Friday, October 19, 2007

City League Preview Week 8

Your City League Advocate was sweating the load big time when he witnessed his favorite sportsboard going through death throes last week. He was wondering where else to ply his trade, because certain boards out East in the hinterlands of Pennsyltuckybama would not appreciate his dry wit and sound analysis of all that is Everyone's Favorite Little Football League. Fortunately the high school football gods have smiled upon the admins and members of the PA Sportsboard and have healed its server of whatever foul code had choked the life out of it, and for now The Advocate can stop pulling his hair out and dreading the thought of having to get his high school posting fix in such disgusting places as Red Zone Media and worse, the Cyber Ghetto on Penn Live. Your City League Advocate would rather be rolled nekkid in a pit of razor blades and go skinny dipping in a tank of rubbing alcohol than attempt to enlighten the barbaric hordes that infest those forums. Shudder!!!

Standings.

http://www.post-gazette.com/highschoolsports/stats/district_standings.asp?teamtypeid=1&districtid=2&seasonid=9#47

Well now, enough with the monologue, let's talk a little football City League style shall we? Things are getting interesting in D8 land these days. Brashear continues is march towards the playoffs dispatching the Westinghouse Bulldogs 41-0 to extend theri record to 7-0 overall and 6-0 in the City. DaBulls are ranked in the top 10 in the state in defense allowing a paltry average of only 5 points per game, and only once have they had more than 10 points scored on them. And no team in the City League has scored more than 8 points on the Herd this season. The Quamane and Jermaine Show will be taking on a game Allderdice Dragon squad on Friday afternoon.

The Advocate's Green Hats (4-1,4-3) put on a rushing clinic at the George last Friday afternoon at the expense of the Peabody Highlanders rolling to a wild and wooly 47-20 win over the Kilties. Both teams generated 823 yards of total offense. Allderdice got 438 of its 456 yds on the ground as Joe Short and Robere King became the first two backs from one school to rush for 200 yds in 15 years. The Advocate is guessing that's a City League record, but if that includes the WPIAL as well, he would be doubly impressed. The incredible thing is that both players rushed for a total of 412 yards on only 21 carries!!! Do the Math boys and girls!! That's 19.6 yds per carry. Both players scored three touchdowns each, and both had long TD runs of 73 and 74 yds respectively. The 'Dice scored on its first two possessions in drives of 5 and 2 plays respectively. The Peabody defense had no answer for the triple threat of King, Irwin and Short.

The Dragon passing game took the day off as all scoring came by rushing, a field goal and the third safety in two games by the 'Dice defense. The defense had a momentary lapse as the Highlanders took advantage of the small defensive secondary of the Dragons and scored on two consectutive possessions to take the lead 14-13 by the end of the first quarter, but any hope the Highlanders had of pulling this game out were dashed when the Dragon offense kicked it into high gear and scored 34 unanswered points. The Allderdice D was successful in shutting down the Peabody running game, but were repeatedly burned on 20 and 30 yd passes that were thrown over the d-backs into the waiting arms of Kiltie receivers, but when the Highlanders got into the 20 yd line, the 'Dice D-line and linebacking corp put plenty of pressure on the Peabody QB sacking him multiple times and keeping the Kilties off the board until a late score in the 4th quarter. There was no sign of the flat and uninspired play that plagued the 'Dice in the loss to Schenley. This Dragon squad was breathing fire from the opening kickoff. They're going to have to maintain that fire when they take on the league leading Brashear Bulls. The 'Dice doesn't need to win this game to make the playoffs, but an upset would be a huge dose of self-confidence for this veteran Dragon squad. With winnable games against Westinghouse and Carrick to round out the schedule, the 'Dice can afford to lose to Brashear as long as they beat those last two teams.

The Schenley Spartans(4-1,5-2), who have come on like a house on fire lately, further staked their claim to a second place tie w/ the 'Dice with a 40-7 win over Langley. The Spartans have won five games in a row and are the second hottest team in the City League after Brashear. And compared to the 'Dice they have an easier road to the playoffs in that they've already played Brashear, and have only Oliver, Carrick and Perry on their remaining schedule.

But as interesting as the rise of Schenley, is the even more improbable performance of the Carrick Raiders. Wha, Mr. Advocate??? Did I hear you right? The Carrick Raiders?? Yes young Padawan, your ears are working properly. The Raiders (3-2,3-4) have climbed out of the City League dungeon from which they have been captive since 1987, and are presently holding on to fourth place in the standings one game ahead of the Oliver Bears and they have the head to head advantage over Oliver to boot. The resurgence of Carrick can be attributed to the quarterbacking prowess of one Mike Szoszorek, receiver James Jett and halfback Ray Seskey. Though the Tribe's road to the playoffs will be rough with games against both Schenley and Allderdice, there is a real possibility that they can sneak up on a napping team and score an upset. Last week, the Raiders traveled to New Ken to take on the Valley Vikings out of the WPIAL. The Raiders withstood a 389 yd rushing assault by Valley's Tracy Booker, but only lost to the Vikes by a score of 20-8. According to the Trib-Review account of the game, in the first half, Valley ran 55 offensive plays to Carrick's 15, Valley had 284 yds of offense to Carrick's 39 and more than doubled Carrick's time of possession 16:22 to 7:38, but the first half score was 8-6 CARRICK!!! The Advocate gets the distinct feeling that he's no longer amongst the normal folk and has descended into Bizarro World.

Even the Oliver Bears have an outside chance to make the playoffs if they win out the rest of their games, DaBears put the final nail into the coffin of this season's biggest disappointment, the Perry Commodores by beating the One Stars 14-13 in the Battle of the North Side.


Predictions:

Your City League Advocate went 4-1 last week and is now 34-5 on the season.

Thursday October 18
7:00pm
Schenley vs Oliver: DaBears have 2 of their last 3, but against bad teams, Schenley wants to make it six in a row, and they will. Schenley by 14.

Friday October 19
3:30pm
Brashear vs Allderdice: The Advocate's Game of the Week: he will be there. Brashear hasn't seen a rushing attack like the 'Dice this season, but Allderdice has had trouble defending the pass. You can sure that Brashear has seen tape of the Peabody and Schenley games and will be keying on the quick, yet small d-backs. Brashear has a ton of weapons, and even if the 'Dice defense can stop their running game, they'll have their hands full containing the Bulls pass attack. Brashear by 14

7:30pm
Perry vs Peabody: Stick a fork in the Commodores, they're done. The Kilties will be looking to take out their frustration at being scorched by the 'Dice and the One Stars are in their sghts. Peabody by 10

7:30pm
Langley at Warren (OH) John F. Kennedy: JFK destroyed the Clairton Bears of the WPIAL's Eastern Conference 44-18. Let's put this in perspective. Clairton is undefeated in one of the toughest conferences in the WPIAL regardless of class. The Bears have had three straight shutouts and have not had a team score in double digits in six of their seven games. Clairton is a heavy favorite to win the WPIAL Class A title. If JFK can hang 44 points on a top-drawer team like Clairton, The Advocate shudders to ponder what kind of a beatdown they would put on a winless Langley team that has scored less points all season than Allderdice scored against Peabody(42-47) last week. The Advocate gives the Mustangs credit for playing this game, but it'll be over by the first quarter. JFK by 40.

Saturday October 20
12:00pm
Westinghouse at Carrick: The Raiders last two games will be a death march, but they can get ready for them by taking out the Bulldogs. Carrick by 17
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