Ed O'Brien

PIAA Class AAAA Championship: Imhotep Charter vs. Cathedral Prep

Scout Penn Preps previews the PIAA Football Championships


WHO: No. 1 Imhotep Charter vs. No. 2 Cathedral Prep

WHEN: Thursday, Dec. 7, 7 P.M.



8/27: 62-0 win against Silver Oak Academy

9/3: 48-0 win against Ben Franklin

9/17: 58-0 win against Prep Charter

9/23:44-6 win against Simon Gratz

9/30: 48-7 win against Malvern Prep

10/7: 60-0 win against West Philadelphia

10/15: 36-0 win against Frankford

10/28: 44-8 win against Northeast

11/4: 2-0 (forfeit) win against Dobbins

11/12: 42-6 win against John Bartram

11/19: 36-6 win against Cardinal O’Hara

11/25: 38-7 win against North Pocono

11/2: 24-13 win against Bethlehem Catholic


8/26: 77-8 win against Strong Vincent

9/2: 55-13 win against Central Tech

9/9: 31-15 win against McDowell

9/16: 42-35 win against Benedictine

9/23: 62-0 win against General McLane

10/1: 41-0 win against St. Joseph’s College

10/7: 49-7 win against Fort LeBoeuf

10/15: 62-35 win against St. Francis

10/21: 42-0 win against East

10/28: 28-24 win against Canisius

11/18: 58-12 win against USO (University Prep)

11/25: 30-13 win against Thomas Jefferson

12/2: 28-14 win against Berks Catholic



Offense: When you run teams off the field the way Imhotep Charter has this year, it’s hard for players to build individual stats.  Quarterback Nas Boykin, who I like to call “The General” , has completed 72 out of 118 yards passing for 1,236 yards and 21 touchdowns.  Boykin has also rushed 49 times for 342 yards and three touchdowns.  Running back Amir Lewis leads the rushing attack with 638 yards on the ground and seven touchdowns.  Kristin Marche (29 carries for 402 yards, four touchdowns), Isheem Young (41 carries for 369 yards and six touchdowns), and Chris Wells (40 carries for 353 yards and nine touchdowns) round out a stable of running backs unmatched by any team in the state.   Wide receivers Justin Harris (24 catches for 496 yards and nine touchdowns) and Amir Brown (22 catches for 315 yards and five touchdowns) lead a very dangerous wide receiver group.

Defense:  With perhaps one of fastest team defenses in the state,  the Panthers didn’t give up over 10 points in a game until last weekend against Bethlehem Catholic (24-13 win).  Senior linebacker Amin Black leads the team in tackles with 58 (40 solo).  Sophomore defensive end Omar Speights (48 tackles, 34 solo, 14 sacks), Saleem Lockett  and Jalen Demby (30 tackles, 16 solo) lead the ‘Tep defensive front.  Four-star safety Isheem Young has 32 tackles (20 solo) and three interceptions.  Tykee Smith (four interceptions) and Mike Crawford round out a talented ‘Tep secondary.



Offense:  Quarterback Joe Mischler has thrown for 3,753 yards and 37 touchdowns this season.  Running back Matthew Lupo has rushed 138 times for 848 yards and fourteen touchdowns.  The Ramblers have a main trio of receivers that are the recipients of Mischler’s passes.  Leader of the pack is Tyler Oedekoven who has caught 47 passes for 1,111 yards and 14 touchdowns.  Henry Fessler has caught 39 passes for 612 yards and seven touchdowns while Adam Malesiewski has caught 23 passes for 346 yards and six touchdowns. Senior Cameron Landis and junior Frederick Scruggs are the best of the offensive linemen.

Defense: The Ramblers are lead by junior linebacker and Notre Dame commit Matt Bauer.  Senior Dominick Covatto and Scruggs are a force on the defensive line.  Senior  Jerry Roberts helps control the middle with Bower. Seniors Terry Roberts and Fessler are the top defensive backs.

Cleezy’s Take: After last year’s lopsided loss to Imhotep Charter, it’s obvious that Cathedral Prep has been hoping they’d get another shot at the Panthers.  Imhotep Charter’s defense paved the way for the Panthers to get past Bethlehem Catholic last week by a score of 24-13.  Cathedral Prep jumped on Berks Catholic early and beat the Saints 28-14.  

Imhotep Charter’s team speed on defense will post a challenge for the aerial assault of Cathedral Prep.  Mischler has thrown for almost 3,800 yards and isn’t afraid to scramble out of the pocket.  I don’t expect Imhotep Charter to let Mischler to sit back and attempt to pick them apart, so expect them to bring the pressure.  Imhotep Charter also plays man-to-man, in-your-face, press coverage, so you can expect Cathedral Prep to try and take chances throwing the ball down the field.  Cathedral Prep will want to establish their running game with Lupo.

Cathedral Prep will be the toughest defense that Imhotep Charter has faced all year.  Their line may not be as big as last year’s, but they’re still opening up holes for their stable of running backs.  Cathedral Prep linebackers Matthew Bauer and Jerry Roberts are two of the more solid linebackers of any team playing this weekend.  Imhotep will need to put bodies on them to be successful in the running game.  Cathedral Prep will have to respect the fact that not only can Imhotep Charter quarterback Nasir Boykin beat them with his arm, he can also do some damage with his legs. Imhotep Charter wide receiver Amir Brown had a huge game against Cathedral Prep last year, so the Ramblers are well aware of his explosiveness. The Ramblers will need to keep an eye on wide receiver Justin Harris too.

The game will take place at HersheyPark Stadium on Dec. 8 at 7 p.m..

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