Berks Catholic Football Falls at Cocalico
Berks Catholic was no match for Cocalico’s rushing attack on Friday night.
The Saints allowed 306 rushing yards and four touchdowns, ultimately falling to the Eagles 31-10 in a Lancaster-Lebanon League Section 4 game at Forino Sports Complex.
“They just did whatever they had to do,” Berks Catholic coach Rick Keeley said of Cocalico. “They kept fighting, and they were the better team.”
The Eagles (4-2, 5-4) were led by junior running back Sam Steffey, who carried 42 times for 237 yards and three touchdowns. His longest run was 50 meters.
“He’s a workhorse,” Keeley said. “We knew we had to stop him if we wanted to win this game, and we couldn’t.”
Steffey gave Cocalico an early lead in the first quarter, scoring on a 2-yard run to cap a 14-play drive.
Berks Catholic (3-3, 3-6) responded quickly, as Josiah “JayJay” Jordan scored on a 23-yard run to put the Saints on the board in the final minute of the first quarter. Jordan finished with 44 yards on 13 carries and also recorded an interception.
The teams traded field goals in the second quarter. Cocalico’s Talen Popolis netted a 25-yard field goal to put the Eagles up 10-7. Berks Catholic kicker Andrew Kurtas netted a 22-yard field goal with 15 seconds left in the half to tie the game.
Cocalico dominated the second half, scoring 21 unanswered points. Steffey ran for a 4-yard touchdown late in the third quarter and a 5-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter to make it 24-10.
“His line blocked really well for him,” Keeley said of Steffey. “He ran really hard behind his lineman.”
The Eagles’ final touchdown came with 1:17 to go, as running back Owen Weaver dove into the end zone from one yard out.
The Saints had just 89 total rushing yards and seven first downs. Aside from Jordan, Berks Catholic has only rushed for 13 yards on 15 carries.
“We didn’t do very well on the attacking side of the ball tonight,” Keeley said. “They played a very good defense against us.”
With the loss, the Saints are likely eliminated from the District 3 playoffs. Berks Catholic entered seventh in the Class 3A District 3 power rankings on Friday, with the top six teams advancing to the playoffs.
“We’ve lost to a lot of good teams this year,” Keeley said. “It wasn’t for lack of effort.”