Sunday, December 12, 2010

A few notes and thoughts

There's only one way to say this, so let's get it out there.

South Fayette has the most precise offense I've ever seen at the high school level.

What will that mean when the 15-0 Lions play West Philadelphia Catholic in Saturday's PIAA Class AA championship? Not sure, but the District 12 champs would be wise not to take South Fayette lightly.

From what I'm hearing, that may not be the case. WC didn't send anyone to scout the South Fayette-Forest Hills semifinal game and had asked Lions head coach Joe Rossi to send tapes with his scout to exchange.

Anyone remember what happened when South Fayette played a District 12 team in the PIAA Class AA basketball championship?

Right now, it sure is difficult to imagine any team capable of slowing South Fayette's offense. Prolific quarterback Christian Brumbaugh sets a new record every week. In fact, he's setting so many it's getting tough to keep track. About two hours after the Lions dispatched Forest Hills 49-12 in another amazing offensive display, I got a call from Mike White of the Post-Gazette. Each paper had Brumbaugh passing for 44 touchdowns entering the semifinal. With six against Forest Hills, that gives him 50 on the season and that tied a PIAA record.

Brumbaugh's numbers are difficult to fathom but it sure is fun to watch. He's accurate. His receivers run great routes. Someone at Saturday's semifinal likened South Fayette to Boise State.

* Brumbaugh recently accepted an offer from Division I-AA William & Mary, which has been his top choice for months, even before W&M offered. If I'm a college coach within 5-7 hours from here and have a scholarship to fill, I'm jumping on the Brumbaugh bandwagon.

His 40-yard dash time may not be the best, but why big schools shied away from Brumbaugh remains a mystery to me. He's the best passer at this level I've seen. Period.

* Speaking of underrated, if there is a more underrated running back than Jeff Davis, I want to see the guy. Davis is a vital link to an offense that is climbing the all-time ranks in terms of points scored.

His running in the first quarter softened the Forest Hills defense and set up the passing game.

Davis spent part of the fourth quarter on the training table and had his right knee wrapped after the game. He said it was just a bruise and that he'll be fine for the state championship. No doubt the Lions chances of winning are much better with Davis.

* Another aspect that makes this offense so potent is the speed of South Fayette's receivers. Tyler Challingsworth is always one of the fastest players on the field.

* With the recent happenings at Peters Township, it's nice to see a school board get something right.

That's exactly what Ringgold's school board did a couple months ago when it approved a four-year contract for football coach Matt Humbert.

Ringgold rolled through the regular season with a 9-0 record, but were eliminated in the first round of the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs by eventual WPIAL champion Central Valley. Ringgold arguably gave Central Valley its most competitive game of the postseason before CV was eliminated in the PIAA playoffs by Erie Cathedral Prep.

Ringgold's 9-1 record was one of the best in school history and Humbert, counting two wins he picked up as interim head coach in 2009, has an 11-1 career record.

Success isn't the only reason this move was the right one. It put an hopeful end the the carousel that's been Ringgold's head football position. Stability at the top could prove vital to the Rams' continued success.

When the Tri-County Athletic Directors Association holds its annual banquet, you can book Humbert (as well as South Fayette's Joe Rossi) as one of three finalists for Football Coach of the Year.

* Clairton takes some heat on this blog, much of it inflicted by occasionally ridiculous claims made by its fans, but the Bears are one win from one of the great runs in PIAA history.

With Friday night's 48-8 smashing of Farrell, Clairton's third straight semifinals victory over the Steelers in the state semifinals, the Bears are in the state finals, again.

Sure, it's the same old story, but looking back at some numbers. It's quite impressive.

Clairton has won three straight WPIAL Class A titles. The Bears are in the state championship a third consecutive year. Here's the one I find most impressive, Clairton hasn't lost since the opening game of the 2009 season. That's 30 consecutive victories.

* The Observer-Reporter's All-District football team, complete with the Elite 11 and Player of the Year will be out probably one week after the conclusion of the season.

If you haven't figured out who the POY is, you must not be paying attention. I'd like to hear some solicitations for the Elite 11.


Anonymous said...

Go Rams! Matt Humbert and new A.D. Ron McMichael have given the football program and other athletic programs the stability they need to compete against other teams. The school board was right on the mark for hiring these two guys! They care about the programs, but most of all they care about the kids!

Anonymous said...


Joey Niklas said...


What a great weekend this is for the WPIAL. Sorry for bringing out the Wizard of Oz saying because its becoming a little old.

Man, its been one heck of a ride for our program. I don't know what to say sometimes. I know some are tired of the same story different week. But man whoever made it out to the Clairton-Farrell game would've seen Clairton on a new level that I never seen this team before.

I can't wait for this Riverside-Clairton game. I hope we all can let by gone's be by gone's and root on the Bears. And if y'all don't that's fine. Good luck next season. I think FC and Char Houston are going to be much improved. Picking the 4th team might be a little hard. Maybe a sleeper like Avella makes it. That program has a lot of heart man I love how they scrap and play the game. I think that program is heading in the right direction.

I want to wish SF, NA the best of luck this weekend. I hope we can go 3 for 3. That QB SF has is a good one. And like Kovak, I'm just not sure why he doesn't have D1A offers.

I hope we can bring back the State Title for the Blackhills. Enjoy the offseason fellas. Win or lose, the Bears had one amazing season. Lets Go Bears.

prexie said...

sorry but another ridiculous claim from a non clairton fan. clairton would beat south fayette and north allegheny both.

Friday Night Fan said...

Clairton is a great team but they would give South Fayette a game for a half. They would lose by mercy rule to NA. The WPIAL and PIAA have classes based on enrollment for a reason. Think about it, TJ, which is a top-flight AAA school, was in a game with Baldwin, a perennial AAAA doormat. The talent pool means a ton. While Clairton's top six players may be as good, if not better, than SF or NA's top six, numbers seven through 22 are going to be better for the bigger schools. It is the law of averages.

Anonymous said...

Fort cherry fan here saying good luck to our neighbors over at South Fayette this weekend and to our conference champion Clairton. Best of luck to both teams this weekend.

prexie said...

maybe north allegheny would win but there would be no mercy rule. its 11 against 11. those games would be fun to watch.just stirring up some conversation. football talk is getting a little stale.

R. Keith Taylor said...

Yes, Im In full basketball mode now.

Clairton Alum said...

Normally I would chime in on this debate...but you know what...everyone at this time of year needs to be a district 7 fan (well everyone except for Rochester who had fans sitting on the side of and cheering for the Farrell Steelers), and we have 3 tremendous teams playing for state gold on Friday and Saturday. I would LOVE to see us go 3 for 3 and shut the mouths of some of those cocky Eastern PA fans.

Good luck to everyone this weekend.

prexie said...

i agree ,good luck to all wpial teams