High school football notebook: Imani Christian stays on the road
Imani Christian will play six consecutive weeks on the road, now that Friday's game was moved to Fort Cherry.
The Black Hills matchup was scheduled for Chadwick Field in Homewood, a facility used by the Saints in Week 3 to host Brentwood. But this week's game and an Oct. 5 home date against California were switched to away games by Imani's administration, said football coach Harvey Smith.
The decision, finalized last month, was made “above my head,” said Smith, who declined to discuss specifics.
“I would love to be playing a home game this week,” he said.
Imani Christian, located in East Hills, had planned to use Gateway's Antimarino Stadium for home games, but those plans fell through before the season, Smith said. His brother, Terry Smith, is athletic director and football coach at Gateway.
The only game Imani played in Homewood, Sept. 16 against Brentwood, originally was scheduled for a Friday night before Brentwood expressed concerns, prompting a move to Saturday afternoon. The game was played without issue, Brentwood coach Kevin Kissel said. Harvey Smith said the event was “extremely well-received and extremely positive” for the community.
Imani (5-2) is ineligible for the playoffs this season, having been placed on probation by the WPIAL for violating rules. Despite the obstacles, the Saints have played well; quarterback Khari Hicks ranks second among WPIAL passers with 1,541 yards.
The team plays at undefeated Clairton (7-0) in Week 9.
Wins against Gateway and Central Catholic earned North Allegheny (7-0) a national ranking as the final team in MaxPreps' Top 25.
The only other Pennsylvania school in the rankings was St. Joseph's Prep (No. 23), a Class AAAA school in Philadelphia's Catholic League (District 12).
Port Allegany quarterback Matt Bodamer set a PIAA record for career touchdown passes last Saturday, throwing four in a 69-30 victory over Sheffield, giving the senior 120. Bodamer, who has 35 TDs this season, bettered a mark set in 2009 by Lancaster Catholic's Kyle Smith (118).