North Penn takes the field for their playoff contest against LaSalle. Photo by Mark C. Psoras
The North Penn football team looks for its second PIAA Class AAAA title in its history when it faces Central Dauphin in the state final 6 p.m. Saturday at Hersheypark Stadium. And if you're looking for a little info on both the Knights and Rams, you're in luck. Here's five facts on each team before their clash for the championship.
1) North Penn is 13-2 and has won its last 12 games. The Knights have scored 32.6 points per game and have allowed 14.0 points per game. In its five postseason games, North Penn has scored 30.2 points per game and allowed 11.8 points per game.
2) This is Dick Beck’s 10th season as head coach of North Penn. He is 119-20 overall and 32-8 in the postseason. The Knights have won six District One 4A titles under Beck – 2002, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2010 and 2011 – and one PIAA title (2003).
North Penn has reached double-digits in win totals in nine of Beck’s seasons. This is the fourth consecutive year the Knights have won at least 13 games.
3) The Knights are the first District One 4A team to reach the state final since Neshaminy lost to Pittsburgh Central Catholic 49-14 in 2004.
North Penn defeating Central Catholic 37-10 in the ’03 final was the last time a District One 4A school won states. The last time any district team won states was when Lansdale Catholic defeated Grove City 40-17 in the 2004 Class 2A final.
Garnet Valley is the last District One team to reach Hershey, the Jaguars fell to Thomas Jefferson 28-3 in the 2007 3A championship.
4) North Penn senior Ralph Reeves is scoring a touchdown on 37-percent of his runs this postseason, as the senior has found the end zone 10 times on 27 carries in the five playoffs games. The Knights’ defense, meanwhile, has allowed a total of eight touchdowns in the postseason.
5) North Penn is the third 4A team since 2005 to enter the state championship with two losses. In 2005, McKeesport entered the final 13-2 and defeated Bethlehem Liberty 49-10. State College went into the 2009 championship 12-2 and fell to La Salle 24-7.
1) Central Dauphin is 14-1 and has won its last 13 games. The Rams have scored 31.3 points per game and have allowed 14.4 points per game. In its five postseason games, Central Dauphin has scored 28.0 points per game and allowed 18.8 points per game.
2) The Rams’ only loss was to Bishop McDevitt of Harrisburg Week Two. McDevitt is playing Archbishop Wood in the state 3A final Friday.
3) This is Glen McNamee’s sixth season as coach of Central Dauphin. He is 57-18 overall and 10-5 in the postseason. The Rams’ District Three title this season was the first under McNamee and the first for the Rams since 2002.
Central Dauphin has improved on its win total in each of the last four seasons. The Rams went 7-4 in 2008, 9-3 in 2009, 10-3 last year and currently sits at 14-1 going into Saturday’s 4A final.
4) The Rams are the first District Three Class 4A team to make the state final since Lower Dauphin lost to Penn Hills 35-14 in 1995. The last 4A team from the district to win a state title was Cumberland Valley, who defeated Upper St. Clair in 28-12 in 1992.
5) Central Dauphin has won three of its past four games by three points. In the District Three quarters, the Rams beat Cedar Cliff 35-32, then topped Wilson-West Lawn in the district final 24-21. CD made it to Hershey by knocking off defending 4A champ North Allegheny 23-20 in the state semifinals.