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Monday, September 26, 2022

Making the Grade: Camp Hill vs. Bishop McDevitt (Wyncote)

By Andy Shay: 

Even before the PIAA Class 2A quarterfinal between visiting Bishop McDevitt-Wyncote and Camp Hill kicked off you could see the astounding size difference between the two clubs. The Royal Lancers won the tale of the tape going away.

But the Lions, all 23 of them that dressed, showed up and played their tails off. Camp Hill was going to have to be even better than it was the first half in a game it led 14-13 at intermission. Turns out that was too big of an ask as the Royal Lancers came out on top 26-14.

Make no mistake, though, it wasn’t an easy win for the District 12 squad from Philadelphia. They were pushed by the scrappy Lions.

This wasn’t a clean game by any measurable. The teams combined for nine turnovers and 22 penalties that totaled 200-plus yards. But it was an entertaining game, but the size difference was astounding.

Time to hand out some grades.


Quarterback: Nick Santo isn’t the kind of QB that is going to throw down the field and drop a dime. But he’s smart with the ball and makes the short throws to his playmakers look easy. They don’t ask a lot of him, but he delivered with 13 completions for nearly 200 yards. He did fumble on the goal line and it didn’t end up costing McD, but it was a huge mistake in the fourth quarter. Grade: B

Running Back: The Royal Lancers go with a two-back rotation and both James Bermudez and Keon Keener both crept just past the 100-yard barrier. Bermudez broke loose for one big gainer. The real hammer, though, is Keener who checks in at 5-11, 225 pounds and is what can best be described as a heavy runner. He ain’t easy to bring down when he gets going forward. Keener scored both rushing touchdowns and is tough. Grade: A

Wide Receivers: Most of the routes are either WR screens or crossing routes, but Joachim McElroy and Corey Wright-Downing find ways to get open and catch most balls around them. The duo combined for 13 grabs for 152 yards. They were lethal after the catch and that was key. The best catch was by Emmanuel Sia, who made the best individual catch I’ve seen in person all season by adjusting to a tough throw to make a 34-yard grab on a third-and-30 play. It was his only catch.  Grade: A+

Offensive Line: They are massive and pretty darn good. It helps when you average about 75-100 pounds more per man than the guy across from you, but you still need to execute. They are a big reason the Royal Lancers pulled this game out. With so many turnovers and miscues, when they were given the chance they made sure the QB had time to throw and holes were available for the backs. Grade: A

Defensive Line: This group is big, strong and fast. They were in the Lions’ QB’s kitchen all game making his life miserable. And they didn’t miss many chances to finish. Five sacks is a good number against a mobile QB.. Grade: A

Linebackers: My guess is they are probably really good against the run. But on this night they struggled with the crossing routes and bubble screens in pass coverage. They made a couple big hits and picked off one pass. Still, their coverage against the pass opened a door for Camp Hill. Grade: C+

Secondary: A pick-six by Sia, who also had the best catch of the game, turned this game around for the Royal Lancers. The corners got beat a couple times, three pass interference calls. Overall a good night with picks, but at times they struggled. Grade: B

Special Teams: Lots of special teams penalties, a missed PAT and their coverage on kickoffs was just average. That’s an average grade, right? Grade: C


Quarterback: Daniel Shuster is ready to play at the next level. If he can stand up to that kind of beating and still be throwing it at the end, he’s ready. His coach likes to say he has three seconds. On this night it was more like two or less most times. Still threw for 268 yards, but made two bad throws for interceptions. The other two were good plays by the defense to guys that probably looked open when he let the ball go. They had that much speed. Grade: B

Running Back: I don’t count quarterbacks as running backs and out of necessity in this one Shuster was the best option running the ball on QB draws. Grade: Incomplete

Wide Receivers: After the game my partner on High School Football Now, the legendary Eric Epler, told me Cam Ochs is only a rookie when it comes to varsity football and that basketball is his main sport. Well the Royal Lancers have some good corners and they rotated three guys on him and they still couldn’t cover him. I was impressed and not because he finished 8-162 and a TD, either. I did see three or four drops that were clear drops. Those stood out in a game like this. Still, Ochs more than made up for it. Grade: A-

Offensive Line: When the guy across from you is clearly bigger, stronger and pretty fast, too, that makes for a long night. I know the pass rush was fierce and impacted the game. But for what they have to work with, I thought this group did an okay job, really. They were going backwards almost from the snap because they guys on the other side were 50-75 pounds bigger.  Grade: C

Defensive Line: It must have felt like pushing a burlap bag filled with water all night for these guys. They were so much smaller than the Royal Lancers’ OL. Luke Parise was fantastic, though. He knocked a pass down and was able to break free and make some nice plays. They caused a couple fumbles, too. Grade: C+

Linebackers: Max Delaye and Ben Mullin could barely walk after the game and with good reason. They gave at the office. These two were like razorbacks in tight spaces and made a ton of tackles. Neither was afraid to run at 100 miles per hour into the fray with zero regard for their bodies. They were outstanding. Grade: B

Secondary: I saw only one mistake by this group and that was on a 32-yard touchdown pass to the tight end after a long drive where the McDevitt was running the ball down their throat. They got caught looking in the backfield. Even that killer 34-yard reception they gave up on third-and-20 was excellent coverage. The catch was just better. They got beat on nothing deep or in space. Grade: B

Special Teams: Well the missed FG by Shuster wasn’t close and that was always a big ask at 35 yards. The deep kickoff was the better option after a short kick gave up too much field position. Produced a turnover early in the first quarter. The offense didn’t capitalize, but they created opportunity. Only punt from deep in their own territory was nearly 40 yards and not returnable. Well done Parise. Grade: B+

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