Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The City League Week 8 Preview


Last weekend posted the most intriguing results in the City League all season. A couple teams apparently decided not to read the script, and didn't do what they were expected to do. A good bit of shuffling occurred in the standings. And with the regular season inching towards completion, the head to head tiebreakers have started to become a factor.

The Standings:

Perry 5-0
Brashear 4-1 1gb
Allderdice 4-2 1.5 gb
Schenley 4-2 1.5 gb
Langley 3-2 2gb
Carrick 2-3
Oliver 1-4
Peabody 1-5
Westinghouse 0-5

     Let's start with the Advocate's Allderdice Dragons. The troubles with special teams yet again conspired to bite the Dragons on the backside. Schenley's Deandre Black returned the opening kickoff 86 yards for a touchdown and contributed for another Spartan score. The game was a defensive scuffle with Schenley only gaining 73 yards of total offense, which was a lot more than the 44 total yards gained by the 'Dice. The win placed Schenley back into the thick of the playoff race tied for third place with the Dragons and more importantly, the Spartans hold the head to head tiebreaker should that be needed to settle a playoff spot. This was the second week in a row that Allderdice was held scoreless. And while it's okay for the weather to get colder, it is definitely not the time for the offense to go cold with only two league games left in the season. The Dragons will be hosting the Linsly (WV) Cadets at the George on Saturday October 23rd at 3:30pm. As you gentle readers remember, Linsly was the school that blew out Westinghouse 48-14 in week 2 of the season. The Schenley Spartans will take on the Westinghouse Bulldogs on Thursday Oct 21 at 6pm.
      The league leading Perry Commodores headed down to Wheeling to take on the Wheeling Central Catholic Crusaders and they needed all their weapons to hold off a tough Crusader squad. After a 7-7 1st quarter, Wheeling scored the next 14 points in the second quarter off runs of 18 and 3 yds, respectively, to lead the game at the half 21-19 but Perry would not intimidated in the second half. After allowing another Wheeling touchdown, The Commodores Greg McGhee threw two touchdown passes of 71 and 25 yards and running back Chinelo Oparanozie finished the scoring with a 34 yd run from scrimmage. The Advocate thinks its safe to say that Greg McGhee has to rank as one of the better quarterbacks in Western PA. Unfortunately, playing in the City League hurts his exposure. The Advocate doesn't put McGhee in the same class as Rod Rutherford, but he's close. The Commodores return to City League action on Friday night on the big stage when they take on traditional rival Brashear.
      DaBulls needed double overtime to get past the Oliver Bears in the Grant St. Game. DaBears and DaBulls traded touchdowns in the first quarter, the only difference was that Brashear completed the extra point and Oliver didn't. Adam Lynch put the Bulls in front 14-6 in the 2nd quarter with a 24 yd pass to Ricky Gay. But The Oliver Bears, who have been a major disappointment all season decided that they wanted to make Brashear work for this win. They responded in the fourth quarter with a Tyree Mathis 4 yd run and successful conversion to tie the score at 14. The game ended in a tie and the first overtime period ended with no score. Brashear broke the tie in the second overtime with a 10 yard run by Lynch and a successful kick for extra point put The Herd up 21-14, but Oliver came back on their posession and scored on a 10 yard pass from Shkaeem Cox to Trevon Kendrick, but the Bears couldn't connect on the conversion pass attempt and the Bulls escaped the George with a much needed and very hard fought win. Brashear took advantage of both Allderdice and Langley's losses to vault ahead of the two into sole possession of second place a half game in front of Schenley and the 'Dice and a full game in front of Langley.
      The Mustangs had a chance to cement their playoff credentials with a win over the Carrick Raiders.
After a scoreless 1st period, Langley tackled Jujuan Thomas in the end zone to score a safety. Carrick responded with a Henry Myers 19 yard pass to Zach Roach and a successful two point conversion to leap ahead 8-2.
The Mustangs tied the score on a 5yd run by Stephon Faye, and Carrick finished the scoring with a 20 yd field goal by Robert Field. With the loss, Langley falls to 3-2 and fourth place in the league. The Mustangs next game is against the Oliver Bears.
      And while this game had no playoff implications, it signaled the end of an era. The final game of the Battle of the East End was played on last Saturday afternoon. After this year, Peabody will close their doors along with Schenley. The Highlanders and the Westinghouse Bulldogs laced 'em up for one last time, and in fitting form, they took it to double overtime. Peabody scored in the 2nd quarter on a 63 yd pass from Donte Forte to Jaylen Coleman to take the 6-0 lead. Tirrell Harris recovered a fumble in the end zone to tie the game 6-6. And in the second overtime, The Kilties secured the win with a Donte Forte 4 yard run to close out this historic series 12-6.

October 21 6pm
Schenley vs Westinghouse
Allderdice will be rooting for the Bulldogs to do the improbable and beat Schenley because a win by the Spartans will put them alone in third place all by themselves and the 'Dice can't do a thing about it until next week. Schenley's won three in a row, but they are down in head-to-heads to both Brashear and Langley. The Advocate sees the Spartans going on to 5-2. Schenley.

October 22 3:30pm
Oliver vs. Langley
Even though Perry-Brashear is the top game on the slate for the week, this game could be the intriguing. Oliver took Brashear to 2 overtimes. Maybe the Bulls took the Bears lightly, or maybe Oliver has resigned to their role of spoiler. Langley needs the win to keep pace with the leaders and they hold the tiebreaker over Schenley, but are down to Perry. And they still have their two biggest games of the season coming up. Allderdice and Brashear. If DaBears can put a scare into Brashear, they can surely give Langley fits. The Advocate sees the Mustangs pulling out the win, but it could be close. Langley

October 22 7:30pm
Perry-Brashear
Whenever these two City League heavyweights get together, you know that sparks will fly. This game could be the prelude to the City Championship. Brashear has the best chance of any of the contenders to cool down what has been thus far a red hot Perry offense. DaBulls are riding a three game winning streak into this contest. But Perry has all the weapons. They can run, they can pass, and they have very good special teams. If Brashear can get an early score or two, and force the Commodores to come from behind, they might have a chance, but the last thing Brashear wants is to get into a track meet with the One Stars, because Perry will run them off the field. Perry

October 23 12pm
Carrick-Peabody
This is the last chance that the Highlanders will have to salvage a final win for their program before the curtain falls. Carrick has to be feeling good after edging Langley. This game could be mildly entertaining. But the Advocate thinks that Carrick, while not a good team has a little more in the tank than the Highlanders Carrick

October 23 3:30pm
Linsly (WV) at Allderdice
Beating the Cadets won't help the 'Dice's standing in the City League. But it will get them off this two game losing and scoreless streak. Allderdice needs to start building back their momentum to prepare for a playoff run. Linsly is on a six game winning streak and in those wins, they have scored 293 points total for an average of 48.5 points. Not knowing much about the level of competition that they've faced, it's safe to say that the Cadets can put points on the board. The Advocate thinks that Allderdice will have to put their big boy pants on and get ready for a Perryesque offense. Linsly