Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Week 7 wrap

So this much we know after Week 7:

*Ringgold misses RB Demetrius Louis. The Rams were without Louis for last week's win over Albert Gallatin because of a groin injury, though others pitched in to beat a winless AG team. Against Elizabeth Forward this week, Louis left early, and Ringgold's running game suffered. With what's shaping up to be a pivotal home game in Week 9 against Trinity, the Rams most certainly will be hoping for a speedy recovery.

*McGuffey ain't out of it. The Highlanders -- who uploaded flash mob video to YouTube that's absolutely hilarious; look closely to see head coach Ed Dalton dancing -- face winless Keystone Oaks this week and Steel Valley next. If SV loses Friday to South Allegheny, who's 5-1, that will take care of one of the two teams in front, making that Week 9 game a must-win, control-your-own-destiny type of deal. The other in McGuffey's way is South Park (3-3 in the Class AA Century Conference), and the Eagles close with Seton-La Salle and South Fayette. No wonder they're dancing in the streets -- er, gym -- in Claysville.

*Avella needs a win this week. Bad. Two weeks ago, the Eagles were flying high: rocking a 5-0 start, getting some New York Times ink. But after losses to Frazier and Carmichaels, Avella's playoff hopes are on life-support. Check this out:

>>Four teams make it. Right now the standings are: Beth-Center 6-1; Frazier 5-2; Avella 4-2; Carmichaels 4-2; Jefferson-Morgan 4-2. If Avella loses, that drops them to 4-3. By assuming a win next week at Bentworth (1-5 in the TCS), Avella would finish 5-3.

>>Beth-Center closes with Avella and Vincentian; Frazier closes with Vincentian and Mapletown; Carmichaels closes with Bentworth and West Greene; Jefferson-Morgan closes with Mapletown and Geibel. Of those eight opponents, nobody besides Avella has more than two conference wins.

>>If things fall according to chalk, we're looking at:

Beth-Center 8-1 -- Assuming a win over Avella this week
Jefferson-Morgan 6-2 -- Beat Frazier/Carmichaels, losses to Avella/B-C
Carmichaels 6-2 -- Beat Frazier, lost to J-M
Frazier 6-2 --  Losses to Carmichaels and J-M, beat B-C
Avella 5-3 -- Losses to B-C, Frazier and Carmichaels, beat J-M

DISCLAIMER: This is all in theory ... which means that 14 things nobody expected will probably happen the next two weeks. That, to me, is what makes high school football so fun.

Game balls, 10 of 'em:

QB Corey Owen, Peters Township -- Ran for two touchdowns while also completing 10 of 12 passes for 244 yards and a 9-yard touchdown to Mike Erenberg during a 42-28 loss to Mt. Lebanon.

RB/WR/P/KR/PR/DB Corey Hunsberger, Trinity -- Do-it-all kid had eight touches for 130 rushing/receiving yards and a pair of scores during the Hillers' 26-13 win over Uniontown.

QB Brett Brumbaugh, South Fayette -- I should probably just copy/paste this name every week. Went 9 of 10 for 221 yards and six TDs during the Lions' 68-0 pasting of Riverside. Maybe next week, for a challenge, he'll throw left-handed.

RB James Duchi, McGuffey -- Highlanders' workhorse had 29 carries for 165 yards and two TDs during a 31-12 win over Burgettstown, keeping the team's playoff hopes alive. Did not receive an evaluation of his flash mob performance.

RB Shai McKenzie, Washington -- See Brumbaugh, Brett. Think it's under "dominance." And this might have been McKenzie's best game yet: 28 for 295 and three during a 34-14 win at Mt. Pleasant that clinched the Class AA Interstate Conference title.

DB Irvin Green, Monessen -- Had two interceptions, including one at the 1-yard line late in the fourth quarter to propel the Greyhounds to a 17-12 win over Imani Christian. Overall, Monessen had four picks.

QB Dalton Wildman, West Greene -- Running mostly out of the Wildcat, had 21 carries for 221 yards and two TDs. Added 31 yards and another touchdown through the air during West Greene's 42-8 win over Mapletown.

RB Josh Mundell, Carmichaels -- Powered the Mikes to a 42-14 win at Avella by running 17 times for 205 yards and two touchdowns. Has shot up the rushing charts, too, with 92 carries for 976 yards and 14 touchdowns through seven weeks.

Wash High defense -- Three picks of Mt. Pleasant QB Ryan Gumbita, including two by Mijerean Witcher. Also sacked Gumbita three times, two by DaRon Whitaker. Limited Tyler Mellors to 66 yards on 12 carries. Huge statement by the undefeated Prexies.

Carmichaels OL -- Helped the Mikes run for 353 yards as a team during Friday's win over Avella. Also, as my boss, Chris Dugan wrote, this was a little different look this week, which the O-line handled splendidly. Much credit to TE Nick Matter, LT Michael Mitchell, LG Joel Peker, C Sam Penich, RG Luke Moskal, RT Ty Metcalf and TE Mike Blasinsky.

Team of the week: Wash High
Prexies (7-0, 7-0) clinched the Class AA Interstate Conference title with perhaps their best performance of the season during a 34-14 win at Mt. Pleasant. Shai McKenzie shouldered a heavy load, the defense harassed Vikings QB Ryan Gumbita into three sacks and three INTs, and Wash High held Mt. Pleasant RB Tyler Mellors to 96 yards below his season average. Also without a TD after Mellors had scored 16 in six games prior.

Runner-Up: Carmichaels

I know some expected Carmichaels to knock off Avella, but who thought the Mikes would pile up 353 rushing yards and score 32 points in the second quarter en route to a 42-14 win. Josh Mundell was huge, as you read above, and overall Carmichaels has won four straight since a 35-6 loss at Beth-Center in Week 3.

Game of the week: Tie
Why's there a tie? Well, there were only two games this week decided by single digits -- yes, seriously -- Monessen/Imani Christian and Beth-Center/Frazier. Why split hairs? Imani Christian was driving late, but Irvin Green thwarted the drive. QB Chavas Rawlins was also 9 of 19 for 165 yards and TD. In the other game, Charles Manack found Jamie Fell for their third scoring hookup of the day with 3:28 left in the fourth quarter to push the Commodores ahead. It snapped a 16-game winning streak for Beth-Center in the Tri-County South, one that stretched back to a 20-6 loss at Monessen on Oct. 8, 2010.

Hot and cold (three of each):
Monessen -- Greyhounds continue to bounce back from that Clairton loss. Defense has been impressive, too. Four picks this week. Four D/SPT scores last week.
Carmichaels -- Ssshhh. Don't say anything. Mikes have won four in a row and are peaking at the right time.
Wash High -- See above. Prexies are rolling. Plain and simple.

Avella -- Two losses in a row, a trip to Beth-Center Friday. Yikes.
Mapletown -- Maples were down to their third string QB during a lopsided loss to West Greene on Friday.
Beth-Center -- Not cold so much as frustrated. That 21-14 loss to Frazier hurt.

Quote of the week: Gonna go with something I didn't print from my game Friday. "I’m the happiest guy in town tonight, and my kids can feel good about this," Wash High coach Mike Bosnic on Friday night, a smile plastered on his face. 

Weird stat of the week: Jefferson-Morgan wide receiver Nic Santoyo had three carries during a 48-6 win over Vincentian, and those were probably all he needed ... as he scored on every one, three TDs totaling 50 yards.

Looking ahead: Not exactly an uncommon theme for Week 8, but there will be a whole bunch of teams trying to claw their way into the playoffs.

Chartiers-Houston, Avella, McGuffey, Trinity, Peters Township and Ringgold all have games that could drastically alter their playoff hopes ... or crush them entirely.

The Bucs are in the third week of their own playoff season; see above for information on Avella, which has to win at Beth-Center; ditto for McGuffey; Trinity welcomes West Mifflin with the chance at the No. 2 spot in the Class AAA Big Nine, as the Titans play at Thomas Jefferson next week; Ringgold, which clinched a spot on Friday despite losing at Elizabeth Forward, would like to hop over Trinity and into the No. 2 spot; and Peters Township is battling Woodland Hills for the No. 4 spot and trying to fend off Penn Hills (also 3-3) for the No. 5 slot in the Class AAAA Southeastern Conference.

While we're not exactly crowning conference champions here, it should be a fairly impactful week when talking about playoffs.

Playoffs?

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