The U.S.O. (University Prep, Sci-Tech, and Obama) offense ended up being as cold as the November afternoon on which its last game was played.
After tallying over 800 yards in his first two games in the state playoffs, senior Akil Young threw a season-high seven interceptions en route to a 41-14 loss to Selinsgrove Nov 24. The game was played at Mansion Park stadium in Altoona.
During the course of the PIAA Class AAA first-round game, the Seals—a District 4 representative—wore the U.S.O. defense down with its 325 rushing yards.
“None of us were really used to playing in the cold and snow like that,” senior linebacker Myles Catlin said. “Those hits feel way different in those conditions but they weren’t going to slow down that running game that punished us all game.”
Despite his mistakes, Young paced the Wildcats offense with his 192 yards through the air— including a 28-yard score to junior running back Clay Moorefield. He finished second on the team with five catches for 41 yards.
“They pounded us and pounded us until we couldn’t take anymore,” Catlin added.
Selinsgrove (10-3) finished with a single passing yard for the game.
“We couldn’t believe how effective their running game was,” junior receiver Marcus Johnson said. “What was so amazing was how we couldn’t contain it.”
Johnson accounted for the other Wildcats score with a 61-yard punt return for a score in the second quarter. He also finished with six receptions for 62 yards to lead the way for U.S.O. (7-4).
Mike Walter led the way for Selinsgrove with his 151 yards, by handling 21 of his offenses’ 65 total rushing attempts to go along with scores from 15, 4, 1 and 29 away.
U.S.O doubled their opponents’ penalty yards with 90.
Even with Selinsgrove’s one-dimensional scheme on offense, U.S.O.’s usual high-powered arsenal was out-matched by over 100 yards. They only accumulated 240.
“We still feel like we accomplished more than we were supposed to,” Catlin said. “As a team, we weren’t let down by our effort. We knew we gave it our all but our all wasn’t quite good enough. But we still feel good about we put out there.”
(Malik Vincent can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @malikvincent.)