Steelton-Highspire accomplished something few teams have been able to do against Bishop Carroll over the past four seasons.

The Steamrollers stopped the Huskies’ running game.

Bishop Carroll netted only 44 rushing yards and the Huskies couldn’t keep pace with the powerful District 3 champs on Saturday.

Steelton-Highspire won 36-20 in a PIAA Class A quarterfinal at HersheyPark Stadium.

“Steel High made the plays when they had to,” Bishop Carroll coach Craig Sponsky said. “Credit their players and their staff. They deserved the victory.

“We didn’t rush the ball as effectively as we needed to. They’re a great football team. We wished to be more effective, but we weren’t.”

The Huskies finished a 12-1 season that included the program’s sixth District 6 title in the past eight years.

Carroll forged a 7-7 first-quarter tie and trailed 20-13 at halftime as a crowd of 1,507 watched.

But the 11-2 Steamrollers quickly answered Carroll’s scoring drives to regain momentum.

“We came into the game thinking we had to stop the run,” Steelton-Highspire coach Rob Deibler said. “They got to the point where they had to throw the ball more than they’re used to. I think our speed at linebacker and some of the kids we had at defensive end made the quarterback a little uncomfortable.”

Carroll senior quarterback Brock Lauer had a solid game despite the pressure. He completed 14 of 21 passes for 193 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

“He’s a nice player,” Deibler said of Lauer. “He’s real slippery and hard to control. But he was having to dodge three or four players instead of one.”

Bishop Carroll senior back Paul Forcellini gained 28 yards on nine carries. He also caught six passes for 81 yards. Forcellini entered the game with 1,707 rushing yards.

Steelton freshman running back Jeremiah Young had 139 yards on 19 carries and scored on rushes of 4 and 28 yards.

Steamrollers quarterback Jerel Lewis passed for 172 yards, including TD passes of 40 and 29 yards to Stewart Young, Jeremiah’s senior brother.

“They just out-executed us,” Sponsky said.

The teams traded touchdowns during the opening 2:23 of play. Lewis passed 40 yards to Stewart Young at 10:03, and Lauer scored on a 10-yard option keeper at 9:37, making it 7-7.

Lewis took the snap as the up-man on a fourth-and-10 fake punt from the Carroll 43 and gained 14 yards. The play led to Jeremiah Young’s 4-yard TD run early in the second quarter that made it 13-6.

“We’ll think about that when we’re at the 50 going in,” Deibler said of the fake. “The wind was blowing our way. Originally we were going to throw to the seam. But our quarterback is our

protector and he saw it was covered. He took off for the hole on the left.”

Jerel Layman’s 29-yard TD reception made it 20-7. But Carroll answered with a well-executed, play-action fake on Lauer’s 17-yard scoring pass to tight end Jeff Minemyer 1:02 before the half.

“Brock really had two options,” Sponsky said. “He made a great decision and a great pass. Jeff executed well. We got protection.

“It seemed like when we got protection, Brock was able to make a more thought-out decision.”

Skyler Kemp’s 20-yard field goal and Jeremiah Young’s tackle-breaking 28-yard score to made it 30-13 through three quarters.

The Huskies answered with Lauer’s 10-yard screen pass to Forcellini for a fourth-quarter TD, but Stewart Young caught his second touchdown pass on the ensuing drive to clinch it.

“Our passing game at least kept us competitive for a while,” Sponsky said. “But in the long run the difference probably was our inability to run the ball and control the clock.”



Mike Mastovich can be reached at 532-5083 or mmastovich@tribdem.com.

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