ALTOONA, Pa. — It's the fourth straight week that someone has told Central York's football team that this is the biggest game in their program's history. Spoiler alert, they've got another one coming.
The 6A state semifinals between the Panthers and Erie McDowell kicked off at Altoona's Mansion Park on Saturday afternoon.
Erie was able to get out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, but a pair of Beau Pribula touchdown runs helped Central York tie things up early in the second quarter.
It was prove to be huge quarter for Central York. The Panthers posted 27-unanswered points, highlighted by a 42-yard touchdown pass from Beau Pribula to Judah Tomb, as Central York carried a 27-14 lead into the half.
McDowell cashed in on a Panthers miscue to start the third, making it one score game.
It clearly didn't sit well with Pribula, who reeled off a 51-yard run, setting up a Central York field goal and increasing the Panthers lead to 30-21.
With three minutes left in the game, a McDowell pass was tipped by Trenton Dunnick and landed in the hands of Central York's Raquel Dewitt, ending the Trojan threat.
A few plays later, Dewitt finished off the drive with a bulldozing touchdown run, as Central York wins, 37-21.
"I'm just happy. I can't believe it. I can't believe it," said Dewitt. "We worked so hard, every day, every morning, workouts, coaches telling us what to do, following directions. We've just got to trust the process. That's it."
The Panthers become the first York County football team to make it to a state championship game.
"That's just been living in our heads. York County isn't this. York County isn't that. York county can't hang with these teams. That's what we've been working for, to hang with these teams, beat these teams and then go on to the state championship," said senior linebacker Jack Smith.
Central York will meet St. Joseph's Prep in the 6A state title game.