Statewide HSFB notebook: Perkiomen Valley rolls to PAC-10 title in District 1
When the high school football season kicked off in late August, Perkiomen Valley was a question mark.
By the time the Vikings closed out their Pioneer Athletic Conference slate last week, however, they resembled more of an exclamation point.
By dispatching Upper Perkiomen, 56-7, in its regular season finale last Thursday, Perkiomen Valley (9-0 PAC-10, 9-1 overall) ran the league table for the first time.
What’s more, any potential Week 10 drama had been put to bed the previous week, when the Vikings turned back two-time defending league champ Pottsgrove, 49-21, to clinch their first PAC-10 title since 2007 (and first outright crown).
â¢ Methacton senior QB Conner Derrickson has rushed for 1,092 yards while passing for 1,255 yards this year.
â¢ With Jordan Young throwing for a career-high 371 yards and delivering a combined four TDs, Coatesville held off Downingtown West, 47-33, Friday to wrap up the top seed in the District 1 Class AAAA tournament. The Red Raiders (10-0) play host to Haverford (7-3) in first-round action.
â¢ Springfield-Delco (10-0) is the top seed in the 1-AAA tourney, and faces eighth seed Interboro (5-5) in a quarterfinal.
â¢ When Valley West and Delaware Valley meet in the first round of the District 2-11 subregional playoffs, it will be for more than a chance to move on in the playoffs.
The game will also determine the Class AAAA district championship.
Had both teams played a different opponent, there was a formula in place to decide the champion.
If one team won and the other lost, the winning team would be declared the district champion. If both lost in the first round, they would have met next week to determine the champ.
Since they are facing each other, a district champion can be crowned at the conclusion of the game.
â¢ Crestwood’s Frank Aigeldinger picked up 77 yards rushing in a Week 10 game over Pottsville, which was more than enough for the senior running back to eclipse the 4,000-yard rushing mark for his career. He’s the 21st back in WVC history to reach 4,000 yards.
Aigeldinger has rushed for 1,672 yards this season and 4,027 during his four years with the program.
â¢ Another week, another couple of offers for Lake-Lehman junior center Connor McGovern. After already receiving offers from North Carolina and Duke, McGovern picked up a pair of offers from two more Atlantic Coast Conference schools: Georgia Tech and Pitt.
â¢ Old Forge carried over momentum from one of the most successful seasons in school and District 2 history in 2013 as they reloaded for this fall.
Taking a 10-0 record into the postseason, Old Forge is the No. 1 seed for the District 2 Class A playoffs and will host Holy Cross Friday at 7.
Old Forge is in the Class A playoffs for the eighth straight season and last season motored all the way to the state championship game in Hershey.
Despite graduating seven all-state players, the Blue Devils did something even that team didn’t do — finish the regular season undefeated.
Led by quarterback Joey Gutowski, and a running game that has featured Cooper Califano, the Blue Devils grabbed a fourth straight Lackawanna Football Conference Division III championship and have won 18 straight games against District 2 opponents.
The defense, which has been fueled by Corey Souryavong and linebackers Sallavanti, Bobby Rinaldi and Brendan Mozeleski, posted five shutouts.
â¢ Two weeks ago, the shoe was on the other foot.
In Week 8, Lackawanna Trail was coming off a heartbreaking loss to Old Forge when it traveled to face Susquehanna.
Now, it is Susquehanna coming off a loss to Old Forge and it will be traveling to Lackawanna Trail as the District 2 Class A playoffs begin Friday at 7 at Lions Pride Stadium.
The teams have taken different paths to this rematch, which many anticipated following Susquehanna’s 34-19 win.
But the Sabers could not sustain the emotion or overcome an avalanche of injuries, and lost to Carbondale Area, 15-5, the following week and played with no energy in a 26-12 loss to Old Forge in the regular-season finale.
Lackawanna Trail, however, refocused.
The Lions powered past Mid Valley and Holy Cross by a combined score of 95-27 to earn the No. 2 seed and a home game for the playoffs. In those two games, Lackawanna Trail averaged 466 yards of total offense.
The Lions have a fleet of weapons on offense.
Fullback Jared Phillips has 840 yards rushing and six touchdowns, running back Ross Fauquier has added 709 yards rushing and is averaging more than 9 yards a carry, Mallory has thrown for 887 yards and Cooper Rosiak has 266 yards receiving. The Lions also have size up front with Jordan Hannon and Evan Sandercock.
Susquehanna will rely on QB Austin White, who had more than 300 yards of total offense when the teams met the first time. He enters the game with 751 yards rushing and 737 yards passing.
But White has been without some key personnel on the line and in the backfield as fullback Brett Hepler and running back Austin Felter have missed time in each of the last two weeks.
â¢ Carlisle punched its first ticket to the District 3 Class AAAA playoffs since 2005, the last time the Thundering Herd (5-5) finished .500 or better. The Herd came into the final week needing to beat division rival Harrisburg to secure a spot in the 16-team field. They did just that with a 41-0 win.
It’s the culmination of a multi-year rebuild. Carlisle went 1-19 the past two seasons. But as ecstatic as the rebirth is, coach Josh Oswalt wants more, starting with a win over top-ranked Wilson West Lawn (10-0).
“That’s my mentality,” Oswalt said. “We’re gonna find deficiencies in the team we play next week and we’re gonna exploit them. I come from a winning background, I know that these guys have more than enough ability to win games, win tight ballgames. We’re just waiting for it to break and I feel that we can be a forced to be reckoned if we play within our means.”
â¢ The West Shore rivalry game may have ended slightly more anti-climactically than anticipated, but it still proved another great chapter in the long-running battle between Cedar Cliff and Red Land.
Cedar Cliff (8-2) topped Red Land (7-3), 42-13, pushing the record between these teams the past 10 seasons to an even 5-5.
â¢ Wilson capped its seventh undefeated run through Lancaster-Lebanon League Section 1 with a 19-2 win at Warwick in Week 10. The Bulldogs have now won 50 league games in a row — second-most in league history. Wilson, which won its 24th Section 1 championship and is 10-0 heading into the District 3 Class AAAA playoffs, needs three league wins in a row to open the 2015 season to pass Manheim Central’s mark of 52 league wins in a row; Barons set that mark between 1999 and 2006.
â¢ Northern Lebanon finished off its 6-0 run through L-L League Section 3 with a 71-14 romp over Columbia, as coach Roy Wall and the Vikings wrapped up their first outright Section 3 title since 1991 — and third overall. Northern Lebanon is 9-1 overall, and takes an eight-game winning streak into the District 3 Class AAA playoffs.
â¢ Lampeter-Strasburg, a game out after a tough 56-28 home loss to Manheim Central in Week 7, won its final three games, and took advantage of Manheim Central and Cocalico both losing down the stretch, and the Pioneers won their third outright Section 2 championship in the last five years. L-S also won in 2010 and 2011, in its first two years up in Section 2 after coming up from Section 3.
â¢ A pair of L-L League quarterbacks finished the 10-game regular season with 2,000-plus passing yards: Lampeter-Strasbrug junior Collin Shank (2,187) and Garden Spot senior Mitch Martin (2,008). Shank has a league-best 26 TD passes heading into the District 3 Class AAA playoffs.
â¢ For the first time since 2007 and only the second time since 1991 District 4 will crown a new Class A champion. Six-time defending champion Southern Columbia has moved up to Class AA for the first time and enters districts undefeated and with the top seeds.
South Williamsport, North Penn-Mansfield, Wellsboro and Canton are fighting to be the first non-Southern champion since Bloomsburg in 2007. Prior to that, Canton in 1990 was the last team other than Southern to win the district crown, although South captured Class AA titles in 1993 and 97.
â¢ South Williamsport’s Dominick Bragalone became Lycoming County’s all-time leading rusher in a 69-20 win over Montgomery. Bragalone ran for 230 yards and scored five touchdowns while moving past former Williamsport all-stater Darrell Blackman who had 6,771 yards. Bragalone is up to 6,826 yards and has averaged 12.9 yards per carry during his three-year varsity career. He also has scored 104 touchdowns and is closing in on Henry Hynoski’s District 4 rushing record. Bragalone has run for 2,794 yards and scored 43 touchdowns this season while helping South go 9-1 and win the Heartland-III championship.
â¢ Wellsboro quarterback Mike Pietropola tied the District 4 record for career touchdown passes, throwing one in a 28-26 win over North Penn-Mansfield. Pietropola tied the record held by former Bloomsburg quarterback Blake Rankin and both now have 65. Pietropola is closing in on 6,000 career yards and has thrown 59 touchdowns the last two seasons. He will try and break the record Friday in a playoff rematch at North Penn-Mansfield.
â¢ Williamsport quarterback Isaiah Hankins and wide receiver Jerah Reeves broke several program records for one that has existed for more than 100 years. Hankins became the program’s first-ever 2,000 yard passer, finishing with 2,079 yards and 19 touchdowns with just four interceptions. Reeves became the program’s first-ever 1,000-yard receiver, finishing with program records and District 4-highs of 52 catches, 1,033 yards and 13 touchdowns. Reeves topped 100 yards five times, including in four of his last five games.
â¢ Jersey Shore completed the program’s first undefeated regular season in more than 70 years, routing Central Mountain, 56-13. This comes just two years after going 0-10. Jersey Shore has won 14 of its last 15 games and is seeking its second straight Class AAA championship. The Bulldogs lead District 4 in yards allowed (178.7) and points allowed (7.8). The defense has allowed just one offensive touchdown in its last four games and defensive end Dom Loffredo has 14 sacks.
â¢ North Penn-Mansfield quarterback Bo Burleigh became the program’s first-ever 2,000-yard passer. Burleigh leads District 4 with 26 touchdowns, has thrown for 2,058 yards and has been intercepted just twice in 202 attempts.
â¢ Montoursville and Lewisburg will meet in the District 4 Class AA semifinals for the second time in three years. Two years ago, they played a thriller with Montoursville overcoming a 12-point road deficit in the final four minutes and winning 37-33. The road team has won five straight in this series defined by comebacks and close games and Lewisburg won 19-10 at Montoursville in Week 2.
â¢ Mount Carmel has won three games by 13 combined points this season, including two straight in overtime. Mount Carmel beat Shamokin, 33-32, in overtime last Friday after Dominic Farronato hit Treyvon White with a fourth-down 12-yard touchdown pass. That came a week after the defense stopped Central Columbia inches short of the goal line in a 24-17 overtime win. Mount Carmel also beat Loyalsock, 25-22, in the final seconds in Week 1 on a Tom Bielski field goal. Mount Carmel hosts Loyalsock again in Friday’s District 4 Class AA quarterfinals.
DISTRICT 5 AND 6
â¢ The showdown between 9-0 Bishop Guilfoyle and 9-0 Somerset for supremacy of the Laurel Highlands Conference went the way of Guilfoyle by a 27-3 count, but the game was much closer than the score. The Marauders actually lost two fumbles deep in their own territory in the first quarter but held Somerset to three points. To start the third quarter, the Eagles marched down the field and appeared set to take the lead when holder Raven Beeman’s pass on a bad field goal snap went just beyond the hands of a wide-open Dakota Gary in the end zone. On the ensuing drive, Somerset linebacker Chris Hemminger missed a pick-six by inches on a pass from Brandon Chadbourn to Sam McCloskey that turned into a 38-yard gain and set up a 28-yard touchdown pass to Matt Gormley. Somerset was forced to take chances from there, setting up BG’s last two touchdowns on short fields. Chadbourn was 11 for 12 for 139 yards in a game where the defenses combined to allow just 422 total yards.
â¢ Guilfoyle’s first-round opponent in the District 6 Class A playoffs will be Williamsburg, which clinched a spot in the postseason for the first time in 24 years by going to Homer-Center and upsetting the defending district champion Wildcats, 32-13. The Pirates, who came in known more for their passing and only had one rusher reach the 100-yard mark this season, had both Tyler Shaw and Nick Carper reach the century mark in the victory.
â¢ Moshannon Valley already knew it was going to be the seventh seed in District 6 Class A heading into the weekend, but the Black Knights needed a few extra days to ensure they’d carry a six-game winning streak into the postseason because a transformer blew at halftime and the game couldn’t be completed until Monday. It didn’t matter, as the Knights turned a 20-0 lead at the intermission into a 55-8 win behind quarterback Eric Sherkel’s four touchdown passes and 107 yards rushing.
â¢ In a battle of two of the top Class AA teams in the region, Tyrone shut down host Chestnut Ridge, holding the Lions to 196 yards in a 28-15 victory. Tyrone improved to 9-1 and held the second seed in the District 6 Class AA tournament, while Ridge slipped to 8-2 and dropped the top seed in the District 5-8 Class AA bracket to Bedford, which came back to post a 28-27 win at Forest Hill.
â¢ South Fayette quarterback Brett Brumbaugh, who committed to Duquesne Tuesday night, could become the state’s No. 2 all-time passer this week. Brumbaugh needs just 108 yards to match Brockway’s Derek Buganza (2007-10) for second on the all-time career yardage list. Port Allegany grad Matt Bodamer (2009-12) is the leader with 10,948 yards.
â¢ Central Valley standout Jordan Whitehead, a Pitt recruit, had a game for the ages last Friday night in the first round of the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs. He scored on runs of 70, 80 and 90 yards and added an 80-yard kickoff return for a score in a 48-26 win over Laurel Highlands. He finished with 277 rushing yards.
â¢ Mars fullback Ori Rinaman ran for 239 yards and six touchdowns to lead Mars to a victory over Montour in the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs. The Planets rushed for 358 yards overall, even without standout tailback Josh Schultheis, who was injured in the season’s first game.
â¢ Clairton opened the WPIAL Class A playoffs with another dominating performance, defeating Chartiers-Houston, 62-3. The Bears have scored 672 points, the most any Pennsylvania team has scored through 10 weeks.
â¢ Aided by four Allderdice turnovers, underdog Brashear captured the Pittsburgh City League championship Saturday, 42-14. The Bulls jumped out to a 35-0 lead against the top-seeded Dragons and won the 10th title in the school’s 39-year history. It was the fifth straight win for Brashear (6-3), which avenged a 36-0 loss to Allderdice in the regular season.
â¢ Westinghouse, which finished the regular season 1-6, will play at Chestnut Ridge on Friday in a PIAA subregional game. The ‘House hasn’t played a game in nearly a month after its seventh game ended in a postgame melee that led City League officials to cancel its final regular-season game. Westinghouse did not qualify for the for the District 8 playoffs, but since it is the only Class AA team, it advanced to the sub-regional game.
â¢ Clearfield coasted to its fifth straight Class AAA championship with a 35-8 win over Punxsutawney. Erik Sellers ran for 142 yards and two scores while Seth Caldwell also had two touchdowns and 92 yards on the ground for the victors.
Both Clearfield and Punxsutawney move on to the District 5-6-8-9 Sub-regional playoffs this Friday. Clearfield, the No. 2 seed, will host No. 3 Johnstown, while No. 4 Punxsutawney travels to No. 1 Somerset.
â¢ Ridgway captured its first Allegheny Mountain League championship since 1993 with a 28-21 victory over Cameron County.
Dual-threat quarterback Ben MacDonald ran for a pair of scores and threw for a third in the win.
Ridgway assumes the No. 1 seed in the Class A playoffs at 9-1 and will host Union on Friday. Cameron County, meanwhile misses out on the postseason with a record of 4-6.
â¢ In a showdown of two of the top teams in District 9, DuBois senior quarterback Gabe French accounted for 573 yards of total offense and five touchdowns in the Class AAAA Beavers’ 35-31 win over Karns City.
French was 27-of-43 passing for 330 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for 243 yards on 30 carries and two scores, helping his squad rally from a 31-21 second half deficit.
The loss snapped a 17-game regular season for the Class AA Gremlins, who receive a bye in the first round of the District 9 playoffs and will meet the winner of St. Marys-Moniteau.
DuBois, meanwhile will play in the District 6-9 Sub-Regional against State College on Friday.
Contributors: Jake Adams, Carlisle Sentinel; Steve Bennett, Wilkes-Barre Citizens’ Voice; Andy Close, The Bradford Era; Phil Cmor, Altoona Mirror; Eric Epler, PennLive.com; Joby Fawcett, Scranton Times; Darryl Grumling, Pottstown Mercury; Bill Hartlep, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review; Chris Masse, Williamsport Sun-Gazette