BRODHEADSVILLE — Cooper Califano started doing damage on the game’s first play and did not stop until pushing Old Forge past the 50-point mark Friday night.
Califano carried 29 times for 261 yards and six touchdowns as the Blue Devils advanced to the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Class A football semifinals by routing Wyncote Bishop McDevitt, 51-7, in a state quarterfinal at Pleasant Valley High School.
Brendan Mozeleski added 105 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries and a dominant effort by the Old Forge line helped the Blue Devils outrush the Royal Lancers, 396-8.
Califano went 65 yards for a touchdown on the game’s first play and added a 22-yard score for a 13-0 lead in the first 7:12. After Bishop McDevitt closed within six, Califano ran 22 and 51 yards for second-quarter scores and a 26-7 halftime lead. He ran 26 yards in the third and 33 yards on the first play of the fourth for his last two touchdowns.
“It was a great team effort,” Califano said. “The line blocked every single play.
“They were driving kids down the field. That’s how I got sprung.”
Mando Sallavanti and Michael Cantarella each had two of the eight Old Forge sacks.
The defense and special teams forced four third-quarter turnovers to break the game open, allowing the Blue Devils to score three times in the quarter and send the game to the Mercy Rule at 45-7 with 1:51 left in the third quarter.
Old Forge advances to the state semifinals for the second time in three years. The Blue Devils (13-1) will face defending state champion Bishop Guilfoyle from Altoona.
Bishop Guilfoyle advanced with a 38-3 win over Camp Hill.
Joey Gutowski, who has hit more than 75 percent of his passes as quarterback and has a school record 12 interceptions as free safety, did not play in the second half after suffering a knee injury. Old Forge coach Mike Schuback said after the game that there is hope that Gutowski may be able to return for the state semifinals and that he expects to know more by Tuesday.