Saturday, September 26, 2009

Friday night thoughts, Week 4

In speaking with people not associated with Fort Cherry football, the consensus concluded that 2010 would be the Rangers year.

That may be true, but 2009 is starting to look good. I mean really good.

Fort Cherry's 42-34 victory at Serra Catholic Friday night came with several factors of impressiveness.

1. Fort Cherry rallied from a 21-7 first-quarter deficit. Not an easy thing to do for a team rife with underclassmen who just took their first long bus ride to an away game.

2. After the Rangers dominated most of the second quarter, Serra Catholic scored just before halftime to take a 28-16 lead into the locker room. Against most teams, game over.

3. Fort Cherry won the game up front. The lineman played well from the opening series.

4. The Rangers dazzled with speed. Junior tailback Gary Kiefer can bounce off tacklers but he can also pull away from the defense. He showcased both abilities with an outstanding 66-yard run. Junior receiver Nicholas Hurley also outran Serra on a couple occasions.

5. Despite allowing 34 points, Fort Cherry played solid defense. Three-first half turnovers and a few additional miscues were directly responsible for 21 of Serra's points.

They contained SC quarterback Rob Heatherington in the second half, holding him to 22 yards rushing. Plus they returned two of three interceptions for touchdowns.

Serra Catholic entered the game ranked No. 5 in Class A according to the Patriot-News of Harrisburg and most Western Pennsylvania newspapers had the Eagles ranked second or third in the WPIAL.

Maybe Serra Catholic was overrated or, just maybe, a lot of us underestimated Fort Cherry.

Either way, when Clairton plays at Fort Cherry Friday, the winner is likely to end up as conference champion.

* With back-to-back high-profile wins over Keystone Oaks and Sto-Rox, South Fayette sure looks like the team to beat in the Century Conference.

Junior quarterback Christian Brumbaugh, an emerging standout, passed for four touchdowns at Sto-Rox Friday night. If Brumbaugh continues his high level of play, there's no reason to believe the Lions won't be a factor in the Class AA playoffs.

** Speaking of factors, Beth-Center's special teams played a significant role (again) in its victory over Jefferson-Morgan.

Count me among those who believed the Rockets were ready to play with the Bulldogs this year. Uhhhh, wrong.

Beth-Center blocked two punts and rushed for 341 yards - sophomore DeShan Brown gained 143 with two scores - en route to an easy victory.

During last week's win over Carmichaels, Brown scored two special teams touchdowns and one defensive touchdown.

People can say what they want about the Tri-County South but no one can knock what Beth-Center accomplishes year-in, year-out. The Bulldogs find ways to win games, whether it's with defense, special teams or a potent running game.

*** Nice bounce-back win for Burgettstown at Chartiers-Houston.

The Blue Devils came into the game 1-2 after a blowout loss to Serra Catholic. They had also played South Side Beaver and Beth-Center. Chartiers-Houston was 3-0 but had yet to play any team remotely resembling what Burgettstown encountered.

As stated on this blog many times, competition matters.

**** Good to see Chad Hagan rush for 130 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries as Canon-McMillan shut out Butler. Great story, great young man who had a great game.

***** Peters Township moved to 4-0 with its win over Indiana. The Indians have defeated just one Quad-A team to open the year but they are finding ways to win, something they hadn't done since 2003.

Here's another rarity - Peters Township is the lone unbeaten team in the Great Southern Conference.

Granted, the strength of schedule leaves a lot to be desired, but Peters Township opens conference play this week against a struggling Baldwin. A win moves PT to 5-0, 1-0 and with one additional victory, the Indians would make the Quad-A playoffs.


Anonymous said...

Kovak - You write for the Observer-Reporter, a Washington paper, and can't even mention that the Trinity Hillers, a Washington team, finally won last night.

mike_kovak said...

The Observer-Reporter's coverage area expands past the borders of Washington.

We are a newspaper located in Washington. We are not strictly a Washington paper.

Anonymous said...

I'm not buying that explanation. So that is a reason to ignore a local team from your hometown? As bad as Trinity continued to play last night, I still think it is newsworthy that they finally won a game.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Mike, I like the hype that FC is recieving. Great win vs an overrated Sera team. You and everyone else in wash co. know that the real test will be when my Clairton Bears come to town. I seem to recall the same hype before games last year with undefeated FC and Char-Houston teams. We all know those outcomes. Expect the same!

Anonymous said...

Nice way to dodge the point!
Do you ever admit to an error??

shamedalmnus said...

Who cares, the Hillers almost blew it. They were losing going into the 4th to EF!!! They are done. They only other wins they will get this year will be against Belle Vernon. 2-7 record, no playoffs this year

Anonymous said...

kovak- You wanna cover area's that you can't even sell 5 copies!

wonder whats wrong with the OR. Kovak I hear there are great football teams in TX. Why not write about them!?

mike_kovak said...

This is a blog. Want to read about it, pick up the paper.

Clairton Alum said...

Again, hats off to Fort Cherry, i am still checking scores to make sure what I saw this morning was actually correct. Listen, despite what my over-zealous Clairton supporter said earlier, this is actually going to be a tough game Friday night I think. While Clairton has had their moments, they have looked sloppy at times especially on special teams and certian offensive plays. I have seen teams gain yards on the bears running up the middle...which is something I didnt see last year. Clairton better bring their A game this week coming up or they too may suffer the same fate as Serra...

Anonymous said...

kovak - ever hear of the Waynesburg Republican? Learn your history, cause you and the OR is doomed to repeat it!

Anonymous said...

Fort Cherry will be a tough test for our Clairton Bears. I've seen this team first hand 2X because I live out in Houston these days. Fort Cherry is big on the lines which cause the Bears some fits. The Bears need to bring their A games or we'll be facing the same result that Serra did. With that said I think Clairton wins by 2-3 TD's.


mike_kovak said...

OK, angry anon Trinity fan. Here you go:

Trinity 21
Elizabeth Forward 7


voice of reason said...

I agree with you that all these athletes should not be ridiculed or name called and this blog was out of control. I think some of these fanatics should be filtered out. But when you post against a comment you don't even publish, your readers have no idea why you have taken on an attitude. Don't even make a comment on those you choose to axe.

Anonymous said...

kovak- what they don't play football in Mapletown anymore?

Anonymous said...

Trinity looked terrible in winning they'll get beat by twenty points at least by Char-Valley.Dalton's defense could'nt stop eleven old grandma's.

Anonymous said...

Quite honestly the Trinity Hillers continue to struggle offensively for five primary reasons. Here they are:

1. The spread offense has caused confusion and a loss of team cohesion.

2. They are running the second string running back while the 1st stringer sits on the bench for some unknown reason. Not sure what is going on there?!!?

3. The line is not doing a very good job of blocking.

4. The quarterback is not that strong and is not a good passer. Therefore they should be running more with their best running back and throwing shorter passes.

5. The offensive playing calling is sub-par.

mike_kovak said...

Mapletown still plays football. This year, the Maples are throwing it all over the place.

Anonymous said...

Fort Cherry 50
Burgettstown 6

Anonymous said...

anon 11:36

Don't be looking forward to Burgettstown when you have Clairton this upcoming week!


Anonymous said...

The Maples didn't throw it all over Carmichaels...

Anonymous said...

Yea, what is going on with Trinity's Dan Miller? He's barely played on offense this season and he's by far the best guy they got. He had a great kickoff return against Elizabeth and then I didn't see him much on offense at all after that. This kid has the speed and the strength that is lacking right now on Trinity and he is not carrying the ball! I saw his name in the Tribune last year as the 3rd leading rusher in the WPIAL before getting injured and now he's apparently healthy but not playing. What's up Dalton??? It's no wonder Trinity can't move the ball.

Anonymous said...

This isn't a strictly football question but a high school sports in general question. Do you think the AD's should get involved with parents and coaches concerning playing time? I always thought that was a "coaches decision" issue. Also do you know how common this in in area high school sports? Anxious to hear some thoughts on this.

THSfan said...

Actually, Trinity's defense isn't bad. They are not the reason for the Hillers problems this year.

The offense is pathetic and continually puts all the pressure on the defense. The punt team is terrible also. Fifty seven guys on the team and your telling me nobody can punt farther than 20 yards?! The Offensive line play has been....offensive to say the least.

Back in 2000 Trinity led the WPIAL in rushing most of the year. It was Daltons second season at Trinity. Over the years the Hillers have produced some of the areas best RB's. Brian Kimutis, Ben Jennings, Troy Garove and Mike Yancich. Why has Dalton now forsaken the running game? Trinity has some players. I think if you look closely you'll see that the team has been sold out in order to showcase one individual. IMO

Nothing against Mike Preston. But Dan Miller and Eric Richards should be getting some carries as well. With Kyle McWreath, Chris Bombash, LaShawn Bryant, Ken Wilkens, Mike Wall and Bobby Steinstraw playing on the O line and backfield with the other RB's, Trinity should be running the ball down people's throats. Then, they could pass as a luxury when they wanted.

Anonymous said...

I don't even think the Maples have enough kids to play ball. I hear they have been using cheerleaders.

Hey that is football is SWPA! You take a few kids, push them on and leave the rest behind and the public says "your not going to use my child to make a teachers child look good anymore"

So, the lack of jobs, and the good young people leaving, Mapletown is doomed.

Anonymous said...

Tired of good people leaving the area to find decent work? Tired of watching your kids leave yet? NO?

Keep voting in the Demorats!

Anonymous said...

Peters will probably go 6-4 this year with a win in a meaningless week 10 game against some horrible AAA team, although they've already played most of the really bad ones.

They'll beat Baldwin, but no chance against CM, ML, USC and BP. The WPIAL really hooked them up with one of the most ridiculously easiest schedules ever, but the good times are about to come to a screeching halt.

Anonymous said...

I asure you that no player posted that Burg and FC comment.Clairton is the focus this week and it would take a monumental effort to play with them.

Anonymous said...

Cant agree with you more THSFAN but supposedly Dan Miller has a slight ankle problem and Dalton's taking it easy on him for a couple weeks..

Anonymous said...

I agree with THSfan. I just can't figure out why Dalton has all of a sudden started running 5' 7" 150 lb Preston. He's a good backup but he isn't getting mamy yards unless the line opens a big hole for him. I've seen Dan Miller run over people to get yards. That's precisely why he was injured last year and the year before.

There is no doubt that high school coaches like to show case players. Is that what's going on here?

Anonymous said...

the fc/btown spread comment is ridiculous. any player from either school knows that game is always a shoot out. even if fc did beat clairton they could still find themselves in a one touchdown differnce with btwon. expect both games to be entertaining

Anonymous said...

Dan Miller's ankle is and has been healthy for weeks. He is good to go.

Anonymous said...

With Trinity going to 1-4 this week, Ed might be holding his best players out for the stretch run towards a 3-6 record this year. Likely they'll play Peters in a 10th game scenario, that might be the strategy.

Kind of like using all of your timeouts on the first drive of the game, absolute genius.

Anonymous said...

Then why hasnt he been playing.. He is Good and could even be great Dalton needs to give him the ball..

Anonymous said...

Anon September 27, 2009 8:52:

Call Peters schedule what you want, against the same teams last year Peters went 1-3 being outscored 95-62. I don’t see how the WPIAL “hooked” anybody up with the schedule since it is the same as last year…please be reasonable.

As for your other comment, “They'll beat Baldwin, but no chance against CM, ML, USC and BP.” I wouldn’t be too sure about that. Last year Mt Lebo only beat Peters by 7 and anyone at that game will tell you it could have gone either way.

I do agree with your record though, 6-4. However, I believe they will beat Mt. Lebo and then lose in the first round of the playoffs. No meaningless 10th game this year. Peters is stronger and they have better leadership, don’t write them off just yet.

Anonymous said...

WOW, did a Peters fan just post something about how tough their scedule is???

Show me another AAAA team with a schedule that even approaches the little sisters of the poor that Peters has played so far? The combined record of these garbage AAA schools is 4-12. These teams are awful.

Now they will beat a horrible Baldwin team but after that its lights out on the little Indians. You think they will beat ML, thats good stuff. The same ML that has beaten PCC and North Hills? They will get trounced by ML, 28 points minimum.

No question the program has made huge strides since they got their first REAL head coach in over 20 years, congrats to Nick for that. But they are still a year away from being a truly competitive AAAA program.

ostara said...

THS has got a tough go this week in Char Valley. This will show how good their defense is and if we can expect to see miller on the field more.

Anonymous said...

The CV offense is very good, I saw the Capers kid run against Belle Vernon a couple weeks ago, but their Defense has been giving up a lot of points to bad teams. So maybe Trinity could have the right mix this week. If they can hold CV to only a couple TD's, then they have a chance to win. Their Defense has been playing pretty well, even though they gave up a good bit of points to TJ.

Anonymous said...

September 29, 2009 7:11 PM

Please show me where I stated Peters schedule is tough? Not once in my post did I even come close to saying that. All I pointed out was that Peters lost last year to the same teams that they are beating this year. As I stated in my last post, please be reasonable.

So if you are going by scores from the past couple games, you are saying that ML will beat USC by what, 40?? I mean, ML beat PCC by 15 and PCC beat USC by 24. I am going to go out on a limb and say that PCC was looking past ML to the Thursday USC game. I think the majority of people will agree with me on that and USC will run all over ML.

Only time will tell what will happen with the Peters ML game in two weeks. As for now, I am sticking with my playoff prediction.

Anonymous said...

After beating Baldwin this week, Peters will be the worst 5-0 team in the WPIAL, there's no denying that fact.

You can blindly celebrate their start, there is nothing wrong with that, just be realistic, they are a very young team. They will not beat anyone else on their schedule, they will end 5-4 and probably get Trinity or another garbage AAA team for a 10th game.

You cannot do better than a 5-0 start thats tremendous, please show me another team in their conference besides Baldwin that wouldn't be 5-0 with that cupcake schedule.

Anonymous said...

Keep in mind peters was a cupcake AAA team a mere two years ago. All these papers are just saying the team has made some big strides. We'll see what the next few weeks have in store for them, but as of now they are improved from years before and that is all people are trying to say.

Anonymous said...

October 1, 2009 10:34 AM

I will agree that every team in their conference would be 5-0 with the same schedule (minus Baldwin), never said they wouldn’t. My main points are that the schedule was not made by the coach and the players or before the start of this season. It is the same as last years.

Thank you for the permission to celebrate their start to the season, I will. I do not care who they played, this is the best start in a long time at Peters. We will see how far the confidence they earned in the first 4 (hopefully 5) games can carry them.

Anonymous said...

If Peters goes 5-5 or 6-4 having beatin teams currently w records of 4-12 and Baldwin who would be 0-5 after the loss, I would not consider that a successful season.
I have seen them play and they will have a tough time beating the other 4 teams. They will not make the playoffs this year.

They are young and will be handed a much tougher non conference schedule next year.

I think the USC, Bethel and CM games will be blow outs. They have a chance against Mt.l.

Anonymous said...

To all Peters Fans:

I'm terribly sorry, I was way off....

I said that PT would beat Baldwin and then lose the rest of their games, after losing to Baldwin, I ASSURE you, they will not win another game this year.

Unless, of course, they play Trinity in a 10th game.

THSfan said...

Anon....Oct 2, 11:27pm

Lets review.....
2000- Trinity 27, PT 21
2001- Trinity 30, PT 12
2006- Trinity 28, PT 21
2007- Trinity 38, PT 18

If Trinity played the cream puff schedule the little injun's played they would be 4-1 also. Maybe even 5-0.
Three of Trinity's losses have been to teams with a combined 14-1 record this year. Nobody can say they haven't played top competetion.
It might be best if Peter Twp. quit worrying about Trinity and start searching for a weaker class double A team like they did back in 2004. They could've played Trinity that year, but opted to search for an easy win in week 10. I lost all respect for them that year. Idiotic fans like you who just want to bash and have nothing to back it up with just reaffirm my convictions.

Anonymous said...


You can talk all you want, but the fact that your D1 factory program is 1-4 is all the rest of the WPIAL needs to certify that your program is a joke.

You keep worrying about who Peters and CM plays, we'll all just keep laughing at you.

THSfan said...

Anon....Oct 4, 11:26am

I'm not doing any talking. But when you call Trinity a "garbage" Triple A team, then I'm going to jump up off the bench.

I also didn't realize that you are the spokesperson for the entire WPIAL. And yes, we are very proud of our Division I athletes.

Not once did I mention anything about Canon Mac. But you can bet I'll be cheering for them against Peter Twp.!!

Anyone who knows anything about football will tell you that strength of schedule and the competetion you play mean everything. Just look at the teams Baldwin played prior to Friday last. Need I say more?

Once again you posted nothing factual except Trinity's 1-4 record. You can sit there and laugh all you like. It only solidifies you're ignorance.....