The calendar may have read late September, but if Friday night's dominating performance by Bishop McDevitt is a harbinger of things to come, expect to the see the Crusaders playing deep into the heart of winter.
The Bishop McDevitt Crusaders (4-0, 2-0) annihilated the Central Dauphin Tigers (3-1, 2-0), 48-13, Friday night in Harrisburg.
With the win, Bishop McDevitt made the state's largest rankings jump, soaring 14 spots to No. 53 in this week's RivalsHigh 100.
North Penn, which topped Central Bucks South, 27-7, remained the state's top ranked team, but rose five places to No. 37. Monroeville Gateway climbed ten spots to No. 69, while Thomas Jefferson fell one to No. 87. After losing to Woodland Hills on Friday night, former No. 80 Bethel Park dropped out of the national rankings.
With picture-perfect weather and a crowd of more than 8,000 people at Landis Field, Bishop McDevitt silenced the home Central Dauphin fans with one of the team's best efforts in recent history.
The Crusaders defense shutdown an extremely potent Central Dauphin running game led by dynamic back Colton Charles. The elusive running back and the rest of the Tiger cavalry was held to only 83 yards on the ground; they had been averaging more than 200 yards on the ground through three games.
"They played very well. We gave up one big pass but then after that we didn't give up much at all," said Bishop McDevitt head coach Jeff Weachter of his defense. "Our defensive line played very well. Our secondary played well. And our linebackers played very well. So were very pleased with the way the defense played."
One running back that did not disappoint was Bishop McDevitt's Jameel Poteat. The junior back rushed for an impressive 214 yards, leading to the inevitable question every Crusaders running back must face: How do you compare to Lesean McCoy?
"They' re very similar. Jameel's a little bit bigger than LeSean, he has very good speed, has great vision like LeSean does," Weachter said. "They play very similar. Jameel's probably a little bit better of a blocker, but both have great hands and hopefully some day (Jameel) will be as good as LeSean was."
Some may argue the key to Poteat's success last night was the dominating performance of the Bishop McDevitt offensive line. While they may not reap the publicity Poteat receives, Weachter knows how integral they were in Friday's victory.
"I thought our O-line for the first time this year really came off the ball well. The timing of our running game really improved," Weachter said proudly. "I wasn't happy the first three weeks with the timing of our running game even though we were having some success with it. We're very balanced. We're pretty pleased offensively."
Despite the eye-opening victory, Weachter understands his team has not accomplished anything yet.
"We came in with very high goals. And were just taking it one game at a time. We know it's only the fourth game of the season and a lot can happen. We just have to say healthy and get better every week."
So far, so good.
PaPreps Publisher Carla Swank contributed to this report.