Amauro's Football Weekend
Football 2012

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    Amauro "Amar" Austin is a headliner among our trusty observers. He is not to be confused with Ruben Amaro, the Phillies' general manager. Like "Huck" Palmer, Amauro is a West Catholic graduate. He will make reports on games he sees.
    You may e-mail him at aea8010@gmail.com.

 
OCT. 17
AAs MID SEASON NOTES
  Sorry everyone for no reports last weekend especially since I saw the most exciting game I've seen to date this season last Friday night. No it wasn't Prep-La Salle. It was Gratz-Bok! With the score tied at 18 going into the 4th, the Bulldogs pretty much BUM-RUSHED the Wildcats on their way to a 46-26 win and supremacy in the Pub 3A Division. Sr. QB Davone Cornish didn't have great numbers (6-17, 184) but his QB acumen here was some of the BEST I've seen all season. He pretty much led.. led.. and led some more en route to victory. I'm positive this guy can play QB at some level in college.. POSITIVE.. Bok's Larry Pelzer is the ultimate scatback (5-8, 155). He ran 38 times here for 269 yards and I bet he didn't take one HARD hit . . . Speaking of Prep-La Salle: It was a battle of the area's two BEST and Prep took Round 1. I've seen Prep's last 3 games and believe that they could play DEEP into December providing they get by LaSalle for a 2nd time, which won't be easy at all.. The winner of Round 2 may well be the 4A State Champ . . . What is it with Fighting and Football!? I saw an ugly incident myself on Saturday afternoon as Bartram and Overbrook brawled to a halt with just over 2 minutes left in the 3rd. All I have to say is this: Football is the one Sport that an athlete can take his frustrations out in the game. There is NO ROOM for a fist fight in Football.
   PROSPECT WATCH!: I yell this in the Notes Section of my reports when I see a junior that looks like a D-I Prospect.. Here goes a 6 pack: Zaire Franklin (6-2 215) LB La Salle --  The Explorers may have had the BEST LB core I've seen all season and Franklin was the BEST of that lot . . . Germantown's Delane Hart (6-3 175) WR & Dontae Angus (6-6 310) OT. In Hart there's a tall, athletic playmaker with much room to grow. While in Angus there's rarely this kind of blend of natural size, strength & athleticism at the high school level. Angus has LOADS of potential. G-Town is having a down year in 2012, but I don't think that will be the case in 2013 . . . Central's Walt Pegues (5-9 155) WR-KR-DB, simply put, is one of the City's MOST dangerous threats with the ball in his hands. Will be the next in the LONG line of Lancers who attack the Patriot League trail . . . Imhotep's Grunt Tandem of bookend tackles Taleem Muhammed (6-5 300) & Aaron Ruff (6-5 285). Imhotep has many, many stars so let's show the Big boys up front some love and both of these guys have ultra bright futures.
  LOOKING AHEAD: Things are looking interesting in all three City Leagues as we go down the stretch as everything is up for grabs . . . In the CL Wood-O'Hara in 3A & Prep-LaSalle in 4A look to be on a collision course as do West-Imhotep for overall 2A bragging rights . . . I'd be shocked in Pub 4A & 3A if we didn't have rematches of recent games with both Frankford-GW & Bok-Gratz having grudge matches. Let the fun continue . . .

OCT. 5

CATHOLIC LEAGUE
SJ Prep 23, Wood 10
     The sexiest game on the docket this week was the CL Crossover matchup between defending 3A State Champ Archbishop Wood & the resurgent SJ Prep Hawks, who are poised to make a run this year and beyond in 4A. And this one kinda went just how I thought it would, a slugfest between heavyweights. Neither team was able to get much going in the first half as defense pretty much ruled, though the Vikings did squander some valuable opportunities to make inroads. On their first drive of the game, the Vikes marched 7 plays and 64 yards but sr. TE Nick Arcidiacono (6-4 235) caught a ball over the middle from Frosh QB Tom Garlick (6-4 165) and rumbled towards the goal line only to be popped hard by sr. DE James Mooney, causing a fumble. The ball squirted into the end zone and was recovered by sr. LB Tim Rafter for a touchback. The Vikes again sustained a good drive on their next go-round, going 72 yards on 8 plays to set up a chip shot from 26 yards out for sr. K Nick Visco. Visco sliced it a little to the right and there was still no score. He would later set up and boom home a 44-yarder that would have been good from at least 50 to open the scoring at 3-0, which was the score going into the half. I had that feeling at halftime that Wood had made a vital mistake by not making good on its opportunities and I was right because to start the 2nd half star soph. return man John Reid took the kick on his own 1 and made a move or two in traffic and then BOOM! The momentum had shifted as Reid went 99 yards for a kickoff return score. The Vikes would answer back with 6:36 left in the 3rd on a trick play ending with sr. MP Chris Rahill catching a 37-yard bomb from sr. RB Andrew Guckin. From that point on, the Prep controlled the action reeling off the game's final 16 points starting with a 32-yard pass from jr. QB Chris Martin to emerging Frosh. WR Cameron Chambers (6-3 185) and ending with a 15-yard TD dash by soph. Olamide "O" Zaccheaus (10-62) to close the show. Martin passed for 72 yards & rushed for 47 more. DBs soph. Thomas Johnson & sr. Pat McCabe each made picks. For Wood, Guckin rushed for 62 & received 32 in yards.
 AAsNOTES: I've seen the last 2 Prep games and I've learned one valuable lesson and that's that I truly respect the coaching acumen of Hawk boss Gabe Infante. He has a great demeanor: Knows when to massage, Knows when to pat on the back, Knows when to bark, Knows when to bite . . . Boy, Saturday night at PW (vs. La Salle) will be fun . . . Wood's O-line is the biggest that you'll probably see this year around these parts outside of maybe La Salle and Germantown. The best of the lot was jr. OG Deion Oliver (6-5 275), who is extremely athletic/versatile and looks to be a D-I prospect.. Going forward both of these squads should be major factors in their respective classes/state title pictures and a clash like this ONLY helps.

OCT. 5

PUBLIC LEAGUE 4A GOLD
Central 16, Northeast 6
    Last Thanksgiving I had the pleasure of covering the Central-NE Turkey Bowl and honestly it was one of the better experiences I've had in my 15 years (Yes! I did stats for the first time for Ted my sr. year in high school! My how time flies) of covering high school sports as a statman . . . I didn't expect this one to top that, but the Vikings had been having fun the last few weeks with a pass-happy offense while the Lancers have proven to be even more formidable than originally projected. Central's fans traditionally NEVER arrive a home games until around the start of the 2nd quarter and by then here, this one was pretty much well in hand as the Lancers carried a commanding 16-0 lead. The first Lancer drive took just two plays, a 30-yard gashing run by sr. RB Jesse Gillis(16-75) then a 30-yard pass over the top from jr. QB Jon Henderson to slick/quick jr. WR (Return specialist, wing back & DB also) Walt Pegues for an easy-as-pie score. Gillis darted through on the conversion. Then later a much tougher 9 play/75 yard drive than ended with a Gillis 1-yard TD rush and another Gillis conversion run. NE had SERIOUS trouble generating offense as the Lancers just blitzed . . . blitzed . . . and blitzed some more against hot sr. QB Daquan Bohannan and honestly it looked as if the Viking spirit was broken because of it and an adjustment was NEVER truly made. The Vikes did manage a score off a trick play, a double reverse that went from sr. back-up QB/slot receiver Harold Alexander 51 yards to sr. scatback Shimeek Carter (4/84) for the score. For my money, the Vikings just didn't run the ball enough especially against the Blitz. Bohannan took a serious beating here and the run would have kept Central much more honest. Sr. RB Hakeem Ellis (6-1 205) carried 9-63 and had a LONG TD called back due to a hold. Speaking of penalties, that may have bee the real story here as the Striped Ones couldn't seem to keep the yellow flags in their pockets. On one sequence, Central had to punt 4 times before there wasn't a penalty called. Other than that, Lancer jr. DL Sam Reid (6-2 235) may have been the most impressive player in the field. The big guy is a physical specimen and he imposed his will along the D-Line.
  AAsNOTES: Central has long been one of my favorite stops on the trail. And honestly, the Lancers are a dangerous bunch as they have plenty of speed along with some strength up front . . . And they could be even better in 2013 as 4 of their top 6 players are juniors . . . NEs Best player all season has been sr. S/LB David Pulliam (6-3 210) who IMO is one of the Top sr. prospects in the League. His hits have that sound and he only knows how to play one way, FOR KEEPS. David is a good student whose recruiting profile should increase with his sr. game film for sure.

SEPT. 29

CATHOLIC LEAGUE AAAA
Prep 37, Roman 7
  Going in I expected to see the best game I'd seen to date this season. I mean I've only seen mostly Pub games so far and everyone who follows City Football knows the Pub schools never play their best Football in September. Anyway the Hawks had created an early season buzz with impressive wins near and far against national quality opposition. And well the train didn't stop here as Coach Gabe Infante's crew pretty much rolled a pretty talented bunch of Cahillites by scoring 37 Unanswered points en route to a W. Going in the big match up inside the game was undoubtedly the one-on-one between sr. WR Will Fuller (Notre Dame) & Prep's nationally known soph., CB John Reid. They pretty much matched up on every Roman offensive play through the first 3 quarters and I thought Reid did an excellent job. Fuller did catch 7 balls for 55 yards and a score but nothing came easy. On the score, the very slick Fuller indeed beat Reid with a double move but hey there's no shame in that as Fuller is regarded as one of the nation's best route runners. Prep answered immediately with a 6 play, 70 yard drive ending in a 32 yard TD dash my soph. RB Olamide "O" Zaccheaus. The Hawks never looked back from there as the 2nd Quarter became a nightmare for the Cahillites. As the Prep rang up 27 points pretty much putting the game out of reach. First a 12 yard screen pass for a score from jr. QB Chris Martin to jr. RB Vincent Moffett. Next a 15 yard TD pass from Martin to impressive Frosh WR Cameron Chambers (6-3 180). Then a backbreaking 5 play, 76 yard drive ending with a 19 yard scamper by Martin. Finally the cherry on top as Roman's long snapper tossed the ball over Punter Michael Keir's head 26 yards into the end zone and a hard-charging Reid chased it down for a Fumble Recovery in the scoring area to make the score 34-7 with :25 left in the 2nd. PHEW!! Prep ran 67 plays from scrimmage to Roman's 45, outgaining the Purple and Gold 419-227. 267 of those came on the ground with Zaccheaus (9-76), Moffett (9-74) & Martin (12-59) leading the way. Moffett also caught 5/46. While Martin passed 15-22, 152 2TDs. Soph. DB Thomas Johnson made a pick. His brother sr. DT Paul Johnson (6-0 290) patrolled and controlled the D-Line. While sr. LB Todd Jones (6-2 215) did the same from the 2nd Level. Roman truly had a forgettable night as they could never develop an offensive rhythm. Keir did pass 13-18, 132 yards but many were underneath throws as down-the-field stuff was well covered. Soph. RB Dimetri Kelly had some success with 79 rushing & 31 receiving yards. And jr. DE Hezekiah "Hez" Trahan (6-4 235) was a Beast throughout.
  AAs NOTES: This is my debut report on the season after pretty much taking a break for September. I will chime in from time to time with at least one a week from here on out.. As always thanks for your support.. There was Plenty of D-I Recruitable talent on the field here with many of them being underclassmen.. Coach Gabe Infante REALLY has it going at the Prep now. I can't wait until he matches wits in a few weeks with La Salle coach Drew Gordon in what should be a Real-Life Chess Match.. Finally Roman has as an intriguing-as-possible prospect in a converted basketball player named Manny Taylor (6-7, 280, soph). The big guy transferred in from Life Center in Burlington, NJ, because he wanted to play football. He's VERY nimble for his size on the basketball court and could star one day on the gridiron with hard work. He only saw late-game action here but word is he's making daily progress.