It's almost hard to believe that we have reached the halfway point of the football season in the City League. Just seems like yesterday when the teams that make up Your City League Advocate's favorite little football league were getting on buses and traveling hither and yon to play games against teams from West-By-Gawd-Virginia, Ohio and elsewhere.
And this week, the League goes off the reservation for the final time this season to play a slate of non-district games before starting the manic three week playoff run next Thursday.
University Prep 2-0
University Prep's Akil Young is starting to look the quarterback to watch in the City League this season. Young went 23 of 32 for 280 yards in a 40-12 win over the Brashear Bulls. He threw two touchdown passes to Marcus Johnson of 3 and 17 yards, respectively, and 1 TD pass of 39 yards to Clay Moorefield. Moorefield also scored on runs of 4 and 48 yards. Brashear scored off a 58 yard pass from Russell Page to Adam Tajuddin and a 48 yard toss to Jamal Smith. The loss drops the Bulls into a tie for second with Allderdice at 1-1.
Originally U-Prep was scheduled to travel to Gilmour Academy in Ohio this weekend, but according to the PG website, that game was called off. In fact, the Advocate checked Gilmour Academy's website, and confirmed that on the 29th, they were not playing U-Prep. So it looks like the Panthers will be getting this weekend off.
Brashear, on the other hand won't have to travel any further than down McArdle St from Brookline to the SahSide to take on Erie Strong Vincent. The Colonels come into this game 1-3, and judging by the rain that is falling outside the Advocate's palatial estate, it looks like it's gonna be a wet miserable evening at the George.
Allderdice managed to even its record at 1-1 with a much needed 32-6 win over Westinghouse. The Dragons' QB/DB Bishop Gethers helped the 'Dice's cause on both sides of the ball snatching up a fumble and returning 39 yds for a touchdown. He also tossed and ran for a score, while stud RB Patrick Ferguson ran for two touchdowns and 118 yds in the easy win. The Dragons head down to Wheeling to take on 3-2 Wheeling Central on Saturday night.
The loss drops Westinghouse into a tie for last with Carrick at 0-4, and an article by Trib HS beat writer Kevin Gorman explains the Bulldogs' plight.
For those who don't know, Westinghouse is by far the smallest school in the City League with only 185 boys in grades 9-11, and they have to routinely play against schools in and out of the City with enrollments three and four times their own. The team they play this weekend, Steubenville High School in Ohio has 260 boys in grades 9-11, and Allderdice, the largest high school in terms of enrollment in the City has over 600 boys in those grades. The 'Dawgs haven't won a City title since 1996, and coach Monte Robinson feels that if the 'House were to move to the WPIAL, they could compete against schools their size. The Advocate would agree. They may not win a lot of games, but at least they'd be able to compete on a more equitable playing field than they face in the City League.
Perry moved into a first place tie with U-Prep at 2-0 with a 47-12 drubbing of the Carrick Raiders.
Tomorrow evening, at 7:00, the Commodores will host Liberty Christian of Virginia in the Bulldogs first visit to Pittsburgh. Liberty Christian brings a 4-1 record into the George, and they have an impressive resume. Since 2004, they have won 4 Virginia Division 1 state titles, were runners-up in 2009, and made it to the state semi-finals in 2006, 2008, and 2010. Clearly, the Commodores will have their work cut out against this team.
Carrick will head down to Fort Hill, Maryland to face the Sentinels, who have torched City League teams the past two years. The Sentinels are 2-2 coming into the game against the Raiders and looking at their results, it's been either feast or famine for Fort Hill. They won their first and third games at home by 45 and 64 points respectively, but on the road, it's a different story as they've been crushed by 29 and 38 points, respectively.
A look down the road, once the City League returns to District 8 play: Allderdice will have U-Prep, Carrick and Brashear in their final three games; Brashear has Carrick, Perry, and Allderdice; U-Prep has the 'Dice, Westinghouse, and a regular season finale against Perry that could decide the regular season title as well as the No.1 seed in the playoffs. And finally, Perry will have the 'House, Brashear, and U-Prep. It's safe to say that unless either Carrick or Westinghouse can pull of a major upset or two, the playoffs should consist of U-Prep, Brashear, Perry and Allderdice. The question is, in which order. But that's why they play the games.