-Susquehanna Township coach Joe Headen played for legendary Cumberland Valley coach Tim Rimpfel at Bishop McDevitt in the 1980s. Headen and his Indians have developed a nice rivalry the last two years since McDevitt dropped to Class AAA. Headen’s son, Joe Joe Headen, is a freshman nickel back for Bishop McDevitt. Guess who plays Saturday morning? Yep, Susquehanna Township. plays Bishop McDevitt.
-Since losing to Bishop McDevitt in Week 2, defending PIAA Class AAAA state champion Central Dauphin has rolled up 114 points in its last two games. The Rams played game with rival Bishop McDevitt without suspended stars Zayd Issah and Drew Scales.
-Lancaster Catholic senior running back Roman Clay will hit 1,000 rushing yards already this season early Friday. He’s sitting on 997 yards with 13 touchdowns in the Crusaders’ first four games.
-Donegal turned the ball over just one time in its first three games and took a 3-0 record into its Week 4 showdown against Garden Spot, which had four interceptions and recovered a fumble in its 34-23 victory, handing Donegal its first loss this season.
-Annville-Cleona’s Mitch Rodkey lined up at quarterback, running back and wide receiver in the Little Dutchmen’s 42-14 win over Northern Lebanon. He rushed for 278 yards, had four touchdown runs, caught a TD pass and threw a TD pass.
-A win Friday over Fleetwood will give Schuylkill Valley a 5-0 record for the first time in the school’s 40-year football history. The Panthers found themselves ranked in the state for the first time in school history after a 55-7 win over Kutztown, a game that saw Kyle Beissel match a school record with five touchdown passes and Adam Drumgoole set one with four TD receptions. Panthers have won seven straight regular season games (over two seasons) for first time in school history.
-Wyomissing rolled over Blue Mountain 35-0 Saturday as Notre Dame recruit Alex Anzalone ran for four touchdowns. The Eagles were thought to be the Spartans’ biggest challenger in Section 2 of the Berks Football League. Now it’s looking like that might be Schuylkill Valley.
-Even with continuing instability at quarterback Wilson rolled to its record 30th straight Lancaster-Lebanon League Section 1 victory, beating McCaskey 57-12. Kyle Gaynor, who had been splitting time at quarterback with transfer Kevin Weller, quit the team following a Week 3 win over Reading High. It looks like Weller, a senior who played last year in Illinois, will be the full-time guy going forward. Bulldogs haven’t lost a league game since 2007 and are 41-2 under coach Doug Dahms in Section 1 play.
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Former Dallas High School football coach Ted Jackson Sr. sued the school district and six of its school board members Monday, alleging they removed him in the political equivalent of an all-out blitz. In the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Scranton, Jackson and his attorney, Kimberly D. Borland, alleged the six board members moved to open his position up to outside candidates last winter in retaliation for recent clashes with the district’s administration and as part of a concerted effort to have a less qualified political ally take over the program.
Jackson’s replacement, former freshman team coach Bob Zaruta, and the six board members named in the lawsuit were active in local Republican politics, Jackson said. Zaruta’s son, also named Bob, was the chairman of the Luzerne County chapter of the Young Republicans, and they all backed the election last year of Dallas alumna Stefanie Salavantis as district attorney, Jackson said. “The position of head varsity football coach is not a position for which political affiliation is an appropriate requirement,” Jackson and Borland said in the lawsuit.
In his 27 seasons at Dallas, Jackson compiled an overall record of 227-79-3. His teams won the 1993 PIAA Class AA championship, four Eastern Conference titles and a pair of District 2 titles.
Over the last decade, Jackson’s reputation has been tarnished by a series of disturbing allegations, including a bench-clearing brawl in 2008 during a game against Williamsport and the allegations of players urinating on a tennis court at halftime of a game at Tunkhannock in 2009. Throughout those incidents, Borland said, the school board and district administrators stood by Jackson, consistently giving him high marks on mid-season and end-of-the year evaluations, even after the PIAA put the program on probation after the brawl and suspended Jackson four games after the incident at Tunkhannock. ¶
Jackson is currently an assistant coach at Misericordia University in Dallas. The Cougars compete at the Division III level and are in their first season of existence as a program.
-Old Forge senior running back Brian Tomasetti continued his remarkable season. Last week against Dunmore in a matchup of state-ranked teams, Tomasetti picked off his fourth pass of the season and returned his third for a touchdown. He is also scoring a rushing touchdown every 6.5 carries. Old Forge’s defense, led by linebackers Jorden Sekol and Shane Schuback, was overwhelming against Dunmore. The Blue Devils limited Dunmore to 1.8 yards per carry and six first downs. The 21-0 victory marked the first time that Dunmore had been shutout since the 2009 PIAA Class AA quarterfinal loss to West Catholic, 13-0.
-Against Scranton Prep, Scranton senior wide receiver Karlon Quiller scored on a 22-yard pass from Marlinn Waiters in the fourth quarter. His diving catch actually hurt his yards-per-catch average for the game. However, Quiller is averaging 21.8 yards per touchdown reception and 24.9 yards per reception.
-Riverside senior quarterback Nick Dranchak’s numbers are outrageous. In the last 10 quarters, he has thrown for 955 yards and 14 touchdowns. He is averaging 24.5 yards per completion and is throwing a touchdown on every 2.8 attempts. Last week against Susquehanna, he threw for 302 yards and five touchdowns in the first half.
-Delaware Valley QB Bryan Schor continues to put up big passing numbers. He threw for 185 yards in a win over Abington Heights pushing his career total to 4,932. He is averaging 249.8 yards passing per game this season.
DISTRICT 5 and 6
-Bellwood-Antis remained undefeated and won an Inter-County Conference showdown with previously-unbeaten Juniata Valley, 47-34, behind five touchdowns from junior Casey Gray. The teams, who entered ranked first and second in the District 6 Class A playoff points race, combined for 797 yards in total offense.
-Bishop Guilfoyle surrendered just 154 yards in hiking its record to 3-1 with a rare 14-0 win at Forest Hills. marking the first time the Marauders have logged two shutouts in a season since 2007. D.J. Kitt had 13 tackles, while Jextin Pugh – a Binghamton baseball signee playing football for the first time – added 12. BG has held three opponents to seven points or less heading into Saturday’s Laurel Highlands Conference Section 1 showdown with Penn Cambria, which is 4-0 and only has given up 21 points all season.
-There’s a big inter-league game on the schedule this week, as Ligonier Valley of the Heritage Conference, travels to Windber, which plays in the WestPAC. Both teams are 4-0, with Windber averaging more than 270 rushing yards per game and coming off a victory over Blacklick Valley in a battle of unbeatens, while Ligonier has outscored the opposition 200-15. This marquee matchup is the product of an agreement last year between the conferences, both of who have an odd number of members, to help fill out each other’s schedules.
-An independent since 2008, it looks like Chestnut Ridge football might be finding a home. The school’s board of directors on Monday voted unanimously to apply to the Mountain League for admission beginning in 2014. The Bedford County school had traveled to Greenville, Clarion, DuBois, Reading and even out of state to fill its schedule in recent seasons.
-Thomas Jefferson’s record-breaking football season continued last weekend. Senior wideout Zach Schademan shattered a team record with five touchdown receptions — all in the first half — in the Jaguars’ 40-7 conference win at Trinity. And senior quarterback Joe Carroll eclipsed the mark for touchdown passes in one game with six scoring strikes .Carroll had passed for five scores in two earlier games for the Jaguars, and leads the WPIAL with 18 touchdown passes. Carroll has hit on 40 of 65 passes for 829 yards, an average of 207 yards per game. Schademan has 19 receptions for 351 yards and 10 touchdowns. “We have passed more this year,” TJ coach Bill Cherpak said. “Wouldn’t you?”
-With a 26-21 victory over Jefferson-Morgan last week, Avella moved to 5-0 overall. This is the same Avella team that made national headlines in 2008 for using a cheerleader to play safety so it wouldn’t have to forfeit games for having too few healthy players dressed. The Eagles could move to 6-0 this week with a win over winless Geibel, which had to forfeit two games this season because of limited participation.
-A pair of quarterbacking brothers will face off this Friday night, when South Fayette and Seton-La Salle — both undefeated and ranked in the top five in WPIAL Class AA — meet. South Fayette is led by sophomore Brett Brumbaugh, who has thrown for 854 yards and 14 touchdowns. His older brother, Luke Brumbaugh, has led Seton-La Salle with 751 passing yards and eight scores.
-Defending Pittsburgh City League champion University Prep moved to 2-1 overall and 2-0 in District 8 play with a 40-12 victory over Brashear last week. Quarterback Akil Young threw for 280 yards in the win.
-Heated rivals Cathedral Prep and McDowell will each get one more Ohio test in before squaring off on Oct. 5. Prep, ranked No. 1 in Class AAA, routed St. Francis out of Buffalo 69-0 this past week. Quarterback Damion Terry threw for five touchdowns and has a staggering 14-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio this season. He has also completed 59-of-78 (76 percent) passes for 1,017 yards. He now has 4,684 career yards and is on pace to set the District 10 career passing record held by Oil City graduate Mark Kulinski (6,045).
-Prep will host Ursuline out of Youngstown, Ohio on Friday. Ursuline lost to Cleveland-power St. Edward 45-21 last week. St. Edward is also coming to Erie to play McDowell. The Trojans hung with St. Ignatius, the No. 1 team in Ohio, for two quarters before their backup quarterbacks started going down. Sean Gallagher, who grabbed the starting job in camp after Jarrett Koper broke his leg, separated his shoulder in the first quarter Friday. He won’t play this week and might miss the Prep game next week. The third quarterback, Jake Tarasovitch, was ejected in the third quarter and will have to sit this week. That means McDowell will have to rely on No. 4 quarterback Jamie Szymczak against the No. 2 team in Ohio.
-Prep is the highest-scoring offense in District 10 at 52.5 points per game and the top defense at 8.5 points per game. A big reason for success on both sides of the ball is the versatility of Division I recruit Delton Williams. He has three rushing touchdowns, three receiving touchdowns, two punt returns for touchdowns and a 99-yard interception return for a touchdown this season.
-It’s rare for a kicker to connect on nine extra points in one game but two kickers did it in District 10 this past week. Prep’s John Chereson finished with nine PATs along with General McLane’s Kirk Dillen. General McLane routed Franklin 63-26. Chereson and Dillen are both stars on their respective soccer teams as well.
-Fairview running back Shannon Jackson is having a breakout season. In only for games, Jackson has run for 894 yards and seven touchdowns. He might break 2,000 yards this season but will need to do it quickly as the Tigers have only nine games scheduled and are a borderline playoff team. Lakeview standout Blake Reddick is right behind Jackson with 858 yards and six touchdowns.
-Speaking of breakout seasons, Garrett Brown of DuBois and Matt Cragg of Corry are big reasons for their respective teams starting the season 4-0. Brown has scored 13 touchdowns to lead District 10 with 78 points. Cragg has 62 points on 10 touchdowns and has brought balance to a pass-heavy offense in Corry. West Virginia recruit DeShawn Coleman (Hickory) also has 13 touchdowns this season for the Hornets.
-North Schuylkill’s lengthy regular-season winning streak finally came to an end last Friday night. Perennial District 11 Class A title contender Schuylkill Haven led throughout in earning a 34-20 victory and snapping the Spartans’ streak at 33 straight. To be fair, North Schuylkill was missing six starters due to injury, including nearly its whole secondary and fullback-linebacker Matt Gownley. The loss also stopped a 30-game winning streak in the Anthracite Football League. North Schuylkill’s last regular-season loss came Oct. 31, 2008, against Mount Carmel. During the streak, North Schuylkill outscored opponents 1,182-280 and posted 12 shutouts. Life doesn’t get easier for the Spartans, who host unbeaten Marian on Friday. Good news is some of those six starters should return.
-Panther Valley continues to put up points at a rapid pace and Richie Smith remains responsible for many of them. Smith scored three more TDs in a 49-48 overtime victory over Jim Thorpe to increase his season total to 13. Of Smith’s 13 scores, six of them have covered 50 yards or more. The Panthers are 3-1 for the first time since 2009 and already have one more victory than the previous two seasons combined.
-Easton has reinstated the six players it suspended last week for violating team rules. Quarterback Brad Wilkins and senior captains Matt Mowad and Austin Brown were among the players who sat out against Allentown Central Catholic, but the Red Rovers rolled to a 35-10 win to stay perfect. Joey Ford started at quarterback with Wilkins out and went 8-for-8 for 203 yards and two touchdowns. Ford will remain the starter this week when Easton hosts Emmaus.
-Allentown Central Catholic running back Colin McDermott became the school’s all-time leading rusher last week when he ran 20 times for 97 yards against Easton. McDermott now has 3,649 career rushing yards, putting him ahead of former all-state quarterback and South Carolina freshman Brendan Nosovitch, who ended his career in 20111 with 3,628 rushing yards.
-Northern Lehigh’s 31-12 loss to Palisades on Friday night was the Bulldogs’ first to a District 11 team other than Colonial League rival Pen Argyl since Week 9 of the 2009 season when Catasauqua registered a 21-7 win.
-Sophomore Nick Savant ran for 180 yards and three touchdowns to lead Saucon Valley to its first win of the season, 42-7 over Palmerton. He had 187 yards and 0 touchdowns combined in the first three games.
-Pen Argyl and Wilson combined for 12 penalties but zero turnovers in the Green Knights’ 35-22 win, their 18th consecutive regular-season victory.
-If you are looking for a leader in the clubhouse as the Class AAAA representative in Hershey this December for the PIAA Championships, look no further than La Salle. The Philadelphia Catholic League member improved to 4-0 for the first time since 2006 with a dominating 38-6 performance over Inter-AC power Malvern Prep. In truth, the Friars were never in this one. By the time Malvern earned their initial first down midway through the second quarter, La Salle had built a 17-0 lead. Pitt commit Ryan Winslow’s 38-yard field goal and senior quarterback Chris Kane’s pair of 1-yard plunges accounted for the lead. La Salle led 31-0 at the half and never looked back.
STATE HS FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK CONTRIBUTORS
Kevin Keating, Pottsville Republican
Jeff Reinhart, LLLeagueSports.com
Tom Reisenweber, Erie Times-News
Mike Drago, Reading Eagle
Dan Morehouse, WNPV Radio
Stephen Miller, Allentown Morning Call
Joby Fawcett, Scranton Times
Phil Cmor, Altoona Mirror
Jim Reeser, Wilkes-Barre Citzens Voice
Andrew P. Shay, The Patriot-News
Chris Harlan, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review