Football fans in for a treat with Clairton-Port Allegany PIAA game
Local football fans will get a bonus Friday with the PIAA Class A semifinals at Deer Lakes.
Clairton, with the nation's longest winning streak at 61 games, will square off against Port Allegany in a 7 p.m. contest.
Not only will Clairton (14-0) be trying to get back to the state title game for the fifth consecutive season, the Bears will be going for their fourth consecutive PIAA crown.
Fans also will get a chance to see Port Allegany quarterback Matt Bodamer, the leading passer in state history with 10,779 yards over four seasons.
Bodamer has 3,758 yards through the air this season for Port Allegany, which checks in with a 13-0 mark.
Clairton will be led by Tyler Boyd, now the leading touchdown scorer in WPIAL history.
Boyd scored five times Friday night in the victory against Berlin Brothersvalley. He has 114 career touchdowns, passing Hopewell's Rushel Shell, whose record lasted one season.
Boyd also keeps moving up on the WPIAL's all-time rushing list. He is seventh with 5,546 yards, passing Darrell Harding (Charleroi) and Chico Williams (Aliquippa) during Friday's 53-0 romp.
Boyd needs 36 yards to catch Julian Durden for sixth place. Durden played at North Catholic and Montour.
The Bears will be playing without one of their “Killer T's,” — Boyd, Titus Howard and Terrish Webb.
Howard, who has committed to Pitt, sustained a dislocated elbow and won't be available for the Port Allegany game.
After missing nearly all of last season with leg injuries, senior guard Tim Jaczesko of Deer Lakes is back and ready to go for the Lancers.
Jaczesko returned during the latter stages of the season but suffered a recurrence of the injury in May, basically sidelining him for the summer showcases.
“It still hurts a little, but I'm about 95 percent,” Jaczesko said during a recent Deer Lakes practice.
Another problem is that Jaczesko has fallen off the radar screen of college scouts due to his absence.
“I have to prove myself again after being hurt so much last season pretty much took me off the radar,” Jaczesko said. “I have to come out and work hard this year.”
“He is back, healthy, and he looks great,” said new Lancers coach Jon McKay, an assistant under former coach Joe Lewandowski last year. “Timmy's a leader; he's a kid we're blessed to have.”
Jaczesko endured months of rehabilitation.
“I think a lot of people might have cashed it in at that point, and said basketball wasn't part of his future,” McKay said of Jaczesko's second setback. “That never entered his mind. He was shooting foul shots in here over the summer with a cast on his leg. He's going to have a great year, and everybody's feeding off his energy.”Jaczesko and the Lancers open the season at the Plum Tip-off Classic on Friday against Shaler.
On the air
Highlands Golden Rams basketball games again will be carried on local cable television.
Mike Choma and Mike Pavlik will videotape Highlands boys games for viewers on Comcast Channel 190.
The Tuesday Golden Rams games will be replayed at 3 p.m. Thursdays, and the Friday games will be carried at 7:30 p.m. Sundays.
Veteran broadcaster Bob Tatrn also will select key Valley, Burrell and St. Joseph games to be taped for replays.
Fans are advised to check the daily Valley News Dispatch Sports on TV listings for replay times.
Kittanning's WTYM Radio (1380 AM) plans to carry the Kittanning-Ford City basketball game when that 102-year rivalry is renewed Jan. 2.
Other WTYM games might follow.
George Guido is a Valley News Dispatch scholastic sports correspondent. His column appears Wednesdays.