Mike White | 1:30 a.m., Sat., Sept. 20, 2008
Notes, thoughts and anecdotes after the fourth Friday of the high school football season
Central Catholic has turned to a freshman as its starting tailback.
Central Catholic defeated Upper St. Clair, 10-9, Friday night and Central Catholic's leading rusher was Andrew Ehrenberg. His statistics weren't overwhelming - 49 yards on 14 carries. But how often does a Class AAAA team ranked in the top five of the WPIAL put a freshman at running back? Ehrenberg didn't start because of an injury. He started because of his talent.
"Our coaches have been telling me, 'He's moving up the [depth] chart, he's moving up the chart,'" said Central Catholic coach Terry Totten.
Ehrenberg is 5 feet 9, 175 pounds. He has good bloodlines. His father is Rich Ehrenberg, a former Steeler running back.
"He's been running the ball solid for us since camp," Totten siad. "He's hard to get off his feet and he has great instincts. He's only a freshman, but man, he's tough. He's gifted and he knows his assignments."
Ehrenberg was one of two freshman who ran the ball for Central Catholic. The other was Damian Jones-Moore, a 5-5, 155-pounder who had 19 yards on five carries.
Central Catholic lost its top two tailbacks before the season when they left school - Dom Timbers and Jeff Knox. Timbers is now at Woodland Hills.
Ehrenberg was one of two players in the game who are sons of former Steelers. Clay Ilkin, a senior receiver for Upper St. Clair, is the son of former Steeler lineman Tunch Ilkin.
Nine more for Plautz
Seneca Valley quarterback Matt Plautz is on a torrid receiving pace. His nine receptions last night gives him a WPIAL-high 33 for the season. That's almost nine catches a game. As impressive as that sounds, he's behind the record pace of former Seton-LaSalle receiver Carmen Connolly. In 2004, Connolly set the WPIAL regular-season record for receptions with 86 in nine games.
Check the record
This is not to downgrade what Neil Gordon is doing in his first season as Shaler's coach. The Titans are 4-0 under Gordon. But before we christen Shaler as a WPIAL championship contender, consider that three of Shaler's defeats were against teams that are still winless (Baldwin, Mt. Lebanon and Hampton). Shaler's other opponent, Hempfield, is 2-2.
Mars makes noise
Was Mars supposed to be this good? Scott Heinauer thought he would've had a possible top five team in Class AA this season. But the Planets moved up to AAA and many expected the Planets to struggle. But they are 3-1 and two of the wins came against Class AAAA teams - Plum two weeks ago and Fox Chapel last night.
Exactly how good Mars is should be known Thursday night. Mars plays host to Highlands Thursday in the FSN Game of the Week. Highlands is 4-0 and the Post-Gazette's No. 3-ranked Class AAAA team.
More top games
Some other top games Friday night are North Allegheny at Seneca Valley, Butler at Shaler, Blackhawk at Hopewell, Sto-Rox at Seton-LaSalle and Fort Cherry at Clairton.
I'm just sayin'
* Terrelle Pryor was one of the greatest players in WPIAL history. But he's gone and Jeannette is still destroying opponents. So maybe people should start to realize that Ray Reitz is a pretty darn good coach.
* Upper St. Clair's student section at home games has become one of the best in the WPIAL - in football and basketball.
* Impressive win for Bethel Park over Woodland Hills, 31-14. Even more impressive when you consider Bethel Park's standout running back, Lyle Marsh, did not play for the second consecutive week.
* If you need a touchdown on the last play of the game, Bethel Park quarterback Erik Olson might be your man. Olson threw a touchdown pass on the last play of the game last week to beat North Hills. He did the same thing a year ago on the last play to beat Penn Hills.