Scholastic Notebook – 10/07/2011

Friday, October 7, 2011 | 5:35 PM

Among the leading rushers in the WPIAL this season are the all-time leading rusher in league history, a running back with more than 4,000 career yards, another close to 4,000, a bruising 5-11, 210-pound halfback and …

A Quarterback?

Quad Law is a senior quarterback at Ringgold and is having one of the best seasons of any offensive player in the WPIAL. He is the seventh-leading rusher in the entire WPIAL with 856 yards on 63 attempts. That’s 13.6 yards a carry.

It’s not often you see a quarterback rush for 1,000 yards in the regular season, but Law is a cinch to do it. Law throws fewer than 10 times a game and his completion percentage is less than 50 percent. But when he does complete a pass, it is often for big yardage. He is 19 of 45 for 409 yards. He doesn’t have a touchdown pass, but that is 21.5 yards a completion.

That means whenever Law completes a pass or runs the ball, he averages 17.9 yards per play. That is pretty impressive.

Quad, by the way, is not his real name. His real name is Percy. He is the fourth Percy Law in the family and was thus nicknamed “Quad.”

A Shorter Football Season?

Starting next year, football season might not be so long for teams that make the state playoffs.

Thursday night, the PIAA passed, on a second-reading basis, a new rule that will shorten football season from 16 weeks to 15. That means the state playoffs won’t be ending a week before Christmas, like they do now.

Besides shortening the season, the rule also changes the PIAA playoff brackets a little, and allows districts around the state to decide on whether to allow teams to have one or two scrimmages before playing games. Currently, teams have two scrimmages before playing a game at the end of the third week of practice. Under the new rule, teams could have only one scrimmage and start playing games after the second week of practice.

The change in brackets part of the rule means everything will most likely stay status quo in the WPIAL, at least in regards to the regular season. In the new brackets, all WPIAL champions will advance to the PIAA semifinals. Currently, all WPIAL champions advance to the PIAA quarterfinals.

Thus, under the new rule, the WPIAL can still have a nine-game regular season and four weeks of WPIAL playoffs before heading to the PIAA semifinals.

Under the new format, WPIAL Executive Director Tim O’Malley said the league might want to consider having only one preseason scrimmage and a 10-game regular season.
Number 1 Times Two

Clairton leads the WPIAL in both scoring offense – and scoring defense. Clairton leads the WPIAL in scoring at 50.8 points a game. The Bears are No. 1 on defense at 2.4 points a game.

Franklin Regional (47.4) and Beth-Center (47.0) are No. 2 and 3 in scoring offense. Beaver (2.6) is No. 2 in defense and Knoch (4.2) third.

More Statistical Matters

* Lenny Williams continues to rack up scoring plays as Sto-Rox’s quarterback. He has attempted 81 passes and thrown for 13 touchdowns. He has run the ball 36 times and scored five touchdowns. That means he is involved in a TD once every 6.5 plays.

* Pittsburgh Central Catholic’s Damion Jones-Moore needs only 181 yards, and Mt. Lebanon’s Luke Hagy needs only 220 to become the seventh and eighth Class AAAA running backs in WPIAL history to rush for 4,000 career yards.

* Tyler Matusak of Derry and Matt Loughnane of Penn-Trafford lead the WPIAL in field goals with seven each.

About Punches and Pricks

And now the crime blotter of high school football around the country.

A football player at Erie East High School was arrested last Friday and placed in jail on $25,000 after punching one of his assistant coaches in the face while leaving the field.

In Ohio, a player placed what was believed to be a tack in his glove before walking through the handshake line after the game and pricked 27 players in the hand. The Washington Court House High School player did not play in the game, but went through the handshake line, even drawing blood from a few players at McLain High.

Reports said 27 players from McLain had to get tetanus shots because of the incident.

The 600 Club

A victory tonight against Freedom will make Beaver Falls only the seventh school in WPIAL history to reach 600 wins. Beaver Falls started playing football in 1904.

The other six WPIAL schools with 600 wins are New Castle, Greensburg Salem, Jeannette, Monessen, Aliquippa, Washington and Rochester.
Baseball Recruiting

Thomas Jefferson’s Greg Schneider, one of the top pitchers in the WPIAL, has committed to Pitt.
Where Are They Now?

* Gino Gradkowski, a Seton-LaSalle graduate and younger brother of NFL quarterback Bruce Gradkowski, is the starting center for the University of New Hampshire football team, which is the No. 7 team in the NCAA Division I-AA rankings. Gradkowski is a transfer from West Virginia University.

* Montour graduate George Beerhalter is having a nice season for the William & Mary team, which is ranked No. 9 in I-AA. Beerhalter, a sophomore defensive lineman, is ninth on the team in tackles with 16, has 5 1.2 tackles for loss and three sacks.

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