Share This Page

Oliver: California needs solid win over Brentwood for playoff shot

| Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

California's only chance to make the WPIAL playoffs hinges on beating Brentwood by at least 10 points Friday night in a Black Hills Conference finale.

If California does that and Fort Cherry beats Chartiers-Houston, then California is in the playoffs and Brentwood will be out.

For the Trojans, it sounds like a tough task. However, when it comes to Brentwood, it has happened once before.

The date was Nov. 7, 1988, and Brentwood traveled to Monessen for a regular-season-ending Eastern Conference game on a cold, misty fall night.

Monessen's only chance of reaching the playoffs was by beating the Spartans by 10 points or more.

Monessen was 6-3 overall and 6-1 in the conference. Brentwood was 8-1 overall and 7-0 in the conference.

If Monessen could post a double-digit victory, the Greyhounds would qualify for the playoffs and Brentwood would be the odd team out.

In front of a chilled crowd of more than 3,300 fans at Memorial Stadium, Brentwood jumped to a 13-7 halftime lead, making the Greyhounds' hopes even bleaker than when the game started.

The second half, however, was another story.

Mike Bright caught two third quarter touchdown passes from Jason Gigliotti of 23 and 8 yards to give the Greyhounds a 20-13 lead going into the fourth quarter.

The wet crowd was in a frenzy as it sensed an amazing comeback.

When Monessen's Lance Beck bulled his way in from a yard out with 9:48 to go in the game, the Greyhounds led 26-13.

The score remained that way until Monessen took an intentional safety at the end to make the final score 26-15.

The Greyhounds made the playoffs and earned one of the more memorable wins in Scarvel's legendary career.

“Any time you go into a game like this and have to win by 10 points and then do it ... there is a great feeling,” Scarvel said afterward in a jubilant dressing room.

“Personally, there isn't much more that can happen to me in my lifetime. But for the kids, this is worthwhile. This victory will rank up with the best of them and Monessen football has had a lot of great victories over the years.”

If the Trojans can accomplish the same feat on their field in the final game of the regular season, well, wouldn't that be something?

Hey, it can happen.

Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or joliver@tribweb.com.

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.