2020 Week 11 (Pennsylvania)

2020 Week 11 (Pennsylvania)

My plans were all over the place this weekend. But, luckily they solidifed into a workable schedule. This was also the first weekend in a while where all my games were in Pennsylvania.

It started with Thursday. A consolation game was scheduled between the one-win Carlynton Cougars and the winless Riverview Raiders. On a Thursday. I had planned to see Carlynton’s home game against Brentwood earlier this season, but due to Covid, was unable. So, it was a nice change of pace for something to work out.

However, this wasn’t my first choice. Only because I hadn’t known about it when I was looking at the week ahead. Originally, I was headed to Portsmouth to their venerable old stadium hosting a Portsmouth Notre Dame game against Chillicothe Huntington. Another consolation game. However, the prospect of rain made the longer trip less interesting. And with Carlynton finally being available, and the short drive there and home, made it a no-brainer.

Carlynton, for those that aren’t aware, is an amalgamation of CARnegie, RossLYN Farms, and CrafTON. The three communites the district encompasses.

#41 Carlynton v. Riverview

Now, there were limitations, of course. The rain was one factor. The small crowd was another. But, Carnegie is host to one neat little compact stadium. It’s situated behind the elementary school, along a main thoroughfare, with very limited parking. The field sits snug between the two stands, with the endzone just feet from the wall that is the fieldhouse. The scoreboard sits at the far end. There’s a decent restroom facility to the far end of the home side.

But, the rain. It rained consistently, though not heavily, the entire first half. And then, it just fizzled. The only rain was the last minutes as I was walking to my car.

For the game, Carlynton was above. Three touchdowns in the first quarter and three touchodwns in the second quarter ensured a running clock in the second half.

In the second half, with the quick pace, the two teams traded touchdowns and that was it. Carlynton, 48-8.

The rain got a lot heavier as the drive home continued. I stopped for another Steak Ranch Hoagie.

For Friday, I had originally planned for a game at McGuffey. They were hosting Serra Catholic. Two schools I had yet to see play. But, too many reporters from PA Football News claimed the game. Even though I had claimed it first, I decided it wasn’t worth the hassle.

So, instead, I went to the one open game I could find. Apollo-Ridge was hosting Washington in another 2A Quarterfinal in the WPIAL. I had seen both teams previously. And it seemed like it was going to be a good matchup. I had seen Owens Field once before driving by it. It sits just east of the town of Apollo next to some ballfields in a park area. The High School is located quite a ways further east on Route 56.

The Washington Prexies are named, after the local college’s name. The Washington & Jefferson Presidents gave way to the high school being the “Little Presidents”, which is shortened further to “Prexies”. Sometimes you will see them called the Little Prexies. Not much different than Indiana having the Indians and the Little Indians.

#42 Apollo-Ridge v. Washington

This game wasn’t close. And it comes down to turnovers. Washington coughed the ball up 3 straight possessions that led to three straight Apollo-Ridge touchdowns. Finally, though, Washington got on the board to start the second half. But, that was it. Two more touchdowns went to Apollo-Ridge.

And a game that most thought was going to be close, or at worse, an easy win for Washington, went to Apollo-Ridge in a rout. Apollo-Ridge 42, Washington 6.

Unlike my initial plans, I decided to spend the night out and down two games in District 6. And much easier than driving all the way home and back. And there were two matchups that were worthwhile. At least, for me. The night game was the interesting one. A game I figured to be close.

The afternoon game, not so much.

Due to the method of bracketing, the perennial power Bishop Guilfoyle was on the road at Conemaugh Valley for a Saturday afternoon game. This would be my first time seeing a game there. And first time seeing the Blue Jays.

Of the smaller Johnstown area schools, Conemaugh Valley was the last for me. I had seen Westmont Hilltop twice, and saw Ferndale in one of my favorite all-time games. A mud bowl in the WestPAC-Heritage crossover a few years ago against Purchase Line.

This year, Conemaugh Valley and Ferndale had co-oped together for football. Which was interesting seeing the band and cheerleaders in blue and white or black and yellow.

I spent the night in Ebensburg, near the interchange between US22 and US219. A frequent little hub of activity if you’re crisscrossing the state. About a half hour west of Altoona.

#43 Conemaugh Valley v. Bishop Guilfoyle

On Halloween afternoon, Conemaugh Valley gave it everything they had. Down 7-0 after 1, and 14-0 at the half. But, the third quarter belonged to Bishop Guilfoyle. A long 98 yard TD run after a fourth and goal stop was the back-breaker. Bishop Guilfoyle 41, Conemaugh Valley 0.

The stadium, though, Thomas Yewcic Stadium, is a great small school venue. Situated down a steep hill behind the school, it has a press box separated from the stands. Which are very small for both the home and visitors. With the huge hillside available to foldable chairs and blankets to lay out on.

The night game, then, was a new one for me. Portage Area Stadium was the host for the Portage-Juniata Valley game. A new stadium, and a classic, at that, hosting two teams I had yet to see.

And not too far apart. So, after the Bishop Guilfoyle victory had cleared out the stadium, I made a short trip back to Ebensburg.

I had wanted to find a steakhouse somehwere around Johnstown. There had to be one, I figured. But, the best I could find came up with taking a drive over to Altoona. And nearly an hour of commuting back and forth. There was, however, a Hoss’s in Ebensburg.

Not exactly high end steakhouse, but I had a 9oz ‘Cleaver Cut’ sirloin. It was like a filet, but a little too seared on the sides. Inside was perfect rare. So, I liked that.

Had a chance to sit with my laptop and finish processing the photos from the previous’ nights game that I didn’t have the opportunity to finish following the drive from Apollo.

After that, it was a short drive south of Ebensburg to Portage. My first time in the town and I must say I really liked the old feel of the Main Line.

I nearly killed bambi on the way into town. A long windy stretch of road where a deer darted out in front of me, and if it weren’t for it turning and running down the road ahead of me, I surely would have hit it.

Stopped in town, and got a photo of the welcome sign. And then on to the stadium. Portage Area Stadium sits by itself, on the edge of town along the Main line. A constant assault of freight trains cross back and forth along the northern endzone. The stadium is all stone, and built in a way you just don’t see today. The lockerrooms are under each stand. With the vomitories located right at the 50.

#44 Portage v. Juniata Valley

Now, I knew my afternoon contest was going to be one-sided. And I had stood through two one-sided games on Thursday and Friday. But, this one was not expected. This was supposed to be a close game. A playoff game where the matchup looked reasonable. Competitive. But, it wasn’t meant to be.

Portage and Juniata Valley traded touchdowns, before JV scored once more to take a 13-7 lead after one. And then the second quarter exploded. Not one, but two safeties, by the JV defense. A pick-six. And 24 points later saw them have a crushing, 37-7 halftime lead.

The battle of Green and White slogged on in the second half. A scoreless third when a running clock on a chilly night was looked forward to, given the fans making their way slowly, a few at a time, to the exits. But, the running clock wouldn’t start until the 4th quarter when JV would have a long TD run to seal it.

A disappointing night for the home crowd as ‘what might have been’ will be something they think about this off season. The second quarter of offensive miscues. Two safeties and the pick-six, all deep in their own redzone, will haunt them. Juniata Valley 43, Portage 7.

After that, it was a quick drive to Ebensburg for gas at the GetGo before the long drive on 422 home.

I’ll update my miles and money totals later. I don’t have my notebook with me at the moment. But, i did pay for gas for the first time this season. $10. The rest was, once again food for the weekend.

Photos of the Week

2020 HSF Wk 11 Pennsylvania

2020 HSF Wk 11 Pennsylvania

2020 HSF Wk 11 Pennsylvania

2020 HSF Wk 11 Pennsylvania

2020 hSF Wk 11  Pennsylvania

2020 hSF Wk 11  Pennsylvania

2020 hSF Wk 11  Pennsylvania

2020 HSF Wk 11 Pennsylvania

2020 HSF Wk 11 Pennsylvania

2020 HSF Wk 11 Pennsylvania

2020 HSF Wk 11 Pennsylvania

2020 HSF Wk 11 Pennsylvania

2020 HSF Wk 11 Pennsylvania

2020 HSF Wk 11 Pennsylvania

2020 HSF Wk 11 Pennsylvania

Next Week

Well, my Pennsylvania plans were for at least three games. Possibly four. And then in a span of a few minutes, two of my games were cancelled and another was rescheduled. So, what other option than Kansas?

Actually. Work related. But, it works out well for me. Only two games on the schedule. In my quest to knock out some of my ‘I really want to see a game there’ list, as opposed to my all encompassing bucket list. I’ll actually start on Friday night in Eads, Colorado.

Friday — Eads (CO) v. Cheyenne Wells (CO) (6-man)

The stretch of US287 between Limon, Colorado and the southern border with Oklahoma has seven high schools on it. Limon, Genoa-Hugo, Kit Carson, Eads, Wiley, Lamar, and Springfield. In my life, I’ve seen games at all of them except Genoa-Hugo and Eads. Both are at home this weekend. Cheyenne Wells is east of Kit Carson in Cheyenne County. Interesting in that Kit Carson, the town, is not in Kit Carson, the county. Which is located north of Cheyenne County.

Genoa-Hugo, meanwhile, hosts Deer Trail. A school I would like to see at home. They’re located just along I-70.

So, why did I say I was going to Kansas, when my game is in Colorado?

Saturday – St. Francis (KS) v. Bucklin (KS) (8-man)

Kansas plays virtually all their football games on Friday nights. Only a small smattering of games get played on Thursday nights usually due to venue availability in Wichita and KCK areas. However, for some unknown reason, St. Francis, in the furthest northwest corner of the state, is hosting an 11am game on Saturday in the playoffs.

When I saw the schedule, I had just assumed they were playing Friday night. And with Colorado having a plethora of Saturday afternoon options, would work out well that way. But, with St. Francis, long on my bucket list after two near-misses last season and their fortuitous ending in the state championship game, I was determined to see them. So, why not mark off a Colorado game as well?

Now, the only issue is that in Kansas 8-man, the game ends when a team is leading by 45 points or more in the second half. Of the nine games on their schedule, two were forfeit victories, and the other seven were all by the 45 rule. And this one doesn’t expect to be much different.

The St. Francis Indians are a force to be reckoned with. And after last season’s bitter finish (leading 36-0 and only 9 points away from a halftime victory, losing 66-36 to Canton-Galva), they’re on a mission.

Personally, though, this little town holds some significance for me. I’ve been there many times. It’s a little prairie town with not much around it. Has a small restaurant, a subway, and a Pizza Hut that’s only open on the weekends. And now a Dollar General (but where isn’t a Dollar General, seriously?).

But, even if the game may be over at halftime, I’m not passing up yet another opportunity to see the St. Francis Indians nor see a game at their home field.

So, that’s my plans for this weekend. Only two games. But, I should have 12 next week in Iowa.

2020 Statistics*

44 Games
86 Teams
44 Stadiums
6 States

41 New Teams (Carlynton, Conemaugh Valley, Portage, and Juniata Valley)
37 New Stadiums (All 4)

1,205 different teams
373 different stadiums

1,082 total games

*-Now I realized once again i made a mistake somewhere in my tally. So, I had to go through and add them all up again. Turns out, I’m at 1,205 different teams, not 1,206. My discrepency involves Beaver Local. They were “Lisbon Beaver Local”, but then built a new school a little ways away (across the street), which put them in the East Liverpool mailing address. Now, just like South Range, rebuilding a school IN your zip code is one thing, but building it far enough out to have a whole new city (whether you keep the name or not), is a new school for me. This isn’t a case of zip codes changing (like Old Washington Buckeye Trail becoming Lore City Buckeye Trail all thanks to the Postal Service). But, an entirely new school building on a new plot of land.

Now, I had “Lisbon Beaver Local” listed and when Wellsville hosted “East Liverpool Beaver Local”. But, for some reason, when I saw them earlier this year, I did not mark them down as their second game. Instead, I created a new entry for them. Again. Which is where the 1,206th different team came from. But, I’ve got that corrected. And hopefully can keep up on it for the rest of the season.

For more, and larger, photos from this week, click HERE.

For photos from previous weekends and seasons, visit http://www.flickr.com/sykotyk/sets/

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