Monday, October 11, 2010

The City League Week 7 Preview

      The cream is rising to the top of the City League as the playoff picture starts to clear. Perry continues to hold the top spot at a perfect 5-0, while Allderdice is all alone in second place one game behind the Commodores at 4-1.

The Standings

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

      If there was any doubt in your minds, gentle readers, that the Perry Commodores were anything but the real deal in the City this season, last Friday's 40-0 dissection of the Allderdice Dragons should remove it , kick it to the curb and let the local stray dogs piss all over it. The Commodore victory was as close to perfect as could have been achieved. The Perry defense shut down the top rusher in the City League limiting him to only 33 yards on 17 carries. The defense also forced three sacks, three turnovers and stopped the Dragons for losses 13 times.
      The Commodore offense also made sure they weren't left out of the party. Greg McGhee, the top quarterback in the City League, and in his coach's mind, Western Pennsylvania went 11 of 18 for 198 yards and passed for 2 touchdowns of 11 and 37 yards. Chinelo Oparanozie ran for 2 touchdowns of 3 and 17 yards.
When asked about what he thought about the Dragons, McGhee said that he and his teammates thought they were overrated. Strong words indeed. Arrogant? Maybe. But Your City League Advocate believes that it's not arrogant if you can prove it, and by all indications, Perry did just that.
      The Advocate would rather think that Perry is just playing at a different level than the rest of the league than admit that his Dragons had been exposed. The Commodores have only given up 12 points to City opponents this season. They play more like a WPIAL team than a City team. One wonders whether they've gone back to their old tricks of using their city-wide magnet school status to poach players from other schools again. They are certainly not going there for the academics. But at the risk of the Advocate calling sour grapes, he gives the Commodores their props. The swagger is back on the North Side. 
     Perry takes a break from the City League to head down to West By-Gawd Virginia to take on Wheeling Central, who had their way with the other North Side high school, Oliver beating the Bears 41-18. DaBears fall to 1-3 in the City.
     Allderdice heads back into action on Thursday night when they take on the Schenley Spartans who are currently sitting at 3-2 in the league and are just a half game behind Langley and Brashear for the fourth and final playoff spot. The Greeks climbed back into the pack after dispatching the winless Peabody Highlanders 16-12.
     If there is anything that the hapless Highlanders can take away from this season, is that since their opening loss in Lancaster, they haven't been shut out by a City opponent all season. The most points they've scored all season is 16 against Allderdice, but at least they can claim no shutouts.
     The Langley Mustangs rebounded nicely from their loss to Perry with a 30-8 win over the Westinghouse Bulldogs. Jaquan Green continues to impress throwing four touchdown passes 11,9,9,and 25 yards to three different receivers. This kid is turning out to be one of the better QB's in the City this season. It makes the Advocate feel good to see Langley, long a bottom feeder in the City League earn a little respect. They have two very winnable games coming up against Carrick this Friday and Oliver next Friday before two tough games in a row against Allderdice and Brashear to close out the season. Depending on how the rest of the season shakes out there is a good possibility that the Wild Horses could face either the Bulls or the Dragons twice within three weeks.
      The final piece of the playoff puzzle, the Brashear Bulls climbed into a tie for third place with Langley with a 25-12 win over the Carrick Raiders. DaBulls 'Double J' show was in effect with Jawanza Bryant scoring twice with runs of 4 and 6 yards, while Jamal Smith snagged a 27 yard pass from quarterback Adam Lynch. The scoring was complete with Lynch connecting with Manny Reed on a 71 yard pass for a touchdown. The Bulls next opponent will be the Oliver Bears in the Grant Street Game on Friday afternoon.

Thursday October 14 6pm
Allderdice vs Schenley
     The Dragons return to playing on Thursday nights for the first time in a month when they face the Spartans. It is important that the 'Dice get the Perry game out of their minds as soon as...10pm last Friday night. What's done is done and unless Perry slips up down the road, and don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen, the best Allderdice can do is second place. The Advocate is concerned about this game against Schenley. Schenley is one of those teams that could sneak up and trip a team like Allderdice if they are not careful. The Spartans know that time is not on their side. Their last game of the season is against Perry. So their playoff hopes depend on beating Allderdice and Westinghouse, taking the inevitable loss to Perry and hoping for a little help. If the Dragons can take care of business, the Spartans are pretty much done. A very winnable game for the 'Dice, but Coach Hazlett has to get his boys focused and ready on the short turnaround. Allderdice by 7.

Friday October 15 3:30pm
Brashear vs Oliver
     DaBulls should have little problem with DaBears. Although their next game is against Perry, so this could end up being a trap game situation the Bulls aren't careful. Brashear by 14.

Friday October 15 7:00pm
Perry at Wheeling Central Catholic.
     By and large, Wheeling Central has had the better of the play against the City League. Over the years, they've beaten Allderdice, Oliver, and Langley and have split with Brashear. This may be the toughest City opponent the Crusaders have faced. Conversely, the Commodores have not been tested seriously since their week one loss to North Hills, so they may be happy to face a worthy opponent for once. This game could go either way. But the Advocate is going with Perry in a tight one. Perry by 7.

Friday October 15 7:30pm
Langley vs Carrick
     The Mustangs have a chance to go 4-1 in the City, 5-2 overall and pretty much lock up a spot as the AA rep for the City League in the PIAA playoffs. They have the best record of the teams designated as Class AA in the City League and as long as they continue to win, even though they may not make it to the championship, they can still rep the City at the state level. Carrick has some players who could give Langley a spot of trouble, but overall, the Mustangs are the better team. Langley by 10.

Saturday October 16 12pm
Westinghouse vs Peabody.
     This could be the final game between these two storied City League football powers. Along with Schenley, Peabody will closing its doors as a high school. And if the plan making the rounds of the local media allowing the City League to merge with the WPIAL as early as 2012-13 actually comes into fruition, Westinghouse will become part of a co-operative setup with University Prep and Pgh Obama to combine sports teams. This rivalry was the big deal until the 80's. Even though both programs are a shadow of their former selves, they still remain rivals. At one time, Peabody and Westinghouse ruled the City League, but no more. Both teams are winless in the league. At the most there may be about a couple hundred total to watch this game. Next to Allderdice-Schenley, this may be the most interesting game in the City this weekend because the rivalry still has some meaning between the two schools and because both teams are evenly bad. And sometimes two bad teams can combine to play a pretty good game. The Advocate is picking the 'House in this one. Westinghouse by 7.