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Gorman: Central Catholic faces ‘phenomenon’

Tribune-Review
| Wednesday, November 19, 2014 10:00 p.m

Central Catholic has won with dominant defenses under Terry Totten, so the Vikings coach’s exasperation over Pine-Richland’s offense is telling.

“The more I watch them, the more I believe this is something I haven’t seen as long as I’ve been around,” Totten said. “It’s a phenomenon I haven’t seen in my 16 years in high school football.”

Of course, it’s Totten’s job to come up with a way for Central (12-1) to prevent Pine-Richland (13-0) from winning the WPIAL Class AAAA championship.

Central linebacker Bryan Glover called the Vikings’ 48-28 loss to Pine-Richland in Week 8 “an anomaly” last week, but that’s shortchanging the Rams.

“The anomaly would be, have they been held under 30 points?” Totten said. “Basically, they scored their average against us.”

The Rams, averaging 47.9 points, have scored 30 or more against everyone but North Allegheny (28 in a Week 2 overtime win), 40-plus nine times and 60-plus three times this season.

Totten called stopping Pine-Richland’s Ben DiNucci, who has completed 73.8 percent of his passes for 3,296 yards with 34 touchdowns and three interceptions, a “gigantic challenge.”

“The accuracy is uncanny,” Totten said. “You could go out there on air against nobody and throw 100 passes and you might not complete 75 of them.”

Central can’t concentrate on DiNucci because of 1,000-yard rusher Connor Slomka.

So expect a shootout.

It’s an anomaly, but Central has scored 30-plus nine times, 40-plus eight times and 50-plus four times, including a 52-34 semifinal victory over Penn-Trafford.

Pine-Richland has gotten Totten’s attention, so anything is possible. Watching the “phenomenon” should be phenomenal.

Kevin Gorman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at kgorman@tribweb.com or via Twitter @KGorman_Trib.

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