Saturday, September 25, 2010

Friday night thoughts, Week 4

Could Ringgold win the Keystone Conference? The Rams took a major step by beating Greensburg-Salem. Difficult games remain against Franklin Regional and Uniontown.

* South Fayette puts up spectacular offensive numbers. From quarterback Christian Brumbaugh - the latest Lions signal caller to top 4,000 career passing yards - to running back Jeff Davis to sure-handed receivers Tyler Challingsworth and Josh Patterson, South Fayette is balanced, disciplined and intelligent on the offensive side of the football.

Against Washington Friday night, the Lions were dominant defensively.

And that type of play is what gives South Fayette a chance to contend for the WPIAL Class AA championship.

Nolan Spicer, who will play at Liberty, spent most of the evening tackling Prexies running backs in the backfield. When Spicer wasn't making plays, Nick Faraci, Eric Myers, Davis or Brian Haney did.

* Speaking of defense, Washington showed marked improvement on that side of the football from its season-opening loss to Clairton.

Yes, Wash High lost to South Fayette, 35-8, but the Lions didn't put up eye-popping offensive numbers and credit the Prexies defense for that.

Brumbaugh passed for 141 yards and two touchdowns but Washington continually made Brumbaugh look for his second, third and sometimes fourth option on passing plays. The Prexies also held Davis to 88 rushing yards, and more than 50 of them came on consecutive carries.

Washington needs to do a better job tackling in the open field but, if the Prexies are to sneak into the playoff picture, the offensive line must improve.

All of Washington's offensive output came in the second half and the Prexies' lone touchdown was against South Fayette's backups.

* Since 1999, I haven't seen a local quarterback with more zip on the football than Trinity's Cody Endres, who was recently reinstated to the Connecticut football team. And I haven't seen a quarterback launch a deep ball better than Ringgold's Lorenzo Gardner.

When it comes to Brumbaugh, he's the best I've seen at working the middle of the football field, maintaining poise and checking through progressions.

* Geibel in the WPIAL playoffs? Repeat. Geibel in the WPIAL playoffs? The Gators are 2-2 and in decent shape after beating Jefferson-Morgan in the Tri-County South Conference.

Beth-Center and Monessen are no-brainers to qualify from the TCS. Frazier, Carmichaels, California and, yes, Geibel look like they will contend for the final two spots.

* Wash High plays Keystone Oaks and Steel Valley the next two weeks. To make the playoffs, Washington must win one of those two games then win its remaining Century Conference contests.

* Congrats to West Greene for snapping a 26-game losing streak with a win against Mapletown. It's not easy maintaining numbers and morale when losses appear inevitable. Places like West Greene, one of the smallest public schools in the WPIAL, deserve the occasional 'W' just for the student-athletes who are tough enough to keep competing against difficult odds.

* McGuffey is this week's tough-luck loser.

The Highlanders take a late lead at Moon on a 1-yard touchdown run by Derrick Whipkey only to give up a 65-yard kickoff return to Mark Piccolo with 22 seconds left. It was Piccolo's fourth touchdown.

* Peters Township moved to 3-1 with an overtime win over West Mifflin and the Indians lone loss came in extra time to Penn-Trafford.

Still, it's tough to get a read on the Indians.

The non-conference schedule was not overly difficult. Andrew Erenberg is putting up strong numbers behind a strong offensive line. Yet, the defense looks iffy.

This is the same West Mifflin team that scored six points at South Fayette to open the season.


Anonymous said...

MSA has picked against Ringgold in all 4 games this year. Oops

Anonymous said...

I guess we'll get a pretty good read on peters with them playing bethel this upcoming friday

mike_kovak said...

I would guess so.

prexie said...

mike you got it pretty right with wash high, but until they decided to throw on first down in the second half they didnt get a first down. they need to use brower and spinx and some of their speed teams dont want to even kick off to them. as for the line if a few kids get moved to the right spots they should be better. and they need to tackle better for sure.

Clairton Alum said...

Hey Mike, back to the Greensburg CC field hockey team issue for a minute. So a new article released today by the Post Gazette:

In this article, Aquinas Academy opted to forfeit their game because of safety issues. The last time they played GCC, GCC used all 5 boys during the game, most of them at one time. Aquinas officials called GCC and said they would play the game if GCC agreed to only put 2 boys on the field at any given time. GCC refused.

Now, that brings me to my email conversaion I had with Don Favero, GCC principal. He assured me that the only reason why they fielded 5 boys was because they didnt have enough girls to field a team and that GCC NEVER put more than 2 boys on the field at any given time. Now, I know that is not true because the last time GCC played Aquinas they put 3, 4, and at one point maybe even 5 on the field all at the same time. Now, when asked to only put 2 boys out there at once, they refuse. Why?

GCC is also giving these boys more playing time than the girls. If these boys were truly only there to help field the team and give the girls breaks, why are they getting more playing time than some of the girls and why are they putting 3-5 on the field at one time? The WPIAL and the PIAA need to get together and change these rules...this is ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

My observation from the Ringgold game is the Rams settled with the 14-0 lead. They got so conservative it was unreal. Humbert is doing great things with this team and I approve of him as the coach, but they have to throw down the field once in a while. Law has a cannon.

Also, the Rams need to hold on to the ball...

Sarcastic Sword said...

@Anon 9-26 1:02PM...

Your points are right on the money..Yes, Humbert got conservative but if he wanted to burn clock and not throw like he said in the paper, give the ball to someone besides Fiore...Or how about this thought - Ringgold's two TD's were to the outside where they used their speed..Why did they get away from going to the sidelines and just ran between the tackles in the 2nd half...When 8 or 9 players are stacked into the box, go down field, especially on first down when no one is expecting a pass..

Anonymous said...

The next 3 weeks of the Rams schedule looks very favorable for them

Ringgold 9 said...

My observation of Ringgold was a team who was outplayed by Salem but benefited from two big plays. One thing that Ringgold has lacked for many years is talent and coaching. This year Ringgold HAS the talent and their defense appears to be the real deal. The mistake filled spread offense and very poor play calling will be their demise. They would be more effective in the "T" formation with those horses. If Ringgold would simplify their offense and RAM it down teams throats, they could win WPIAL.

Ringgold Realest said...

My observation of the Ringgold Rams so far...Congrats 1st off to the team for starting 4-0, a wonderful achievement considering the underachieving teams of the past decade. Ringgold will win the Keystone conference and probably wind up as the #3 or #4 seed in the playoffs, they will win in the playoffs until they face Cherpak, Palko, or Cerro. When sorry coaching will become critical. Everyone is praising Humbert, but what people do not realize is that Ringgold has talent on its team as a group that it has not had in probably 15-20 years. You run a spread offense in which you do not throw the ball? With your talent of course you are going to run all over lesser talented teams. Outside of 2 plays vs. GBurg Salem, Ringgold was severely outplayed and outcoached...What is Humbert going to do when TJ, Montour, or West A brings 9 in the box, and shuts down your very predictable offense? I've been around Ringgold all my life...Quad Law is a fantastic runner but I am very skeptical of him being a good enough passer to keep defenses honest, and the same goes for Dylan Paych once he gets back as well. Both are very dynamic players running the football, but sketchy passers. So my main point is, why is Humbert running a spread offense when you do not throw!!!!!!! Go back to old school football and pound the football, run the wishbone, run power I, or run flexbone triple option. Ringgold has the deepest running back core in the entire WPIAL guaranteed!! Fiore is very good, as I said before Law and Patch are dynamic runners, and the one with the brightest future is Louis (I really hope the kid has his head on straight, because he will be a legit D-1 prospect with the right attitude), Alfon Cook is a burner as well.

I am not trying to bash Ringgold's team, I am a huge supporter but I am also a realest at the same time. I sum it up like this, they have probably the most talented team in triple A, and should go undefeated in the regular season, but mark my words, once talent meets talent (i.e. TJ, West A, Montour) then coaching becomes the key, and I'm sorry based on the first 4 games, Ringgold does definitely not have an edge.

Anonymous said...

Hasn't Ringgold had like 15 consecutive losing seasons? Now they finally are off to an amazing 4-0 start, yet people still want to bash the play calling & coaching? Doesn't make sense? Looks to me like the coaches are doing a great job!

R. Keith Taylor said...

IMO, I like the spread. The Rams fumbled on drives which would probably been scoring drives.

Dale Lolley said...

Let's get this straight, it's OK for girls to play on boys teams and if they're better than the boys, to play ahead of them. Yet it's not fair that boys play on a girls team ahead of the girls because they're better, even if the school doesn't offer their sport of choice?

Can't have it both ways. If girls are permitted to play boys sports, boys have to be able to play girls sports. Either that or you don't allow any crossover whatsoever.

I'd be all for that, but then you'd have girls complaining that they couldn't play football.

Anonymous said...

At Ringgold REALIST...first off learn how to spell before you talk trash and Ringgold is amazing that a team can be 4-0 with a coach hired somewhere in the summer and you guys have your expert opinions about formations and how the game should played....let the players play and the coaches coach and I'm sure these boys will have a memorable far it seems they are exceeding expectations that have been set for them and yes I have heard that this group of seniors were 9-0 as freshmen....they are very talented and their hard work is paying off as seniors....I just wonder how many hours of film you guys have broken down in your lifetimes???

Sarcastic Sword said...

@Ringgold Realest............

You make very good points and I agree with most of them. I dont have a problem with being a running team using a spread because that scheme has been successful at the college level(remember Pat White and Steve Slaton). It allows the offense to become balanced provided the plays are being called to ensure that. If you go with a pure running offense such as a Power-I or wishbone, the scheme itself makes you one dimensional. At least with this type of spread, the option is there with 2 WR and a TE to go vertical

Im not sure Ringgold will have to wait until the playoffs to see 8 and 9 man fronts - Greensburg Salem did that some on Friday. Humbert even admitted in quotes in Saturday's paper that he got predicatable and conservative. At least he admits it. As a 25 yr old first yr head coach who now has to deal with pressure and expectations, I can give him a free pass on this game. Jst this game. Hopefully hes a quick learner and allows his play-calling to take advantage of his team's athleticism and keep the hammer on teams instead of allowing teams to stay in the game by not playing to his strengths.

I dont agree that Ringgold is the most talented team in AAA....They do have some very good skills players but Im not sure their defense is equipped to handle above avg passing teams.

My main issue with Humbert is if he wants to keep the ball on the ground, run clock, avoid a big turnover, why not at least vary the kinds of running plays. Both TD's on Friday were to the outside and Ringgold's speed ruled the day into the endzone. Once halftime came and gone, no running plays went to the boundary. It was Fiore up the middle between the tackles all the time...A midget league coach would have been able to scheme against this one play. My guess is that Humbert didnt trust those players and he tried to play the "run out the clock" game and it almost cost him because GBS was driving for the tying TD in the final minute and a wide open WR dropped a pass that would have given them a first down inside Ringgold territory..Who knows what happens if they convert that first down.

Clairton Alum said...

Dale, I've never been one to support the "if girls are allowed to play boy's sports then boys are allowed to play girls sports" macho misogynistic thought process. There is a CLEAR difference between the two.

When a girl opts to play football, mens hockey, mens lacrosse, mens anything, she knows what she is getting herself into. She knows that she is playing with a bunch of guys and she accepts the risks that are involved with that. She knows that the men she is playing with are potentially bigger, stronger, faster, are built different, etc. But that is a decision that SHE MAKES...that decision isnt made for her.

Now look at the GCC situation. GCC puts 3, 4, and sometimes potentially even 5 boys on the field together at one time against a bunch of girls. The girls from other teams have signed up to play a GIRLS sport against other GIRLS in a sporting event against similar opponents. Those GIRLS did not sign up to play a co-ed sport where the opposing team they were playing was going to be anywhere from 25% - 50% men. In this situation, the decision for these young ladies was made for them...they didnt have a choice...they were now FORCED to play against men.

GCC had the opportunity to at least make this semi-right by agreeing to only put 2 men on the field at a time against Aquinas. They refused. I commend Aquinas for saying we arent going to do this and protect their girls. Personally, if I were an AD at a school that had a field hockey team and a football team, I would dress my offensive line and linebackers in field hockey uniforms and see how GCC liked it. I mean lets be honest, what is to stop a team from dressing 18 boys and no women? As the rules are written now, nothing.

We arent talking about 5, 6, and 7 year old boys and girls playing soccer together. These are 16, 17, and 18 year old men and women who are built different where not only does the presence of men provide a SIGNIFICANT competitive advantage for GCC but the potential for serious injury exists for these girls.

Apparently, my opinion isnt a popular one...and thats ok...but I'm sorry, this isnt right.

mike_kovak said...

The thing I find interesting in "Realest" remarks is the point about Humbert will be outcoached by Cherpak, Palko, etc.

Matt Humbert is in his first full season as a head coach. Once again, his first year as head coach and Ringgold is 4-0 with a legit shot at 7-0 heading into the Franklin Regional game.

That's pretty extraordinary.

He might not make calls or run formations you like and, obviously, he's not in the league of Cherpak and company. That doesn't mean he can't end up at their level.

Let's remember Cherpak and Palko were once first-year coaches too. TJ and West Allegheny were nothing like they are now in the first couple years that those coaches were there.

Something interesting is brewing at Ringgold. I say enjoy it.

Sarcastic Sword said...

@Mike...Your spot on about Humbert....Ive met him - hes extremely smart - I cant picture a scenario in which he wont learn from his mistakes...He wil be just fine..

Ringgold Realist said...

@Anon - Thanks for pointing out the typo. As far as watching and breaking down films, I'd say I am just about up there with Peyton Manning for as much film as I have broken down in my lifetime, Just Kidding...but it has been a lot so no need to question me there.

@Sarcastic Sword - Pat White was an excellent thrower in college and kept defenses honest. I referenced running all the power running formations simply because that is all the Rams do. I personally hate those types of formations, and love the spread formation myself, but if your going to run the spread and NOT throw the ball, then why not tighten everyone down and tell the the other team we are going to be tougher than you and run it right up your ***!!! I just personally do not see the point of spreading everyone out and being predictable by simply running the ball. I agree with you that they should have ran the ball outside more against Salem, but my point is if I am the defensive coordinator playing the rams, I am playing man to man on the outsides, bringing 9 in the box and I am blitzing inside and out, and my ends will be rushing out to blow up the jet sweeps that they run. I will beg them to throw and until they prove they can do it, I run the same defense every play.

@Mike - Humbert very well could become a great coach, and as I said congratulations to the Rams for starting 4-0, but Ringgold has talent is has not had for years so I believe they need to take advantage of the opportunity they have, and I am afraid when push comes to shove down the road during the AAA quarterfinals or semifinals, which I am certain the Rams talent will carry them that far alone, Coaching will become key against the big dogs of AAA.

Also - Humbert is a nice kid, but everyone also needs to remember that Ringgold's payroll is nothing great, so Ringgold people do not be surprised if he is here one or 2 years, uses the good records the talent he has gives him, and he is off to take a higher paying coaching job somewhere else, he is not from Ringgold so he has no reason to stay unless Ringgold rewards him financially which if you believe they will do that then shame on you!! The Ringgold coaching carousel will continue sooner or later!!

Joey Niklas said...

If its ok for boys to play girls sports then not get rid of boys and girls sports altogether and play them as intergender teams. Heck that would save alot of money when it comes to a sports budget don't you think. This is stupid. Boys don't belong on a girls team and girls don't belong on a boys team. PERIOD. Our society really has become too soft and try's too hard to cater to everyone. If you don't make the cut, take it like a man/women and move on. Just don't whine and cry to the authorities because you're not good enough to play the game. We became soft. Which is why you have lame coach's crying about other schools running up a score no matter the sport. Your the coach, teach your kids how to play better.

Sarcastic Sword said...

@Realest...Your point about Humbert leaving for more money is something I have never thought was an issue within the coaching community...How prevalent is it? Hes not working for peanuts..His salary is up there with what Price was getting...Plus, dont forget how convenient his commute is from Bentworth to Ringgold every day - unless he would go somewhere that also hires him as a teacher, his options are probably limited....

Ringgold 9 said...

@Anonymous- I professionally break down film at the collegiate and professional levels. It only took me one quarter of action to know that Ringgold is not suited for their offense. The spread offense is everywhere in football today but at the high school level where you have no choice of the types of players you get, it doesn't mean you come in as a coach and install your spread offense. The best coaches have the knowledge to run a pass happy offense one year featuring their big time QB and come back the next year with a power team featuring their experienced line. You coach to your talent and Ringgold is NOT doing that.
@Sword- The comparison of you liking the spread offense to that of WVU is nonsense. Pat White could throw the ball enough to keep the defenses honest. Their is nothing honest about the Rams passing attack. Just because the spread is the in thing in football does not mean a team like a McKeesport can't win a state title without throwing one pass. To me, the offense looks "lost" but their talent has prevailed to this point. Talent alone will not win any titles. Coaching is 90% about putting your players in a position to succeed. Having Fiore, Rands, Louis, and Law in a spread is NOT even close to success.
@Realist- If Louis is guided in the right direction, he will be the first football player in a long time from this area to pick the school of his choice, he is that special.

Anonymous said...

At Ringgold 9
*Matt Humbert hired June 17
*Staff set July 3rd
*Ringgold Rams 4-0 as of
September 29
*Players having belief in a coach
and a staff that believe in them
*They are picked to lose every
week so far by the MSA
*Keep disliking the offense and
believing that the Wing T or Pro
would be more suitable. Not the
belief of the TEAM. (If you
watched Ringgold this year, they
do have a Wing T formation they
run plays out of)
*After watching this team, I
believe they will have a
memorable seaon. They BELIEVE in

R. Keith Taylor said...

Humbert went under the rationale GS couldnt score, and they didnt. Yes, before people bash me, GS had this or that chance, they did, but they screwed it up and Ringgold's defense made plays.

I do not know if these next few games are a blessing or a curse for the Rams...

And yes, Meech Louis is the fastest person on the football field.

Sarcastic Sword said...

"Meech" Louis has great speed. He's not muscular or has much weight to his frame. Needs to hit the weight room because hes not been durable this season...Didnt practice once last week while getting treatment and has been a regular visitor to the trainer's room.

I agree with Ringgold 9 about Louis needing direction/guidance because if it doesnt occur, I would venture to guess that his recruitment would be limited.