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By Mike Copper, Tom Reisenweber, Jeff Kirik Erie Times-News staff bloggers
The Varsity blog is the 2013 winner of an international EPPY award for best sports blog. EPPYs are awarded to media-affiliated websites by Editor & Publisher, an industry trade publication. Varsity is primarily maintained by Times-News sports writers Mike Copper and Tom Reisenweber and sports editor Jeff Kirik.   Read more about this blog.
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Saturday Morning Quarterback: All-time teams revisited

Welcome to this season’s first Saturday Morning Quarterback blog.

About five years ago, the Erie Times-News released its City of Erie All-Time Football Team and its Erie County All-Time Football Team. It took a lot of research, countless phone calls and plenty of opinions before we were able to pick what we thought was a representative team filled with the best players in area history.

Big-name stars like Fred Biletnikoff, Bob Sanders, Mike McCoy, Tony Sanfilippo, Bob Ferrando and Brian Milne highlighted the teams. Players were selected from 100 years of city football and about 50 years of county football.

Five years after the teams were announced, it’s time to take a lot back and see which players from the past decade might have made the all-time teams.

I’d like to suggest six names. Each might have made the first or second team, but with that in mind, I’m not saying they would replace anyone in particular on the teams.

Click below for the six players:

Drew Astorino

Drew Astorino

1. Drew Astorino
General McLane

Astorino would have made the Erie County team. Period.

One of the most explosive players in Erie-area history, Astorino led the Lancers to a PIAA Class AAA title in 2006. He was a superb option quarterback, defensive back and return man — much in the mold of former Cathedral Prep star Ed Hinkel. Astorino’s 71-yard touchdown run in McLane’s 28-23 victory over Pottsville in the  PIAA Class AAA title game, shown at left, was one of his defining moments.

He is now making major contributions as a redshirt sophomore defensive back at Penn State.

A.J. Fenton

A.J. Fenton

2. A.J. Fenton
McDowell

Fenton, who graduated in the spring,  played quarterback like no one in recent memory. He was an option quarterback who was part tailback and part fullback. He could outrun you or run you over.

He ran for more than 4,200 yards in his career, including 1,933 as a senior in 2008.

Fenton rewrote the Trojans’ record book last year, and now he’s at the University of Wisconsin, where he’s set to play linebacker.

Stephen Blose

Stephen Blose

3. Stephen Blose
Harbor Creek

Blose gained fame for setting the state record with 488 yards rushing in one game, but he was one of Erie County’s greatest kickers.

In that one game, he had 44 points, including six touchdowns and eight extra-point kicks.

He had a powerful leg and was a threat to make a field goal from 50 yards and closer. He’s now kicking for Youngstown State University.

Jovon Johnson

Jovon Johnson

4. Jovon Johnson
Mercyhurst Prep

Johnson actually graduated in time to be included on the first team, but if I had a do-over on the team, I might include him.

He was a quarterback, return man and a great defensive back for the Lakers, started four years for Iowa and later played for the Steelers.

Johnson was a first-rate ball-hawk and dangerous returner. He’s now in the Canadian Football League, where he’s still picking off passes.

Deonte Flemings

Deonte Flemings

5. Deonte Flemings
Strong Vincent

Flemings was almost a carbon copy of Jovon Johnson. Sometimes when you watched Flemings playing defensive back, you almost got the feeling that he would lay off receivers a little just to get a better chance at an interception.

He was an exceptional cover man, as well as a big-time threat to score every time he touched the ball.  Flemings was a three-time all-state selection — once in Alabama as a freshman and twice with Vincent as a junior and senior.

He’s now at prep school at North Carolina Tech.


Tyler Sargent

Tyler Sargent

6. Tyler Sargent
Fairview

A superb running back with breakaway speed, he topped the 2,000-yard mark and was named the Times-News District 10 Player of the Year in 2007.

He solidified his spot in Erie County history when he ran wild for 229 yards and three touchdowns in the Save-An-Eye Game.

He’s now a redshirt freshman defensive back at New Hampshire.

– Jeff Kirik

Posted in: District 10, Football

9 Responses to Saturday Morning Quarterback: All-time teams revisited

  1. merle page says:

    how about roosevelt benjaman i have not seen player like him around why every time we talk about the best player around erie he is not menioned he was a two time all state selection.

  2. Jeff Kirik says:

    That’s a good point, Merle. After our all-time team was named, Roosevelt Benjamin was one of the names most mentioned by readers as an oversight on our part. We probably blew it by not having him on one of the teams. He was a dynamic defensive back who led Central deep into the state playoffs. There have been very few defensive backs in his class from this area. Good call.

  3. Warren County says:

    Way to completely leave Warren County out of your post yesterday.

  4. Jeff Kirik says:

    Warren County:
    You’re right. Our oversight. We couldn’t — and weren’t trying to — discuss every team in D-10 in our one hour, but we should have delved into Warren County. We’ll do that this coming Friday when we discuss each of the regions and give our predictions for the upcoming season.

    Also, a team and a player I should have mentioned are Eisenhower and Cody Crosby. I think Eisenhower will be a surprise team in Region 2 this season and could contend for a title, if things go right. Crosby, meanwhile, is one of the best all-around players in the district. He’s a quarterback who has more than 2,700 yards passing, a solid defensive back, an all-district punter and a heck of a kicker. With him leading the way, Eisenhower should be tough this season.

    Join us Friday at noon when we talk about each region in detail.

  5. Bill says:

    How about Jayson Nickson from Mercyhurst Prep. Set the all-time school rushing record, scoring record, tackle record and was an all-state DB. Played in Single-A and sometimes gets over looked but he led Slippery Rock U. in tackles as a redshirt frosh. this past year.

  6. Warren County says:

    thanks

  7. Jeff Kirik says:

    You’re welcome. Thanks for reading.

  8. Jeff Kirik says:

    We try to post at least once daily. Many times we will post five times or more each day during the high school season.

    We also cover live events, such as Friday nights in football season and all D-10 playoff games.

    Look for our live blog on the football season this Friday. We’re making predictions for all six regions.

  9. Blinke 21 says:

    I realize there is already a player on the list from Harbor Creek, but I believe that Eric Divell could be a very considerable choice for an additional player to this team. He was a first team all-state kicker, a powerful running back, and a stingy defensive back.

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