Saturday, October 2, 2010

Friday night thoughts, Week 5

Peters Township head coach Nick Milchovich said of Peters Township's 21-14 win over Bethel Park Friday night, "It might be the biggest win in the history of the program."

At first glance, it seems like hyperbole.

Upon closer inspection, Milchovich might be spot on.

Peters Township last made the WPIAL playoffs in 2003, when it played in Class AAA. That team featured future Division I players in Doug Fife and J.J. Knabb as well as Jim Gallagher. That team did not register a name-brand win like Peters Township did last night.

All the Indians need to do to clinch its first spot in the WPIAL Class AAAA playoffs is win one of its final four games.

Holding Bethel Park to 14 points has to be a confidence-booster for a defense that was smarting after last week's performance at West Mifflin.

Then, there's the play of senior quarterback Austin Hancock.

He completed 9 of 11 passes for 115 yards and his 22-yard touchdowns was the winning score. Hancock has been amazingly accurate this season. Through five games, he has completed 38 of 49 passes (77.6 percent) for 587 yards and four touchdowns. He's also rushed for three scores.

* Fort Cherry has a quarterback in junior Tanner Garry who can make throws downfield and along the sideline. I came away impressed with Garry's ability to hit the quick six-, seven- and eight-yard hitch during the Rangers' 28-21 overtime loss at Brentwood.

Fort Cherry receivers Ryan Babirad, Tyreke Brown and Nate Bellhy – in his first year playing football – are sure-handed, run after contact and get open on third and fourth down.

Tailback Gary Kiefer, who hurt a shoulder in the game but continued to play, is tough. He picks up three or four yards when it looks like nothing is there. Kiefer can also break the big play.

The Rangers gang tackle on defense and are a physical bunch.

Yet, Fort Cherry is 2-3 following the loss.

Breakdowns in pass coverage were evident as Brentwood quarterback Cory Bauer tossed four touchdowns. The Rangers are going to have to get better play in the secondary as they hunt for a playoff spot out of the Black Hills Conference.

The only other problem I noticed came on special teams. I don't recall a kickoff returner catching a ball on the fly. Balls hit the ground, rolled toward the goal line and gave Fort Cherry unnecessarily poor field position.

Should Fort Cherry find a way to put everything together, I say the Rangers could find themselves winning at least one playoff game.

* Fort Cherry won the overtime coin toss and elected to play defense first, as most teams do in such situations. Brentwood coach Kevin Kissel told me after the game he'd do the same thing if the Spartans won the coin toss.

Brentwood scored on its first play of overtime and kicked the ensuing extra point. The pressure was immediately placed on Fort Cherry to score.

At the high school level, with teams getting the ball at the 10-yard line in overtime, I'd like to see the team that wins the coin toss go on offense first.


Well, for starters, 10 yards is not far to go to get points, whether it come via touchdown or field goal. Second, if a team scores first and makes the extra point, it places a lot of pressure on the other kicker to make the extra point if his team scores a touchdown.

Pressure on a high school kicker is a lot different than pressure on Jeff Reed.

I'm just sayin'.

* Newsflash - Ringgold completed two passes, doubling it's season total to four. The Rams have one fewer completion than wins.

* I'd like to hear some predictions on Keystone Oaks at South Fayette and Beth-Center at Monessen. I'll offer mine later in the week.

* The lopsided scores continued Friday night.
Chartiers-Houston 41, Bentworth 14. Clairton 65, Avella 0. Ringgold 42, Albert Gallatin 7. South Fayette 48, Burgettstown 7. Keystone Oaks 37, Washington 0. Carmichaels 42, West Greene 0. Jefferson-Morgan 43, Mapletown 6.

There have not been an overwhelming number of competitive football games this season.

* Back to Bellhy. The 6-5 senior is known as a basketball player and he came close to averaging 30 points as a junior.

If I'm a local college football coach, I'm talking to Bellhy. He caught every passes thrown his way against Brentwood, whether it was over the middle or along the sideline. After every catch, he turned upfield for extra yards. With a solid frame, he fought off some contact.

Bellhy would be a project, but he might be worth the risk.


Clairton Alum said...

couple of things...

I have to give some credit to #11 Damon Cupp from Avella. That kid was Avella's entire team last night and played a heck of a game against Clairton. Good job Damon.

I also have to call out some of the Clairton fans. ONE of the reasons we get so much crap from other schools, teams, fans, etc are a DIRECT RESULT OF YOU. There was absolutely NO NEED to trash talk the Avella fans last night, none. Yelling for the bears to put 70 up before the half, laughing at Avella, etc was just uncalled for. Avella barely has a football team. They knew they were outmatched...there was no reason to rub it in last night, none whatsoever. Learn some class and be gracious please.

Joey Niklas said...

Clairton Alum,

I also noticed some of the heckling. It is what it is sometimes. Its not one of my favorite things to see at a game like last night. I had fun regardless.

I also have to give credit to Damon Cupp. I liked some of Avella's coaching decisions IE; attempting the Tennessee Miracle throwback on the one kickoff return. Avella fought hard last night even though they was outmatched. I hope to see this program succeed in the future years.

Mike Kovak,

Glad that you noticed that Fort Cherry has weapons on its team. I just don't understand how this team doesn't put it all together. The talent is there but something is lacking. And I can't pinpoint it myself.

Sarcastic Sword said...

@ Clairton Alum..

Should this be any surprise? The players learn it from home and Im sure some of those fans participating in the disrespectful behavior were parents/family members....If a better example was set in the family unit, then maybe the on-field decorum would be better...Its hard to solely put the blame on the teenage players when the role models are classless and bully's...There is such a thing as allowing a lesser talented team to lose with dignity....

mike_kovak said...

Joey, I also think Corey Garry - the FB/MLB – is one heckuva player. There are definitely some weapons.

prexie said...

wash high wow! worst offense in wpial. the kids can take some blame but until the coaches start taking some of the blame themselves this team may not win another game. talent is there but they dont see it. if something is not working devise a different plan.the coaches are losing the team. no discipline.

Anonymous said...

Pt's deffense really came to play, very happy for them

Joey Niklas said...


Your right. Corey Garry reminds me of Henry Hyno at Pitt. He catch's the ball quite well out in the flat.

prexie74 said...

i'm sure that the belhy boy has all the tools for football. we already know he can hoop. he comes from good stockas his dad could run catch and was as hard nosed as they come and i don't know his mom but i heard she was a fine athlete. good luck to him.
As far as wash highs situation it pains me too see them struggle. the highs athletes have always been good an also head strong. if the coach wants to get a grip on them he needs to adjust his scheme to their talents not his and it might help to sit on the right side of the field

Anonymous said...

Yeah, which sideline the Washington football team stands on is the reason why they're not scoring. Puhleez.

Ostara said...

I'm happy for Peters Twp and Trinity's wins. Clairton, along with everyone else knew before the game with Avella had even started that it was about as lopsided as they come, in Clairton's favor. Shame on anyone who trashtalked a team that is trying as hard as they are and barely has enough players for a team. I would have been embarrassed, but not for Avella! Prexies are always rich in talent and will most certainly bounce back. I wish them success for the remainder of the season

Anonymous said...

Wheres the love for Mapletown and Geible. Both of those schools are smaller than Avella.

Brant said...

Friday night's game was the only time I have seen Wash High this year, so I'm making an assessment based on a small sample size of "data," but from what I saw, the talent on the Wash High team is being overstated by some people, and the players are among the most undisciplined I have ever seen. Way too many personal foul/unsportsmanlike penalties. Some of them need to quit running their mouths and attend to their assignments on the field.

prexie said...

brant, i agree with you. the coaches need to take care of the discipline problem. the talent is there brant but they dont use it. the wrong kids are in the wrong position. the question is you want to win games or put kids where they want to play. anderson would be my quarterback barnes and joe phillips would be on the line mckenzie and kelley at fullback thomas and brower at rb wise gordon,wright, evans,allen at wr.if the kids refuse to play there then they either quit or sit on the sideline. what does it matter if you lose 40 to 0 or 60 to 0.

Anonymous said...

It's unbelieveable the way the Prexies are performing this year...or is it? The facts are this, the offense is one of the worst in WPIAL and they are being outscored 172-63. Now you can make an argument that they played games against teams ranked pretty high in every WPIAL poll. However, the defense actually kept them in the game. The offensive statistics are mind blowing. The lack of offensive production is killing any chance of winning for the team. Something has to be done about how the team is Prexie74 and Brant undisciplined behavior is all over the program. Isn't it crazy?

Anonymous said...

Question how good is #1(Clairton) really? who knows from the comp they play. it's very weak and #2(Rochester) is Tuff as they come, and down Heinz Field Saturday November 27, 2010 at 10:00am.I think Clairton may get beat because matsook will and has out coached nola in the past all these points clairton piles up week after week after week it would be sad for all you clairton lovers to go down at heinz field and see the (GREAT CLAIRTON BEARS LOSE) but i doubt them losing don't put your money on it Clairton's too good.

Anonymous said...

Mike, Do you think the reason for all these blowouts this year has to do with the lack of talent overall? It seems most of the talent in the wpial is concentrated to 20 total teams, the rest are very bad. Small o-lines, slow running backs, qb's that can't throw the ball. Linebackers who are 160 pounds, ect....

mike_kovak said...

There is definitely a lack of talent at some place. There are also low numbers, difficult schedules, etc.

I do agree that there just doesn't seem to many big, dominant offensive linemen. The best offensive line I've seen this year belongs to South Fayette.

ostara said...

anon @9:51pm.. I am for all the underdog teams and the non trash talk teams. I didn't know about Mapletown or Geibel but I hope the best for them as well. All these guys are out there putting their time in. They all deserve some victory. I just wanted to bring up avella because they had a team that is class A and can probably beat most AAAA teams, yet they feel it necessary (players and fans alike) to trash talk a team that has not really been known as a powerhouse in any era and at this point is trying to make the numbers to have a football team. This would be like Brock Lesnar beating up an old lady with a walker and a neck brace and then trash talking her.. everyone would expect the outcome. No need for the trash talk. Avella knew Clairton was tough. Avella also knows that they are not juggernauts is class A. It's just excessive and teams like like this usually fall apart quickly when they finally do run into some sort of stiff competition.

Anonymous said...

fyi...Rochester hasnt beaten Clairton since 2004. Clairton has ended Rochester's season 4 years in a row, twice at Heinz field. The kids on this Rochester team have never beaten the bears. Maybe Matsook out-coaches Nola, but so far that "out-coaching" has resulted in an 0-4 record.

While its true clairton hasnt played a brutal schedule, I would argue that, at this point, no one has. There are questions as to how good Sto-Rox really is and Rochester gave up a lot of points to them. clairton has mercy ruled everyone and has left no doubt in any game...including a 48-0 drubbing of Char Houston (4-1) and a 55-6 win over Western Beaver (3-2).

Until someone knocks off the bears, they are the king of the mountain.

Anonymous said...

That's exactly right Ostara. Players start pointing fingers, getting frustrated, etc. Then things start falling apart. A team with good character could be up a TD in the 3rd quarter and then the opponent just started playing against themselves as well and then the score would end up being a 4 TD victory. No talent disparity, just a team laying down. However, I don't know if there's a team out there that could even give Clairton a challenge

Anonymous said...

Wash High coaches are not doing SOME of these kids any justice by letting them quit and come back time after time. They are doing nothing but prepping these kids for failure in the future! Same should go for basketball. Once these kids are not winning they bail out on their teammates..What kind of example is that showing??? Show some tough love guys!!!