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High School Sports

Heritage Conference notebook

| Friday, Sept. 30, 2005

Blairsville coach Ab Dettorre and assistant Frank Berzansky will miss tonight's game against Saltsburg because of a one-game suspension after their ejection from Saturday's 28-13 win over United, the PIAA ruled Thursday.

Blairsville officials tried to appeal the suspension to the PIAA, but were unsuccessful. Blairsville contended the basis of ejection was necessary for Berzansky but not for Dettorre.

The PIAA usually does not accept appeals, but considered Blairsville's case.

"If we would take appeals from every coaching ejection, that's all we would be doing," PIAA executive director Brad Cashman said Wednesday.

Dettorre and Berzansky were ejected with 6:26 left in the first quarter Saturday after a series of bizarre events.

On Blairsville's second offensive play, the bench was given a sideline warning for being too close to the field and officials said Berzansky crossed the coaching line at the 25, which was not painted on the field, Blairsville coaches said.

A play later, Blairsville coaches said wide receiver Andy Ostach suffered a late hit out of bounds on the Blairsville sideline, and for arguing the call, Blairsville was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct. On the next play, Blairsville coaches saw another late hit, Berzansky said an expletive in frustration, and the team was penalized for another unsportsmanlike conduct infraction.

Two personal fouls were necessary grounds for ejection, and Berzansky and Dettorre were tossed by referee Ralph Cesare.

"I was 25 yards away," Dettorre said after the game Saturday. "I didn't do anything."

By a PIAA rule, any coach or player ejected from a game must not participate in their team's next game.

Offensive coordinator Rick Artley will be the interim head coach tonight, and Rick Stipcak will take Dettorre's place calling the defensive signals.

No avoiding it

After three weeks, Homer-Center coach Ed Kowchuck thought his team had had enough of the injury bug.

It struck again Friday night against Ligonier Valley when Homer-Center lost running backs Corey Conti and Josh Smith, and Kowchuck now is forced to play his sixth tailback this season Saturday against Laurel Valley.

"It's definitely frustrating," Kowchuck said. "Who knows what we're going to do• It's time to go back to the old drawing board on this one."

Temporary to permanent

Saltsburg coach Eric Kostic used Nick Reese at tailback as an experiment. But after his offensive production -- 52 carries for 189 yards and four touchdowns -- Reese has become a starter at the position after playing wide receiver for most of last season.

Letting off some steam

Marion Center coach Dave Malicky didn't mean to give Laurel Valley its worst regular-season loss in 2 1/2 seasons. But when a team loses two games by a point each, Malicky said his "kids were very frustrated" and Laurel Valley was the unfortunate team in Marion Center's way.

"I think we had a good week of practice, and I think it showed," Malicky said. "Ligonier Valley really took it to us, and I think we bounced back very well."

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