CELEBRATING A CHAMPIONSHIP—USO team members celebrate as Head Coach Lou Berry presents the City League Championship trophy to them after they defeated Allderdice 33-20 in the City League Championship game. (Photos by William McBride)
USO (9-0) punched its ticket to the PIAA State playoffs with a 33-20 win over Allderdice (5-5) in the City League championship game Saturday at Cupples Stadium.
The Eagles used all three phases of the game—offense, defense and special teams—in their victory over the Dragons to keep their unblemished record and state title hopes alive.
USO QUARTERBACK RONALD BROWN, the top passer in Western PA threw for 277 yards and 2 touchdowns and rushed for 54 yards in the Wildcats 33-20 win over Allderdice.
Elite quarterback Ronald “Downtown” Brown spearheaded the win, by throwing for 267 yards and 2 touchdowns. For the season, the junior gunslinger has thrown for over 3,000 yards and 40 touchdowns. He holds the City League single season record.
It helps Brown that he has arguably the best set of receiving talent in the state. Marcus Johnson is one of the top recruits in the area; Nicholas Stallworth; Clay Moorefield and Stephon Hawthorne.
Senior Marquis Martin kicked off the scoring for the Dragons with a one yard touchdown run.
The Eagles answered when Brown went downtown for a 59 yards touchdown pass to junior Hawthorne.
“Little” Abner Roberts two touchdown runs gave USO a 19-7 lead.
In the second half the “Twins” took over the game for Allderdice. Super sophomores James and Timothy Jackson, Tim had two interceptions and quarterback James Jackson hit Jamir Powell for a 17 yard touchdown pass to cut the lead to 19-13 at the end of the third quarter.
“Timmy and Jimmy Jackson are great basketball players too,” said Athletic Director Buddy Valinsky. “Our basketball team has three sets of twins this year. We feel good about our basketball team this year.”
Martin, who rushed for 116 yards, gave the Dragons the lead in the fourth quarter when he scored from one yard out.
When the Dice took a 20-19 lead late in the fourth quarter, their fans began to cheer and were looking forward to celebrating their first City League championship since 1967.
But when the dust settled, USO stood tall, and the 46-year curse continued for the Dragons.
A Brown to Johnson touchdown pass was the dagger that finally slayed the Dragons.
USO advances into PIAA Class AAA sub-regional against District 5’s Somerset.
The Somerset coaching staff attended the game and left Cupples Stadium very confident that they can defeat the Eagles.
“There is no way you can simulate our speed in practice,” said Head coach Louis Berry. “I’m looking forward to next Friday night. If they are ready, so are we.”
Hawthorne caught five passes for 117 yards and earned the Jeron Grayson Most Valuable Player trophy.
The mission this year’s players have set for themselves, is to win a PIAA State Championship and with their receivers and quarterback I expect an elite “Downtown” parade.
ABNER ROBERTS of USO rushed for two touchdowns in the Wildcats 33-20 win over Allderdice in the City League Championship game
MARCUS JOHNSON of USO makes a move on Joe Graham of Allderdice in the City League Championship game, Johnson caught a 30 yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter for the go ahead points in the game.
TIMOTHY JACKSON (5), Allderdice’s superb sophmore defensive back / wide receiver, caught 4 passes in the City League Championship game, 2 from his twin brother James, the Allderdice quarterback and 2 that he picked off from USO quarterback Ronald Brown, Jackson picks one off in front of USO’s Clay Moorefield (3) in this photo
MARQUIS MARTIN Allderdice breaks a tackle by Curtis Williams of USO in the City League Championship game, Martin rushed for 116 yards and two touchdowns and played an outstanding defensive game from his linebacker position.
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