Guido: Where does the Pine-Richland football team rank among WPIAL’s all-time greats?
By: George Guido
Tuesday, December 12, 2017 | 11:30 PM
The high school football season is over, and about all that's left is to argue where Pine-Richland ranks among the greatest teams in WPIAL history.
The Rams defeated St. Joseph's Prep, 41-21, in the snow at Hersheypark Stadium on Saturday night to cap three days of PIAA championship football.
The Rams (16-0) scored 755 points, fifth best in WPIAL history. Last month, the school became the first in WPIAL history to win a football title in four classifications: winning Class AA in 1969 and '70, Class AAA in 2003 and Class AAAA in 2013.
Pine-Richland became the 26th school — the 14th in WPIAL history — to post a 16-0 overall record.
Also in the conversation has to be teams like the 2012 North Allegheny squad that demolished Coatesville, 63-28, in the PIAA title game, the 1995 Penn Hills team, Jeannette's 2007 team that scored 860 points or one of the Clairton teams, particularly the 2014 team that scored a state record 958 points.
The 1987 North Hills team that ranked No. 1 in the country — before PIAA championships started — has to be considered.
At one point, PIAA historian Roger B. Saylor had a numerical ratings system based on record and strength of schedule. Under his format, the 1965 Uniontown team accumulated 571 points, best all-time under that system.
Pine-Richland got its start in 1956 when it was known as Richland High School of the Babcock School District. The Valley News Dispatch covered the school on a daily basis until the North Hills News Record, a sister affiliate at the time, took over in the mid-1970s.
Jurkovec heading for South Bend
Pine-Richland quarterback Phil Jurkovec finished his high school career with 8,202 passing yards, fourth best in WPIAL history.
During the season, when Jurkovec passed for more than 3,900 yards, he passed Kevin McCabe (senior year 2002), Jake Long (2005) and Ben DiNucci (2014) on the Pine-Richalnd all-time career list.
It's interesting to note that when his coach, Eric Kasperowicz, finished his career at North Hills in 1994, he was No. 1 in WPIAL career passing with 5,595 yards. Kasperowicz now is 17th.
But back to Jurkovec, the recently named Gatorade Pennsylvania Player of the Year will head to Notre Dame, where he hopes to become the next Western Pennsylvania quarterback to lead the Fighting Irish to a national championship, following Connellsville's Johnny Lujack (1947), Butler's Terry Hanratty (1966), Bishop Canevin's Tommy Clements (1973) and Ringgold's Joe Montana (1977).
Incidentally, Gateway quarterback Brady Walker finished second all-time in WPIAL career passing with 8,816 yards.
Steak ends at 312
The Carroll Academy girls team in Tennessee finally can exhale. The school's 312-game basketball losing streak is over.
The Jaguars defeated Conception, 29-27, in double overtime last week. The team had lost every game since the school's inception in 2005.
Carroll has 44 students and is a school for girls that is operated by the Tennessee Department of Children's Services. They are assigned by the court system — a sort of female Summit Academy.
Can Carroll make it two in a row?
The Jaguars will play Hollow Rock-Bruceton Central at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.
George Guido is a Valley News Dispatch scholastic sports correspondent. His column appears Wednesdays.