By Mike White | Thursday, Oct. 1,
Final thoughts on the Seton-LaSalle at Sto-Rox game tonight.
Final score: Sto-Rox 25, Seton-LaSalle 7
These Sto-Rox youngsters got all painted up before the game - right next to my car by the way - and had plenty to cheer about after the game.
Final thoughts: Sto-Rox quarterback Paul Jones had a big second half and helped bring the Vikings back for the win. Jones ackonwledged after the game he still isn't fully recovered from the broken ankle he suffered in July. Then he sustained a bruised left shin in the first half of the game.
"He was having trouble planting his foot to throw," said Sto-Rox coach Jason Ruscitto.
But that wasn't the only problem. Sto-Rox had trouble getting a good snap to Jones when he was in the shotgun of Sto-Rox's spread offense. Some Sto-Rox receivers also droppeed some first-half passes. But Jones said he stopped thinking about his ankle in the foot in the second half and "just played." He finished the game 15 of 29 for 249 yards and two touchdowns. In the second half, when Sto-Rox came back from a 7-0 deficit, he was 8 of 13 for 179 yards. Jones really throws a nice deep ball. Also, Drew Carswell, a Pitt recruit, looked much better in the second half and finished with six catches.
Sto-Rox has some talented sophomores. One of them is Marzett Geter, who caught two touchdown passes and intercepted two passes. Ruscitto believes he could have four Division I prospects who are sophomores.
If Jones and his receivers are on, Sto-Rox can be a player in the WPIAL Class AA race. As for Seton-LaSalle, the Rebels are good, but certainly not great. I can't see them threatening to win the WPIAL, but they will be a playoff team. Quarterback Anthony Rizza came in leading the WPIAL in passing yardage. He was rushed hard all night and sometimes seemed to hang onto the ball too much. Put the two together and it gives you an idea of why he was sacked nine times. Nine times? I don't know if I've seen that very often in a high school game. Think of this: McKeesport quarterback Ty-Meer Brown has attempted only nine passes all season. Rizza finished 13 of 24 for 132 yards.
9:35 p.m. - This one might be over. Paul Jones just threw a pretty 44-yard TD pass to Marzett Geter - and Jones threw for the two-point conversion. It's now 16-7 Sto-Rox with 5:21 left.
9:25 p.m. - Timeout with 6:45 left in the game and Sto-Rox still leads, 8-7. Both Paul Jones and Anthony Rizza have thrown interceptions in the quarter.
9:14 p.m. - Third quarter just ended. Sto-Rox's Josh Beverly turned a short pass into a 64-yard play and Sto-Rox has the ball at the Seton-LaSalle 26 to start the fourth quarter. Third-quarter score 8-7, Sto-Rox. Paul Jones 5 of 8 for 138 yards in the third quarter.
8:56 p.m. - First time I saw this. Someone has a Shady McCoy Eagles jersey in the stands. Nice.
8:52 p.m. - Jones, Carswell and Sto-Rox look much different this half. First drive of the third quarter, Jones marches the Vikings for a score. Carswell catches three passes in drive and Jones throws 38-yard TD pass to Marzett Geter. Two-point run and Sto-Rox leads, 8-7, in third.
8:33 p.m. - Sto-Rox has a small band, but four football players are in it. Not sure if any of them play much. Two of them play the drums. The two others play, I belive, the saxophone. But don't quote me on that. I'm not real big on instrument identification.
8:19 p.m. - Halftime and Seton-LaSalle leads, 7-0. Sto-Rox's offense has struggled. Paul Jones is 7 of 16 for 70 yards. He's had a few drops, but he also has been off target at times, too. Very average performance. I still don't think he's 100 percent from the broken ankle. He still walks with a slight limp. And on one run, he didn't look as fast as a year ago. His ability to run last year helped him immensely. Pitt recruit Drew Carswell has three catches for 44 yards. Nothing spectacular there.
Seton-LaSalle quarterback Anthony Rizza 8 of 13 for 62 yards in first half, but also has ran for 43 yards.
With Seton-LaSalle on the Sto-Rox 9-yard line late in the first half, Sto-Rox called two timeouts while on defense. They were costly at the end of the half as the Vikings drove to the Seton-LaSalle 34-yard line, but had no timeouts left to stop the clock. The half ended.
8:15 p.m. - Was just informed in the press box that the light standards here are the original ones from 1951. Just in case you were wondering. The place is old. Still a disappointing crowd. Not close to capacity.
7:47 p.m. - Seton-LaSalle ahead, 7-0, on 9-yard TD pass from Anthony Rizza to Mike Del Sardo. PAT good early in the second.
7:41 p.m. - No score end of first quarter, but Seton-LaSalle is on Sto-Rox 6-yard line. Paul Jones 3 for 7 for 43 yards. Seton-LaSalle QB Anthony Rizza 5 of 8 for 40 yards, but also has rushed for 38 yards on 10 attempts.
7:22 p.m. - Paul Jones broke his ankle in a pickup basketball game in July. This is his third game back, but he still seems to walk with a limp.
7:20 p.m. - Sto-Rox star QB Paul Jones (Penn State recruit) showed his arm on Sto-Rox's first play. I counted 63 yards in the air to Andrew Carswell. But get this. It was a little underthrown and tipped away.
6:55 p.m. - Bob Schilken on the Seton-LaSalle sideline. One of the best defensive linemen in the WPIAL decades ago at Mt. Lebanon. Now a top orthopedic doctor in Pittsburgh.
6:45 p.m. - Am I in McKees Rocks or Los Angeles? Maybe it's a late-arriving crowd. But it's 15 minutes before game time and this place isn't even half full. Thought this was a big game? Maybe live TV has something to do with it.
6:35 p.m. This is the FSN Pittsburgh Thursday night game of the week. Having the game televised certainly adds something to it.
Members of FSN crew - Meg Bulger (sideline reporter), Craig Wolfley and Paul Alexander - on the field before the game with Sto-Rox coach Jason Ruscitto.
Meg certainly makes this crew a lot better looking, don't you think? Ha Ha.