Late goal-line stand lifts Perry over mourning USO
TribLIVE Sports Videos
The Perry Commodores took a stand that they are still the pre-eminent program in a revamped City League.
It took a goal-line stand to do so.
The Commodores defense shut down four USO plays from the Perry 1 in the final three minutes, preserving a 12-6 win at Cupples Stadium on Friday night.
“That was huge,” Perry coach Bill Gallagher said. “The kids had their backs against the wall, and our defensive staff did a great job. They did it. It was awesome. That was fantastic.”
Perry (6-2, 5-0) earned the No. 1 seed in the semifinals and will play Allderdice next week.
USO (4-2, 4-1) — a cooperative agreement between three Pittsburgh schools — won the City League postseason title last season in its first year as a team. USO was mourning the loss of two-way starting lineman Ne'Ondre Harbour, who was shot and killed Sunday night as an innocent bystander in Garfield, according to Pittsburgh Police.
Coach Lou Berry said he was “especially close” with Harbour, having grown up with Harbour's mother, aunts and uncles.
“Once we got through the (pregame) ceremony, we knew what was at stake, and we definitely wanted to finish the year as regular-season champs,” Berry said. “So, everyone was kind of rallying around one another to try to make that happen. I just felt like, no disrespect to Perry, they played a great game, but there were a lot of miscues on our end, penalties on our end, a lot of missed opportunities on our end.”
Perry quarterback Ahmed Turner and running back Curtis Edmonds each had 95 rushing yards.
Midway through the first quarter, Turner sprinted for a 69-yard touchdown. With 46 seconds left in the half, he scored on an 8-yard run that made it 12-0.
But USO went 65 yards in 24 seconds, and Akil Young hit Marcus Johnson for a 24-yard touchdown pass to cut Perry's halftime lead in half.
Perry managed only two first downs in the second half and none in the final 19 minutes, and USO had its own problems moving the ball. But Young's 24-yard scramble on fourth-and-1 and a 19-yard pass to Roberts put USO at the Perry 1. USO ran four plays up the middle. Three plays later, a 19-yard pass to Roberts put USO at the Perry 1. USO ran four plays up the middle, and on at least two of them, several of its players signaled it had scored a touchdown.
“The (Perry) players were saying we got in; they knew we got in,” said Young, who was 11 for 28 for 184 yards. “But I can't say much about the call because you can't do much about the call. We've just got to make sure we don't leave the game in the refs' hands.”
Chris Adamski is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.