Photos by Mike Longo Jr.
OLSH running back Brandon Brazell fights for yardage in the Chargers 42-7 loss to Bishop Canevin in the WPIAL Class 1A Championship game at Heinz Field on Nov. 26.
By Mike Longo Jr.
Bishop Canevin claimed their first WPIAL Class A championship title during a 42-7 trouncing over OLSH at Heinz Field Nov. 26.
Things started well for the Chargers, with Stephen Greer converting on a fourth and goal pass thrown by quarterback Nehemiah Azeeem with just over four minutes left in the fourth quarter. But once the Crusaders’ Keshawn Harris evened the scoring halfway through the next quarter, the momentum lurched toward Canevin, where it stayed for the remainder of the game.
The Crusaders found the end zone twice more in the next two minutes, as Xaiver Nelson outraced the OLSH defense 77 yards to secure a touchdown, and then scored again 17 seconds later after winning an interception and scampering 45 yards. Before the quarter was over, Nelson once more found the endzone on the back of a 36-yard pass from quarterback Kole Olzewski making it 28-7 at intermission.
Bishop Canevin's stingy defense gave OLSH trouble the entire afternoon, while offensively, they continued to wreak havoc. Widening their margin with 8:12 left in the third quarter, Olzewski tossed his second touchdown as he hit Willie Banks-Hicks on a 4-yard toss to generate a 35-7 lead.
Running back Jaiden Torres finished off the scoring in the final quarter when he broke multiple tackles rambling 52 yards to the endzone.
The normally high-powered Chargers offense was held to 126 yards as Azeem went eight of 19 for 85 yards passing, with one touchdown, while losing the ball four times to interceptions and carrying the ball a total of 30 yards rushing. Powerhouse running back Stephen Greer was held to just 52 yards on 19 carries.
The Crusaders defense put in an impressive display throughout, shutting out the Chargers for three entire quarters. Offensively, they scored 42 unanswered points with 28 of those coming in the second quarter.
The Crusaders pose with the WPIAL Class 1A trophy after defeating the Chargers.
Nelson shone as the definite star of the game, scoring three times and picking up 102 yards with a pair of catches and an interception. In the passing department, Canevin quarterback Jason Cross was four of eight for 87 yards and one touchdown, while quarterback Kole Olzewski went three of eight for 57 yards and two touchdowns. In terms of rushing, Jaiden Torres made six carries for 62 yards, Keyshawn Harris had eight touches for 46 yards and Marquis Carter went seven times for 15 yards.
Second-year Head Coach Richard Johnson snagged his first WPIAL Championship and landed the Crusaders a title which they haven't seen since 1990, when they defeated Washington 21-20 in the Class 2A finals.
Canevin now heads to the PIAA state playoffs, where they will face Redbank Valley in the semi-finals.