The Herald, Sharon, Pa.


November 13, 2013

Lakeview-Mercer rematch with finals berth at stake

- — When Lakeview last met Mercer in the County Seat in week 4, both were unbeaten. That was Lakeview’s last — and lone — loss. Meanwhile Mercer maneuvered around a midseason mini-slump to muster 5 consecutive conquests.

 The stakes will be much greater Friday night, as both will bid for an opportunity to win their program’s 1st District 10 title when they meet 7 p.m. in New Wilmington in the Class A semifinals.

The winner will meet either 2-time reigning kingpin Sharpsville or 2-time runner-up West Middlesex next weekend. However looking ahead is looking for trouble, Mercer mentor Pat McClearn mused.

“Huge ... huge,” admitted McClearn regarding the possibility of the program’s 1st D-10 title. However he cautioned, “But we’ve got Lakeview to worry about first and foremost. We’d be completely crazy to waste one ounce of our effort looking past that.

“I’m sure we’re the team (Lakeview has been) looking forward to seeing in the playoffs since their only loss (19-8) had come against us,” McClearn added.

“It would be huge, as tough as our region (1-A) is,” echoed Sailors’ skipper Dan York regarding a district title toga. “I told the kids, ‘Winning the region championship is the cake; winning District 10 would be the icing on the cake.’

“To win our region is great, for as tough as our region is,” York reiterated, adding, “but then you have to play the same, old guys; try to get through them to get a District 10 title.

“But that would be huge for us, huge for the program.”

Logan Clarke & Co. conquered Cambridge Springs (35-14) in last week’s quarterfinals. Clarke collected 262 total yards (192 passing, 70 rushing), tossed 2 TDs and ran for another. Clarke collaborated with a half-dozen receivers, led by Brayton Edwards’ 4-catch, 85-yard outing.

“He gets rid of the ball really nice, really quick. He has a good release, good timing. ... And when he rolls out he’s dangerous as a runner,” York praised.

Perhaps only prolific Peyton Manning is playing the position better at this point?

McClearn chuckled. “Logan’s playing awfully well. He’s a good kid, and has really come into his own. I’m happy for him. He does a nice job.”

“We’ve always had — even when we’ve been primarily a running  team — at least one guy to go to. But this year we’ve got four, five guys,” McClearn said of T.J. Peters, Edwards, Jarred Davis, Dylan Angermeier, et al. “Heck, Walter Haines had a big 55-yarder last week that changed the tone of that game,” McClearn praised, admitting, “It’s nice having a few diffrent guys.”

Lakeview (10-1) lambasted Maplewood (61-6) as Blake Reddick rushed for 248 yards on only 12 totes. The Sailors’ senior speedster scored on runs of 98, 60, 32 and 3 yards. Also, Zach Bigley, attempting only 4 passes, tossed TDs of 46 and 55 yards to Conner Stankovich and Zach VanDusen, respectively. Marquis Spence sped for a 70-yard score and also added a 1-yard plunge.

Reddick is attempting to reach T.J. Phillips’ D-10 rushing record (6,241). But back in week 4 the Steeds stilfed the Sailors, specifically Reddick, who rushed for only 61 yards on 18 carries. Reddick reached the end zone on a 5-yard run for the Sailors’ score with approximately 7 minutes remaining. Lakeview led 8-7 before Clarke and Zane O’Brien burst for 2- and 6-yard scores.

“With his stats this year ...” an admiring McClearn haltingly began, adding, “He’s a heckuva back. You focus most of your attention on him, try to limit him.

“But unfortunately for our part, we tipped our hand,” McClearn admitted. “That Spence kid had his first big game, and now he’s taken off running. Now they’re even harder to defend.”

A key factor in the earlier meeting: While the Mustangs (9-2) manufactured a 326-287 edge in total yards, the teams traded turnovers as Bigley was intercepted a trio of times; Clarke twice. Also, Lakeview was penalized twice as much (7 for 80 yards) as Mercer (3 for 40).

But Lakeview “didn’t sack (Clarke) at all, and that’s a tribute. Their offensive line played well,” York praised.

It was a tipping point for McClearn’s Mustangs, he said.

“I thought our guys were fairly confident in the game; we’d gone in with a confident attitude. And even when they scored late to take the lead our guys still felt confident.

“And that was the biggest difference at that point in time from what we did last year,” McClearn recalled, explaining, “We’d roll over and say ‘We lost another close game.’ That’s one of the things our guys focused on in the offseason.

“After the Sharpsville game (a 6-0 Mercer win) we had some confidence playing in tight games. We were able to keep our heads and make some plays, and that was a springboard for the season,” McClearn continued. “Even after we followed up losing (at West Middlesex, 17-14; at home to Conneaut Area, 21-14) — which are two pretty good teams that made the playoffs — I think losing to them was a reflection of our physical condition after the hard-fought Lakeview game.

“But our confidence level has not gone away, and that Lakeview game helped us the rest of the year,” added McClearn, noting a late lead on Lakeview enabled the Mustangs to take the Sailors “out of their comfort level (Reddick and the run-game),” coercing Lakeview into a pass mode.

One of York’s yeomen, Hunter Armstrong, has been nursing an injured ankle and his status is quetionable. Last week Armstrong started, but lasted only 2 series before being able to go one way. Also, Sailors’ signal-caller Bigley has been gimpy.

“We’ve not been able to run the option the last two games hardly at all,” York related. “So we’re hoping (Bigley’s) healthier. But he’s not been one hundred percent.”

However with Reddick rolling and run-stopping Sam Breese blowing up opposing teams’ attacks, the Sailors have exceptional skill on both sides of the ball.

“Sam steps up his game. He probably will be a force (Friday night),” York said.

Praised McClearn, “Defensively, (the Sailors have) done a great job this year. Holding West Middlesex to two points? That’s an impressive defense.”

Since 2000 (including this season) Mercer leads Lakeview, 6-5, in the series annals, but this will be the first postseason meeting during that span.

“I’m sure we’re gonna get their best game, so we’ll just have to see what we can do” McClearn forecasted. “They’re gonna come out guns blazin’, so we have to try to weather the assault and try to hang in there.

“One of the things is, we’ve had a few more close games, so I would like to believe that if we get to that stage at the end of the game, it helps us a little bit more,” McClearn mused.

“(The Sailors have) rolled over everybody on a fairly consistent basis, even in their few close games (14-2 over CASH; 19-13 over Sharpsville), so we’re just hoping to slow ’em down.”

York cited several of his previous Sailors’ squads, noting, “Each group, to me, is special. But, yeah, this has been a really nice year.”

Note: The game will be broadcast on WLLF 96.7 FM Friday with Mark Slezak and Bob Greenburg calling the action.

Text Only
  • Roundup: Trojans, Hounds win team titles at WM Invitational

    Wilmington High girls and Greenville boys dominated the annual Big Red Track & Field Invitational Thursday afternoon in West Middlesex.
    A half-dozen girls’ and 7 boys’ teams competed.
    Wilmington overwhelmed the female field, as the Lady Greyhounds garnered almost twice as many points as runner-up Lakeview (236-5 to 133.5).

    April 18, 2014

  • Aaron Webb Roundup: WM diamondmen edge Reynolds, 6-4

    ä West Middlesex 6, Reynolds 4 — At Transfer, the Big Reds snapped a 4-all tie by plating a run in the 4th inning and another in the 7th in a 2-run win over the Raiders.
    Mark Colella earned the mound win in a relief appearance for WM. No pitching stats were submitted.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Roundup: Hickory, Wilmington softball teams win

    Paced by Chelsea Marriott’s muscle, Hickory High hammered 4 home runs Saturday afternoon en route to a 19-1 rout of Sharon.
    At Wengler, Marriott mauled 2- and 3-run round-trippers to right-center and straightaway center field, respectively. Her Lady Hornets’ teammates Hannah Gallagher and Morgan McBride mustered 3-run bombs, also.

    April 13, 2014

  • Fired coach in Mankato unjustly accused of visiting porn sites

    Minnesota State University-Mankato officials wrongly accused former football coach Todd Hoffner of viewing pornography sites on his work  computer  before firing him last May, a state arbitrator has disclosed.

    April 11, 2014

  • Roundup: Hickory track coaches to step down following season

    Hickory High track & field co-head coaches Barb Dzuricsko and Mark Slezak announced they will step down at the season’s conclusion.
    Dzuricsko and Slezak, who led the Lady Hornets to the 2012 PIAA Class AA crown, jointly made the announcement via e-mail late Wednesday.

    April 11, 2014

  • Nikolo Lima Roundup: Devil diamondmen roll past Sharon

    An old-school baseball bromide states that, early in any season, pitching is always ahead of hitting. However Sharpsville shunned that axiom Wednesday afternoon.
    The Blue Devils banged 15 hits, and Sharpsville short-circuited Sharon, 16-4, in 5 innings.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Haley Boyd Roundup: Hounds, Hornets notch track sweeps

    ä Wilmington 116, Reynolds 44 — At New Wilmington, the host Lady Hounds were led by Rikki Brumbaugh (4x8, 4x4 relay legs, 400- and 800-meter runs); Hannah Drake (long, triple jumps, 4x4 relay); Allison Baldwin (4x8 and 4x4 relay legs); Lexi Brumbaugh (1600-, 3200-meter runs, distance-relay leg), and Tessa Sikora (high jump, 200-meter dash, sprint-relay anchor).

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPORTVIEW: Pirates, Indians fans looking for big things this year

    LIFE IS GOOD if you are a fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates or Cleveland Indians. At least for now!
    Heading into Saturday, both teams were 3-1 and looking pretty sharp. Since both made the playoffs last year, there are high expectations for both clubs. But in baseball, every year is a new season and there are no guarantees.
    Still, it’s always nice when your favorite teams get off to a good start. In too many seasons, Pittsburgh and Cleveland fans were only talking about the NFL draft because hopes were bleak for their baseball teams.

    April 6, 2014

  • Nikki Arbanas Hickory's Arbanas 1st team All-State; KC's Hood 3rd team

    ALTOONA, Pa. (AP) — Teams from the WPIAL won three of the four PIAA girls basketball championships this year, and southwestern Pennsylvania is turning out to be just as dominant when it comes to postseason honors.
    Pittsburgh-area programs produced seven of the eight major award winners on this season’s Sports Writers Pennsylvania High School Girls Basketball All-State Team, including all four players of the year.

    April 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • Trey Staunch WM's Staunch named 2nd team All-State

    HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Finishing on the winning side in a championship game — or coming mighty, mighty close — scored plenty of points with the panel that selected Pennsylvania’s all-state boys’ basketball team.
    Especially when it came time to choose those — whether players or coaches — who claimed the top individual awards.

    April 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brady Leunis Roundup: Hickory, Mercer, Reynolds, WM baseball teams earn wins

    ä Hickory 12, Sharpsville 10 — At the McCullough Run Complex in South Pymatuning Twp., the visiting Hornets improved to 4-0 with the win.
    Brady Leunis went 2-for-3 for Hickory with a double and 3 RBI, Tommy Cannon belted a 2-run homer, Noah Orndorff was 2-for-4, Nate Mastrian ripped an RBI-double, Ethan Davis was 2-for-4 with a double and a run driven in and Jake Andrzjewski doubled.

    April 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jordyn Allen Roundup: WM, Wilmington, Mercer softball teams win

    ä West Middlesex 11, Grove City 1 (5 inn.) — At the Richard J. Kritz Softball Complex in West Middlesex, Jordyn Allen fired a complete-game 2-hitter with 8 strikeouts and no walks as the Ms. Reds (1-1) rebounded from a tough loss to Lakeview on Monday.
    Offensively, Allen doubled and ripped 2 singles for WM, Abby McAdams and Aly Andrusky doubled and singled, Macy Siefert collected 4 singles and Hannah Havens, Megan Hazlett and Oivia Slater added 2 singles each.

    April 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • In control Hickory girls, Farrell boys win Guerino titles

    The Hickory girls and Farrell boys captured championships on Saturday night at the 17th annual Buddy Guerino Underclassmen Basketball Tournament at Sharpsville High School.
    The Hickory girls beat Kennedy Catholic, 41-29, for the crown while the Farrell boys topped Mercer, 76-35, for the title.
    In the consolation games, Sharpsville defeated Sharon, 35-15, in girls hoops while the Sharon boys beat Hickory, 57-33.

    March 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPORTVIEW: Eagles' release of Jackson was a strange move

    ONE OF THE strangest NFL moves I’ve seen in a long time involved the Philadelphia Eagles releasing DeSean Jackson.
    Jackson is one of the top wide receivers in the league and a danger to score every time he touches the ball, including punt returns. But the big question is: Why was he just released? Couldn’t they find a trade at least to get some value back?

    March 30, 2014

  • Tanner Powell WM track teams go 6-1 at Big Red Duals

    The West Middlesex girls and track teams both went 6-1 on Friday at the annual Big Red Relays. Both teams lost to Mohawk.
    The WM boys beat A.C. Valley (129-17), Commodore Perry (120-26), Kennedy Catholic (128-18), Laurel (89-61), Sharon (108-38), Union (127-19) and lost to Mohawk (96-53).
    The Ms. Reds topped A.C. Valley (128-18), Commodore Perry (120-22), Kennedy Catholic (123-14), Laurel (123-14), Laurel (89-56), Sharon 114-26, Union (107-33) and lost to Mohawk (96 1/2-48 1/2).

    March 29, 2014 1 Photo

Top 25 (AP Poll)
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter