HERSHEY, Pa. (AP) — Mike Waters rushed for 201 yards and Aamir Brown scored a pair of second-half touchdowns as Philadelphia's Imhotep Charter completed an undefeated season Friday with a 40-3 win over Erie Cathedral Prep in the PIAA Class AAA final.
Imhotep Charter becomes the first Philadelphia city public school to win a football title.
Waters scored on touchdown runs of 62, 3 and 53 yards as Imhotep Charter, ranked 24th nationally by USA Today, built a commanding 20-3 lead at halftime. The Panthers (15-0), denied its first victory at Hersheypark Stadium by South Fayette in the 2013 Class AA final, totaled 383 rushing yards on 41 carries.
Isheem Young chipped in 99 rushing yards and posted Imhotep Charter's first score, a 5-yard dive that completed a six-play, 59-yard series late in the first quarter. It was the beginning of 40 unanswered points for the District 12 champs, which knocked off perennial power Archbishop Wood en route to Hershey.
Brown's 13-yard touchdown run and 41-yard reception from quarterback Nasir Boykin extended Imhotep Charter's lead to 34-3 through three quarters.
"It was great. Everything just fell into place and we've been doing the little things," said Waters, one of 10 current Football Bowl Subdivision recruits for the Panthers. "When we came out in the second half, we were not going to let them back in. Last game, they were down 20 and came back to win."
The District 10 champion Ramblers (14-2) struggled against Imhotep Charter's vaunted defense, completing just 9 of 34 pass attempts and 207 total yards. Eight times Cathedral Prep, which rallied past Harrisburg Bishop McDevitt in the semifinals, was dropped behind the line of scrimmage.
"This is great momentum for us. I've been on that side, so I know how those guys feel and what they are going through," Imhotep Charter coach Albie Crosby said. "I feel for them, and hats off to Prep. They have a great team."
The Panthers gifted three turnovers in the first 24 minutes yet still broke ahead on Waters' 62-yard gallop at the 6:30 mark of the second quarter. His 53-yard scoring run guaranteed a running clock with 6:58 remaining.
Boykin completed 5 of 10 pass attempts for 131 yards.
"We were able to overcome some mistakes early on. We talk about how this is always a process," Crosby said. "If you make mistakes, get back up and move on. That's what happened."