The five most memorable games
Pine-Richland 48, Governor Mifflin 44: Officially, it is the semifinals of the PIAA Class 5A, but it really is that state championship matches. It featured big plays, big hits and two big teams facing each other for 48 minutes. Mustang led 21-0 and 41-19 and finally 44-41 with 3:06 time but could not hold on, succumbing to the score remaining with 2:18 remaining.
Wilson 31, Manheim Township 28: Down by six starters, including top quarterbacks and receivers, and a stinging 41-point loss to Governor Mifflin, the Bulldogs somehow found a way to garner a win that propelled them back to the top in Part 1 of the Lancaster League-Lebanon. Jadyn Jones carried the load with 237 yards on 29 carries.
Wyomissing 38, Middletown 16: After a series of one-sided district playoff defeats to the Blue Raiders, the Spartans beat them in the District 3 Class 3A championship for the second consecutive year. This time they dominated from start to finish, with Evan Niedrowski setting the tone with a rushing 170 yards and two TDs.
Daniel Boone 43, Valley of the Twins 42: The Blazers, after falling twice in the final quarter, scored with five seconds left on Carter Speyerer’s 17-yard TD pass to Alex Vassallo, then used a slight glare on a two-point cross from Krystian Hornberger’s wide receiver to Speyerer to win the season opener.
Hamburg 55, Fleetwood 49 (4 OT): The highest-scoring match ever between two of Berks’ opponents ended, ironically, with a defensive stop as the Hawks overtook the Tigers in four tries of 10 attempts in fourth extra time. The longest game in Berks ‘football history saw Hamburg’ s Tristan Baer score four TDs and Fleetwood’s Tanner Maddocks throw 257 yards and five goals.
The best of all:
Kutztown 36-0 over Shenandoah Valley
Twin Valley 42-38 above Hamburg
Twin Valley 28-24 above Fleetwood
Cedar Cliff 35-34 over Berks Catholic
Gov. Mifflin 48-7 over Wilson
Wilson 27-12 over Hempfield
Berks Catholic 56-28 over Exeter
Exeter 41-34 over Hempfield, OT
Gov. Mifflin 68-14 over Mechanicsburg
Fleetwood 43-42 above Upper Dauphin
The five most memorable performances
Caleb Brown: Midfielder Wilson made his final game good as he completed 17-of-23 passes for 155 yards and three TDs and ran for 243 yards and two TDs in a 40-21 win at Manheim Central.
Dominic Caruso: Junior raced back to match the Twin Valley hurries record with 358 yards on 30 leads in a 28-24 win over Fleetwood. He also scored three TDs at the end of the season.
Zach Zechman: One week before setting a program accuracy record by completing 11-for-12 passes in Wyomissing state’s semifinal win over Danville, the senior midfielder / safety showed off all his skills as he intercepted a pass, recovered a mistake, made a touchdown pass and ran for one in a quarter win 47-0 final over Lakeland.
Carter Speyerer: Junior Daniel Boone checked all the boxes in his 43-42 win over Twin Valley as he made eight tackles, made passes for 191 yards and three TDs, ran for TD and caught the game-winning two-point conversion.
Logan Klitsch: The junior midfielder passed for 233 yards and three TDs and ran for 72 yards and two TDs to spark Conrad Weiser’s big comeback after eventual champions Lampeter-Strasburg opened the district semi-finals by scoring the game’s first five TDs.
The five most memorable dramas
- The “Birdsboro Special”, a takeoff from Doug Pederson’s “Philly Special” in the Super Bowl, was the highlight of the season for Daniel Boone, who won his season opener over Twin Valley 43-42 on a two-point converting pass with five seconds remaining.
- The short-handed Wilson needed some special play to upset Manheim Township and Ethan Capitano came up with the biggest when he blocked a shot, scooped it up and went 34 yards for an early TD in a 31-28 win.
- Wyomissing midfielder Darren Brunner read the quarterback perfectly, jumped the route and snatched a pass which he returned 55 yards for TD in a 47-0 win over Lakeland in the PIAA Class 3A quarter-finals.
- Jordan Roar pumped up some late life in Wyomissing’s comeback effort with a 77-yard kickoff for TD early in the fourth quarter of his state title defeat to Central Valley.
- Governor Mifflin showed ready to battle with top-ranked Pine-Richland from the opening snap when Cam’Ron Stewart provided a pass which was intercepted by midfielder Mason Klahr, setting Mustang up for their first score in the PIAA Class wild 5A semifinal.
– Compiled by Mike Drago
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