Traditionally known for having run-dominant offenses, the City League rarely features a team as pass-happy as this year’s U.S.O. (University Prep, Sci-Tech, and Obama) squad.
Senior quarterback Akil Young’s 266 yards on 12 of 31 passing with three scores was a big reason that U.S.O. (3-0, 3-0) rallied to knock off East Side foe Allderdice (1-2, 2-4), 35-15, on Oct. 5.
|PATRICK FERGUSON from Allderdice is hit for a loss by USO’s Neondre Harbour (50) as teammates Virgil McClendon (43) and Jermaine Brown (55) close in to assist, The USO defense held Ferguson to 52 yards rushing.
In his first year as a starter, Young has shown gratitude for his new role after platooning with former four-year starter Dontae Forte throughout last year’s playoffs.
“I’d anticipated my time to play very heavily,” he said. “I was inserted into the rotation last year and I feel like that was the best preparation for me to do some of the things that I’m able to do this year.”
One of Young’s favorite targets, Marcus Johnson, burst onto the scene after making the game-clinching grab against the Dragons in last year’s title game. He admitted that it has been a struggle, but one he’s welcomed to get better.
“I’ve really been practicing my route running and I’ve been working in practice to not let go of the ball,” Johnson said. “If I drop one, it usually means 20 pushups.”
The 6-foot-2, 170-pound junior snagged his fourth touchdown grab of the year against Allderdice. Despite his long frame, he likes the style of former Steelers receiver Santonio Holmes, who is 4-inches shorter.
“I like the way he attacks the ball,” he said. “He works really hard to get there and that’s something that I like to apply to my own game. I’m not afraid to go across the middle and take a hit. I’ll just get up and keep playing.”
U.S.O. came from a 15-8 halftime deficit to beat Allderdice who has struggled as of late.
“They just poured it on us,” Allderdice coach Jerry Haslett said. “I thought we did a good job on defense, recognizing that they were going to pass the ball a lot on us. But, they were relentless, just passing it time and time again. We just kind of fell apart at the end.”
Brashear 35, Carrick 6
Brashear Bulls head coach Rick Murphy emphasized how important it was for his team to stop committing turnovers that was going to hurt them—namely fumbles.
His team didn’t commit any against the host Carrick Raiders, who remain winless on the year.
“We were shooting each other in the foot too much,” Murphy said. “It was a good win and I’m extremely proud of the way this team was able to run the football and the way we protected it, as well.”
DeShaun Roberts, who was recently moved from receiver, rushed for 116 yards and three scores Diondre Farris added two touchdowns on the ground for Brashear (2-1, 2-4).
The Westinghouse Bulldogs remain winless on the year as the Perry Commodores’ senior quarterback Ahmed Turner led their offense by throwing three touchdown passes. Running back Curtis Edmonds carried the ball 10 times for 164 yards, including an 86-yard score for Perry (3-0, 4-2).
(Follow our continuing coverage of City League Football and add your comments to our website at www.newpittsburghcourier.com. Malik Vincent can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @malikvincent.)