COATESVILLE, Pa. — Bishop McDevitt Back in the State Semifinals for the first time since 2018 and they face off against a very good Bishop Shanahan team loaded with seniors.
First quarter McDevitt off to a slow start on defense, Eagles QB Cooper Jordan, outstanding all night, finds his target and gets the Eagles on the board for an early 7-0 lead.
No panic from Jeff Weachter on the sidelines. In fact the opposite.
The Crusaders march right down the field, Stone Saunders cool and calm in the pocket, finds Mario Easterly not once but twice. First on the out, then this gem to the back pylon, Mario throws a little sugar on those Christmas cookies and we are tied at seven.
In the second quarter Jordan puts the Eagles back in front with this quarterback draw, but that would be one of the few runs that Jordan would get free on.
McDevitt turns on the heat on the sidelines and Marques Williams would take it to the field. His moves on the 25 yard run breaks ankles on the way, PAT no good to make it 14-13 before the half. But before we get to that whistle Jaire Rawlison sets the tone on this monster hit jarring the ball loose.
As McDevitt walks to the locker room down by one they have a little bit of time to make adjustments before the next 24 minutes decide if they make a trip back to the state finals for the first time since 2013.
McDevitt wastes no time after the second half kicking, as they pin Shanahan deep and then force a punt that Mario Easterly retuned down their sideline deep into Eagles territory. A few players later to waste after a Easterly punt return to set up great field position. From the three yard line Cyncir Bowers would bounce it outside for the touchdown and McDevitt would convert the two-point conversion to take a 21-14 lead.
On the ensuing possession defensive end Nate Kinsely, just his second year playing football, make the play of his young career. As Jordan looked for a receiver and fired, Kinsley sprung his hands up and deflect the pass straight up. At that moment he searched for the ball in the air, found it, corralled it and then bolted for the end zone and a 28-14 McDevitt lead electrifying the sideline.
Shanahan would return the ensuing kick to make it 28-21 as the fourth quarter started but McDevitts defense stood tall time after time. With just over six minutes left, Coach Whechter decided to go old school and powered the football to take off over four minutes of clock. But the Eagles did have one last chance and with 1:19 left they looked to be in good position for a score but the defense stiffened at the right moment.
On fourth down Jordan dropped back, scrambled to his right, as he looked to have an escape lane, but Ryan Russo laid all out to trip him up setting off the celebration for the 28-21 clinching McDevitt's spot in the state championship for the first time since 2018.
Bishop McDevitt will face Aliquippa Thursday at 7pm at Hersheypark Stadium.