Sunday, October 24, 2010

Friday night thoughts

With one week remaining before the postseason begins, it's time to begin considering candidates for the Observer-Reporter Player of the Year.

Christian Brumbaugh, the reigning POY, is having another strong statistical season for undefeated South Fayette. Brumbaugh's won-loss record the past two years is 18-1.

Ringgold running Derrick Fiore has 1,005 rushing yards to go with 12 touchdowns. Fiore averages nearly nine yards per carry and is capable of a big play at any moment, as his 60-yard touchdown run in Friday's 24-13 win against Franklin Regional demonstrated. Fiore is also a candidate for the All-Keystone Conference team as a safety. Oh, and Ringgold just wrapped up its first conference title since 2000 and is 8-0 for the first time.

When healthy, Trinity senior Kyle McWreath is a menacing two-way player. As the Hillers' fullback, McWreath gets limited opportunity to run but he makes big plays when he does. As a middle linebacker, I haven't seen a better one this year.

One player who placed himself on the short list this past week is Ringgold junior quarterback Quad Law. Statistically speaking, Law doesn't stack up against Brumbaugh or Fiore but there's no disputing his impact. Law makes a one-yard run look like a work of art and has the knack for clutch plays.

* After seeing Thomas Jefferson two weeks ago and Ringgold on Friday, a possible playoff matchup between the two seems awfully intriguing.

Ringgold has an advantage in speed and athleticism. Thomas Jefferson is stronger up front. If I was a betting man, my money would be on Thomas Jefferson because of the "been there, done that" factor.

* If Ringgold beats Uniontown to finish the regular season with a 9-0 record, the guess here is the Rams will receive the No. 4 seed or 5 seed in the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs.

Here are a few reasons why:

1. Ringgold may have a tradition but the Rams haven't accomplished anything the past 10 years.
2. Montour and Thomas Jefferson look like locks for the top two seeds. A two-loss West Allegheny is the defending WPIAL champion and a strong team.

3. It's the Keystone Conference. Granted, Ringgold and Franklin Regional have made the conference better but until teams from the Keystone regularly win playoff games, teams from conferences like the Parkway will draw better seeds.

* Peters Township is a senior-dominated team that entered the season with high expectations. The Indians wanted to win the Great Southern Conference and host a playoff game. Those goals can no longer be achieved.

Now, the only way Peters Township can get into the playoffs for the first time at the Class AAAA level is to beat rival Canon-McMillan in Week 9. The Big Macs are winless in conference play but they are certainly playing better football now than they were early in the year.

* As important as that game is to Peters Township, the biggest Week 9 game from a local perspective looks like Chartiers-Houston at Fort Cherry.

The Bucs are 7-1 and their lone loss in the Black Hills Conference is to Clairton. A win over their biggest rival gives them an 8-1 record, a home playoff game and a seed anywhere from six to eight.

Fort Cherry has lost conference games to Brentwood and Clairton but the Rangers have an opportunity to finish second in the conference with a win. Since an overtime loss to Brentwood, the Rangers are playing some of their best football in recent years. Part of that stretch includes a five-touchdown loss to Clairton, which, by some accounts, was a competitive game despite the score.

A few weeks ago, I wrote that Fort Cherry has the talent to win a playoff game, maybe even make a mini-postseason run. A win against Chartiers-Houston gets that going.


Anonymous said...

It would be complete garbage to seed Ringgold if they go 9-0 below a 7-2 West Allegheny team. Then again these are the same people that seeded a 6-3 Upper St Clair team 15th

Joey Niklas said...

Speaking of seeding, with Sto Rox having academic problems, picture them losing to Cornell this Friday and ending up in 4th place and getting a few of those players back for their first round game. I'd imagine a Sto-Rox/Monessen matchup in the first weekend of the playoffs under that scenario. How everything else sorts out only the lord knows.

Joey Niklas said...

Via Bob Gregg of MSA

"Black Hills
Defending WPIAL & PIAA champion Clairton is first.

Chartiers-Houston, Fort Cherry and Brentwood have clinched.
Current tie-breaker points: Chartiers-Houston +31, Fort Cherry +23, Brentwood +17.

Chartiers-Houston is second with a win at Fort Cherry Friday.
A Fort Cherry win plus a Brentwood win at Carlynton would create a three-way tie.
In this scenario, a Fort Cherry win by 5 points or more gives the Rangers the second spot. Chartiers-Houston would then be third.
IF Fort Cherry wins by four and Brentwood wins by 10 or more, a three-way coin flip would be needed."

"Tri-County South
Monessen is first, Beth-Center second, California is third.

Frazier visits Monessen.
Carmichaels host Mapletown.

Carmichaels gets the spot the fourth spot with a win or a Frazier loss. Frazier qualifies only with a win plus a Carmichaels loss."

Anonymous said...

The thing that impresses me the most about Ringgold's win is holding Dane Brown to less than 3 yards a carry.

Anonymous said...

Fort Cherry is playing some hard nosed football right now. They want it.

Joey Niklas said...

anon 2:30

You right. If FC plays this Friday like they did against Clairton, FC beats the Bucs by 3 TD's.

Anonymous said...

I agree, Fort Cherry is focused and knows what they have to do to come away with the W. If they play the way they did against Clairton, no problem winning. The question is though, will the same Fort Cherry team show up.

Anonymous said...

You ppl are crazy The Bucs are takening it this year i played there my whole life then when to collage ball Fort cherry rember when My class of 2006 beat on you well its going to happen again boys watch out states here we come........C-H bucs 37-fort cherry 3 the end

Anonymous said...

states here we come??? lol...ha ha you forget the 48-0 thrashing you took at the hands of Clairton? You realize they are in your district right? You realize only one team from district 7 goes to the state playoffs right? You realize that, even if by some miracle someone knocks off Clairton, you still have to deal with Rochester? Clairton and Rochester will be on opposite sides of the bracket which means you will have to go through one of those two teams. Good luck with that. You guys wont beat an Eastern Conference team let alone Clairton or Rochy. And, to be honest, I think Fort Cherry beats you Friday night.

Joey Niklas said...

Anon 3:36

Your collage(college) education served you well man. CHHS isn't beating FC 37-3. First off the Bucs defense isn't as nearly as good as Fort Cherry's defense. Your offense is very young. You're a year away from really challenging for anything. I could be wrong in my spread here. At least the Rangers gave the Bears one heck of a fight this past week. This should be a fun game to watch due to it being a rivalry game but the Rangers will pull away in the 3rd for a 28-7 win. Take off your Buc colored glass's. CHHS in states.... *eyeroll*

Anonymous said...

Was the Clairton-Fort Cherry game close at half or something? I never got a good recap of the game. With that said, I don't see a 42-7 win as a heck of a fight. Was it just Clairton pulling away in the 3rd quarter?

Joey Niklas said...

Good question anon.

Up until midway through the 2nd Q it was a 14-7 game. And right before halftime Page broke a 93 yard punt return to make it a 28-7 game. Take away a pick 6 and a punt return and the score looks like a 28-7 game. Most schools can't even get out of the first quarter. The mercy rule wasn't in effect until midway through the 4th. FC stopped a few drives and forced Clairton to punt close to about 4-5 times. Corey Garry was in on nearly every defensive play of the game. I think its easy to look at a scoreboard and say boy that team destroyed the other team. This game seemed to be more of Clairton grinding out and earning its points. Something you don't see in a normal Clairton game.

Clairton Alum said...

Fort Cherry scored first (as they have in three consecutive years). Clairton then came right back and scored immediately (as they have in three consecutive years). You have to forget the score for a minute. Yes it was 42-7, but that doesnt tell the whole story. Fort Cherry moved the ball better than anyone else has this year against the bears. Fort Cherry stopped Clairton for little or no gain more times in a game than Clairton had been stopped previously. Corey Garry played like a man possessed and was all over the field. Garry earned a lot of respect along with a lot of all conference votes Friday night. Talking with some of the Clairton players after the game, this Fort Cherry team hit Clairton harder than they had been hit all year long. This was the first game of the season where these kids were actually tired after a football game. Fort Cherry played a tough, physical game. Eventually, however, Clairton's speed and athletic ability was just too much.

Anonymous said...

Joey Niklas has no idea what he's talking about, I watched tape on the clairton fort cherry game and that first drive fort cherry scored on clairton's first team defense wasn't even on the field, also immediately after that touchdown clairton put up 35 points in the first quarter, they also had 2 touchdowns called back and a fumble on the one yard line, does that sound competitive at all?

Joey Niklas said...

35 points in the 1st Q??? The Bears didn't even have 35 points at halftime. Plus the TD in the 3rd Q made it 36-7. Guess you didn't read Clairton Alum's take. Its very close to mine. Next time you call me out, don't be anonymous.

Anonymous said...

anon @ 11:14
either you watched the wrong tape or you just cant add up points! and the fumble on the one yard line was a forced fumble not a bad snap or handoff etc. it was just good football by fc to bend not break.

Anonymous said...

haha oh man 37-3? not likely. if fc shows up maybe 28-14, if not your still looking at a one point game