D6 Class A championship
Who: Bishop McCort Crimson Crushers (9-3) vs. Bellwood-Antis Blue Devils (11-1)
When: Tonight, 7 p.m.
Where: Mansion Park, Altoona
Coaches: Bishop McCort - Kevin Sheridan (16-7, two years). Bellwood-Antis - John Hayes (277-89-2, 33 years).
Last meeting: Bellwood-Antis, 11-10 (2011 District 6 Class A semifinals)
All-time series: Bishop McCort, 4-1 (first met in 2001)
How they got here: Bishop McCort - defeated Bishop Carroll, 38-13; defeated Forest Hills, 10-6; lost to Somerset, 19-13; defeated Bedford, 38-14; lost to Richland, 17-10; defeated Westmont Hilltop, 35-0; defeated Johnstown, 28-18; lost to Cambria Heights, 21-19; defeated Bishop Guilfoyle, 37-0; defeated Central Cambria, 38-13; defeated Penns Manor, 32-29, in the district quarterfinals; defeated Northern Cambria, 45-6, in the district semifinals. Bellwood-Antis - defeated Tyrone, 22-15; defeated Moshannon Valley, 35-14; defeated West Branch, 54-20; defeated Juniata Valley, 47-34; defeated Mount Union, 21-0; defeated Everett, 41-14; defeated Southern Huntingdon, 39-3; defeated Northern Bedford, 20-0; defeated Glendale, 41-13; lost to Richland, 14-7; defeated Glendale, 40-14, in the district quarterfinals; defeated Bishop Guilfoyle, 19-6, in the district semifinals.
When Bishop McCort has the ball: Bishop McCort offense - QB Zaine Tomkowski (sr., 13), RB Wyatt Jackson (sr., 30), RB Dustin Belskey (sr., 28), WR Jordan Spangler (sr., 9), WR Luke DiFrancesco (jr., 23), TE Ryan Siwy (sr., 6), T Christian Roman (jr., 79), T Charlie Kleman (sr., 59), G Drake Leech (jr., 66), G Ryan Gritzer (jr., 50), C Gap Barbin (sr., 52). Bellwood-Antis defense - DE Ian O'Shea (sr., 86), DE Ethan Hunter (jr., 75), DT Keith Shawley (sr., 64), DT Kyler Maceno (jr., 50), LB Haden DeGennaro (sr., 44), OLB Tanner Snyder (jr., 26), ILB Dan Beech (sr., 33), ILB Tyler Campbell (sr., 36), CB Casey Gray (jr., 34), CB Cameron Worthing (sr., 84), S Seth Worthing (sr., 7).
When Bellwood-Antis has the ball: Bellwood-Antis offense - QB Seth Worthing (sr., 7), RB Tyler Campbell (sr., 36), RB Casey Gray (jr., 34), SB Haden DeGennaro (sr., 44), WR Cameron Worthing (sr., 84), TE Ian O'Shea (sr., 86), T Ethan Hunter (jr., 75), T Ryan Snyder (jr., 71), G Nick Torsell (jr., 58), G Keith Shawley (sr., 64), C Kyler Maceno (jr., 50). Bishop McCort defense - DE Drake Leech (jr., 66), DE Ryan Siwy (sr., 6), DT Lake Dorn (so., 74), DT Christian Roman (jr., 79), OLB Tyler Rugg (jr., 17), OLB Nate James (sr., 27), ILB Gap Barbin (sr., 52), ILB Ethan Neiderhiser (jr., 24), CB Jacob Burgo (jr., 3), CB Luke DiFrancesco (jr., 23), S Jordan Spangler (sr., 9).
What's next: The winner plays District 3 champion Delone Catholic on Nov. 30 or Dec. 1 at a District 6 site.
Notable: Bellwood is the No. 1 seed, McCort is sixth. All of the teams' previous meetings have been in the playoffs. The Devils and Crushers are playing for the third time in the district finals. McCort won the previous two title encounters: 34-20 in 2009 and 21-14 (in Class AA) in 2001. The teams combined to win five of the six District 6 Class A championships from 2004-2009. Bishop McCort also has captured a pair of District 6 Class AA championships during that time. Bellwood-Antis fell to Penns Manor in last year's final, and McCort finished as the runner-up to Bishop Carroll the year before. This is the 15th time the Blue Devils have made it into a district final, where they've gone 5-9. Gray has run for 1,519 yards and scored 24 touchdowns. He has surpassed the 100-yard mark in four of the last five games. ... Bellwood has allowed three first-quarter points in its last nine games. ... This is a matchup of two of the region's premier defenses. Bellwood is holding opponents to 219.0 yards per game, while McCort gives up 243.0. The Crushers also have forced 35 turnovers and are plus-15 in takeaway-giveaway. Tomkowski has 1,767 yards passing, putting him in McCort's all-time top five for a single season. S. Worthing, a PIAA qualifier in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, has 1,523 yards in total offense and also is a dangerous return man.
- Philip Cmor