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High School Football: PIAA Class 2A first-round playoff preview

District 3 champ York Catholic faces Philadelphia West Catholic Saturday at 1 p.m. at Cardinal O'Hara HS in Springfield, Delaware County
Credit: WPMT

YORK, Pa. — You don't see a lot of three-win football teams in the state playoffs, as a rule.

But that's the scenario York Catholic is facing in its PIAA Class 2A first-round playoff game against Philadelphia West Catholic on Saturday.

The Burrs pulled off a stunning upset of Conwell-Egan in the District 12 championship game last week to earn a ticket to the dance. West Catholic will take on the District 3 champion Fighting Irish Saturday afternoon at Cardinal O'Hara High School in Delaware County.

Here's a closer look at the matchup.

York Catholic (11-0) vs. Philadelphia West Catholic (3-7)

Saturday, 1 p.m. at Cardinal O'Hara HS, Springfield, Delaware County

ABOUT YORK CATHOLIC: The Fighting Irish captured the District 3 Class 2A title last week with a 35-8 triumph over Upper Dauphin. It was the fourth title in program history for York Catholic, which fell 21-7 to Camp Hill in last year's final.

Against UD, QB Levan McFadden accounted for three touchdowns and Andrew Adams added two more scores on the ground as York Catholic rolled to a lopsided win. The Irish may have gotten some extra incentive during pre-game warmups, when UD's players made a show of stepping on the York Catholic logo at midfield. 

At any rate, McFadden threw a 56-yard TD strike to Quinn Brennan and added a pair of TD runs for Catholic, which exploded to a 28-0 halftime lead and was never really challenged by the Trojans, who came into the game feeling pretty good about themselves after capturing the Mid-Penn Liberty title in the regular season. Adams finished with 144 yards on nine carries, and opened the second half with his second touchdown, a 78-yard burst that effectively put the game away.

The Irish held UD to 170 total yards and forced two turnovers. 

For the season, McFadden has completed 46 of 90 passes for 849 yards and 10 scores, and is second on the team in rushing with 671 yards and 15 TDs. Adams has 1,153 yards and 11 scores on 166 carries to lead the Irish.

York Catholic has won three district titles in the last six years. Their deepest foray into the state playoffs was a quarterfinal appearance in 

ABOUT WEST CATHOLIC: The Burrs are a surprising entrant in the PIAA playoffs, to say the least. After going 2-7 in the regular season, they stunned Conwell-Egan 18-13 in the District 12 championship game last week to earn a berth in the state playoffs. The win avenged West Catholic's 36-0 loss to the Eagles just four weeks earlier. 

After battling to a scoreless tie at halftime, West Catholic grabbed the lead in the third quarter with a 55-yard TD run by quarterback Zymeen Howell. Egan responded immediately with a 68-yard TD run by Colin Majors on the next play from scrimmage, taking a 7-6 lead. 

K'saan Greene then added a pair of touchdown runs for the Burrs, scoring from 13 yards out after a third-quarter Egan turnover and from eight yards out early in the fourth. Egan got one last touchdown to keep it close, but West Catholic held on for the stunning win.

While the Burrs are unexpected participants in States this year, they do have a rich playoff history. West Catholic engaged in some epic battles with Lancaster Catholic about a decade ago, defeating the Crusaders in the 2008 state semifinals but falling to them in the semis in 2009 and 2011. The Crusaders went on to win state titles a week later on both of the latter occasions. 

West Catholic lost in the 2008 state final, but captured a state title in 2010. The Burrs have 599 victories in a program that dates back to 1918. Their win total ranks 22nd all-time among Pennsylvania programs.

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