Avella 22, Fort Cherry 21
For more, click: http://www.observer-reporter.com/or/localsports/10-10-avella-fort-cherry-game
1. The product of Avella being far superior to Eagles teams of the past 10 years? Certainly.
2. Leftover effects from last Friday's loss to Clairton, in which the post game events have been discussed in detail on this site? Quite possibly.
3. The biggest upset WPIAL small school football has seen in years? Can't immediately think of a bigger one.
Following the completion of the Mt. Lebanon at Peters Township game (a topic for later in this post), I called into the office to report the final score. That's when someone said, "Avella 22, Fort Cherry 21." Didn't believe it until someone in the sports department called back and said the same thing.
After taking an early 6-0 lead, Avella rallied from a 21-6 deficit and scored the game's final 16 points, including a 57-yard pass from Cameron Geresti to fullback Aaron Mangari. The final two came on a Jared Magon conversion run to take the 22-21 lead with 7:52 remaining.
Anyone else like the decision to go for two?
Great call. Great win for Avella.
The question remains, what becomes of the playoff picture in the Black Hills Conference with this upset and Frazier's win over Burgettstown?
Clairton is the clear-cut favorite and Serra Catholic eased back into second place when it looked like Fort Cherry had settled into that position. Chartiers-Houston, Fort Cherry, Frazier and Burgettstown are all tied for third, which should make for some interesting matchups during the final three weeks.
** Mt. Lebanon scored on four its first five touches during a 47-27 win at Peters Township. Never witnessed anything like it before.
Peters Township, which is 0-2 in the Great Southern Conference after opening the year with four straight wins, is a much improved football team over recent seasons. Where the Indians lack is run defense, though they did do a better job of tackling Blue Devils tailback Luke Hagy in the second half.
Came away impressed with the play of PT junior quarterback Austin Hancock.
After a shaky start, Hancock settled in and made a variety of throws - the type of plays college recruiters notice. The only throw he struggled to complete was an out pattern to the opposite sideline.
Also liked the toughness of Andrew Erenberg, the speed of Justin Miller and the pass-catching skills of the receivers.
** Speaking of playoff races, Carmichaels knocked the Tri-County South out of order with an impressive showing at California.
Read Mikes coach John Menhart's comments in the Observer-Reporter after the game. Sounds like he delivered one heck of a message to his players Friday night.
"I told the kids that if we lost this game, we were done, that we'd have no shot at the playoffs," said Mikes head coach John Menhart. "This game was for the season."
And if California is without quarterback D.J. Martinak, Wade Stinnett and Mike Evans for an extended time, the Trojans playoff chances take a big hit.
** Six teams in the Class AA Interstate Conference are within two games of each other. Mt. Pleasant (6-0) sits atop, Charleroi (5-1), Jeannette (5-1), McGuffey (4-2), Greensburg Central Catholic (4-2) and Washington (4-2).
Mt. Pleasant has games remaining against Jeannette and Charleroi. The Cougars back-ended schedule includes Washington and McGuffey. GCC has the easiest road with games left against two bottom-feeders and one versus Jeannette. Wash High has Jeannette, Charleroi and McGuffey. The Highlanders also play Waynesburg.
There's a possibility that only one team clinches heading into the final week.
** Really thought Trinity had a chance to win the remaining games in its schedule. Wrong again.
** May be a little premature to call a conference champion, but South Fayette sure went a long way in securing the Century Conference with its win over Seton-La Salle. The undefeated Lions have wins over Keystone Oaks, Sto-Rox and the Rebels.
** Got a feeling the winner of this week's game between Canon-McMillan and Mt. Lebanon finishes third in the Great Southern Conference. Don't think that's big? Could be the difference between playing a first-round game at McKeesport or Shaler.