Thursday, October 25, 2012

2012 City League Playoff Preview

     The tickets have been mailed out. The tuxes have been rented, and the party dresses are arriving as the Advocate pens this Preview. The City League playoff matchups have been set.

     In the 'Someone Has To Go Winless' game, Westinghouse, the smallest school in the City shuts out its much bigger opponent, the Carrick Raiders 18-0 to finish the season 1-4 in the league and 1-7 overall. Carrick falls to an o-fer the season.

     Allderdice's Cornelius Ray provided the only scoring for the Dragons picking up a 36 yd punt return for a touchdown, but the Allderdice offense was completely shut down as Brashear rattled off 21 unanswered points via runs by Russell Page and Diondre Harris, and a 56 yd pick-six by Jamal Smith to pick up the 21-7 win, and the third seed in the playoffs. The Bulls will take on a University Prep team that laid their beloved teammate Ne'Ondre Harbour to rest earlier this week. This after the Panthers lost to Perry in a tight, emotionally charged game 12-6. The One Stars jumped out to a 12-0 lead off 69 and 8yd runs by Ahmed Turner. And U-Prep was able to pick up a score in the 2nd quarter when QB Akil Young threw a 24 yd pass to Marcus Johnson for a touchdown, but neither team scored in the second half.
     With the win, Perry takes the regular season City League title and will face a fading Allderdice squad that has lost three of its last four games, and lost all its games against playoff contenders in the Friday night semifinal. Perry is on a three game winning streak and while the Commodores don't have the most prolific offense, that honor goes to U-Prep, they do have the stingiest defense in the league giving up only 26 points against City League opponents.

Thursday October 25
University Prep vs Brashear
     The Advocate has to believe that U-Prep was still in mourning over their loss of a prominent member of their team, and that had to affect their performance against Perry last Friday night. It would be easy for the Advocate or any other so-called pundit to say that it was the coaches' responsibility to get the team past that terrible circumstance and to put their warrior face and mourn over your fallen comrade later, and all that. But these are high school kids, not professionals. As the Advocate said in his preview, anything could affect their play, especially the untimely death of a teammate. And the loss to Perry didn't affect their eligibility for the playoffs. In fact, one could say that last week's game was a dress rehearsal for the Championship game next Saturday. But now that the Panthers have laid their teammate to rest, and have dedicated the rest of the season to him, however long it lasts, they can best honor Mr. Harbour by taking care of business tonight against the Bulls, and getting back to the title game. The Panthers beat Brashear 40-12 in Week 4, and the Advocate doesn't see the Bulls winning this game either. U-Prep

Friday October 26
Allderdice vs Perry
     This was supposed to be the 'Dice's year. They had a big bruising running back, they had plenty of seniors coming back from a team that lost to U-Prep in the City Championship game last year. But their lack of a passing game was a contributing factor to their disappointing season. Perry only beat Allderdice 12-0 in the regular season back in week Three, and there may be a slight chance that the Dragons can make a second straight appearance in the championship. After all, they held an undefeated Brashear squad to a mere safety in a 6-2 win in the semifinals last year. But Perry is on a roll. They haven't been in the championship game since 2010, they consider it their birthright. The Advocate makes it a U-Prep vs Perry match up for the hardware next Saturday. Perry