by Malik Vincent
An important weekend of football is coming up for the City League as the top four seeds will face each other to determine the conference’s playoff picture.
“Our kids will be preparing very hard all week to face its challenges ahead,” Coach Bill Gallagher said of his Perry team. “We know what is at stake here and we want to come out and prove that we’re worthy of the prize.”
The high stakes are the league’s top seed.
At 5-2, the Commodores will take on 4-1 U.S.O. (University Prep, Sci Tech, and Obama) in what could be the game of the year on Friday night at Cupples Stadium.
On defense, the Wildcats have only allowed 27 points in league play, this season. From an offensive standpoint, their 728 yards tossed by senior quarterback Akil Young also tops the city.
He’s also been efficient: pairing just 3 interceptions with 9 touchdowns.
Most recently he threw for 150 yards against winless Westinghouse on Oct 12. Fellow senior Myles Catlin added on to the 45-0 beating with three touchdowns. He scored on a reception, a rush, and an interception return.
U.S.O. outgained the Bulldogs, 301-82.
“(U.S.O.) is a very talented team,” Gallagher said. “They’ve got some of the best talent in the league all over the field. But there are some things that we will drill to our guys during the week and we hope that as a result it will tame some of their strengths.”
Perry features one of the more effective running schemes in the league headed by Curtis Edmonds’ 722 yards on 76 rushes. He’s also found the end zone seven times.
“We have a strong tradition here at Perry,” said Gallagher when asked about his drop off the skill positions due to graduation. “It is our goal each and every year to have a solid program. To coach these kids and make sure they know how to go out and do their jobs on a week-to-week basis.”
The North side school is coming off of a 24-6 win over Brashear on Oct 11.
The Bulls will face Allderdice in a 3:30 p.m. match at Cupples on Friday. These two figure to contend for the final two spots of the postseason over winless Westinghouse and Carrick who are both 0-7.
“We’re really excited to be able to get out there and see how we measure up,” Brashear coach Rick Murphy said. “As I’ve said all season, it’s going to be very important for us to protect the football. If we’re going to be successful, this must happen.”
Allderdice’s senior running back Patrick Ferguson rushed for 104 yards and two touchdowns against winless Carrick on Oct 12. This season, the 260 pound runner has toted the ball 102 times for 585 yards and 9 touchdowns.
“We have to be very mindful of that good running game that they have,” Murphy said. “We’ll be doing everything in our power to match up to that during practice this week.”
These two teams met last season in the league semi-final last Nov 11 in which Allderdice snuck away with a 6-2 win. Brashear had been fresh off of a championship game appearance, the year prior.
“As a coach, I’ve been through this before,” Murphy added. “In March and April, everyone is good. At this time of the year, you pretty much start to find your identity as a team. Our guys have seen the things that they need to change so that we can make it to the next level. We want to win and we will work on those things so that we can do exactly that.”
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(Malik Vincent can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @malikvincent.)