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CHICAGO (December 2, 2010) — In its third decade of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with ESPN RISE, today announced Brendan Nosovitch of Allentown Central Catholic High School as its 2010-11 Gatorade Pennsylvania Football Player of the Year.  Nosovitch is the first Gatorade Pennsylvania Football Player of the Year to be chosen from Allentown Central Catholic High School.


The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Nosovitch as Pennsylvania’s best high school football player.  Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Football Player of the Year award announced in December, Nosovitch joins an elite alumni association of past state award-winners in 12 sports, including Mark Sanchez (2004-05, Mission Viejo HS, Calif.), Wes Welker (1999-00, Heritage Hall HS, Okla.), Terrell Suggs (1999-00, Hamilton HS, Ariz.), Anquan Boldin (1998-99, Pahokee HS, Fla.) and Jerome Bettis (1989-90, Mackenzie HS, Mich.).


The 6-foot-3, 190-pound junior quarterback led the Vikings to a 13-0 record entering in the Class AAA state quarterfinals against Clearfield High, scheduled for Dec. 3. At the time of his selection, Nosovitch had completed 148-of-252 attempts for 2,307 yards and 35 touchdowns. A returning Class AAA Second Team All-State selection as named by The Associated Press, he had also rushed for 1,283 yards and 18 touchdowns on 201 carries. As a sophomore in 2009, Nosovitch threw for 2,085 yards and 20 touchdowns while rushing for 1,007 yards and 19 touchdowns. He is the first quarterback in state history to eclipse 2,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards in consecutive seasons.


Nosovitch has maintained a 3.23 GPA in the classroom. A member of his school’s student council, he has volunteered on behalf of the Best Friends Forever special needs mentoring program in addition to donating his time as a youth football and basketball instructor.


“He’s a dual-threat quarterback, so he’s real dangerous when he improvises,” said Tony Trisciani, head coach of rival Whitehall High. “When he gets out of the pocket, he makes things happen. He runs like a running back; he doesn’t run like a quarterback. He’s a talented quarterback as well. He’s got a strong arm. He’s got a lot of weapons, and he’s able to make the decisions that are necessary in their style of offense. He’s got a lot of command when he’s out there.”


Nosovitch will begin his senior year of high school next fall.


The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by ESPN RISE and the Gatorade high school sports leadership team, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.


Nosovitch joins recent Gatorade Pennsylvania Football Players of the Year Kyle Smith (2009-10, Lancaster Catholic), Zach Barket (2008-09, Schuylkill Haven Area) and Brendan Beal (2007-08, Liberty) among the state’s list of former award winners.


To keep up to date on the latest happenings, become a fan of Gatorade Player of the Year on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. For more on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information, a complete list of past winners, and the announcement of the Gatorade National Player of the Year, visit

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ALTOONA, Pa. – From Mansion Park Stadium’s pressbox, one can hear the whistles from passing freight trains on the Main Line, one of the busiest freight rail lines in Pennsylvania.


The Holy Name defense ran into a freight train of a different sort – the Bishop Carroll ground game. And it was a freight train without brakes.


Bishop Carroll (11-2) pounded and pounded and pounded the Holy Name (11-2) defense for 392 rushing yards and put the game away with a 6:36 scoring drive in the fourth quarter for a 34-21 victory in a PIAA Class A Eastern Quarterfinal game from frigid Mansion Park Stadium.


With the victory, the Huskies advance to their fifth PIAA Class A semifinal in school history (first Eastern semifinal appearance) opposite District 2 champion Riverside, a 41-0 victor over District 11 champion Schuylkill Haven. Riverside last played in a PIAA semifinal in 1997.


If Bishop Carroll was a freight train this night, then Husky senior tailback Ryan Woo was the fuel. Entering the contest with 1,775 rushing yards, Woo was already having a very solid season for the blue and white. And his performance against the Blue Jays only piled onto that succesful season.


Woo finished with 244 yards on 28 carries and scored two touchdowns on runs of 44 and 47 yards. The 44-yard run in the second quarter broke a 7-7 tie and the 47-yarder pushed the Huskies’ lead to 26-14 as time expired in the third quarter. Woo now has 2,019 yards and 18 rushing touchdowns this year.


Credit for Woo’s effort, though, started up front with linemen Tyler Strong, Andrew Stiles, Matt Dillon, Nicholas Maruca and Vinnie Tranquillo. Tranquillo, the lone senior, is the biggest of the bunch at 225 pounds. But the quintet opened up hole after hole after hole, not only for Woo, but also for David Kephart, Josh Chumrik and Josh Barzdo all game long.


“They did a super job,” Bishop Carroll coach Craig Sponsky said of his offensive line. “They executed the scheme we wanted to do tonight. They make a lot of room for us.”


That space created was evidenced by Carroll’s ground attack, which broke 11 running plays of 10 yards or more. The Huskies only had to attempt three passes this night, and they completed two for 18 yards.


“They were very physical up front,” Holy Name head coach Rick Keeley said of the Huskies. “My hat’s off to their offensive and defensive lines. We were able to execute our offense at times, but sometimes their defense was just better. And for that, you have to give them credit.”


Holy Name, though, came out like gangbusters to open the contest. Senior feature back Freddy Caruso broke a 70-yard run to the Carroll 1 yard line on the Blue Jays’ first play from scrimmage, then crashed into the end zone on the very next play. Just 32 seconds into the game, Holy Name led, 7-0.


Defensively, too, Holy Name appeared to be up to the task. In Carroll’s first 11 plays, the Huskies only ran for 33 yards. Holy Name helped the Huskies by committing three offsides penalties and a five-yard facemask foul, but Carroll’s first two possessions ended with a punt and a lost fumble, recovered by Caruso.


But that all changed in the second quarter. Carroll marched 40 yards on six plays, capped by a Kephart 2-yard scoring run to knot the scoreboard at 7s with 8:57 left in the half. Woo’s big run pushed the Huskies into the lead 4:47 of game clock later, and Carroll never trailed again.


A Barzdo 10-yard scoring run with 7:56 left in the third quarter capped a string of 20 unanswered points for the Huskies, pushing the lead to 20-7. But Holy Name struck back when Brian Eliff (11-of-15, 81 yards, TD) hooked up with Pietro Gaspari for a 15-yard scoring pass, slicing the Huskies’ lead to just 20-14.


After Woo’s 47-yard scoring run, Caruso capped Holy Name’s scoring with a 41-yard run down the home sideline. That score, with 10:40 left in the game, moved the Jays to within five points, at 26-21. But they got no closer.


The Huskies answered the Holy Name touchdown with an impressive 12-play, 70-yard, 6:36 march, capped by Barzdo’s second scoring run of the night – a 1-yard plunge with 3:54 left in the game.


Holy Name had two more possessions, but turned the ball over on downs each time. Two Husky knees ended the game.


Caruso finished with 179 yards rushing on 15 carries. Fullback Jeremy Figura added 50 yards on 10 carries. Holy Name finished with 289 yards of offense (208 rushing) and 14 first downs.


Bishop Carroll, beyond Woo’s effort on the ground, was also paced by Chumrik (9 rushes, 71 yards), Barzdo (13 rushes, 36 yards, 2 TD) and Kephart (9 rushes, 38 yards). As a team, the Huskies posted 392 rushing yards on 59 carries and amassed 23 first downs.


Even in defeat, Keeley said the only thing he would change were the final numbers on the scoreboard.


“I wouldn’t change anything about this season,” Keeley said. “These young men gave everything they had, and that’s all you can ask of your team. They brought a lot of pride to the Holy Name football program.”

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When Running Back Desmond Peoples was injured for Archbishop Wood, another Peoples had to step in at the position.


Enter Cousin Brandon Peoples.


After 130 yard effort two weeks ago against Dobbins Tech in the District 12 Championship Game, Peoples torched Strath Haven for 222 yards on 34 carries and two touchdowns in a 24-14 victory over the Panthers in the PIAA AAA Eastern Semi-Final at Coatesville’s Multi-Purpose Stadium Friday Night.


Peoples opened the scoring with 7:25 to play in the first quarter as he scored on a one yard run that capped a 59 yard 10 play drive. Peoples had a run of 33 yards in the drive and Wood converted both a third down and a fourth down play in the drive. Nick Visco added the extra point as Wood took a 7-0 lead. Visco would add a 26 yard field goal with 23 seconds to play in the first quarter as Wood took a 10-0 lead.


Strath Haven’s Brent Collins then returned the kickoff 65 yards to the Viking 23 yard line. Thurman Fortune (21 carries 93 yards) needed just two plays from there as he scampered 21 yards on the first play of the second quarter to cut the Viking lead to 10-7.


Wood then increased the lead 17-7 when quarterback Joe Monaghan sneaked in from the one yard line on Wood’s next possession.


The second story of the night was the Wood defense.


Wood held the vaunted Strath Haven Wing-T running attack to 138 yards rushing and 253 total yards for the game. Every time Thurman tried to get going, there was always a Wood defender there to greet him.


On their first possession of the third quarter, Wood seemed poised to score another touchdown and put the game away. But the Panthers showed a little defense of their own and stopped Peoples on third down and was stopped on fourth down from inside the one yard line as he was met head on by Chaz Fisher.


Strath Haven, the Central League and District One champions took the ball on the half-yard line and drove it 99 yards as Collins went in from the five with 6:15 left in the third quarter. The big play in the drive was an 87 yard shovel pass from James Griffin to Alex Hisey that set the Panthers up first and goal on the Viking five yard line. Collins then needed just one play to once again cut the lead to three points, this time 17-14. Hisey kicked both extra points and also had a nice one-handed interception for the Panthers, who finish their season at 12-2.


Win the win Wood, who remained undefeated at 13-0 now faces District 11 Champion 14-0  Allentown Central Catholic, a 55-20 winner over District Nine champion Clearfield  next week in a “Battle of the Vikings” for a berth in the PIAA Class AAA Football Championship game on the 17th of December.

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NEWTOWN – North Penn’s (13-1) big first half led to a 42-6 win over Neshaminy (12-2) Friday night in the PIAA Class AAAA District One championship game at Council Rock North.


On Neshaminy’s first drive, they were faced with a fourth-and-one from North Penn’s 46-yard line. The Redskins went for it and the Knights defense came up with a big stop. The next play Craig Needhammer went 54-yards for the score and the Knights never looked back.


The Knights made it 14-0 when Corey Ernst hit Ralph Reeves for a 12-yard touchdown pass. They added one more score right before the first half ended. Dominic Taggart’s one-yard score put them up 21-0.


The Knights got three more rushing touchdowns in the second half. Brandon Mercer scored on runs of 49 and 5. James Fielder added a one-yard run.


With the backups in for North Penn, Neshaminy’s Cole Creighton got their only score in the fourth quarter on a three-yard touchdown run.


With the win North Penn waits for the winner of the Easton Area vs. LaSalle game.

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Riverside has outscored their playoff opponents by an average of 33.3 to 3.5 after their, 41-0, victory over Schuylkill Haven tonight. The District II champs outgained the ‘Canes, 448-130, in total yards. Harry Armstrong’s Viking group (13-1) now advances to the Eastern Finals to battle Bishop Carroll after their, 34-21, win over Holy Name.


Riverside’s quarterback Corey Talerico continued to impress as he ran for 176 yards on 7 carries and threw for another 162 stripes while contributing four total touchdowns (3 rushing/1 passing). Talerico even caused a fumble late in the first quarter as he forced Schuylkill Haven’s wideout Matt Naftzinger to lose control of the ball as LaQuan Jackson picked up the pigskin and rumbled all the way down to the goal line setting up the Vikings second score. Future Akron Zip Nick Rossi plunged in from a yard out to make the score, 14-0, Riverside.


Talerico completed a 70-yard dart to Skyler Lavage to increase the Viking lead to 28-0 at the half. In the second half, Riverside scored twice more on long gainers. First, a Rossi 50-yard scamper and then Talerico raced 75-yards to close out the scoring and a Riverside win, 41-0.


With Riverside looking forward to their game against the Huskies next week in the Final Four, on the other half of the state, the defending champ Clairton (14-0) faces Farrell (13-1) in the Western Finals. Clairton has won twenty-nine consecutive games. The Bears eliminated Farrell the past two seasons in the state tournament. The Steelers are led by senior standout Kevin Brodie (who has scored 30 touchdowns) and Syracuse’s recuit Robert Trudo, a massive lineman.

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HERSHEY, Pa. – To fully appreciate the feeling of winning a championship, you have to go through some seasons in the doldrums.


That was Cumberland Valley head coach Tim Rimpfel’s feeling after his Eagles claimed their 10th District 3 AAAA football championship and 12th District crown overall.


The 35-7 mercy-rule victory Saturday night in HersheyPark Stadium gave Cumberland Valley (12-2) its third consecutive 12-win season and moved the Eagles into the PIAA AAAA Western Finals for the second consecutive year. CV will face North Allegheny (13-1), who defeated State College 21-6 Friday night in a AAAA western quarterfinal game at Pine-Richland High School.


For Red Lion (10-4), it was the second loss to the Eagles this season. Those two defeats came by a margin of 80-13.


“We didn’t come in here just to be here,” said Red Lion head coach Patrick Conrad. “We came here to win a football game. But we didn’t block and tackle well in the first half.”


Those lapses, coupled with CV’s focus and determination, quickly turned the game into a rout.


Within its first 12 offensive plays, the Eagles had amassed 118 yards of offense, seven first downs and a 14-0 lead. Jeremy DiPietro broke the goose eggs just 1:13 into the game with a 35-yard run, set up by two first down runs by Jeremy Salmon and Dan Flynn, respectively. CV’s initial drive ate up 63 yards on just four plays.


CV’s second possession was met with slightly more resistance, but the end result was still the same, as Rutgers’ commit Kevin Snyder scored from 15 yards out.


One of the few Red Lion highlights came on CV’s next possession. After the Eagles drove from their own 25 to inside the Red Lion 10, the Lions’ Jeremy Knaub recovered a Snyder fumble at the black and gold’s three yard line. But five plays later, after Red Lion had chalked up its first first down of the game, CV got the ball back via a fumble recovery.


And the Eagles wasted no time. Senior field general Eric Sawyer hooked up with Flynn on a 20-yard touchdown pass on the very next play, and CV was up three scores on its York-Adams League counterparts.


“It’s what we call slobberknocker football,” Rimpfel said. Of its 30 offensive plays in the first half, Cumberland Valley ran the ball 28 times. Five different Eagles registered carries in the 220-yard, 13-first down onslaught.


Red Lion began mounting its best drive of the first half with 3:45 left in the second from its own 13. Junior quarterback Tanner Klinefelter hit four passes on the drive of 22, 9, 10 and 9 yards, and the Lions strung together four first downs to get to the Cumberland Valley 16 with less than 30 seconds left. But Red Lion coughed up its chance.


DiPietro scooped up a Klinefelter fumble, which was forced by Flynn, and raced 84 yards down the home sideline for a 28-0 CV lead.


Flynn invoked the mercy rule with a 3-yard scoring run with 1:40 left in the third quarter and Red Lion broke its shutout when Knaub scored from a yard out with 4:42 left in the game. Knaub’s score capped an 80-yard march for the Lions over seven plays.


DiPietro finished with 96 yards rushing on 11 carries, with Flynn adding 53 yards on 11 totees and Snyder chipping in with 46 yards on nine carries. Sawyer completed 4-of-6 passes for 51 yards. CV finished with 240 yards of offense and 17 first downs.


Red Lion was paced by Klinefelter’s passing effort (16-of-21, 181 yards) and the rushing efforts of Mike Gray (11 rush, 32 yards) and Knaub (8 rush, 19 yards). Red Lion finished with 204 yards of offense and had only 23 rushing yards on 28 carries (sacks included). The Lions had 11 first downs.


Conrad said the 10-win season is something positive to build off of.


“It’s a good foundation for our program,” he said.

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Philadelphia, Pa., In a battle of two of the best defensive teams in the state the LaSalle Explorers outlasted the Easton Red Rovers 19-7 in a AAAA state quarterfinal game yesterday at Northeast High’s Charles Martin stadium.


LaSalle got on the board first on their first possession driving down to the Rover 15 before settling for a Ryan Winslow 32 yard Field goal and a 3-0 lead.


In the second quarter Easton generated a 15 play eight minute drive that ended with  Senior Quarterback Justin Pacchioli’s eight yard touchdown pass to Tyler Holjis to give Easton the lead. In the drive Pacchioli connected on four passes plus two runs for 14 yards. His scrambling ability (especially on the touchdown) gave the Explorers fits in the early going. Easton’s stingy defense caused a LaSalle three and out on their last offensive possession of the half and an Easton 7-3 lead.


LaSalle finally got things going on their first second half possession with a nine play drive that culminated with a Junior Quarterback Matt Magarity’s one yard touchdown plunge and a lead they would not relinquish. On the drive, Villanova bound Jamal Abdur-Rahman totaled 54 of the yards receiving and running. It also appeared that the Explorer offensive line was finally getting on track with their drive blocking.


In the fourth quarter another Winslow field goal (this one from 32) gave LaSalle a 13-7 lead. With the ball on their 34 yard line with 2:23 remaining a Pacchioli pass was intercepted by Rahman who brought it back for a 37 yard touchdown and the final nail in the coffin.


For as great as LaSalle’s victory was, nothing can be taken away from the effort that Easton gave on this day. “We knew Easton had one of the best defenses around” said LaSalle coach Drew Gordon. “They took us out of our game in the first half. You’re not going to win many games when you run 17 offensive plays in a half.”  Gordon was equally impressed with Pacchioli. “Our guys were right there to get him while he was in the pocket but he kept eluding our pressure. The touchdown pass he threw (to Holjis) while under pressure was huge”.


Asked what he told his team in the locker room while behind at halftime Gordon quipped “they needed to pick up the intensity, plain and simple. We were not wrapping up on our tackling and they were taking us out of our game”.  As for Rahman, “he makes big plays at big times. He’s done that for us all year”.


LaSalle (the District 12 champ) improves to 12-1 and has a date looming next week with District 1 champ North Penn and for the right to play in the state championship the following week at Hershey.  Easton (the District 11 champion) finished their season at 13-3.

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HERSHEY, Pa. – The formula for success on the gridiron in Pennsylvania’s cold December weather is rather simple.

First, hit a couple big, momentum-turning plays. Second, play some solid defense. Third, and most importantly, limit the mistakes.

Lewisburg followed that formula to a tee.


The Green Dragons (14-0) scored the first 28 points of the game and forced four Shamrock (12-2) turnovers in a 31-21 victory in a PIAA AA quarterfinal Saturday afternoon at HersheyPark Stadium. With the victory, Lewisburg will face West Catholic, a 55-14 winner over Northern Lehigh, next Saturday afternoon for the PIAA AA Eastern Final at HersheyPark Stadium at 1 p.m.


While West Catholic poses the stiffest test Lewisburg will have faced to date, head coach Todd Tilford likes what his team has accomplished thus far in 2010.


“I think the sky is the limit with these kids,” Tilford said.


And for the first 26:14 of the game, the Green Dragons were sky-high.


After battling the Shamrocks through a scoreless first quarter, Lewisburg’s Camden Cassels hit Robert Gaines on a 21-yard pass on 4th-and-5 to the Trinity 1, and Nate Brown scored on the next play to break the goose eggs.


Then, the Green Dragons reached in their bag of tricks to push the margin to 14-0. Cassels hit Ryan Lopes on a pass in the flat, and Lopes lateralled the ball to a trailing Nickolas Kifolo, and Kifolo took it the remaining 58 yards on a hook-and-lateral play.


But the biggest play, in terms of breaking Trinity’s backs, came toward the end of the first half.


Trinity had driven deep into Green Dragon territory and had strung four first downs together and converted a 4th-and-9 with a 10-yard pass to the Lewisburg 21. But two plays after the fourth-down conversion, Patrick Dill was intercepted by Gaines, who returned the pick 99 yards for a touchdown and a 21-0 lead.


“Robbie’s been clutch for us all year,” Tilford said. “He’s not a speedster, though. Maybe he was aided by the wind.”


The 14-point swing was critical, said Trinity head coach Bill Ragni Jr.


“We got a little beleagered and a little down,” Ragni said. “We needed to get something going, and that didn’t happen until the third quarter.”


The Shamrocks didn’t get things revved up until Lewisburg pushed the margin to 28-0 on a Merle Moscarello 66-yard scoring run.


Adam Geiger scored two short touchdown runs to bring the margin to 28-14 and Dill capped the game scoring with a 28-yard pass to sophomore Danny Jackson.


Ragni was impressed with Lewisburg’s team speed.


“We were warned that they were faster than they looked on film,” Ragni said. “And they tackled well today. We didn’t tackle well today.


“We played very hard in the second half,” Ragni continued. “For these guys to come as far as they have with the new (offensive) system, you can look for some big things from these guys in the future.”


Moscarello finished with a game-high 127 yards on 16 totes, and Brown added 48 yards on 16 carries. Cassels completed 5-of-10 passes for 128 yards. Lewisburg amassed 283 yards of offense and 11 first downs


Geiger finished with 52 yards on 14 carries. Dill threw for 249 yards and completed 18-of-33 passes, but threw three interceptions. Trinity finished with 363 yards of offense and 19 first downs, but also committed eight penalties for 72 yards.

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