by Malik Vincent
There are common words that Allderdice’s coach Jerry Haslett has for people when it comes to his team and their performance in the Nov. 11 City League Semifinal.
“I hate to say I told you so,” he said.
The Courier’s preseason favorite, Allderdice, went into the game as the No. 4 seed and knocked off Brashear, 6-2. The Bulls hadn’t lost a conference game all year.
The win clinched themselves a spot in the Nov. 19 City championship game against the U.S.O. (University Prep, Sci-Tech, and Obama) Panthers at Cupples Stadium on the South Side. The game will start at 1 p.m.
Senior linebacker Brad Labovic played the hero by blocking a Matt McHugh punt, within the final eight minutes of the game. Alfred Diggs picked up the bouncing ball and took it into the end zone form 10 yards away for the game’s only score.
“If there was a situation in which I gave out the game ball it would be to Brad,” Haslett said.
Brashear just survived Allderdice, when the two teams met in the regular season on Sept. 16, 13-10. But many people couldn’t see the Bulls losing, as they’d mauled through their league schedule without a loss.
“Coach Haslett and I were talking before the game and he’d brought it to my attention how close the games have been between he and I over time,” Brashear coach Rick Murphy said. “I knew before the game that each of the four teams in the semifinals were well matched and that we weren’t going to just slide out easily.”
U.S.O. 18, Perry 0
In its first year as a program, U.S.O. will make their first city title game as well after knocking off the league’s defending champs on Nov. 10.
Senior tailback Jaylen Coleman turned in one of the best single-handed performances all year with 170 yards on the ground. On the other side of the ball, he came up with an interception and a fumble recovery in the victory.
“It’s just amazing what’s been accomplished between three teams that people are skeptical of in terms of what their success is going to be,” Obama academy principal Dr. Wayne Walters said. “Coach Berry has been instrumental in getting them to work together and play together as a team.”
Their defense maintained its stout front as they pitched a shutout at the Commodores—their eighth in nine games. The week prior, in the regular season bout with the Commodores, they also blanked them 12-0.
“I see that the team has been led to have one mission and one goal,” Dr. Walters added. “And that is a life skills type of thing that these young men can take far beyond football.”
A big chunk of Coleman’s rushing total came on the first play from scrimmage after halftime. The run went 89-yards all the way to the end zone to make the score 6-0. Dontae Forte made it 12-0 when he scooped a Perry fumble and took it in from 65 away, four minutes later. Senior Kevaun Frenzley closed the scoring for the Panthers on a 9-yard run.
The championship will be broadcast online by the MSA Sports Network website at http://www.msasports.net.
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(Malik Vincent can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)