By Mike White | Saturday, Sept. 5
Live blog from Rally in the Valley - a five-game event in Wheeling, W.Va. Three WPIAL teams play in the event.
YOUNGSTOWN URSULINE VS. CENTRAL CATHOLIC
9:54 p.m. - Central Catholic is running out the clock. Final score will be: CENTRAL CATHOLIC 49, YOUNGSTOWN URSULINE 22
9:47 - Another Ursuline. Another Central Catholic touchdown. And then another Central Catholic touchdown. Damian Jones-Moore is having himself a game. Central now leads, 49-22. Jones-Moore now has 204 yards with 4:18 left in the game.
9:36 - Ursuline failed to recover a backward pass, and Central Catholic pounced on it at the 23 of Ursuline. Damian Jones-Moore just ran 3 yards for a touchdown and the PAT made it 35-22. With 6:26 left in the game, Central Catholic seems to have this one in the bag. But I thought McKeesport had one wrapped up earlier in the day and lost to St. Joseph's Prep.
9:25 p.m. - Third quarter just ended. That means that fifth and final game of this event probably won't start until almost 10:30. That means it might be 1 in the morning before it concludes. Ridiculous. But anyone who knows anyone about high school games knows you have to allow three hours between starts of games.
9:24 p.m. - Central Catholic QB Dave Smyers looks much more relaxed and more confident than last year. His play will be a key to Central's season.
9:20 p.m. - Youngstown Ursuline won't go away. Chris Collins outleaped a Central Catholic defender in the end zone and grabbed a 20-yard touchdown pass. The PAT failed and Ursuline now trails by only 28-22.
9:17 p.m. - It looks like Central Catholic is in control of this game, but Ursuline has moved to the Central Catholic 40.
9:15 p.m. - Central Catholic just drove 73 yards for a score. Damian Jones-Moore had a 51-yard run to set up his own 3-yard touchdown that makes it 28-16 with 2:34 left in the third quarter.
8:53 p.m. - Ursuline outgained Central Catholic, 144-109, in the first half, but Central certainly has momentum.
8:30 p.m. - Central Catholic missed a short field goal with six seconds left in the half, but still leads, 21-16, at halftime.
8:19 p.m. - This game changed quickly. Central Catholic now looks unstoppable. QB Dave Smyers just scored on a 10-yard run and the PAT gives the Vikings a 21-16 lead with a little more than two minutes left in the half.
8:07 p.m. - Central has settled down and is coming back. Dom Maggio scored on a 5-yard run with 5:55 left, and the PAT made it 16-14. OK, so maybe Ohio football isn't that much better.
7:55 p.m. - By the way. THERE IS STILL ONE MORE GAME AFTER THIS!!!!! Bellaire vs. John Marshall. How do you feel about a high school game probably still going on past midnight? That last game will start somewhere between 10 and 10:30.
This event is coming to Woodland Hills' Wolvarena next year. Five games. Maybe they better start it at sun-up.
7:54 p.m. - Central Catholic is on the scoreboard. Damian Jones-Moore ran 16 yards for a score. The PAT makes it 16-7. Maybe Central Catholic will settle down a little and get back into this game. 11:16 left in the second quarter.
7:41 p.m. - OK, maybe we should just admit it. Ohio football is better than Western Pennsylvania. Ursuline just scored again on a 16-yard pass and Ursuline now leads, 16-0. And remember. Central Catholic is a Class AAAA team, ranked No. 1 in the WPIAL by the Post-Gazette. Ursuline is a Division 5 team in Ohio. That's the second-smallest classification. Ursuline is the defending Ohio Division 5 state champion.
7:36 p.m. - It's only getting worse for Central. Ursuline added a field goal to take a 9-0 lead. Central Catholic just fumbled a pooch kickoff, Ursuline recovered at the 33 with 4:21 left in the first quarter.
7:20 p.m. - The WPIAL already is 0-2 at the Rally in the Valley, and Central Catholic is off to a horrible start, too. Akise Teague of Ursuline returned the opening kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown. The extra point failed and it's 6-0 17 seconds into the game.
STEUBENVILLE VS. WOODLAND HILLS
6:48 - FINAL SCORE, STEUBENVILLE 13, WOODLAND HILLS 0 - The win stretches Steubenville's regular-season winning streak to 62 games. Woodland Hills' offense struggled. It's the second loss in this event for the WPIAL. McKeesport lost earlier in the day. Look below for the McKeesport info.
6:22 p.m. - 5:22 left and Steubenville leads, 13-0. Woodland Hills defensive lineman Khaynin Mosley-Smith, a Pitt recruit, has been relatively quiet.
6:09 p.m. - Woodland Hills drove to the Steubenville 10, but on fourth-and-4, a pass fell incomplete.
6:02 p.m. - 13-0 STEUBENVILLE. Dwight Macon just hit Jordan Meyer with a 22-yard touchdown pass. The extra-point pass failed. This spells doom for Woodland Hills. The Wolverines might have to start passing soon, and that's not a good thing for them.
5:55 p.m. - Woodland Hills has some talent and RB Dom Timbers could have a big year. But it looks like the Wolverines' won't have much of a passing game. Look for teams to load up on the line.
5:24 p.m. - It's halftime and Steubenville leads Woodland Hills, 7-0. Steubenville's Dwight Macon came back from an injury and completed 5 of 9 passes for 116 yards. Woodland Hills' Dom Timbers has 44 yards on 13 carries in the first half. Not much difference between the two teams, except at quarterback. Steubenville has a huge advantage there. Woodland Hills' passing game is pretty much non-existent.
5:21 p.m. - Woodland Hills went for a first down on a fourth-and-6 play from the Steubenville 37. It failed when a screen pass went for no gain. Steubenville took over with 2:43 left in the half and marched 63 yards in eight plays for a score with 17 seconds left in the half. Steubenville scored on a fourth-and-10 play when Dwight Macon rolled left and hit Trey Wiggins for a 21-yard touchdown pass. Steubenville was out of timeouts.
4:43 p.m. - Steubenville's Dwight Macon is back into the game at QB. That's bad news for Woodland Hills. Macon's first pass was a short one that Shaq Petteway turned into a 66-yard gain to the Woodland Hills 8.
Is Shaq Petteway's real first name Shaqulle? I'd like to know.
4:40 p.m. - End of the first quarter and no score. It looks like Steubenville star QB Dwight Macon is getting ready to come back into the game. It's still hard to say what his injury was.
4:36 p.m. - No score 1:41 left in the first quarter. Wheeling Island Stadium is supposed to hold 10,000. If that's true, then Steubenville brought a couple thousand fans. Of course, Steubenville is close to here, but that's by far the best turnout of fans today.
4:18 p.m. - The Woodland Hills-Steubenville game just started. With only 47 seconds gone, there is a major development in this game. Steubenville's star quarterback, Dwight Macon, is injured. Macon has more than 6,000 yards offense in his career. He threw a screen pass on the second play. He has been helped off the field. The injury is not known.
MCKEESPORT VS. ST. JOSEPH'S
4:04 p.m. - St. Joe's Prep scored 13 points in the final three minutes of the game to pull out the win. "We were just exhausted," said McKeesport coach George Smith.
St. Joe's Prep QB Skyler Mornhinweg threw two touchdown passes in the final three minutes. Mornhinweg, the son of Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg is a 6-foot-3, 187-pound sophomore who started his first game. He was unspectacular, but did have the TD passes of 35 and 41 yards to pull out the win. He finished 6 of 15 for 114 yards.
Skyler Mornhinweg, son of Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator, throws two TD passes in final minutes to beat McKeesport
3:41 p.m. - Wow. It's over. Unbelievable how this game turned. St. Joe's Prep has defeated McKeesport, 27-26.
3:35 p.m. - How fast this game turned. Two plays after recovering the onside kick, Skyler Mornhinweg scrambled and hit Desmon Peoples with a 41-yard touchdown pass. The two-point conversion failed and St. Joe's Prep now leads, 27-26, with 1:53 left. Not long ago, McKeesport was ahead, 26-14. St. Joe's scored 13 points in less than a minute.
3:30 p.m. - This one not over quite yet. St. Joe's Prep just scored on a 35-yard pass from Skyler Mornhinweg to Bobby D'Orazio. And Prep just recovered the onside kick. 2:44 left and it's 26-21 McKeesport.
3:15 p.m. - After St. Joe's Garrett Compton scored on a 4-yard run to make it 19-14, Ty-Meer Brown ran 77 yards for a TD on the first play after the kickoff and the PAT gives McKeesport a 26-14 lead.
2:50 p.m. - Due to stops for injuries and player cramps, this game is crawling. That last game of the night might not start until 10 p.m. or maybe 10:30. Seriously. The next game, Woodland Hills vs. Steubenville, was scheduled to start at 3:30. It probably will start around 4:15 or 4:30. Just goes to show you that five games in one day probably isn't a good idea, unless you start around 8:30 in the morning.
2:48 p.m. - A 5-yard touchdown run by Darien Robinson has given McKeesport a 19-7 lead with 6:15 left in the third quarter. Sam Gooden threw a 34-yard halfback pass to Branden Jackson to set up the score.
2:37 p.m. - Cramping and injury problmes for McKeesport defense. Julian Brown and JeJuan Jackson have both left the game with leg cramps. McKeesport also lost another defensive starter who isn't listed on the roster with a knee injury. He's No. 59. Still 13-7 with a little less than nine minutes left in the third quarter.
2:03 p.m. - Halftime and McKeesport leads, 13-7. Seven penalties in the first half for McKeesport. I can't see St. Joe's Prep scoring much. Not much speed on offense.
Just a reminder to look below to see some interesting college information about McKeesport QB Ty-Meer Brown.
2:00 p.m. - A 69-yard kickoff return put St. Joe's Prep at the McKeesport 25. But on fourth-and-13, Skyler Mornhinweg's pass was intercepted in the end zone by Kevin Johnson. 54 seconds left in the half.
1:53 p.m. - Lot of loud, racing noise in this stadium. The stadium sits next to the river and there is a regatta going on. Not that you needed to know that.
1:52 p.m. - Darien Robinson scored on a 3-yard run for McKeesport. The PAT was blocked and McKeesport leads, 13-7, with 2:07 left in the half. Robinson, a fullback, set up the TD with a 28-yard run on fourth-and-2. He scored on the next play.
1:43 p.m. - Ty-Meer Brown fumbled the ball away at his own 7, St. Joe's Prep recovered and Garrett Compton scored on a 1-yard run. It's 7-7 with 7:21 left in the half.
1:37 p.m. - McKeesport just stopped St. Joe's Prep on fourth and short. Derek Mills big hit. at the 26-yard line.
1:30 p.m. - End of first quarter and McKeesport leads, 7-0. St. Joe's Prep has good field position, though, taking over at the McKeesport 48.
1:28 p.m. - Has nothing to do with this game, but it is WPIAL football news. This from the White House (Mike White house). Youngest son Danny White just texted me to tell me that freshman Ryan Lichtenstein of Gateway High is Syracuse's kicker. He's watching on TV. I had no idea Lichtenstein was even there. Pretty good for a freshman.
1:21 p.m. - First-game jitters? Game isn't even 10 minutes old and already we've had seven penalties.
1:16 p.m. - The McKeesport-St. Joe's game started about 1 p.m. McKeesport just took a 7-0 lead on Ty-Meer Brown's 35-yard touchdown pass to Richard Cleveland. St. Joseph's Prep's quarterback is Skyler Mornhinweg, the son of Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg. Skyler is a 6-foot-3, 187-pound sophomore who supposedly already has committed to Stanford. St. Joe's Prep also has the son of Eagles' coach Andy Reid. Spencer Reid is a junior halfback-defensive back, but I haven't seen him play yet.
Pitt and Ty-Meer Brown
Pitt is showing more and more interest in McKeesport quarterback Ty-Meer Brown. Not as a quarterback, but as an "athlete." McKeesport is getting ready to play in the second gmae here and I just spoke with Brown's father, Tim, a former West Virginia University linebacker. He said he and Ty-Meer are to meet with Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt at Pitt tomorrow. Pitt has not offered a scholarship yet, but could soon. Even if Pitt offers, Tim Brown said his son will not make any kind of decision until after the season.
Ty-Meer Brown warms up before facing St. Joseph's Prep
Brown will not play QB in college. He could be a receiver, defensive back or maybe even grow into a linebacker. West Virginia likes him for defense.
What's interesting about Ty-Meer Brown, though, is he also has some Divisioin I scholarship offers in basketball. As of two years ago, he thought his future would be in basketball. He thought about giving up on football. Brown's father told me Dayton and St. Bonaventure have both offered his son scholarships in basketball. Bowling Green also has offered for football. But Tim Brown said his son is pretty sure he'll play football in college.
Mike Clark just might show up at any high school football and basketball game in the Pittsburgh area. He is one of the most avid fans of WPIAL sports, and he made the trip here - dressed in his Woodland Hills gear.
12:30 - Akron Buchtel crushed Wheeling Central, 50-17, in the first game of the Rally in the Valley. The second game is now scheduled to start around 1 p.m.
11:15 a.m. - Akron Buchtel (Ohio) is flexing its muscles in the first game, leading Wheeling Central (W.Va.), 31-17, at halftime. The first half just ended. So much for starting the McKeesport-St. Joseph's Prep game at 12:30. The first half just ended.
Games are supposed to be 10 a.m, 12:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m, 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. My guess is that last game might start closer to 9:30.
Wheeling Stadium is a great place for this event. It's a great place to watch a high school game. The stadium is in the middle of town and stands are practically on top of the field. Evergreens line one end zone. The place holds 10,000. And if the football is bad, the casino is next door. Ha ha.