Defending Pennsylvania 6A state champ St. Joseph’s Prep is heading back to Hershey to defend its state title. On Saturday, the Hawks, ranked No. 15 in the High School Football America 100 national rankings and No. 1 in the state, needed overtime to beat Pittsburgh Central Catholic, ranked no. 122 in our national rankings, 31-24 in the state semifinals.
SJP led 17-10 at the end of three quarters, but that’s when the Central Catholic got things going. The Vikings tied the game at 17-17 with less than 10 minutes to go on a Dom Pieto 51-yard TD pass to Sherrod Lindsey.
Watch: Sherrod Lindsey with 51 TD pass from Dom Pieto as Central Catholic ties St. Joseph’s Prep 17-17 with 925 left pic.twitter.com/MzgFP4OdPV— Philip Anastasia (@PhilAnastasia) November 30, 2019
PCC took a 24-17 lead on Eddy Tillman’s 19 yard TD run.
Watch: Eddy Tillman with 19 TD run as Central Catholic takes 24-17 lead over St. Joseph’s Prep with 246 left in state semifinals pic.twitter.com/1PkMSuKWu6— Philip Anastasia (@PhilAnastasia) November 30, 2019
With Hawks’ star quarterback Kyle McCord sitting-out another game with an injury and time running out, Marvin Harrison, Jr. made a spectacular 4th down catch at the back of the end zone to tie the game at 24-24.
Wow: Watch this: Marvin Harrison Jr. with 12 TD catch in back of end zone from Malik Cooper at St. Joseph’s Prep ties Central Catholic 24-24 with 015 left @SJPrep_Sports @SJPrep_Football pic.twitter.com/GU1Vz4yG3n— Philip Anastasia (@PhilAnastasia) November 30, 2019
St. Joe’s had the first possession in overtime. McCord’s replacement Malik Cooper’s scored to give the Hawks a 31-24 lead.
St. Joseph’s Prep Malik Cooper: 20-for-23 passing for 243 including game-tying 12 TD at 015 of regulation and game-winning TD run in OT in 31-24 win over Central Catholic @SJPrep_Football @SJPrep_Sports pic.twitter.com/smug5XgmBM— Philip Anastasia (@PhilAnastasia) November 30, 2019
Then during the Central Catholic overtime possession, Keenan Nelson Jr. intercepted a Vikings pass to secure the 31-24 victory.
Next week, St. Joe’s will play Central Dauphin, looking for its fifth state championship in seven years.