Varsity
Blogs » Varsity
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.
 Phone: 814-870-1700

Archives

Posts tagged "Saturday Morning Quarterback"
Posted: November 12th, 2011

Region 1 flexed its muscles Friday night by sweeping Region 2 in the District 10 Class A quarterfinals. Sharpsville routed Cambridge Springs 48-0 and Mercer handled Saegertown 48-20, which weren’t big surprises. However, Mercyhurst’s last-second 28-25 loss to Farrell  raised some eyebrows, along with Region 2 champion Youngsville’s 47-0 loss to West Middlesex. That sets up an all-Region 1 semifinal round where Sharpsville will take on Farrell and Mercer will play West Middlesex at sites and times to be determined.

Some of the highlights from Class A includes another huge night from Kyle Mariacher and Forrest Wested’s last-second touchdown. Wested scored from 1 yard out with 21 seconds left to keep Farrell’s bid for a fourth straight D-10 title alive. Mariacher ran for 304 yards on 35 carries, including five touchdowns, in Mercer’s 48-20 win over Saegertown. Mariacher ran for more than 200 yards in the first half to eclipse the 2,000-yard mark. He has a chance to contend for the single-season rushing record in District 10. Mariacher now has 2,109 yards and needs 335 more to catch Aaron Horton’s record of 2,444.

The biggest surprise was West Middlesex routing Youngsville 47-0. Colin Patten ran for 179 yards and three touchdowns, while Clay Allen had 117 yards and one touchdown in the win. Jeremy Jancso contributed with 109 passing yards and two touchdowns while also running for one. Youngsville managed only 127 yards.

McDowell’s quest for the District 7 championship ended Friday with a 21-14 loss to Upper St. Clair. The Trojans hung with the much heralded Panthers, but Dakota Conwell was too much for McDowell. The quarterback ran for two touchdowns and threw for one. Conwell finished with 70 yards on the ground and 124 yards through the air. Greg Garmon and Khlique Harris scored for the Trojans. McDowell finished at 8-3.

For more on Friday’s action, including a look at Class AAA, click below.

– Tom Reisenweber
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in: Football
Posted: November 5th, 2011

The District 10 playoffs are finally upon us. This week in the Saturday Morning Quarterback we are going to take a look at the probably playoff matchups and how they came to be on Friday night.

Class A
Quarterfinals
(1) Sharpsville vs. (8) Cambridge Springs
(2) Youngsville vs. (7) West Middlesex
(3) Mercer vs. (6) Saegertown
(4) Mercyhurst Prep vs. (5) Farrell

West Middlesex and Farrell secured spots on Friday with Sharpsville’s 47-20 rout of Linesville. Joey Flynn scored five touchdowns for the Blue Devils, including three TD receptions from Jacob Henwood. Farrell was off and moved into third place with Mercer’s 42-6 rout of West Middlesex. Kyle Mariacher ran for 271 yards and five touchdowns to continue his torrid pace this season. The Big Reds and Steelers finished in a tie for third place but Farrell has the tiebreaker with a 18-13 win over Middlesex a few weeks ago.

Cambridge Springs locked up the final playoff spot from Region 2 Friday with a 12-7 win over Iroquois. It turns out that the Blue Devils didn’t need a win with Eisenhower falling 21-18 to Union City, but Cambridge needs all the momentum it can get going into the postseason. The Blue Devils have a date with Sharpsville in the south and it won’t be easy. Youngsville, which had already clinched the No. 1 seed, made a statement Friday by blowing out Saegertown 48-22. Jordan Gurdak ran for 224 yards on only nine carries, including four touchdowns for the Eagles.

Class AA
Quarterfinals
(3) Hickory vs. (6) Northwestern
(4) General McLane vs. (5) Greenville
Byes: (1) Wilmington, (2) North East

The field was set before Friday but several teams faced big tests in Week 10. North East traveled to Waterford to take on a tough Fort LeBoeuf team and was fortunate enough to leave with a 14-11 win. Tyler Johnson and Alex Svetz each reached 100 yards in the win, giving the Grapepickers another quality non-region win. North East will have a week off before a showdown with Hickory likely in the semifinals. If North East and Hickory meet, it could be the de facto D-10 championship. Northwestern saw what Region 3 can bring Friday with a 28-0 loss at Wilmington. Gunnar and Tyler Donati scored two touchdowns each in the win while quarterback Josh Tekac was out of the lineup. The quarterback is important to the Greyhounds and his injury could cost him the rest of the season. If he can’t go, General McLane might nip the ‘Hounds in the second round. McLane had no problem with winless Franklin on Friday in a 61-33 win.

For Class AAA and AAAA, click below.

– Tom Reisenweber
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in: Football
Posted: October 29th, 2011

McDowell had no issues in a 59-0 rout of Altoona on Friday and received some big news. Shaler was hammered by Pine-Richland 51-7, giving the Trojans the second seed in the Northern Seven conference and a home game in the first round of the District 7 playoffs. Greg Garmon and Khlique Harris scored two touchdowns each in the win, while McDowell returned two punts and one interception for touchdowns. The Trojans won’t find out their opponent until Monday at the D-7 seeding meeting but they will like face a third place team from another conference. The three third-place teams outside of the Northern Seven are Woodland Hills (6-3), McKeesport (6-3) and Bethel Park (4-5).

North East and Grove City became the latest teams to clinch their respective regions outright. The Grapepickers routed Seneca 42-14 to clinch the Region 4 title and the Eagles beat DuBois 63-21 to lock up the Region 5 title. Tyler Johnson, North East’s all-time rusher, eclipsed the 3,000-yard mark in his career with 150 yards and a touchdown Friday, while Alex Svetz ran for 110 yards on 18 carries to pass Rickie Thompson for second all-time. Svetz scored a total of four touchdowns, including three rushing and a 26-yard touchdown from Cory Bailey.

Grove City held a slim 21-14 lead at halftime before exploding for 42 points in the second half. Wes Phipps has three rushing touchdowns, while quarterback Tyler Dagres ran for two touchdowns and threw for one. Dagres led the Eagles with 104 rushing yards on 11 carries. Grove City is off in Week 10 and will likely sit out the following week in the first round of the playoffs because of a bye.

Sharpsville, Youngsville and Cathedral Prep clinched at least a share of their respective region titles on Friday. The Blue Devils routed Conneaut Valley 35-0 to clinch a share of the Region 1 title as well as a top seed. Sharpsville can win the region outright against Linesville next week.

Youngsville took care of Cochranton 58-6 and will have the top seed no matter what in Region 2. The Eagles host Saegertown in a big game next week and even if the Panthers win, the two teams would be tied for first with Mercyhurst Prep. A points system would then come into play with Youngsville having the most points. Mercyhurst is going to be the second seed and Saegertown third.

Prep routed Warren 63-20 despite missing several standout players to injury. Joe Oduho scored four touchdowns for the Ramblers, who can clinch the Region 6 title outright against East next week.

For more on Friday’s games, click below.

– Tom Reisenweber
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in: Football
Posted: October 22nd, 2011

The postseason is right around the corner and the races are heating up around District 10 and 7. McDowell completed its Northern Seven schedule with a 42-7 rout of Butler. Greg Garmon led the way with 126 yards on 16 carries and two touchdowns.
In an interesting development, Seneca Valley upset North Hills 21-14 to basically end the Indians’ season. North Allegheny wrapped up the conference title with a win over Shaler and jam up the rest of the conference playoff race.
Basically, the WPIAL takes the top four teams from the four Class AAAA conferences. McDowell is in the playoffs but whether the Trojans will be a two seed and host the first round of the playoffs or the three seed and travel has yet to be determined. Shaler travels to Pine-Richland next week in a crucial game. Shaler can lock up the second seed and a home playoff game with a win but will drop into third place with a loss. If Shaler wins, they would finish in a three-way tie with McDowell and Seneca Valley but through the WPIAL tiebreakers, Shaler would get the second seed and McDowell the third.

Northwestern locked up a playoff spot on Friday with an impressive 24-7 win over Harbor Creek. Aaron Morley ran for 130 yards on 23 carries, including three touchdowns. Austin Griffith countered with 138 passing yards and a 5-yard touchdown pass to Jake Pound. The Wildcats have cemented their place in the Region 4 standings and the Huskies might have to beat Fairview next week. If Harbor Creek loses and Girard upsets General McLane, the YellowJackets would leap over the Huskies into the playoffs.

Mercyhurst Prep made the Region 2 race interesting on Thursday with a thrilling 27-26 overtime win against Saegertown. Cornelius Barclay connected on a game-winning extra point after his first attempt was blocked but Saegertown was flagged for being offside. Saegertown and Mercyhurst are tied for second place at 5-1 in the region, while Youngsville is in first place at 6-0. The Eagles routed Conneaut 33-7 on Friday.
Youngsville hosts Saegertown in Week 10 with the region title on the line. If Youngsville wins, the Eagles finish the season unbeaten and the outright Region 2 champions. If Saegertown wins, the three teams finish as tri-champions with Youngsville getting the top seed followed by Mercyhurst Prep through a points system.

Click below for more on this week’s action.

– Tom Reisenweber
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in: Football
Posted: October 15th, 2011

Cathedral Prep and McDowell picked up big wins on Friday as the season hits the home stretch. The Ramblers knocked off previously unbeaten Aquinas Institute 16-13 behind a record night from John Chereson, while the Trojans knocked off North Hills 23-22 on a late field goal.

The Ramblers earned some payback after being routed by Aquinas last fall. Chereson drilled three field goals to tie Noah Ackerman’s school reocrd for field goals in one game. His first field goal from 52 yards is a school record and his second kick from 46 yards out tied the old record. Chereson, a junior, has five career field goals and is 10 away from Ackerman’s career record of 15. Delton Williams added a touchdown and had 84 yards on 17 carries. Billy Lombardi led the Little Irish, who were ranked No. 1 in Class A – New York’s second-highest class – with 131 yards on 29 carries. Cory Benedetto tossed two touchdown passes for Aquinas.

McDowell found itself in a tough situation. The Trojans needed a win Friday to stay out of a low playoff seed. McDowell had a 30-yard field goal from Zack Baker with a little more than two minutes left become the difference. Greg Garmon carried the ball 19 times for 148 yards and scored on a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown for the Trojans. McDowell finished the season perfect at home and should win their final two games. Shaler was upset by Seneca Valley 28-21 on Friday, which could help McDowell. The Trojans will likely finish 4-2 in conference play and still could end up in second place with some help. The difference between second and third place could be the difference between a home playoff game and a road game in Pittsburgh.

Wilmington and North East locked up shares of their respective region titles on Friday. The Greyhounds routed Titusville 41-7 behind three touchdowns from Anthony Derrick, while the Grapepickers took care of Northwestern 34-14 as Tyler Johnson went over 1,000 yards. Johnson finished with 141 yards on 11 carries, while Alex Svetz led the way with 37 carries for 169 yards and three touchdowns. Wilmington has a chance to take the Region 3 title outright next week against Sharon, while North East will have to wait until Oct. 28 at Seneca to grab the Region 4 title outright.

For more on Friday’s games, click below.

– Tom Reisenweber
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in: Football
Posted: October 8th, 2011

Grove City picked up its second big win in two weeks on Friday by shutting out Wilmington 17-0. Erik Record scored twice on runs of 30 and 32 yards to lead the Eagles, while Brian Murone added a 22-yard field goal. Record finished with 119 yards on 10 carries, while Wes Phipps had 18 carries for 110 yards. Grove City has several tests left in Slippery Rock and DuBois, but it looks as if the Eagles are on their way to the Region 5 title and a first-round bye in the District 10 Class AAA playoffs.

Grove City’s possible opponent in the D-10 championship? Cathedral Prep. The Ramblers had been rolling until running into Cleveland powerhouse St. Ignatius. The Ramblers trailed 14-7 at halftime before being outscored 28-0 in the second half. Damion Terry did throw for 159 yards to become Prep’s all-time passer, but he threw two interceptions after coming into the game with three this season. Both interceptions went to Miami (Ohio) recruit Mike Svetina, who also scored on a fumble return. The Ramblers will look to bounce back next week against New York power Aquinas Institute.

The game of the night might have come in Linesville as the Lions held off Farrell 37-36. Jimmy Kearns ran for 193 yards on 27 carries, including five touchdowns, while also coming up big on defense. Kearns drilled a receiver, forcing him to drop a pass on 4th and goal in the final seconds of Friday’s game. Kearns had a 2-point conversion, giving him 32 of the Lions’ 37 points. Lawrence Hughes had three touchdowns on nine carries for 116 yards for Farrell.

For more on Friday’s action, click below.

– Tom Reisenweber
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in: Football
Posted: October 1st, 2011

Cold weather?
Rain?
Nothing seemed to bother football players around District 10 on Friday as numerous impressive performances were put together. Cathedral Prep’s Damion Terry along with Joe Hibbler (Seneca) and Tyler Johnson (North East) set school records. Add in thrilling finishes and a few upsets and Week 5 turned out to be the most exciting week of the season yet.

Terry continued his impressive junior season by throwing for a school record 361 yards in a 49-7 win over Bradford. Terry threw for 299 yards in the first half and played one drive in the second half before coming out. His total smashed the school record of 326, set by Jim Gremler in 1997 against Central Dauphin. Terry also etched his name in the record books through two of his touchdown passes. The first of the game, which came on the first play of the game, was a 90-yard touchdown strike to Nathan McLaurin. At the time, it was the fourth-longest reception in Prep history. It became the fifth later in the game when Terry hit Delton Williams for a 91-yard touchdown. Craig DeMarco’s 97-yard touchdown from Mike Stadtmiller is the Prep record, set in 1983.

Hibbler came up with a surprising school record of 361 rushing yards on 38 carries, including four touchdowns. He also caught a touchdown pass to lead Seneca to a 32-21 win over Fairview. Hibbler wasn’t the only running back with a big game as Johnson finished North East’s 35-14 win over Girard with 2,519 career yards. He is now the all-time rusher at North East, passing Rickie Thompson’s record of 2,427. Johnson’s teammate Alex Svetz could also reach Thompson this year. Svetz has 1,928 career rushing yards. Johnson and Svetz have eclipsed 100 rushing yards in all five games this season.

Hickory and Wilmington played a thrilling Region 3 game, while Cochranton’s game against Maplewood came down to the last play as well. Hickory jumped out to a two-touchdown lead on touchdown runs of 60 and 86 yards by standout DeShawn Coleman, who finished with 210 yards. Wilmington stormed back to score four straight touchdowns, including a fumble recovery in the endzone by Tyler Donati. Donati came up big later in the game as Hickory cut the lead to 28-27 with 55 seconds left. The Hornets lined up for the game-tying extra point, by Donati broke through to block the kick. The Wilmington win puts the Greyhounds in firm control of Region 3.

Cochranton found itself in a dogfight with Maplewood on Friday. The Cardinals and Tigers went to overtime before Cochranton coach Tom Haynes made a gusty call. After Maplewood took a 14-7 lead on Kevin Coatoam’s 1-yard touchdown run, Austin Andrews responded by scored from six yards out. The Cardinals decided to go for two and the win, but Clayton Beatty was stopped on a run to give Maplewood a 14-13 win.

For more on Friday’s games, click below.

- Tom Reisenweber
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in: Football
Posted: September 24th, 2011

North East looks like it locked up the Region 4 title on Friday. The Grapepickers still have three region games to play, but two of the three teams are below .500. Alex Svetz scored three times for North East while rushing for 145 yards on 26 carries. Tyler Johnson contributed with 143 yards on 28 carries and one touchdown, while Cory Bailey returned an interception 37 yards for a TD. Svetz and Johnson have each rushed for 100 yards in all four of the ‘Pickers’ games this year. North East hosts Girard next week to celebrate Homecoming and begin an interesting three-game homestand. The ‘Pickers will also host Class AAA Corry and Northwestern before hitting the road the final three weeks of the season. Barring two upsets in its final three region games, North East will be the top seed from Region 4 in the District 10 Class AA playoffs.

The playoff race is starting to heat up in Region 4. General McLane looks like it is on track for the second seed and the final two spots to be decided. Northwestern is making big strides this season but still has key games with General McLane, Harbor Creek and North East on the schedule. The Wildcats took a big step toward a postseason berth by beating Girard 43-27. Aaron Morley ran for three touchdowns and 138 yards on carries to lead Northwestern. Grant Panko added two touchdown passes for the Wildcats, while Joe Dunn led Girard with three touchdown passes and one touchdown run. Fairview is in the race as well but has key region games with General McLane and Harbor Creek left. If the Tigers can survive the rest of their region schedule aside from the Lancers and Huskies, their Week 2 win over Northwestern might put them in over the Wildcats.

Hickory didn’t seem to be affected by the suspensions after last week’s brawl with an impressive 28-6 win over Farrell, while Sharon fell to Titusville 14-6. Even without standout DeShawn Coleman, Hickory ran for 162 yards, including two touchdowns from Mark Mrozek. However, it was Alex Kirsch that stole the show for the Hornets. Kirsch collected three interceptions, including one that he returned 85 yards for a touchdown, while also returning a kickoff 79 yards for a touchdown.

Sharon ran into an inspired Titusville team that played tough and kept the Tigers’ offense in check. Alex Kline and Jayce Corklin scored for the Rockets, while Sharon was limited to 137 yards of offense. The Tigers will likely still get into the playoffs but their seed took a huge hit with this loss.

For more on Friday’s games, click below.

– Tom Reisenweber
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in: Football
Posted: September 17th, 2011

Finally, a week of football without the weather becoming an issue. In Week 1, extreme heat caused countless cramps and delays while Week 2 had lightning delays in more than of the games around District 10.

-With perfect football weather, Week 3 provided plenty of exciting action around the district. The game of the night took place at Paul J. Weitz Stadium as General McLane overcame a 21-point deficit to beat Harbor Creek 34-28. The Huskies came up with several big plays in the first half to take a 28-7 halftime lead. The Lancers made their adjustments to scored 27 straight points and come up with a huge stop on 4th-and-1 at its 35-yard line with one minute left. Brian Suminski finished with 185 yards on 25 carries, while Josh Ponsoll had 15 carries for 71 yards. Suminski and Ponsoll ran for two touchdowns each while Ponsoll also tossed a 70-yard touchdown pass to Joey Gierlak to tie the game in the fourth quarter.

McLane’s win coupled with North East’s 41-13 rout of Fairview gave the Grapepickers sole possession of first place in Region 4. Tyler Johnson carried the ball 15 times for 170 yards and three touchdowns, while Alex Svetz had 15 carries for 191 yards and a 75-yard touchdown run. Johnson also caught a 26-yard touchdown pass from Cory Bailey. Bailey finished with 66 yards through the air, including two touchdowns. North East has a tough test left in Harbor Creek, but the ‘Pickers look like the top team in the region. Dan Rosendahl led Fairview with 188 yards on 38 carries, including a touchdown.

-McDowell used two late touchdowns to hold off Seneca Valley 43-29 in the Trojans’ WPIAL Northern Seven opener. With the scored tied 29-29, Khyre Drayer scored from eight yards out before Greg Garmon returned an interception 45 yards for a game-securing touchdown in the fourth quarter. Garmon finished with 134 yards on 15 carries, while Drayer scored three times. McDowell heads to North Allegheny next week for a showdown that could decide the Northern Seven title.

For more on Friday’s action, click below.

– Tom Reisenweber
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in: Football
Posted: September 10th, 2011

The weather wreaked havoc in District 10 on Friday with not a drop of rain falling in some areas. Persistent lightning that seemed to go away just long enough for a mandated 30-minute delay to run its course before returning forced two games to be postponed and numerous others to be delayed. DuBois and Oil City didn’t even reach the opening kickoff before the game was delayed 40 minutes before ultimately being postponed until Sunday at 4 p.m. North East and General McLane got a full quarter in before the lightning came and forced a postponement until today at 7 p.m. at Edinboro’s Sox Harrison Stadium. North East leads 7-0 with more than 11 minutes left in the second quarter. The game was moved to Sox Harrison because General McLane High School will host a marching band competition today.

-The other 18 D-10 games fought off the weather to completion. There were several impressive offensive performances, including 77 points from powerhouse Grove City. Tyler Dagres led the way with three touchdowns, while Erik Record added two. Wes Phipps led the rushing attack with 114 yards on seven carries, while Foster Reznor added 90 yards on five carries. The Eagles scored 91 points in a game last year and seem to have a well-oiled machine on offense.

-Despite several injuries, Fairview earned its first win of the season Friday with an impressive 34-21 win over Northwestern. Dan Rosendahl exploded for 212 yards on 32 carries, including four touchdowns, for the Tigers. Rosendahl scored on runs of 4, 3, 11 and 6 yards. Fairview faces a big test against North East next week.

-Anthony Jordan is thriving at East this season with another big game on Friday. Jordan returned a kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown and reached the endzone twice carrying the ball to lead the Warriors to a 50-15 win at Warren. Jordan finished with 158 yards on 16 carries, while Darion Qualls added 100 yards on seven carries. Jordan and the Warriors could be in for another big offensive day next week against Union City. The Bears fell to upstart Youngsville 5-0 on Friday behind a T.J. Hardy field goal and a safety.

For more on this week’s games, click below.

– Tom Reisenweber
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in: Football
Posted: September 3rd, 2011

The 2011 season began Friday night with some impressive performances and exciting finishes. From a late touchdown by Farrell to edge Sharon in the Steel Bowl to Jimmy Kearns’ special night for Linesville, the action was intense around District 10. Here are a few highlights from opening night.

McDowell continued its recent dominance of archrival Cathedral Prep with a 25-20 win in front of more than 6,000 fans. Damion Terry didn’t disappoint for the Ramblers with 232 passing yards and three touchdowns in the second half. Terry is only a junior, but is starting to receive strong collegiate interest.

All eyes were on McDowell superstar Greg Garmon, but the Ramblers kept him in check. Garmon finished with 53 yards on 11 carries, while fellow running back Khyre Drayer stood out. Drayer carried the ball 14 times for 130 yards and two touchdowns, including a crucial 71-yard touchdown run during Prep’s comeback. Both teams are primed for solid seasons this fall.

-Strong Vincent knocked off General McLane for the second-straight season under coach Scott White. The Colonels’ offense dominated with 395 total yards and 42 points. Vincent defeated the Colonels 42-28 behind 115 rushing yards from Corey Henry and 106 from Denzel Jones. Jones ran for three touchdowns to lead the way, while Chris Kirkland, Michael Neavins and Hassam Farooq also scored for Vincent.

-Linesville made quick work of rival Cambridge Springs on Friday. The Lions, who combined with Conneaut Lake in the offseason, scored 48 points in the first half en route to a 61-26 drubbing of the Blue Devils. Kearns carried the ball six times for 146 yards, with five of those carries going for touchdowns. He also returned a fumble 26 yards for a touchdown and scored a two-point conversion to finish with 38 points.

For more on Friday’s games, click below.

– Tom Reisenweber
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in: Football

Switch to our mobile site