Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Week 6 wrap

So this much we know after Week 6:

*The playoff race in the WPIAL Class AAA Big Nine Conference just got a whole lot more interesting with Trinity's 26-17 loss to Belle Vernon. West Mifflin and TJ are undefeated and pretty much guaranteed of the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds. The next two will go to Ringgold (4-2), Trinity (3-2), Elizabeth Forward (3-3) and Belle Vernon (2-3). Trinity also has the toughest schedule down the stretch. Take a look:

Ringgold -- EF, Highlands and Trinity, combined 8-10 (.444 win %)
Trinity -- Uniontown, West Mifflin and Ringgold, combined 11-7 (.611)
EF -- Ringgold, Albert Gallatin, Greensburg Salem, combined 5-13 (.277)
Belle Vernon -- TJ, Laurel Highlands, Albert Gallatin, combined 6-12 (.333)

*Brett Brumbaugh is, um, really good. This week he completed 19 of 25 passes for 354 yards and four touchdowns, a ho-hum day, one he would probably say is a testament to his receivers and lineman. Mature statements. Probably pretty accurate, too. But he's completed 82 of 124 passes (66 percent) for 1,582 yards and 22 touchdowns in six weeks. That's impressive.

*Beth-Center is a no-brainer for the best team in the Class A Tri-County South. Avella was five points better than Jefferson-Morgan, and the Bulldogs beat Jefferson-Morgan by 31 in a game that could've been a lot more lopsided if Beth-Center didn't botch a few drives in the second half. You do the math.

Game balls, 10 of 'em:
RB/WR/LB Joey Wall, Ringgold -- Scored three touchdowns three different ways -- fumble, reception and run -- in the FIRST QUARTER of a 34-6 win over Albert Gallatin.
QB Brett Brumbaugh, South Fayette -- Completed 19 of 25 passes for 354 yards and four touchdowns during a 52-0 win over Quaker Valley. Another dominant day for Brumbaugh, another easy win for the Lions.
WR/LB Garrett Vulcano, Chartiers-Houston -- Had 11 tackles, including one for a safety during a 36-16 win over Carlynton. Also recorded an interception and caught a 50-yard touchdown pass.
QB Dalton Wildman, West Greene -- Completed seven of nine passes for 170 yards and four touchdowns, helping the Pioneers snap a four-game losing streak with a 30-0 win over Vincentian.
WR Matt Johnston, West Greene -- Caught three of those scores from Wildman, part of a five-catch, 120-yards night. Oh, and was also named West Greene's Homecoming King.
QB Kevin Ridgley, Mapletown -- Completed eight of 13 passes for 143 yards and a TD. Also ran for a pair of scores to carry the Maples to a 38-22 home win over Bentworth. For the season, Ridgley's at 35-67-540-6TD-1INT.
WR Jordan Griffin, Mapletown -- Quietly one of the WPIAL's busiest WRs. Had five catches for 101 yards and a touchdown Friday night, 21 for 346 and three on the season.
RB Mike Minjock, Peters Township -- Marcus Ubinger ran for two touchdowns and R.J. Pfeuffer had one, but make no mistake, Minjock is the lead dog. Twenty-five for 120 and two during a 42-0 win over Plum Friday, 108 for 812 and 14 on the season.
Monessen D/SPT -- How'd you like this production for your fantasy team: touchdowns on a punt return, a fumble return, a blocked punt and a kickoff return. Greyhounds did all that during Friday's 50-20 win at Serra Catholic.
Beth-Center OL  -- 399 rushing yards and all six touchdowns scored on the ground during a 38-7 win at Jefferson-Morgan. Watching this game, the push these guys got up front was downright amazing.

Team of the week: Chartiers-Houston
'Bout time, right? You know the story: losses to Clairton, Bishop Canevin, Imani Christian and Brentwood by two, six, two and seven points. But this week the Bucs came out on the good end of a lopsided score, 36-16, over Carlynton -- a welcome change, for sure. QB Kaleb Susko completed 11 of 18 passes for 170 yards and a touchdown. RB David Kincaid had 15-138-1TD. WR/LB Garrett Vulcano caught three passes for 84 yards a TD.

Games against California, Monessen and Fort Cherry remain, the last the only one at home. Figure, wins over California (1-5) and Fort Cherry (2-4) are reasonable to expect. That leaves a Week 8 game against Monessen. If the Bucs can finish 5-4, they'd likely need Brentwood to drop its Week 8 game at home against Canevin.

Runner-Up: Mapletown
Challenging for a playoff spot in the Tri-County South will still be tough, but it would have been darn near impossible had the Maples not pulled out a 38-22 win over Bentworth Friday. I talked to head coach George Messich Saturday night, and he told me that Kevin Ridgley left Friday's game early in the fourth quarter with what Messich believes is a mild concussion. No doubt the Maples will need Ridgley the rest of the way with games at West Greene, home against Jefferson-Morgan and at Frazier.

Game of the week: Frazier 20, Avella 13
Blame it on The New York Times. OK, maybe that's unrealistic. But it does kind of stink for Avella that on the same day a national  story about how they're 5-0 runs they suffer their first loss of the season.

Not that this will soothe any pain around Avella, but at least it was interesting: Eagles led, 13-12, at halftime before Frazier limited the Eagles to one first down and 36 yards before the final drive. Avella did have the ball at its own 7 with two timeouts and 2 minutes, 19 seconds left, but the Eagles turned it over on downs. No time to sulk, of course, with Carmichaels coming to town next week. A trip to Beth-Center in Week 8 still looms large.

Hot and cold (three of each):
Washington -- DaRon Whittaker had 78 yards and three touchdowns; Chivar Brown, Jaylin Kelly and Malik Wells all ran for TDs; oh, and I heard that McKenzie kid (1,026 yards, 17 TDs) isn't bad either.
South Fayette -- A Week 9 matchup with South Allegheny (4-1, 5-1) could make for some Class AA Century Conference drama, but I'm not sure that's the title that would best reflect the Lions' talent.
Beth-Center -- Guessing the clear No. 1 team in the Tri-County South -- a somewhat dubious distinction given the TCS's less-than-stellar reputation around the WPIAL -- sure won't mind when the playoffs start.

Trinity -- This week's loss hurt (see above). A win would've pretty much guaranteed a playoff spot. Now, it's going to be a battle the rest of the way. And I'm guessing Ryan Coyle might be less than pleased at the way the Hillers finished -- or, more appropriately, didn't finish -- Friday's 26-17 loss to Belle Vernon, scoring exactly zero points after halftime.
McGuffey -- An 0-2 start? OK. Losses were to South Fayette and Seton-La Salle. Win two games, back in it. But the Highlanders have now lost two straight again. The good news is the team's next two opponents, Burgettstown and Keystone Oaks, are a combined 0-12.
Bentworth -- Trailed Mapletown, 30-6, at halftime and never really threatened. Worse, Bearcats lost RB Ben Carlisle to a severe leg injury early in the game.

Quote of the week: "It's pretty repetitive. But if it works, it works," Beth-Center running back Matt Riggle while talking about his team's balanced rushing attack ... and sounding a little like Yogi Berra.

Weird stat of the week: Yes, Wall had three touchdowns this week. Impressive stuff. But he has seven touchdowns this season , and only two of those have come on offense. Here's how he has scored each week:

Week 1, at Thomas Jefferson, 41-14 L -- None
Week 2, at Laurel Highlands, 48-27 W -- fumble return for TD, INT return
Week 3, Belle Vernon, 34-2 W -- INT return
Week 4, at Uniontown, 30-13 W -- fumble return for TD
Week 5, West Mifflin, 48-20 L -- None
Week 6, at Albert Gallatin, 34-6 W -- fumble return for TD, rushing TD, receiving TD

Looking ahead: Big game in the Class AAA Big Nine, Ringgold at EF. Warriors coach Mike LeDonne has the Warriors (3-3, 3-3) relevant again, relying on West Mifflin transfer Jaquan Davidson at QB. I talked to Matt Humbert Saturday, and he expects Demetrius Louis to return from the ankle injury that kept him out of Friday's game.

Peters Township plays at Mt. Lebanon, with the chance to have a little better showing against one of the Class AAAA Southeastern Conference's top teams.

I'll likely be at Mt. Pleasant, where Wash High takes on a 5-1 Vikings team that was a two-point conversion in double overtime away from knocking off Jeannette this past weekend.

Mapletown plays at West Greene in the Tri-County South, matching two good friends against one another in Mapletown's George Messich and West Greene's John Coss. Avella hosts Carmichaels, and Beth-Center welcomes an underrated team that should be flying high after knocking off Avella.

Happy Sunday everyone.

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