Statewide high school notebook
The clash between state contenders Cathedral Prep and McDowell did not disappoint on Friday. Prep pulled out a 41-27 win after an impressive 98-yard drive by Michigan State recruit Damion Terry. The Ramblers led 34-27, with the Trojans driving inside the 10. Prep put together a goal line stand on the 2-yard line before Terry took the Ramblers 98 yards, including a 35-yard touchdown pass to Delton Williams.
McDowell entered the game with one of the top rushing attacks in the state, but was surprisingly outrushed by Prep, 233-112.
Williams decided to join Terry in East Lansing on Tuesday. The all-star defensive back verbally committed to Michigan State over West Virginia and several major Division I schools. In the win over McDowell, Williams ran for 139 yards and one touchdown on 12 carries while also catching 11 passes for 139 yards and two touchdowns. He is Prep's fourth all-time receiver in receptions (65) and yards (1,077).
Speaking of Terry, he went over 5,000 career passing yards Friday and moved to second in District 10 history with 5,187. He is well within range of district record holder Mark Kulinski (Oil City), who threw for 6,045. Terry also tied Kulinski's career touchdown pass record with 60. Along with throwing for 5,000 yards, Terry went over 1,000 rushing yards this season.
• Northwest Area running back Tony Politz became the first WVC player to surpass 1,000 yards rushing for the season when he picked up 222 yards on Friday night in a win over Nanticoke Area. The 222 yards are a season-high for Politz, who ran for 221 on opening night against Holy Redeemer. Politz now has 1,047 yards and averages 9.2 yards per carry. Against Nanticoke Area, Politz carried the ball 16 times and had touchdown runs of 82, 81 and 21 yards.
• Wyoming Area's Nick O'Brien became the 18th player from the Wyoming Valley Conference to reach 4,000 rushing yards for his career. O'Brien also became Wyoming Area's all-time rushing leader, and his 4,098 yards place him 17th on the all-time list. Williamsport's Gary Brown (4,135 yards) and Tunkhannock's Reuben Sherman (4,175 yards) are next in line for O'Brien to pass.
• Wyoming Area's 69-28 win over Holy Redeemer was a milestone win for the Warriors. The 69 points are the most the Warriors have scored in a game in school history. The previous highs were 63 points against Bishop Hoban in 1997 and 61 points against Hanover Area the same year.
• Delaware Valley senior quarterback Bryan Schor and Riverside senior quarterback Nick Dranchak put themselves in elite company in the Lackawanna Football Conference last week. With his 177 yards against North Pocono last week, Schor has 5,251 passing yards in his career. He is the seventh quarterback from current LFC schools to reach that milestone. Lakeland's Evan Kraky (7,447), Lackawanna Trail's Devin Myers (5,497), West Scranton's Matt McGloin (5,485) and Tyler Hughes (5,466), Dunmore's Miller Holmes (5,393) and Scranton's Al Karaffa (5,025) also reached 5,000 yards in their careers. For Dranchak, he also joined those seven quarterbacks and four others who have surpassed 4,000 yards in their career. He now has 4,197 to rank 11th all time.
• Scranton Prep coach Nick Donato and Lakeland coach Jeff Wasilchak are climbing the list of leaders in career victories. With his team at 5-1 this season, Donato has 142 wins in his career. That puts him at No. 11 on a ranking of coaches from The Times-Tribune coverage area, that included Wyoming Area and Pittston Area. One more win would tie him for 10th with former Lakeland coach, the late Jerry Wasilchak and former West Scranton coach Joe DeAntona. Donato's father, the late Sam Donato, who coached at West Scranton is ninth, with 151 wins. Jeff Wasilchak, who also coached at Lackawanna Trail from 1997 to 2007, has 133 wins which moved him past former Jessup coach Marty Reap (132), into 15th place.
• Unbeaten Wyomissing has just one turnover in six games. It came on an exchange from center, a few plays after starting center Ben Wertz was moved to tackle to replace an injured player.
• Rick Keeley of Berks Catholic became the first in Berks football history to coach 300 games as the Saints beat Schuylkill Valley, 21-20, in a Berks Football League Section 2 battle of unbeatens. The Saints stopped a two-point conversion bid in the final minute to preserve the win. The path is now clear for the Saints to meet Wyomissing in a Week 10 battle of unbeatens to decide the Berks 2 and District 3-AA titles.
• Wyomissing coach Bob Wolfrum will coach his 300th game Saturday at home against Fleetwood. He will be inducted into the inaugural Wyomissing Football Hall of Fame prior to the game. He is Berks County's all-time wins leader with 233 victories in 26 seasons.
• Wilson has outscored its first three league opponents, 156-18, but the road should get tougher for the Bulldogs with Lancaster Catholic this week, Manheim Township in Week 8 and Penn Manor in Week 9. The Bulldogs hit the stretch run with a Lancaster-Lebanon League Section 1-record 32-game league winning streak intact.
• Manheim Township senior wide receiver Tyler Karpinski snapped a school record when he caught six passes for 257 yards in the Blue Streaks' 47-13 win over Cedar Crest. The 257 receiving yards are a new progam single-game mark, topping the previous record of 229 yards, set by George Eager. Karpinski also returned two punts for touchdowns against Cedar Crest, covering 75 and 70 yards, respectively, as the Streaks improved to 4-2 overall and 2-1 in Section 1, a game behind co-leaders Wilson and Penn Manor.
• In a rivalry game for first place in Section 2 of the Lancaster-Lebanon League, Cocalico overcame an early 14-0 deficit and beat Manheim Central, 48-35. It was the first time Cocalico ever won a football game in Manheim, and it was the most points the Barons surrendered in a game since a 44-27 non-league loss at Gettysburg in September, 2007.
• Penn Manor, which toppled McCaskey, 42-14, and Garden Spot, which beat Annville-Cleona, 43-14, remained the lone two 6-0 teams in the Lancaster-Lebanon League. Garden Spot, the Section 3 leader, has a legit shot at running the table and going 10-0. Meanwhile, Penn Manor has tricky tests against Manheim Township and Section 1 co-leader Wilson coming up.
District 5 and 6
• Defending PIAA Class AA finalist Tyrone got off to an 0-2 start, but junior running back James Oliver has been getting the job done all season, and the Golden Eagles are now 4-2 heading into a Mountain League clash with undefeated Clearfield. Against once-beaten Bald Eagle Area last week, Oliver broke Tyrone's single-game rushing mark previously held by all-stater Jesse Jones by piling up 342 yards in 18 carries in just over a half of action. Oliver also scored six times. Jones' record of 314 yards was set in 2000.
• After a scare against Bishop McCort the previous game, Richland got things back to normal last week by pummeling Somerset, which was 4-1 coming in, 47-0, on the road to run its record to 6-0. The Rams now have outscored the opposition, 241-56, in their quest to return to the District 6 Class AA championship game.
• On the flip side of things, Huntingdon fell to 0-6 for the first time ever with a 40-0 loss to Central Mountain. Central Mountain's Von Walker rushed for 220 yards on 10 carries and also completed 7 of 10 passes for 95 yards.
• Berlin Brothersvalley remained undefeated by holding off visiting Northern Cambria, 21-19, Friday. The Colts held Drew Glotfelty and Berlin's potent running game to less than 100 yards, but the Mountaineers managed to pull it out with the help of two touchdown receptions and an interception by Luke Bonus.
• North Allegheny (6-0) held on to its No. 1 ranking in WPIAL Class AAAA last week after knocking off No. 2 Gateway (5-1) in a nonconference battle that could serve as a preview to the District 7 championship. North Allegheny now has won 22 straight games against WPIAL opponents, heading into another marquee matchup this week against Central Catholic (5-1).
• Clairton, the state's No. 1-ranked team won its 53rd straight game last week, a 42-7 decision over Brentwood. The Bears will face their stiffest test of the season Saturday night, when they take on Bishop Canevin (5-1) in a Black Hills Conference game. “You're going to be the focus by everybody to see if you can be the one to stop the streak,” said Bishop Canevin coach Bob Jacoby, a 40-year veteran. “This is the kind of game you want to play in. You want to play the best. I don't want to be one of 54, though.”
• George Trout, who served as an NFL replacement referee earlier this season, will be back on the sidelines this week as part of the officiating crew for a WPIAL Class AAA matchup between Laurel Highlands and Albert Gallatin. Trout spent the past six years doing NCAA FCS football games. He did four preseason and four regular-season games in the NFL this season, including two in one week.
• University Prep quarterback Akil Young continued to shine Friday night, as he threw for 262 yards and three touchdowns in a 35-15 victory over Allderdice. The defending Pittsburgh City League champion, University Prep, is now 3-1 overall and 3-0 in league play heading into a matchup this week against winless Westinghouse.
• Port Allegany senior quarterback Matt Bodamer replaced former Brockway standout Derek Buganza as the District 9 all-time leader in touchdown passes last week. Bodamer passed for seven scores in a 55-14 win over Ridgway to increase his career total to 100. Buganza, who graduated from Brockway in 2011, finished with 95. The state record, held by Lancaster Catholic's Kyle Smith, is 118.
• Fairview junior running back Shannon Jackson is putting up huge numbers this season. He has rushed for 1,443 yards and 15 touchdowns in six games. He tied the District 10 record of 49 carries in one game in a 19-14 win over Harbor Creek last week. In his career, Jackson has 1,949 yards and still one season to go. Dale Gregory holds the Fairview record with 2,099 yards in one season, while Al Chorney is the Fairview career record holder with 3,444 yards.
• Aside from the Prep-McDowell game, District 10 also feature two huge games in different classes. Slippery Rock beat Warren, 42-20, to remain 6-0 and take control of Region 5. The Rockets look like the strongest contender in Class AAA to go up against Prep. West Middlesex knocked off state-ranked Sharpsville, 21-14, in a Class A showdown. The Big Reds, whose only loss this season is a last-second, 13-10 loss to Class AA power Wilmington, looks like a strong favorite to win the District 10 Class A championship.
• With a 146-yard performance last week, Tri-Valley running back Blake Bowman eclipsed the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the season. In doing so Bowman became the first back in Tri-Valley's 53-year history to compile three 1,000-yard seasons. Bowman has rushed for 1,078 yards on 125 carries with 18 touchdowns this season. He's also just 27 yards from the school record for career rushing yards with 3,461 yards. Bowman and Co. meet backyard rival and fellow unbeaten Williams Valley on Friday for the Tri-Valley League lead.
• Blue Mountain recorded a milestone with last week's 38-7 victory over Hamburg. The victory was the 300th in program history, which dates to 1956. The Eagles are now 300-291-10 all-time, becoming the seventh program in Schuylkill County with 300 victories.
• Tamaqua is on the rise. With its 24-10 victory over North Schuylkill, the unbeaten Blue Raiders are 6-0 for the first time since 1956, according to records kept by athletic director Mike Hromyak. That same season, Tamaqua opened the year 7-0. Coincidentally, the school will recognize the 50th anniversary of the last football team to finish the season unbeaten when the 1962 club that finished 10-0-1 is honored prior to the game with Schuylkill Haven. Tamaqua has recorded just one unbeaten/untied season in the program's history, when the Raiders went 9-0 in 1927.
• After surrendering 72 points in starting the season with losses against Delaware Valley and Easton, Parkland has allowed just 44 points over its last four games. The Trojans have won all four of those games, jumping into a tie with Whitehall for second place in the Lehigh Valley Conference, one game behind Easton.
• One week after setting Allentown Central Catholic's single-game school record with 373 rushing yards, senior running back Colin McDermott had the second-best rushing game in school history. He ran for 289 yards and four touchdowns in a 42-21 win over Bethlehem Liberty that moved the Vikings to 3-3. McDermott's 662 rushing yards in the last two weeks are more than all but three other LVC players have all season. He also leads the league with 104 points.
• Despite an injured right ankle, Ra'Von Burton rushed for a career-high 241 yards on just 21 carries and scored once as Catasauqua beat previously unbeaten Bangor 35-14 to take over sole possession of first place in the Colonial League.
• Two Colonial League kickers established school records for longest field goal in the last two weeks. Saucon Valley's Nate Schriffert booted a school-best 43-yarder in the second quarter of last Friday's win over Salisbury. Palisades' Max Kroschwitz, a first-year kicker, nailed a school-record 40-yarder in a Week 5 game against Palmerton.
District 12 and 1
• PIAA Class AAA defending state champ Archbishop Wood doubled last year's loss total, falling to unbeaten St Joe's Prep, 23-10. The Vikings are 4-2. In a tightly contested first half, A-Wood actually led 3-0 heading into the break. But four turnovers in the second half wiped out the Vikings chances of victory. The 5-0 Hawks will face rival La Salle Saturday night at Plymouth-Whitemarsh, the home field for both schools. St Joe's will be the designated home team this year.
• For the fifth week in a row, the La Salle Explorers (6-0) toyed with their opponent on their way to a 35-7 mercy-rule victory. This time, Father Judge was the victim. La Salle scored all five times they had the ball in the first half.
• It's becoming more apparent that the road to the District 1-AAAA title will not go through Lansdale this year. Perennial contender and 2011 district runner-up North Penn lost its third game of the season to undefeated Central Bucks South by a count of 36-29. All three Knights' losses have come at home. The Titans earned the win without the normal monstrous contribution from running back Josh Adams. The sophomore returned a kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown — his only score of the game. CB South quarterback John Pilggi stepped up, firing four touchdown passes in the second half — two each to wideouts Cale Mosher and Paul Weeks.
• Pennridge improved to 5-1 with a wild 45-35 win over Souderton. The Big Red led 10-0 after one, but behind the production of Mike Class, the Rams' offense could not be slowed down. Class ran for 270 yards and three touchdowns.
— Contributions from Kevin Keating, Pottsville Republican; Jeff Reinhart, LLLeagueSports.com; Tom Reisenweber, Erie Times-News; Mike Drago, Reading Eagle; Dan Morehouse, WNPV Radio; Stephen Miller, Allentown Morning Call; Joby Fawcett, Scranton Times; Phil Cmor, Altoona Mirror;
Jim Reeser, Wilkes-Barre Citzens Voice; Andrew P. Shay, The Patriot-News; Bill West, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and Bill Hartlep, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.