(WHTM) – Bishop McDevitt knows rare this opportunity is.
On Thursday night at Hersheypark Stadium, the Crusaders can bring home their second state title in school history when they take on Aliquippa for the PIAA 4A championship.
The reminder of this elusive achievement stands on their sideline everyday – the last man to help bring home this championship.
“You know a lot of that game and that whole year is a big reason I’m standing here talking to you right now,” says former running back and assistant coach Tommy Mealy.
Nicknames aren’t hard to find in football.
Good nicknames? Tougher to come across.
“Touchdown Tommy” is as good as it gets, just like he was during the ’95 season.
“I just think the brotherhood we had as teammates. There was no egos. We all pulled for each other. We had a really good team, really good in every single position,” says Mealy.
Mealy was just one of a plethora of offensive studs littered all over the field.
Future Notre Dame receiver Raki Nelson was shredding secondaries – and you couldn’t double him because big target Dave McKenzie was on the other side. Both being thrown to by Big 33 alum Jordan Scott.
“It’s a lot like it is here. There’s a lot of common things from that year,” says Mealy.
The similarities between the two squads are striking.
This Crusaders team also has a dynamic running back in Marquese Williams.
They have playmaking pass catchers on both sides of the line, Mario Easterly and Kamil Foster.
The operation led by a freshman quarterback in Stone Saunders, who’s anything but afraid of the moment.
“We did a lot of Zoom meetings with our team and a lot of the ‘95 guys we invited back and they hopped on almost every one of our Zooms,” says head coach Jeff Weachter.
“Yeah I mean it’s great. He’s been there, he’s done that so we’re trying to do what he did,” says Easterly.
This iteration of the Crusaders knows how rare this is.
The chance to do what only group has ever done at the school – and now with a chance to pull up a seat at the table.
“I’m just trying to get a ring man. I’m gonna do my best and do everything I gotta do. I’m trying to get a ring,” says Easterly.
The Crusaders look to join that rarified air when kickoff comes from Hersheypark Stadium at 7 p.m.