By Matt Popchock
This week’s First Commonwealth Athlete of the Week is Greg McGhee, a senior quarterback for the Perry football team.
Head coach Bill Gallagher once called him the best quarterback in western Pennsylvania, which is a matter of complete subjectivity, though he certainly does possess the most important quality of a great QB; he’s great when he has to be. He demonstrated that in the City League Semifinals last Friday.
McGhee connected on 12 of his 15 passes for 254 yards and a pair of touchdowns while scrambling a dozen times for 102 yards to spark a 29-8 trouncing of No. 4 seed Schenley at Cupples Stadium on the South Side. The top-seeded Commodores, who have now won ten in a row and all eight League games since bowing to North Hills in their opener, earned a date with third-seeded Brashear in the City League Championship Saturday afternoon at the same venue.
Less than one week earlier Perry had barely escaped the Spartans in the regular season finale for both schools, a 30-28 overtime thriller. After a scoreless first quarter District 8′s leading passer made sure no nail-biting would be necessary this time by guiding his team to a 23-0 halftime advantage.
Within the first minute-and-a-half of the second frame McGhee raced to the end zone from 17 yards away to get Perry on the board. The Commodores scored on their next possession for a 15-0 lead, and a short time later he victimized the reeling Spartans again by hurling a 59-yard touchdown pass to Brendan Edwards and tacking on a throw to Chinello Oparanozie out of the backfield for the two-point conversion.
McGhee would add a 34-yard touchdown pass to Keenan Jackson in the third quarter before Schenley could finally muster a response on offense in the final period.
His aforementioned 254 passing yards were the second-highest total for an area quarterback in Week 11, and he also led all City League Playoff participants in rushing yards. For the season McGhee has now racked up 2,171 pass yards, second-most in western PA, and 23 touchdowns on 121 of 208 attempts, which computes to a 58.2 completion percentage and a passer rating over 120.
This weekend he and his teammates go for their first League title in five seasons and sixth under Gallagher.
Tune into the next edition of The Post-Gazette High School Football Show Presented by First Commonwealth Bank this Saturday morning at a special time of 7:00-9:00 on SportsRadio 93.7 The Fan and 937thefan.com, as the Post-Gazette’s Mike White and MSA’s Don Rebel name our next First Commonwealth Athlete of the Week!