Big Game Hunting: The Football Fourpack for Week 11
Wednesday, November 10, 2010 | 12:00 AM
I feel like a Green County deer hunter with a corn field, an apple orchard, and a couple salt blocks right in front of my tree stand; it's "easy pickin's" right now. Quarter finals weekend on the MSA Sports Network is here and the hard work is completed; they are all big games once you reach week eleven. Still you don't want to wander off into week eleven uninformed, so jump on my quad and I will take you out to your tree stand so we can go "Big Game Hunting". Here are the big games in each classification for week eleven.
WPIAL Class AAAA Quarterfinals:
#2 Mount Lebanon Blue Devils (10-0) versus #7 Woodland Hills Wolverines (7-3) @ Baldwin High School Friday November 12th @ 7:30pm Broadcast on the MSA Sports Network and 93.7 FM the Fan by Paul Paterra and Dan Zangrilli
This should be a tremendous match-up in AAAA as Luke Hagy leads the Blue Devils' offense against the Wolverines' defense. Hagy has been one of the biggest reasons for the Mt. Lebanon return to prominence in AAAA in 2010 with an incredible amount of yardage contributed to the Blue Devils cause.
Just in the rushing attack Hagy has been stellar with 1813 yards and 25 touchdowns on the ground, but that is not all he brings he also is their best kickoff and punt returner as well. Pat Goff is a solid quarterback and with Hagy to take the pressure off, Goff has continued to improve as the season rolls along, Goff has now thrown for over 700 yards and is up near double digits in touchdown tosses as well. Tight end Paul Lange, a Michigan State recruit has continued to grow and develop throughout the season and, in the open field you have to be prepared for him to make a move, or maybe just run right over top of you.
The Blue Devils had their way with Plum in round one with a convincing 35-14 win, Hagy went off for 170 yards and a pair of rushing touchdowns, he also returned a punt 85 yards for another score.
Woodland Hills has overcome a bit of a slow start to rattle off six wins in a row in very dominating fashion. Woody High has out scored their opponents 229 – to – 28 when you combine the last six weeks. That alone seems like a pretty good sign that the defending champions might be back to the form that many folks were expecting them to be in at the outset of the 2010 season.
Pitt recruit Lafayette Pitts has rushed for 1029 yards on the year, while his cousin Jevonte has combined with Pat Menafee to throw for over 800 yards from the quarterback position and 10 touchdowns on the year for George Novak.
Layfayette Pitts ran wild in the Wolverines opening round playoff win over the Norwin Knights, toting the rock 11 times to the tune of 232 yards and four touchdowns in the 45-7 victory. Defense is the calling card of the Wolverines standouts like Mike Caprara, Ejaun Price and Quinton Jefferson will be tough on Hagy and that Lebo rushing attack.
WPIAL Class AAA Quarterfinals:
#4 Mars Planets (9-1) versus #5 West Allegheny Indians (7-3) @ North Allegheny High School
Friday November 12th @ 7:30pm Broadcast on the MSA Sports Network by Rob Matzie and Greg Kuntz
The Planets have been a little under the radar if you will on the 2010 season, but since a week one loss to Moon they have also been absolutely perfect at 9-0, including an opening round thumping of the 13 seed Hollidaysburg 52-20 in week ten.
Senior running back Austin Meile has been the ticket for the Planets and head coach Scott Heinauer to the tune of 217 carries and 1522 yards on the year plus 16 rushing touchdowns. Seth Geyer, (58 carries, 494 yards and four touchdowns) and Josh Pinkerton (38 carries, 180 yards and a touchdown) also contribute to the running game for the Planets.
Senior quarterback Eric Guzak is the only player to throw a pass for the Planets all season long, he doesn't throw it often but the team has been successful when he does. On the season he has completed 39 of 76 passes for 872 yards and ten touchdowns to go along with just three interceptions.
Senior Aaron Lozzi has been Guzak favorite target all season long having caught 16 passes for 505 yards and six touchdowns on the year.
The defending champion West Allegheny Indians have three losses on the season after competing in the toughest conference on all of the WPIAL, and losing one of the best running backs and defensive players in the league in week one of the season. Mike Caputo still holds out hope for a return to the Indians post season run but if that is too happen, they will need to win this week without their captain.
Offensively the Indians have filled the gap of the missing Caputo quite nicely with a mixture of talented players, very imaginative play-calling and tremendous line play up front. The wildcat in one form or another is what Bob Palko seems to stick with and Aaron McKinney gets the bulk of the work running the football. McKinney, a senior has carried it 143 times for 928 yards and 19 touchdowns on the year including 174 yards and three touchdowns in the opening round win over the Trinity Hillers 35-14. Wes Thomas and Alex Sinclair will spell McKinney from time to time and both are very good, Sinclair has rolled for over 500 yards and five touchdowns of his own.
The other wrinkle from the Indians is a more traditional throwing quarterback in the person of junior Dylan Bongiorni who has in limited duty completed 70 of 126 passes for 985 yards and eight touchdowns on the year.
WPIAL Class AA Quarterfinals:
#4 Ford City Sabres (10-0) versus #5 Seton-LaSalle Rebels (9-1) @ Valley High School
Friday November 12th @ 7:30pm Broadcast on the MSA Sports Network by Matt Vandriak and Josh Rowntree
The Sabres are rushing it to the tune of 212.5 yards per game on the season and that tune is music to the ears of head coach John Bartolovic. The Sabres needed a late touchdown to break open a tie game and squeeze by the 13 seed East Allegheny in round one 21-14.
The three-headed monster running the football for Ford City has been fabulous all season long with seniors Kent Commodore (579 yards 10 touchdowns), and Mike Krochta (437yards and 12 touchdowns) combining with sophomore Devan Willyard (570 yards and nine touchdowns) to roll up an impressive 1586 yards and 31 touchdowns for the Sabres on the year.
Senior quarterback Cody Gispanski has been pretty great himself both running and throwing. Gispanski has connected on 52 of 81 passes for 782 yards and eight touchdowns; he has also run the football for 350 yards and another five scores on the year.
Defensively the Sabres have wracked up a phenomenal 23 sacks on the season and posted four shutouts. Senior defensive end Beriah Good is actually better than good with six and one half sacks, an interception and two fumble recoveries on the year.
Seton-LaSalle might be the most balanced football team in the WPIAL the Rebels senior quarterback David O'Brien has completed 102 of 170 passes on the year for 1800 yards and 25 touchdowns. Those statistics are very impressive numbers for a one loss team. O'Brien has a tremendous variety of receivers to choose from but his three favorites are all seniors, Chad Dawgiello, (35 catches 629 yards and ten touchdowns), Mike Delsardo (48 catches 837 yards and nine touchdowns) and Kevin Hart (13 catches 245 yards and five touchdowns).
Don't focus too much though on the Rebel's passing game or Hart will make you pay on the ground. The senior has carried the ball 214 times on the year for 1390 yards and 22 rushing touchdowns.
The Rebels are also very stout on the defensive side of the football where they only allowed 15 points per game on the season. Dawgiello has a team high six interceptions to lead that defense for Greg Perry.
WPIAL Class A Quarterfinals:
#4 Monessen Greyhounds (9-1) versus #5 Springdale Dynamos (9-1) @ Penn Trafford High School Friday November 12th @ 7:30pm Broadcast on the MSA Sports Network by Ken Laird and Jonathan Whaley
The Greyhounds rolled to 9-1 with a convincing first round win over the Chartiers-Houston Buccaneers 33-0 last Friday night. Brett Crenshaw had a big night rushing the football as he has done all season long. The 5'11'' 191 pound senior running back toted the rock 19 times for 121 yards and a pair of touchdowns as the ‘Hounds cruised into the quarters.
Crenshaw has been the ‘go-to' guy for the Monessen ground game all year but they also have a very solid passing game between senior quarterback Brady Kunsa and senior wide receiver Nick Bolias. Kunsa has thrown for 1144 yards and 14 touchdowns on the year while completing 55 of 91 attempts.
Bolias is one of the top athletes in all of the WPIAL and is a serious scoring threat from anywhere on the field at any time.
Monessen's defense has been stifling all season long for head coach Andy Pacak allowing an average of less than nine points per game.
Chuck Wagner's Springdale Dynamos are meanwhile back into the playoffs for the ninth straight season under their venerable head coach. In the opening round they shut down what many folks thought was a pretty good Western Beaver team to come away with a 35-14 victory.
As they have all season long the Dynamos got significant production in the running game from several sources in the win. Sean Dugan, Bill Arch, Chris Liberto and quarterback Joe Killian all contributed mightily to the win.
Dugan rushed for three touchdowns and 166 yards on 11 carries. Arch scored a pair of touchdowns and totaled 74 yards in his 11 carries, while Liberto and Killian combined to add another 20 carries and 118 yards to the powerful Springdale running attack.
The "Tri-Champs" from the Eastern conference go into the quarter final very confident knowing that their conference was one of just two in the entire WPIAL to go unbeaten in the first round of the playoffs last week.