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
-Corry picked up an important region win by defeating Oil City 29-26. Cody Bailey hauled in a 7-yard touchdown pass from Matt Cragg in the fourth quarter to secure the win. Cragg finished with 122 yards on 20 carries, while rushing for one touchdown and throwing for two TDs. The Beavers still have some big wins to get a spot in the postseason but they are still alive with three region games left.
-Speaking of the Region 5 race, Slippery Rock is alone in first place at 3-0. The surprising Rockets outlasted Meadville 25-18 in overtime and have won three in a row. Slippery Rock still has to get by Grove City if the Rockets want to win the region title, but they at the least look like a playoff team right now.
-Cathedral Prep and Bradford picked up big wins on Friday and are tied for first place in Region 6 heading into their game next week. The Ramblers routed Canisius 58-18, including three touchdowns from Delton Williams. Prep set a school record for points in a quarter by scoring 37 in the first quarter against the state-ranked Crusaders. Damion Terry contributed with three touchdown passes for Prep.
Bradford came from behind to beat Fort LeBoeuf 13-10. Josh Cordinani scored from 14 yards out to give the Owls the Region 6 win. Bradford doesn’t have a full impact on the D-10 playoff race but the Owls can win the region title if they run the table.
-Strong Vincent flexed its offensive muscles on Friday with 730 yards of total offense. The Colonels had three 100-yard rushers in Michael Neavins, Corey Henry and Chris Kirkland. Neavins had 196 yards on 13 carries, while Henry carried the ball 14 times for 154 yards and Kirkland had 126 yards on 11 carries. Denzel Jones contributed with two touchdown runs and passes each.
-North Allegheny dominated McDowell 49-14 to take control of the Northern Seven conference. The Trojans’ only offense came on Greg Garmon’s 78-yard touchdown run and his 87-yard kickoff return. McDowell can still finish in second place, but would need some help to earn a share of the conference title.
-Youngsville, Cochranton and Saegertown picked up convincing Region 2 wins. The Eagles defeated Iroquois 42-14, while Cochranton beat Union City 46-22 and Saegertown routed Cambridge Springs 34-14. All three look like playoff teams behind Mercyhurst Prep. The Lakers play later today against Eisenhower but should be 4-0 when they travel to undefeated Youngsville next week.