Camp Hill tops York Catholic for district title
HERSHEY — York Catholic senior tight end Luke Brennan and the rest of the Fighting Irish football team gave it all they had in Friday afternoon's District 3 Class A championship game with Camp Hill.
But the end result was a season-ending, 40-28 setback at the hands of the top-seeded Lions in front of 1,413 fans at Hersheypark Stadium.
"Obviously, my heart is broken," Brennan said. "It's the third time in a row that we've come here and got rejected right at the last stage."
York Catholic won the inaugural District 3 Class A crown in 1982, but it has gone 0-for-6 in championship games since, including the past three in a row. In last season's title game, Camp Hill beat the Fighting Irish by a 63-49 score.
"I think just getting here three times is a testament to the coaching staff and how they have turned this program around from the early 2000s," Brennan said. "Coach (Eric) Depew and his staff here have done a great job and show how much they care about the team and the program. It's on the upswing now."
Senior wide receiver/defensive back Joe Bauhof echoed Brennan's sentiments.
"I'm just so glad I had the opportunity to play (in Hersheypark Stadium) three years in a row," Bauhof said. "When you start camp in June or July or whenever, this is the goal: to get to Hershey. I think getting here speaks to the group of guys we get in here each year and how good our coaches are at getting us in the weight room and keeping us focused.
"Coach Depew is like a second father to me. He is the best coach I've ever had. He's a guy you can rely on. Doesn't matter the time, you can call him and he'll pick up the phone. I'll always remember the bond with him and this team."
Camp Hill (11-1) opened up a 19-0 lead after the opening quarter thanks in part to a 70-yard touchdown run and a 35-yard scoring reception from 5-foot-6 junior running back Bill Williams. He finished with five touchdowns, 113 receiving yards and 98 rushing yards.
Camp Hill held a 33-7 lead at halftime of Friday's District 3 Class A game. Lyzz Jones
"They just jumped up on us early and got us in a hole," Depew said. "Williams was a big factor. He is a big-time threat. You try to match up linebackers there, and it's not always a great matchup."
Camp Hill quarterback Michael Shuster, who is heading to the University of Michigan as a preferred walk-on, passed for 288 yards and three touchdowns, while 6-foot-7 sophomore tight end Zack Kuntz — a freshman All-American by Maxpreps last season who has already visited Virginia Tech, Pitt and Penn State — was held to five catches for 52 yards.
"We knew what we were coming into," Bauhof said. "Camp Hill is not like any team we have played this year. They had a majority of their team back from last year. You can prepare all you want, but we haven't played anybody with a high-powered offense like that lately. Running back, receiver, quarterback, tight end. Weapons everywhere. I thought we did a good job defensively. There were no huge touchdown passes like last year."
Camp Hill opened up a 40-7 lead after three quarters, but York Catholic (6-6) finished with a 21-point final quarter. Andrew Polson, Jakkar Kinard and Sean Lamont each had rushing touchdowns for the Fighting Irish.
"We don't quit at York Catholic," Bauhof said. "We never have and we never will. We just kept fighting, kept our heads up and kept pushing. We wanted to at least make it look a little more respectable on the board, and we did that."
The 6-0, 180-pound junior Kinard rushed for a game-high 119 yards on 20 carries.
Brennan paced third-seeded York Catholic's air attach, finishing with a game-high 128 receiving yards on six receptions, including an 81-yard touchdown catch from junior quarterback Daniel Yokemick in the second quarter.
"I can't thank my teammates enough for the great final season they have given me," Brennan said. "I'm going to remember this for the rest of my life."
York Catholic made it back to the district title game for the third consecutive season despite opening the year with losses to Northeastern, Susquehannock and Berks Catholic.
"We went 1-4 to start the season," Brennan said. "The turnaround we had and the fight I saw in this team was incredible. I wouldn't trade it for anything else. I'm just so happy we made it here after we turned it around from that bad start."
The Fighting Irish faithful set up a tailgate before Friday's District 3 Class A football championship game. Lyzz Jones
York Catholic _ 0 _ 7 _ 0 _ 21_—_28
Camp Hill _ 19 _ 14 _ 7 _ 0_ —_40
CH — Bill Williams 70 run (kick failed), 7:59.
CH — Jack Williamson 7 pass from Michael Shuster (pass failed), 1:58.
CH — Williams 35 pass from Shuster (Noah Resuta kick), :10.7
CH — Williams 2 run (Resuta kick), 8:59
YC — Luke Brennan 81 pass from Daniel Yokemick (Brennan kick), 7:34.
CH — Williams 62 pass from Shuster (Resuta kick), 1:18.
CH — Williams 6 run on off. fumble recovery (Resuta kick), 5:47.
YC — Andrew Polson 1 run (Brennan kick), 5:29.
YC — Jakkar Kinard 21 run (Brennan kick), 1:27.
YC — Sean Lamont 9 run (Brennan kick), :17.8.
First downs _ 20 _ 22
Rushes-yards _ 46-218 _29-137
Passing _10-23-0 _19-31-3
Passing yards _173_ 288
Total yards _391 _425
Punts _6-32.0_ 3-36.7
Fumbles-lost _ 1-1_ 2-0
Penalties-yards_ 5-41 _5-35
Rushing — YC, Jakkar Kinard 20-119; Daniel Yokemick 14-35; Kyle Dormer 3-27; Sean Lamont 4-21; Andrew Polson 4-12; Brandon Creisher 1-4. CH, Bill Williams 11-98; Jack Williamson 3-36; Logan Vallati 1-12; Quinn Buffington 2-5; Michael Shuster 8-3; Benny Guyer 2-(-2); Nik Newman 2-(-15).
Passing — YC, Yokemick, 10-23-173-0. CH, Shuster 19-29-288-2; Williams 0-1-0-1; Buffington 0-1-0-0.
Receiving — YC, Luke Brennan 6-128; Riley Brennan 2-24; Creisher 1-11; Joe Bauhof 1-10. CH, Williams 4-113; Vallati 5-73; Zack Kuntz 5-52; David Fetrow 2-23; Wyatt Beddow 1-15; Williamson 2-12.