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On the Trail With Ted
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 Observations, notes, etc., on games I've seen during the 2002 season . . .

 


OCT. 31
PUBLIC LEAGUE
Franklin 18, Overbrook 0
   Overbrook's school colors are orange and black, but even on Halloween, that did not provide good luck. The field was a mudpit and the game did little to stir the juices. Guys were slipping and sliding and dropping the ball -- not in brutal fashion; just enough to be annoying -- and it detracted from the game. I spent many Thursday afternoons enjoying Franklin games back in the day and the program has always provided good entertainment and fun people to be around. This year's team fits that mold. The d-backs are munchkins, but all can play and a few, at least, have personality, too. Jr. CB Darrell Fincher is listed at 5-8, 170, but as coach Allen Rushing said, he oftens adds two inches and 20 pounds to the little guys' dimensions. Fincher had three picks and at one point was heard to roar at a 'Brook player, "You gotta be for real. You're not blocking me!" The other CB is sr. Naim Ferguson. The safeties are jr. David Calloway (also the QB) and sr. Jesse Edney (about 5-6, 125 pounds, but a heart as big as all outdoors!). Edney scored what turned out to be an easy TD as the second half opened. Sr. Tariq Sabree caught a kickoff on the 18 and handed on a reverse to Edney, who zoomed 82 yards untouched. Hardly anyone was even in the same zip code. Edney also posted a late TD on a 1-yard run. Sr. RB Jestin Brisbon carried 12 times for 111 yards and a 55-yard TD. Franklin's line: jr. C Waverly Lane, sr. Gs Jerome Johnson and Jason Baldwin, sr. Ts Stanley "The Worm" Hunt and Edwin "Goose" Cruz and sr. Es Bryant Jennings and Tyrone Major. (Gratz had a kid named Waverly Lane back in the day. This must be his son, right?) My DN story focused on Jennings, who is receiving in-person interest from Syracuse for his skills as a DE. He is quick and aggressive and shows much potential. He had two sacks and forced a fumble (recovery by Hunt). Overbrook had one great play on the day and a penalty wiped it out. Sr. QB Neil Fisher zigged and zagged and then outraced everyone for a 58-yard score. Soph RB William Brownlee was called for a block in the back. When I spoke with him about it later, he said with a smile, "Please don't put my name in the paper for THAT." He didn't say anything about keeping it off the website (smile). He has decent potential and will hopefully learn from the messup. As always, sr. LBs Omarr Clark (eight tackles) and Robert Littlejohn (six) led the 'Brook defense. Cruz has painted the white portion of his spikes electric blue. "Prettiest spikes in The Pub," he beamed. While going in motion on a play where Calloway was lined up in a shotgun formation, Brisbon was hit by the snap. He managed to catch it and run for a couple yards.

OCT. 27
CATHOLIC RED
SJ Prep 38, O'Hara 17

        Well, all the folks who follow the Red and don't like The Prep got their wish -- for a half. The Hawks, winners now of 19 consecutive games, were actually trailing at the break, 17-9. But then they got rolling and held O'Hara without a first down until the very last play of the game while again looking very Prep-ish. My DN story focused on sr. RB-K Pat Kaiser, who scored 36 points and is now the city's all-time one-season leader with 198 (Frankford's Eddie Gaskins had 195 in 1997). He scored them in four ways: he rushed 20 times for 178 yards and five TDs, caught a conversion pass, and kicked a FG and a PAT. Yes, it's still October and Kaiser already has the record. He could have four games to add to it. The offensive line: sr. C John Brewster, sr. G Tom Noonan, jr. G Mike Buscaglia, rotating tackles sr. John Quinn, sr. Will Oleckna and jr. Mike Robinson, and ends sr. Kevin Walker and jr. Matt Parkhurst. Jr. Brian Tracz and sr. Billy Addis were the FBs. Kaiser's longest TD was an 85-yarder. He was bumped slightly at the line and then again maybe 6-7 yards downfield, but that was it. A game ball went to LB Tracz, whose father, Brian, starred at the same position for O’Hara’s ’73 champs. He had eight tackles (two for 15 yards in losses). Sr. DB Nate Egner and Parkhurst, at E, added 10 and eight, respectively. O'Hara made all of its noise in the second quarter. Jr. RB Anthony Heygood, who had a classic, pre-game staredown with jr. DB Danny Jones, zoomed 80 yards; sr. QB Craig Haywood whipped a 7-yard pass to sr. WR Bob McAndrews; and soph K Frank D’Angelo - following a bob-and-weave, 53-yard interception return by sr. DE A.J. DeMatteo - kicked a 28-yard field goal on the final play of the half. Every series in the second half was three-and-out until the last. And O'Hara got the ball for that last series only because sr. Chris Smyth recoverd a fumble on a punt return. For me the most amazing development of the day was that Prep coach Gil Brooks did not go berserk at halftime. We had the over-under number at 12 on how many kids he would reduce to tears with blistering comments. Just kidding! He claimed he said fewer than five words (smile). As he admitted, he was glad his team was finally tested. Even happier that it rebounded so nicely. After Kaiser's TD early in the fourth quarter, Prep was penalized 5 yards for procedure and then Haywood was called for interference, moving the ball to the 4.  In his frustration, Haywood muttered something about Prep paying off the refs and received a talking-to from head ref Phil Harding. Play resumed and Jones received credit for a catch even though the ball squirted out of his hands rather quickly. (It was on the opposite side. Perhaps he did have momentary possession. It definitely did not LOOK good, though.) As Haywood came running off the field, absolutely beside himself, he yelled toward Huck and me, "Make sure to put THAT on the website!" Done. Just before the TD, meanwhile, coach George Stratts kept talking to the line judge about a change in a call from procedure on Prep to encroachment on O'Hara. George was getting nowhere with the guy, of course, and finally blurted, "You gotta get better eyesight!" In the first half, Harding hesitated to bring in the chains for a measurement. He finally said, "It's short, but we're going to bring them in anyway. Just to be sure." It was a first down by almost the length of the football.

OCT. 26
CATHOLIC BLUE
Carroll 21, McDevitt 14
   Just when Huck and I were discussing for maybe the third time how the atmosphere was kind of drab for a showdown between the Blue's premier programs, the stretch became fantastic! I'll just throw it out here, chunk by chunk: With 2:42 left and McDevitt trailing, 14-7, coach Pat Manzi raised eyebrows by having sr. Robert McHugh punt (even though McD did have all three timeouts left). The strategy really looked poor when sr. RB Ryan Stewart (13-175, two TDs) zoomed for a 93-yard score on the second play, putting Carroll ahead, 21-7. But the Lancers stormed right back, going 75 yards in four plays -- 25-yard run by sr. QB Robert Dougherty, incompletion, 37-yard pass to sr. handyman Robert Henderson, 13-yard TD pass to sr. TE John Maha. McHugh then delivered a perfect onsides kick as the ball hopped over the first line of up men and was recovered by jr. Sterling Williams at the Carroll 47. Then: Dougherty hit sr. WR Ryan Gara for 25 yards (it was his first catch of the season!), sr. FB Demetrius "Meat" Oliver gained two yards, procedure penalty, 16-yard pass to Maha (setting up first-and-goal at the 9), incompletion, 12-yard sack (tackle by jr. DE John Lachman, brother of ex-Prep receiving star Jim Lachman), spike to stop the clock at 17.8, lobbed pass broken up by Stewart and soph DB Dave Puliti. Phew!!! Pretty good finish, eh? By the way, Huck missed by one point on his pick. He had Carroll, 21-13. The Patriots' first score came as Stewart took an inside-reverse handoff from sr. RB/WR Chaz Scott and went 15 yards. Scott had 62 yards on eight carries. Sr. FB James "Big Rig" Roderick had 86 and a TD on 18. Sr. LB Paul Rambo had 12 tackles with one sack and one TFL. Lachman had two sacks and two TFL for 23 yards total. Roderick had seven tackles, with a sack among them. For McDevitt, soph RB Lamar McPherson appears to be adding confidence on a weekly basis. He had 104 yards on 16 totes. Oliver did some punishing blocking. Dougherty, who has had some rough moments this season, no doubt will go forth with new vigor, even though the last series did not quite work out. He made some nice deliveries. The leading Lancer defender was soph safety Steven Merlini, who's listed at 5-8, 150, but is likely in the 135-140 range. He was in on 12 tackles. I covered a whole bunch of Merlinis back in the day. This is the next generation, and he's equally brassy. He has the face of a sixth-grader and the heart of a lion. He threw himself at Roderick's lower legs on several occasions. Sr. OLB Brandon Edwards had 10 stops, most of the wallop-packing variety. Sr. CB Ronald Jenkins also made 10 tackles. Best wishes to PA announcer Dan Moyer, a long-time friend. He is stepping away after 23 seasons. At halftime, I told Huck that two Carroll rushers had 50 yards and another had 49. "Balanced," he said. Can't put a thing past those West Catholic guys. Website alum/poop stirrer Kevin "Sparky" Cooney was covering McDevitt for the Record/Intelligencer. He declined to come to Carroll's side in the second half. What a wimp! (smile)

OCT. 26
CATHOLIC RED
La Salle 17, Roman 14
  Hope for a punting misadventure. Throw to Sean Agnew. Well, that strategy has now worked TWICE for the Explorers in the waning moments. Against O'Hara a couple weeks back, a bad snap gave Agnew, a sr. RB/WR/KR, a chance to be the hero. This time, jr. Charlie Squitiere punted the ball just 16 yards and La Salle took over at the Roman 30 with 3:15 left. The running of jr. Chris Mulholland (17-62) produced two first downs -- he got the second by squirting 5 yards around left end on fourth-and-2 -- to advance the ball to the 6, then La Salle stacked everyone on the short side of the field, the left, and sr. QB Joe F. Winning (8-for-16, 134) found Agnew just a yard over the goal line. Mulholland and soph Sean Guinan (14-46) did most of the running for the Explorers because sr. RB Brian Donohoe went out early with an injury to his right knee. Jr. RB Max Mullineaux was back in action, but saw only limited duty (6-10). Here's the most amazing fact: La Salle had no fumbles, and not even a bobbled snap, if I remember correctly, even though the field was a mudpit. The Explorers had few long gains, but kept grinding things out and reeled off 58 plays. Sr. safety Matt McGurkin had an interception and seven tackles, and his tackle for a 5-yard loss on the Roman possession proceeding the winning TD was huge. So was an 8-yard sack, courtesy of sr. LB Bill Loughery, that immediately followed. On its last series, Roman mostly tried to go long to jr. Charron Fisher. Nothing doing. Agnew, who took Donohoe's place at CB, knocked down the game's final pass. Jr. LB Miles Miller was in on six tackles. Roman ran 44 plays and only one was truly impressive; a 60-yard TD run by sr. RB Johnny Ortiz (8-107). Jr. QB Andre Sloan-El never got loose on scrambles and passed 5-for-12 for 38 yards. Fisher, at DE, had an interception (he sucked in the ball one-handed) and a sack. Soph OLB Sean Matthews also had a sack. Jr. LB Tom Bowen and jr. DT Lenny DeMalto also were active. Roman had two fumbles, with own-recoveries by sr. C Tom Sugden and sr. KR Tim Breslin. As halftime was ending, I had to walk through a very large puddle to get back to the field. Jr. FB Rob Deery came over and said, "You should have called me. I would have carried you across." An instant after sr. WB Kevin Magarity made a 10-yard catch for La Salle, a fan held up a head shot of him the size of a movie poster. In the first half, Donohoe gave Ortiz a slight shove to the shoulder after an incomplete pass to the former. Roman coach Jim Murphy yelled to back judge Ernie Gallagher, "What about the punch?" He was exaggerating, and knew it, but working the refs is part of the game. When I kidded Ernie with, "Yo, Ern, you gotta call those punches," he flashed a smile and said, "Those kids are best friends. I'm the only one who knows that." They are indeed buddies. Kudos to Roman assistants Joe Dougherty and Andre Sloan-El, who before the game used rakes, brooms and shovels to remove from the field about half a trash can's worth of mud. The most frustrated guy in the place had to be PA announcer Dan Hoban. La Salle's band played at least briefly after almost EVERY play, often drowning out Dan's calls. I could see the steam coming out of his ears from field level. Note to La Salle's band director, with a legendary Saturday Night Live skit in mind: I need more cowbell.

OCT. 25
INTER-AC LEAGUE
Gtn. Academy 14, Episcopal 10
  No one was standing nearby, so I didn't express the thought aloud. But with 15 seconds left and GA on its own 39, I said to myself, "Only one guy can win this game for GA -- Justin Holiday." Jr. QB Sean Grieve was thinking the same thing, and he hit Holiday, a jr. WR, in stride for a 61-yard TD at 0:04 and the Patriots had a miracle victory. Did they deserve it? Probably not. Episcopal played inspired ball despite losing one of its captains, sr. QB-DB Garrett Wilson, to a dislocated shoulder in the first few minutes. (It happened when he was tackling Holiday.) Soph Brian Fitzpatrick replaced Wilson and threw just two passes, completing one for 15 yards. He bobbled a few snaps, but considering the spot he was thrown into, he did fine. GA, coming off an idle week, was sluggish. The pass-happy Grieve went over 100 yards (10-for-19, 136) only because of the last play; Holiday finished 4-109. Episcopal used a three-man line with ends Bill Bagnell and Leland Laury and rotating tackles Mike Norrett and Roger Syracuse. The linebackers were Joe Rosati and Andy Barks. The corners were Justin Leake, Chris Auch, Fran Grunde and Pete Wichman. Joel Patterson and Fitzpatrick were the safeties. I know it's unusual to mention all the defenders on the losing team, but these were special circumstances. Holiday was in the left slot. He made the catch in the middle of the field at about the Episcopal 20, squeezed between two converging defenders (he was jostled slightly) and sprinted the rest of the way untouched. Whenever a play like that happens late in a game, sports writers have two thoughts: Wow, how cool was that?!?! Phew, how devastating was that? The Churchmen played their hearts out, but in the end saw them get stomped. GA's TD came on its second last chance. The first ended with 1:10 left as Patterson intercepted a pass at Episcopal’s 3 after Holiday collided with teammate Greg Sih, causing the ball to pop into the air. Episcopal opted for a kneel-down, then two regular runs (tackles by soph LB Matt Brown and Sih) and Francisco Uribe’s punt carried 28 yards to the GA 39 at 0:15. For GA, jr. Tyler Yerk rushed 13 times for 63 yards. Episcopal sr. Auch countered with 68 yards on 15 rushes. There was some post-game ugliness between adults. Hearing a GA fan bellow that Episcopal had been ahead only because of poor officiating, an Episcopal assistant went to GA’s sideline and got into a shouting match with assorted fans. The exchange was heated, but quick, and nothing more occurred.

OCT. 24
PUBLIC LEAGUE
Bartram 18, King 14

        Thanks to back judge Rich Krug, who gave these teams an honest clock, there was more than enough time for a rushing duel to develop between Bartram sr. Chironn "Goober' Davis and King sr. Kenneth "Dirt" Barnes. Davis got a few less yards, finishing with 29 carries for 181 and three TDs, but he wasn't unhappy. Davis came in averaging 15 carries per game. But he was a bulwark in this one and toted the rock on 14 of Bartram's last 15 plays. He scooted for 22 on third-and-4, making sure he would not have to punt in the waning moments and give King one last shot. Davis was a known quantity. Barnes was not. Listed at 125 pounds, he showed the heart of a lion (OK, Cougar) while going for 186 yards and a TD on 25 carries. Barnes was a bit player before this one. He got his chance when sr. RB Roland Penn injured his ankle at the start of the game. He had excellent moves and quick bursts. Nice job, little guy! The interior of Bartram’s line featured sr. center Roy Malcolm, jr. G Marcus Macklin, sr. G Lamar Thomas and sr. Ts Richard Mink and Kennis Jones. Macklin and Mink were to the left, as were most of Davis’ runs. Sr. QB Todd "Kojak" McCoy had a big, 32-yard completion to sr. WR Randall Eggleton to set up the second TD. Bartram did a nice job of containing King sr. Dion "Flea" Whittington by sending OLBs and CBs pretty much non-stop. Flea was sacked three times and dumped the ball a few times. Sr. LB Marvin Snipes packed his usual wallop while jr. Adrian Jackson and sr. Leonard Smith came hard from the outside. Jr. LB Jeremy Welzcher also had some good moments. The most noteworthy stop was made by sr. DB Hanif Long with 1:40 to go, when King had fourth-and-3 at the Bartram 31. The Maroon Wave went with a goal-line defense and Long switched from CB to safety. Whittington kept on an option and Long brought him down inches short of a first down. The hit of the game was made by King jr. DL Kyle Patillo, who, as King aide Harry Wood correctly noted, "stopped him [Davis] dead in his tracks." As Davis noted afterward, Bartram purposely ran away from sr. DT Brandon Truesdale. Sr. LB Kevin Snyder made 14 tackles. Bartram's Frank "Roscoe" Natale coached while wearing a black beret. Stat man Ed "Huck Palmer noted, "He looks like he should have his own cooking show."

OCT. 20
CATHOLIC BLUE
West Catholic 27, Wood 14

        Curtis "Boonah" Brinkley needed 240 yards to hit 4,000 for his career. He reached that milestone, oops, then he didn't reach it. After Wood soph QB Chris Hanson scored a 5-yard TD on a brassy keeper with 44 seconds left, Wood did an onside kick and West's RB-DB Robert Ramsey recovered. Wood had one timeout left, if I remember correctly, so West coach Brian Fluck opted for one regular rush. Guess who? Brinkley zoomed from the West 48 inside Wood's 20, but a personal foul was called at the Wood 28, so Brinkley received credit for only 24 yards. He thus finished with 24 carries for 238 yards (and three TDs) and his total stood at 3,998. The last play was a kneel-down. Wood didn't do a bad job with him, actually, until he went a little nuts (129 yards) in the fourth quarter. Sr. WR Jonathan Jackson (3-96) was the first Burr to score on a way-too-easy, 80-yard pass play from jr. QB Will Burke (4-for-8, 108). Jackson also had an impressive conversion run on a reverse. Sr. DL Steven Williams had two sacks and three others for losses among eight tackles. Sr. DL Will Grant (focus of my DN story; he squats 765 pounds!) had eight stops (one loss). Ramsey and sr. DB Matt Rodia had six stops apiece. This was my first look this season at Wood, which is very young and inexperienced. Hanson did a respectable job (11-for-20, 154) even though he got little help from the running game. He hit sr. TE Josh Kosinski with a 60-yard scoring pass. Jr. LB Michael Kruzits was a terror early and finished with 10 tackles (three for losses). Kosinski added eight stops while sr. DT Anthony Mora had six (one sack). Early in the game, jr. David Dee had a 31-yard run after an 18-yard kickoff return, prompting Huck to say, "So far this kid looks Dee-licious." Check out this sequence: Jay McCarrie punted from West's. Wood's Joe Troisi caught the ball on Wood's 33 and returned it right back to West's 33. The next play was a run by No. 33, Kruzits. Line judge Dan O'Sullivan was one of the best athletes on the field. He appeared to outrun Wood's d-backs while running after Brinkley on a long TD run and later made a leaping catch of a ball thrown high by a ballboy. West basketball player Curtis Bryant was named homecoming king. (Can't say "crowned." He wasn't given a crown.) Ex-Bartram coach Tom Bazis, a star guard for West in the early 1960s, is helping as an assistant a few days a week. He is a world famous wood carver/sculptor and sells customized rocking chairs for $10,000 a pop!

OCT. 19
CATHOLIC RED
SJ Prep 42, Bonner 7
   One of these weeks, someone will give The Prep a game. Or will it be one of these years? Or decades? The Hawks actually were held off the board until their second possession, but then rolled like always. Jr. FB Brian Tracz started the barrage with a 2-yard run two plays after sr. QB Matt Stefanski (9-for-15, 174, three TDs) hit soph WR Steve Quinn (3-120, two TDs) for a 49-yard gain. Later, sr. RB Pat Kaiser hit his rushing stride and finished with 16 carries for 190 yards and TDs of 51 and 55 yards. The final 20-plus minutes were played with a running clock and the Hawks still finished with 504 yards total offense! Also, jr. DB-KR Danny Jones lost a 52-yard punt return TD to a penalty. Imagine if Bonner had hurt itself with bad/many turnovers, as had most of The Prep's recent foes. The Friars' lone highlight came late in the first and, honestly, it appeared the TD should have been negated. Even most of Bonner's coaches seemed to think so. Sr. Dave Pasciolla caught a kickoff on the 6 and eased to his right. As he approached the 20, he stopped and whipped the ball across the field to sr. Paul McNichol, who made the catch at the 21 and went 79 yards. It looked like the throw was forward by a yard or yard-and-a-half. But what the heck, it was an outstanding play. Bonner soph QB Andrew Case was fed to the wolves early and often. He was sacked eight times for 59 yards, and only a 13-yard pickup enabled him to finish with minus-46 total. I asked Bonner coach Mike "Stump" Coyne whether the Friars would go to a shotgun offense at some point and he said short snaps had been a problem. Sr. DT John Quinn had one full sack and three halves. His brother had two halves. Jr. DE Matt Parkhurst had two fulls. Sr. DE Mike Cappelletti had two halves. Huck was in attendance. After watching the Hawk do 42 pushups when the score reached 42-7, he cracked, "Even the Hawk's a specimen!"

OCT. 19
CATHOLIC BLUE
Carroll 28, Conwell-Egan 21
   Great Scott! C-E is now 6-1 and Carroll is back to .500 and riding a four-game winning streak. Was there anything NOT done by sr. RB-WR-DB Chaz Scott? Don't think so. Scott accounted for 192 yards of rushing, receiving and returning, scored three TDs, made two interceptions, logged four deflections and even displayed good manners. After the first of his two picks, Scott returned the ball 15 yards to the C-E 8 and happened to plow into Paul Maguire, father of jr. OLB Bryan Maguire, when he was pushed far out of bounds. Paul, who works on the chain gang, went down hard in obvious pain (left knee) and Scott said, "Sorry, Mr. Maguire. You all right?" (Paul was later given a game ball). That play came in the middle of Scott's most impressive sequence. He had downed a punt at the 2 moments earlier; two plays later he would catch a 10-yard scoring pass from sr. QB Pat Brochet (5-for-8, 38) at the very back end of the end zone. Scott ran nine times for 43 yards, made three catches for 29 and generated 120 yards on various returns (118 in the second half). His 54-yard kickoff return put Carroll in great shape to start the second half; his first TD reception came on the fourth play. Sr. FB-DT James "Big Rig" Roderick also starred for the Patriots, gaining 80 yards on 17 carries and making four stops. Jr. RB-DB Ryan Stewart ran 13 times for 66 yards and a score and had five tackles. Maguire had seven tackles. Sr. LB Paul Rambo had six. Despite the loss, the Eagles undoubtedly took some good from the game. They did almost nothing in the first half (37 yards; 27 on one play), then posted 240 in the second. Soph RB Steve Slaton finished with 17 carries for 105 yards and a TD. He also got credit for a TD pass when he hit sr. WR Dan Quinn for a 35-yard gain to the 2. Quinn fumbled the ball, but sr. WR Dan Acevedo was right there to scoop it up and step into the end zone. Something that could have long-lasting positive effects was a late scoring drive. Sr. QB Derrick Savage (8-for-22, 103) did a great job completing passes and mixing in clock-stopping spikes as the Eagles went 71 yards in 10 plays (not counting the spikes). The drive concluded with Savage's 7-yard TD pass to Quinn. The drive took about 90 seconds. Very nice! C-E's defensive leaders were sr. LB Rob Biernat (14 tackles, three for losses totaling nine yards) and jr. OLB Brian "H" Hrynczyszyn (11, two for five yards in losses). Acevedo (10), sr. CB Ryan Papandrea (nine) and sr. DT Matt Brazil (eight) also did well. There were many chances for tackles as Carroll ran 55 plays and just three were incomplete passes. Huck and Puck were also in the house. Puck drove us crazy in short order so Huck sent him up to hang with Fluck (Brian, West Catholic's coach). Puck drove Fluck and some assistants crazy in medium order and they chased him back to us on the C-E sideline. I've been dealing with this wacko for 25 years. What's another couple of minutes? (smile)

OCT. 18
INTER-AC LEAGUE
Penn Charter 40, Haverford School 7
   This figured to be a mismatch, but I was hopeful of seeing at least a little bit of a passing duel between PC sr. Matt Ryan and HS jr. Bryan Savage. Alas, the injured Savage was not in uniform and I'll have to keep telling people, "I've HEARD great things about him, but have never seen him." Ryan, bound for Boston College, passed 4-for-7 for 91 yards in only a half and had a 63-yard TD hookup with soph TE R.J. Hollinshead, who shook off two tacklers near the end zone. Sr. RB Tony McDevitt basically had the day off; he scored a 1-yard TD on his only carry. Jr. Hanif Hopkins was the bulwark ballcarrier and finished with 86 yards and two scores on 15 carries. He's listed at 5-5, 140, but shows much heart. My DN story focused on two-way lineman Jarrod Williams, who at 6-2, 210 pounds is acknowledged to be PC's fastest player! He runs sprints (and shot puts) for the track team. Williams scored his first lifetime TD on a 26-yard fumble return (McDevitt knocked the ball free) and had two blocked punts (one full, one partial). Sr. OLB John Samuel had an interception. Sr. DE Mike Boles had a sack and two other tackles for losses. Sr. OLB Rob Hitschler had a tackle worth a 7-yard loss. Frosh RB Kamal Marrel, who already starts at DB, had a 50-yard run in the fourth quarter. For HS, jr. QB Tom Close, a lefty who also pitches, filled in for Savage. He went 10-for-18 for 108 yards. The Fords' only quality drive came against second- and third-teamers and Close hit sr. WR Greg Murray for a 9-yard score with 34.2 seconds left. The defender on Murray was 5-1, 95-pound frosh Sam Biddle. Sam was right with Murray, but couldn't quite prevent the catch. This was nothing major, but I was a little surprised HS went with a onsides kick down by 33 points, especially since PC's coaches had made sure not to roll up the score. After knocking down a pass, but failing to make what should have been an easy interception, Hollinshead came off the field muttering, "I'm a disgrace." Soph Ryan Nanni has now worn a weird number (50) at two positions: d-back and quarterback. After the game, the student operating PC's message board/scoreboard put up a note that read, "Haverford -- come back any time." PC assistant Rick Mellor, for one, was not amused. He went over to apologize to coach Rob Allman and an assistant, and the student was informed his choice was in bad taste.

OCT. 17
PUBLIC LEAGUE
Washington 28, Central 14
   Not bad. Not great. Washington was basically in control throughout after Central scored the first TD on a 5-yard counter by sr. Michael Yeiter, who's usually a backup QB. I was curious to see how sr. RB Larry Turner would look for a decent team after transferring from Olney. He showed heart and instincts and could be very important to the Eagles' drive for a third consecutive title. He rushed 12 times for 102 yards and two TDs. He impressively returned a kickoff 78 yards for a third score, but a block in the back was detected significantly behind the play. I also liked soph RB Jerry "The Iceman" Butler. He dropped the ball on one carry with no one around, but he's one of those guys who's effortlessly fast. He will sparkle in time. My DN story focused on T-MLB Jameel McClain, a Division I prospect. He had nine tackles and broke up two passes. Washington uses a very strange alignment in its 5-3-3 defense. McClain is in the middle pretty much by his lonesome. The outside LBs, jrs. Ricardo Rivera and Marcus Banks, are at least 8 yards away to each side. Rivera had a pick and two TFLs. Sr. QB-DB Marcus Kennedy is not getting to show his arm this season, but he had two interceptions holding down the middle third. Sr. NG Sean Kelly goes 5-4, 195. He has the inner fire. Sr. DE Brandon Peaker had two late sacks. For Central, fumble recoveries were made by sr. DB Ambrose Darko, sr. DL Yousef Meah (one of our regular e-mailers) and sr. DL Okezie Onyeanusi. Sounds like a future law firm to me. How'd you like to be the secretary answering that phone all day? (smile) Jr. FB Quindel "Milky" Ladson made a heads-up fumble recovery in the end zone after jr. QB Marcel Quarterman bobbled a handoff. I remain amazed that Ladson isn't playing much defense. Washington's coaches were extra juiced. At one point, assistant John McAneney yelled out at Quarterman, "You afraid to throw the ball?" Everyone laughed, figuring it was a one-time thing, but when Johnny Mac persisted, head ref Ernie Gallagher finally told him to knock it off. Two plays later, Quarterman indeed threw the ball . . . and Kennedy picked it off.

OCT. 13
CATHOLIC RED
La Salle 12, O'Hara 7
   What a way to win. What a way to lose. With 38 seconds left, La Salle sr. PR/handyman Sean Agnew owned five returns for 113 yards and was awaiting the chance to add to his totals and give his team a chance at victory. Then . . . oops! A bad snap sailed over the head of jr. P Shawn Anderson and a 27-yard loss resulted, as sr. Rory Heenan smothered Anderson at the O'Hara 32. To that point, sr. QB Joe F. Winning was only 2-for-6 for 2 yards. But he immediately hit jr. John Trainer for a 21-yard gain and two plays later, after La Salle nixed the idea of trying a field goal (the coaches feared a sack would cause time to expire), found Agnew in the very back left corner of the end zone for a TD! If this sequence happened in a Super Bowl, people would talk about it forever. I'd imagine these players will never forget what happened. O'Hara had one more play and sr. DB Matt McGurkin intercepted; he was also in on nine tackles (one was a textbook stop in the open field). Leading up to the bad snap, O'Hara was stopped for losses on three consecutive plays. Jr. DT Kevin Donohoe (brother of sr. RB Brian) had two solo tackles and combined with sr. DE Chris Galbally for a third. La Salle's leading rushers were soph Sean Guinan (14-60) and Donohoe (10-41). The Explorers missed a PAT and two FG attempts as they continued to struggle without jr. RB-K Max Mullineaux (injured). One of the FG misses had an asterisk attached, though. Late in the first half, the ball was exactly on the 17 when Winning threw an incompletion. Somehow the ball was placed exactly on the 18 and then jr. Kevin Moll's 35-yard attempt bounced off the crossbar. With that extra yard, of course, it would have been good. For O'Hara, jr. RB Anthony Heygood gained 120 yards on 30 carries in his second game back from injury. He's still not himself in the quick-burst department as his longest gain was only 11 yards. Jr. Matt Campbell started at QB, but gave way to sr. Craig Haywood pretty early. Haywood was also in his second game back from injury. His big moment was a 45-yard bomb to sr. WR Mark Greim, who made a leaping catch. Heygood followed right away with an 11-yard TD run. Sr. LB Corey Cannon was in on seven tackles. Sr. DT Brian Payne and sr. LB Warren Danenza had sacks. While moving up and down the sideline, looking for a place to see the game behind larger teammates, La Salle sub Matt Malloy, who goes 5-8, said, "Why's everybody so big? I don't like this." O'Hara had its Homecoming festivities at halftime. When the announcer excitedly said the big moments, the crowning of the king and queen, were coming, a La Salle kid yelled, "Pick the Lion!" Haywood and sr. L John Romano were runners-up for king honors.

OCT. 12
CATHOLIC RED
SJ Prep 41, Roman 7
   Another week, another one-sided affair. The Hawks likely expected a game from a Roman team that also entered with a perfect record (6-0), but it didn't happen. Prep rolled to 470 yards total offense and held Roman to 159. That being said, Roman actually could have made some inroads if not for two killer plays in the first half. With Prep up, 12-0, sr. RB-K Pat Kaiser sent a kickoff high to the Roman 23. For unexplained reasons, no one from Roman tried to catch the ball and when it bounced backward to the 27, a Prep player (Bill Gennaro, I'm pretty sure) recovered. Prep scored five plays later to make it 18-0. Then, as the half wound down, jr. DE Charron Fisher was a hair away from a sack when sr. QB Matt Stefanski got off a short pass to jr. WR Danny Jones. Jones caught the ball maybe 12-15 yards downfield, bounced off a defender who failed to wrap and went for a 61-yard TD with seven-10ths of a second left. That made it 28-7. Stefanski finished 10-for-17 for 178 yards and four scores -- two to Jones (3-76), one apiece to Kaiser (2-15) and the ever-impressive soph WR Steve Quinn (3-51). Quinn showed great concentration his TD catch because sr. DB Johnny Ortiz was the first guy to touch the ball. Kaiser rushed 29 times for 201 yards and a TD and finished with 17 points (also a FG and two PAT). Prep's line: sr. C John Brewster, sr. G Tom Noonan and jr. G Mike Buscaglia, rotating Ts John Quinn, Will Oleckna (both srs.) and Mike Robinson (jr.). Until the waning moments, Roman had only one carry for more than six yards and that was a nine-yard scramble by jr. QB Andre Sloan-El. The only happy moment came when jr. FB Rob Deery (5-7, 235) snuck out of the backfield and caught a 4-yard TD pass. Sloan-El (10-for-19, 121 yards) showed quick feet and whipped some passes into tight spots. Jr. DB Mike Gavin and soph LB Brian Chiodi were aggressive defenders and jr. DB Charlie Squitiere did some textbook, lower-body tackling. At halftime, Prep honored its 1942 champs. Roughly 10 players were on hand. Roman's fans were not too pleased that Prep, up by 35-7, still had its first offense on the field until 6:00 remained. One yelled sarcastically at coach Gil Brooks, "Get some more, Gil!" Another yelled to Roman's players, "Remember this, Roman! They still have their first team offense in!" I didn't sense that Roman's coaches were hissed. The first-teamers left just before frosh RB John Shaw scored from the 11 to make it 41-7. Roman fans hung this banner before the game -- Program: $3, Ticket: $4, Tuition: $3,520, Beating the Prep: Priceless.

OCT. 12
CATHOLIC RED
Bonner 27, Ryan 21
   What's going on this week? The weather has been mostly been lousy, but the games have been very entertaining. This one featured 626 yards of total offense and 10 turnovers, so statkeepers definitely had to pay attention. Bonner had numerous headliners. Soph QB Andrew Case entered the game midway through the second quarter and wound up going 8-for-13 for 212 yards and three TDs. He's a feisty kid and has a tangible presence, and his teammates appear to like and respect him. Sr. WR Paul McNichol had three catches for 124 yards and scores of 37 and 81 yards. Sr. WR Frank Nunan (4-85) had the other TD reception on a 62-yarder. Bonner's ground TD was a 70-yard, up-the-middle run by sr. Steve Jones (9-91). The defense was led by sr. DB Dave Pasciolla, who had two interceptions and a fumble recovery. Sr. DB Chris Eccles added two second-half picks. Sr. LB Matt Asciutto and jr. DB Steve DeVito also showed well. For Ryan, sr. QB Joe DeLeo passed 9-for-27 for 128 yards and one TD (to Bill Freiling), but was picked four times. Ryan also lost two fumbles. Frosh Joe Zeglinski (17-50, TD) was the leading rusher. Sr. Mike Coll gave a strong performance. He made three straight tackles on one possession and finished with 11; three went for losses. Despite its troubles, Ryan had a chance to win or at least force OT as the clock wound down. DeLeo's 8-yard pass to sr. WR Kyle Gallagher put the ball at Bonner's 41. Then, DeLeo thew incomplete and had his last two passes, into and close to the end zone, respectively, broken up by Eccles and Pasciolla. Bonner basketball-baseball player Mike Shalon wound up holding the down marker. He correctly predicted Bonner's first play of the second half would be a TD (to Nunan). Later, he remarked that Bonner should throw to McNichol because Ryan couldn't cover him one-on-one. Zip. The next play produced McNichol's 81-yard TD. "I should be Bonner's football coach!" Shalon roared. In the first half, sr. K-P Chris Schrader was sent off the field and prevented from punting. The problem: he'd neglected to put hip and butt pads in his uniform pants. "It's been a long day," he said. "My group was the last one out of the SAT testing. I was rushing and got dressed on the bus. I just forgot to put those pads in." Ryan sometimes pretends it's going for it on fourth-and-long (or medium) and DeLeo, out of a shotgun, winds up punting. Once when the Raiders were showing that look, Nunan was standing about 15 yards off the line of scrimmage. Ryan assistant Jim Manion said in Nunan's direction, "Come up and cover him." Nunan walked up to where the wideout was standing and the punt went for 42 yards.

OCT. 11
INTER-AC LEAGUE
Penn Charter 21, Malvern 14

        I was surprised PC didn't want to postpone this one, considering the monsoon-like rains that fell Thursday night and made the field quite messy; also because it rained pretty much all day today. But both teams were coming off open weeks and as PC coach Brian McCloskey said, "We gotta play this or we'll all go nuts." Boston College-bound sr. QB Matt Ryan, with rare exception, looked like he was operating under sunny skies on a dry field. His passes were crisp and accurate. He finished 10-for-16 for 134 yards; jr. WR Sean Singletary (3-33) and sr. WR John Samuel (2-25) had several impressive catches; the kind usually not made on bad days. Singletary had an 84-yard kickoff return for a TD; he then slipped and was the last man responsible on a 60-yard TD catch by sr. RB Duke McKeeta. My DN story focused on sr. RB-LB Tony McDevitt, who had "the look" in his eyes all day. He rushed 22 times for 88 yards and made four catches for 62. He also posted seven tackles (two for losses) and made a huge fumble recovery to set up his own winning TD. It happened at the Malvern 19 (PC was hit with a dead-ball foul for 15 yards) right after Samuel missed a 25-yard field goal attempt. McDevitt did not give his teammates a chance to hang their heads. He immediately dashed for 26 yards, then scored two plays later. Samuel, at OLB, had six tackles and broke up three passes. Sr. DE Mike Boles made two consecutive tackles (one was a sack) on the first of Malvern's two "last" drives. He earlier had a fumble recovery to set up McDevitt's first TD. Frosh DB Kamal Marrel then broke up a pass. Malvern had three timeouts remaining and PC was forced to punt. Marrel (two) and Samuel (one) had breakups on that series, which began at the PC 39. Another pass was overthrown. Malvern was a shade lifeless in the first half, but very juiced thereafter. Sr. Dave Moore hit some passes -- his first TD went to sr. WR Rob McGarrigle -- and McKeeta did some hard, tough-guy running. The all-sr. D-line of Es T.J. Cascio and Kevin Lilly and Ts Michael Meehan and Tom Coyne let PC have just one rushing play of more than 4 yards in the second half. When Malvern's team came onto the field before the game, sr. T Stefan Niemczyk was maybe 15 yards ahead of the other guys. He turned and yelled, "You guys want the championship?" Everyone growled. Niemczyk then added, "Come and get it right now!" This was the opener, but, like always, PC and Malvern are the favorites. PC's team includes a frosh named Sam Biddle. He's 5-1, 95 pounds, and has all kinds of heart, I'm told.

OCT. 10
PUBLIC LEAGUE
Southern 6, Edison 0

        Sports writers are not allowed to root, but it was hard not to feel good for Southern. The Rams went 0-10 last season and had to forfeit the last three games due to insufficient numbers. They started this season at 0-3, but had all kinds of fun while snapping a 14-game losing streak. The offense was largely ineffective, but the defense came through early and often. The good vibes began midway through the first quarter when sr. OLB Mark Lee stole the ball on a running play and dashed 60 yards to paymud. Later, sr. LB Justin Digby (14 tackles; 1 sack, 1 TFL) recovered a fumble and jr. CB Kenneth Palmer had an interception. Southern's defense included: ends Ryan Williams and Shamir Kase, rotating tackles Sirag Shifa, Chris Campo and Richard Hall, inside linebackers Gerald Terry and Digby, outside linebackers Lee and Maurice Carter, rotating cornerbacks Darrell Horton,  Palmer and Anthony Desesso, and safety Akkeem Moore. Desesso had runs of 11 and 17 yards out of the backfield. After Edison achieved first-and-10 at the Southern 25 in the fourth quarter, the sequence went: Digby held Carlos Maldonado to 1 yard, Digby and Kase held him to 3, procedure penalty, Lee batted down Keenan Nelson’s pass, offside Southern, Palmer held Devon Weston to a 5-yard gain on a reception. Carter was in on three TFLs. Edison had its problems. Before the game, coach Larry Oliver gave me only two kids for the captains' picture because the three others were in the doghouse. Wilson, a nice passer, suffered a high ankle sprain late in the first half and was noticeably gimpy thereafter. That greatly affected the Owls' ability to move the ball, as did the rain. I like Weston. He made a sensational diving catch late in the first half, but was ruled out of the end zone. The feistiest lineman was Emilio Tapia, who made four tackles for losses. DB Dontae Williams had an interception. Late in the game, a Southern sub kept turning around to scope the cheerleaders. One of them finally said, "What are you lookin' at? Turn around and pay attention to the game." Later, four of the girls came within inches of him and playfully busted on him. "Look at you! You did nothing! No dirt on your uniform! Not a smudge!" The kid laughed along with everyone else. Southern frosh Troy Floyd insists he can now put on and take off his helmet without darn near severing his ears. I made reference to his lack of skill in that area earlier this season (smile). After the game, I took a celebration picture of all the Southern players. I hope it came out! If so, you'll be able to find it on More Special Photos either very late tonight or early tomorrow.

OCT. 6
CATHOLIC RED
La Salle 14, Bonner 7
          Reporters weren’t the only people scratching their heads at halftime, with the score 0-0 and La Salle sr. RB Brian Donohoe having just three carries. Coach Joe Colistra was doing so, too, and he had the power to do something about it. Colistra told his offensive assistants to feed Donohoe the ball early and often and the result was 20 second-half totes, along with TDs of 10 and 18 yards. Donohoe finished with 23 rushes for 101 yards. Sr. QB Joe F. Winning had a 41-yard gain on the winning drive, and he noted later, “I had to do something. My arm wasn’t working.” La Salle’s line: sr. C Bruce Pohlot,
sr. Gs Brad Kelly and Joe Cosella, jr. T Tim Craig and sr. T Chris Galbally, and jr. Es John Trainer and Frank Jorfi. My DN story forcused on sr. DB-KR Matt McGurkin, who’s only 5-8, 135 pounds, but shows the heart of a giant. He had a pick and two deflections and uncorked the hardest hit of the game on Bonner sr. WR Frank Nunan (more on him later). Galbally, at DE, was in on two tackles for losses. Jr. LB Miles Miller had an interception and one TFL. For Bonner, sr. DL Matt Blong was in on six tackles in the first quarter alone. He twisted his ankle and had to leave for a spell, but returned to action and added three more stops. Sr. DE Chris Campanile also was effective. Sr. DT John Wickersham (6-4, 345; probably closer to 380!) forced a fumble and showed surprising quickness scraping down the line of scrimmage. Nunan has played some QB this season, but his throwing was subpar and now he’s a receiver. On a reverse, he whipped a pass to jr. WR Jordan McCauley and the play produced a 55-yard TD. Sr. WR Paul McNichol unleased a vicious block; his helmet even popped off. Sr. QB Drew Zagursky, returning from injury, gave an uneven performance. He displayed good arm strength, but some of his passes were near nobody. We’ll chalk it up to rust. Dumb statement of the day: As the Friars grouped to psych themselves for the second half – remember, the score was 0-0 – one of them yelled, “We win the second half, we win the game!” Coach Mike “Stump” Coyne deadpanned, “I think he’s in my honors English class.” All-time TedSilary.com legend (all-time being 2 years) Mike “Fat Fat Koz" Kozak was in attendance with ex-teammates Joe Boland and James Manley. Koz is playing for Lycoming, which was in the area Saturday to play Widener. Koz has a hint of a beard now. Coyne said, “You go upstate and now you look Amish.” In noting the presence of a flag on the field, PA announcer Walt Kaminski said, “There’s laundry on the lawn.” Bill Donohoe, Brian’s father and a member of the chain gang, won the 50-50 drawing. He gave half of his winnings to the Touchdown Club.

OCT. 5
CATHOLIC BLUE
Conwell-Egan 21, McDevitt 10
          Well, well. Look who’s soaring. Even without their franchise player, soph RB Steve Slaton (still-tender ankle), the Eagles for the most part had an easy time of it against a long-time glamour program. The offense was the catalyst in the first half as sr. Mike Smith (13-61 total) and jr. Chris Schaefer (17-69) ran for one TD apiece. The defense, which had been good already, then went wild in the second half, forcing an amazing five turnovers (of eight total). The star defenders were sr. T Matt Brazil (6-4, 245), sr. LB Rob Biernat and sr. DB Dan Quinn. Brazil overpowered people all night. He had a sack, another tackle for a loss, an interception (deflection by jr. LB Brian Hrynczyszyn), a fumble recovery and a forced fumble. Biernat (6-2, 215) was flying in all directions. And once he arrived, he packed a wallop. Man, was he impressive! I had him for 12 tackles. Quinn made three interceptions, but guess what, his best catch came when he was serving as holder. A snap was significantly high. He snagged it easily and put the ball down very quickly, as though the snap had been perfect. C-E’s other TD was scored by soph WR Jeff McClenton on a 35-yard reverse. It was the kind of play McDevitt usually burns people with. In the second half, jr. P Matt Fischer uncorked four straight punts of 40 or more yards. The Lancers’ two best plays were made by sr. TE-DB John Maha. He met a ballcarrier head on at full speed and pushed him backward two or three steps. He also made a 39-yard reception coming in the back door (behind the play) after the ball had been tipped by a receiver or d-back (not sure which). Great concentration. McD’s TD came on a 35-yard pass from sr. QB Robert Dougherty to soph Jesse Alderfer. I like Alderfer. In time I picture him as a strong contributor. C-E had a nice fan turnout for a road game; at least as many people as McDevitt (if not more). On timeouts and changes of quarters, some great oldies were played over the sound system.

OCT. 5
CATHOLIC RED
O’Hara 34, Ryan 0
          A few times each season on very nice days, the game will become a snoozer and I’ll think to myself, “Where else could I be right now?” This was one of those times. Ryan was lifeless and did little right. O’Hara, thanks to good vibrations sparked by the return from injury of two excellent players (jr. RB Anthony Heygood and sr. CB Craig Haywood; not playing QB for the moment), darn near frolicked. Heygood finished with 104 yards and two TDs on 16 carries and his first effort produced a 52-yard scoring run. He limped slightly on occasion and was still a wee bit tentative, and his buddy Haywood didn’t hesitate to bust on him. “Why you lettin’ the grass make tackles on you?!” he yelled at one point, smiling broadly. Another time Heygood was brought down easily and Haywood hollered, “You girl!” The most amazing runs were made by jr. FB Matt Gough, who weighs 210 pounds and is listed at 5-10. He’s really 5-7. He chi-chinged his way to 111 yards on just five carries and had scoring runs of 55 and 51 yards. On both I kept thinking, “Someone’ll catch him . . . Someone’ll catch him.” Never happened. The steps might have been short and choppy, but somehow he outran everyone. I also liked jr. QB Matt “Soup” Campbell, a lefty, who just kept delivering the ball. He went 11-for-15 for 124 yards and a TD to soph WR Sean Barksdale (2-44). Sr. WR Mark Greim showed soft hands and concentration. The line: sr. C Rick Finnegan, sr. G Andrew Lynch, jr. G Gabe DiBernadino, jr. T Tom Hayden and sr. T Eric Ellis and sr. TE Chris Clement. The Lions finished with 358 yards total offense. On defense, sr. E Mike Holt posted a nifty interception by batting the ball and sucking it in all in one motion; he also had a sack. Sr. Rich Prazenica was in on three sacks. Sr. LB Corey Cannon forced a fumble on a 7-yard loss (though Ryan recovered). The Lions received strong performances from the interior threesome of sr. NG Paul Titchenell and sr. Ts Mike Daly and Brian Payne. For Ryan, boy, it’s tough to come up with something positive. It was truly that kind of game. Sr. TE Bill Freiling did reach high to control a pass, eventually gather it in and post a 25-yard gain. Frosh Joe Zeglinski had 91 yards of rushing and receiving, 41 more on returns and an interception. O’Hara sr. LB Warren Danenza, when not in the game, takes off his helmet and hangs his mouthpiece on his left ear. How cool is that? Late in the game, a woman or girl with a battery-operated bullhorn wished Cannon a happy birthday. The players all razzed him and his face turned bright red.

OCT. 4
NON-LEAGUE
Dobbins 20, Frankford 13
   The 26th time was the charm. Isn't it always? (smile) After going 0-24-1 vs. Frankford, starting in 1944, the Mustangs finally tasted victory. And was it ever sweet! Sr. RB Khalif Boldin (18-181) was spectacular in the fourth quarter, running 68 yards for a TD on the first play and 64 for what turned out to be a clinching TD with 1:31 left. Boldin has added 20 pounds of muscle since last season and is significantly faster. He looked great on those two bursts and on the second outran sr. DB Sharif Nash, who is a sprinter and considered very speedy. The Mustangs’ first TD had come on a 5-yard run by sr. FB Lateef Ferguson. That drive covered 80 yards in 15 plays as Boldin and Ferguson did all of the running. As he was last season, Ferguson was a monster at inside/middle LB. He finished with 14 tackles and his biggest came with 2:42 left, when he burst through and dropped sr. FB Joselito Cruz for a 1-yard loss on fourth-and-1 at the Dobbins 28. Ferguson had uncorked one of the season’s most vicious pops a series earlier. After Boldin’s second TD, Frankford got one more possession. Sr. QB Darrell “D.J.” Turner quickly hit jr. E Michael Washington for a 15-yard gain. On the next play, his pass squirted off the hands of jr. Arnold Mullins and into the waiting arms of soph DB Steven Sydnor. For Frankford, star jr. RB Mikal Jones (school suspension) was missing and that gave coach Tom Mullineaux a chance to unveil freshman RB Brandon Norris (5-8, 155). In a word, he did GREAT. He ran 24 times for 161 yards while showing quick bursts, instincts and a whole lotta toughness. After one of Norris’ runs, assistant Rasheed Muhammad exclaimed, “He’s a beast!” A few moments later, a sideline observer yelled, “Ride him ‘til the wheels fall off!” The wheels didn’t fall off, but a contact lens did fall out. Norris had to go to the bench for three plays and his presence was missed as his teammates failed to get that crucial first down. One series earlier, jr. Angelo Antoine absorbed a 5-yard, running-into-the-kicker penalty while missing a 32-yard field goal. Frankford then went for it on fourth down, but Turner misfired on a pitchout while rolling to his left. A 10-yard loss resulted. Among the ex-Frankford stars in attendance: Marcus “Dink” Waddy, Derrrick “Wiggles” Lanier, Herbert “Pitter” Sample and Eddie Gaskins, the city’s all-time leading career rusher. It was good seeing all of them.

OCT. 3
NON-LEAGUE
Bartram 21, Overbrook 0
   I had medium hopes coming in that this would be a decent game, considering 'Brook had posted shutouts in its first two games. It wasn't to be. 'Brook faded badly after showing a hint of early juice. Bartram largely appeared to be in go-through-the-motions mode, and 'Brook could do nothing about it. Sr. RBs Chironn "Goober" Davis (14-107) and Marvin Snipes (9-84) ran for one TD apiece. The other TD came when jr. OLB Adrian Jackson blindsided sr. QB Neil Fisher and forced a fumble, which was recovered by Snipes in the end zone. Jackson was rarely blocked all day. He wound up with three sacks and three other tackles for losses. Sr. QB Todd "Kojak" McCoy (6-3, 200) was average in the game, but VERY impressive in warmups. He showed good feet and a strong arm and pass after pass was a tight spiral delivered with textbook form. He could be very important to whatever success the Maroon Wave experiences as the season proceeds! Sr. LB Kajaun Mack also looked good for Bartram. He was in on three TFLs. My DN story focused on sr. T-DT Richard Mink, a three-year, two-way starter. Right out of the gate for 'Brook, sr. RB James Stanford ran for 5 yards, then sr. RB Allan "Pop" Tillman added runs of 7 and 5 yards. The air quickly went out of the balloon, though. 'Brook finished with minus-14 yards on 26 plays. Sr. LBs Omarr Clark and Robert Littlejohn kept husting throughout. Tillman had a resounding hit. After scoring his rushing TD, Snipes began doing what resembled a celebration dance. "I was ready to give him a penalty," line judge Jim King said, "when I saw that his pinkie was out like this [dislocated]." It had been popped back into place by the time the trainer arrived. Frank Kosman, a big-time college referee (as an umpire), stopped by to watch his buddies. He was put to work in the second half; he held the down marker. It was nice to meet some of our regular 'Brook e-mailers: Robert McCatty and Thayer "Young Head" Outlaw. Outlaw goes only 5-10, 142, but he spent some time at nose tackle. He was even in on a sack. Very nice!! During a timeout, the 'Brook players kept yelling toward the bench, "Water! Water!" No one responded. Littlejohn finally hollered, "Yo, can we get some REFRESHMENTS?!" Sharif Biggs, a part-time lineman for 'Brook, is the son of Lorenzo Biggs, who oversees all clerks in the DN newsroom. "Renz," as we call him (don't dare call him "Zo" -- smile), formerly worked in the sports department. He's one of the all-time great people!