The two-time defending champion Bulls started 1-3, and USO lost its first four games, but both teams seemed to be peaking at the right time.
The Bulls, were trying to be the first team since Perry (2000-05) to win three straight City titles and U-Prep countered with an outstanding defense that allowed only 19 points and recorded three shutouts during a five-game winning streak.
But for 3 quarters it was Brashear’s defense that was bullish.
After a scoreless first quarter University Prep got on the board first when Sabastian Conway-Phillips nailed a 33-yard field goal.
Richard Stone, 5’10-170, returned the second half 90-yards for a touchdown and a Dom Molinaro kick gave the Bulls a 7-3 lead.
When sophomore Bryant Johnson, 5’10-170, caught a 51-yard touchdown from Sha’rron Steave, you could hear the 3-PEAT chants coming from the Brashear fans.
After a Molinaro PAT, the Bulls lead 14-3 and the 11point advantage seemed insurmountable.
UPrep got the spark they were looking for when Dorian Jackson recovered a Brashear fumble at the 15 with less than 8 minutes remaining in the game.
Jackson, 5’10-180, scored from the 8-yard line and the two-point conversion failed and the Bulls held onto a slim 14-9 lead.
Donte’ Massie, 6’2-270, junior made his presence known early and often along the defensive line in the 4th quarter.
U-Prep got the ball back with a little over 1 minute left in the game and on third down junior quarterback Tawan Wesley, 5’10-170, threw a touchdown pass to Darious Shields.
“It was a designed fake screen,” Shields said. “I faked then slipped behind the cornerback and turned around, cleared everything out of my head and focused on making the catch and God gave me the blessing to make it the rest of the way.”
To clear things up let’s hear it from a coaching point of view.
“That was ‘throw it up to Darious Shields and he’ll make magic happen.’ That’s what that play call was.” University Prep coach Lou Berry said. “When you’re in crunch-time situations like that, you have to lean on your best player.”
Maybe the player can clear things up for the novice fans.
“I could feel them coming at me and I could see the dude coming in front of me,” Shields said. “I just had to make them miss.”
Pitt, WVU, Duquesne, Robert Morris and Marshall University can use a playmaker like Shields.
“I don’t think I’m getting recruited very hard. I feel like I’m getting overlooked,” said Shields. “I think I’ll probably sign with Cal U. I like the school, and the team is top 10 in the country and they are on TV.”
Brashear and U-Prep are developing quite a rivalry. They have combined for the past four City League championships, with both winning two.
University Prep (6-4) wins its third City title, and stopped Brashear (4-6) from winning a third consecutive.
The season is over for Brashear and U-Prep will travel to Erie Veterans Stadium to face Erie Cathedral Prep in the PIAA playoffs.
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