Saturday, October 15, 2011

Week 7 thoughts

Maybe the most impressive aspect of Washington's 42-7 dismantling of Quaker Valley Saturday night at Chuck Knox Stadium (how many readers remember that guy?) is that the offense did not attempt a pass until the final play of the second quarter.

And, of course, with the way the Prexies have played the past month, Josh Wise hit Mijerean Witcher for a 30-yard touchdown on the play.

Washington makes no secrets about its game plan. The Prexies want to run the football behind a continually improving offensive line and with one of the deepest stable of backs in the WPIAL. Jaylin Kelly, who was injured Saturday, can gain the tough yards or hit the long play. Shai McKenzie is a threat to score on every carry, as is Daron Whitaker. Joe Phillips runs north-south and is tough to bring down.

Defenses don't know who will get the football, and it helps that every skill player on offense can score on any play. How about the 33-yard reverse to Matt Brower on a third-and-16?

The Prexies, like most teams, do have a weakness or two, but this team is going to be one difficult out in the postseason.

* Speaking of impressive, Prexies senior Eric Ellis continues to make big plays along the defensive line.

Against the Quakers, Ellis forced a safety and recovered a fumble on the Prexies' first defensive series. Washington finished with six sacks and allowed 70 yards.

The quest for the top defensive player in the area this season starts, and most likely stops with Ellis and Ringgold's Michael Beveridge.

* Waynesburg senior Nick Zupper had one of the great single-game performances in Greene County history Friday night against Yough.

Zupper rushed for 383 yards (yes, 383) and scored four touchdowns. We're checking into whether that total is a Greene County record or not. There's a chance that Derek Bochna (Mapletown) or Rodney Wilson (West Greene) rushed for more yards in a game.

Former career WPIAL rushing leader Mike Vernillo (Fort Cherry) rushed for 424 yards and four touchdowns against Avonworth during the 1997 season. At the time, it was the best single-game total in the WPIAL since 1970.

Zupper has 1,277 yards and 14 rushing touchdowns. He leads all local runners in both categories. Ringgold's Quad Law (1,133 yards, 12 TD) is second, while Peters Township's Andrew Erenberg (974, 12) is third.

* Great news for Ringgold that Law believes he'll be able to play Friday night at Franklin Regional. For more on Law,

* The playoff chances for Erenberg and Peters Township took a significant upswing with Friday's 21-6 win over Baldwin.

Erenberg scored three first-half touchdowns for the up-and-down Indians.

Like Washington, Peters Township doesn't play many guessing games on offense. Erenberg is getting the football and it's up to the defense to stop him.

* I had no trouble with Beth-Center going for two points in overtime to try and beat Avonworth in a non-conference loss that will hurt the Bulldogs' postseason seeding.

Avonworth pretty much controlled the game starting in the second quarter. Considering that, a two-point try was B-C's best chance of getting a win.

Both teams left plenty of plays on the field - the lack of a pass rush and field conditions hurt B-C.

The field at Beth-Center was muddy mess. In the past, that type of conditions who have been to B-C's benefit. Not with this team.

As long as the Bulldogs get past the first round, they'll be a tough team to play on an artificial surface.

* This might be my favorite stat of the year - the Monessen at West Greene game lasted one hour, 48 minutes. I haven't covered a game this year that was under two-and-a-half hours.

* The WPIAL Class A playoffs will be without a regular this year as Carmichaels dropped to 1-5 in the Tri-County South with a loss to Frazier. The Mikes last missed the playoffs in 1997, and the last time they had a losing record came in 1995 when they were 3-7.

* South Fayette had two 100-yard rushers against South Allegheny. Wondering when the last time that happened there.

* Fort Cherry's Tanner Garry has 21 touchdown passes. That's an average of three per game.

Follow me on Twitter @TheMikeKovak


prexie said...

thoughts on wash high week 7. (i can hear it now "oh no here comes some more crap") but this is all possitive. quaker valley has a very talented kid #31 he is small but quick and he had a few flashes during the game. the problem is wash high has 10 #31's on their team, who are faster and stonger. bosnic has done a great job getting these guys in the weight room and it shows. josh wise is becoming a very good qb. he looked poised and is looking over the field better.freak injury to kelly, it had nothing to do with overuse. need to rest him. (my opinion we will miss him alot on defense)phillips is a beast. my only complaint (and its minor) is shai should have come out sooner. the threat of the pass was there and we just missed 2 long td had the defense thinking.great job coaching staff.lets give these kids some praise, still work hard, and go into the playoffs with unity. and by the way coach k is a coach a very good one and a great teacher and great former high school player and i respect him and his comments.

Anonymous said...

IMO Wash High started slow and sloppy once again. Starts like that will end their playoff run. Once they got started they did what they were supposed to do. From talking to jaylins dad he could be back this week but more than likely next.he is still on crutches and the swelling has not went down. they will miss him and his production on "O and D' but they have enough to get through this week.As far as shai coming out early: if the starters would have done what they are supposed to do, they would have been done at halftime. They didnt come to play early Kids no the competition and sometimes it shows. Nothing the coaches called or did had an effect. It was all players inability focus and compete early on.

prexie said...

if i was coaching i would have sent shai to the concession stand to buy the team hotdogs midway thru the 3rd qrt. but i thought everything else the coaches done in that game was perfect. maybe not the pass on 1st and goal when josh lost a fumble but thos things happen.i would tell my punt return guys that when the ball hits the groung to run as fast as you can away from it.maybe strap a grenade to it at practice or something. (may have to sacrifice a few freshman for that drill)

Anonymous said...

"i would tell my punt return guys that when the ball hits the groung to run as fast as you can away from it" i disagree. the first punt should not have been fielded and was, poorly. the second punt should have been fielded and wasn't (had lots of room). it cost team 20 yards.

the kids have to learn the right and wrong time to field a bouncing punt, a wobbly punt, a spiraling punt, etc.

Anonymous said...

The magic words in your comment "If i was coaching" Im sure theres a reason you're not!!

R. Keith Taylor said...

I have to say the grenade comment was quite funny. A punt like that gave Ringgold a win vs West Mifflin 2 years ago. West Mifflin's punt returner did not get out of the way, the ball hit him, and Ringgold fell on the ball with maybe a 10 yard field. But, prexie, you are right; kids need to clear out. Best of luck to the prexies for the rest of the year.

prexie said...

i'm just saying, a 25 yrd punt thats rolling on the ground run away, it wasnt the 1st time its happened cost us 7 both times. you dont have to be a coach to point that out. i also agree a punt in the air needs fielded. also dont want to see shai hurt up by 28 or whatever it was. dont have to be a coach to have that opinion either.