It's time for Saturday Quarterback - notes and thoughts after the sixth Friday night of the high school football season.
Much has been said about North Allegheny's offense this season, but the defense has been superb.
The Tigers had to fill a few holes on defense this season, but they haven't given up a touchdown in four consecutive games. That is pretty impressive, considering two of those games were against Seneca Valley and Gateway, two of the top five teams in Class AAAA.
*** While North Allegheny is undefeated and getting much-deserved props, Upper St. Clair is sitting quietly in the weeds at 6-0.
*** Did you know the first game in the history of Gateway football was in 1958 - against North Allegheny? Yep, Gateway won AT North Allegheny. The Gators' coach was Pete Antimarino, who was an honorary captain for last night's game along with Art Walker, the father of North Allegheny coach Art Walker. Antimarino coached Gateway from 1958-89. Walker coached at Mt. Lebanon and Shady Side Academy.
Antimarino is now 85 - and still going strong. (The picture is from Antimarino's days as a coach, courtesy of gatewaygators.com). The guy is tremendous. One of my all-time favorites among WPIAL coaches - and he is still spry as ever. And can always make one laugh.
At one point in last night's game, Antimarino was in the second row of Gateway's huge press box. I was sitting in the third row when Antimarino turned around, looked at me and yelled, "Hey Whitey, you look like you need some pasta."
Wonder if he still makes his own homemade spaghetti sauce?
*** The Post-Gazette had Neshannock ranked No. 4 in Class A of the WPIAL last week. Should the Lancers stay in the top five? They did make a good showing AT Rochester, losing by only 28-21.
*** You hate hearing about these things. Ronald Rouse, a defensive lineman at Hartsville High School in South Carolina, was in on a tackle in a game last night. He had to be helped off the field. He then collapsed on the sideline and died.
And it was homecoming for Hartsville. So sad.
*** I had heard how Levi Metheny was a very good athlete in junior high at Bethel Park. He is starting to show it on the high school level. Metheny is only a freshman, but the son of Bethel Park coach Jeff Metheny completed 8 of 12 for 176 yards last night against Penn Hills.
*** Here is another freshman to watch: Lincoln Clayton at Kiski Area. He is a good-sized, ninth-grade running back who has showed promise this year. He rushed for 187 yards on 18 carries last night against Norwin.
*** McKeesport's Eddie Stockett came into the season with a big reputation as a passer. For good reason. He threw for 1,772 yards last season. But Stockett has been averaging less than 100 yards passing a game. Last night, though, he ran for 133 yards in a McKeesport win and now has 363 yards rushing for the season.
*** Is Sto-Rox's Lenny Williams going to be a 1,000-1,000 guy? He already had over 1,000 yards passing. Last night he ran for 126 and now has 601 yards rushing.
*** Is Mt. Lebanon's Tyler Roth coming into his own, or what? Roth is in his first year as a starting QB. In the first two games, he was 22 of 44 for 359 yards. In the next four games he was 56 of 101 for 977 yards. Last night was his third-consecutive 200-yard passing game.
*** What is the game of the week next week? You tell me. Seneca Valley at North Hills, Central Catholic at North Allegheny, Upper St. Clair at Bethel Park?
*** When will Aliquippa and South Fayette be tested in Class AA?
*** West Mifflin-Thomas Jefferson in the regular-season finale could be a terrific one.