The Advocate is not one who is into the whole conspiracy theory thing. Although he is wondering about why those black helicopters are circling his house. But the last week of Mid-July heat and humidity during early frickin' October is starting to make Your City League Advocate wonder if the whole global warming kerfuffle has more than a bit of truth to it. As you may or may not know, the Advocate is not a summer person. Heat and humidity tend to make the Advocate a tad grumpy, and considering that he is a rather moody person on his best day, a sweaty and miserable City League Advocate is something that most normal people and certainly impressionable children should never be subjected to. One would hope that meterological sanity would prevail this week and the cooler temperatures and falling leaves that are supposed to occur during this time of year will soon arrive and make the Advocate's mood much lighter for the sake of the greater community.
We are up to week 7 in the Pittsburgh City League and while Brashear is still rolling along as the only undefeated team in the League, the other playoff spots are being strongly contested by a quartet of teams.
1. Brashear 5-0, 6-0
2. Schenley 3-1, 4-2
2. Allderdice 3-1, 3-3
4. Carrick 3-2, 3-3
5. Perry 2-2. 2-4
6. Peabody 2-3, 2-3
7. Oliver 1-3, 1-5
7. Westinghouse 1-3, 1-5
9. Langley 0-5, 0-6
Brashear had bit of a scare thrown into them by the Oliver Bears last Thursday but were able to prevail 19-6 to remain undefeated on the season. After giving up 14 points in their first game, DaBulls have only given up 21 points in their last five games including 2 shutouts and no City team thus far has been able to score more than 8 points on The Herd this season. Their next victim, er, uh opponent will be the Westinghouse Bulldogs who have lost two in a row and were dropped by Peabody in the 93nd annual Battle of the East End 22-8. Peabody has won the last five games in this series, but the 'House still holds a commanding lead 58-29-5.
The Advocate's Game of the Week was touted as a must see game by The Advocate. A pivotal game between two up and coming teams that haven't made a impact in the City League in years. The surprising Allderdice Dragons who were on a three game City winning streak and were winning games with speedy backs and hard-nosed defense against the Schenley Spartans who were on a trifecta of their own with the leading running back in the City, one Jeremy Hawkins. The Advocate was hoping that the game would not come down to who would be better at passing the ball, well, that's what it came down to.
In an ugly, sloppy, game that had double digit penalties on both sides, the Schenley Spartans were able to overcome two first half safeties, numerous players being treated for heat exhaustion and other injuries, at least 15 penalties and a depleted 'Dice defense to score 14 unanswered points in the second half including a 3 yd TD run by Jeremy Hawkins with 1:17 left to play to defeat the Allderdice Dragons 20-18 to lift them into a second place tie with the 'Dice and more importantly, the head-to head playoff tiebreaker. That means that if Schenley and the 'Dice are tied for second place come playoff time, The Spartans would get the second seed and the 'Dice would get the third seed, which would guarantee that they would meet in the playoffs for the right to challenge Breashear for the title. Allderdice will have to beat Peabody, Westinghouse and Carrick, take the expected loss to Brashear, and hope that Schenley loses another game along the way. But looking at Schenley's schedule, every game from here on is verrrry winnable. Langley, Oliver, Carrick, and Perry round out the final four weeks of the schedule and Perry may be on the only team that could give the Spartans trouble.
Back to the game analysis. Neither team was able to run the ball that well, although Hawkins had 94 yds on 16 carries and the 'Dice's Joe Short showed little effect from his early season suspension with a 113 yd performance off 16 carries. Due to large amount of penalties, both teams played from bad field position all game long. There was a lot of 3rd and 15 and 3rd and 20 plays all afternoon. Going into the locker room up 18-6 at half time, Allderdice looked flat and had showed little enthusiasm until late in the second half when Schenley started to get their passing game together and drove down the field. The 'Dice defense was hurt by the loss of senior lineman David Yancy who was pulled out for the second half for heat exhaustion and dehydration. The loss of Yancy hurt the D-line in that they weren't able to put the kind of pressure on QB Deandre Kane in the second half that they were able to do in the first half, and that turned the game around for Schenley. The next game for the Green Hats will be against Peabody while the Spartans will entertain winless Langley.
The Carrick Raiders continue to impress moving into 4th place in the League with a 36-7 smackdown of Langley. Mike Szoszorek threw for 208 yds and 2 TDs and Ray Seskey had three TDs including receptions of 55 and 24 yds. The 3-2 Raiders have a couple tough games down the road in Schenley and Allderdice, but the possibility that they could catch one of those teams napping is very real. The Tribe will be hosting the Valley Vikings out of the WPIAL on Saturday afternoon.
Perry lost to Cumberland Valley 42-6 to drop their third game in a row to go to 2-4 overall, but they are still in the hunt for a playoff spot at 2-2 in City League play.
Your City League Advocate went 4-1 last week to up his record to 30-4 for the season.
Thursday October 11
Langley vs Schenley: The Spartans should have no trouble against the Mustangs. Schenley by 14
Friday October 12
Allderdice vs Peabody: The 'Dice cannot afford another loss if they want to stay in third place. Last week, they were flat. Coach Schmidt will not allow that to happen this week. Allderdice by 7
Oliver vs Perry: The East End has Peabody-Westinghouse, the North Side has Perry-Oliver. Both teams are down, but this game is still important to those folks on the North Side. Perry by 10
Saturday October 13
Brashear vs Westinghouse: Yet another tune-up for the Raging Bulls Brashear by 21
Valley at Carrick: Last year, the Vikings beat up the Raiders in New Kensington 34-6. Valley will win this one, but the Advocate expects a tighter result. Valley by 14