2012Friday Night Live965x150



Dozen predictions to go -- Week 7

Written by Mike White on .

You hungry? I ordered a dozen predictions to go for you.

Last week: 9-3 (.750 pct.). Season: 53-19 (.736 pct.)


University Prep vs. Allderdice - This is the best regular-season game in the City League. Allderdice is ranked No. 1 and University Prep No. 2. Allderdice must get some pressure on University Prep QB Ron Brown. A key also for Allderdice is not to let a short UPrep pass turn into a big play. But I think this could indeed be Allderdice's year. Winner: Allderdice.


Woodland Hills at West Allegheny - This game really doesn't mean much because it is non-conference. But don't think for a second that either team will hold anything back. West Allegheny is No. 1 in AAA and Woodland Hills No. 2 in AAAA. Both teams have tremendous running games, but the difference could be who makes a couple big pass plays. Winner: West Allegheny.

Mt. Lebanon at North Hills - Three tough games in a row for North Hills. The first two were losses to Pine-Richland and Central Catholic. Mt. Lebanon is good also, especially offensively. But North Hills might have enough defensively to pull out a win. Winner: North Hills.


Bethel Park at Penn Hills - Penn Hills' running attack has been excellent and will be the difference in this Southeastern Conference game. Winner: Penn Hills.


Indiana at Gateway - This is a big game for both teams. If Gateway loses, it might not make the playoffs. Who would've thunk that at the beginning of the season? Winner: Gateway.

Mars at Knoch - Mars has hung tough without running back Josh Schultheis (injured knee). Knoch has lost four in a row after starting 2-0. Winner: Mars.

Montour at Blackhawk - Blackhawk has been competitive when not playing West Allegheny and Central Valley. Montour isn't as good as West Allegheny and Central Valley, but still the third-best team in the Parkway Conference. Winner: Montour.


Seton-LaSalle at Quaker Valley - Quarterback Dane Jackson (knee injury) played last week for the first time this season. But does that mean Quaker Valley is good enough to give Seton-LaSalle its first loss? Winner: Seton-LaSalle.

Waynesburg at Southmoreland - A win by Southmoreland would put the Scotties close to their first playoff berth since 1979. But I think Waynesburg is still the third-best team in the Interstate Conference. Winner: Waynesburg.


Riverside at South Side Beaver - Does South Side Beaver bounce back from a loss to Shenango? This one is a tough call, but ... Winner: Riverside

Avonworth at Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic - Avonworth played North Catholic close twice last year, but lost. This one figures to be close again, but the Trojans should run theiir winning streak to 23 games. Winner: Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic.

Monessen at Jeannete - The Jayhawks have recovered from their shellacking at Clairton last week. Winner: Jeannette.

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.

Kemp near scoring mark ...... Freeport freshman getting his kicks

Written by Mike White on .

Some items that fell off my laptop

Thomas Jefferson's Austin Kemp might very well set a scoring mark that hasn't been seen in the WPIAL in 35 years, if ever.

Kemp, a senior, has 28 touchdowns and a two-point conversion for 170 points. In 1979, the Post-Gazette was the first media outlet or organization to keep statistics for the entire WPIAL. Since then, the most touchdowns Austin Kempscored in the regular season is 34 and the most points is 204.

With three games left in the regular season, Kemp needs only seven touchdowns to break both marks. Considering that Kemp hasn't scored fewer than three touchdowns in a game this season, he seems to be a cinch to break the mark.

Kemp's marks could very well be a WPIAL record, but you can't say definitely. As stated before, no one kept WPIAL statistical leaders until 1979. Maybe there was someone before 1979 who scored more than 200 points, although I'd say unlikely. Teams before 1979 didn't score nearly as much as they do today.

The four players who have scored 200 points in the regular season are Mars' Bill bair (204 in 2007), Rochester's Essex Law (204 in 1991), Laurel Highlands' Jim Smith (200 in 1989) and Greensburg Central Catholic's David Miller (200 in 2008).

Freeport freshman makes impact

Sarver is getting his kicks in Sarver.

Freeport High School is in Sarver and how is this for a coincidence? Jake Sarver is making waves with his foot.

Sarver is only a freshman, but has already kicked eight field goals to lead the WPIAL. He has missed only once.

"If we get to the 20, we're kicking a field goal. It's automatic," said Freeport coach John Galliot. "He's nice to have. I think we kicked only one extra point last year. The previous year, we missed so many extra points. As long as we have him, we're excited. We can kick extra points."

Here is something to think about: Could Sarver one day have a chance at the WPIAL record for field goals? If he keeps at this pace, he will.

The record for the WPIAL is 35 by Peters Township's Bob Milspaw from 1992-95. Sarver is about one quarter of the way there. And remember, he is only a freshman. Galliot said he could someday see Sarver also being Freeport's starting quarterback.

Team cancels season because of hazing

If you don't think hazing and bullying still go on with high school teams, consider this: Officials at one New Jersey school that has a strong football program canceled the rest of the season because hazing and bullying has run rampant among the team.

Sayrveville War Memorial High School won three New Jersey section championships in the past four years, but the team will forfeit the final six games of the season because of the hazing and bullying. This is not just a school matter, though. The county prosecutor's office is now investigating.

Law running less

A year ago, Ringgold quarterback Nico Law became one of the few players in WPIAL history to run for 1,000 yards and pass for 1,000 yards in the regular season. He'll have a hard time duplicating the feat this year.Nico Law

It's not that Law is having a bad season. He's just running less. He has 383 yards on 49 carries, a 7.8 average. But last year after six games, he had carried 70 times for 709 yards. 

Law isn't passing quite as much, either, but his accuracy has improved a great deal. He has completed 47 of 78 for 771 yards this season. A year ago at this time, he had completed only 59 of 155 for 1,049 yards.

Showdown in the City

The best game in the City League regular season is undoubtedly Friday when Allderdice plays University Prep at 3:30 at Cupples Stadium on the South Side. Allderdice is ranked No. 1 in the City and University Prep No. 2.

A week ago, University Prep quarterback Ron Brown went over 4,000 yards passing in only two seasons. And he needed only 14 games to get to 4,000. University Prep played 10 last year and has played only four this season.

This Week In High School Sports

Yours truly and colleague Terry Shields preview the big Woodland Hills-West Allegheny showdown, plus talk about other games and topics on Varsity Xtra's This Week In High School Sports:


Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.

Friday night live blog - Brumbaugh gets two records in South Fayette win

Written by Mike White on .

Live blog from the Steel Valley at South Fayette game. Look to the right of the blog for score updates and notes from other games. If you have a score, note or photo tweet with #wpial or send to @PGVarsityXtra.

Brett Brumbaugh celebrates after setting the WPIAL record for career passing yardage (photo by Post-Gazette's Matt Freed)

Brett Brumbaugh record

Nice to see after the game. Brett Brumbaugh go over to his brother, Christian, for congratulations. Christian at one time held WPIAL passing record. How is this for fate: Christian is a quarterback at William & Mary. This is the only game that he could see in the regular season because William & Mary is off this weekend. 

And Christian sees his brother break two WPIAL records.


Brett Brumbaugh finishes 15 of 26 for 304 yards and breaks WPIAL records for career yards and career TD passes. Brumbaugh now 540 of 820 for 8,728 yards. Has 103 career TD passes.

9:05 I'm sorry. I don't understand. South Fayette is ahead, 42-7, and Brett Brumbaugh and the first-team offense was just put back into the game. Why?

Mars clubbing Gateway.

Clairton clobbering Jeannette, 44-6. Will they get 70?

8:48 Someone in press box just said South Fayette should be playing in Triple-A. Why? They belong in Class AA. Enrollment says so. Why should they be in Class AAA? Because they're good. Just because you are good and have a good program doesn't mean you should play up.

People say the same thing about Clairton and I have never understood. Why should Clairton play in Class AA? Because they are good?

8:47 - Steel Valley has 42 players on its roster. But I count only 27 dressed. Wow.


And we have mercy rule here. Two TDs by South Fayette's Hunter Hayes. 1-yard run and 16-yard run.


Brett Brumbaugh 9 of 18 for 217 yards in first half. Steel Valley running back DeWayne Murray has been held to 32 yards on eight attempts.

7:59 Steel Valley drove to the 5, but turned the ball over on downs on fourth-and-3.


What would the chances be for a quarterback to break the WPIAL career passing yardage record and touchdown pass record -- on the same night?? And within minutes of each other.

Well, Brett Brumbaugh just threw a 51-yard touchdown pass to Roman Denson to give him a record 103 touchdown passes. He broke the passing yardage mark earlier. Both marks were held by former Sto-Rox QB Lenny Williams.

And in the coaches booth for Steel Valley - should I say "legendary" Mike Booth. Parade All-American linebacker at Brashear in late 1980s. First year defensive coordinator for Steel Valley after years at Gateway. With Booth is Mike Breaston (brother of Steve).

Mike Booth


Hunter Hayes scores on a 10-yard run. 8:06 in half.

7:37 Brumbaugh could have another record tonight, too. His two touchdown passes ties the record for a career with 102. 


Brett Brumbaugh broke the WPIAL passing yardage record, and what a way to do it. With a TD pass. 68 yards the play covered. Nick Ponikvar took a short pass over the middle and turned it into a TD. South Fayette had to wait to celebrate. Flag on play. But it was defensive holding.


7:29 Brandon Donovan misses 27 yd. FG for Steel Valley.


Brett Brumbaugh 5 of 13 for 71 yards. Needs 14 for record.

7:21 South Fayette turns ball over on downs. Steel Valley hanging in. Turnover for TD was vital. 

7:17 Brett Brumbaugh not real sharp in first quarter. Now 4 of 11. Maybe pressing a little for record?????


From his own end zone, Brett Brumbaugh hit, fumbles and Alex Mylsted picks it up and returns 3 yards for TD. Brandon Donovan PAT 


Brett Brumbaugh 5 yard TD pass to Roman Denson. Brumbaugh now 4 of 9 for 59 yards. 26 yards away from breaking record.

7:02 South Fayette turns the ball over on downs. Brumbaugh 1 for 4. 9 yards.

7:01 Brumbaugh 1 of 3 for 9 yards.

7:00 Game time. South Fayette gets ball first. 


Pitt is interested in this guy

This is Steel Valley running back DeWayne Murray. Steel Valley coach Rod Steele said Pitt seems very interested in Murray and is coming to the school Monday. Steele doesn't necessarily think the Panthers will offer a scholarship yet, but he believes they are very interested.

DeWayne Murray



























Look, mom I can stand on one leg

This is South Fayette quarterback Brett Brumbaugh in pregame warmups. He needs only 85 yards passing to break the WPIAL career passing record tonight.

Brett Brumbaugh Steel Valley

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.

A dozen predictions to go for Week 6

Written by Mike White on .

Varsity Blog program note: Tonight's live blog will come from the Steel Valley at South Fayette game. Not only is it a big game, but Brett Brumbaugh is going for the WPIAL passing record. Our game of the week is Jeannette at Clairton. For score updates, look to the right of this blog for scores and notes from @PGVarsityXtra on Twitter. If you have a score, note or even photo, tweet to @PGVarsityXtra or simply tweet with #WPIAL

And now, for a dozen predictions to go for this week. The record for last week was 10-2. Mr. Brightness here calls it "dozen" predictions to go, but only predicted 11 games last week. Ooops. So, we'll take a loss for the extra game. That makes the season record 44-16 (.733 percentage).

Here are some thoughts on this weekend's top games:


Mt. Lebanon at Bethel Park - I like what Mt. Lebanon has done offensively, but Bethel Park seems to be playing well. Winner: Bethel Park

North Hills vs. Central Catholic - Two tough games in a row for North Hills. Last week at Pine-Richland and now vs. Central Catholic. It will be two losses in a row, too. North Hills is 4-1 and still has a decent team, but Central Catholic is on a different level. In two weeks it is Central vs. Pine. Winner: Central Catholic

Baldwin at Upper St. Clair - This game doesn't match teams with impressive records, but it could be big in the playoff race in the Southeastern Conference. A loss might put USC in danger of not making the playoffs. Wow. Winner: Upper St. Clair


Franklin Regional at Hampton  - I keep going back and forth on the winner of this game. Hampton has been impressive all season while Franklin Regional has been impressive since a season-opening loss. Winner: Franklin Regional.

Gateway at Mars - Gateway certainly isn't a tremendous team now, but the Gators have won two in a row. This game will be big for playoff positioning. Winner: Mars.

Moon at Chartiers Valley - The winner is in much better position for a playoff spot. Winner: Chartiers Valley.


Steel Valley at South Fayette - Brett Brumbaugh (pictured) will become the WPIAL's all-time leading passer in the first half and the Lions will win their 25th consecutive regular-season game. Winner: South Fayette.

Beaver at Aliquippa - Last week, Aliquippa blew out an undefeated New Brighton team that had defeated Beaver. But something tells me that Beaver will make this game a lot closer than New Brighton. Still, ... Winner: Aliquippa.

Beaver Falls at Ellwood City - Both of these teams have shown the ability to score plenty of points, but they have both allowed a good number of points in games. Beaver Falls' defense might be a little better. Winner: Beaver Falls.


Jeannette at Clairton - Clairton will be without two starters who were thrown out of last week's game. That will impact the Bears some. Unbeaten Jeannette will end Clairton's string of five consecutive 70-point games, but Clairton will still win by a comfortable margin. Winner: Clairton.

Beth-Center at Frazier - How about the Commodores? Frazier is 5-0 for the first time in 31 years. But Beth-Center is still the king of the Tri-County South Conference. Winner: Beth-Center.

South Side Beaver at Shenango - South Side Beaver's offense has been awfully impressive since a loss to Neshannock in the opener. But home field might mean something in this game. A small upset. Winner: Shenango.

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.

Will McGinnis be eligible for football at Aliquippa?

Written by Mike White on .

Stephon McGinnis transferred this week from Ambridge to Aliquippa. If the WPIAL or PIAA makes him eligible for football, it might be a decision that opens a big can of worms. More like a truckload.

McGinnis enrolled at Aliquippa Monday. Mike Zmijanac, Aliquippa athletic director and football coach, said McGinnis' mother recently re-married, moved into the Aliquippa district and wanted her son to live with her. Zmijanac said Stephon McGinnis lived with someone else in the Ambridge district, but that his mother used to live in Aliquippa.

McGinnis, a senior, is Ambridge's leading receiver and he also averaged 20 points per game in basketball. Whatever the reason he says he has transferred, the fact that Ambridge is 1-4 could have nothing to do with it, right? Merely just a coincidence, I'm sure.

McGinnis is already practicing with undefeated Aliquippa's football team, which is permitted. The WPIAL will likely have a hearing with him in a few weeks. One of the keys to his eligibility ruling could be whether he gets a principal-to-principal "signoff." Ambridge apparently has not yet decided whether to sign off. Sources have told me that Ambridge would like to talk with McGinnis and his mother.

Even if McGinnis gets a principal-to-principal signoff, the WPIAL will likely still have a hearing. If McGinnis is made eligible for football at some point, you can bet Aliquippa opponents will be fuming and it would also set a precedent. And please, don't hand me the malarkey that a kid has a right to live anywhere, go to school anywhere and play sports if he wants. Baloney. You certainly do have a right to live anywhere and go to school anywhere you want. But you do not have a right to play sports. That is a privilege. You may argue that a kid should be able to transfer, even if athletic intent is involved. But now you are arguing the rule. That is a whole other story. The rule is still there, and needs to be enforced.

Think of it. If McGinnis is eligible to play football at Aliquippa, what is to ever stop anyone else from starting the season with one team, and when that team is out of playoff contention, move with a parent to another district, get an apartment in that district and then play? Here is a simple scenario to get it done. This is purely hypotethical, let's say a kid plays for Greensburg Salem and is a pretty good player. After a 1-4 start, it looks like Greensburg Salem isn't going to make the playoffs. Dad all of a sudden gets an apartment in nearby Franklin Regional and takes the son with him. Franklin Regional, coincidentally, is 4-1.

Would that be athletic intent? No way. Dad says he and mom are having marital problems and decided to separate. Greensburg Salem's 1-4 start has nothing to do with this. It's merely a coincidence. If McGinnis is made eligible, how can the WPIAL or PIAA stop the above example?

As for the marital problems thing? Believe me, people have used that before.

And heck, in the example above. Let's say the student leaves Greensburg Salem and goes to Franklin Regional's district with his dad. Maybe after football season, go back to Greensburg Salem for basketball or baseball. Hey, the father and mother worked things out and got back together. Just a coincidence.

But on the other hand, there is a precedent that would seem to favor McGinnis. Twelve years ago, talented player Steffan Brinson moved with his mother from Ambridge to Woodland Hills in the middle of the football season. The WPIAL ruled him eligible and Brinson played for Woodland Hills.

But that same 2002 season, Central Catholic pulled itself out of the WPIAL playoffs because of an alleged sexual abuse case involving players in the preseason. One week later, Central star running back Andrew Johnson enrolled at North Hills. He already lived in the North Hills district. But the WPIAL was able to put off a hearing with Johnson until after North Hills' season ended. The WPIAL eventually ruled Johnson ineligible for the next season, but the PIAA overturned the ruling and Johnson played.

Let's face it. Many transfers of student-athletes are for athletic reasons. It can be hard to prove, though. In fact, no matter how the McGinnis case looks, he is indeed moving in with his mother. But should an athlete be allowed to play at another school halfway through a season? If the move is really not for athletic intent, then not playing the rest of the season should be no big deal, right?

In McGinnis' case, he could still attend school at Ambridge if he wanted. Ambridge, and many other schools, have a rule that if a student's family moves out of the district and a student is a senior, the student is permitted to finish his senior year and still play athletics at the original school. That is allowed by the WPIAL also.

But here is a novel idea that would make a school look so good: Have a school stand up and say we are not making this kid eligible because we know athletic intent was involved. But that has about as much a chance of happening as me bench-pressing 300 pounds. Again, a kid has a right to go to a school, but he doesn't have a right to play sports. For example, if a kid transfers from school A to school B and it is obvious athletic intent is involved, no matter the claims, school B steps up and won't sign the principal-to-principal signoff, saying the kid is ineligible for a year because he transferred for athletic intent. Wouldn't that be something.

It did happen once before and then Greensburg Central Catholic principal Denise Myers was praised by the WPIAL and many others for her decision. Marcus Malara transferred from Mount Pleasant to Greensburg Central Catholic in 2011, but Myers wouldn't sign off on the transfer and recommended to the WPIAL that he be ruled ineligible for a year because he transferred for athletic intent. Myers was a new principal at the time. She is no longer the principal at GCC.

I go back and forth on whether McGinnis should be made eligible for basketball at Aliquippa. But for football, no way.

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.