Scholastic Notebook – 10/11/2013
Friday, October 11, 2013 | 12:53 PM
The Beaver football team changed its offense this year, going to a spread offense with much more passing.
You could say the new offense has been a Rowse-ing success.
Alex Rowse is Beaver’s quarterback and is doing things unheard of by Beaver quarterbacks. After six weeks of the season, Rowse leads the entire WPIAL in passing yardage with 1,581 yards. To put that in perspective, consider that last year’s quarterbacks – Rowse and Austin Ross – had less than 1,000 yards passing combined.
Under coach Jeff Beltz, Beaver had been more of a running team in past years. But Rowse, a 6-foot-2 senior, averages 27.5 pass attempts a game and has completed 106 of 165. But he does more than complete passes. He gets the Bobcats in the end zone. Twenty-five percent of his completions have ended as touchdowns. He has thrown 27 touchdown passes, an extraordinary high number for a WPIAL quarterback at this point of the season.
It is not known what the WPIAL record is for touchdown passes in the regular season. But in the past 13 years, the most is 33 by Thomas Jefferson’s Joe Carroll last season. Rowse is on pace to break that mark.
Rowse spreads the wealth around, too, as four players have at least 13 catches. The leader is Kresten Wallace, who has 26 for 504 yards.
A question is whether all the passing has helped? Well, Beaver is 4-2 and 2-2 in the Midwestern Conference of Class AA. The Bobcats are the No. 5 scoring team in Class AA at 45.8 points a game. The problem for Beaver has been defense. The Bobcats allow 27.5 points a game and gave up 64 and 30 points in their two losses.
A year ago, finished 9-2, scored 32 points a game and gave up 23. Beaver must still play Mohawk, Ellwood City and Aliquippa. Tonight’s game against Mohawk is huge in the playoff race.
Top Offenses and Defenses
South Fayette leads WPIAL football in scoring at 51.7 points a game. Sto-Rox is second at 49.8, followed by Aliquippa at 47.7 and Central Catholic at 47.5.
Upper St. Clair has the top defese at 1.7 points allowed per game. Central Valley is second at 3.2, followed by Central Catholic at 4.5 and Beth-Center at 4.8.
Court Battle Over Eligibility
One of the hot subjects in WPIAL football this week was the eligibility case of Washington football player Zach Blystone. The case is now in the courts.
Blystone is a talented 6-foot-3 junior lineman who transferred from Charleroi to Washington before the school year. He played for the first time last week and may play tonight in a big game against Mount Pleasant. But Washington is risking forfeits by playing Blystone. Here is the background on the story:
Charleroi contested Blystone’s transfer, saying it was for athletic intent. After a hearing, the WPIAL ruled Blystone ineligible, saying he transferred for athletic intent, which is against PIAA and WPIAL rules. The PIAA upheld the WPIAL after an appeals hearing.
The Blystones got a new lawyer who claimed there was new evidence in the case. The WPIAL again ruled Blystone ineligible, but the Blystones again appealed to the PIAA. After another hearing two weeks ago, the PIAA unanimously ruled Blystone ineligible.
The PIAA’s decisions are significant because the PIAA has overturned the WPIAL in many eligibility hearings over the past few years. Twice, the PIAA ruled Blystone ineligible.
The Blystones then took their case to court, and last Friday Washington County Court of Common Pleas Judge John F. DiSalle issued a preliminary injunction, allowing Blystone to play last Friday against Brownsville.
Blystone played and is expected to play again tonight against Mount Pleasant. That also is significant because DiSalle will have another hearing Tuesday with the Blystones and all parties involved and DiSalle will make a ruling on whether the injunction is permanent.
If DiSalle rules against Blystone, the PIAA will make Washington forfeit the Brownsville and Mount Pleasant games for using an ineligible player. Even if DiSalle makes the injunction permanent, the PIAA will appeal to the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania. It is very possible the the state court rules in favor of the PIAA. Again, the PIAA would rule Washington forfeit any games Blystone participated in.
For the Record
There are very few Saturday afternoon games any more in the WPIAL and of those that are played now on Saturday afternoons, many don’t have a ton of meaning because of team records. But a game Saturday afternoon definitely is interesting because it features a player who will likely break a WPIAL record.
Sto-Rox quarterback Lenny Williams has 7,067 passing yards for his career and needs only 95 yards against Western Beaver to reach the WPIAL record of 7,162, set by South Fayette’s Christian Brumbaugh.
Last week, Williams became the all-time WPIAL leader in passing touchdowns with 89.
A Day for Panthers and Warriors
Call it the name game. The WPIAL boys and girls golf championships on Thursday went to a bunch of Panthers and Warriors.
The team championships were at Cedarbrook Golf Course and, strangely, it was a day for teams with the same nicknames. In boys competition, Upper St. Clair won the AAA title and Sewickley Academy the AA championship. Both are nicknamed Panthers.
In girls competition, Penn-Trafford won Class AAA and Central Valley Class AA. Both are nicknamed Warriors.
Is Central Valley becoming a girls golf power? Central Valley won its second consecutive team title and Madison McDanel was medalist this time with a 72. She is only a sophomore. At the WPIAL Class AA individual championships a few weeks ago, Central Valley had the top three finishers – Mackey Fouse, Marissa Sudar and McDanel.
“Skywalker” in the Area
When David Thompson played basketball at North Carolina State and in the NBA, his jumping ability earned him the nickname “Skywalker.” He went on to make the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame. Next month, “Skywalker” will be in the area to speak at an event sponsored by the Beaver Falls Boys Roundball Boosters.
“An Evening With David Thompson” is Nov. 16 at The Club at Shadow Lakes in Hopewell. The event is open to the public and cost to attend is $40. For information, call 724-683-0241.
Thompson battled alcohol and drug problems during his career in the NBA.
The WPIAL girls team tennis semifinals and championships are next week and Peters Township is trying to do something unusual – win the Class AAA title three years in a row.
Peters Township plays Fox Chapel in the quarterfinals Friday. The semifinals are Monday. The last team to win three Class AAA titles in a row was Upper St. Clair, which won eight in a row from 1994-2001.
More Basketball• Leechburg girls coach shares special bond with team as they build for future
• Run-and-gun Leechburg boys looking to keep pedal to the floor
• Monessen girls basketball looks to maintain momentum after playoff season
• Monessen boys basketball sets sights on 40th straight playoff berth
• Girls basketball preview: Coaching hire coming soon for improving Ligonier Valley