Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Local look to Allegheny football

Though it's located about 100 miles to the north in Meadville and is the only Pennsylvania school in the North Coast Athletic Conference, Allegheny College has found Washington County and its surrounding communities fertile recruiting ground, especially when it comes to football players.
Several local players were key performers for Allegheny during its recently concluded season that produced a 5-5 record, including a 3-3 mark in the NCAC.

One player who has been a multiyear stalwart for the Gators is senior left offensive tackle Sam Taylor. A Cuddy native and South Fayette High School graduate, Taylor (6-4, 285) was named first team All-NCAC for the second year in a row. Taylor anchored the Gators' offensive line, which allowed only 14 quarterback sacks, the second-lowest total in the NCAC.

Taylor is the first Allegheny offensive lineman since 2004 to receive first team all-conference honors in consecutive seasons.

Current rating: NaN The person who benefited from Taylor's pass blocking was Allegheny senior quarterback Jordan Fowler, a Donora native and Ringgold graduate. Fowler (6-0, 178) started all 10 games for the Gators and had a terrific year. An accurate passer, Fowler led the NCAC and was 13th in NCAA Division III in completion percentage (64.9 percent) and finished fifth in the league in passing yards (1,952).
Fowler's 203 completions was the third-highest single-season total in Allegheny history. The completion percentage was the sixth-best rate in more than 100 seasons of Gators football.

Fowler received North Coast Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week honors in consecutive weeks during October. In a 31-28 win over Denison Oct. 15, Fowler threw a three-yard, game-wining touchdown pass with 11 seconds left to deal the Big Red their first conference loss. On the day, Fowler completed 29 of 39 passes for 312 yards and three touchdowns.

Fowler was one of 11 Washington County players on the Allegheny roster. The other include freshman quarterback Brad Martin (Trinity), freshman outside linebacker Justin Portz (Peters Township), junior tight end David Bassi (Ringgold), senior offensive lineman Anthony Pizzuti (Canon-McMillan), freshman offensive lineman Tyler Clark (Peters Township), senior offensive lineman Sean Connors (Peters Township), freshman wide receiver Damon Cupp (Avella), junior defensive lineman Blayze Schindler (Ringgold), junior inside linebacker Rudy DeStefano (Ringgold) and junior defensive lineman Zach Minney (Chartiers-Houston).

In wrestling
Lock Haven sophomore Fred Garcia, a Donora native and Ringgold graduate, won the 184-pound title at the 6th Annual Mat Town Open hosted by the Bald Eagles. Garcia, who is Ringgold's all-time leader with 124 wins, made a first-period takedown stand up for a 2-0 victory over John Bolich of Lehigh in the tournament final.

"First open tournament title for Freddie is a great thing," Lock Haven coach Robbie Waller told reporters. "He is a guy who never went to the state tournament, so you can see the improvement in him. He is a guy who, if he gets to the national tournament, could become an All-American if he gets better and better each week. Right now, he is doing that."

In soccer
Goalkeeper Megan Junker, a sophomore from McMurray, came within one shutout of tying the St. Bonaventure single-season record.

A Peters Township graduate, Junker had five shutouts and posted a 5-5-2 record in 14 games for the Bonnies, who advanced to the Atlantic 10 tournament.

In basketball
Eli Obade, a 6-9 junior forward from Charleroi, had his best game as a member of the Millersville men's team Saturday when he scored a career-high 22 points in an 80-77 loss at Wilmington.

Obade made nine of 10 shots from the field, grabbed nine rebounds and played a career-high 31 minutes for the Mauraders (2-3).

For the season, Obade is averaging 11.8 points and a team-leading 7.8 rebounds.

Wash High graduate Marguerite Sargent, a senior for Chatham, is the Cougars' leading scorer, averaging 12 points per game. In the season opener against Penn State-Altoona, Sargent scored 16 points for Chatham (2-2).

Freshman Josh Valentic is off to a good start for Wheeling Jesuit. The Trinity graduate has played in all five games for the Cardinals, who are 4-1 overall and 1-0 in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

Valentic is the team's fourth-leading scorer, averaging 10.4 points per game. He has made 10 of 26 three-point field goals and 12 of 16 free throws. In 95 minutes of playing time, Valentic has committed only four turnovers.

In Wheeling Jesuit's 94-78 win at Tiffin (Ohio) Sunday, Valentic came off the bench to score a career-high 17 points in only 20 minutes.

In swimming
The Edinboro women's team is off to a 2-1 start in dual meets, and Sarah Weeks, a sophomore from Donora, has played a big part for the Fighting Scots. A Ringgold graduate, Weeks won the 200-yard freestyle in Edinboro's win over Malone. Weeks also was victorious in the 100 butterfly during the Fighting Scots' victory over Shippensburg.

Weeks qualified for the PSAC Championships last season in the 200 butterfly.

In football
Anthony Steratore, a senior offensive lineman for the College of Wooster, received honorable mention status on the NCAC all-conference team. A two-year starter at center Steratore was instrumental role in Wooster's offensive success. The McMurray native and Peters Township graduate made all of the line calls for an offense that averaged 381.6 yards per game over the second half of the season, including a high of 463 at Hiram.

Jeravin Matthews finally found a position on the Northwestern football team. The Canon-McMillan graduate spent several seasons changing positions between offense and defense until settling into a starting role this year at cornerback.

Matthews played his final home game for the Wildcats Saturday against Michigan State and intercepted a pass.

Matthews was named Northwestern's Special Teams and Defensive Player of the Game against Army when he made a career-high 10 tackles and broke up a pass. Matthews also received the team's special teams honor for his performance against Penn State, when he recovered a fumble on the opening kickoff.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home