wpe1.jpg (6920 bytes)

Huck's Corner
Return to Home Page

    Ed "Huck" Palmer is one of our trusty statisticians/observers. He is not to be confused with Tom "Puck" McKenna. (Huck is normal. Puck is not even close). He will make occasional reports on games he sees. You may contact him at TEDDYCAT10@aol.com.

NOV. 29
West Catholic 19 Penn Wood 12
     Just four days removed from falling to Carroll in the CL Blue championship game, the Burrs rebounded and ended the season on a high note. It could have been very easy for this team to pack it in and roll over, but to their credit they came to play. Jr. RB Curtis "Boonah" Brinkley ended his magnificent season with a sound performance. He toughed-out 178 yards on 30 carries and scored one touchdown. For the season, Brinkley, ran for 2,813 yards on 324 carries, scoring 28 touchdowns. Also, he eclipsed the 5,000 yard barrier. His career rushing total is now at 5,119 yards, bringing him a mere 1,003 yards from the all-time city record held by Frankford's Eddie Gaskins. This feat will be very attainable next year, but that will all depend on his appeal process scheduled for sometime in January. Nevertheless, these rushing totals were achieved in just three years of varsity football. Quite an accomplishment!!! Concerning Curtis' appeal, I'll save my thoughts on that for another time, but my feelings on the matter are strong. Now back to the game. The seniors for the Burrs really stepped up today. Sr. WR/DB Jonathan Jackson might have played his best all-around game of the season and showed why there are more than few Division-1 programs looking to land him. Offensively, Jackson rushed 7 times for 34 yards and caught four balls for another 72 yards and a touchdown. Defensively, he intercepted two passes and recovered a fumble that prevented a possible Penn Wood score inside the West five-yard line. His second INT ended the game when he plucked a pass out of the air at the West 15-yard line. He also had 7 tackles on the day. His touchdown came with :07 seconds left in the first half and tied the score at 6-6. The scoring drive immediately followed a Penn Wood score that momentarily gave the Patriots a brief lead. Sr. QB Matt Rodia may have also played his best game of the season and was very instrumental on the scoring drive that led to Jackson's touchdown. He completed 3-of-4 passes on the drive for 58 yards (all to Jackson). On the touchdown throw he patiently waited for Jackson to break free in the back of the endzone. For the day, he completed 5-of-12, for 83 yards. Two plays into the fourth quarter it was Rodia's 4-yard sneak that broke the tie on a third-and-one play. Defensively, he contributed six tackles. Sr. RB/DB Rob Ramsey made one of the best defensive plays that I saw all year long. With a Patriot runner in the midst of a 21-yard run, Ramsey quickly closed-in and perfectly punched the ball out of the player's grasp. The ball sailed forward, 5-to-10 yards, and the hustling Ramsey then made the recovery. It was truly an amazing play!!! Ramsey was the leading Burr-tackler with 11 (2 TFL's). An early 41-yard run of his help set up the first West touchdown. Sr. FB/LB Chester Roebuck was limited offensively, but stepped-up heavily on defense. He made 9 tackles with many coming in the second half. Sr. DT Tyler Wims made a key late-in-the-game sack that produced an 11-yard loss. Frosh LB Wayne Donahue made the key hit that jarred the balls loose on Jackson's fumble recovery deep inside Burr territory. West played without star sr. DT/OL Will Grant who is recovering from an ankle injury. I wish Will a speedy and complete recovery. We rarely get into much detail of players on teams outside our covering area, but I'd be remiss if I failed to mention PW's, sr. WR/DB/KR Brandon Downs. Downs is the younger brother of former Malvern and current University of Maryland star Chris Downs. The younger Downs is a serious talent and showed his returning skills with a 51-yard punt return late in the second quarter. Defensively, he made 12 tackles and on more than few occasions brought down Brinkley, preventing possible scores. For those of you who have never seen Downs, in many ways his skills mirror those of Carroll, sr. WR/RB/DB Chaz Scott. The Burrs finished the season (9-4) and experienced success in many ways that had not been felt in a long time. Head Coach Brian Fluck and his staff did a fantastic job and should be commended. Hopefully, with the return of Brinkley and four starting lineman to build around the team should be once again highly competitive next season. West now leads the Thanksgiving series 2-to-1. There was a solid crowd turnout and they witnessed a very competitive game. Hopefully, the teams will play for many years to come.

NOV. 18
Roman 9, LaSalle 6
  The Cahillites eeked-out a hard-fought win on sr. K/WR John Pendergast's 29-yard field goal with 12.5
seconds remaining. The play was executed perfectly all the way around. The line did an excellent job of
blocking and denied the Explorers nothing resembling a sniff of a possible block. SR. QB Andre Sloan-El
caught an placed the ball, while soph snapper Tim Hoban nicely sent the ball back to Sloan-El. This was
Hoban's first career snap on a field goal try. The game was very physical and defensive-minded. The
Explorers have thrived on being physical all season. On this night the gritty Cahillites matched them
hit-for-hit. LaSalle sr. WR/DB Sean Agnew returned a punt 65 yards to the Roman 2-yard line midway through the
second quarter. On the next play soph. FB Sean Guinan burrowed in giving the Explorers the lead. Roman
wasted no time drawing even. Soph FB/LB Marc Patricelli returned the ensuing kickoff 41 yards and
the Cahillites were in business at the La Salle 48-yard line. Eight plays later sr, RB/DB John Ortiz took an
inside-counter and scampered in from 24 yards. The snap (not done by Hoban) was high, forcing Sloan-El to
try and run it in. He was stopped nicely by feisty sr. DB Matt McGurkin. The game turned into a defensive
struggle from this point. Late in the third quarter the Explorers did threaten briefly. After reaching the
Roman 25-yard line the drive stalled. Jr. DB Mike Gavin nicely broke-up pass attempts on third and
fourth down. Roman struggled as well on offense, but finally broke through late in the game. Led by Sloan-El,
who many times this season performed late-in-the-game-magic, did it again. The Cahilltes took over
with 3:17 remaining at their own 45-yard line. Two huge completions to sr. TE Derek Dopkin (3-58) for 21
and 24 yard gains sparked the drive. Jr. bruising FB Rob Deery had runs of 4 and 5 yards, bringing the ball
to the Explorer 12-yard line and setting-up Pendergast's heroics. The game featured a total of 14
punts. Roman held LaSalle to just four first downs and 46 yards of total offense. The Cahillites defense
registered 5 sacks, amassing 43 yards. Sacks were had by, jr. DE Charron Fisher (two), sr. DT/OL Jeff
Grimmie (two), and sr. LB Joe Miller (one). The Cahillites also got strong defensive games from sr. DE
Kevin Cahill 7 tackles (3 TFL's) and jr. LB Tom Bowen also with 7 tackles. Patricelli and soph LB Sean
Matthews evenly split 10 tackles. Jr. DB Charlie Squitiere intercepted a desperation pass at midfield
to end the game. Though the offense was limited, the prettiest play found Pendergast on the receiving end
of a halfback pass from Ortiz that went for 30 yards. La Salle sorely missed the services of leading rusher
Brian Donohoe, still out with an injury. Also, jr. RB/K Max Mullineaux, who played well earlier this
season, was still used sparingly as he recovers from an injury. The Explorers did receive strong defense
line play from sr. C/DT Bruce Pohlet (9 tackles & fumb. rec.) and sr. OL/DE Chris Galbally ( 9 tackles &
sack). JR. DB Brian Hogan intercepted a pass for LaSalle. Sr. LB John Barrett played well and had 6
tackles and fumble recovery. Jr. LB Miles Miller contributed 7 tackles. The game featured a strong
crowd for a Monday night. I covered the game with Tom "Puck" McKenna. Tom usually does his stats from the
pressbox. Tonight he elected to do them from field level, lucky me!!! I commented to Roman PA announcer
and loyalist Dan Hoban (brother of Tim), I spend all day in a classroom with first graders and now this!!!
Actually, Puck was pretty tolerable and showed good balance, surprisingly, slushing his way through all of
the mud on the sidelines. Only once did he encounter the wrath of a sideline official, after nearly getting
tangled up in the chains. The Cahillites now have the inenviable challenge of trying to knock-off unbeaten
SJ Prep. Good Luck!!! There is no doubt that this group will play hard and be prepared.

NOV. 9
O'Hara 31 Bonner 8
     You got the feeling even without the Lions scoring on their first drive that they would control throughout. O'Hara used up 8:03 of the first quarter clock and ran 17 plays before stalling at the Bonner 16-yard line. Bonner ran three plays and then were forced to punt. The snap from center bounced back to sr. P/K Chris Schrader who juggled and then eventually fumbled the ball. Sr. DE Mike Holt was there to recover the ball and O'Hara was back in business at the Bonner 14-yard line. Four plays later, jr. RB Anthony Heygood (15-60) burrowed in for his first of two short touchdown runs. Heygood was still experiencing some soreness in his knee and did not start the game. He found himself sharing time with soph RB Steve Cook (21-56) and did not play at all in the second half. The main cog for the Lions on this day was QB/DB Craig Haywood. It was Haywood that provided the key blow for the Lions. Early in the second quarter, Haywood on a designed keeper split and outran all Bonner would-be defenders for a 64-yard touchdown. With the score 21-0 O'Hara late in the third quarter it was another Haywood run that sealed the deal for the Lions. With the ball placed at their own 5-yard line. Haywood galloped 39 yards on the last play of the quarter, giving the Lions some much needed breathing room. He was slightly banged up on the play and relinquished his duties to jr. QB Matt Campbell for the fourth quarter. On the day, Haywood ran for 124 yards on just 9 carries. It was offensive ineptness to say the least for the Friars in the first half. They had minus-5 yards of total offense and turned the ball over four times in the half. O'Hara ran 39 plays to just 17 by Bonner in the first half. The Friars had only one firstdown, coming late in the half on a pass interference call. Bonner's defense did have an impressive goal line stand in the second quarter. O'Hara had a first-and-goal from the three. Heygood ran two yards and brought the ball to the one. Then two Heygood runs sandwiched around a Haywood run went for no gain. Sr. DT John Wickersham (6-4, 350) was pivotal on a couple of these stops. The second half was played evenly. Soph K Frank D'Angelo nicely hit a 22-yard field goal and jr. FB Paul Signora scored on a 5-yard run for O'Hara'a last touchdown. Bonner's score came on beautiful throw-and-catch play between sr. QB Drew Zagursky and sr. WR Paul McNichol (4-45). McNichol made a leaping catch over Haywood in the back of the end zone narrowly keeping a foot in-bounds. McNichol made some tough catches on the afternoon and showed good hands in doing so. Soph QB Andrew Case had a rough go of it and never really got into any kind of rhythm. The Bonner ground game was nonexistent (22- -7 yards). OUCH!!! O'Hara got fumble recoveries from sr. DT Brian Payne (6 tackles, sack) and LB Rich Prazenica. Sr. DE AJ DeMatteo registered two sacks. Jr. DT Zack Rago and sr. LB Warren Danenza each had a sack. Sr. DB Tom O'Brien had an interception. I was very impressed by Payne. He showed good quickness getting into Bonner's backfield on more than few occasions. Bonner's defense played hard and didn't quit. They got strong performances from a few players. Sr. LB Matt Ascuitto was in on 15 tackles and appeared to be everywhere. Jr. LB Anthony DiEmidio was next with 13 tackles. Jr. DB
Steve DeVito recovered a fumble and made 10 stops. DiEmidio and DeVito should spearhead the Friar defense next season. Bonner had five quarterbacks attempt a pass. Schrader out of punt formation hit sr. WR/DB Frank Nunan for a nice 24-yard gain. Later, Nunan tried a pass off a fake field goal attempt. Lastly, soph QB Gabe Oropollo, after Zagursky was shaken up, completed a 6-yard pass to sr. WR AJ Dougherty on the final play of the game. This play brought on a cheer from the Bonner sideline. Dougherty has battled through some personal issues and made his first catch of his career. Burly, jr. FB Matt Gough (7-60) did exceptional blocking and found nothing but open spaces when the center snapped the ball directly to him with O'Hara in punt formation. He rumbled for 26 yards on the play, before being brought down at the Bonner 9-yard line. O'Hara rushed for 309 yards on the afternoon and much of the credit has to go to the boys up front. They are; sr. C Rich Finnegen, G's, sr. Andrew Lynch and jr. Gabe DiBernadino, T's, sr. Eric Ellis and jr. Thomas Hayden (6-3, 263), and E sr. Chris Clement. Prior to the game there was brief delay when the PA announcer couldn't get the national anthem tape to work. After about a minute, the PA announcer led everyone in the saying of the Pledge of Allegiance. Quick thinking on his part!!! The Lions now find themselves in a tussle with league power SJ Prep. Just three weeks ago the Lions gave the Hawks their only scare of the season. Only to see a 17-9 halftime lead, turn into a 38-17 defeat. It will be interesting to see how long the Lions can hang with them this time around.

NOV. 8
Conwell-Egan 13 Kennedy-Kenrick 10 (OT)
The heavily favored Eagles had their hands full all night with a gritty group of Wolverines. Right from the get-go KK let the Eagles know that they came to play. Conwell-Egan's, jr. K Matt Fischer nailed a 20-yard field goal on the first possession of OT. The sequence prior to the field goal was example of the toughness KK showed throughout. The Wolverines were called for encroachment before the first play, placing the ball at the five. They would allow just a single yard and kept the Eagles out of the end zone on the next three plays. KK's possession went as follows; procedure penalty, ball back to the fifteen, one-yard run, incompletion, and then 5-yard completion placing the ball at the nine. Sr. K Dan Helhowski, who earlier line-drived home a 31-yarder, narrowly missed a 26-yard attempt right by a mere foot or two that would have sent the game in to a second OT. Many observers didn't give KK much of a chance entering the game, including myself, but this bunch proved to be a worthy opponent on this night. The Eagles controlled play much of the first half. They had drives of 15 plays and 12 plays that ate-up much of the clock. Both drives went deep into KK territory, but both ended with no points. A botched snap prevented a field goal attempt on one and KK, jr. DB Tom Sztubinski intercepted a pass at the two, returning it 60 yards. This led to Helhowski's FG with :25 left in the half, giving the Wolverines a 3-0 lead at halftime. Fischer knotted the game with a 21-yard field goal with 3:08 remaining in the third quarter. It was at this point that the game turned from good to very good. Wait!!! Better yet, a DANDY. Early in the fourth quarter with CE in punt formation the center snap spiraled well into the air and well over the head of the punter. When things untangled the Wolverines set up shop at the Egan 23-yard line. However, just two plays later soph RB Brian Gillin (14-44) went into the middle of the line. The ball squirted free and sr. DB Dan Quinn was right there to scoop it up and went uncontested on a 73-yard jaunt to the house (Oh no, I'm not supposed to say that!!!). At this point, I figured this would take much air at of the KK upset balloon. Not just yet!!! On the second play of the KK's next possession, jr. hulking QB Ricky McMinn (6-5, 220) found a streaking, sr. WR Dan McCabe (3-79) for a 71-yard TD bomb. Everything about the play was pretty. McMinn rolled right and with great protection heaved a beautiful ball that caught McCabe in perfect stride. Both teams hand decent chances near the end of regulation. The Eagles were driving, but soph sensation Steve Slaton (33-142) fumbled at the KK 32-yard line with 1:24 left. With :44 left, and KK facing a 3rd-and-14, McMinn hit Sztubinski who was wide open on a 38-yard passing play. This put the ball at the CE 22-yard line. McMinn hustled his troops to the line and intentionally
spiked the ball. I'm almost certain KK had at least two-timeouts left. I would have probably used one here to calm the troops down after this big play. A timeout was not called, but still, after stopping the clock KK was called for a delay-of-game penalty. After two incompletions, the Wolverines decided a field goal attempt would be too far and went for it on fourth down. The pass was incomplete and CE took over with :14 left. Slaton took a draw for 17 yards and timeout was called. Then, sr. QB Derrick Savage (7-11-85 yds) hit Slaton underneath. The speedy back took it 34 yards before being pushed out-of-bounds at the KK 22-yard line by jr. DB Dan Connor (8 tackles & INT). 112 plays were run in the game, with CE running 68 of them. The 33 carries by Slaton were a season-high. Though he did pick up 142 yards, he earned every inch of them. KK's front-seven were beefy and very tough. Their defensive backs played with brass. Leading the charge on defense was jr. LB/DT Eric Ondik who had 11 tackles. Jr. FB/LB Tyler Johnson  had a sack among his 9 tackles.! Sr. OL/DT Rafael Calzadilla was a rock on both lines of the ball. He made 7 tackles on the night. Soph LB Chris Matozzo (9 tackles) and Sztubinski (9 tackles) were very solid. Sr. DT Dan Molyneaux recovered a fumble. After Gillin played the first series of the game at QB, and then moved to tailback. McMinn took over from there. This was supposed to be the scenario at the start of the season, but McMinn suffered a broken leg and has only been back for three weeks. Tonight was his first extended action. I saw no signs of rust. I like the way he danced around in the pocket, showing tremendous poise on many throws. He finished 7-for-16 with 152 yards. An admirable job considering what he went through this season. Their are many decent underclassman for the Wolverines. They should build on this and go into next season with some promise. Another Wolverine highlight of the night was when jr. LB/TE Mike Orman (6-0, 280) made a 12-yard reception. Orman, who mainly blocks, rarely sees the ball. He showed nice concentration in the middle of a pack of defenders. He then proceeded to carry a couple of them a few extra yards. The Eagles got a solid two-way performance from FB/DE Mike Smith. He ran for 50 yards and blocked well on offense. On defense, He had a sack mixed in with 6 tackles. SR. OL/DT Matt Brazil was not spectacular, but solid nonetheless, he added 5 tackles. Sr. LB and defensive leader Rob Biernat had below-standard first half for himself, but rebounded nicely in the second half. He forced and recovered the same fumble, had a sack, and a team-high 11 tackles. He does a great job of being patient and reading play, then quickly takes a direct route to the ballcarrier. Jr. LB Anthony Caranci contributed 6 tackles. The Eagles played without jr. DB/long snapper Ryan Papandrea. They also lost the services of solid two-way performer jr. OL/LB Brian Hrynczyszyn to an early ankle injury. The Eagles are going to have to play better next week if they hope to knock off a rising Carroll squad. The PA announcer was Conwell-Egan's very own Rich Papirio. Papirio provided the line of the night. After CE's tying field goal in the third quarter, Papirio bellowed, "The kick is good, and the Eagles tie the score on Matt Fischer's 10-yard field goal." Now that would be a record!!! The ball was spotted on the ten, but somehow the 10 yards in the end zone went unaccounted for. We'll let Rich slide on this one, due to excitement. I would also like to thank tedsilary.com colleague Todd Tranausky for giving me Rich's name. Sorry Todd!!! If the rest of the CL playoffs are like this one, then this post-season should be exciting and memorable.

NOV. 2
West Catholic 18 McDevitt 7
     Just when you think that Burrs' jr. RB Curtis "Boonah" Brinkley's performances can't get any better, he unleashes another onslaught. Right from the Burrs opening possession you could sense that we were in for a special show. With the ball placed at the 10-yard line after the opening kickoff, Brinkley rumbled 56 yards on the game's first play. After a 5-yard facemask was tacked on, he galloped for 20 more yards. Then he took the third play of the drive in for an 11-yard touchdown. All three plays were run right up the middle and behind sr. FB Chester Roebuck (6-2, 245). Though both teams moved the ball, the rest of the first half went scoreless. Brinkley's total at the half were 12 carries and 146 yards. West was faced with two critical fourth down decisions on the afternoon. The first came about halfway through the third quarter (We'll get to the second one later). On their own 33-yard line, jr. QB Will Burke was stuffed on a keeper for no gain. This fired up the McDevitt faithful and 8 plays later soph. RB Lamar McPherson scored on a 3-yard run. Sr. K Robert McHugh's kick was good, and McDevitt had claimed a brief 7-6 lead. On the third play of the Burrs next possession, Brinkley darted left and went virtually untouched for a 55-yard score. What made the play interesting was that it was actually the third time West tried to run the play. See, both McDevitt and then West were called for offside penalties as the play started. After the first one, West Head Coach Brian Fluck exclaimed, "that was a touchdown." I would say that West runs nearly 80% of the plays to the right side, behind sr. OL Will Grant (6-0, 315) and Mike Cannon (6-3, 255). That they tried the play to the left three times with only the third one counting, made it obvious that they liked what they saw. The Lancers would not go down without a fight. Jr. DB Sterling Williams recovered a Burke fumble at the West 47-yard line with 5:37 remaining. Tw! o plays later, sr. QB Robert Dougherty connected on a 33-yard pass to sr. WR Robert Henderson who showed excellent concentration, putting the ball at the Burr 11-yard line. West did what they have shown quite often this year and tightened up. On a fourth down play, Dougherty went back to pass, as he began to run forward he slipped slightly and was brought down by sr. DT Steven Williams (2 sacks). West took over at their own 10-yard line. Brinkley got the Burrs out of the hole with a 23-yard run. However, McDevitt stiffened and after using all three of their timeouts, they were looking at a fourth and five play, with 2:26 left and the ball at the West 40-yard line. This is when critical 4th-down play number two occurred. Fluck, surprisingly left is offense on the field and opted not to play field position and punt. The ball went to guess who? Brinkley, who toughed-out five more yards and gave the Burrs a game-clinching first down. Just for good measure, Brinkley, on the next play broke through and outran all for another 55-yard touchdown. On the afternoon, the rushing sensation grounded 337 yards on 28 carries. Giving him his third 300-yard plus rushing performance of the year. No other city player had done it more than once. He also eclipsed the 2,000 yards for the season and broke the all-time single-season rushing mark of 2,198. Brinkley now has 2,274 and counting for the season. Personally, it is hard to say where Brinkley ranks all-time when looking city rushers. Players such as Eddie Gaskins, Kevin Jones, Blair Thomas and Chris Downs played in different leagues, during different times and were phenomenal runners. However, in my opinion for sure enjoyment of watching a kid run, no one is better than Brinkley. I always said, that his natural instincts are unmatched, mix that with his vision, toughness, and speed and you have one of the best backs to ever play in this area. Roebuck,
besides his blocking prowess, did rumble for 68 yards on 9 carries. West! did not complete a pass, but racked up 407 rushing yards. SR. DB Robert Ramsey played an aggressive game and totaled 12 tackles. Highly recruited sr. DB Jonathon Jackson played in my opinion his most physical game. He recovered a fumble, made 9 tackles, and had three-pass defends. West also got fumble recoveries from Williams and jr. DE Dave Fitzgerald. Roebuck contributed 7 tackles and Grant six. Soph LB Thomas Davis (Forced fumble) and sr. DB Matt Rodia evenly split 10 tackles. The Burr secondary which at times has been a sore spot played very well today holding the Lancers to just five completions and 62 yards. Sr. LB George Williams showed good hustle, after first missing Dougherty deep in the McDevitt backfield on a key third-down play during the third quarter. Wiliams didn't quit and continued chase downing Dougherty for one of the Burrs four sacks on the afternoon. Soph DE Derrell Hand had the other sack. Hand, jr. OL Fran Enright, soph C Frank Pirrotta, and soph OL Matt DeMarco contributed heavily on the offensive line. The more I see of McDevitt soph RB Lamar McPherson, the more I like him. He finished with 129 yards on 24 carries. McPherson brings a good combination of speed and power and has the makings of a real solid prospect. Sr. FB Demetruis Oliver did run for 52 yards on just 6 carries, but his last two carries were fumbled. Sr. LB Brandon Edwards, who in many ways mirrors Ramsey of West did some hard-hitting and led the Lancers with 12 tackles. Edwards could probably be valuable safety at the next level. Sr. LB Andrew Kovach added 8 tackles, as did sr. DB Ronald Jenkins. The diminutive, yet feisty soph. DB Steve Merlini had an interception. Merlini, along with sr. DB John Maha split 10 tackles. One of the best executed plays of the day was made by Ramsey and Fitzgerald of West. With the win secured, they teamed-up to douse Coach Fluck with a Gatorade bucket. Successfully compl! eting a direct hit on their unsuspecting coach. The win, coupled with Conwell-Egan's loss to Neumann later that night gave West their first CL Blue regular season title. Without a doubt these are happy times for Coach Fluck, his staff, players and West fans.

OCT. 25
Frankford 12 Northeast 6
     This one was tough for the Vikings to swallow. I wouldn't say they dominated the Pioneers, but for sure had the better of the play for good parts of the contest. Northeast ran 58 plays, while Frankford ran just 36. The Pioneers took an early lead in the late stages of the first quarter. Sr. FB Joselito Cruz bulled his way in from the 2-yard line. Sr. RB Mikal Jones (9-38) did his best running on this drive and picked up 30 yards on 3 carries. Sr. QB Darrell Turner 20-yard strike to jr. RB Arnold Mullins was another big play on the drive. Northeast tied the game late in the second quarter. Sr. DB/RB Eric Clark instantly met frosh. RB Brandon Norris in the backfield, forcing a fumble. Sr. LB Warren Bartlett (7 tackles, INT) recovered the fumble at the Frankford 4-yard line. Three plays later, jr. QB Marcellus Sammons off a nice play-action, beautifully lobbed a ball and found frosh WR Rockeed McCarter (6-3, 185) for a 4-yard TD pass. McCarter is the younger brother of former Bok standout Rodney McCarter now at James Madison. The hold for the extra-point was botched and the teams went into the intermission deadlocked at six. The second half was a defensive battle to say the least. The teams combined for nine punts and two other possessions ended in turnovers. Northeast twice threatened. First, on a first down play sr. RB Stanley Ebron fumbled at the Frankford 29-yard line. Secondly, with 1:23 remaining Ebron with a serious acceleration of speed blew past multiple Frankford defenders down the right sideline. Sammons, while rolling out of the pocket, slung the ball deep. Having to slow up momentarily to wait for the ball, Ebron lost concentration and the pass fell out of his grasp. This may not have been a touchdown, but at the least would have put Northeast inside the Frankford 15-yard line, well within the range of sr. K Steven Sandberg. Northeast's remaining plays ended harmlessly sending the game to OT. Northeast won the toss and opted to play defense first. After an incompletion and a 1-yard loss on a run, the Turner to sr. WR Adam Hartman combination finally broke through. While being closely covered Hartman snagged the Turner pass and somehow kept his feet in-bounds for an 11-yard touchdown. The play took place of the far side of the field and appeared to be very close. There was no obvious bickering from Northeast's coaches or players. The try on the point-after was kicked into the line. Northeast's possession went as follows; Ebron and Sammons picked up eight and one respectively on runs. On third down, Bartlett was stuffed by jr. LB Jeremy Benson and jr. LB Joe Farina for no gain. After a Northeast timeout, the Vikings again went back to Bartlett. He was dropped for a one-yard loss by jr. LB Ervin Hook and LB Cruz sending the Pioneer faithful into a frenzy. The Pioneers registered six sacks on the evening. DB Hartman lead the team in tackles with 10. Jr. DT Isaiah Thompson added nine and a fumble recovery. Hook besides his OT play contributed 8 tackles and blocked an early 30-yard field goal by Sandberg. Northeast received a fumble recovery sr. DT Joe Tizol. Sr. FB Mark Pasley did the best running on the night going for 61 yards on 15 carries. The results from this game set the stage for the Northeast/George Washington winner to get that second playoff berth from Division-A. The halftime clock was set for twenty minutes. Since it was senior night all of the sr. football players and cheerleaders were introduced with their parents at this time. When this finished the bands took over and by the time everything was completed an additional 8-to-10 minutes ran by. This may have led to the offensive ineptness of the second half. During this time the players and referees stood around and watched.

OCT. 18
Roman 21 Ryan 14
On a night when I experienced my first serious chill of this football season. The kind of chill that lets you know we're getting to the part of the season where the games' start become very meaningful. The Cahillites took the opening kickoff and drove 72-yards for a touchdown. The drive was capped by a sr. RB/DB John Ortiz 4-yard run.  After the Roman touchdown, Ryan went on a 12-play drive that stalled at the Roman 17. Sr. K Chris Weber's 33-yard field goal was well short and pushed to the right. The rest of the first half fell into the sleeper category and the Cahillites went into the intermission with a 7-0 lead. Well, what the first half lacked in action the second half certainly made up for. That's what I love about high school football. In one instance the game could seemingly put you to sleep, but then a spark is lit and the game can turn into a dandy. That was just the case in this one. The Red Raiders seemed to take control despite not scoring in the second quarter and their play carried over into the third stanza. Sr. QB Joe DeLeo (8-21, 139 yds) hit sr. WR Kyle Gallagher (3-78) for gains of 12 and 24 yards. This set up the game tying touchdown by frosh. RB Joe Zeglinski (21-69) on a 3-yard run. Zeglinski showed quick feet and ability to stay with his blocks to gain yards. I think in the long run he'll turn into a good-one. After the score, Weber blasted the kickoff right at a Roman player on the first line. The ball bounced off the player and was quickly recovered by jr. TE/DE Dave Levan. The Red Raiders were back in business at midfield. After an offside penalty by Roman, the DeLeo to Gallagher combination struck again for a 42-yard gain to the Roman 3-yard line. Two plays later DeLeo plunged in from the one, giving Ryan their first lead. After a slow start DeLeo seem to get more comfortable. I like the poise he showed and at 6'3" he could probably make one of the state schools pretty happy if they could land him. Eac! h team traded punts, and then this is when Roman, jr. QB Andre Sloan-El took
over. With 9:19 remaining Sloan-El drove his team 62 yards for the tying score at the 5:22 mark of the fourth quarter. The key play of the drive was a 33-yard scramble by Sloan-El that took the ball from the Roman 49 down to the Ryan 18. Five plays later jr. RB Rob Deery (12-42) barreled in from the 1-yard line. Deery pounded a Ryan defensive player on his way into the endzone. Causing myself, DN statmen Joe McFadden and Mark "Froggy" Carfagno to suggest that someone put up a deer-Xing sign. The ensuing kickoff was taken 51 yards by soph DB John Ferdinand to the Roman 32 yard line. However, on fourth and 5 from the 27, DeLeo pass was broken up 10 yards down field by jr. DE Charron Fisher. The Cahillites took over with 3:46 remaining. Once again Sloan El was the man. Early in the drive he connected with sr. WR/K John Pendergast (3-41) for 7 yards and then jr. WR Charlie Squitiere (4-37) for 14 yards. Sloan-El started the drove by throwing and then finished it with his running. He gained 21 yards down to the Ryan 23. After a short run by Deery and the clock running inside a minute he did it again. This run was truly something special. On a designed pass, Sloan-El retreated to his right, and then under what seemed like an immediate and heavy rush he darted back to his right eluding no less than three Ryan defenders. Once outside he picked up a couple of good blocks, cutback to the middle of the field and sprinted into the endzone for one of the more exciting 21-yard TD's I have seen. The play was truly special!!! It reminded me of Randall Cunningham himself. The clinching score came with :42 left. Ryan took over at its own 37. They drove to the Roman 34 yard line and after a firstdown, they spiked the ball stopping the clock with :06 remaining. Ryan's final hope ended when DeLeo misfired on a pass down at the Roman 11 yard line and time expired. Sloan-El's performance on his team's two scoring drives separates the players who try to lead and who can lead. This is twice this year (earlier vs. O'Hara) that Sloan-El has worked his magic to pull off late-in-the-game heroics. Special credit has to be given to Deery. During the season he has found himself as low as the fourth option in the Roman backfield behind Ortiz, soph. RB Marc Partricelli, and sr. RB Andy Amaro. He picked up 33 of his yards on Roman's final score-producing drives. Many of the runs, though not for long gains, pounded the Ryan defense. This may have led to Sloan-El being able to outrun and elude the Ryan defenders. Prior to Sloan El's last three runs that accumulated 75 yards. He was held in-check to the tone of -17 yards on 4 carries. He passed 11-for-16, with 128 yards on the night. Defensively, the Cahillites were led by Fisher who registered a sack among his 6 tackles. He also showed his athleticism by twice knocking down passes 10-to-15 yards down field. Jr. LB Tom Bowen also had six tackles. Sr. DT Ed Penna and soph LB Sean Matthews evenly split 10 tackles. Jr. DB Mike Gavin had a key INT deep in Roman's own territory preventing a score early in the third quarter. Ortiz once again showed great coverage skills and the ability to break on a ball with four passes defended. Ryan received hard running from soph FB Ron James (9-44). Ferdinand led the defense with 11 tackles and a sack. Many of his stops came in the second half. Sr. DB Mike Coll had 5 tackles and an INT. Soph DB Mike Pinto and Zeglinski split 10 tackles. I also left impressed with soph DT Joe Jackson (6-3,280). Since it was Friday night I decided to leave a bit early, thinking that traffic could be heavy on my way to Conshy. Well, once again I outsmarted myself and arrived to the game an unusual 50 minutes early. However, the time was well spent conversing with members of the Roman JV squad. I have to throw these guys a bone for keeping me entertained and making my wait! quite enjoyable. They are as follows; soph's Kyle Heffner, Guy Columbro, Tyree Berrian, Mike Travaline, Steve Durkin, Mike McFarland, and jr. manager Jimmy Smith. Good job fellas!!!!

OCT. 17
Northeast 20, Lincoln 0
     Both squads sputtered for most of the first half. In fact, each team combined for four turnovers on consecutive possessions during the first quarter. Late in the second quarter after a Railsplitter punt pinned the Vikings inside the one-yard line is when we got our first taste of some offensive success. Highlighted by jr. QB Marcellus Sammons' 57-yard run, Northeast went 99 yards on 7 plays for the games first score. Sr. FB Mark Pasley (14-67) plunged 2 yards for the score. Any ideas Lincoln had of staying in the game ended when, sr. RB/DB Eric Clark took the second half kickoff 83 yards to the house.  Sr. RB Stanley Ebron (10-69) ended the scoring with a 6-yard scamper early in the fourth quarter. Ebron is very slippery and waterbuggish, and showed a good deal of quickness in the open field. I would also like to see Sammons hold onto the ball more, as he proved to be elusive on a couple of runs that developed after he was pressured while attempting to pass. Jr. LB Warren Bartlett led the Viking defense with 11 tackles (3 TFL's). He also recovered fumble that he forced. Bartlett looks to be one of those typical Pub linebackers that just flies to the ball. Clark is also a quality D-back and was in on 5 tackles. Sr. DE Joe Tizol recovered a fumble. Lincoln had trouble doing much offensively. They had just four first downs and their deepest penetration was to the Northeast 34, and that was after a fumble recovery. Soph FB Charles Whittington (14-52) did run hard and is a load at 230 lbs. Sr. DT Joe Enigson led the Lincoln defense with 7 tackles and a fumble recovery. QB/DB Brahim Bilal made a nice interception. LB Whittington was next with 6 tackles. Soph DB Rory Stallworth and soph LB Joe Digrazio evenly split 10 tackles. Though he only kicked two extra-points, it's hard to imagine if there is a better kick in the pub than sr. K/P Steven Sandberg. Both of his PATS were drilled. The teams combined for 14 penalties for 123 yards. Good job to the Lincoln bench players. After a teammate was injured, the linesman yelled for some people to get out and help the big fella up. A mere nine players raced onto the field. Which prompted the linesman to say, "All right, that's enough, no need for the whole team to go onto the field." This game had a brotherly ring to it. Lincoln's, Jr. RB Bernard Franklin versus brother jr. DB Ben Franklin. Yes, it did happen once. Early in the third quarter Ben tackled Bernard after a 3-yard gain. Not to go unnoticed was Northeast's, jr. DB James Franklin, a cousin of the two brothers. He too dropped Bernard after an 8-yard gain off a pass. For now, Ben and James will have bragging rights at the dinner table for holiday get-togethers. Not to go unmentioned were the antics of the one-and-only Tom "Hockey Puck" McKenna. After the game we both went to leave the field together. As I got to the base of the steps leading off of the field I began to jog up the steps. Well, Puck also attempted this somewhat capable task for most. Big mistake!!! He damn near busted his chin open after only a few steps. The Cheerleaders behind us came to his aid and their hearts poured out to the nearly injured Puckster. As they bellowed, "Are you all right? Do you need help?" Puck did what he usually does when around the opposite sex, he ignored them. Thankfully!!!! I told Puck, don't ever try that, you lack the skill and most importantly the coordination of a true statman. He replied, "My shoelace was untied." You got to love Puck.

OCT. 14
Carroll 21, Wood 7
   The Pats used a balanced rushing attack that saw three players rush for 70+ yards. Sr. FB James
Roderick (6-1, 260) led the way with 19 rushes and 106 yards. Jr. slotback Ryan Stewart (14-79) and sr. RB
Chaz Scott (9-73) each figured prominently. Each of these players scored a first half touchdown. Scott had
the longest of the scores, a 33-yarder off a counter where he went untouched into the end zone. In the Pats
last two games, both wins, Scott has been used more frequently running the ball. He had good success with
this last season, but until recently wasn't used in that capacity all to much. Roderick gained 89 of his yards
in the second half, as he bullied his way against a Wood defense that he on the smallish side. Jr. LB Will
Bradley led the Carroll defense with 9 tackles, 4 went for losses. Sr. DB/K Ryan McGoldrick and sr. LB Mike
Cutone each add INT's. Sr. LB Paul Rambo was in on 6 tackles. Sr. LB Mitch Yanak and sr. Db Bryan Maguire
evenly split 10 tackles. Roderick added 5 tackles, including a sack. Stewart had 4 returns for 97 yards.
The Vikings had trouble getting going on offense, but did produce a 14-play, 72-yard drive that ended with a
soph QB Chris Hanson 3-yard Td run. In the first half Hanson showed good feet and quickness on some
quarterback keepers. He finished with a respectable 49 yards on 15 carries. However, Carroll did neutralize
him in the second half, where he was held -3 yards on 6 carries. Sr. FB Bob Prieto (11-67) ran hard was the
most productive Viking. Overall, to the credit of the Wood players they did not quit and played a scoreless
second half with Carroll. Defensively, the undersized Vikings kept battling and got some decent
performances. Jr. LB Michael Kruztis led with 14 tackles, including a sack. Sr. Dt Anthony Mora (6-0,
250) impressed with his strength and added 7 stops. Sr. Alex Chupalo hustled for 7 tackles. Soph LB Bill
Gross also registered 7 tackles. Sr. DB Ryan McGinley and sr. DB Dustin Troxell split 12 tackles. Neither
team could muster any kind of passing game. The teams combined for 1 completion on 12 attempts. The
game was played at Villanova Stadium. For a Monday night, and a big game right up the road between Radnor
and Ridley there was a decent size crowd. I wouldn't mind seeing more games here in the future. Carroll did
what they had to to get the win, but I suspect they were looking a little ahead to their key matchup
against the undefeated Eagles from Conwell-Egan this upcoming weekend. That should be a highly entertaining

OCT. 13
McDevitt 35, Neumann 28
     Some early miscues by the Pirates allowed the Lancers take an early commanding 21-0 lead. That lead eventually expanded to 35-13 midway through the final quarter. However, to say that Lancers had to hang on would be putting it mildly. Neumann sr. fullback Jimmy Porreca (18-118) raced 71 yards to pull the Pirates to 35-21 with 6:41 remaining. McDevitt got two-first downs, but turned the ball over on downs with just over two-minutes left. Neumann took over at its own 33-yard line. Eight plays later, on a drive that was aided by a McDevitt personal foul call, sr. QB Jon Brady found sr. WR Jack Hatty on a 18-yard TD connection to pull the Pirates within 35-28, with :32 remaining. Porreca solidly hit the onside kick that hit a McDevitt player and bounced back, where Porreca recovered the ball. On back-to-back completions, one to Hatty for 8 yards and the other to sr. TE Alfred Meacham (6-4, 280), put the ball at the McDevitt 3-yard line with :07 left. On Meacham’s catch, he made magnificent, arms-extended grab. His momentum brought him down, or he may have scored. The Buccos ran two plays, the first was a slant to Hatty that saw sr. DB John Maha break-up the pass. The last play was a fade to Hatty that was thrown out-of-bounds a good three-to-four yards as time expired. The Lancers got a breakthrough game from soph RB Lamar McPherson (24-153). McPherson bunched 111 of his yards after halftime. He showed a mix of speed and strength and could be a good one down the road. Sr. QB Robert Dougherty threw two TDs (19 & 10), both to Maha, and ran in a pair of three-yard scores. McDevitt opened the scoring when jr. LB Mark Tipson took   an interception 47 yards to paydirt. On Neumann’s next possession jr. LB Keith Scheurle made an interception on a ball that bounced off a Pirate offensive lineman. This set up Dougherty’s first TD pass to Maha. SR. MLB/OL Andrew Kovach is the vocal leader of the Lancers. He registered 9 tackles and a sack, including 3 TFLs. Soph DB Steve Merlini was in on 10 tackles. Tipson added 7 tackles. Sr. DB Ronald Jenkins had 8 tackles, including 2 sacks. On one of his sacks he forced a fumble. On the play, sr. DT Dave Reale scooped up the ball and returned it 30 yards to the Neumann 13-yard line. What made this play interesting was that Reale is listed at 280lbs. He was caught from behind by Neumann soph. OL/DT Marques Slocum who is listed at 6-5, 315 lbs.  Sr. LB Brandon Edwards had 7 tackles, including three on special teams. As usual, sr. K/P Robert McHugh impressed with his kicking. The Pirate offense was grounded for the most part. They did have three BIG plays that kept them in the game. Porreca’s 71-yard jaunt was proceeded by jr. RB Richard McMickens (6-92) 68-yard race to the house on Neumann’s first possession of the second half. Earlier in the contest jr. RB/DB Billy Canady returned a kickoff 97 yards. Sr. LB Tim McGinn had 6 tackles, including a sack. Slocum also had six tackles and a sack. McMickens, sr. LB Dan Concannon, and jr. LB Frank Baldino evenly split 15 tackles.

OCT. 12
Conwell-Egan 13, West Catholic 6 (OT)
    Coming into this game many observers were anxious to see the duel between Egan's soph RB Steve Slaton and West's jr. RB Curtis Brinkley. Well, three days of rain and and the annoying drizzle throughout much of the game hindered the prospects of some thrilling runs and impressive yardage that most expected. However, anti-climatic duel between two of our area's top runners would not get in the way of the premier game in CL Blue so far this season. Both teams came into the contest with unblemished league records. The game lacked luster in the first half, but the second half became full of twists and turns that eventually turned the game into a dandy. West broke through first in the early moments of third quarter when sr. RB Robert Ramsey scored on a 21-yard scamper. The Eagles tied the game on a 12-play, 93 yard drive late in the third quarter. The drive concluded with a 17-yard scoring strike from, sr. QB Derrick Savage to sr. Wr Dan Acevedo on a fourth down play. The game tying drive featured some key plays and and interesting developments. First, Savage hit sr. WR Dan Quinn for 26 yards on third and ten play from their own 7-yard line. Later, that same combination hooked-up on a 29-yard completion to convert yet another third down. Then, faced with thrid-and-fourteen from the West 17-yard line the Eagles brought out the field goal unit. The snap was botched and apass was incompleted, but on the play both teams were called for penalties. The down needed to be be replayed and this is when Egan went for it, ending with Acevedo's catch. On the play WC's Ramsey seemed to be in prime position to knock the pass down, but somehow the ball eluded his waving arm. Both teams had chances to break the tie in the fourth, but West sr. K Jay McCarrie missed a 37-yard field goal and CE's Savage was intercepted by Ramsey at the West 1-yard line to halt a possible Eagle score. In overtime, Savage behind a good play-action hit jr. TE Anthony Caranci on a 10-yard toss on their first play. Jr. K Matt Fischer added the extra-point. When West got the ball their plays went as following, Brinkley loss a yard when he fell trying to make a cut. Ramsey was then held for no gain, on third down there was an incompletion. This set the stage for the fourth down play. On the play, sr. QB Matt Rodia rolled right, when under a good rush he spun and began to sprint to his left. Looking like he was going to try and score, he suddenly stopped and hit a wide open Brinkley in the endzone for the touchdown. However, before the Burrs could celebrate a flag was thrown and Rodia was called for throwing past the line-of-scrimmage. The play resulted in no TD and a loss of down, ending the game. My perspective on the play, and admittedly I was not looking where Rodia released the ball,was that it was real close. The ball was marked between the ten and eleven-yard lines, and it appeared to me that Rodia didn't cross the ten. Personally, on a play that close, I would have liked to seen the kids decide the outcome. Despite the fact that the offensive fireworks of Brinkley and Slaton were limited, nonetheless there were still some outstanding individual performances. No one was better than CE sr. LB Rob Biernat on this night. The agressive and strong tackler was in on a game high 17 tackles. He recovered a fumble and blocked an extra point, which turned out to be crucial. He spearheaded a defense that help limit Brinkley to 111 yards on 27 carries. He was not alone though, help also came from sr. DT Matt Brazil (6-4, 245) who registered 12 tackles, including 2 sacks. He spent a good part of the night in the Burr backfield. Acevedo chipped in with 8 tackles from his defensive back position. Jr. RB/DB Chris Schafer blocked a punt, while jr. DB Ryan Papandrea recovered a fumble. Sr. DE Mike Smith added 5 tackles. Offensively, it was Savage's throwing that provided the spark. He threw for a career high 118 yards on 6 completions. The speedy Slaton was contained by the Burr defense and logged just 47 yards on 17 carries. Quinn finished with 72 yards on three recptions. For West, Brinkley did manage the 111 yards and sr. FB/LB Chester Roebuck gained 52 yards on 8 carries. Soph LB Thomas Davis had a team high 9 tackles. Sr. DT Steven Williams recovered a fumble and blocked a field goal. Soph DE Derrell Hand recovered a fumble that was forced by sr. DB George Williams. Ramsey going along with his INT had 6 tackles. Roebuck also had six tackles. It was a tough night for McCarrie, who missed three field goals. To his defense the weather was not kicker-friendly. His first attempt was a 37-yarder that fell short by mere inches. A good crowd was in attendance for the Eagle Homecoming. However, I think we may have seen an even larger crowd if not for the conditions. I wouldn't mind seeing these teams meet again down the road, where the conditions were a little more appealiing. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if these two teams didn't meet again when the stakes will be just a tad higher.

OCT. 5
West Catholic 29 Neumann 14
     The 15-point margin of victory does not give the competitiveness of this game much justice. The fact is that West had their hands full all afternoon. For many stretches Neumann actually outplayed the Burrs. In the end, West made the necessary plays and came away with a quality road win against a physical football team. With the score 15-8 West, Neumann, jr. QB Jon Brady scored on a 1-yard sneak to pull the Pirates within one point with 3:02 remaining in the contest. Without a quality kicker, Neumann opted to go for a 2-point conversion. Sr. FB Jimmy Porreca was stopped a good yard and a half short of the end zone. Burr Soph LB Kevin Reeder, sr. LB/RB Chester Roebuck (6-2, 245), and jr. DE Dave Fitzgerald all contributed on the tackle. On the ensuing onside kick, the ball got through the first line and then bounced slightly back toward the middle of the field into the arms of sr. DB/WR Jonathan Jackson. Jackson jetted to the left and went untouched for a 63-yard kickoff return to seal the win. On the play, Jackson received a tremendous block from sr. DB Matt Rodia. On a day where star jr. RB Curtis Brinkley was held in check, the Burrs received excellent contributions from their other top-flight players. Jackson and Rodia were awarded game balls. It was Rodia who gave the Burrs their first lead late in the third quarter. On a fourth down play, Rodia lined up as a TE. He ran straight down the field and then turned right towards the cone. Jr. QB Will Burke, showing good arm strength against a stiff breeze, lofted a beautiful pass, that turned into an even better catch. Rodia, with a couple of defenders close by, showed excellent concentration and made a diving catch as his momentum took him into the end zone. He immediately jumped up and pointed to his father in the stands. The catch and the feel-good moment after the play were two of the better occurrences I remember in the last few years of attending West football games. Jackson (7 tackles), who is being recruited by numerous D-1 programs, had what you may call a breakout game. Early in the contest he intercepted a pass in the end zone. Besides his jaunt on the kickoff, the extremely fast Jackson saved two touchdowns when catching Neumann players from behind. One of the tackles was hauling down jr. RB/DB Billy Canady, who is not exactly slow. With Brinkley being bottled up, especially in the first half, the bulky Roebuck unleashed an onslaught in the middle of the Neumann defense. He rushed for 112 yards on just 12 carries, including a 41-yard touchdown that tied the game up in the first quarter. Roebuck's running prowess is improving each week and he is nice complement to Brinkley. Brinkley was having trouble getting space, as Neumann came up with an excellent game plan to contain the explosive back. With that being said, Brinkley did manage to rush for 100 yards on 17 carries. Many of his yards came late. He did find some success on laterals/bubble screens in which he gained 14 and 18 yards on two occasions. He iced the game on a nifty 25-yard run with just over a minute remaining. Defensive leaders were Roebuck (7 tackles), sr. DT Will Grant (6-0,320) was in on 7 tackles, soph DB Chris Diaferio had 5 tackles, and INT, and four passes defended, soph LB Thomas Davis and Fitzgerald evenly split 10 tackles. Sr. DB Robert Ramsey missed most of the first half with what looked to be a hyper-extension around his elbow. It appeared to be very painful, but the gutsy Ramsey managed to come back in the second half virtually playing with one arm. The Pirates got a tremendous game out of Porreca; he rushed for 167 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries. Most of his runs came in between the tackles. Porreca has surprisingly quick feet and a good feel of where to go. Brady had mild success on the day completing 7 passes for 78 yards. His favorite target was sr. WR Jack Hatty (6-4, 180) who had three catches. Defensively, Canady had 6 tackles. Sr. DB Mike "Benji" Gillespie had a team high 7 tackles. He, jr. LB Frank Baldino (5 tackles) and sr. LB Mike McGinn (5 tackles) did an excellent job of containing Brinkley on run-blitzes. These guys pretty much had free reign has Neumann's gigantic line stood up the West offensive line, creating creases where they could make defensive stops. Neumann is still a dark horse for the CL Blue crown. They have enough size on both lines to make things difficult for the opposition. They play strong and aggressive defense, and if they can get a little more offensive consistency then there is no reason why they shouldn't be in the hunt. This is the first time in West head coach Brian Fluck's term that his team has had a four game winning streak and been two games over .500. Next for the Burrs in their much anticpated match up with CL Blue co-leader Conwell-Egan.

SEPT. 28
Roman 12, O'Hara 7

     For the second consecutive week the Cahillites came away with a narrow victory over a tough opponent. This game was very defensive. I wouldn't say that the offense played poor, but that the defenses were exceptional and made things difficult for each other's offensive units. O'Hara's sr. DL Omar Emmens recovered a fumble on Roman's second possession on the Cahillite 32-yard line. Six plays later soph RB Steve Cook plunged in from a yard out to give O'Hara a 7-0 lead. The touchdown was set up by a nice 29-yard completion from jr. QB Brian Campbell to soph wr. Sean Barksdale that put the ball at the 5-yard line. From this point on both teams could not muster much offensive prowess in the first half. The Cahillites finally began to click at the midway point of the third quarter. With the shadows of their own endzone at their backs Roman embarked on 4:46 drive that covered 96 yards. Jr. QB Andre Sloan-El took the game over at this point. On this possession he connected on all four of his pass attempts. He hit sr. TE Kevin Cahill for 12 yards, then jr. WR Charlie Squitiere for 13, 37, and a 9-yard scoring strike. Sr. Rb Andy Amaro also had a key 14-yard run on the drive. Sr. K/WR John Pendergast (4-38) nailed the extra-point, but pushed it wide leaving the Cahillites down by one, at 7-6. The game's final score came after an 8-play drive that took Roman 80 yards. Once again Sloan-El was brilliant. He completed 5-of-7 passes on the drive for 79 yards. With 5:05 remaining Sloan-El found a streaking Squitiere down the middle of the field. The ball was slightly underthrown, thus giving Lion defenders time to converge. Squitiere caught the ball around the five, but was hit and fumbled around the two. He alertly jumped-up and pounced on the loose ball for a 36-yard TD reception. For the game, Sloan-El passed 12-of-18 for 177 yards. Squitiere hauled in 6 passes for 121 yards. This combination is one of the most underrated combinations in the city. I really like how they complement each other. Sloan-El will take chances over the middle and Squitiere is fearless in going after them. The Lions would have two more opportunities with the ball, but Roman's defense was to strong on this evening. Key sacks by sr. LB Joe Miller and jr. De Charron Fisher (6-3,230) stalled the first drive. You can tell that Fisher, a stud basketball player, is playing with much more of a purpose this season. On O'Hara's last possession they used up exactly :17, and were unsuccessful on four pass attempts. Roman took over with 2:06 remaining and with hard running by jr. FB Rob Deery iced the game. The Lions were severly hampered without the services of sr. QB Craig Haywood and star jr. RB Anthony Heygood. The combination of Cook (13-22) and jr. RB Anthony Lucidonio (8-21) have had success of late, but never got on track in this one. Roman held O'Hara to just 119 yards of total offense and the usually potent Lion ground game was held to 39 yards on 30 carries. Ouch!!! Campbell had mild success at points, but spent much of the second half under heavy pressure. The Cahillites got a tremendous game out of jr. DB Sean Dolan, who aggressively intercepted two balls. In both cases he just wanted the ball more than the O'Hara receivers. DE Cahill is very strong and tough to contain. He led the defense with 8 tackles. Fisher contributed 6 tackles and jr. LB Mike Gavin add six as well. The Cahillites play strong and aggressive team defense. You can really see the excitement of winning on their faces. The positive enthusiasum looks to have trickled down from the coaching staff and the players are starting to believe in themselves. O'Hara, besides the two scoring drives, played very well itself. The were led by sr. LB Corey Cannon, who I left very impressed with. He had a game high 15 tackles and showed sideline-to-sideline ability. Sr. LB Paul Signora (6 tackles), sr. Db Chris Smyth (7 tackles), and Emmons all recovered fumbles. The crowd was decent, but I expected a little better turnout considering the level of the teams. The game was played in ultra-quick fashion getting over in just around two hours. The first half lasted only 32 minutes. A far cry from the West/Kennedy-Kenrick game I saw earlier at the same field that went nearly 3 hours.

SEPT. 28
West Catholic 40, Kennedy-Kenrick 12
The Burrs scored on four-of-five first half possessions and also returned a kickoff for a score to take a commanding 33-6 lead going into the lockeroom. The Wolverines were no match for the speed of theBurrs. Jr. RB Curtis "Boonah" Brinkley was once again sensational. The explosive back became the first player in city history to rush for over 300 yards twice in a career. his first came two weeks ago against Judge. Also, he raised his career rushing total to 3,549 yards, placing him sixth all-time. On this afternoon he rushed 23 times for 304 yards and four touchdowns (22,10,89,29). Interestingly enough his best run may of come on the shortest of touchdowns. He took a handoff designed to go right, was immediately hit, but spun free heading left for the score. On his 89-yarder he broke through the right side of the line virtually untouched and then was off to the races. Through five games Brinkley's yardage totals are being produced at an alarming rate. Overshadowed in Brinkley's performance was the day put forth by sr. FB/LB Chester Roebuck (6-2,245). Roebuck who has been a horse as a lead blocker this season had a good day running the ball. The hulking, yet
deceivingly mobile runner produced 105 yards on just 9 carries. He had runs of 24 and 40 yards in the game. He seems to catch teams off-guard, as they concentrate on Brinkley. Jr. QB Will Burke only attempted two passes, completing both. One went for a beautiful TD pass to sr. WR/DB Jonathon Jackson (2-40). Near the end of the half Burke lofted a nice fade pass to the
far side of the field where Jackson made a nice leaping catch. Burke put a strong two-way performance in, and starred on defense. Receiving more playing time because of the absence of starting sr. DB
Matt Rodia (planned trip to Florida), Burke recorded 7 tackles and made an athletic INT and returned it 34 yards. Jackson led the Burrs with 8 tackles and 5 passes defended. However, I would like to see Jackson intercept some of the balls he defended. He looks to be running before looking the ball all the way in. Sr.
DT Will Grant (6-0,315) had 5 tackles, 2 TFL's. Sr. DB Evan Polk intercepted a pass late in the contest and returned it 35 yards. West got great offensive line play from Grant, sr. Mike Cannon (6-5,255), soph C Frank Pirrotta, jr. Fran Enright, sr. Tyler Mims, soph Matt DeMarco (6-1,285), and soph TE Derrell Hand (6-5,265). This group help considerably in generating 465 yards on the ground. The Wolverines despite falling behind early did not quit. The were led by soph QB Brian Gillin, who is very athletic and is a player. The Wolverines had 308 yards on offense in the game and Gillin was responsible for 253 of them. He rushed 11 times for 85 yards. He only completed 8-of-24 passes, 168 yards, but through a pretty ball on many of them. He hit jr. Wr Anthony Powell (45 yds) and soph WR Jay Rigg (30 yds) on scoring plays. Jr. LB Tom Sztubinski led the Wolverine defense with 8 tackles and a fumble recovery. Sr. DL Rafael Calzadilla (6-2,285) added 6 tackles. Jr. DL Eric Ondik (6-1,240) had 5 tackles and a sack. Jr. DB Dan Connor contributed 6 tackles and jr. LB Mike Orman (6-0,270) recovered a fumble. The game slowed considerably as the late stages wore on. In fact, the game became somewhat chippy, but the referees did a nice job of not letting get to nuts.

SEPT. 27
Overbrook 24 Southern 0
     I'm glad to that the number of players in uniform has increased for Southern. However, the improvement in player turnout does not necessarily correlate to an improvement in offensive capabilities. The Rams were woeful on offense all day. I wish I could say that the Overbrook's defense is the second coming of the '86 Chicago bears, but I can't. For the game, Southern only ran 24 plays and were held to minus-8 yards of offense. They gained just one first down, on a 10-yard run by QB Monir Nock. Southern had 8 possessions on the afternoon. Only one of them ended conventionally; in this case a successful punt. The other seven times they had the ball, the series ended in miscues. Five ended in turnovers (2 INT's and 3 fumbles), one time they tried a pass on a fake punt, and the other possession ended when the punter dropped the ball and was tackled. Overbrook did have some nice moments. Jr. QB Sultan Sanders scored two touchdowns on short runs. He split time with sr. QB Neil Fisher. On the last play of the first half, with the clock running, Fisher broke free in-the-pocket from two Ram defenders and lofted a pass down the middle of the field that found sr. WR/DB Omarr Clark. Clark backpeddled into the end zone to give the 'Brook a commanding 12-0 lead. The Panthers' other score came on a 1-yard run by sr. FB Allan Tillman (13-47). Soph RB William Brownlee (12-40) did some nice running. Tillman (West Cath.) and Fisher (Bonner) are recent transfers from a couple of Catholic League schools. Tillman added an INT late in the first half. Sr. DB Joseph Shedrick also had a pick. Jr. DB Michael Pitts recoverd two fumbles. Fisher added a fumble recovery. Clark (7 tackles) and sr. LB Robert Littlejohn (6 tackles) were leaders on defense. The Rams got good defensive performaces from LB's soph Justin Digby (7 tackles) and jr. Gerald Terry (6 tackles, sack). Clark was very personable throughout the game. Before the game he mentioned to me that he liked the prediction in my forecast about the game. In the late stages he even apologized from not getting a two-point conversion try. That would have given us a 26-0 final; the forecast had predicted a 26-0 final.

SEPT. 19
Conwell-Egan 19, Wood 10
     After watching West Catholic's Curtis "Boonah" Brinkley put on a show earlier in the day. I figured why not go and check out another stud running back in C-E's super-soph Steve Slaton. I was not disappointed!!! Slaton missed the Eagles' first series and had just 2 yards on a carry after the first quarter. He carried for a yard on his first carry of the second quarter. On the next play the lightning-fast Slaton took a toss-left and went untouched around the corner for an 83-yard touchdown. It is this kind of a play that makes Slaton so dangerous. He has the ability to strike and go the distance any time he touches the ball. He later added a 43-yard touchdown and rushed for 235 yards on 23 carries. The Slaton/Brinkley duel in three weeks is shaping up as something special. Slaton wasn't a one-man show, however. The Eagles got good performances from their two fullbacks. Sr. Matt Smith and jr. Chris Schafer blocked well and combined for 71 yards on 14 carries. I liked how the CE coaches mixed other runners into the offense. On the Eagles first possession of the second half the duo carried for four times for 35 yards and then Slaton broke the 43-yarder. C-E racked up 315 yards on 42 carries on the evening. Sr. K Matt Fischer converted two field goals (23, 30). He had plenty of leg on a 35-yarder, but pulled it left. Sr. LB Rob Biernat was instrumental on defense with 10 tackles. He also made a beautiful interception on the Vikings' last drive to seal the win. Jr. DB Ryan Papandrea had 7 tackles and picked off a pass late in the first half. He returned it 41 yards to the Wood 9 yard line. However, the Eagles failed to score when Slaton tried a halfback pass as time expired. Soph LB Matt Porreca chipped in with 5 tackles and sr. DT Vince Magnum added six tackles. Sr. OL/DT Matt Brazil was steady throughout and looks to be one of the Eagles' leaders. Wood behind early success from sr. FB Bob Prieto (15-61) and some niftiness with the ball by jr. QB Dane Mangin scored first. The score came on a 20-yard rumble by Prieto. From this point on the Vikings offense sputtered and managed just 126 yards in total offense. Jr. K Tom Laurich pulled the Vikings to within 16-10 with a 28-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter. Defensively, the Vikings had trouble keeping up with Slaton and company as the game wore on. The were led by sr. LB Josh Kosinski, who registered a team high 12 tackles and a sack. Soph DB John McFadden had 8 tackles. I was very impressed with sr. DT Anthony Mora (6-0, 250). Mora (6 tackles) showed good agility and surprising quickness all night. The Eagles were supported by a good crowd. This Conwell-Egan team has interesting possibilities in what looks like to be a wide open CL Blue division.

SEPT. 21
West Catholic 28 Carroll 21
The dominance the Archbishop Carroll football team has unleashed on its CL Blue division opponents the last two years took a major hit yesterday afternoon. Coming into the game the Pats had won 18 consecutive games against divisional foes. The Burrs seized control early and held on for the win. The Burrs scored the first three times the had the ball, and staked claimed to 21-0 lead. Leading the assault was franchise, jr. RB Curtis "Boonah" Brinkley. Brinkley ran 28 times for 221 yards, and three scores (13, 24, 4). His first score was a thing of beauty. He bounced outside and outran three Patriot defenders while diving for the cone. Carroll's first series ended when sr. P/K/DB Ryan McGoldrick tried to hit sr. WR/DB Chaz Scott on a pass. The ball was severely off target. It didn't seem to be a designed play, but West had failed to cover Scott who was wide open by the sideline. The Burrs took over at the 44, and five plays later sr. RB/DB Robert Ramsey scored from 5 yards. The Burrs used the full house backfield with Ramsey sandwiched between sr. FB/LB Chester Roebuck (7-42) and Brinkley. Brinkley's 13-yard run was the second score. Ramsey's (9 tackles) recovered a fumble, forced by sr. DT Steven Williams (5 tackles, sack). Two plays later Brinkley raced down the right sideline 24 yards for the third West score in as many possessions. Along with Ramsey and Williams,  West received strong defensive performances from Roebuck (8 tackles), sr. DB Jonathan Jackson (8 tackles), sr. DB Matt Rodia (5 tackles), soph. LB Thomas Davis (5 tackles), and soph. DE Derrell Hand (6-4, 265) who had 6 tackles, including 2 sacks. Hand has a chance to be very good. He'll need to dedicate himself, but has good size and athletic ability. Sr. K/P Jay McCarrie was successful on four PAT's and punted twice for 34.5 average. Frosh WR John Maddox (6-4, 175) dropped an early pass, but did an excellent job of recovering two onside kick attempts. The recoveries were slammed hard by McGoldrick and Maddox showed good concentration in accepting the balls. West got good line play from sr. G Will Grant (6-0, 320), soph C Frank Pirotta, and sr. OL Mike Cannon (6-3, 255). Carroll which was outplayed for the entire first half received some much needed momentum late in the second quarter. Jr. RB Ryan Stewart (12-53) scored from 6 yards out. The score was setup by a 32-yard run by Stewart. The Carroll ground game never really got on track, as the Burrs did an excellent job of containing the Patriots usually tough running attack. Sr. FB/LB manchild James Roderick (6-1, 260) was held in check. He managed just 28 yards on 10 carries. Carroll's frustration could be summed up by one drive. After West took a 7-0 lead the Pats went on 17-play, 8:55 drive. The drive stalled at the 11 and a botched snap prevented a field goal attempt. Carroll pulled within 21-14 when sr. QB Pat Brochet (6-15, 85 yards) lofted a 26-yard TD pass to Stewart who got behind two West defenders early in the fourth quarter. Carroll then held West on their next possession. However, they produced a three-and-out of their own and were forced to punt. West expanded their lead to 28-14 the next time they had the ball on Brinkley's four-yard run. With a 1:43 left Borchet found Scott (3-45) in the back of the endzone of on a fourth down play. The ensuing onside kick went out-of-bounds. Carroll still had three timeouts remaining, but Brinkley converted a third down conversion and a fourth down conversion to ice the game. Carroll got good defensive performances from sr. LB Paul Rambo (7 tackles), Scott and sr. LB Mitch Yanak each contributed 6 tackles.   A good crowd was on hand for the contest and they were treated to a fabulous high school football game.

SEPT. 19
Bartram 24, Lincoln 6
     Take Bartram's, sr. RB Chironn "Goober" Davis away and these teams just might mirror one another. Davis was head and shoulders the best player on the field. He pounded out 138 yards on 21 carries, and scored three TDs (3,1, & 8). Davis did a nice job of staying with blocks and hitting the hole with excellent quickness. The Maroon Wave are going to have to find some other people to complement him on offense. If not, teams will key on him and make things extremely difficult for them to move the ball. Bartram's first score was setup by jr. LB Jeremy Welzcher's interception. Welzcher showed a nose for the ball as he also added two fumble recoveries and 5 tackles. Bartram took a 12-6 lead late in the third quarter. On Lincoln's next series, sr. DT/OL Roy Malcom (6-1, 290) broke into the backfield and interrupted the exchange. The ball popped into the air and into the waiting arms of sr. LB Kajaun Mack, who raced 29 yards for the score. Malcom finished with 11 tackles and had some nice moments on the O-line as well. Jr. LB Adrian Jackson had a game high 13 tackles and seemed to be everywhere. I also liked jr. LB Marvin Snipes who finished with 7 tackles. Sr. OT/DT Richard Mink (6-5, 255) has interesting possibilities if he can add some weight, Sr. QB Todd McCoy directed the Bartram offense. He wasn't asked to pass much, but did complete a rope of a pass along the sideline to sr. WR Randal Eggleton for a 23-yard gain. This set up Bartram's go-ahead score. Jr. WR/DB Alvin Tate looks to have some skills that may make him a prospect down the road. The Railsplitters struggled on offense for a good part of the night. Early on they did execute a 15-play scoring drive that tied the game at 6-6 in the beginning of the second quarter. On the drive they converted two-fourth down conversions. The drive ended with a 4-yard run by jr. RB Bernard Franklin (18-58). On occasion, Franklin showed some speed on runs of 13 and 14 yards. Lincoln's passing game was woeful, as they did not register a completion. Their scoring drive accounted for 68 of their 101 total yards. Soph FB Charles Whittington (5-9, 230) did some hard running and has potential. I was impressed with jr. DE Otis Young (6-1, 245) before he left with an ankle injury. QB/DB Brahim Bilal showed good hands with a fourth quarter interception. Soph LB Joe Digrazio recovered a fumble. Sr. OT/DT Angelo Ocasio had nice moments on both sides of the ball. He finished with 5 tackles, including a sack. PUB rare occurrence # 1: Lincoln was actually called for a delay of game penalty. PUB rare occurrence # 2: Lincoln was called for another delay of game penalty. Rarely, do you see delay penalties in the PUB, even when there is a noticeable game clock. During the first quarter I asked a Lincoln assistant if a roster was available. I was told, "No. We left them all in the locker." Shortly after that, while a trainer was attending to Young's ankle injury he asked for some ice. I overheard, "We left the ice in the refrigerator." I pondered to myself, let's just be happy they showed up with uniforms. In the waning moments a strange moment turned into a joyous one. For some unknown reason Lincoln called timeout with :01 left on the game clock. As it turns out, this gave Bartram coach Frank "Roscoe" Natale a chance to get very, very deep sub, sr. DT Henry Armstrong, into the contest. The Bartram players and few fans in attendance chanted, "Henry, Henry, Henry......" The smile on this kid's face as he ran off the field was well worth the ill-advised timeout. Good job Henry!!!!!!

North Catholic 19, West Catholic 18
     Can you say DEJA VU? The feisty Falcons beat the Burrs by the identical score last season. North played tough and inspired ball all evening. The players and coaches were into it all night. Many Falcons played well, but their unquestioned leader was sr. QB/DB Brian Mitchell. Mitchell scored all three Falcon touchdowns on runs of (7, 2, 5). In all, he rushed 13 times for 83 yards, while passing for another 50 yards. Countless times North found itself in third down situations, and on most occasions Mitchell provided the spark. He would continually drop back to pass, while the receivers ran considerable routes. No need to throw the ball, he just out ran West' lineman and linebackers for first downs. This happen on at least six possessions. Mitchell's work was not done there, he also provided a lift defensively by forcing and recovering an early fumble that probably kept the Burrs out of the endzone. Sounds like a night's work? Not quite!!! Mitchell was also responsible for the kicking. Included in this was the extra-point that provided the difference. He also punted extremely well. Not so much in a yardage number, but more in the direction. Thus, keeping the ball away from the Burrs' speedy return men. If you check last year's report that I did on this game you'll see a similar performance put in by Mike "Pio" Piotrowicz. Not to go unnoticed was the running of soph. RB Shane McNamara (25-112). McNamara fought tooth and nail for every yard he got. He did the brunt of the work to set up all of Mitchell's scores. This kid has a chance to be a nice player in the years to come. Paving the way for McNamara and Mitchell was sr. FB Pat Fahr. He did a tremendous job of lead blocking from his fullback position. Defensively, jr. LB Phil Renninger (7 tackles) forced and recovered a fumble. Sr. LB Kevin Waclowski had 6 tackles and a sack. Soph LB Dominic Fardella registered 6 tackles. Jr. LB Ryan Nadis added a sack. Sr. DB/WR Dave Rodriguez made a pick and had two catches from his receiver position. Sr. LB Chris Stine (5 tackles) looked to be the Falcon defensive leader. North played well and without a doubt deserve to win the game. They made much more fewer mistakes than the Burrs. One of their few mistakes was not having a roster for yours truly, for the third consecutive year. When this first happened three years ago, I was told that they didn't expect anyone at their games. I prompted, Daily News statmen are everywhere. We still are!!! Without a roster it makes it very tough to mention lineman, but North's line played very well. The Burrs killed themselves with three-first half turnovers. This fueled North's fire and they found themselves in a dog fight that they couldn't recover from. Jr. RB/DB Curtis "Boonah" Brinkley was once again sensational. Brinkley rushed for 188 yards on 23 carries. Brinkley actually amassed 324 all-purpose yards. This included a beautiful 44-yard TD reception in the waning moments of the first half. He also an INT on defense. Brinkley came all so close to springing a 95-yard touchdown. Seemingly in the clear he began to cramp-up around midfield and was brought down. He subsequently scored on this drive from nine yards out. Jr. QB Will Burke (60 yds passing) was at the helm for West. He played a nice game, with no serious blunders, mixed with a few decent moments. Early on West got a couple of nice runs from sr. FB/LB Chester Roebuck (2-31). However, he injured an ankle and his time on offense ended until the final minutes. He missed considerable time on defense in the first half and was hobbled the rest of the way. He did contribute seven tackles. Soph. FB Thomas "Tom Tom" Vongerath (5-31) filled in nicely and did some hard running of his own. Sr. DB Robert Ramsey also fell to injury. He lacerated a finger around his nail and was taken to the hospital for observations. This loss slowed the Burrs defense greatly. SR. WR/DB Jonathon Jackson scored on 2-yard flanker sweep and was the Burrs vocal leader on defense. Soph LB Frank Pirrotta was in on 6 tackles. Soph DE Derrell Hand also had 6 tackles and looked to be recovered from the slight knee injury he suffered last week. For the second straight game the Burrs did not punt the ball, amazing! However, for the second straight game they turned the ball over too many times and didn't force any turnovers of their own. Excluding Brinkley's INT on a hail Mary pass to end the first half. Oh by the way, I think Charlie Martin Stadium might be in for a long season once again. The grass was high along the sidelines and the middle of the field was just weeds. These weeds will soon be one long strip of dust in the weeks to come.

Episcopal 34 Neumann 14
     The Churchmen spotted Neumann 14 points before countering with 34 of their own for a nice come from behind victory. The Pirates dominated the early stages of the game, but to Episcopal's credit they mounted a late 14-play second quarter drive to pull within 14-6. The drive drew the ire of the Neumann coaching staff directed at the officials on more than a few occasions. The key play was a near interception by Neumann's, sr. DB Mike "Benji" Gillespie. The play was immediately ruled incomplete, but the officials later conferred and stuck to the original call. From my angle I thought the ball hit the ground, but wasn't sure if it was after Gillespie was getting up. The second half was totally dominated by the Churchmen. They held Neumann to 4 yards of total offense, 1 first down, and forced three turnovers all resulting in eventual touchdowns. Sr. RB Chris Auch was used sparingly in half number one, but made a ton of noise in the second half. Auch rushed 20 times for 93 yards (87 yards in 2nd half) and scored all four Churchmen touchdowns in the second half. On one of Auch's scores he absolutely blasted Neumann, jr. DB Larry White while entering the end zone. Earlier, Auch also made a nice sprawling catch giving his team a first down on the go ahead drive. Sr. QB 6-4 Garrett Wilson (6-4, 190) is rangy and ran a nice option for the Churchmen. He finished with 8 carries for 38 yards and a score. He was not asked to throw much, but his best passes of the day were on point-after attempts, completions to jr. RB Justin Leake. Sr. RB Mike Lamb (14-42) ran hard from his fullback position and got the bulk of the workload in the first half. Defensively, I left very impressed with more than a few of Episcopal's players. Sr. DT Mike Norrett (6-0, 290) is a quality two-way lineman. He finished with 6 tackles and made a great play causing a fumble that led to a score. Soph. DB Brian Fitzpatrick made probably the game's two most pivotal play! s. First, on a punt return he ripped the ball from Neumann's, jr. RB/DB/MP Billy Canady's hands deep in Pirate territory. This lead to one of Auch's scores. Minutes later he picked off a pass and that subsequently led to a score. Soph. LB/TE Joe Rosati (6-2, 180) registered 11 tackles. I'm sure Rosati in the next year or two will add weight and might end up being a solid defensive end. He showed good speed and a nose for the ball. Soph LB Peter Wichman who had 7 tackles showed some promise. Jr. DT Mike Sheehan (6-2, 260) recovered a fumble. Soph OL Greg Isdaner (6-3, 260) is a prospect on the line. Over the years I have not always had too many opportunities to cover games featuring teams from the Inter-Ac, but when I have, one thing has always been evident. The Inter-Ac almost always has quality kickers. Episcopal's, sr. K/P Francisco Uribe was no exception. Uribe punted three times for a 48.7 avg. He also boomed three touchbacks. He got good to great hang time on all of his kicks. On Episcopal's third touchdown of the second half they must have smelled blood in the water. They used a hurry-up attack in the short drive and easily scored. What started as a promising day for the Pirates soured quickly. Sr. RB Jimmy Porreca (17-55) scored on two short runs and gave Neumann 14-0 lead. From that point on the offense sputtered and that is putting it mildly. Canady (5-66) looks to be Neumann quickest back. One of his carries gained 60 yards before being pushed out of bounds. The Pirates have a mammoth offensive line and for them to be successful they are going to have to try and control the ball and pound people. This is not a catch-up kind of team. When Episcopal knew they were going to throw, things became extremely difficult for the Pirate offense. Also, the line play seemed to wilt in the second half heat. Sr. TE/DE Al Meacham (6-4, 280) has nice pair of mittens and runs well for being big. I was really impressed with soph OL/DT Marques Slocum (6-5, 315). Two years from now big time schools will be banging down his door. He is very impressive when he pulls from his guard position and paves the way to the outside. He is quite athletic, agile, and can run. I expect big things from him before his career as a Pirate is over. On defense, sr. LB Dan Concannon and jr. LB Darryl Gillard recover fumbles. Sr. LB Tim McGinn was in on 10 tackles and sr. DT Ed McDuffie (6-4, 312) had a sack.

AUG. 31
Roman 21 West 7
     Despite the two-touchdown spread in the final score this game was very competitive and evenly played throughout. The game was scoreless at halftime and was knotted at 7-7 going into the final quarter.  The Cahillite defense forced three Burr fumbles; two of these turnovers led to scores. Meanwhile, Roman's offense took care of the ball, and this was undoubtedly one of the main factors in the contest. Roman mustered 301 yards of total offense. Amazingly, 167 of those yards came on just four plays. The offensive stars for the Cahillites were jr. QB Andre Sloan-El and sr. RB Johnny Ortiz. The Burrs kept the talented Sloan-El (9-75) from running wild, but the sleek and elusive southpaw did escape early in the third quarter for a 49-yard touchdown run down the right sideline. Sloan-El looks to play with much more confidence than he did last year. Ortiz only managed a couple of touches in the first half, but the diminutive back became slippery in the second half. Ortiz finished the game with 7 carries for 134 yards, including a 46-yard touchdown run that put Roman up for good. He also set up scores with runs of 35 and 37 yards. Soph RB Marc Patricelli (14-48) did a good part of the running in the first half and played well. Offensive linemen sr. Chris Guinter, sr. Tom Sugden (6-4, 300) and sr. Jeff Grimmie were pivotal in opening up holes. Defensively, Roman used good team defense to contain the speedy Burrs. Jr. LB Tom Bowen (7 tackles, sack) seemed to be everywhere. Jr. DT Jim Gullifer was a rock on the line and forced a fumble. Sr. LB Joe Miller, jr. DB Mike Gavin, and soph LB Brian Chiodi each recovered fumbles. Sr. LB Derek Dopkin (4 tackles) and soph LB Sean Matthews (4 tackles) both played a steady game. Coming into this contest I was interested to see how basketball star, jr. DE/WR Charron Fisher (6-3, 225) would fair. Fisher looked very into the game and showed good speed on defense. He finished with a few tackles and a key sack late in the contest. Fisher has tremendous upside in this sport if he wishes to dedicate himself to it. The Burrs came into the game wanting to make some early season noise. Though they failed to come up with the win there were many positive things to build upon. However, they will need to cutdown on the turnovers and mental mistakes if they expect to make serious strides this season. Jr. RB Curtis Brinkley (30-225) was brilliant and on more than a few occasions was close to springing the long one. You'll have to give the Cahillites credit for not allowing this and in a sense containing Brinkley. Brinkley has a chance to put up some lofty rushing numbers this season. West got good offensive line play from sr. Will Grant (6-0, 320), sr. Mike Cannon (6-3,255), soph Frank Pirrotta, sr. Tyler Mims, jr. Fran Enright, and soph Matt Demarco (6-1, 285). Grant has serious talent and can move pretty good. He is very hard to contain on the defensive line. Division 1 prospect, sr. DB/WR Jonathon Jackson showed his speed when he caught Ortiz from behind on one of his long runs. Sr. DB Robert Ramsey played fearless once again leading the Burrs with 8 tackles. Ramsey and Jackson are two of the speedier Burrs, but only touched the ball once between them on offense. I expect them to be worked a bit more next week. Sr. FB/LB Chester Roebuck (6-3, 235) was a force as a lead blocker and contributed 7 tackles and a nice sack on defense. Roebuck, who transferred in from Chestnut Hill, should be a nice addition for the Burrs. Sr. QB/DB Matt Rodia and jr. QB Will Burke shared the quarterbacking duties, with Rodia getting the majority of the snaps. Burke did score the lone Burr touchdown on a 1-yard keeper. Soph DE/TE Derrell Hand (6-4, 265) nicely blocked a punt on Roman's first possession. Cannon scooped up the ball and with another block probably would have scored. Instead, he was dragged down from behind at the Roman 20. West ended that series with a failed field goal attempt because of a poor snap. Interestingly, the Burrs did not punt all afternoon. The game was witnessed by a good crowd and luckily the rain stayed away until the final few ticks of the clock.

AUG. 30
Bonner 6 Upper Darby 0

     This game between neighborhood rivals was lackluster at best. The Friars controlled throughout, but continually hurt themselves with penalties and turned the ball over three times. They also missed an excellent scoring opportunity early in the second quarter, where a fumbled exchange cost them a shot at a touchdown or even a first down on a fourth-down play inside the one-yard line. Despite the multiple miscues Bonner has chance to be very competitive in the ever-tough CL Red. As it did so many times last year the Friar defense dominated. Led by sr. LB Matt Asciutto (12 tackles, forced fumble), Bonner stymied the Royals all night. Asciutto was a force throughout and reminds me of last year's standout Friar linebacker Dom Armideo. Upper Darby managed just four first downs and 92 yards in total offense. They only crossed midfield once and their longest gain from scrimmage was just 11 yards (twice). Also in on the defensive parade for the Friars were, sr. LB Vince Bigioni (5 tackles) and jr. LB Anthony DiEmidio (5 tackles, fumble recovery). Sr. DB Chris Eccles was stellar throughout. Eccles is an excellent cover man, who breaks on the ball nicely. Offensively, the Friars did some good things, but were inconsistent because of too many mistakes. The Friars' main weapon t was sr. K/P Chris Schrader. Schrader easily booted 28-yard and 21-yard field goals in the first and third quarters. He came up a couple of yards short on a 49-yard field goal in the second quarter. Schrader has a big-time leg and though high D-1 schools aren't quick to give out scholarships to kickers, they should give this kid some serious attention. Sr. QB Frank Nunan played well. He passed 7-of-15 for 104 yards and ran 17 times for 51 yards. Nunan looked confident and is very athletic. Sr. RB Nick Verdi (8-77) and sr. RB Tom DeVietro (13-57) ran hard and paced the Friar ground attack. Sr. WR Paul McNichol snagged 3 balls for 51 yards and has the look that he can lull you to sleep before springing a big one. Sr. TE Nick Celenza (2-41) might an excellent catch amongst a host of Upper Darby defenders in the middle of the field. Sr. WR Dave Pasciolla returned a punt 41 yards leading to Schrader's second field goal. Sr. OL John Wickersham (6-4, 345) is just a tad BIG. I also liked jr. OL Earl McNeil (6-3, 247). McNeil looks like a player that will only get better the more he plays the game. Sr. linemen Casey Ross and Matt Blong were effective on both sides of the ball for Friars. Bonner had roughly 80 players dressed. On some Fridays it would take four PUB teams to amass that many. It's good to see that football is alive and well in Delaware County!!!