Thursday, September 18, 2014

2014 City League Preview Week 4

   Current standings after week 3

League record
Overall record
University Prep

    Your City League Advocate had a difficult choice last Thursday night,  should he have attended the Allderdice-Westinghouse game live and in person, or watch the Stillers and the Ravens battle it out on the idiot box.  He chose to go with his alma mater, and his decision proved right.  The Stillers dropped a bloated, steaming, fly-covered pile of suck on the FieldTurf of M&T Bank Stadium while his Allderdice Dragons took care of business in decisive style against the ‘House.  

    Before the Advocate gets into his preview, let him make a couple of observations re: the ‘Dice’s kit as the Brits would say, or the uniforms as we ‘Murricans would say.  After a brief fling with white helmets, the Dragons have gone back to their traditional green lids, the side logo is also different with a three-quarter view of a dragon behind the school’s crest, it’s not a bad looking helmet, although the Advocate does wish that they would have stayed with the white helmets a little longer, it’s a little cleaner and classier look in the Advocate’s opinion.  He also noticed that at least the Dragons gear was provided by Nike this season. The Advocate noticed that Westinghouse’s unis were similar in design, but didn’t have the swoosh. He was wondering whether the City League was going with a single supplier for the football uniforms this season.  He will be attending tonight’s game against the Bulls, so he’ll get to see what Brashear’s togs will look like.  

    The second issue is a bit of a rant, so please bear with the Advocate.  Over the last decade or so, Allderdice added black to its color scheme, making the school colors now green, white, and black.  It seems that black is competing with white as the secondary color of the scheme.  The Advocate may be sounding like a grumpy old geezer with his bi-focals and his shuffling gait, as well as his increasing inability to speak coherently, but he’s old school.  Back in the day, when dinosaurs walked the earth, and the Advocate was playing futbol, as opposed to football, Allderdice’s colors were always known from time immemorial as green and white. Occasionally, gold was used as a third color, but only sparingly.  Generations upon generations of ‘Dice grads have proudly worn the green and white on the athletic field, the classrooms, and ultimately, walked across the stage to receive their diploma.  The Advocate knows that it’s the new and cool thing to have black uniforms or add black to the colors because it gives the scheme a more aggressive or hard-core stance, but while black goes well with a lot of colors, in his opinion, green isn’t one of them.  Folks from Sto-Rox might disagree with the Advocate, but it’s his opinion.  AAAAAnyway...

    This weeks action in the City League features a possible preview of the upcoming playoffs set to occur five weeks from now.  Four of the teams predicted to make the postseason will be in action against each other this weekend.  Tonight at 7 pm, Brashear and Allderdice will square off in a battle of prolific offenses.  
    The Bulls gave defending City League champion University Prep all they could handle before going down to defeat against the league leading Wildcats 41-34.
    Ron Brown threw five touchdown passes to pace the Wildcats completing 10 of 19 passes for 239 yards.  Brown connected on touchdown passes of 44,30, and 22 yards to Desean Bonneau, and passes of 6 and 42 yards to Kenny Robinson.
    Brashear’s offense was led by quarterback Sha’aron Steave who completed 11 of 16 passes for 133 yards and 2 touchdowns. Therran Coleman also chipped in a scoring pass  The Bulls also picked up touchdowns off runs by Delaun Samuels (4 yards),  and Khalil Saunders (8 yards).  U-Prep scored the bulk of their points in the second quarter.  After the teams traded scores to open the game, the Wildcats scored 21 straight points to pull ahead 28-6 and it looked like U-Prep had this win in the bag, but maybe they took their foot off the gas a little too early because Brashear woke up and scored two touchdowns before U-Prep added a score of their own to go into the locker room at halftime up 34-20.  In the second half, Ron Brown’s 42 yard TD pass proved to be the score that put the game out of reach although Brashear scored 14 points in the fourth quarter to keep the score close.  

    The aforementioned Dragons dominated the Westinghouse Bulldogs from bell to bell handing the ‘House a 48-8 thumping.  The Jackson twins provided a large, but not dominant chunk of the offense.        
    Quarterback James Jackson completed 5 of 10 passes for 105 yards and 2 touchdowns, one of which,  a 19 yarder was to his brother Timothy.  The rest of the ‘Dice’s scoring came from the ground game.  Running Back Jeremiah Hardrick pounded the Bulldog defense for two touchdown runs of 8 and 22 yards. Joe Graham contributed with a 2 yard run and a 4 yard reception from Jackson, and Timothy Jackson ran back a punt 51 yards to end the scoring.   The lone Westinghouse score came from a 5 yard pass from Micah Williams to Sean Lyons.  
    The Perry Commodores defeated Carrick 25-8 to keep themselves firmly in playoff contention.  After a scoreless first quarter, Perry scored 14 points in the second off of a 38 yard pick six by defensive back Malik James, James would also score on offense adding a 20 yard run to put the Commodores up 13-0 at the half.  Perry opened the second half with two touchdown passes by Shawn Rutherford. The first, a 14 yarder to Damien Danenas, and the second, a 20 yard play to Amir Newring, and that was all Perry needed to salt the game away.  Carrick got onto the board in garbage time with a 3 yard pass from Ahamri Camp to Marsai Howard.  


    Thursday September 18
    Allderdice (1-0, 2-1) vs Brashear (0-1,1-2)
     Both teams are coming off games where they put up a lot of points.  While past performance is not indicative of future results, as the finance wonks like to say, the same adage can also apply to football, especially City League football.  The Advocate has seen many games where teams who put up big numbers last week could barely get out of their way the next week, especially against teams that they should blow out.  With two teams like the ‘Dice and the Bulls who put up 48 and 34 points, respectively, pretty much anything could happen.  This tilt could be a 35-28 shootout or a 9-6 all-field goal snoozefest.  Both teams can run the ball, although the Advocate gives a slight edge to the Bulls.  The ‘Dice clearly has the advantage in the passing game.  The Jackson twins are a force to be reckoned with this season.  The Advocate is looking forward to the Dragons game with U-Prep on October 10th, that game will have footballs being thrown all over the South Side.  But tonight’s battle will come down to who’s defense will be able to contain the other team’s strengths.   The Advocate thinks that this game will be a shootout.  Both teams will score more than 18 points, but the ‘Dice’s passing game will put the Dragons over the Bulls.    Allderdice by 6

    Friday September 19
    Perry (1-0, 1-2) vs University Prep (2-0, 2-0)
    U-Prep are once again in a familiar position, in the top spot of the City League with Allderdice a game back in the league standings.  The Wildcats still have the best quarterback in the league in Ron Brown, the concern this season was whether he had the receivers that could pick up where the Prep left off last season.  It looks like Desean Bonneau and Kenny Robinson have stepped up to provide the favored targets for Brown.  But one glaring issue remains apparent, U-Prep’s defense is clearly not what it was last season.  A lowly Westinghouse team was able to score 20 points on U-Prep in a losing cause, and Brashear hung 34 on that defense last week.  If anything, it looks like U-Prep will be in a lot of shootouts this season.  The Advocate has confidence that the Wildcat offense will take care of business, but with this game against a Perry squad that is not used to seeing more losses than wins in their record and is desperate for a win to gain momentum for a playoff push, and an Allderdice team that is loaded on offense and is hell bent to get that 47 year old championship drought off its ass,  the Advocate wonders whether the defense will be able to pull its weight.  Look for U-Prep to pull out a win against the One Stars, but Perry will raise more questions about the Wildcat defense.  The Advocate has learned through much painful experience to never count Perry out.  They scrimmage big and will play anybody.  University Prep by 10

    Friday September 19
    Carrick (0-1, 0-3) vs Westinghouse (0-2,0-3)
    I understand that the punjabs at the league office want every team to get a chance to play in prime time, but does the annual Doghouse Bowl, as the Advocate as come to call this game, have to be the one that takes that spot, especially considering that ‘Dice-Brashear, and Perry-University Prep will be much more entertaining and have playoff implications to boot?  Sometimes, the games between the bottom feeders can be the most interesting, but more often, they tend to show why the participants are the bottom feeders.  Carrick will have all playoff contenders after this week, The ‘House will host Saltsburg in a non-league contest next Friday night, and then have Brashear and Perry to finish out the City season.  The Advocate will go with the ‘House to escape the Doghouse.  Westinghouse by 6


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