High school football notebook: Two talented rushers battling with injuries
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Two of the WPIAL's top returning rushers are dealing with leg injuries that have limited them this season.
Brentwood senior Justin Vickless has tried to play with a partially torn knee ligament, and North Catholic junior P.J. Fulmore has been rehabbing an injured ankle. The two running backs were among the WPIAL's leading rushers a season ago. Fulmore was fifth with 1,824 yards in 2012, and Vickless was 11th with 1,521 yards.
But Vickless injured his anterior cruciate ligament on the first day of camp. Now wearing a knee brace, he has battled the injury and will play again Friday. In his first two games, though, the knee forced him to the bench both times. He had nearly a dozen carries Friday against Monessen before leaving in pain, his coach said.
“I feel horrible for him,” Brentwood coach Kevin Kissel said. “All summer we worked on putting some different plays in just for him. He had almost 3,000 yards coming into this year and still had his senior season ahead of him. I feel so bad for the kid.”
Fulmore wrote on Twitter that he expected to miss a couple weeks with an ankle injury. He aggravated it in the first half of the Trojans' 22-21, double-overtime win against Apollo-Ridge in Week 1 and missed last week's 35-3 victory over Springdale.
“If it was up to him, he'd be playing today, but there are trainers watching him,” said North Catholic coach Bob Ravenstahl, who described the ailment only as a lower-body injury. “When they say it's time for him to go, he'll be ready to go. When that is, I don't know.”
North Catholic (2-0) visits Northgate on Friday. Brentwood (1-1) visits Windber, an out-of-district replacement for Imani Christian.
Vickless has 92 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. Fulmore has had just seven carries for 19 yards.
Empty end zones
Through two weeks, six WPIAL defenses have not to allowed a touchdown.
Among them, Beth-Center, Clairton and Shady Side Academy haven't surrendered a point, though Beth-Center has played only one game, a 47-0 victory. Its Week 2 opponent, Geibel Catholic, forfeited.
Shady Side outscored its first two opponents, 84-0, and Clairton holds a 76-0 scoring lead. Bethel Park (52-3), Beaver Falls (82-3) and Central Catholic (89-3) each have allowed only a field goal this season.
There were 26 coaching changes in the WPIAL before this season, and four of those new coaches remain unbeaten entering Week 3.
Carmichaels' Ryan Krull, Gateway's Donnie Militzer, McKeesport's George Smith and West Shamokin's Jon McCullough have 2-0 records.
A year ago, McKeesport and West Shamokin started 0-2, and Carmichaels was 1-1. Gateway began last year 2-0.
PCN will televise Friday night's Clairton at California matchup in the Black Hills Conference. The 7 p.m. game will be shown live on the statewide cable channel.
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.
- High school football notebook: Official’s decision impacts WPIAL Class AAAA title game
- Pine-Richland tops defending champ Central Catholic to capture WPIAL title
- Clairton wins 11th WPIAL football championship
- Central Valley beats rival West Allegheny to win WPIAL Class AAA championship
- Gorman: Clairton QB delivers on dream
- WPIAL’s Top 10 football champions of all time
- Law makes Big Nine first team — on defense
- Karns City uses bruising running game to gain comeback win over Chestnut Ridge
- WPIAL Class AAAA notebook: Pine-Richland has titles in 3 classifications
- WPIAL Class AAA notebook: Central Valley to face another merger in PIAA playoffs