Until 2016, It had been 33 years since Derry Area had won a conference title, but Friday night the Trojans won their third straight, and first in the newly formed Big East Conference, with a convincing 35-14 win over Burrell. Derry finished the regular season with a (9-1) (7-1) mark, and although they share the title with North Catholic and Elizabeth Forward who finished with identical records, Derry won the point differential battle and therefore gained the pole position. They will host a first round playoff game next Friday night against an opponent to be determined on Monday when the WPIAL meets and seeds all classifications.
It was an uncharacteristic sloppy start for the Trojans Friday with four first quarter penalties, but the blue and gold would pull it together late in the first quarter and put together two short scoring drives, one which was aided with an interception by sophomore Matt McDowell, his 5th takeaway of the season. Derry would score on a two-play 38 yard drive capped off by a Justin Flack 12-yard run, the PAT was no good and it was a 6-0 Trojan advantage. After the interception it would take DA just two plays from the 4 yard line. Again it was Flack from a yard away to give Derry a 13-0 lead after the Robert Boyer PAT.
The second quarter belonged to the stingy Trojan defense forcing four Burrell punts. After a nifty punt return by Junior Justin Huss, Derry would mount a three play, 14 yard drive that culminated on a one-yard Sr. Onreey Stewart dive. Alex Simon booted the PAt and it was 14-0. Derry added it’s final score of the quarter on a 19-yard TD run by Senior Dom DeLuca who ran over tacklers on his way to the end zone. That drive covered 58 yards in just five plays. Flack added a two point conversion run and Derry led 28-0 at the half.
The Trojans possessed the ball first in the third quarter, and put their final scoring drive of the night on the board, envoking the mercy-rule for the third consecutive game. Flack picked up a fumble in the backfield and outraced defenders 41-yards for the score. His third TD of the evening and 29th of the season. Simon nailed the PAT and that made it a 35-0 game. The drive was just three plays and 55 yards.
Burrell would add two touchdowns late in the game on runs by Sr. Luke Kastelic, but it was too little, too late for the Bucs’.
Flack rushed for 104 yards on 8 carries to lead the Trojans on a rainy Senior night, and on a field that was a mud bath by games end. Flack needs just four yards to surpass the 1,000 yard plateau for the season.
The Trojans are an unbelievable (29-4 ) over the past three seasons and have won 19 straight games at Trojan Stadium.