Notre Dame commit recap: Three advance with dominant playoff wins

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

Two Notre Dame commits came up short in state championship games last week. Another Irish pledge saw his team’s playoff run come to an end. But three commits kept their seasons alive with wins last week. ND Insider recaps how each player fared.

• QB Phil Jurkovec | Gibsonia (Pa.) Pine-Richland 49, State College 21: After a 14-14 tie at halftime, Jurkovec helped Pine-Richland take over the game with two touchdown passes in the first two minutes of the second half.His stellar senior season continued with 249 passing yards, three passing touchdowns, 123 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. Jurkovec completed 20 of his 25 passes (80 percent) without an interception.

Pine-Richland (14-0) will play against Manheim Township (12-1) on Saturday in the PIAA Class 6A state semifinals.

• OL John Dirksen | Maria Stein (Ohio) Marion Local 31, Liberty-Benton 13: Dirksen and the Marion Local offensive line led the way for 303 rushing yards in another dominating playoff performance. Opponents had only combined for 42 points in three playoffs games against Liberty-Benton before the Flyers put up 31 points.

Marion Local (14-0) will play against Kirtland (14-0) on Saturday in the OHSAA Division VI state championship.

• LB Bo Bauer | Erie (Pa.) Cathedral Prep 42, Thomas Jefferson 17: Bauer scored on a one-yard touchdown run to give Cathedral Prep a 28-10 halftime lead. That margin was more than enough for Bauer and the rest of the Cathedral Prep defense. Bauer recorded two tackles for a loss including one sack.

Cathedral Prep (12-0) will play against Berks Catholic (13-0) on Friday in the PIAA Class 4A state semifinals.

• LB Ovie Oghoufo | Farmington Hills (Mich.) Harrison 10, Muskegon 28: Oghoufo and the Harrison defense couldn’t find a way to stop Muskegon quarterback La’Darius Jefferson. Jefferson, a former UCF commit, rushed 32 times for 245 yards and all four Muskegon touchdowns. On offense, Oghoufo caught two passes for a team-high 29 yards.

Oghoufo’s senior season at Harrison (11-4) finished with that loss in the MHSAA Division 3 state championship.

• DT Jacob Lacey | Bowling Green (Ky.) South Warren 7, Covington Catholic 43: Lacey and the South Warren defense couldn’t slow down Covington Catholic on its way to 481 yards. Most of the damage was done in the passing game with 340 yards for quarterback AJ Mayer. Lacey totaled five tackles and two tackles for a loss in the game.

Lacey’s junior season at South Warren (11-3) ended with that loss in the KHSAA Class 6A state semifinals.

• S Paul Moala | Mishawaka (Ind.) Penn 14, Ben Davis 63: Nearly everything went wrong for Moala’s Penn team after he returned the opening kickoff 41 yards. The Penn offense lost yards and was forced to punt. Then the chaos began. In an effort to keep the ball away from Moala, Ben Davis tried a pooch kickoff after scoring its first touchdown. No one on Penn got to the ball in time, and Ben Davis recovered. One touchdown later, Ben Davis successfully recovered another pooch kickoff which led to a 21-0 lead.

Penn’s defense couldn’t keep track of Indiana commit Reese Taylor. He led the Giants with 13 rushes for 143 yards and one touchdown and completed 18 of his 22 passes for 340 yards and six touchdowns.

Moala finished the game with seven tackles, tied for a game high, and he returned three kickoffs for 82 yards. His senior season at Penn (12-2) ended with that loss in the IHSAA Class 6A state championship.

Bye week: ROV Shayne Simon, DT Jayson Ademilola and DE Justin Ademilola.

Season finished: CB Joe Wilkins Jr., RB Jahmir Smith, RB Markese Stepp, QB Cade McNamara, DT Ja’mion Franklin, LB Jack Lamb, WR Geordon Porter, OL Cole Mabry, WR Kevin Austin, WR Micah Jones, TE George Takacs, S Derrik Allen.

*Stats reported were provided by players, coaches or the following news organizations: MaxPreps, Trib Total Media, Toledo Blade, Erie Times-News, Detroit News,, Bowling Green Daily News


Twitter: @TJamesNDI

2018 quarterback commit Phil Jurkovec attended Notre Dame's 36-28 loss to Michigan State on Sept. 17, 2016. (Tribune photo/Jared Hamsher)