Monday, November 15, 2010

The City League Championship Preview

     Two old rivals will face each other across the new Fieldturf at the George on Saturday November 20, when the league leading Perry Commodores will face the Brashear Bulls for the City League Championship. Since 2003, Perry and Brashear have faced each other four times in the playoffs. The teams split the series 2-2 although Perry has won two titles while Brashear won one title game and one semifinal. Therefore these two programs know each other very well.
Brashear made it to the title game by squeaking past Allderdice 12-6 in overtime.      
     The 'Dice scored first on a Mike Pfleger touchdown pass to Jay Barlow in the second quarter. Brashear responded with an 16 yd touchdown pass from Adam Lynch to Ricky Gay in the third quarter. Neither team scored in the fourth quarter which sent the game into overtime. Brashear won the toss and elected to defend. Brashear's Delane Howard sacked Pfleger who fumbled the ball and the Dragons championships away. Brashear recovered the ball and Tre Gaines scored on a ten yard draw play on the Bull's first play on offense to send them into the Championship.
      Perry's regular season victory over Schenley required overtime and served to wake up the One Stars who may have been reading their press clippings and expected Schenley to roll over. After a scoreless first quarter, Perry scored 23 straight points to put the game away early. The One Stars got their points from All-City quarterback Greg McGhee who threw two touchdown passes and ran for a third score. Chinelo Oparanozie ran for the other Commodore score. Schenley got on the board in the fourth with a DeAndre Black scoring pass, but, as they say, too little too late.
      With this loss, the Schenley Spartans have ended their 95 year run in the City League. The Spartans won eight football City Titles in their history: 1924-26, 1929, 1943, 1950, 1999, 2009. Notable football alumni include Larry Brown, running back for the Washington Redskins and Darnell Dinkins, tight end for the Cleveland Browns.

Alma Mater, God preserve thee
Dear Schenley High!
Through the years, we hope to serve thee,
Dear Schenley High!
We revere the spirit taught there,
Rev'rent minds that lived and thought there
Mem'ries of our Alma Mater,
Dear Schenley High!

Saturday November 20, 1pm
Perry vs Brashear
      The Advocate hopes that this game would live up to the hype that a City Championship game deserves, but somehow he doubts that it will. Perry dominated DaBulls in their regular season meeting 34-13. And while Brashear does have a chance for the upset, it is a very slim one. They will have to deal with far and away, the best quarterback in the City League, Greg McGhee. There are those who say that McGhee is the areas best kept secret, and that he could compete with the best of the WPIAL. With the disparity between the WPIAL and City being what it is, and considering that McGhee competes in the City League on a very good City League team that can compete with the WPIAL better than most City squads right now, his claim may have some merit. But he has dominated City League competition and the only exposure he had to the WPIAL this season didn't end well, a 28-7 loss to a very good North Hills Indian team in week 1. The Advocate generally does not put much stock in week 1 non conference games because both teams involved in most cases, haven't seen each other before and use those games as tune-ups for conference play.
      The Advocate could see McGhee doing well against mid-level WPIAL programs at the AAA level rather than the PIAA AAAA level that Perry is playing at this season. But McGhee hasn't seen the level of sophistication in the types of defenses that good WPIAL teams employ. Make no doubt about it, McGhee continues in that long Perry tradition of producing good quarterbacks that can think on their feet and have made it to Division I college ball. But competing against the best of the WPIAL? The Advocate has to respectfully disagree. This is a mostly rhetorical claim. Does he deserve inclusion in the PG's Fab 22? By all means. He has skill. He can run an offense and can create points with his arm and his feet. But given the level of competition he dominates, the Advocate doesn't see where his coaches claims are warranted. However, they do see him a lot more than the Advocate does, so maybe they are correct in their beliefs. Brashear has a few weapons of their own. Adam Lynch has directed the Bulls offense well, and Jawanza Bryant could be a factor. But unless they can find a way to shut down the most balanced offense in the City, Perry will be hoisting the hardware for a 16th time in their history. Perry