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Fantastic finishes

Written by Mike White on .

 

Mike White | 1:30 a.m. Sat., Sept. 12, 2008

Notes, thoughts and anecdotes after the third Friday of the season.

Two of the best finishes you’ll see in high school football. On the same night. And only a few miles apart.

What are the chances. But that’s exactly what happened last night when host Bethel Park defeated North Hills, 27-26, on the final play of the game. Quarterback Erik Olson hit John Schademan with a 16-yard touchdown pass for the winning points.

Meanwhile, just a short drive down Route 19, Upper St. Clair’s Alex Park hit Austin Everett on an 8-yard touchdown pass on the final play of the game to give the Panthers a 30-28 victory against North Allegheny.

The North Hills-Bethel Park game was controversial. The game appeared to be over moments before the touchdown when Olson was intercepted by North Hills’ John Iovito with no time left on the clock. But officials called a pass interference penalty on North Hills. A game can’t end on a defensive penalty, so Bethel Park got another chance at the 16-yard line. That’s when Olson hit Schademan.

I covered the game and didn’t have a clear view of the interference play because it was away from the ball. But let’s just say this: You have to wonder about a call when even the opposing coach questions it. That’s what Bethel Park coach Jeff Metheny did after the game, saying he perfectly understood why North Hills was so upset.

Closer to 4,000

East Allegheny’s Monte Ashby rushed for 321 yards and moved closer to 4,000 for his career. Ashby now has 3,586. He rushed for 1,040 as a sophomore at Duquesne and 2,048 last year at East Allegheny.

Pinpoint passers

Seneca Valley’s C.J. Brown and Sto-Rox’s Paul Jones once again proved why they are two of the best quarterbacks in the state. Brown completed 13 of 16 for 266 yards and Jones 16 of 20 for 248 yards.

Brown has now thrown for 874 yards and Jones 764. That’s impressive, but their accuracy has been most impressive. Brown has completed 65 percent of his passes and Jones 70 percent.

Check this out

* Canon-McMillan’s Mike Hull led WPIAL Class AAAA in rushing last year and had 138 yards against Woodland Hills. Hull will most likely be offered Division I scholarships in the future, but look for him to be recruited mostly at linebacker.

* It’s looking like McKeesport might be the best bet to maybe give No. 1-ranked Gateway a game. McKeesport has been awfully impressive, going 2-1. The loss was in overtime, 14-7, to Colerain, Ohio. Colerain is ranked among the top 25 teams in the country.

McKeesport has now outscored opponents, 129-21, and what the Tigers did to Connellsville in the first quarter last night borders on ridiculous. McKeesport led, 48-0, after the first quarter. How does a team give up 48 points in the first quarter. Connellsville has now been outscored, 168-14.

* Ambridge announced it will play the rest of its home games Friday nights. Due to construction at the school, Ambridge played its season opener on a Saturday afternoon and there was a possiblity the Bridgers might have to play more Saturday games.

Fifteen years ago, if it rained as much as it did yesterday, there would have been muddy games everywhere. But with so many schools now having turf fields, it was a much cleaner night.

Looking ahead

Top games for next Friday are Upper St. Clair at Central Catholic, Ringgold at Thomas Jefferson, Woodland Hills at Bethel Park and Aliquippa at Beaver.

 

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