Chartiers Valley's Capers nears return to field
Chartiers Valley's Wayne Capers could return soon — maybe this week — from a leg injury that sidelined him last Friday night, coach Chris Saluga said.
"He's day-to-day and could possibly be back Friday," Saluga said. "We'll make a decision at game time."
That's promising news for a standout senior who missed most of his sophomore and junior seasons to injuries. As a sophomore, Capers had pins placed in his foot after just four games. As a junior, he had his right ACL repaired after one game.
This latest injury was believed to be a sprained ankle.
Capers (6-foot-1, 205 pounds) was injured in the third quarter of Friday's loss to Thomas Jefferson. Saluga said he thought TJ was targeting Capers' legs, and told the referees.
"We were very concerned about his safety from the first play," Saluga said. "We complained about it the entire game."
Thomas Jefferson coach Bill Cherpak said his Jaguars were trying to tackle Capers low, but insisted there was no intent to injure. He said that included even the leg-twisting tackle that sidelined Capers, and pointed out that the play didn't draw a penalty flag.
"For anyone to even insinuate that you'd try to hurt somebody on the field is just disgraceful," Cherpak said. "You don't coach like that, and you don't play like that."
Central Catholic running back Damion Jones-Moore committed Saturday to Toledo, following teammate Juwan Haynes, who picked the Rockets last month. Jones-Moore, a 5-foot-7, 170-pound senior, also had an offer from Ohio, another Mid-American Conference school.
"They were in last week and talked to him about being the guy coming into their camp," Central Catholic coach Terry Totten said. "Their starter is graduating."
Jones-Moore has 18 touchdowns this season, including three Friday night against Plum.
A proposal to trim football season from 16 to 15 weeks was passed last week by the PIAA Board of Directors on a second-read basis. It needs one more vote of approval in December to be enacted. The proposal also would allow districts to eliminate a scrimmage date and begin the regular season a week earlier.
Mt. Pleasant was missing six starters Friday, including quarterback Ryan Gumbita, running backs Tyler Mellors and Paul Caletri, wide receiver Joey Paul and defensive linemen Eric Klejka and Anthony Gantt. Yet it still won, 20-9, over East Allegheny.
"We've had different players step up," said coach Bo Ruffner, whose staff has juggled the lineup with success. "We're finding ways to get the job done. We used two different quarterbacks (Kevin Yanok and Peirce Cook) last week. If we can get most of the players back, we could be a very dangerous team."
Ruffner said Yanok, Dalton Bull (fullback) and guard/defensive end Dylan Poole have helped make up for the losses. Yanok, a converted running back, rushed for 202 yards and two touchdowns.
The Laurel Highlands' scoreboard operator surely got a workout Friday, especially in the second quarter when visiting Ringgold scored 42 points. In this game, which Ringgold won 62-19, the special teams truly were special.
Ringgold's Alfon Cook had 230 return yards; he returned a punt 70 yards for a score, a kickoff 85 yards for a score and had an 82-yard kickoff return to setup a touchdown.
Laurel Highlands' Danzel Beasley returned a kickoff 96 yards for a score and Joey Pegg had a 68-yard punt return for a touchdown.
Ringgold quarterback Quad Law wasn't about to be outdone by his teammate. He had touchdown runs of 92 and 53 yards. Demetrius Louis had a 49-yard touchdown run.