Clairton 84, Avella 0.
Only to be outdone by Gateway 85, Norwin 0.
According to reports, Avella head coach Ryan Cecchini placed no blame on Clairton for the final score. Instead, Cecchini said a series of Avella mistakes, particularly on botched punts, continually gave the Bears prime field position.
The final score makes me think several things.
1. It's time for Clairton to move up to Class AA. Aliquippa does it. Jeannette does it. Monessen does it in basketball; and all are very successful. How much fun can it be knowing you will not face competition until the WPIAL championship game at the earliest?
2. Even before Cecchini disclosed some details of the game, I found it hard to place blame on Clairton. Seriously.
It's not Clairton's fault it is that much better.
Also, the Bears have been criticized for many things. They've taken knees after halftime (a move that still baffles me). They've acted unsportsmanlike after games, but if the starters were pulled and they weren't throwing the football, you can't put blame on them for the final score against Avella.
3. There needs to be mergers.
* Weather can be a great equalizer, and it certainly helped Brentwood during the Spartans' 20-19 overtime win at Fort Cherry. For the Rangers, it's a crippling loss with Clairton and Chartiers-Houston remaining on the schedule.
Brentwood did a better job at the line of scrimmage than Fort Cherry, and the Rangers hurt themselves with a myriad of mistakes - fumbled snaps, poor punts, missed extra points and missed assignments.
I covered the last two Fort Cherry-Brentwood games and thought both times the Rangers were the more talented team. Yet, the Spartans won both games. As stated many times on this blog, it takes a lot more than talent to win at the varsity level.
* Speaking of talent, Washington sure looks like its coming into its own.
The Prexies notched a second consecutive impressive victory, the latest a 41-16 romp at Keystone Oaks.
Shai McKenzie, a sophomore, is emerging as Washington's top runner and, with Jaylin Kelly, that's a dynamic one-two punch. Quarterback Josh Wise and receiver Ethan Gordon are bringing balance to an offense that is emerging as a big-play bunch.
A win against Steel Valley should lock up second place in the Century Conference for Washington. Considering the reaction following losses to Clairton and Seton-La Salle, not sure the Prexies faithful saw this coming.
* Beth-Center continues to get things done, and senior Sal Faieta is in the midst of his best season.
Faieta is a workout warrior, intelligent football player with a high motor, and he's a proven winner. Now, Faieta and Beth-Center face a difficult test in Monessen.
The Greyhounds aren't happy after being shutout at North Catholic, a game where quarterback Chavas Rawlins suffered a broken hand but continued to play. Monessen has also beat Beth-Center the past two seasons.
There isn't a bigger game in the area this Friday than Monessen at Beth-Center. The winner will win the Tri-County South Conference and should earn a top five seed in the WPIAL Class A playoffs.
* Waynesburg's Nick Zupper is in the midst of a monster season. He's already pushing 1,000 yards rushing.
* If the season ended today, Ringgold's Quad Law would be the Observer-Reporter Player of the Year.
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