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Central Valley captures back-to-back titles @warriors_cv @matt_merritt17

Written by: on Saturday, December 11th, 2021

 

 

Landon Alexander runs the ball in the PIAA 3A State Championship game over Wyomissing.

The Central Valley Warriors and Wyomissing Spartans battled Saturday afternoon in a game that only saw seven points. The Warriors walk out of Hershey with back-to-back titles in three trips to Hershey.  The biggest difference in the game was a Landon Alexander 28 yard touchdown run with 9:54 to go in the fourth quarter. 

Coming into the game Matt Merritt said in a player preview that he expected the Warriors to return to Hershey and mentioned that they had the best defense in the state. And that they do holding the Wyomissing Spartans to zero points for the first time since 2017. 

Central Valley opened the game with a long drive but the Wyomissing defense blocked the field goal and took over. On the second Warriors drive a failed fourth-down conversion gave the Spartans the ball back. The Wyomissing offense struggled to gain any yards and gave the ball back to the Warriors. With about 47 seconds left in the first half, the Spartans were in Warriors territory but failed to convert on fourth down making the halftime score 0-0. 

To open the second half more of the same happened. The Warriors faced a fourth down at their own 35-yard line and ended up failing to convert on an incomplete pass. On the following Warriors possession, there was a jump pass but Thomas Grabowski stepped in front and made an incredible one-handed catch to stop the Warrior’s momentum. Again, the Spartans failed to convert and gave the Warriors the ball. 

On the following possession from 27 yards out Landon Alexander bounced out left and took the ball up the sideline and into the endzone for the touchdown. Serafino DeSantis nailed the extra point giving the Warriors a 7-0 lead with 9:54 to go in the game.

“If you noticed Landon was a tackle, an arm wrap here from braking one. That is a guy who gets stronger and stronger as the carries start to accumulate.” Said head coach Mark Lyons after the game. 

On the following kickoff, Drew Eisenhower took the ball to the Warriors 28-yard line and set up the Spartans with prime field position. 

A few plays later facing fourth and goal from the three-yard line the Spartans were faced with a tough decision. Kick it or go for it and they decided to go for it. On the snap Sean FitzSimmons blew through the line and sacked Zechman, forcing the fumble and taking over at the nine-yard line. 

On the following Warriors possession, Merritt kept the ball on a third and five, busting through the hole and diving for the first down. The Warriors punted the ball with just 20 seconds left. 

“Heck of a team, that wing-t is tough for some teams but we were just coached well the whole week and we were more prepared for them than last year. Our goal was to just shut them out no matter what.” Said Merritt after the game. 

After trying to score running the backyard pitch, the Spartans failed to convert making the Central Valley Warriors the 2021 PIAA 3A State Champions and a 27 win streak heading into the offseason.

 

Full Box Score: https://pafootballnews.com/2021-piaa-championships-central-valley-vs-wyomissing/

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