Most Memorable Catholic League Playoffs
In Football/Basketball/Baseball, 2000-01/2019-20

  Below you'll find my list of the 50 most memorable Philadelphia Catholic League playoff
games in football/basketball/baseball over the last 20 school years.

  What makes a game "memorable"? Sometimes it's the sheer quality of the game itself, or a truly
special performance by one or more participants, or the historical context of the game, or the
fact that the result was a gigantic upset, fan involvement during/after the game or high levels
of controversy for assorted reasons.

  Mostly, it's just a feeling. Again, this is one man's opinion and please understand that it was
hard to come up with this order. (And harder still to cast aside many other strong contenders.)
  Thanks for paying attention, and I hope you enjoy the list.
  -- Ted Silary

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No. 1
2012, Semifinal, at Widener University
Neumann-Goretti 8, Bonner 7 (14 inn.)

  Everyone got a late start to the holiday weekend as this baby lasted 4 hours, 15 minutes, and tied the city record for longest playoff game, innings-wise (also a '71 Pub semi). Junior righthanded reliever John La Motta, who had pitched just one league inning all season (and had absorbed the Saints' lone CL loss), went an amazing nine innings (most allowed by PIAA rule) to get the win. He allowed one run, four hits and whiffed 10, and only 21 of his 97 pitches were balls. Josh Ockimey capped a three-run third, pulling N-G into a 4-4 tie, by clobbering a home run to dead center that cleared the 400-foot mark by a lot. Also, he ended the game at 8:12, with darkness warming up in the bullpen, by milking a four-pitch walk. For Bonner, Jim Haley went 3-for-5 and scored three times while Frank Saviski turned two hits into as many RBI. The teams combined for 23 hits (five for extra bases) and 14 errors, and left 33 runners on base. A whopping 424 pitches were thrown.

No. 2
2010, First Round, at North Catholic
North Catholic 66, Judge 64

  In the Falcons' final game in their famous Pit, Bobby Makor beat the buzzer (maybe, there was MAJOR doubt) with a mid-range, right-wing jumper that was finally ruled good by referee L.B. Rebstock three-plus seconds after the ball passed through the net. Makor notched 18 points, five rebounds and two steals. This was not his family's first brush with a "final" NC sporting event. His sophomore brother, Michael, was a starting lineman for the grid squad, which topped Frankford in its finale, played at La Salle University. Star linebacker David D. Williams grabbed this one's final rebound after Judge's Nick Sullivan hit one of two free throws at 36.3. Six-nine junior Seamus Radtke led Judge with 17 points, seven rebounds, six blocks. Joe Kehoe (16) hit three of his four threes in the fourth quarter.

No. 3
2002, Blue Semifinal, at Northeast
West Catholic 55, Neumann 48
   In the highest scoring game ever involving city teams, there were 788 yards from scrimmage and 264 on returns (1,052 total). The first half, which ended with West ahead, 35-20, produced exactly 600 yards, including returns. The tone was set as West's Chris Diaferio returned the opening kickoff 67 yards for a TD.
Curtis "Boonah" Brinkley posted 240 yards and four TDs on 26 carries. For Neumann, Jimmy Porreca ran 24 times for 159 yards and three TDs and caught a pass from Jon Brady (15-for-29, 236, three TDs) for a fourth. The win was assured when West's Dave Fitzgerald recovered an onsides kick at 0:25. The
Burrs were quarterbacked by DB Matt Rodia; the former starter had been dismissed from the team for school-related reasons.

No. 4
2006, Final,
at La Salle University
Neumann-Goretti 44, Roman 41
  An exciting finish wound up leading to what was likely the darkest day in CL history. Derrick "D.J." Rivera drained a left-wing trey with 1.4 seconds left, and then dashed immediately down and across the court to a spot in front of Roman's student rooters, who'd been heckling him hard all game. Players and fans followed, the Roman kids threw debris, including plastic bottles, and a Roman student received a cut nose when something was fired back. There were also on-court scuffles involving adult N-G fans and police and a city-wide assist call resulted in 100-plus police officers rushing to Tom Gola Arena. Two juveniles were among six people arrested and the incident drew national attention. Though intense and close, the game was not especially clean. The teams combined to shoot 31-for-108 (28.7 percent) from the floor and 21-for-41 at the line (51.2) and were guilty of 30 turnovers. Rick Jackson had 12 points, six boards and seven blocks and helped hold Mike Ringgold, the South MVP, to two points. Roman's Rockeed McCarter totaled eight points and 15 boards while Raymond "Doodles" Sims mixed nine points, two assists and three steals. A week-long investigation of the incident by principals, ADs and the archdiocese resulted in a suspension for N-G coach Carl Arrigale for the first four games of the 2006-07 CL regular season. Among other sanctions: no spectators for the N-G/Roman games.

No. 5
2012, 4A Final, at Plymouth-Whitemarsh
La Salle 28, SJ Prep 27 (OT)

  City playoff records took a beating as the Explorers, before an overflow crowd, captured their fifth consecutive championship and avenged a regular season loss. Sean Coleman caught 14 passes (former record 12) for 138 yards and four TDs (FR three) and Chris Kane notched four TD passes while posting 328 yards and erasing the bests for completions (31, FR 22) and attempts (46, FR 42). In OT, after Olamide Zaccheaus scored for Prep on a 10-yard run and the PAT went awry, La Salle won it with Kane's 5-yard, right-to-middle slant to Coleman and Ryan Winslow's kick. Zaccheaus also tallied on a reception and 90-yard kickoff return.

No. 6
2000, Red Semifinal, at Norristown
O'Hara 23, La Salle 21
   In an all-timer and then some, the teams combined for 18 points in the last 1:48 and O'Hara's Frank Vinci won it by kicking a 26-yard field goal with 0:06 left. For O'Hara, Mike Lomas passed 13-for-21 for 198 yards and a TD apiece to Ryan Barksdale (3-73) and Harry Dougherty (5-61), and Kevin Jones carried 30
times for 137 yards. For La Salle, Gabe Marabella passed 5-for-14 for 109 yards and ran for two TDs, including a 1-yard keeper with 0:51 left. Tom McCaffery's PAT made it 21-20.

No. 7
2015, 4A Final, at Plymouth-Whitemarsh
La Salle 29, SJ Prep 28

  For the fourth time in 10 years, the Explorers downed the Prep in a championship game (one Red, three 4A) after dropping the teams' regular season battle. And this one was an all-timer. With 49 seconds left, Nick Rinella made a TD catch with major Barnum & Bailey qualities. From the right side, he steamed downfield and just beyond the goal line, in the exact middle, reached high to get his left hand on a 24-yard pass from Chris Ferguson. While tumbling to the ground, backward, Rinella gathered in the ball to erase a 28-23 deficit at 0:49. Three defenders were in the vicinity. La Salle, which fell into a 14-0 hole, also received TDs from Charles Headen (pass from Ferguson), Jared Walls (pick-six) and Syaire Madden (rush; 26-73) while Matt Savage thumped a field goal. Ferguson finished 12-for-23 for 185 yards for first-year coach John Steinmetz, thanks largely to Winston Eubanks (5-76) and Headen (4-67). For the Hawks, Benny Walls ran seven times for 115 yards and two long scores (44, 55) while Richard Carr returned an interception 95 yards for a TD. In the four table-turnings mentioned above, the Explorers lost the regular season meetings by 68 total points (28, 7, 8, 25) before winning the title games by 16 total points (7, 7, 1, 1). They achieved the same feat vs. Judge in 2008 -- a win by 28-20 after a loss by 28-14.

No. 8
2014, Final, at the Palestra
Neumann-Goretti 53, Roman 48

  Becoming the first player to start for four CL championship teams since at least the 1920s (and likely ever), Ja'Quan Newton entertained a packed house (and then some) by scoring 23 points while adding half of N-G's six assists and two-thirds of its six steals. In 12 playoff appearances, he scored a record 211 points and averaged better numbers in finals, as opposed to overall, in every statistical category. The title was the Saints' sixth in a row, matching Roman's record feat from 1989-94, and their CL record during this glorious run was 100-2. The crown was No. 10 for coach Carl Arrigale, tying him for all-time CL honors with ex-Roman boss Dennis Seddon. Jamal Custis (three dunks) added 12 points and four blocks and was joined in double scoring figures by Troy Harper (10). Lamarr "Fresh" Kimble shook off a poor shooting night (1-for-10) to snag eight rebounds and his bucket sent N-G into the lead for good, at 34-33. For Roman, which was missing two frontcourt rotation guys (starter TreVaughn Wilkerson, sub Carnell McGirt) due to injury, Rashann London notched 22 points and Manny Taylor claimed 15 rebounds. Since 1942, the Cahillites were the 13th CL team (of 23) to go unbeaten in the regular season but not make it through the playoffs unscathed. N-G's girls (over Wood) also triumphed, paving the way for a Saintly sweep.

No. 9
2000, Red Final, at Northeast
O'Hara 35, SJ Prep 10
  Capping a sensational career, Kevin Jones posted four TDs and 196 all-purpose yards as the Lions rolled to an upset victory. He ran for scores of 2 and 39 yards, returned a kickoff 86 yards for another and made a
34-yard reception of a Mike Lomas Hail Mary pass for yet another. Lomas (6-for-12, 137 yards) also fired a TD pass to Ryan Barksdale. Prep entered at 12-0 and thus became the first team with a perfect record to
fall in a CL title game since St. James in 1969. Kyle Ambrogi rushed for 50 yards and fell nine yards short of overtaking Judge's Bill Foley (2,116 in '68) for the No. 1 spot in CL one-season rushing. Mike McGann passed 18-for-37 for a game record 245 yards.

No. 10
2006, Red Final, at Northeast
La Salle 14, SJ Prep 7
   These private-school rivals canceled their Thanksgiving game and played the next night before an overflow crowd. La Salle, a 42-14 loser in the regular season matchup, survived in this one, despite being outgained, 390-175, by forcing two fumbles at the 1 and making interceptions at the goal line and 1 yard deep in the end zone. The Explorers' first TD came when Jack Forster and Rob Saraceni forced a fumble within a whisker at the goal line and Greg Frantz picked up the ball and dashed 96 yards for a TD; it was the longest fumble return for a score in city postseason history. Saraceni had the other recovery while Mike Donohoe (goal line, last play of first half) and Jack Forster (1-yard into end zone, fourth quarter) made the interceptions. On the Prep's final play, JB Campanella and John McBurnie combined for a sack. Andrew Wood (15), Campanella (13) and Sean Saverio (11) racked up large tackles numbers as Prep ran 72 plays. La Salle had zero rushing yards, but John Harrison passed 17-for-29 for 175 yards (he finished with a city record for completions in a season, with 200) and a TD to Joe Migliarese (7-84) and was sacked just once. It was the second time in three years that a first-year CL coach won a title (Drew Gordon for La Salle, Joe Powel for Wood in '04). The Explorers became the first Red team to win the title without having the luxury of a first-round bye and just the third team in CL history to capture a crown after losing three league games (also Judge in '81 and '83).

No. 11
2019, Quarterfinal, at La Salle
La Salle 49,  Carroll 47

  The host Explorers smashed the record for biggest comeback from an after-three-quarters deficit -- 17 points; the mark had been 10 -- while roaring to a 28-9 edge over the final eight minutes. Zach Crisler scored 11 of his 13 points in that final session and recorded a three-point play with six seconds remaining to erase a 47-46 deficit. On a drive, he recovered his batted pass in midair and curled in a flip shot while drawing contact. Titus Beard and Jake Timby (on two treys) scored six points apiece in the historic stanza, which La Salle capped with a 9-1 run. Carroll shot 7-for-16 at the line in the last quarter after shooting just one free throw through the first three. Allen Powell also tallied 13 points for La Salle. Konrad Kiszka (nine), Beard (eight) and Timby (six) completed the scoring. Tairi Ketner (19, 9-for-12 floor) and Luke House (13) topped the Patriots in scoring and Ny'Mire Little hustled for six apiece of rebounds/assists.

No. 12
2008, Red Pre-Playoff, at La Salle
Ryan 4, N. Catholic 2
  This one featured a major snafu. The teams first met on Sunday, but the game was halted by rain in the bottom of the third, with North up, 2-0. CL baseball moderator Fran Murphy was under the impression that PIAA rules in this specific instance mirror the National Federation's, which call for a restart. They don't. The game should have been resumed. By the time the mess was untangled via assorted cell phones Monday afternoon, the Blue pre-playoff featuring coach Murphy's Carroll team and host Wood (also halted Sunday after one scoreless inning) was in progress. Murphy said Ryan-North, for consistency's sake, had to restart since Carroll-Wood had already done so. Nick Ferdinand pounded a solo homer deep into the leftfield woods and pitched three-hit ball with eight strikeouts. Ferdinand and teammate Kevin Mack collected two hits. Losing pitcher Ryan Etsell did so for North. Ryan's Jerry Smith had two RBI. PIAA rules did not permit a protest.

No. 13
2013, Semifinal, at O'Hara
Bonner-Prendie 41, O’Hara 38

  Collin DiGalbo ran/passed on 43 of the Friars’ 53 plays (30 of the last 32; plus a 23-play streak) and had direct involvement in 38 points to pace an amazing win. B-P trailed by 28-0 and 35-7 before storming back. DiGalbo passed 16-for-27 for 326 yards and three TDs (two to Mike Ockimey -- 6-136) while adding 95 yards and three scores on 16 carries. He also ran for a conversion. For O’Hara, J.T. Blyden rushed 21 times for 152 yards and one TD while Dashawn “Day-Day” Darden (two rushing TDs) passed 11-for-22 for 141 yards and one score. Ockimey preserved the win making an interception on B-P’s 4 with 17 seconds remaining. Two weeks earlier, B-P had lost to O’Hara, 36-35, in OT, blowing a 15-point, fourth-quarter lead.

No. 14
2011, Senifinal, at Widener University
Neumann-Goretti 18, La Salle 13

  In an all-time crazy contest, La Salle scored the first 11 runs in the initial two innings and N-G, the home team, scored the last 15 in its final two at-bats. The Saints were one out away from being 10-runned, at 13-3, in the fifth when frosh Josh Ockimey crunched a two-run homer. A bases-loaded walk, followed by an uncaught popup, made it 15-3 in the sixth, then Ockimey hammered a three-run triple, thus becoming the first player in city leagues playoff history to post as many as five RBI in consecutive games. Earlier in that rally, winning reliever Joe Gorman (double) and Jimmy Kerrigan (homer) walloped hits worth two RBI apiece. For La Salle, Ryan Otis and starting pitcher Nick Burns halved six hits, P.J. Acierno had three RBI and Corey Baiada slammed a homer.

No. 15
2017, Final, at the Palestra
Wood 65, Neumann-Goretti 58

  After falling into a 30-15 hole, the Vikings roared to a 50-28 advantage while winning their first championship in 51 seasons of CL competition. A loss in a final prevented N-G coach Carl Arrigale from claiming the outright league record for championships for the third consecutive year -- he remained tied with former Roman boss Dennis Seddon at 10 -- and the man who was able to experience unbridled joy was his long-time buddy and former assistant, John Mosco. League MVP Collin Gillespie (Villanova commit) exploded for 22 of his 24 points in the second half while lifting his career total to 1,016, thanks to a 6-for-7 performance from the floor (two treys) and 8-for-9 from the line (all in the last quarter). He also dealt six of his seven assists beyond intermission. Matt Cerruti (10), Tyree Pickron (nine, all on threes) and Gillespie (six) combined for all 25 of Wood's third quarter points. Cerruti and Pickron finished with 15 and 13 markers, respectively. Seth Pinkney had eight points, four blocks. Quade Green (18, Kentucky), Noah Warren (13) and Mike Millsip (11) scored in double figures for the Saints. Green added seven assists and Dhamir "DaDa" Cosby-Roundtree (also 'Nova) swept 11 boards. This was the 80th CL final. Never before had a champion overcome a halftime deficit as high as 13 points (31-18). In '97, Neumann trailed Carroll by eight, then won by eight. Due to the partial collapse of a wall in its gym on Jan. 6, Wood played 16 league games, counting playoffs, in 12 venues -- Bensalem (2), La Salle High (2), Palestra (2), Ryan (2), Arcadia University, Bonner-Prendie, Conwell-Egan, Holy Family University, McDevitt, O'Hara, Philadelphia University and Wood.

No. 16
2009, Quarterfinal, at ??????
Wood 14, Roman 13 (9 inn.)

  In the highest scoring one-run playoff in CL history, the Vikings rallied from deficits of 6-0 and 13-8 and won it in the home ninth on a no-out, bases-loaded hit by pitch (drawn by Kyle McCrossen). The teams halved 28 hits. Roman created an 8-8 tie with one out in the seventh on Steve Herbetko's solo homer. John Hildebrand (double) and Herbetko (another homer) slammed hits worth two runs apiece in a five-run eighth. Wood battled back on two-run doubles by McCrossen and Mike Kerns and Sean Duckworth's chopped RBI single over a drawn-in infield. Jeff Courter pitched one uneventful inning to win it. He was the only one of seven pitchers to yield no runs. Matt McAllister led Wood with four RBI. McCrossen and Kerns had three apiece. Hildebrand and Herbetko managed four apiece for Roman while A.J. Vagliani was the game's only player with four hits.

No. 17

2006, Red First Round, at
North Catholic 30, Judge 27
This was quite the red-letter occasion for North. Terrell Oglesby (12-195) and Daryl Robinson (15-154) raced for one and two TDs, respectively, as the Falcons rolled to 426 total yards and won a postseason game for the first time since 1956 (12-0 over Lincoln for the City Title). Also, it was their first triumph in a CL playoff since '37 (13-0 over SJ Prep in a final necessitated by a tie for first place in the standings). In all,
Robinson generated 265 yards of rushing/receiving/returning and lost an 84-yard score on a punt return to penalty. He did catch a scoring pass from Dennis Logue and make two of the Falcons' five interceptions. Oglesby, Rich Cruz and Ryan McCullough also had picks. For Judge, Andrew McHale scored on a punt return and a pass from Paul Volpe (7-for-16, 135, two TDs).

No. 18
2001, Final, at Temple
Neumann 60, Roman 59
   With others on both teams looking tight and shaky, freshman point guard Richard "Tabby" Cunningham was calm and confident while leading the Pirates to the title. He shot 6-for-9 (one trey) and 6-for-7 for 19 points and had four assists in a route-going performance, and received guidance/encouragement from his injured mentor Cantrell "Man-Man" Fletcher (torn ACL in his right knee). Brandon Brigman, playing with a re-broken left (non-shooting) hand, went 1-for-11 from the floor, but toughed out five rebounds and notched seven blocks. Robert "Beattie" Taylor, Cunningham's second cousin, had 12 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two steals. For Roman, Tamal Forchion had 16 points, 11 boards and three steals while Brent Welton mixed 16 points, seven rebounds. Jim Kelly hit two incredible treys in the final moments. On Roman's final possession, sub Scott Paxson made an on-target three-quarter-court pass that was caught by Forchion. Kelly was right nearby, set up for a trey, but in the tangle of bodies, Forchion kept possession while his momentum carried him forward and his good basket was correctly ruled a two.

No. 19
2011, Semifinal, at La Salle
Bonner 5, Wood 4 (11 inn.)

  Seventh-inning RBI singles by Joe Haley (one out) and Ronnie Scull (two out) enabled the Friars to force extra innings, then Jim Murphy took a first-pitch curve on his left knee to end it with one away in the 11th. Scull pitched shutout ball over 4.2 innings and contributed two significant defensive gems; his diving catch of a popped-up bunt resulted in a doubleplay, and he tagged out a runner near third after the screaming Friars duped the guy into thinking a non-existent pickoff throw had sailed into centerfield. Wood's highlight was Jeff Courter's two-run double.

No. 20
2006, Red First Round, at Northeast
La Salle 39, O'Hara 38 (OT)
   Expected not to play because of an injury, John Harrison passed 17-for-29 for 173 yards and three TDs and, most importantly, a two-point conversion to conclude a thrilling game. His scoring tosses went to Joe Migliarese (8-54, two) and Jack Forster (8-112, one) and the conversion went to the former, as did a 2-yard TD flip that preceded it. After O'Hara called time to ice kicker Ryan Cain (four PATs, one field goal),
first-year La Salle coach Drew Gordon decided to gamble and go for two. Andrew Wood (fumble) and Matt Day (interception) scored defensive TDs for La Salle. For O'Hara, Tom Savage passed 9-for-18 for 180 yards and one TD while Chris Smith made four catches for 117 yards. Corey Brown rushed 15 times for 120 yards and two TDs, one to conclude regulation and another to start OT.

No. 21
2008, 4A Semifinal, at Plymouth-Whitemarsh
La Salle 31, SJ Prep 28

  In the CL opener, the Explorers had halted Prep's regular season winning streak at 55 games. They proved that win was no fluke in this one as Drew Loughery obliterated the city record for passing yards in postseason action. He went 21-for-34 for 378 yards and four TDs; Dobbins' Andre Davis had 306 in '97. It was also the No. 3 total overall behind 409 by Central's Mike Roche in '86 and 379 by Dougherty's Sean McGovern in 2000. Jamal Abdur-Rahman made four catches for 112 yards and two TDs. Sam Feleccia (5-119) and Mike Donohoe (4-61) caught one TD toss apiece. Ultimately, the difference was Mike Bennett's 37-yard field goal 6.5 seconds prior to halftime. For Prep, Mark Giubilato passed 6-for-15 for 187 yards and a score to Anthony Johnson (4-137) while Garrett Compton (24-116), Mike Yeager (15-87) and Giubilato posted rushing TDs.

No. 22
2007, Final, at the Palestra
Roman 59, Neumann-Goretti 56
   Just when it appeared the Cahillites were dead meat, with just under six minutes left, they overcame a 10-point deficit by roaring to 11 consecutive points in 1 minute, 40 seconds, and wound up scoring 17 of  the
game's final 21 points. The win gave 21-year coach Dennis Seddon his 10th title, eclipsing the CL record of nine by Roman's Billy Markward in the 1920s and '30s and preventing N-G's Carl Arrigale from capturing his fifth in seven years. Roman went ahead for good, at 56-54, with 2:22 left as members of the team's two sets of twins did the honors: Will Kirkland (also Wes) scored on a pass from Pitt signee Bradley Wanamaker (also Brian). Will Kirkland was the defender in '06 when Derrick "D.J." Rivera hit his game-winner; he said he
wasn't himself for a whole month afterward. Bradley Wanamaker had 17 points, six rebounds, seven assists and four steals. Wayns (13), Will Kirkland (12) and Brian Wanamaker (10) also scored in double figures. N-G's leaders were Syracuse signees/best buddies Rick Jackson (20 points, 18 rebounds, six blocks) and Antonio
"Scoop" Jardine (11 assists). Jackson's three-game playoff averages were 22.7, 14 and six. Will Kirkland sank the first of two free throws at 6.4 for a 62-59 lead. Teammate Courtney Stanley grabbed the rebound of the missed second shot, then clanked two FTs of his own. N-G's Jamal Wilson rebounded and passed ahead to
sixth man Mark Hatty, who hit the rim with a 24-foot, right-wing trey at the buzzer. As the Cahillites began to celebrate, roughly a half-dozen, liquid-filled plastic bottles were fired onto the court from high above N-G's bench. Roman's contingent sought refuge in the locker room, then later returned to accept the plaque and cut down the net.

No. 23
2012, First Round, at O'Hara
O'Hara 45, Conwell-Egan 44

  Trying for its second playoff win in school history (No. 1 had come in its first CL season, 1963-64), visiting C-E roared to 10 consecutive points and took a 44-42 lead on Dylan Pease's left-side, seven-foot jumper with 9.6 seconds remaining. Heartache came at the buzzer as Pat Hagenbach took a pass from Sean Havink and drained a right-wing trey, giving O'Hara its first playoff win since a 1998 semifinal. Ed Allen (10 rebounds) and Mike Louden scored 12 points apiece. C-E's Jamal Nwaniemeka scored 20 points to raise his career total to 1,009, counting 139 at Cardinal Dougherty (through 2010).

No. 24
2004, Final, at La Salle University

Carroll 7, Ryan 3
  This one was played over two days. In the top of the seventh on Day One, Chris Cashman, after being granted new life due to a dropped foul popup, delivered a grand slam -- the first in CL title history -- to dead leftfield to erase a 3-1 deficit. The ball reached the loading dock of a building beyond a driveway. Estimated distance: a shade over 400 feet. The next two batters reached base and the skies opened big-time, forcing a suspension. The infield was a mess, plus La Salle's groundskeepers finished their workday and headed home two minutes before the game was halted. The Day Two resumption lasted just 12 minutes. It began as Ryan Stewart delivered a bad-hop, two-run single. There was no activity thereafter. Brandon Gribbin won in relief, just as he had in the semis. He pitched two perfect innings. Carroll staged comebacks in all three playoff victories. Rob Fisher (single) and Anthony Carter (double) had run-scoring hits in Ryan's three-run third.

No. 25
2003, Semifinal, at La Salle University
La Salle 9, Carroll 1
  Senior lefty Dan Waters pitched a no-hitter with 10 strikeouts and faced just 22 batters, one over the minimum, as the Explorers rolled. Leading off the second inning, Matt Smith reached second for Carroll when Waters bobbled his comebacker and then, with no play, threw the ball past first for a double error. He later scored on Chris Cashman's sacrifice fly. Kevin McLoughlin and Andrew Carnevale had two-run singles and Carnevale, the shortstop, made a spectacular play on a groundball up the middle (he was two steps beyond the bag) to end the fifth and preserve the no-hitter.

No. 26
2020, Quarterfinal, at Bonner-Prendergast
Roman 61, Bonner-Prendergast 59

  The visiting Cahillites claimed the win as soph guard Justice Williams (20 points, six assists) missed a turnaround jumper from the left edge of the foul line and classmate Jalen Duren (18 points, first five field goals on dunks, seven total -- all ferocious) collared his 18th rebound just to the right side of the basket and beat the buzzer by sinking a third put-back attempt. Roman owned a 48-33 lead with 1:37 remaining in the third quarter, but B-P rallied hard and owned a 57-53 lead with 2:36 to go after star guard Lynn Greer (15) fouled out as Tyreese Watson was hitting a trey. The Friars managed just two points on free throws thereafter. B-P's starters scored from 11 to 13 points -- Donovan Rodriguez (13), Connor Eagan (12), Watson, Malik Edwards and Oscar Uduma (11 apiece). Roman made just one trey in seven attempts.

No. 27
2009, Final, at Widener University
Neumann-Goretti 3, La Salle 1 (8 inn.)

  Leaving behind the disappointment of five title-game failures along the way, the Saints (nee Pirates) won their first championship since 1960 with only two seniors among the 10 starters. Junior lefty Mark Donato spun a four-hitter with 10 strikeouts and pitched shutout ball over the final seven frames. The decisive run scored as Reno Regalbuto singled, stole second and raced home on Al Baur's single. Donato then managed a misjudged double, courtesy runner Blaze Cedrone moved to third on an obstruction call and Joey Armata beat out an infield single. La Salle lefty Shawn O'Neill also went the distance (seven hits) while trying to match his dad's accomplishment; Shawn Sr. pitched Judge to the '76 CL crown. Brendan McCoy singled home La Salle's run. In the fifth, catcher T.J. Burgmann posted both putouts on a wacky doubleplay -- 9-2-6-2 after Baur singled to right.

No. 28
2004, Semifinal, At La Salle University
Carroll 9, Conwell-Egan 8 (8 inn.)
The Patriots rallied from a 6-1 deficit, forced extra innings at 7-7 with three runs in the visiting seventh (big hit: Colin McHale's two-run double) and held on in the home eighth when Alex Szathmary was rubbed out at the plate to end the game while trying to take two bases on a wild pitch. Catcher Matt Lisowski could not
locate Brian Rorick's wild pitch. Rorick wound up recovering the ball at the base of the backstop and tossed to Lisowski at the plate. C-E's Tim Carroll went 3-for-4 with a double, triple, walk and two RBI. Kurt Bruehl added three hits, including a double, and two RBI. Of Carroll's eight runs over the last four innings, six were
unearned due to five errors.

No. 29
2004, Red Final, at
Villanova Stadium
O'Hara 14, SJ Prep 13
   The Lions rallied from a 13-2 halftime deficit to prevent The Prep from capturing a fourth consecutive title. Quarterback Anthony Walters, installed as the starter late in the season specifically with beating the Hawks in mind, began the comeback with a 55-yard scamper that set up his own 2-yard TD. Pat Macaulay scored the game-winner on a 9-yard run two plays after Mike Marotta recovered a fumble on the Hawks' 21. That play was controversial. Tom Elliott caught a pass and lateraled to star rusher John Shaw (24-147, two TDs, one for 71 yards). The ball hit the turf and Mike Marotta recovered. As TV replays showed, Elliott's knee was down. Greg Smith ensured the win by blocking a late field goal attempt. O'Hara's Brian Giacobetti had two
interceptions. Danny Algeo, O'Hara's first-year coach, had won the Red title exactly five years earlier with Roman.

No. 30
2004, Quarterfin
At La Salle University
Dougherty 66, Wood 63 (2 OTs)
   The Cardinals avoided what likely would have been considered the second biggest upset in CL playoff history -- behind only the win by North's JV over McDevitt in 1968 -- when sub Kyle Sample took a pass from Tim Smith (17 points, three assists) and swished a right-corner trey with 2.1 seconds showing. Smith then batted away Wood's final inbound pass. Dougherty was just the third team in CL history to go perfect for two straight seasons and was the area's No. 1-ranked team. Wood entered 0-10 in regular playoffs and just two nights earlier had finally tasted postseason success, downing North in a pre-playoff. Dougherty trailed, 54-49, with 35 seconds left in regulation, but got to OT on a follow by Shane Clark (12 points, 1,009 for career) and a trey by 6-7 center DeSean White. Wood point guard Matt Spadafora had 16 points and 14 rebounds. Rob Pearson (15), Tim Walters and Brian Klumpp (14 apiece) also scored in double figures and Klumpp's trey on a pass from Corey Filer created a 63-63 tie with 0:26 showing in the second OT. Kyle Lowry added
10 points for Dougherty before fouling out with 2:17 left in the first OT.

No. 31
2007, Second Round, at Widener
North Catholic 10, Judge 9 (8 inn.)
The Falcons overcame deficits of 4-0 early and then 8-7 and 9-8 in the last two innings to jolt their arch-rival and earn a semifinal berth for the first time since 1995. Frosh Ryan Etsell extended the game in the seventh by scoring his senior brother, Derrek (single), with a double; Judge DH Joe Ashdale (five RBI) had provided an 8-7 lead in the top half with a grand slam over the Blue Monster in left-center. Bob Zanneo singled home a run in the eighth, then North got two on an error and Chris James' RBI single. Each Etsell went 2-for-3 with a double and Chris Morrin collected two RBI. Kegan Smith won in relief.

No. 32
2003, Blue Semifinal, at Norristown
West 32, Carroll 27
  The Burrs roared back from a 20-0 deficit as Curtis "Boonah" Brinkley ran 39 times for 225 yards, raising his career total to exactly 7,200, and four TDs. In a late October game vs. North Catholic, Brinkley had claimed the city marks for rushing yardage in a game (399, breaking 379) and career (6,351, breaking 6,122). Will Burke passed 7-for-13 for 131 yards and a TD to soph John Maddox (6-87). For Carroll, Rich Wood ran for two early TDs before suffering an injury. Ryan Stewart (8-111) and Mike McMahon (18-93) rushed
for one score apiece.

No. 33
2009, Semifinal, at Neumann College
Neumann-Goretti 10, SJ Prep 9 (9 inn.)

  The Saints suffered a serious blow in the home seventh when the Prep, with two away, mounted a four-run rally to create a 7-7 tie. Ray Toto (double for two runs), Jeff Lynch and Greg "Buddy" Brooks (singles) had the RBI. Reno Regalbuto pitched shutout ball thereafter and the winning uprising featured a walk to Dom Riverso, a stolen base and a groundball single to center by frosh Marty Venafro. Regalbuto also had two hits, one RBI. Riverso and his brother, Mike, combined for three apiece of hits and RBI, five runs scored and four stolen bases. Toto (three RBI) and Gio Morales (three runs scored) stroked four hits apiece for Prep. The game featured 27 hits (16 for Prep) and 45 baserunners. With 43, these two games broke the city record for runs scored in semifinals. There'd been 41 in '87 (CL) and again in '88 (PL).

No. 34
2011, 4A semi, at William Tennent
Roman 45, SJ Prep 17

  Starting with Tyrone Brown’s tackle for a safety, the Cahillites stormed to 38 consecutive points over the final 25 minutes. Chris Johnson-Cruz, filling in for injured starter Michael Keir, passed 8-for-14 for 230 yards and five TDs, most in city postseason history, with three going to Taishan Tucker (4-116) and two to William Fuller (3-69). Johnson-Cruz, who’d thrown only one pass all season, also ran 62 yards for a score. Tucker and Marcus Kelly (26-135 rushing) had interceptions. The Prep’s Skyler Mornhinweg passed 14-for-33 for 258 yards, primarily to Jim Hurley (8-115) and Eric Medes (3-111, TD).

No. 35
2012, Final, at the Palestra
Neumann-Goretti 59, SJ Prep 57 (OT)

  After being fouled on a follow with 1.3 seconds remaining, and with a beyond-energetic capacity crowd looking on, Ja'Quan Newton strolled to the line and tallied his 20th and 21st points, thus handing the Saints their fourth consecutive title and 70th straight win, counting playoffs, in CL competition. The possession started with a missed flip shot, off a drive, by Hanif Sutton. N-G coach Carl Arrigale captured his eighth CL crown, the same number garnered by Prep boss William "Speedy" Morris, who coached Arrigale at Penn Charter in the '83 and '84 seasons. Newton made a huge play with just over a minute remaining. After soaring to get his hands on an errant inbound pass at midcourt, he saved the ball to Prep's Gene Williams. An easy layup seemed imminent, but Newton arrived out of nowhere to register a block and Billy Shank scored at the other end, making it 57-52. Steve Vasturia (19 points, 11 rebounds) created  a tie with a way-out-there trey at 0:56 and two free throws at 33.9. Shank and Derrick Stewart (13 points, three threes), rotation members even as freshmen, were the last two guys to cut down the net. John Davis (12) and Newton (11) topped N-G in rebounds and Stewart notched three blocks. Sutton dished five assists and shared dog-him duties with La'Quan Coaxum on Vasturia, a junior already committed to Notre Dame. Miles Overton (16) and Williams (12) also scored in double figures for Prep; Overton missed some time with an ankle injury and fouled out 36 seconds into the extra session. Just 12 players participated, and the number hadn't been that low since 1984's final offered a very similar result (Bonner 58, La Salle 56).

No. 36
2008, Quarterfinal, at Neumann-Goretti,
Neumann-Goretti 1, La Salle 0
  Lefty Mark Donato, the first soph MVP in league history, pitched a three-hitter to outduel junior lefty Shawn O'Neill (also three hits allowed). In the home sixth, Aggie Osano reached first on a bad-hop single, pinch-runner Anthony Pfettcher got to second on a caught stealing/dropped ball combo and, after Joey Armata was issued an intentional walk, soph Mike Riverso slashed an RBI single to center. This was N-G/Neumann's first playoff visit since '97 while the 1-0 score was the first in a CL playoff since 1999 (and eighth total).

No. 37
2003, Blue Final, at Northeast
Wood 17, West Catholic 14
   The Vikings completed their first perfect season (11-0) in school history while capturing their first title since 1978. Tom Laurich won it by kicking a 35-yard field goal with 4:22 left. Mike Kruzits (10-52) ran 10 yards for a TD and Dane Mangin hit James Harrigan with a 13-yard TD pass with just 0:02 left in the first half. Mangin finished 6-for-9 for 85 yards; he entered the game averaging 22 passing yards. Soph Bryan McCartney ran 22 times for 134, padding his school record season total to 1,417. Shane Rose made two tackles on star rusher Curtis "Boonah" Brinkley to thwart West's final drive, which advanced as close as the 30. Tim Kilkenny, who earlier posted an interception, broke up what could have been a TD pass in
the end zone. Brinkley ran for TDs of 70 and 81 yards and finished with 19 carries for 213 yards. He concluded his career with city records for carries (1,007) and yards (7,413).

No. 38
2007, Red Final, at Northeast
Roman 10, SJ Prep 9
  Though the teams' regular season meeting had produced a 36-7 defeat, Roman received an early confidence boost when 320-pound Jewhan Edwards rumbled straight up the middle to block a punt and Andrew Regan recovered the ball for a TD. Roman's Chris Fioravanti 39 yards) and Prep's Tim Edger (45 yards, two short of the city's postseason record) blasted field goals. With 28.5 left, Jim McGoldrick uncorked a stirring, 77-yard punt return for a TD, but Edger's PAT hit the left upright and Regan recovered the onsides kick. Roman's Balial Lewis Sloan-El ran 29 times for 118 yards, raising his season's total to 2,141. This was the
fourth time in eight seasons that Prep, unbeaten in division play, suffered a title-game upset.

No. 39
2003, Final, at La Salle University
SJ Prep 77, Dougherty 70
   Mark Zoller completed an outstanding playoff series before a turnaway crowd of 4,000-plus, pouring in 31 points and leading the Hawks to their first title since 1971. It was the seventh CL title total for coach William "Speedy" Morris, who earned six at Roman from 1969 to '80. Zoller shot 11-for-16 and 9-for-10, finalizing his postseason numbers at 31-for-45 (one trey) and 22-for-28 for 85 points. Zoller also snagged 14 rebounds. Chris Clark (15), T.J. Valerio (14) and Kyle Eisenmann (13) also scored well while combining for eight three-pointers. Kyle Lowry (29) and Isaac Greer (19) led Dougherty, which trailed by 12 points with 3:19 left and stormed within five before The Prep regrouped.

No. 40
2005, Blue Semifinal, at Wissahickon
Conwell 27, McDevitt 21 (OT)

  The Eagles rallied from a two-touchdown deficit in the final 17 minutes and lived something of a charmed life in OT. Kevin Schafer scored on a 1-yard keeper, but the Eagles were vulnerable after the PAT was missed. McDevitt star Manny Harrison (32-163, all three TDs) then fumbled close to the goal line and Tom McCue recovered in the end zone to end it. Schafer generated 151 yards of rushing and passing, five of his eight tackles were solos and he also made an interception. Plus, he completed a conversion pass to Steve Herrmann to necessitate OT. Rasuel Thomas ran 10 times for 63 yards and two tallies.

No. 41
2006, Semifinal, at Widener
SJ Prep 3, La Salle 2
With two out and two men on base in the home seventh, and just after star lefthander Matt Zielinski replaced T.J. Foley, Nelson Russom lined a two-run double off the base of the rightfield fence to hand the Hawks the dramatic win. Tim Edger and Tom Elliott (two outs, two strikes) had singled. Russom also singled to drive in a third-inning run. Doug DiSandro allowed five hits, and both runs were scored by guys who drew walks (thanks to Sean Saverio's double and Ryan Creter's single).

No. 42
2004, Semifinal, at La Salle University
Dougherty 66, Neumann 62
   The Cardinals once again flirted with disaster, but managed to escape. This time they had a 17-point lead after three quarters and saw it dwindle all the way to two as Neumann frosh Antonio "Scoop" Jardine buried a left-wing trey with 1:10 left. Guard Kyle Lowry had 18 points, 14 rebounds, four assists and three steals and hit four free throws down the stretch to sandwich a basket by Neumann's David Burton (12 points, 11 rebounds). Dougherty's Shane Clark had 20 points in the first half, then took just one shot thereafter (25 points). Three of his four blocks came in the last 90 seconds. DeSean White had 14 points and seven boards before fouling out with 4:10 left. Neumann's Richard "Tabby" Cunningham had 10 points (957 career) and six assists. There were 47 fouls and 63 free throws.

No. 43
2005, Semifinal, at La Salle University
La Salle 5, Roman 4

   With help from a strong wind, which arrived just before a thunderstorm caused a 42-minute delay in the fourth inning, Zac Hess launched a three-run homer over the fence in right-center to create a 3-3 tie. Sean Saverio singled home the fourth run of the inning and Mike Pennington (double) scored on a wild pitch in the fifth. Matt Zielinski allowed eight hits and fanned 10 in six-plus innings, then Chez Angeloni recorded a save in hairy fashion. His wild pitch could not immediately be found by Saverio, the catcher, and Brian Cooper scored from second. Then, pinch-runner Mike Mychack was rubbed out in a rundown after Pennington fielded a grounder at third base and Dominique Joseph was caught stealing at second base to end it. Joseph was easily safe, but then was tagged out after momentarily losing contact with the bag.

No. 44
2003, Final, at La Salle University
O'Hara 5, La Salle 4

  As they'd done in the semis, scoring four to edge Conwell-Egan, 10-9, the Lions won it in the bottom of the seventh. They only needed two runs this time. Mike Antonini's squeeze bunt brought in the tying run and pinch-hitter Paul Titchenell, with two away and a 1-2 count, slammed a single to right for the win. The hit scored Joe DiMenna, who was dashing down the line in an attempt to steal home. Brian Placido went 2-for-2 with a walk and two RBI and Mike Greeley smacked a solo homer. Josh Rickards (5.1 innings) and Brian Campbell did the pitching. After spinning a no-hitter in the semis, a 9-1 win over Carroll, La Salle's Dan Waters went five innings on two days of rest. He allowed six hits. O'Hara was coached by John Fleming, Antonini's stepfather, as Frank Allison continued to nurse injuries suffered in an off-season fall.

No. 45
2003, Semifinal, at La Salle University
O'Hara 10, Conwell-Egan 9
   Dan Thiel, the fourth player to occupy the second spot in the order, lofted an RBI single to right to cap a four-run home seventh and end the game. Paul Titchenell (walk) and Mike Antonini (two-run single) also had RBI in the uprising. Steve Cook went 4-for-4 with two doubles, one RBI and an intentional walk. Brian Campbell won in relief and went 2-for-4 with two RBI. For C-E, Matt Brazil and Mike Kane (four RBI) had three-run doubles.

No. 46
2008, 4A Final, at Northeast
La Salle 28, Judge 20

  Mayfair resident Mike Donohoe, a first cousin of one Judge starter, best friend of another and buddies with roughly half of the prominent Crusaders, caught a pair of 12-yard TDs passes from Drew Loughery (12-for-19, 114, three TDs) and hit the latter with a trick-play conversion pass as the Explorers avenged a regular season defeat. Sam Feleccia made four catches for 63 yards and a score, Mike Bennett kicked two field goals and Kevin Forster posted a pick. Loughery's conversion catch made it 21-14 and that became huge when Judge missed the PAT after a 28-yard TD pass from soph Tony Smith (8-for-17, 119) to Tom Ryan (5-72) with 6:45 left. Donohoe notched his second TD at 1:42. Smith suffered an injury on Judge's last drive,
forcing star receiver Adam Nowak to assume command of the offense. His last pass was knocked down by . . . you guessed it, Donohoe (also a linebacker/punter). Judge's Curt Wortham ran 29 times for 104 yards. This was coach Drew Gordon's eighth year with the program, over two stints, and his fourth title (first two as offensive coordinator).

No. 47
2012, Final, at Widener
Neumann-Goretti 5, La Salle 4 (8 inn.)

  With one out and soph Joe Lolio, a 5-3, 148-pound pinch-runner recently promoted from the JV, on first base, Joe Kinee was ordered to bunt for a hit by coach Mike Zolk. Not exactly confident because he’d failed to get one down in fair territory all season, Kinee did so this time and a wild throw enabled Lolio, running on the pitch, to dash all the way home and give N-G its second consecutive title and third in four years. In sweltering heat/humidity, three days after having two ribs popped back into place by Dr. John Law, a relative of catcher Nicky Nardini, Joey Gorman threw 144 pitches before being switched to left field one batter into the eighth. The win went to John La Motta, who’d thrown nine relief innings four days earlier in a 14-inning semifinal win over Bonner. Josh Ockimey clubbed a two-run homer in the third while Joey Glennon (sac fly) and Anthony Adams (single) had RBI in a two-run sixth, creating a 4-4 tie. Nardini and Marty Venafro became just the second and third players to start for three CL champions. Frank Ryan did so for St. James from 1961 to ’63. For La Salle, Kevin Long went the distance and Chris Melillo posted two RBI (sac fly, single).

No. 48
2011, Final, at the Palestra
Neumann-Goretti 59, Carroll 55

  The Saints were able to take a walk into history . . . but not without some late wobbling. They shot just 10-for-23 at the line in the fourth quarter and allowed a nine-point lead to dwindle to one over the final 6:10. Finally, after Juan’ya Green (30 points) was slightly left with a last-moments trey, rebounder Derrick Stewart hit a clinching free throw with 1.1 showing. The win enabled N-G, wearing white uniforms (see 2010 recap), to become the first team in CL history to claim a third consecutive title while posting a perfect league mark (19-0, 19-0, 16-0) and extend its league winning streak to a record 54 games. Also, it was the Saints' 24th win over Carroll in the teams' last 25 meetings (exception: a 2009 state quarterfinal). John Davis and Lamin Fulton (despite 4-for-13 foul line miseries) halved 32 points while Stewart, Davis and Fulton claimed nine, eight and seven rebounds, respectively. Fulton added five assists and frosh Ja’Quan Newton shot 5-for-8 (two treys) en route to 13 points. Green finished the playoffs with 85 points (28.3 average) while shooting 23-for-49 (floor), 5-for-15 (treys) and 34-for-38 (line, 89 percent). He scored 45.9 percent of the Patriots’ 185 playoff points, bettering the 38.1 percent effort rung up in 1988 by Bonner's Brian Daly. Tracy Peal added 12 points, six rebounds.

No. 49
2015, Final, at the Palestra
Roman 64, Neumann-Goretti 59

  Nazeer Bostick sniped 9-for-13 en route to 23 points and, despite his status as a guard, swept 13 rebounds as Roman kept N-G from breaking the teams' shared record for consecutive CL championships. Also, coach Carl Arrigale was denied his 400th win and 11th CL crown; the latter would have enabled him to surpass ex-Roman boss Dennis Seddon. Gemil Holbrook nailed three treys while scoring 14 points and sixth-man, forward-center Manny Taylor, a bulky football star, bagged his game-high fourth assist as D'Andre Vilmar's three-point play made it 63-57 with 41 seconds remaining. For N-G, which went 1-for-7 at the line (two front ends) in the fourth quarter, Quade Green nailed his first six shots en route to 21 points and Dhamir "DaDa" Cosby-Roundtree recorded seven rebounds, four blocks. Zane Martin (13) and Lamarr "Fresh" Kimble also scored in double figures. Roman (1989-95) and N-G (2009-15) each captured 20 consecutive playoff victories before falling in finals.

No. 50
2019, Quarterfinal, at McDevitt
McDevitt 52, Wood 49

  Given the school's history in CL quarterfinals (1-8 going in; only win 30 years beforehand), McDevitt's fans were sweating oversized bullets in the fourth quarter as visiting Wood sliced its deficit from nine points to two. Mickey D triumphed, however, as Julius Phillips was unable to knock down a last-second, desperation trey. Thus, Will Chavis became the first black coach to claim a CL quarterfinal victory. Robert Smith shot 6-for-11 from the floor while garnering 11 points and Jamil Manigo offered 10 points, eight rebounds. Jaylen Stinson (16), Phillips (14) and Daeshon Shepherd (11) paced Wood, which during league play had become the first CL team, ever, to boast four guys with averages of at least 14.0 (the aforementioned three and Rahsool Diggins).