FARRELL, Pa. – In a battle of two of the top programs not just in District 10 but the entire state, it was Class 5A Cathedral Prep that bested Class 2A Farrell, 44-18.
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Luke Costello threw for three touchdowns and ran for another for the Ramblers, while R.J. Roberts Jr. caught two of those touchdowns and also had two interceptions on defense.
“It’s awesome,” Costello said during the Cole Orthodontic Associates postgame interview. “It was an electric atmosphere out here. Their (Farrell) fans were awesome. The atmosphere here was amazing. We traveled really well, too, so it was good to see a lot of our fans giving us momentum throughout the game.”
See Costello’s full interview:
Of the Ramblers’ six touchdowns, four covered at least 25 yards, including the first of two touchdowns from Costello to Roberts, a 38-yarder that made it 21-0 on the first play of the second quarter.
“It’s our quarterback and our o-line,” Roberts said. “Our o-line giving our quarterback time to read. Luke made some wonderful reads and found me on some good passes and I was able to score on two of them.”
See Roberts’ full interview.
The 21-0 start for the Ramblers also included a 14-yard touchdown run from Dajoure Hollingsworth and a 57-yard scamper from Suhtaun Lewis.
That duo combined for 202 yards on the ground (Lewis 110, Hollingsworth 92).
Farrell’s offense got going in the second quarter to keep them within striking distance.
The Steelers went on a nearly six-minute drive that culminated with Juelz Johnson’s first of two touchdowns, a 6-yard run, that made it 21-6 at the 5:41 mark of the second quarter.
The two teams traded touchdowns to close the half, beginning with Costello’s 40-yard touchdown pass on a seam route to Ethan Seifert with 2:18 to go in the half.
That was followed by perhaps the most impressive drive of the game by either team, as Farrell drove 96 yards in two minutes to score with nine seconds left in the half.
A 29-yard pass from Kabron Smith to Simeir Wade and a pair of pass interference calls on the Ramblers helped set up a Smith to Johnson 4-yard scoring strike that made it 28-12 at halftime.
“That’s a good program,” said Farrell coach Amp Pegues of the Ramblers. “I’m proud of my guys. There was a point in the game where I thought my guys might pack it in and say let’s just take the butt whoopin’ and get out of here, but they didn’t. They hunkered down and fought to the end. And that’s the mark of a champion.”
See Pegues’ full interview:
Farrell attempted an onside kick to start the second half and nearly got it, but the Ramblers recovered and ultimately scored on a Cameron Christman 27-yard field goal.
The big plays continued for Prep, as Costello connected with Roberts on a 15-yard score and Costello capped his evening with a 25-yard touchdown run.
Farrell, which had a Smith to Brandon Chambers touchdown called back on an offensive pass interference call in the second half, also had a big play in the passing game, as Smith hit Danny Odem Jr. along the sideline early in the fourth quarter and Odem Jr. did the rest, going 63 yards for the score.
Costello finished 9-of-14 through the air for 143 yards and also had 54 yards rushing on 11 carries, while Roberts had six receptions for 68 yards.
Smith finished 19-of-30 through the air for Farrell for 223 yards, while Odem had five receptions for 105 yards and Johnson had 84 yards rushing on 15 carries.
It was a game both teams wanted, especially with some time off coming up. Farrell will likely be the top seed in the D10 Class 2A playoffs and not play until the following week, while Prep will have a bye in their D6-8-10 subregional after Brashear opted-out. The Ramblers will face the winner of Central Mountain and Hollidaysburg.
“This definitely gives us confidence and momentum, I would say are the two biggest words,” Costello said. “We’re going to come back from a couple injuries we have from this game and the last and just build off that, have a couple weeks in practice and whoever we play, put it to them.”