The undefeated Manheim Central Barons (15-0) have defeated the Upper Dublin Cardinals tonight 34-12 and will head to the PIAA 5A title game.
It was their 15th PIAA state semifinal game. The Class 5A semifinal game was played at Wissahickon High School.
The Barons passing and running game were simply too much for Upper Dulblin, who was riddled with penalties all evening.
The Barons are after all a team that averaged 396 yards and 43 points per game. And they placed seven players on the first-team Section 2 all-star team, three of whom were up for player of the year.
Upper Dublin got off to a good start in the first seven minutes of the game when Jason Scott intercepted Evan Simon, who is Manheim’s record holder for touchdowns. That big play halted a nine-play drive for the Barons.
But Manheim Central benefitted from a blocked punt that gave the Barons the ball at Upper Dublin’s 45-yard line. Four plays later, after Simon’s 34-yard run, Tyler Flick opened the scoring with a 4-yard touchdown run and a 7-0 lead.
Barons’ QB Evan Simon kept the ball on a 5-yard TD run for a two touchdown lead early in the second quarter.
Just before the second half Upper Dublin QB Mike Slivka pass was tipped and caught in end zone.
A failed two point conversion attempt cut the score to 14-6 vs Manheim Central.
An Evan Smith pass to Ben Wagner pushed Manheim Central’s lead to 21-6 as the teams headed to the locker room.
Issac Perron intercepted an Upper Dublin Hail Mary pass to end the first half.
Some of the Barons’ success, however, was due to mistakes made by Upper Dublin, especially in the third quarter.
The Cardinals committed seven penalties, including a hold that wiped away a 74-yard kickoff return by Lucas Roselli to start the second half. They also had two punts blocked and dropped an interception.
With 6:53 left in the third quarter Will Rivers pulled in a short Evan Simon swing pass for 78-yard TD catch and a 28-6 Barons’ lead.
A Niko Gavala 38-yard FIELD GOAL pushed the Manheim Central lead to 31-6 late in the 3rd quarter.
With 9 minutes left in the game Niko Gavala blasted a 25-yard field goal for a Barons’ 34-6 lead.
This was the Barons’ second trip in as many years to the PIAA semifinal game. They now head to their fourth state championship game in program history.
Their last state title was won in 2003 against Pine-Richland. The Barons will play WPIAL champs Penn Hills, who dethroned two-time defending state champ Archbishop Wood, 20-13.
The final will be played Friday December 7th at Hersheypark Stadium at 7 PM.
Upper Dublin 0 6 0 6 – 12
Manheim Township 7 14 10 3 – 34
MC: Tyler Flick 4 run (Niko Gavala kick)
MC: Evan Simon 5 run (Gavala kick)
UD: Jason Scott 15 pass from Mike Slivka (pass failed)
MC: Ben Wagner 11 pass from Simon (Gavala kick)
MC: Will River 78 pass from Simon (Gavala kick)
MC: Gavala 37 field goal
MC: Gavala 25 field goal
UD: Lucas Roselli 4 pass from Slivka (kick blocked)
Evan Smith threw for 180 yards and rushed for 75 yards.