Top 100: No. 15 St. Joseph’s Prep needs OT to advance to Pennsylvania state championship

St. Joseph's Prep high school footballTwitter photo @StephChambers76

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.

PCC took a 24-17 lead on Eddy Tillman’s 19 yard TD run.

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.

St. Joe’s had the first possession in overtime. McCord’s replacement Malik Cooper’s scored to give the Hawks a 31-24 lead.

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.

About the Author

Jeff Fisher
Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America. Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet. Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.