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West Catholic will advance in PIAA playoffs on 35-7 win over Richland

Written by: on Saturday, November 24th, 2018


Mike Mastovich

YORK – District 12 champion West Catholic capitalized on five turnovers by District 6 champion Richland and relied on back Jacir Savoy to front the ground game in a 35-7 victory in the PIAA Class AA playoffs. The Burrs overcame last week’s loss of 2,000-plus-yard passer Zaire Hart-Hawkins as senior Tre Johnson moved into the quarterback slot and efficiently led West Catholic’s offense at Central York High School’s Panther Stadium on Friday afternoon. West Catholic (12-2) will play the winner of Saturday’s quarterfinal between District 4 Southern Columbia and District 3 York Catholic in next week’s state semifinal round.

Richland closed a 13-1 season after winning a combined 10 games in the three previous seasons.“We lost him in the first quarter of last game,” Burrs coach Brian Fluck said of Hart-Hawkins. “Tre Johnson stepped in and did a nice job. Tre is a senior and he played quarterback in middle school. Tre does everything for us. I think he was a little bit nervous in the beginning but he settled down.”Senior running back Savoy carried 23 times for 171 of the Burrs’ 236 rushing yards.“Savoy has been a big-time player for us,” Fluck said. “He’s been battling a little bit of a knee injury the last couple of weeks. We’ve leaned on a few other players but he’s one of our main weapons so we 
need to get him the ball.”

Richland’s ground game netted only 35 yards on 19 carries.“We were hoping to establish that run game a little bit more but we just 
never were able to get it going the way we needed to get it going,” Richland coach Brandon Bailey said. “Some things didn’t go our way, and when you play a team like that in the state quarterfinals you need to do everything right and you need some of those breaks to bounce your way.”

Senior quarterback Joe Hauser completed 9 of 34 passes for 169 yards, one touchdown and four interceptions. Hauser went over the 3,000-yard passing mark for the season. Two of the Rams key players, junior Caleb Burke and freshman Kellan Stahl, were injured in the first quarter and saw limited time on the field.“Tonight was very emotional,” said Rams senior lineman Dylan Dininny. “The bond these guys, my brothers, have formed over 13 wins is just an unbelievable experience to finally come out here in our senior year to finish up strong. Even though we fell short of our state championship goal we still have our District 6 championship and LHAC championship that we can reflect on this season.“I definitely think we restored the pride that Richland has lost over the past couple of years.”

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