High school football notebook: Springdale's playoff streak in jeopardy
By Bill Beckner Jr.
Published: Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013, 10:48 p.m.
Springdale second-year coach Dave Leasure isn't measuring the progression of his program solely by playoff berths.
Although you might say the modern-day Dynamos don't know any better. The WPIAL postseason has become an expected thing, like credits at the end of a movie.
Springdale has been the most successful program in the Alle-Kiski Valley for more than a decade, collecting a local-record 11 consecutive playoff appearances. But that streak is in serious jeopardy with three games left in the regular season.
With a 2-3 record, the Dynamos (2-4 overall) are in fifth place in the Eastern Conference, a game behind Apollo-Ridge (4-2, 3-2), which blanked them last week, 42-0.
The top four teams qualify for the playoffs. North Catholic is in first place at 6-0, Avonworth is second at 4-1 and West Shamokin is third at 4-2.
Springdale lost to West Shamokin and plays Avonworth Friday. A loss effectively ends the playoff streak.
“Teams have down years and it can take time to build things back up,” said Leasure, who replaced longtime coach Chuck Wagner last season. “You look at Rochester and what's going on there. You just want to keep the support of the community behind you and try to keep the tradition.”
Tradition is a word Leasure likes to use when discussing Springdale.
“I want the kids to understand what it means to wear a Springdale jersey,” he said. “It's about focus and discipline. It's about more than the streak; it's about being the best person you can be.”
If nothing else, Week 6 will be remembered for its high-scoring games. Kittanning and Ford City combined for 89 points with Kittanning winning, 62-27. Valley and Yough tallied 78, with Valley pulling out a 46-32 win.
Highlands-Derry (64), Summit Academy-Deer Lakes (54), Leechburg-Northgate (49) and Riverview-Shenango (49) also kept the scoreboard operator busy.
The Kittanning-Ford City tally is impressive, but falls 24 shy of the Alle-Kiski single-game record for points. The record, though, does involve Ford City.
In 2001, Ford City beat Northgate, 69-44, in Week 5. The teams combined for 16 touchdowns.
At the time, that was the most combined points in a WPIAL game in at least 50 years.
No. 9 Kittanning (6-0) is the only Alle-Kiski team to have clinched a playoff spot so far. The Wildcats haven't been to the playoffs since 2009.
Kittanning, which hasn't started 7-0 since 1997, leads the Allegheny Conference in points scored, averaging 39.8 per game.
Knoch quietly put together a sound run defense. The Knights are yielding just 44 rushing yards per game. ... Highlands' Elijah Jackson is nearing the 1,000-yard mark for the season. He would be the first local rusher to reach the mark. He has 945 yards and seven touchdowns. ... Leechburg not only snapped a 13-game losing streak with a win over Northgate last week, but also cleaned up its act on the road. The Blue Devils had dropped 16 straight away from home. ... Plum has scored the fewest points in the WPIAL (16).
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