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McDowell Eyes Up Pittsburgh Central Catholic in 6A Showdown

THIS GAME HAS BEEN CANCELED AND MCDOWELL ADVANCES TO PIAA QUARTERFINALS – See story

It’s been an emotional ride for the McDowell football team this season, one that they hope is far from over. 

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The Trojans welcome powerhouse Pittsburgh Central Catholic to Gus Anderson Field on Saturday (7 p.m.), with the winner advancing to the PIAA Class 6A semifinals. 

The Vikings (6-2) have lost twice this season, but that was to a pair of the top teams in the state, North Allegheny (35-21) and Mt. Lebanon (37-30). 

They faced some uncertainty of their own this season after star lineman Elliot Donald, a Pitt commit and the nephew of Aaron Donald, decided to skip his senior season. 

They got their revenge on both teams, however, including a 38-24 win over NA last week in the WPIAL title game, their fourth D-7 crown in the last six seasons. 

McDowell, meanwhile, sits at 5-0, but hasn’t played since a 24-6 win over Cathedral Prep on Oct. 30, this after Erie High was forced to forfeit in the D-10 title game last week. 

Here’s a look at how the two teams match up. 

McDowell Offense (32.5 ppg.)

The Trojans are led on offense by senior quarterback Chris Juchno, and he has put together a terrific season, throwing for 857 yards, nine touchdowns and just two interceptions. 

Juchno has a pair of talented pass catchers in Braeden Soboleski (17-289-3 TDs) and Anthony Emling (20-229-3). Justo Rivera (21-178-1) is also a capable receiver out of the backfield. 

Rivera is the Trojans’ leading rusher with 356 yards and a pair of scores, while Taha Ramahi (261 yards) will also see plenty of carries.

Central Catholic Offense (36.2 ppg)

Eddy Tillman has been a workhorse in the backfield for the Vikings, including 132 yards on 26 carries and three touchdowns in the WPIAL title game win last week. 

On the season, Tillman has 982 yards. 

McDowell Defense (8.7 ppg.)

A unit that has been stellar this season, the Trojans are led by Michael Osinski, Rivera, Noah Bielak and a host of others. Osinski leads the team in tackles while Oliver Petsch has notched a pair of interceptions.

Central Catholic Defense (19.2 ppg.) 

This unit has just continued to get better as the season has gone on as they compensated for the loss of Donald. 

In the WPIAL semifinals and title games, they have a combined 12 sacks and have made it a habit of taking the ball away. 

Winner Gets: Delaware Valley/Central York

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