Monday, September 20, 2010

The City League Week 4 Preview

      Your City League Advocate is one hurting unit right now, boys and girls. As you may remember, The Advocate celebrated his 48th birthday by hosting his annual Birthday Bacchanal and Clambake. Everyone was having a hoot and a holler. There was much drunkenness and wreaking of havoc, and more than a few virtuous members of the opposite sex are...shall we longer so virtuous.
       And The Advocate is pretty sure that the undisclosed location where the Bacchanal was held may never recover from an environmental point of view. It was told to the Advocate that after all the mess was cleaned up, the local furry woodland creatures were seen dancing a jig, although he is sure that it wasn't as a result of drinking the Ragnarok that was dumped on the ground in copious quantities.
      Much of the event is no more than a haze due to the large amount of very lethal drinks consumed plus the Advocate's failing memory. Although he does remember waking up in the middle of a creek with a cheerleader, a llama and a rocket launcher. Hmmm...nah!!! Make of that what you will, gentle readers. But it was yet another astounding birthday Bacchanal and plans are already underway for the 2011 and 2012 editions. The Advocate will not disclose what he has in store for the next two years, but he will say that there will be explosions, drinks that sterilize small animals and humans and a lot of members of both the male and female persuasions losing a large amount of their virtue.
      But Your City League Advocate is nothing if not a trooper, so he roused himself from the rack, battling a screaming headache to bring you his Week 4 City League Preview.
      The big news this week is that The Advocate's Dragons of Allderdice have become one of the City's hottest teams right now. They are 2-0 in the City and passed one of their biggest tests this season by shutting out Brashear 12-0 on a rainy Thursday night. The Dragons forced DaBulls into six turnovers, five by fumble, and running back Patrick Ferguson scored both Dragons touchdowns on the way to running for 162 yards. Brashear was the Advocate's pick to oppose Perry in the championship game.
     And the fact that Allderdice beat them and also shut them out says a lot about the makeup of this Dragon squad. The 'Dice has a golden opportunity to further strengthen their case for a playoff berth because their next two games are against winless Peabody and a Westinghouse team that has had 90 points dropped on them since their week 1 win.
     At the risk of jinxing the Dragons, and The Advocate is sure that none of them reads his scribblings, the way it's looking, other than Perry and the non league game against Linsly, There is no City team on the Dragon's schedule that they can't beat. Now of course, knowing the Advocate's luck they'll lay an egg against their East End rivals and make him look like the big fool that he is. But considering the house of horrors that the George has been the last two seasons for the 'Dice, maybe this is the year that, The Advocate needs to just shut his piehole and let things play out. .
      The team that is tied for first with the 'Dice, the Perry Commodores continue to roll on destroying Peabody 40-6 for their second straight 40+ point scoring effort since their loss to North Hills in week one. The McGee-Ghafoor Show is getting it done for the One Stars. The pair hooked up for a touchdown as well as scored TD's on their own.
     Like Allderdice, The Admirals have two very winnable games against Oliver and Langley to tweak and tune their game before what looks like the biggest game of the City League season on October 8th at 7:30 a possible 4-0 Allderdice against a 4-0 Perry for first place in the City and the all important head to head tiebreaker. Now of course this is all subject to Oliver, Langley, Peabody and Westinghouse reading the script and rolling over and allowing Perry and the 'Dice to do what has to be done. Which of course in the City League is never a bet to put the kiddies college fund on.
      So beyond the big two, who else can make some noise in District 8? How about the Langley Mustangs? The Wild Horses have been a pleasant surprise in the City League this season going 2-1 overall. They jumped out to a 6-0 lead against Homer Center last week only to have the Wildcats score 20 unanswered points to seal the non league victory. Their only City League win was a 27-6 beatdown over Peabody, so the 'Stangs haven't really shown that they have what it takes to hang and bang in the City this season, but they can answer that challenge by taking on and beating Schenley who scored 6 points in each quarter to shut out the Oliver Bears 24-0. The Spartans raised their record to 1-1 in the City and can thrust themselves into the thick of the burgeoning playoff hunt with a win over the Mustangs.
      The Carrick Raiders bounced back from their 46-0 loss to Perry by administering their own slap fest to the tune of 42-0 over the Westinghouse Bulldogs. The Raiders are in the same position as Langley, so the Advocate thinks. They can make some noise to vie for a playoff berth, but they have to start beating opponents that count. But that will have to wait until next week because it's Carrick's turn to leave the reservation. (Sorry, it was just sitting there!)
     The Raiders will travel 85 miles northwest into Warren, Ohio to take on the Tigers of Howland High School. From what the Advocate has been able to glean from the Google machine, Howland plays in Ohio's Division 2 and is currently 4-0. Since 2007, the Tigers posted records of 10-2, 6-5 and 11-1 and have won two straight league titles. So this game looks like it will be a big challenge for the Raiders.
     One team that has the Advocate concerned is the Oliver Bears. DaBears are 0-3 overall and have had 48 points hung on them in their two City League losses. This was a squad that was supposed to contend for the title at the beginning of the season, and they still have time to get things squared away, but they still have Perry and Brashear left to play as far as contenders go and Allderdice already owns the head to head over them, so The Bears are going to have to get going if they want to make the playoffs. And they can do so by beating their North Side nemesis, Perry. Good Luck with that.
      The Peabody Highlanders are winless on the young season and the Bulldogs aren't much better sitting on one win. And this week won't get any easier as the 'Dawgs will be taking on a very angry Brashear Bull team and the Highlanders will battle the league leading Allderdice Dragons. (How weird does that sound?)
The Advocate hopes that Peabody can muster up at least one win this season. It has to be painful knowing that your school is about to close and many of your fellow students will be transferred to your biggest archrival. It is truly sad to see such proud and iconic City football powers like Peabody and Westinghouse reduced to a shell of their former selves.
       Most people these days don't remember how Peabody and Westinghouse used to terrorize the City year in and year out. The Peabody-Westinghouse game was an annual event in Homewood and East Liberty back in the day. Everyone who was anyone showed up for that game. It is hoped that the infusion of the Peabody students will make the 'House stronger in athletics overall, but that remains to be seen.

The Standings
Perry 2-0
Allderdice 2-0
Langley 1-0
Brashear 1-1
Carrick 1-1
Schenley 1-1
Westinghouse 0-1
Peabody 0-2
Oliver 0-2

Thursday September 23 6pm
Westinghouse vs Brashear
      The Bulls are angry that they had one of their worst performances against Allderdice. Six turnovers are unexcusable. They can't blame the rain because it rained on Allderdice too and they didn't cough up the ball. They will take their anger out on the Bulldogs and the result won't be pretty. Brashear by 14.

Friday September 24 3:30pm
Perry vs Oliver.
      The Battle of the North Side continues in this afternoon tilt. Oliver needs to get the ship righted, but it won't happen this week. The hardest task for Perry will be to keep from getting complacent. Perry by 21.

Friday September 24 7:30pm
Allderdice vs Peabody.
      The 'Dice has a great chance to build up momentum over the next two weeks before their big test against Perry on October 8th. The Dragons could do something that they rarely ever do and that is hang over 30 points on a team. Even more rare is a the 'Dice mercy ruling a team, and it could happen this week. Allderdice by 21.

Carrick vs. Howland (OH)
      The Raiders will be traveling into hostile territory against a team that is undefeated so far. The Advocate just hopes that Carrick can make a decent showing. Howland by 14

Saturday September 25 12pm
Schenley vs Langley.
      The surprising start by the Mustangs has many City League observers pleasantly surprised. But this is the first stern test in the City that Langley has faced, and if they want to send a message that they want to be considered a player in the City League this season, now is the time to so it. But the Advocate doesn't think so. Schenley by 10.