The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Breaking News


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
  • On to baseball GC coach Bell retired — sort of!

    You can take the man out of coaching, but you can’t take coaching out of the man.
    Former Grove City High football coach Jeff Bell has spent his first few months of retirement hearing the ping of a baseball ricocheting off an aluminum bat instead of clap of shoulder pads coming together.
    “My grandson Maddox (Bell) and a few of his friends play on a traveling team, so I’m helping out with that,” said Bell, who retired as the Eagles’ football coach this past winter. “They’re a good group of kids to work with and this is a lot more enjoyable. It’s a lot less stress.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPORTVIEW: Johnny Football claims he has learned from his 'rookie mistakes'

    HERE ARE some thoughts from a guy who might have made a few “rookie mistakes” in his life, ala Johnny Manziel.
    Johnny Football admitted this past week that he made some rookie mistakes. Really?
    Usually rookie mistakes for most NFL newbies are throwing into coverage or fumbling the football because you don’t tuck it tightly to your side.

    July 27, 2014

  • NFL NOTEBOOK: Ex-Sharon star Austin hopes to spark Lions' defense

    THE TALENTED — albeit underachieving — Detroit Lions commence camp July 27 in Allen Park, Mich. as the National Football League prepares for the 2014 season.

    July 21, 2014

  • Fighting cancer Racing to fight cancer

    Former Hickory High athlete Amanda Budzowski is on the run — the run to raise money to fight cancer.
    Budzowski is part of Team in Training, an organization that has raised more than $1.4 billion for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society since forming in 1988. Her division is known as IRONTEAM and she is currently training for the 140.6-mile Ironman triathlon in Mont Tremblant, Canada, in August.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPORTVIEW: Pirates, Indians need fast start after All-Star break

    SO FAR, so good. I’m referring to the start of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cleveland Indians after the All-Star break on Friday night.
    Both teams rallied to win. The Buccos beat the Colorado Joints — err, I mean Rockies — by coming from behind in the 8th inning. Since they legalized marijuana sales in that state, it gave new meaning to John Denver’s song “Rocky Mountain High.”

    July 20, 2014

  • Sky high Rutters earn spot in national motocross event

    The brother-sister racing duo of Elijah and Dannah Rutter of Mercer are set to travel to Hurricane Mills, Tenn., to compete soon in the prestigious 33rd annual Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships presented by AMSOIL at Loretta Lynn Ranch.
    Elijah, 18, and Dannah, 16, earned a ticket to the event with their performances at qualifiers and then regionals and are among the top 5 percent of riders in the U.S. Overall, 20,000 hopefuls from across the U.S. competed and there are only 1,446 qualifying spots at nationals.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sharon Football scramble Notebook: Sharon football greats meet, reunite at inaugural golf scramble

    Mid-July, with the temperature 80-plus degrees at Avalon at Buhl Country Club; however, it felt like a fall, football Friday.
    The inaugural Sharon Football Boosters 4-man golf scramble took place recently, and served as a Who’s Who in the Tigers’ triumphant tradition.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPORTVIEW: All is right with the world - LeBron has come home!

    HAPPY DAYS are here again. The prodigal child has returned!
    The announcement that “King James” is returning to Cleveland has created a level of euphoria not seen since the Browns won the city’s last major sport championship a couple of years ago.
    What’s that? Oh, yeah — make that 50 years ago (1964).

    July 13, 2014

  • LeBron James Full text of LeBron's essay in SI

    LeBron James announced his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday in an essay that he wrote for Sports Illustrated. The following is the full text of that essay.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Snyder, Gordon, Popatak named to All-State team

    Grove City High’s David Gordon, Sharpsville’s Greg Popatak and Lakeview’s Logan Snyder recently were named to the Pennsylvania High School Baseball Coaches Association all-state team.
    Synder was selected 1st-Team in Class A as a designated-hitter, while Gordon was honorably-mentioned in Class AAA and Popatak similarly was honored in AA. Gordon gained his laurels as a pitcher; Popatak as a 3rd baseman.

    July 10, 2014

  • Oprah lands first interview with Jerry Sandusky's adopted son, Matthew

    Matthew Sandusky, the adopted son of former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, is breaking his silence for the first time since his father's 2012 conviction on 45 counts of child sexual abuse, sitting down with Oprah to tell his story.

    July 8, 2014

  • County champs Little League Tournaments

    Sharon won the District 2 Major Division (12-year-olds) Championship, while Greenville 9-10 and West Middlesex 11 teams notched tournament victories in recent action.

    Hermitage Brennan Chiropractic won the Mercer County 14-under championship recently.

    Following are game reports:

    July 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • John Cook The First Tee of Sharon celebrates 15th anniversary

    Professional golf star John Cook has received many honors and awards in his illustrious career, but probably none mean as much as those similar to the one he received Monday afternoon at The First Tee of Sharon.
    During a special ceremony to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the local program, a permanent plaque was unveiled in his honor describing the contributions he has made to junior golf.

    July 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPORTVIEW: John Cook here Monday for First Tee; other celebs on July 11

    THE RETURN of Tiger Woods to a PGA event sparked a lot of interest this past week. The return of John Cook to Buhl Farm Golf Course Monday will do the same locally.
    Cook, a standout on the Champions Tour and outstanding TV golf analyst, will conduct a clinic at 11 a.m. Monday at the course to help celebrate the 15th anniversary of The First Tee of Sharon program.
    It is open to the public at no charge.

    June 29, 2014

  • Tri-Athletes Hickory honors Tri-Athletes

    Hickory High honored its 2013-14 tri-athletes in a recent ceremony, the latest installment in a program that began in 2003-04.
    Fifty student-athletes (grades 9-12) were cited for having competed in at least one sport in the fall, winter and spring while maintaining a minimum B (85 percent) grade-point-average during the first three 9-week grading periods of the  academic year.

    June 22, 2014 1 Photo

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