Big Game Hunting – WPIAL Quarterfinals

OK great job by all on stop number one, as we continue our journey on the “Highway to Heinz”.  Everybody got a chance to use the restroom, got something to eat, and we have fresh batteries for the DSs and the DVD players. Play a quick game of “rock, paper, scissors” to determine who sits in the middle then jump in and, let’s get rolling. Ahhhh!!!!  Do not poke your brother again or I will turn this car around! The best part of our trip is straight ahead. Quarter finals week is here and as always, it is all exclusive to the MSA Sports Network.

AAAA Quarter Final
#4 Seneca Valley Raiders (9-1) vs #5 Mount Lebanon Blue Devils (8-2) Friday November 9th at 7:30 pm @ North Allegheny high school broadcast on the MSA Sports network by Paul Paterra and Josh Rowntree

This AAAA quarter-final features a pair of big time offenses and, arguably; the two best passing attacks in AAAA. Lebo rolled through their first round match up with Butler 31-7 behind Tyler Roth’s 288 yards passing including a pair of touchdown passes.

Seneca Valley also went uncontested in round one, smoking Hempfield 50-20 with Forrest Barnes scoring four touchdowns and wracking up 203 all-purpose yards in the first half before taking the second half breather.

The Raiders’ only loss of the season came at the hands of the North Allegheny Tigers, Lebo also lost to North Allegheny way back in week one.

The Raiders and Blue Devils will meet for the first time since the days of the old “Quad North” in 2005. Mount Lebanon won three straight from the Raiders from 2003 -2005, with Seneca Valley last winning against Mount Lebanon 29-8 in 2002.

The Raider offense is balanced, experienced and very talented at the skill positions. Senior quarterback Jordan Brown continues to excel throwing and running with great success. During the regular season Brown completed 93 of 157 passes for 1354 yards and 15 touchdowns. He also rushed for 447 yards and a pair of scores.

Jonothan Dorogy is the leading receiver for the Raiders, but he is multi-faceted as well with over 500 yards receiving, 300 yards rushing and nearing double digits in touchdowns for the year.

The key to Seneca’s great offense though resides in senior running back Forrest Barnes, he is the total package as a running back, size, speed, moves and toughness. For the season he has rushed for 1500 yards on 191 carries, and has 20 catches for 223 yards and has scored 33 touchdowns. This kid is the real deal and worth the price of a ticket to go see.

Lebo meanwhile has a senior quarterback in Tyler Roth who made his debut as a starter at that position here in 2012. Pretty good debut you might say, as he has shattered nearly every passing record for the history of Mount Lebanon high school. Through the first round of the playoffs he has completed 144 of 263 passes for 2373 yards and 27 touchdowns and only thrown four interceptions. Junior Troy Apke has 50 catches for 1015 yards and 13 touchdowns. A pair of seniors in, Mike Briercheck and Mark Buda are also big time targets for Roth.

The Blue Devils have a running back by committee approach that is doing quite nicely as well Time Briercheck, Jake Rolfsen and Doran Graham are all capable of breaking the big run or pounding you for those hard to get yards behind a monstrous offensive line.

AAA Quarter Final
#4 West Allegheny Indians (9-1) vs #5 Montour Spartans (9-1)
Friday November 9th at 7:30 pm @ Chartiers Valley  high school broadcast on the MSA Sports network by Justin McKim and Steve Nagler

If you like yourself a little low-scoring, hard-hitting defensive football how about this rematch of a week nine thriller that went the way of the Indians as West Allegheny’s bullpen shut down the Spartans hitters for a 5-3 win back on October 19th in Spartan country.

These two teams are so familiar with one another you should definitely be on the look out another low scoring physical game.

 The Spartans and Indians have met ten times since 2003 with West Allegheny holding a slight edge 6-4 in that span but Montour has won four of the last six meetings.

This will be about adjustments made from week eight and about who wants it more as a pair of storied traditions try to get back to the semifinals.

The Spartans have a great two way player in Devin Wilson, an outstanding defensive back, running back and wide receiver. Wilson has rushed for 509 yards and five touchdowns, caught 63 passes for 1002 yards and 14 touchdowns, and recorded a pair of interceptions, a fumble recovery and forty total tackles for Lou Cerro’s team.

At quarterback a combination of senior Ryan Mihelcic and junior Tynen Greer has completed 117 of 188 passes for 1947 yards and 22 touchdown passes. Both can hurt you with their legs as well having rushed for three touchdowns each on the season.

West Allegheny meanwhile has a tremendous rushing attack running it for nearly 225 yards per game on the season. Their lone loss came to Central Valley in week five 28-14. The Indians allow a best in the conference 10.3 points per game defensively this season. A number made even more remarkable when you consider the Parkway conference.

Sophomore Andrew Koester completed 35 of 81 regular season passes for 640 yards and four touchdowns. On the ground is the way the Indians will come at you. Junior Tory Delmonico leads the charge there with 99 carries for 670 yards and seven touchdowns. A pair of sophomores in Armonde Dellovade (57 carries, 545 yards and seven touchdowns) and Chayse Dillon (55 carries 433 yards and five scores) also chip in. Senior Nick Halbedl (yes that is the correct spelling) gets the tough yards with 399 yards and three touchdowns on 93 attempts.

AA Quarter Final
#4 Jeannette Jayhawks (9-1) vs #5 Beaver Bobcats (9-1
) Friday November 9th at 7:30 pm @ Hampton high school broadcast on the MSA Sports network by Don Conde and Jimmy Lee Santorella on WHJB-FM 107.1

Jeannette is a blocked punt return for a touchdown by Washington’s Shai McKenzie away from a perfect season. Beaver is a loss to the number one team in the state the Aliquippa Quips away from perfection. That makes this a great match up at Hampton high Friday night. Jeannette rolled South Allegheny in round one play, 40-7. Beaver battled to a 28-14 win over Valley in their opening round tilt.

These teams have met twice since 2003 both times in the playoffs and, both times with Jeannette coming out on top, in 2003 in the semis the Jayhawks prevailed 10-8, and in 2008 in the quarterfinals Jeannette rolled 57-28.

The 2012 Jayhawks are deep, experienced and talented they lost to Aliquippa in the championship game last season and really aside from Demetrius Cox most of the key players from that team have returned for the 2012 season.

Senior quarterback Seth Miller is getting it done with his arm and legs both this year. On the season Miller has completed 49 of 104 passing attempts for 780 yards and five scores. On the ground he has rushed it for over 400 yards and eight more touchdowns.

Senior Jordan Edmunds leads them in both receiving and rushing. Edmunds has 15 catches for almost 200 yards and has 859 yards rushing on 112 attempts. He is also the leading scorer for the Jayhawks with a dozen touchdowns.

Shavonta Craft is having a solid year running the football for Jeannette as well he has 667 yards on 74 carries for an impressive average of 9.01 yards per attempt. He has hit pay dirt 11 times on the season.

The Bobcats have been getting it done with a pair of quarterbacks in Austin Ross and Alex Rowse, the pair has combined to complete 61 of 131 passes for 799 yards and half a dozen touchdowns.

Darian Bradley is their leading rusher and receiver. The 5’10’’ 205 pound senior has caught 16 passes for 232 yards, rushed it 115 times for 756 yards and, scored an amazing 25 touchdowns for Jeff Beltz’s team this season.

Another senior Anthony Fidurski has also chipped in big time in the running game with 414 rushing yards and five touchdowns for they year.

Beaver is big and strong and, physical up front on both sides of the ball. Guys like Jeremy Teams, Tyler Weeks, Colin Reese and big Dutin Rogalla at 6’5’’ and 330 pounds keep the Bobcats in control of a lot of football games.

A Quarter Final
#5 Monessen Greyhounds (9-1) vs #13 Neshannock Lancers (9-1) )
Friday November 9th at 7:30 pm @ Chartiers-Houston high school broadcast on the MSA Sports network by Mark Schaas and Lee Mohn on WJST-AM 1280

This, despite the disparity in seed numbers, is a game many people have been anticipating greatly. The Lancers rolled the four seed Jefferson-Morgan in the opening round 42-14 and in doing so garnered the first ever football playoff win in school history.

Monessen as expected had no trouble in their first round ousting the 12 seed Apollo-Ridge 48-19. The ‘hounds’ lone loss of the 2012 campaign came back in week four to Clairton 52-7 on a Thursday night game. Meanwhile Neshannock responded to their lone loss, a week six loss at Rochy 28-21 by rattling off four straight wins to reach the quarters for the first time ever.

Monessen is riding high on the arm and legs of senior quarterback Chavas Rawlins. Rawlins at 6’3’’ and 188 pounds is one of the top athletes in the WPIAL. He has completed 61 of 151 passes for 1253 yards and a dozen touchdowns for the year. He is also the leading rusher for Monessen with 88 carries for 546 yards and 16 touchdowns.

Rawlin’s favorite receiver is junior running back Clintell Gillespie who has 21 catches for 507 yards on the season, he also has 69 rushing attempts for 530 yards on the ground and has scored 11 touchdowns this year.

The Greyhounds’ defense is allowing 21.6 points per game on the season but; if you through out that clinker against Da Bears, that number drops down to around 18 points per game, much more impressive for Andy Pacak’s club.

Neshannock is one of the best stories in the WPIAL this season after finishing in a three-way tie for the Big Seven crown with Rochester and Sto-Rox.

They have a thousand-yard rusher and a thousand-yard passer featured in an offense that has scored over 40 points per game for the season, I don’t have the numbers to back this up but I would be willing to bet that is a school record for the Lancers.

Junior quarterback Ernie Burkes has been more than solid, he has been tremendous. His numbers on the year are every head coaches’ dream. He has completed 101 of 164 passes for 1356 yards and thrown 17 touchdown passes, to go along with not a single interception.

Burkes’ top two receivers are a pair of seniors in John Congolose and Alex Welker. Congolose has 40 catches for 557 yards and five touchdowns, while Welker has 34 catches for 584 yards and 10 scores.

On the ground Burkes has rushed for 740 yards and 10 touchdowns. The leading rusher for the Lancers is sophomore Eli Owens who has amassed 1180 yards and eight touchdowns on 140 carries this season.