by Malik Vincent
For New Pittsburgh Courier
The “Dragon Wars” will continue into this year’s City League playoffs.
The preseason favorite, the Allderdice Dragons, clinched a postseason appearance—for the second straight year—with a 55-0 win over winless Langley at Cupples Stadium on Oct. 28.
With their a 41-0 win on Sept. 30, Allderdice is assured of the final spot even if Westinghouse wins and they lose in the final week of the season.
They leapfrogged Westinghouse to take over the League’s fourth place standing leaving Westinghouse out of the postseason picture, yet again.
“We need to stop giving games away,” Allderdice coach Jerry Haslett said. “We’ve given 52 points, and have only given up three touchdowns on defense. On the other side of the coin, the offense has given up five touchdowns on offense.”
Allderdice’s three wins have come against League opponents, but none against those they will face in the postseason. Haslett is confident that with a slew of his players returning from injuries, his team will have a legitimate shot to go deep in the playoffs.
“We’re healthy now and that is going to be a big deal for us moving forward,” he said. “It’s the right time for us to turn the corner—right now. There are no more excuses for us to not rise to the top.”
“Defense wins games:” USO (University Prep, Sci-Tech, and Obama) 36, Jefferson Area (Ohio) 0.
USO has given up an astounding 22 points to City opponents this season. Out of the eight games they’ve played in 2011, all 22 points happened in their City League opening loss at Brashear, 22-13, back on Sept. 8. That loss is the only thing that separates them from first place in the city.
This has all come in the very first year of existence as a program.
“It’s just amazing to watch them come together,” said Andre McGhee, the team’s athletic director who’s spending a lot of time with the team. “They motivate each other to be the best that they can be. They’re learning of manhood and the value of education. They’re in the midst of transformation, being champions, on and off the field.”
The Panthers have one more conditioning test before going into the league’s postseason when they face defending champs, Perry, on the evening of Nov. 4.
“I think they’ll be ready for Perry,” McGhee added.
McGhee is confident that his team will do whatever is possible for a strong championship chase.
“I think that they’re taking the time out to focus,” he said. “It’s not just about the winning on the field; it’s basically being together with the feeling of sportsmanship and brotherhood. That’s what will make this team a winner.”
*Brashear defeated nonconference Linsly School (WV), 33-8, on Oct. 29.
*Perry defeated Westinghouse, 39-0, at Cupples Stadium on Oct. 27.
*Oliver beat Carrick, 18-14, on Oct. 28 in conference action.
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