Philly’s Imhotep Charter Is First Public League School to Win State Title

The Imhotep Charter Panthers routed Erie Cathedral Prep, 40-3, in the Class AAA state title game on Friday night.

The 2015 Imhotep Panthers. Photo | Courtesy Imhotep Charter School

The 2015 Imhotep Panthers. Photo | Courtesy Imhotep Charter School

It was not even close.

After spotting Erie Cathedral Prep a 3-0 lead, Imhotep Charter scored 40 unanswered points to capture the PIAA Class AAA state championship. The win was the first for a team from the Philadelphia Public League.

(Pub teams only began playing in state playoffs in 2008.)

Mike Waters ran for 201 yards in Imhotep’s 40-3 win. He had three touchdown runs, while Aamir Brown ran for two scores. The Panthers had 383 rushing yards on 41 carries, an eye-popping 9.3 yards per carry. Highlights from the game show a completely dominating performance.

“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 told the Associated Press. “I feel for them, and hats off to Prep. They have a great team.”

Imhotep had lost in the state playoffs the last two years. They lost in the 2013 state championship game (when they were Class AA) and lost to Archbishop Wood in the 2014 state playoffs. They beat Wood, 20-14, in the playoffs this year.

“When you think about Pennsylvania football, back to Joe Namath and Jim Kelly and guys like that, it was always about the western side of the state,” Crosby told Newsworks. “Now, the eastern part of the state is starting to put out some really good players too, like Sharif Floyd, Marvin Harrison. Now our kids are getting the chance to shine.”

Imhotep’s stats were off the charts this year, with Waters running for 1,889 yards and scoring 45 touchdowns to lead the Panthers. The team outscored opponents, 702-104.