Ramblers Use Three Early Forced Turnovers to Throttle the Vikings
Written by: Shane Lux on Saturday, August 26th, 2017
ERIE – The most hyped game in Western Pennsylvania took place Friday night at Veterans Stadium in Erie.
The Cathedral Prep Ramblers and Pittsburgh Central Catholic Vikings were both in the PIAA Finals last year with Ramblers completing an undefeated season and a 4A State Title. PCC was in the 6A Title Game for the second consecutive year before falling to St. Joe’s Prep. The two schools have combined for seven state titles. There was no denying that two of the premier programs in Pennsylvania were about square off.
Unfortunately, the hype ended up being a lot better than the game itself.
Cathedral Prep scored early and often while forcing three first-quarter turnovers by the Vikings to build a 20-0 lead and never looked back on their way to a 40-7 victory.
Central Catholic took the opening kickoff and moved 32 yards, gaining two first downs to the Prep 45-yard line. But a false start moved the ball back to midfield that set up the game’s first big play. Vikings quarterback Troy Fisher was heavily pressured by Rambler’s star linebacker and Notre Dame recruit Matt Bauer which forced him to rush his throw that was easily intercepted by Terry Roberts (Iowa recruit) who returned it 58 yards giving the Ramblers a 6-0 just 2:17 into the game.
An 8-play 90-yard drive capped off by Joe Mischler’s 1-yard touchdown toss to Mike Lupo gave the Ramblers a 13-0 lead. Mischler’s 56-yard completion to Tyler Oedekoven on a 3rd-and-10 was the big play of the drive.
Things then went from bad to worse for the Vikings as Gavin Thompson fumbled the ensuing kickoff with Prep recovering at the Central Catholic 15-yard line. Three plays later Mischler kept it on an option from ten yards out as the Ramblers lead 20-0 after a quarter.
Following another Vikings, special teams blunder by Cam Laconi on a punt return; Cathedral Prep took over on their 41-yard line, and immediately Mischler and Oedekoven hooked up for a 59-yard bomb that pushed their lead to 26-0 at halftime.
Tyler Oedekoven lead all receivers with 122 yards on three receptions.
For Central Catholic, which had to replace a ton after losing the bulk of their state championship runner up team to graduation that included five Divison 1 offensive lineman from a year ago. Could only muster 100 yards of total offense in the first half.
Wasting little time after receiving the second half kickoff the Ramblers marched 46 yards in five plays capped by Billy Lucas’s 32-yard touchdown run that pushed the lead to 33-0.
Lucas finished the night with 93 yards of total offense while adding an interception on defense.
After a Vikings 3-and-out, Cathedral Prep put in the mercy rule on Matt Lupo’s 4-yard touchdown as they lead 40-0 with 7:08 remaining in the 3rd quarter.
Central Catholic finally had something positive to build on early in the fourth quarter as they put together an 8-play 67-yard drive with Troy Fisher’s 36-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Rheingrover.
Fisher lead the Vikings going 13-of-20 for 135 yards a touchdown and two interceptions.
Both teams are in action again next Friday; Cathedral Prep plays host to Erie, while Central Catholic travels to Shaler.
“We got a long way to”Terry Totten” “I couldn’t be more proud” Mike Mischler
Cathedral Prep 40 Central Catholic 7
Central Catholic 0 0 0 7 – 7
Cathedral Prep 20 6 14 0 – 40
CP – Terry Roberts 58 yd interception return (Kick Failed), 9:43
CP – Mike Lupo 1 yd pass from Joe Mischler (Anthony Lupo Pat), 3:49
Receiving – Central Catholic: Laconi 4-39, Gavin Thomson 3-20, Khalil Weathers 2-18, Rheingrover 4-66, Sharod Lindsey 1-5, Nick Navarro 1-15, Anthony Costa 1-5. Cathedral Prep: Anthony Bolden 2-30, Oedekoven 3-122, Mike Lupo 1-1, Colin Kelly 1-3, Henry Fessler 4-12, Adam Malesiewski 1-9, Lucas 1-11, Roberts 1-26, Matt Lupo 1-5.