Monday, November 08, 2010

The City League Playoff Preview


     Well campers, It's playoff time. And the invites have been mailed, the dance cards have been set and it's time to see who'll be the belle of the ball and who'll be standing forlornly in the corner next to the wilted flowers and the bean dip looking like an abandoned puppy.

      For the first time this season, Perry was seriously challenged by a City League opponent. They needed a touchdown in overtime to defeat Schenley 30-28. The Commodores opened the scoring scoring only 14 points in the first half by a touchdown pass and a 3 yd run. But Schenley answered in a big way scoring 22 points off three straight runs in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, Perry responded by scoring with a 24 yd pass from Greg McGhee to Devin Ghafoor to tie the game at 22. Schenley forged back ahead with a 8 yd pass from Calvin Blake to DeAndre Black to send the game into overtime. In the extra period, Perry put the game away with a Oparanozie 3 yd run. The loss put Schenley into a tie for third place with Brashear, but because Brashear beat Schenley 27-12 earlier in the season, The Spartans are put in the unenviable position of having to face Perry again in the Friday semifinal.
      Allderdice sealed its second place seeding by beating Carrick 36-22. The Dragons were paced by running back Patrick Ferguson who rushed for 142 yds on 23 carries and three touchdowns. The Dragons also scored off an 84 yard punt return from Sean Monroe and also a 3 yd run by Marlon Brown and a safety. Allderdice will play the Brashear Bulls who put the final nail into Langley's fading playoff chances beating the Mustangs 40-22. After spotting Langley an early first quarter touchdown, DaBulls went on a tear scoring 33 unanswered points to put the game away by halftime. The Mustangs outscored Brashear 14-7 in the second half, but it was too little, too late. Tre Gaines was the big scorer for the Bulls rushing for two touchdowns and returning a fumble 53 yards for a third. The Herd also got scoring from a 18 yard Jawanza Bryant pass to Manny Reed, as well as a 50 yard run by Joel Nesbit.

Thursday November 11 7pm
Allderdice vs Brashear
     Allderdice beat Brashear 12-0 back in week 3. That was an eternity as far as high school football is concerned. The 'Dice is a team of streaks. After losing their opening game, they went on a four game winning streak, they cooled off suddenly with a three game stretch where they didn't score a point against either Perry or Schenley, the other two playoff participants. But they finished with a two-game run to enter the playoffs with a bit of momentum. Brashear won four of their first six games along with a three game midseason winning streak, then two straight losses, one against a rather bad Peabody squad, and the season ending win to propel them into the playoffs. Allderdice is pretty much one dimensional. They have a stud running back in Patrick Ferguson, but not much else. They can't convert extra points. They have a pretty good defense, but they are not an offensive juggernaut, averaging only 18 points a game against City competition. The 36 points scored on Carrick was the largest scoring total by Allderdice all season. Brashear scores more points, but they also give up more. Their offense is more balanced. It'll be that offense against the 'Dice defense that will decide this game.
     If it comes down to special teams, Brashear has the decided advantage. But if Allderdice can get a 100+ yd game out of Ferguson, they can win. The Advocate is making his pick purely along bias. He wants to see the 'Dice play for all the marbles. Allderdice

Friday November 12 7pm
Perry vs Schenley
     Schenley pulled up their big boy pants and smacked Perry in the mouth. Judging by the scoring, it didn't look like Perry was resting their starters unless they put them all in in the second half. But scoring 22 points off Perry's defense in one quarter can only give Schenley a ton of confidence. The questions are: 1) Can they do it again, this time in a playoff atmosphere?; And 2)How will Perry respond. Was this a wake up call for a Commodore squad that had their way with the City League all season long and had gotten a little complacent? Or did Schenley expose a weakness?
     One must remember that Schenley also has a little extra incentive. This is their last rodeo, so to speak. The Spartans will hang up the pads for good after the season, and they don't want to go out with anything less than a shot at the City Championship. They are the defending champs after all. Perry has only been held to less than 30 points twice all season, only once to a City opponent. The defense has given up 28 points twice this season, once to Wheeling Central, a Class A West Virginia school. So they can be scored on. But the Advocate has decided that even though it pains him to see the Spartans go out short of their goal of defending their title, this close call will serve to get the One Star's attention, you can bet that the Perry coaches will rip this team a new one in practice this week and they'll be coming out ready to prove that they can dominate. Perry