Though this year was an even match, Judge held on to its long-held crown.
While Father Judge generally owns its Thanksgiving football rivalry with Abraham Lincoln, the Railsplitters were given a fighting chance this year because they had a better record and a star running back in Sam Karr.
“A lot of people were doubting us, that we were going to lose to Lincoln. We knew we had to get the job done. We haven’t lost to them since 1989,” said running back/defensive back Katob Joseph.
Joseph made sure the Crusaders kept their long Thanksgiving winning streak intact, rushing for 116 yards and two touchdowns to help Judge defeat Lincoln, 41–14, at the Barfoot Bowl.
“There was a lot of pressure. It feels so good to beat them. I’m proud,” he said.
Judge won for the 28th time in a row and leads the overall series, 40–3–1.
Joseph, who also caught a pass for 38 yards, was named his team’s Most Valuable Player.
Karr rushed 23 times for 225 yards and two TDs, earning Lincoln’s MVP award. He finished the year with 2,030 yards.
Karr, a senior, ran for an 86-yard touchdown in the third quarter and a 72-yard TD in the fourth.
“In the second half, we got it together. We did pretty good, for the most part,” he said.
Lincoln coach Ed McGettigan is sad to see Karr go.
“He’s just been an absolute pleasure to have,” he said. “Everything is positive. He’s just great to be around. A leader in every way. He’s an all-out team player. Kutztown loves him. He can run.”
Though Karr had the two big runs, Judge was happy with the way its defense handled him.
“He was our main focus,” Joseph said. “We worked hard seven days of the week to shut their running back down. He got a couple of good runs. You can’t stop a good running back, but we held our ground.”
“We were worried, for sure,” said Judge coach Mike McKay. “I thought our defense played well.”
Lincoln’s Matt Wasco, who caught two passes for 35 yards, was named his team’s sportsmanship award winner.
Senior lineman Dan Adams won Judge’s sportsmanship award.
Adams was part of an offensive line that helped the Crusaders rush for 355 yards. Quarterback Shane Dooley rushed for 91 yards and a touchdown and threw for 94 yards and a score.
“We had a great day. I’d give an A-plus to our offense,” Joseph said.
Judge (4–8) got off to a great start when Jon Daniels recovered a fumble on the opening kickoff at the Lincoln 15. The Crusaders would go on to enjoy a 21–0 lead at halftime, thanks to touchdown runs of 4 and 3 yards by Joseph and 1 yard by Dooley.
“We were playing catch-up right away,” McGettigan said.
Tim Weldon, Judge’s MVP last year, ran for a 5-yard touchdown in the third quarter to make it 27–0. He finished with 124 yards on 24 carries.
“№9 is really good. He’s probably the best running back we faced all year,” McGettigan said.
Later, Steve Arrington caught a 40-yard TD pass from Dooley, and Ryan Jakeman ran for a 2-yard touchdown.
McKay was happy with the offensive effort, especially the running game.
“We split it up. They’re all good football players,” he said. “Our offensive line played really well opening holes. We just kept after it, and the run game kept going. And Shane threw some completions.”
Lincoln (5–7) will say goodbye to 20 seniors.
“It will be hard to replace all those seniors. They set the bar high,” McGettigan said.
Judge will lose 13 seniors. The underclassmen returning include Joseph and Dooley, both juniors, and 20-some sophomores.
The Crusaders didn’t have a good record, but among their losses were to powerhouses St. Joseph’s Prep (twice), Archbishop Wood and La Salle. They also lost twice in overtime and a heartbreaker to Archbishop Ryan.
“We faced tough competition and got a lot of experience,” McKay said. “Things should be brighter next year.”
Notes: A moment of silence was observed before the game for Bill Brannau, who died earlier this month. He coached Judge from 1960–69…Recently retired referee Ernie Gallagher, a 1985 Judge graduate, flipped the coin at the start of the game…Lincoln honored its 1977 Public League championship team at halftime…Judge assistant coach Jim Kauterman is retiring after 40 years on the sidelines with the Crusaders, North Catholic and Holy Innocents. “He’s going to be missed,” McKay said. ••
Tom Waring can be reached at 215–354–3034 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Father Judge 14 7 13 7–41
Abraham Lincoln 0 0 8 6–14
FJ — Joseph 4 run (Isdell kick)
FJ — Dooley 1 run (Isdell kick)
FJ — Joseph 3 run (Isdell kick)
FJ — Weldon 5 run (kick failed)
AL — Karr 86 run (Ndiaye run)
FJ — Arrington 40 pass from Dooley (Isdell kick)
FJ — Jakeman 2 run (King kick)
AL — Karr 72 run (pass failed)
Father Judge Abraham Lincoln
First Downs 19 9
Yards Rushing 355 269
Yards Passing 94 35
Total Offense 449 304
Comp. Passes, Int 3–6–1 2–11–0
Fumbles-lost 2–1 0–0
Penalties-yards 2–10 2–20
Punts-Avg. 0–0 1–33.0
Sacked-Yds. Lost 0–0 0–0
Rushing: Weldon 24–124, 1 TD; Joseph 8–116, 2 TDs; Dooley 9–91, 1 TD; Jakeman 4–20, 1 TD; Dualu 1–2; Ngwayah 1–2.
Passing: Dooley 3–6–1, 94 yards, 1 TD.
Receiving: Arrington 2–56, TD; Joseph 1–38.
Rushing: Karr 23–225, 2 TDs; Ndiaye 7–48; Young 2-(-4).
Passing: Ndiaye 2–11–0, 35 yards, 0 TDs.
Receiving: Wasco 2–35.