The Perry Commodores hoisted their 17th City Championship title last Saturday at the George beating University Prep 9-6 in overtime. The One Stars owe their championship to an unlikely source.
Cornelio Coates had only been the Perry kicker for one week. He normally plays wide receiver. His coaches noticed that he had played soccer since he was five years old, and asked him to be the kicker.
This was his second year playing football, and get this, he doesn't attend Perry Traditional Academy. He attends CAPA High School Downtown and is taking courses in percussion instruments. Of course, CAPA has no football team, so their students can play for any City high school that has one. He chose Perry. It was Coates 27 yard field goal in overtime that lifted the Commodores to their second City title in three years, and ninth since 1997.
Now, as the Advocate once said, the fact that Perry won the game on a field goal is highly unusual. According to PG high school editor Mike White's article on the game, Field goals are rare in the City League. Only 4 have been attempted this season by all six City schools. Perry hadn't made a field goal since 2009, and only has completed 10 in the last 12 seasons. The Advocate can attest to this because in all the years he's been watching City League football, he has only seen a handful of field goals attempted and even fewer made.
Perry and U-Prep remained scoreless until the third quarter. Perry's Robert Willie broke the ice with a 9 yd scamper into the end zone to put the Commodores up 6-0. U-Prep got on the board at the 7:54 mark of the fourth quarter with a 4 yd touchdown run by Ryan Daniels. The Wildcats attempted a trick play off the extra point when the kicker took a direct snap and attempted to throw it for the two-point conversion, but the pass was intercepted. Perry was helped by 14 U-Prep penalties. The Wildcats were penalized for a whopping 136 yds. Both teams amassed 20 penalties before the day was done.
Perry's defense held the U-Prep running attack to minus 8 yards, and despite U-Prep's all-everything quarterback Akil Young going 12 for 32 for 191 of passing yds, he threw three picks.
In the overtime period, U-Prep got the ball first and went three- and-out. Perry took over and Coates kicked the field goal on 4th and goal to win the game.
Both Perry and U-Prep will represent the City League in the PIAA tournament. Perry has a bye this weekend and will play Erie McDowell in the AAAA playoffs on November 16th. U-Prep will enter the AAA playoffs and play Somerset this weekend on the 9th. The winner of that game to play the winner of the Punxsutawny-Clearfield game.