I know Chartiers-Houston fans do not want to hear this, but I believe the Bucs provided a blueprint for defeating Clairton during last night's 42-0 loss.
The current Clairton Bears have the most skilled playmakers I've seen on a Class A team since the 2001 Rochester Rams, who won the state title. Receiver Kevin Weatherspoon is special and I see why Pitt has already offered the junior a scholarship. Not only does Weatherspoon know how to get open, he seeks contact and plays a very intelligent game.
Now, back to the Bucs.
C-H packed in the offense, put three backs behind quarterback Evan Bender and hoped Brad Banas could fight his way for some first downs. Running room was scarce as Banas rushed 20 times for 39 yards, but he did fight off some tacklers. Seemed to me that C-H's main problem was it's inability to generate any push along the offensive line.
Judging by the reaction from the overflow crowd, Bucs fans wanted to offense to open up. I understand the sentiment. At times it seemed like C-H was playing not to lose as opposed to trying to win.
What happened when the Bucs did open things up? They threw an interception and the only pass completion went for minus-5 yards.
Time to give Clairton's defense credit. For all the press the offense receives, the Bears defense is just as good.
Still, watching C-H attempt to control the clock and the ball, something hit me. If a talented Rochester team, like this year's group, tried the same approach as C-H, don't you think it might be successful?
Clairton, in my opinion, is the best Class A team in the WPIAL, but that does not guarantee the Bears can't lose in the postseason. Don't forget, outside of Harrisburg is a very talented Steelton-Highspire, which happens to be the defending PIAA champs and a group that can match Clairton's athleticism.
** The Varsity Letters wants to hear from those in attendance at the Trinity at Belle Vernon game.
Belle Vernon allowed 143 points in its previous three before beating Trinity, 14-6, Friday night.
The loss dropped the Hillers to 1-3 in conference play and they have only two Big Seven games left (West Mifflin and Ringgold).
*** Carmichaels quarterback Joby Lapkowicz continues to amaze after returning to the lineup last week.
Against California, Lapkowicz completed 11 of 12 passes for 235 yards and a touchdown. Since his return against Jefferson-Morgan, Lapkowicz has completed more than 80 percent of his passes for slightly more than 500 yards and five touchdowns. That's in two games folks.
If you haven't already, it's time to recognize Lapkowicz as one of the best multi-sport athletes in Class A.
**** Kudos to Fort Cherry for showing Avella the respect it deserves. Here's hoping the rest of the Eagles' opponents follow the lead of FC coach Tim Garry.
***** It's safe to say that Bethel Park, Canon-McMillan and Upper St. Clair will qualify for the playoffs in the Great Southern Conference. After Mt. Lebanon beat Peters Township last night, which team finishes fourth?
And, finally, does anyone else believe that four teams qualifying for postseason play from a six-team conference indicates far too many participants are allowed entrance to the WPIAL playoffs?
Unless more teams move up to Class AAAA in the near future, the Varsity Letters wants to see the field reduced.