Alle-Kiksi Valley high school football notebook: History repeats at Fox Chapel
Thursday, November 2, 2017 | 11:09 PM
Nick Gizzo and Micah Morris achieved a Fox Chapel rarity this fall when each topped 1,000 yards rushing during the regular season.
Rare, but not unprecedented.
Coincidentally, this fall marks the 20-year anniversary of the last time two Fox Chapel teammates rushed for more than 1,000 yards. Sean Barbour and Chad Killian accomplished the feat in 1997.
“It's great for the school, the community and just a fantastic feat for those two young men as well,” Killian said
Barbour and Killian combined on a thunder-and-lightning attack in 1997, helping Fox Chapel reach the WPIAL semifinals before falling to Penn-Trafford.
The coincidence continues, as Gizzo and Morris will lead Fox Chapel into a playoff game at Penn-Trafford on Friday night.
“It had been a long time since Fox Chapel had a good football team,” Barbour said. “A lot of people had just counted us out for years. The main thing I remember is just the years before that, we were just the teams that were getting better and we had a lot of guys in my class and the class above me that were really good players who played together for a really long time. And it kind of all came together my senior year.”
Said Killian: “We had a great team. We really did. It was one of those times where we had a lot of people that came together at the right time from when we were young. (We) just kind of jelled together and had some really good athletes and were fortunate to make a good run.”
Barbour stood 5-foot-6 or 5-7 and weighed about 145 pounds — “a bug on a rug,” in Killian's words. Killian was the power back, weighing between 205 and 215. And an offensive line that averaged 290 pounds cleared the holes for them.
After high school, Killian played at Maryland and had a brief stint with the San Diego Chargers. His two brothers and father also played Division I football, and older brother, P.J., had a career with the Cleveland Browns. Barbour played at Gettysburg College.
Both still live in the area — Barbour in Fox Chapel, Killian in Wexford — and still get together with some of their former teammates.
“We're watching football and watching kids run around,” Barbour said.
The longest yard
Junior Seth Cohen came close to reaching 2,000 passing yards this season for Highlands.
As close as possible, in fact.
Cohen finished the season with 1,999 passing yards and 24 touchdowns, according to the Golden Rams' official stats. He broke school single-game records with 412 yards and seven touchdowns in a double-overtime loss to New Castle in September.
Springdale's Josh Harmon worried for a moment when he looked back and saw a penalty flag after his 62-yard interception return last week against Greensburg Central Catholic.
He didn't have to worry for long: The call went against GCC, so Springdale got the score and some valuable breathing room in a 42-25 victory.
“I was setting up blocks on my way there, and my one guard almost missed it, but I just put the burners on and got in there,” Harmon said. “That's all I was worried about. I saw the flag, and my heart dropped for a second. That put the icing on the cake.”
Doug Gulasy is a Tribune-Review staff writer.
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