Normally at this time Mr. High School Sports would be reporting on the latest scholastic football headlines from around the nation in another edition of “Spanning the States.” This week, however, I’m taking the time to recognize the latest fall sports champion in western Pennsylvania, a team that has certainly worn the label of champion well over the years.
Mr. High School Sports salutes the Perry Commodores (11-1) for capturing the City League Football Championship with a 32-0 stonewalling of the Brashear Bulls (6-5) at Cupples Stadium on the South Side last Saturday afternoon in a rematch of the 2008 final. For the Commodores it was their first title since 2005 and ninth since 1997.
Running back Chinelo Oparanozie, who ended with 72 yards on 18 carries, gave Perry all the points in would need on a five-yard scoring run midway through the first quarter. But quarterback and League passing leader Greg McGhee, who was named the game’s most valuable player, broke the game open with a 40-yard touchdown scamper with five minutes left in the second, making it 12-0 Perry at the half.
Although the Bulls were still, in theory, in the game, despite not netting positive offensive yardage in the first half, McGhee took them out of it early in the third quarter with a 69-yard bomb to Devin Ghafoor to give the Commodores an 18-0 cushion. McGhee would add his third touchdown, his 26th in all this season, on a two-yard run before the end of the quarter, and Robert Willie put the icing on the cake with a four-yard TD run in the fourth.
McGhee carried the mail 13 times for 73 yards and connected on six of ten passes for 171 yards. Collectively the Perry defense might have been just as deserving of MVP honors, as it overcame three offensive turnovers by the Commodores by forcing two interceptions and one fumble recovery, and holding Brashear to a single net yard of offense. The Bulls did not make a first down until late in the third quarter.
Nevertheless, we congratulate the Bulls on a fine season, and once again, we congratulate the Commodores, who will next face District 6 champion State College (6-5) in the First Round of the PIAA Class AAAA Football Playoffs Friday night at Cupples Stadium.
For more of the latest news and views on and off the gridiron be sure to tune into the next edition of The Post-Gazette High School Football Show Presented by First Commonwealth Bank, live from Heinz Field this Saturday morning 7:00-9:30, on SportsRadio 93.7 The Fan and 937thefan.com!