Sunday, October 7, 2012

Friday night and Saturday afternoon thoughts

When Ferndale defeated Conemaugh Valley, 46-6, back on Oct. 24, 2009, it was the second consecutive win for the Yellow Jackets, who blanked Hancock (Md.) the previous week.
It also marked the last time Ferndale won a football game ... on the field before Saturday's game against WestPAC opponent Rockwood.
And things often weren't pretty.
Ferndale concluded the 2009 season with a 42-0 loss to North Star.
The 2010 season opened with eight consecutive losses, including a 56-8 setback to Meyersdale. A 2-0 forfeit victory over Freedom Academy of Brooklyn interrupted more losing.
In 2011, the Yellow Jackets went 0-9 and started this season 0-5.
All told, Ferndale lost 24 consecutive contested football games.
That streak, one of the longest active ones in the PIAA, can to an end Saturday afternoon as the Yellow Jackets defeated Rockwood, 34-32, in double overtime.
It's one of the feel-good stories of the 2012 season.
"When you work so hard in the summer and do this, you've got to get a little sugar," Ferndale coach Tony Penna Sr. said after the game.
Ferndale's win is exactly that – a just reward for all the players who've stayed with the team through all the losing.
Ferndale and Conemaugh Valley both won games Saturday – something, I point out, that only Tribune-Democrat sports writer Mike Mastovich saw coming. For the Blue Jays, it's their second win of the season.
Bishop Carroll, which played in the PIAA Class A semifinal in 2010, now owns the area's longest losing streak at 11 games.
* Despite the headline in Saturday's Football Extra, Blacklick Valley did suffer a second-straight loss following Friday's setback to Portage.
The Vikings defeated Conemaugh Township in overtime last week.
* Berlin's gritty come-from-behind victory over Northern Cambria was big for the Mountaineers and the WestPAC. The Colts are a quality football team, and it's easily the best win for the WestPAC in a non-conference game this year.
* This just in ... Richland is good.
*Cambria Heights picked up another significant win Friday night when the Highlanders beat Penn Cambria 27-20.
That's Forest Hills and Penn Cambria in back-to-back weeks.
If Heights eliminates some of the penalties and miscues that have hindered them, they could finish the regular season with an 8-2 record, but Bishop McCort, Somerset and Northern Cambria are left on the schedule.
* The guess here is there was some serious pad-popping during the Shade at North Star game. There aren't many 3-0 games any more.
* Dalvin Williams continues his standout senior season.
The Greater Johnstown linebacker had three sacks and was part of a Trojans defense that forced four turnovers against Bedford.
*Windber is 5-1. Portage is 5-1. The two play this week.

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