McDowell just wants to play football.
After two straight forfeit wins over Erie High and Pittsburgh Central Catholic, the Trojans (6-0) get that chance in the PIAA Class 6A semifinals against Central York.
It’s been a difficult season in many ways for the Trojans, as they’ve had to watch teammate Johnny Heubel fight for his life after collapsing during a game early this season.
That came right around the time COVID-19 forced a two-week shutdown.
Heubel has certainly been in the prayers of everyone, and will be for the Trojans as they get set to take on a talented Central York team led by perhaps Pennsylvania’s best quarterback.
The Panthers’ Beau Pribula is just a junior and is committed to Penn State. He has led his team to blowout wins in all nine of its games this season.
The Trojans have a talented quarterback of their own in senior Chris Juchno and a team eager to prove that they belong among the best in the state.
Here’s how the 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 York Offense (54.8 ppg)
Pribula, who stands at 6’2”, is a true dual-threat quarterback. He has thrown for 1,971 yards, 32 touchdowns and three interceptions, while rushing for 505 yards and 13 scores.
The top targets for Pribula are Judah Tomb, Taylor Wright-Rawls, Parker Hines and Kyle Fontes.
Isaiah Strugis has rushed for over 600 yards on the ground this season to lead the rushing attack.
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 York Defense (8.0 ppg.)
Seth Griffths leads a unit that has four shutouts this season with 62 tackles (9 for loss), while Jack Smith and Carter Glassmyer have 56 and 55 stops, respectively. Trenton Dunnick has five sacks, while Victor Pena has notched four interceptions and Wright-Rawls three.
Winner Gets: St. Joe’s Prep/Souderton winner in state championship game (Hershey Park Stadium, Saturday, 8 p.m.)
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