Class AAAA Preview-Pittsburgh Central CatholicWritten by: Billy Splain on Thursday, December 12th, 2013
They’ve been here before. In 1988, 2004 and 2007. The Vikings have met the Hawks only once before, in 2004. That meeting was won by PCC on their way to a 16-0 finish and their 2nd AAAA state title. Head Coach Terry Totten is hoping for a similar finish to the season.
Keys to victory on offense:
Keep it on the ground and do what they done since the playoffs began, run over teams. The Vikings are averaging over 265 yards rushing in the playoffs. Luigi Lista-Brinza can get it done between those massive offensive linemen. Brinza has rushed for 1,604 yards and 21 scores this year. Riley Redman on the other hand is just flat out fast. Redman is averaging over 10 yards a carry, rushing for 1,135 yards
The Vikings don’t throw the ball much at all, but when they do they’ve got a pretty famous name catching the ball. Former Pittsburgh Steelers great and NFL Hall of Famer Lynn Swann’s son Shaffer Swann is the deep ball threat here. He only has 10 catches but 3 are for touchdowns and he averages nearly 33 yards per catch.
Keys to victory on defense:
-I think the Vikings have this one covered. And that one. And that one, you get my drift? We’re talking about a defense that gave up 1 first down and exactly 21 yards in it’s semi-final win over Lower Dauphin. They call themselves the “Chain Gang”.
-Keep pressure on 2,000 yard passer Chris Martin. Martin is a good qb that has the ability to hurt you fast. He’s a team leader and in his last 2 games has thrown for nearly 500 yards and 4 touchdowns.
-Nikko Thorpe has been an animal in the PCC defensive backfield. He’s going to need one more great game in the playoffs. John Reid has over 600 yards receiving and there are plenty more receivers and tight ends to throw to. The Prep air corps have accounted for 24 scores so PCC has to keep honest in the defensive backfield.
When you have a defense that only gives up 120 yards a game, you force a lot of punts. When your offense scores 650 points in a season, you kick off a lot. Together those items give a team lot’s of live practice with special teams. Central Catholic has several return men that can move the ball into the opposition’s territory rather quickly. Junior John Petrishen it the main Viking there. Last week vs. Lower Dauphin he returned 4 punts to Lower Dauphin’s side of the field. All four possessions led to points.
And when you score a lot of touchdowns, your kicker gets a lot of practice too. Mitch MacZura is nearly automatic all year. He hit all 6 extra points and a 29 yard field goal last week.
Pittsburgh Central Catholic Schedule:
8/30 Shaler Area* (AAAA) 7:30 pm W 65-3
9/06 @ North Hills* (AAAA) 7:30 pm W 24-0
9/13 @ Canon-McMillan (AAAA) 7:30 pm W 56-0
9/20 Fox Chapel* (AAAA) 7:00 pm W 49-10
9/27 Seneca Valley* (AAAA) 7:30 pm W 42-0
10/04 @ Pine-Richland* (AAAA) 7:30 pm W 49-14
10/11 North Allegheny* (AAAA) 7:30 pm W 27-0
10/18 @ Altoona Area (AAAA) 7:00 pm W 38-0
10/25 Butler* (AAAA) W 55-0
11/01 Baldwin (AAAA) W 56-10
11/08 Gateway (AAAA) W 27-21
11/15 Penn-Trafford (AAAA) 7:30 pm W 49-10
11/23 Woodland Hills (AAAA) 2:00 pm W 27-7
11/30 @ Erie McDowell (AAAA) 1:00 pm W 48-7
12/07 Lower Dauphin (AAAA) 1:00 pm W 45-0
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