Ford City prepares to take on Greensburg Central Catholic
The Ford City football team will be the underdog for the first time this season when it faces Greensburg Central Catholic in the WPIAL Class AA semifinals at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Highlands High School.
The Sabers are the No. 3 seed, and the Centurions are the No. 2 seed. Ford City has outscored its opponents, 447-100, this season, while Greensburg Central Catholic has done the same by 425-83.
Though it's only five points, the Sabers have outscored their opponents by a wider margin than the Centurions this year. So, why is Ford City an underdog?
The most common answer to that question involves three Greensburg Central Catholic players: wide receiver Nick Sukay, quarterback Cody Catalina and running back Max Suter.
Each have made verbal commitments to Division I programs: Sukay to Penn State, and Catalina and Suter to Syracuse.
However, Greensburg Central Catholic coach Muzzy Colosimo thinks favoring his team because of these three players is a common mistake.
"I think it's going to be a great game," Colosimo said. "People are calling me up and saying, 'With three Division I players,' but we've got a lot of good players and so do they."
Colosimo added, "At this time of the year, there are no underdogs. All the teams left are pretty good."
Colosimo might be right. If strength of schedule determined the underdog, it wouldn't be Ford City.
The Centurions' regular-season opponents had a combined record of 39-50, while the Sabers' foes finished with a combined 46-41 record. Greensburg Central Catholic beat three teams that ended the year with just one win, while West Shamokin was the only one-victory team Ford City played.
However, Ford City seems to be more comfortable in the underdog role.
"I think everybody likes the underdog," Ford City coach John Bartolovic said. "It's a role we've had over the years, so I don't think it matters either way."
Bartolovic mentioned Greensburg Central Catholic's games against Yough and Jeannette as reasons why his players feel confident.
Yough lost to Greensburg Central Catholic, 14-3, after beating Jeannette, 35-21, two weeks earlier. Jeannette beat Greensburg Central Catholic, 7-2, in the regular-season finale, and Center beat Yough before losing to Ford City last week.
"We're going to have to execute and not make the mistakes and turnovers," Bartolovic said. "They believe, at this point, we can play."
What : WPIAL Class AA semifinals
Who : No. 2 Greensburg Central Catholic (10-1) vs. No. 3 Ford City (10-1)
When : 7:30 p.m.
Where : Highlands High School