It's only the fifth seed, but no team entering next weekend's District 6 Class A football playoffs is any hotter than Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic.
The Marauders closed the book on their regular-season schedule and tuned up for postseason play by winning their eighth straight game Friday night, a 48-0 mercy-ruling of overmatched United at Mansion Park.
BG (8-2) will travel to No. 4 seed Penns Manor (9-1) next Saturday in 6-A first-round action.
"We feel like we're a good football team and playing pretty hard right now," BG coach Justin Wheeler said. "We'll take whatever opponent we have and give it our best shot."
Guilfoyle led 42-0 at the half last night, and the second half was played with a running clock. The Marauders pulled their starters and played only reserves after Brandon Chadbourn's 1-yard TD run made it 35-0 with 5:47 left in the second quarter.
"We try not to make it about the opponent," Wheeler said. "United played us as hard as they could and it was a good effort, but it's about us getting better every game.
"It shouldn't matter who we play. Whether it's the playoffs or the regular season, we just want to get better."
The Marauders scored on their first two possessions, a 6-yard run by Sam McCloskey and a 45-yard pass from Chadbourn to Matt Gormley. Chadbourn hit 5-of-7 passes for 101 yards before being lifted.
"We wanted to make sure our passing game was where we wanted it to be for the playoffs," Wheeler said. "We know we have a pretty good running game and we wanted to make sure we're a balanced team come next week."
The Marauders, who honored their nine seniors before the game, rushed for 182 yards with McCloskey scoring three times on runs of 6, 8 and 7 yards.
"We knew this could potentially be the seniors' last game here, and we wanted them to go out with a win," McCloskey, a junior, said. "They've been working hard, and it's been a pleasure playing with them."
Even though United hasn't won a game in more than two years, McCloskey said the Marauders didn't take the Lions lightly.
"I feel for the United team," he said. "They work hard like everyone else, so we couldn't take them lightly because you never know. It was hard to stay focused at practice, but we did a good job all week."
Looking toward the playoffs, McCloskey said: "Every team is good at this point so it doesn't matter. We'll just practice hard each week and whoever we have, we have."
"Tonight was about honoring the seniors," Wheeler said. "This group of seniors has been with me since they were sophomores, so they're a special group to me.
"They've helped turn the program to where we have it now."
BG's reserves accounted for the last two scores. Sophomore quarterback Nathan Hagg tossed a 23-yard TD pass to sophomore Chancelor Little before halftime, and freshmen Josh Trybus and Andrew Irwin teamed up for a 9-yard TD with 5:47 left in the game.
"It's rough," United coach Lance Holupka said of the Lions' losing streak, which has stretched into three seasons, "but we have more freshmen than seniors on the field.
"Our kids are trying to see what it's like on the big stage, and that team [Guilfoyle] could be in the running to be here on the big stage in a couple weeks," Holupka said of the 6-A finals, which will be played at Mansion Park the weekend of Nov. 22-23.
"Right now, we're overmatched on the varsity level, but we haven't quit all year."
SCORE BY QUARTERS
United0 0 0 0 - 0
Bishop Guilfoyle13 29 0 6 - 48
BG-McCloskey 6 run (pass failed), 9:40.
BG-Gormley 45 pass from B. Chadbourn (Verba kick), 7:34.
BG-McCloskey 8 run (McCloskey pass from B. Chadbourn), 11:07.
BG-McCloskey 7 run (Verba kick), 9:46.
BG-B. Chadbourn 11 run (Verba kick), 5:47.
BG-C. Little 23 pass from Hagg (Verba kick), 2:07.
BG-Irwin 9 pass from Trybus (kick failed), 5:47.
RUSHING: United-Tyler Mack 4-22, Troy Mack 6-19 Lowther 5-17, Ingalls 2-14, Michaels 3-10, Brent Mack 2-1, Oliver 1-1, McGeary 2-(-6), TEAM 1-(-13), Dill 3-(-22). Bishop Guilfoyle-B. Chadbourn 4-49, McCloskey 4-47, Trybus 6-35, Kitt 5-26, Yasulitis 4-18, E. Chadbourn 2-6, Irwin 1-4, Hagg 1-4, Callahan 2-(-1).
PASSING: United-McGeary 1-2-0-18, Dill 1-8-1-3. Bishop Guilfoyle-B. Chadbourn 5-7-0-101, Hagg 1-1-0-23, Trybus 1-1-0-9.
RECEIVING: United-Devin Mack 1-18, Jarvis 1-3. Bishop Guilfoyle-Miller 3-39, Gormley 1-45, C. Little 1-23, Kitt 1-17, Irwin 1-9.
INTERCEPTIONS: Bishop Guilfoyle-Kitt.