The OHSAA Division I playoffs are underway, and there are a lot of Pitt ties—starting with that Division I bracket. St. Xavier opened with a 17-6 win over Mason. The Bombers—with Pitt commit Brandyn Cook anchoring the offensive line—rushed for 236 yards in the win. They take on Cincinnati Colerain on Saturday in the second round.
Defending state champion St. Edward opened its title defense with a 28-14 win over Cleveland Heights. St. Edward, of course, has Pitt linebacker/defensive end commit Darryl Render. St. Edward advances to play Cleveland St. Ignatius this coming weekend.
Also in the Division I playoffs, junior quarterback Jalin Marshall threw for two scores, and ran for a 72-yarder, helping Middletown to a 28-10 win over Centerville. Marshall has a verbal offer from Pitt. Middletown is in the same half of the bracket as St. Xavier.
In the Division II bracket, Trotwood-Madison opened the playoffs with a 53-7 win over Ross. The Rams—now a perfect 11-0 on the season—advance to take on Wapakoneta. Bam Bradley blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown in the Rams' win.
In Louisiana, it was Lutcher with a 34-8 win over Plaquemine. Lutcher running back Daniel Taylor had 130 yards and a touchdown on the ground. He also caught four passes for 54 yards in his team's win.
In Maryland, it was Gilman improving to 8-1 with a 31-21 win over McDonogh. Pitt commit Devon Porchia is a member of the Gilman squad, who opens postseason play next week against Archbishop Spalding.
Rushel Shell and the Hopewell Vikings sent Indiana Area home from the WPIAL AAA playoffs with a 41-13 romp over the Little Indians, and Shell, was, well, his usual self, running for 256 yards and four more touchdowns on runs of 21, 1, 7 and 77 yards, giving him a third consecutive season of 2,000 yards rushing. Shell is now perched at 2,023 yards and 20 touchdowns on the season. For his career, he is now alone and in sole possession of the No. 2 slot all-time in Pennsylvania history, with 8,789 yards, just 238 yards shy of Jeremiah Young's 9,027 career yards. Shell's 77-yard touchdown run was his 100th career rushing touchdown. Additionally, he tied Billy Sims' national record of 38 consecutive 100-yard rushing performances.
Wayne Capers' varsity football career ended with another pounding on the scoreboard from McKees Rocks (Pa.) Montour, 55-20, Friday night in the WPIAL AAA playoffs. In the loss, Capers threw for 281 yards and three touchdowns, but it wasn't enough to rally the Colts to victory. CV's star had missed time during the latter stages of the season for a foot injury.
Pitt commit Trenton Coles made his presence known in a big way during Clairton's 54-0 drubbing of Coraopolis (Pa.) Cornell in the opening round of the WPIAL A playoffs Friday. Coles scored two touchdowns - his seventh and eighth touchdowns of the season - on a 5-yard run and a 70-yard interception return. But he didn't stop there. Coles also converted four extra points, giving him 16 total points on the night. Coles has scored 64 total points this season for Clairton, which has scored 477 points through its first 10 games of the season.
Marzett Geter was like a Visa card in McKees Rocks (Pa.) Sto-Rox' 69-25 WPIAL A playoff victory over Perryopolis (Pa.) Frazier Friday night - he was literally everywhere and had his name in a lot of statistical categories, especially when it came to scoring points. In all, Geter scored 25 points - three touchdowns (a 1-yard run, a 50-yard reception and 70-yard kickoff return), one two-point conversion run and five successful extra point kicks. For the season, Geter has scored 85 total points for the Vikings. Geter also threw a two-point conversion pass to Deaysean Rippy. Rippy scored eight total points on the night, hauling in a 15-yard touchdown pass from sophomore field general Lenny Williams. Rippy has scored 50 total points this year.
Dakota Conwell threw for 159 yards and a pair of touchdown passes to Mike Wilcox as Pittsburgh (Pa.) Upper St. Clair rolled to a 42-0 victory in the WPIAL AAAA playoffs over Connellsville Area. Conwell has now thrown for 950 yards on the season in addition to entering the weekend with nearly 900 yards rushing.
Alkwan Williams had quite the defensive performance against three-time defending District 6 AA champion Sidman (Pa.) Forest Hills, chalking up 10 tackles (seven solo), two sacks and an interception (which he returned 33 yards for a touchdown) in the Trojans' 23-17 victory Friday night. Williams now has 120 tackles, four sacks and an interception on the season. Offensively, he hauled in three Gervon Simon passes for 37 yards, giving him 18 catches for 279 yards this year. The 9-1 Trojans will continue their season in the District 6 AAA championship game this coming weekend.
Pittsburgh (Pa.) University Prep capped its first-ever regular season with a 12-0 shutout of Pittsburgh (Pa.) Perry, the Panthers' seventh shutout in their last eight games. Jaylen Coleman was once again part of the defensive effort. Offensively, Coleman ran for 120 yards, giving him a team-leading 1,116 this season. Demetrious Cox ran for a team-high 154 yards and scored four rushing touchdowns as the Jeannette Jayhawks improved to 10-0 on the season with a 46-14 victory over Lower Burrell (Pa.) Burrell in the WPIAL AA playoffs. Cox is fast approaching the 900-yard mark this season for rushing yardage and is one of three Jayhawk players to score at least 12 touchdowns this season.
Two-way athlete William Parks caught four passes for 59 yards in Germantown's 36-20 loss to Philadelphia (Pa.) George Washington in the Philadelphia Public League AAAA semifinals. Parks' season isn't over - most all Philadelphia teams still have a Thanksgiving Day football game to go toward their overall record for 2011. But the Bears' Public League title hopes are over. Through 10 games, Parks has hauled in 30 passes for 544 yards. He has scored 11 total touchdowns for the Bears.
Michael Keir did not play in Roman Catholic's 45-17 victory over Philadelphia (Pa.) St. Joseph's Prep in the Philadelphia Catholic League AAAA semifinals, but backup quarterback Christopher Cruz filled in admirably, throwing for 230 yards and five touchdowns as the Cahillites moved to the PCL AAAA title game in a rematch with Wyndmoor (Pa.) La Salle College High School. The Cahillites lost to the Explorers, 23-21, earlier this year.
David Williams wasn't included amongst the Week 9 prospect updates because his game against Philadelphia (Pa.) Lansdale Catholic was postponed to Monday (Oct. 31) due to a heavy weekend snowstorm. Against the Crusaders, Williams ran for 141 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Just six days later, Williams and the West Philadelphia Catholic Burrs began the march toward a third PIAA championship game appearance against Wyncote (Pa.) Bishop McDevitt for the Philadelphia Catholic League AA championship. The Burrs soundly defeated the Lancers, 47-8, and Williams had another big game - 17 carries for 134 yards and two more touchdowns - bringing his season totals to 186 carries for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns. Williams has run for 2,229 career yards.
Clarion Area's 2011 regular season closed with a 46-28 loss to Chicora (Pa.) Karns City Friday night, but T.J. Armstrong had a solid night both offensively and defensively for the Bobcats. Armstrong finished with 16 tackles from his linebacker position and added 116 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. The Bobcats will be the No. 1 overall seed in the upcoming District 9 A playoffs while Karns City will be the No. 2 seed in the district's AA bracket.
Adam Breneman finished off his 2011 regular season with a bang, hauling in six passes for 77 yards and two touchdowns as Cedar Cliff downed Mechanicsburg, 34-24, to finish 8-2. The Colts gear up for the District 3 AAAA playoffs against Exeter.
Foster picked up right where he left off last WPIAL playoff season. In the Warriors' 60-20 opening round playoff victory against Uniontown (Pa.) Laurel Highlands, Foster scored a pair of touchdowns - one on a 27-yard run and the other on an 85-yard kickoff return. Central Valley is 10-0 on the season, and, not to mention, 20-4 in program history. Foster was one of six different Warrior players to find the end zone.
Devin Wilson put together a great all-around performance for McKees Rocks (Pa.) Montour in a 55-20 drubbing of Bridgeville (Pa.) Chartiers Valley, 55-20. Wilson hauled in three passes for 32 yards and two touchdowns (part of a 183-yard, six-touchdown passing effort from quarterback Dillon Buechel), recorded seven tackles (six solo) and an interception and booted two punts for 57 yards in the game. Wilson upped his team-leading reception total to 39, and he is second on the team in touchdown receptions, with nine.
Wexford (Pa.) North Allegheny got another stellar effort from its offensive line - Pat Kugler and company helped to pave the way for eight touchdowns in the Tigers' WPIAL AAAA playoff romp over Pittsburgh (Pa.) Fox Chapel Area, 53-20. North Allegheny scored six rushing touchdowns and added two more passing scores from quarterback Mack Leftwich. The Tigers have scored 430 points in 10 games, and are a mere 76 points shy of tying their school record of 506 points scored during its run to WPIAL & PIAA gold last year.
Tyler Boyd had a "quiet" WPIAL A playoff opener against Coraopolis (Pa.) Cornell in a 54-0 Bears victory. OK, 111 rushing yards and two touchdowns is far from a quiet night, but the way Boyd has been playing these last few weeks, it almost seems that such a night is quiet. The two touchdowns - which came on runs of 26 and 2 yards - give Boyd 30 touchdowns scored on top of 12 successful two-point conversion runs/receptions, giving him a WPIAL-best 204 points on the season. Boyd leads Franklin Regional junior running back Dane Brown in total individual points scored, 204-194 (sounds like a bowling score, doesn't it?).
DuBois Ross hauled in three A.J. Long passes for 60 yards and two touchdowns as the Pius X Royals soundly defeated McAlisterville (Pa.) East Juniata, 40-14, Friday night. Ross has now snagged 34 passes for 676 yards and 13 touchdowns this season. He also recorded eight tackles and deflected a pass on defense against the Tigers, giving him 52 tackles, four interceptions and five pass deflections this year.
Clay scored four more rushing touchdowns to set a new Lancaster Catholic single-season record for rushing touchdowns, with 24, as the Crusaders capped their final tune-up for the District 3 AA playoffs with a 51-7 victory over Myerstown (Pa.) Eastern Lebanon County. Clay ran for 170 yards on just 10 carries against the Raiders, moving his season rushing total to 1,280 yards on just 94 carries (13.82 avg./rush). Teammate Brandon Hollister also surpassed 1,000 rushing yards on the season Friday night, meaning the duo of Clay & Hollister has run for 1,000 yards each two years in a row, a mark accomplished by just three other Pennsylvania backfield duos since 2006.
A.J. Long had a bet with his father entering the Pius X Royals' regular season finale against McAlisterville (Pa.) East Juniata - 400+ passing yards and six touchdowns would result in $50 cash. Long didn't quite hold up his end of the bargain, but, at the end of the day, he posted another solid performance and Pius X won again. Long threw for 248 yards and four touchdowns, connecting on 18-of-24 passes and ran for 83 yards and another touchdown on 10 carries against the Tigers. Long's season stat line, through 10 games, reads: 154-of-227 (.678) for 2,450 yards and 31 touchdowns against eight interceptions. Additionally, Long has run for 519 yards and 13 touchdowns on just 71 carries.