Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Week in Review, Week 8

Team of the Week – Ringgold
Ringgold went undefeated through the season's first seven weeks but questions concerning the Rams lingered. Was Ringgold legit? Could Ringgold's fast start be attributed to the schedule? Was the defense capable of stopping a big-play back? Would the big-play offense continue to produce?

The answers to all questions are "Yes" after Ringgold's 24-13 victory over Franklin Regional.

The Rams are 8-0 for the first time and claimed the Keystone Conference championship with their impressive performance. Ringgold popped big plays, got a kickoff return for a touchdown, created turnovers on defense and stuffed Franklin Regional's running game.

Runner-up – South Fayette

Starting 11
Zach Challingsworth, South Fayette
Dakota Conway, California
Keith Cox, McGuffey
Mykal Dorsey, Chartiers-Houston
Derrick Fiore, Ringgold
Corey Garry, Fort Cherry
Austin Hancock, Peters Township
Quad Law, Ringgold
Kyle McWreath, Trinity
Jake Sofran, Beth-Center
Jordan Thomas, Washington
First sub
Brady Kunsa, Monessen

Game of the Week – South Fayette 42, Seton-La Salle 35
Two undefeated teams. A Thursday night platform with the FSN cameras there to televise the game on tape delay. This contest lived up to the hype, and then some.

Each offense made big play after big play. Receivers cut through defenses. Running backs Kevin Hart and Jeff Davis sliced through running lanes. Defenses gasped and often looked helpless in stopping the opponent.

At the end of this marathon, South Fayette wrapped up a second consecutive Century Conference championship but the loss of offensive tackle/defensive end Nolan Spicer (left knee injury), most likely for the rest of the season, tempered the celebration.

Weird, wild stuff – With two interceptions against Franklin Regional, Ringgold defensive backs Niko McPherson has seven on the season. … Mt. Lebanon's Luke Hagy has six touchdowns the past two years against Peters Township. … Winning teams from the Observer-Reporter coverage area averaged 42.2 points per game. ... A total of seven games were competed with the 35-point mercy rule in effect.


Anonymous said...

I could see Ringgold losing a first round playoff game. I imagine they'll play either Blackhawk, Central Valley, or Hopewell. None of which will be an easy game.

mike_kovak said...

The way Rushel Shell is running, I'd imagine everyone wants to avoid Hopewell.

Anonymous said...

At Anon....
You could see Ringgold losing a first round playoff game? Why? Don't match up well with these teams? Those 90 yard kickoff returns only get you so far? Franklin Regional wasn't as good as everybody thought because they lost to Ringgold? I got news for you...no game is easy....no team lets you stop them or let you run all over them....8-0 and a conference title and some of you people still won't give these hard working kids any credit! amazing!!

Anonymous said...

I could see them playing Trinity also. Dont you think theres a chance that will happen Mike?

Sarcastic Sword said...

I agree with Anonymous that the first round matchup for Ringgold could be tough. Would be a shame to end a possible undefeated reg season at home with a playoff loss...Ringgold's rush defense this season has been very stout. That matchup vs Shell would be intriguing. I wouldnt count them out yet.

Ringgold Realist said...

Haven't popped up recently, figured I would now, I would disagree that Ringgold has answered all the ?'s...Greensburg Salem and Frankin Regional are 2 good AAA teams, but they hardly part of the GREAT class of AAA teams. I said in my posts earlier this month, and last month...Ringgold will lose once it matches up with one of the big boys. It's great that they have beaten the better middle guys and crushed the little guys, but at some point Mike the lack of a passing game is going to end the Rams' season in the playoffs. I do not believe Ringgold will be able to beat TJ, Montour, West A, and I actually do not believe that a game with them would be even fairly close. I could see the young Rams unraveling, turning the ball over, and getting destroyed. Ringgold has played many sloppy games this year, and those good teams will capitalize off of all the turnovers. I also agree that no one in AAA wants to face Hopewell right now, Shell is a man on a mission...Another team I would not want to play would be Belle Vernon, Matt Green was hurt for the beginning of the year, and with him back I could easily see Belle Vernon making a run even possibly to Heinz.

mike_kovak said...

I do not envision a first game against Trinity or any team from the Big Eight Conference for Ringgold.

Because it's the Keystone Conference, a league with a decade's worth of playoff woes, I envision the fourth-place team from the Parkway coming to Joe Montana Stadium.

mike_kovak said...

I disagree with Realist on one point. I do not believe you have to have a substantial passing game to win at the high school level.

I also haven't seen a team with as much speed at the skill positions as Ringgold.

Clairton Alum said...

Ringgold is having a great year. I am not sure how many people thought at the beginning of the year that Ringgold would be in the position that they are in now. They should be applauded for what they have done, not criticized on what might happen in a couple weeks.

First, its not even a sure thing that Hopewell is making the playoffs. They have to beat West A...no easy task. If they lose to West A and Central Valley beats Ambridge (which is almost a certainty) and Blackhawk beats New Castle (which is more than possible as Blackhawk would be favored to win), Hopewell is out.

That said, if Ringgold draws the #4 team from the parkway in the first round, regardless of who it is, I think that would be the worst case scenario for the rams...those are some really tough teams.

Montour, TJ, and the rest of the Parkway Conference would be teams I would want to avoid in the playoffs as long as possible.

And my sleeper team in AAA is Belle Vernon...dont overlook Belle Vernon. I think they have the ability to make a run to the Semi-Finals as a surprise team in AAA. It will be interesting to see how the seeds fall Monday night...

Joey Niklas said...

Big 7 Week 9

Trinity 4-2 Home McGuffey
Belle Vernon 4-2 At EF
West Mifflin 4-2 At TJ

The most likely scenario:

Trinity and Belle Vernon wins and WM loses Belle Vernon gets 2nd due to their head to head over Trinity, Trinity gets 3rd and WM gets the 4th spot.

WM @ Ringold seems like a very probable matchup. IMO Good luck guessing the rest of the 3A Field.

3A and 2A seems like the most exciting fields this season.

Anonymous said...

It seems that the realist must be chided with Ringgold for some reason or another...always wishing the players will not succeed and fall flat on their faces seems to be what his posts are mainly about....remember Rome wasn't built in a day and to take away what these young men have done is shameful on your part....you must be one of those experts that must have not gotten a second interview wherever youve tried to be a hc....if your that much of a ringgold follower you should compliment these young men on accomplishing so far what no other ringgold team have ever accomplished thus far.....once again, not all games are played perfect but persaverence has put these players at the top of the conference that the geniuses at MSA picked them to finish sixth in...you must be on their committee realist..LOL

R. Keith Taylor said...

I am enjoying this ride for all its worth. I have not missed too many Ringgold games since 2000, and it has been a tough stretch sans 2008. While I will be hurt if Ringgold loses in the first round, I simply don't forsee it. People seem to overlook the fact Ringgold has legitimate weapons. It is not like Ringgold went out and did not handle business. People said against FR Ringgold would not bust off big plays, and sure enough, 66% of the TD's in the game were big plays.

People need to quit sipping on the haterade and just enjoy the ride. This team, for the time being, has unified the Ringgold community. Take it for what it is worth...

mike_kovak said...

Valid points R Keith and thanks for coming up and introducing yourself last Friday.

The Rams were a lot of fun to watch and it's literally been since 1999 or 2000 since I covered a meaningful game at Ringgold. It was nice to see the place buzzing.

At this point, what Ringgold is doing is not a fluke.

That said, I don't see too many teams that are first-round locks in Class AAA. We'll find out when the pairings are released Monday night.

Triple-A is wide open. I could see a team like Hopewell sneak in and ride Shell a long way. I could see Ringgold make a run, passing game or not. Belle Vernon, Trinity, Central Valley are all teams more than capable of advancing.

Ostara said...

usually the higher ranked teams play the lower ranked right? I would put Ringgold against someone like Indiana, Blackhawk, Hopewell or Central Valley. The last two will pose a BIG threat to Ringgold.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, Who cares what a Clairton Alum has to say?? Really.

Clairton Alum said...

Thats not very nice...

prexie 74 said...

I think RIngold will suprise a few people in the playofs. they are explosive and even though they may not be a great passing team, with that kind of rubbing attack, it leaves defenses wanting to sneak up and that opens up even an poor passing game especially with the skill the Rams have. Also win or not they should be proud of a great season, better than anyone else in the area.
Prexie 74 says go Rams ride your mo. and go go go.

Anonymous said...

Clairton Is Going For It's 9th Mercy Rule In A Row How Can You Mercy Rule A Whole Schedule Just Asking.

mike_kovak said...

@ anon 12:40, I care what Clairton Alum has to say. Sometimes it takes me a few minutes to get through it, but his passion for high school football has provided some strong discussion here.

@ anon 7:26, this looks like an obvious attempt to talk a little smack but since you're "just askin", one reason why Clairton mercy rules everyone is the Bears ae obviously a supremely talented team playing a schedule that does nt challenge them.

R. Keith Taylor said...

Clairton is certainly talented. I am tired of people reaffirming this. They have been good for a few years now and it good for a local team to be sucessful. People seem to take pride in watching Clairton mercy rules teams. I would not enjoy this. I enjoy watching competitive games, as it evokes different emotions which cannot be simulated in a 56-0 "mercy rule." Watching Ringgold play Hollidaysburg, Greensburg-Salem, and Franklin Regional this year has been very entertaining and not knowing the outcome of these games has been half of the enjoyment.

When we played Derry, A.G., et al., the games where not nearly as engaging. Clairton people might be enjoying the win, but a hard fought win is much more enjoyable.

With this being said, I tip my hat to Clairton and wish the team good luck in the post season--WPIAL and PIAA. ;)

ostara said...

Hey Mike, I got to see the West A and Hopewell game last night on FCSA channel down here in Florida. Hopewell jumped out big early, but West A really came firing back and made things exciting to lose by only 3. It was nice to see Shell play and I now understand why everyone thinks he's so special. He's a very good runner. The Triple A class has turned out interesting this year with Montour seemingly evolving into the King AAA and TJ looking strong, but how stong? Central Valley's first season and they gave Montour all they could handle. Ringgold going into the final game of the season with an unblemished record. There are so many tough teams that could play as spoilers in the playoffs in triple A. Someone else said it and I agree. Belle Vernon is a about as tough of a team as you will see and I think they will cause other teams BIG issues in the playoffs. I also see them as the dark horse because they have not really been talked about and are under the radar at this point.

Clairton Alum said...

I know Im long winded sometimes...lol

Its a fun hobby...I love this time of year...

B. Miller said...

Ringgold is the real deal. Time will tell.

Ringgold has more athletes than any other team in the WPIAL. This team is really talented.

Dont forget Dylan Patch. He is a game changer and has missed most of the year with a broken ankle. He had a huge completion on 3rd down to save a drive against franklin regional. He can run and pass.

Ringgold hasnt been very good in the past but this age group has always been good from the time they were young. This is the most talent Ringgold has ever had on a team in school history.

Bring on the Parkway Conference. You will be suprised.

P.S. Fiore would have close to 2000 yards this year if givin the ball more. He only has a little over 100 carries for the year.

mike_kovak said...

I like the attitude B Miller. If Ringgold makes a run, and I don't see why not, that path runs through the Parkway.

All I'm sayin' is there is not a player that can change an outcome more than Shell. From what I've seen, he is the best player in the WPIAL and Hopewell is playing extremely well heading into the playoffs.

Class AAA is going to be an interesting ride. I can seen any combination of seven teams playing at Heinz Field and I have Ringgold among those seven.

Ostara said...

I think Ringgold, Montour, Hopewell, West Allegheny, Thomas Jefferson, Central Valley, Blackhawk and possibly Belle Vernon could potentially make it to WPIAL championship game. Man, I can already imagine eating pumpkin pie and watching the games on tv! B. Miller, I have to agree that Ringgold is very talented with several good players. I wasn't a believer at first but now I am. And speaking of talent, there is an AMAZING freshman running back who plays for Trinity named Patrick Frye. Thomas Jefferson had trouble trying to figure him out when nothing else was working for Trinity and he caused lots of other teams big trouble as he's had lots of carries already as a 9th grader. He's gonna be special!