Berks Catholic is where York Catholic would like to be.
That was evident Friday night, when the host Saints beat the Irish 40-17 in a contest that sat at a 37-point margin down the stretch until Berks Catholic called off the dogs.
The Saints (3-0) — expected to battle Wyomissing for the Berks 2 section title — overcame a slow start by establishing its hybrid Wing-T and ground dominance as the contest wore on.
Berks rushed for 369 yards and got a sublime performance from wing-back Cooper Lutz, who ran for 164 yards on 12 carries. He took over primary duties from brother Isaac Lutz, who tweaked a hamstring in the first quarter and did not return.
The attack was so potent that Berks Catholic never felt the need to establish a passing game — quarterback Terrance Derr attempted just four of them, completing three for 19 yards while tossing an interception.
"Berks is a good football team, I mean, they're fourth in the state (Class AA)," York Catholic head coach Eric Depew said. "We were close, inches away from making plays."
It did not start out that way. York Catholic (0-3) forced turnovers on Berks Catholic's first two possessions — a fumble by Cooper Lutz and interception of Derr by Andrew Polson. The fumble was eventually converted into a 31-yard field goal by Luke Brennan and the Irish grabbed a 3-0 lead.
"Well, we were the first to score on them this season," Depew said. "And we had some momentum there. Again, just inches away. Guys reaching for tackles. Little things that we've got to get better at."
The pick, inside the Irish 10, never went anywhere for the York County visitors; a resulting 21-yard punt set Berks up at the York Catholic 32 late in the quarter. Cooper Lutz gave the first glimpse of things to come when he ripped off a 32-yard scamper to paydirt on the first snap, and Berks Catholic went ahead 7-3.
"I like the way our team responded to losing Isaac early in the game, who is our go-to back," Berks Catholic head coach Rick Keeley said. "There were a couple of times where Cooper was just a trip or stumble out of bounds from turning in a couple of more big runs."
Berks took control of the contest by grinding out an 11-play, 50-yard drive midway through the second quarter for a 20-3 advantage. York had the Saints on fourth down twice but let them off the hook. Justin Huntsman went in from 2 yards with 3:26 left in the first half to cap the march.
An interception of York Catholic quarterback Daniel Yokemick by Tanner Pajakinas at the Berks 47 set up the Saints for a fourth score, finished off by Marcus Wilson's 4-yard jaunt to make 27-3, just 39 seconds before the end of the half.
Yokemick, under pressure for much of the night, was harassed into an 8-of-22 performance for 62 yards. Sean Lamont was a late bright spot for Irish, rushing for 85 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown.
York Catholic30014—17Berks Catholic720130—40
YC — Luke Brennan 31 FG, 7:22
BC — Cooper Lutz 32 run (Alex Gunderson kick), 2:28
BC — Terrance Derr 1 run (kick blocked), 9:32
BC — Justin Huntsman 2 run (Gunderson kick), 3:26
BC — Marcus Wilson 4 run (Gunderson kick), :39
BC — Brandon George 55 run (Gunderson kick), 5:36
BC — Huntsman 65 run (kick failed), 2:59
YC — Daniel Yokemick 6 run (Brennan kick), 2:31
YC — Sean Lamont 2 run (Brennan kick), :55
YCBCFirst downs812Rushes-yards31-15037-379Passing8-22-13-4-1Passing yards6219Total yards212398Punts8-34.43-29.0Fumbles-lost0-01-1Penalties-yards3-335-45
Rushing — YC, Sean Lamont 14-85, Yokemick 8-8, Andrew Polson 7-33, Joseph Bauhof 2-24. BC, Issac Lutz 2-10, Marcus Wilson 9-45, Cooper Lutz 12-164, Justin Huntsman 6-88, Marco Ramos 3-10, Tom Molteni 1- (-2), Derr 2-5, Brandon George 2-59.
Passing — YC, Daniel Yokemick 8-22-62-1. BC, Terrance Derr 3-4-19-1.
Receiving — YC, Brandon Creisher 6-32, Bauhof 2-30. BC, Tanner Pajakinas 2-6, Huntsman 1-13.