an impressive 12 play, 80 yard drive capped off by a 3 yard TD pass on 4th and goal from Bobby Kelley to Jack Geigerich, but Tommy Campbell’s extra point attempt hit the left upright and caromed away, so ECP led 20-6 with 8:29 to play in the 3rd quarter. After a short kickoff and return gave ECP the ball on their own 45, they got a first down but then faced a fourth and 13 from TJ’s 43, and from punt formation QB/punter Mischler attempted a pass that fell incomplete, so TJ took over on downs. QB Kelley finished off a very efficient 4 play 57 yard drive with a 27 yard TD pass to Zane Zandier, Cambell’s PAT was a knuckleball that barely made it across the goalpost but was good and all of a sudden it was 20-13 with 3:28 left in the 3rd quarter.
Prep took the ensuing kickoff and marched 62 yards in 14 plays that took more than 5 minutes off the clock, culminating with a 25 yard field goal by Anthony Lupo to take a 23-13 lead with 10:21 left in the fourth quarter. TJ got good field position on the ensuing kickoff at their own 41 yard line, but then went three and out and Prep took over at their own 27 yard line with 7:51 left. 2 runs and an encroachment penalty gave ECP a 3rd down and 2 at the 35, then Billy Lucas broke through a stacked line of scrimmage and sprinted 65 yards for a touchdown that gave Prep an insurmountable 30-13 lead with 6:24 left in the game. TJ subsequently threw an interception on the first play after the kickoff and never seriously threatened to score again after that as the game ended with ECP in the victory formation after TJ once again turned the ball over on downs at the Prep 39 yard line.
ECP moves on to play District 3 champion Berks Catholic, a 37-13 winner over Shippensburg on Friday afternoon, in the western finals at a site and time to be determined next weekend. TJ finishes their season at 12-1 with a loss to Prep in the quarterfinals for the 2nd year in a row.
Notes: Prep had a very balanced attack with 208 yards passing and 185 yards rushing, led by Billy Lucas with 8 carries for 83 yards and a touchdown, WR Tyler Oedekoven had 8 catches for 99 yards and 1 TD. Zane Zandier led TJ with 7 receptions for 116 yards and a TD while RB Quinton Hill finished with 107 yards on 15 carries. Very well played game with each team having an interception and no fumbles, and only 9 combined penalties for a total of 48 yards.
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