WesternPAFootball.net Notebook: 1,000-yard backfield duos; Ferens tops 5,000; Chad Eisenhooth, meet Chad EisenhuthWritten by: Josh Funk on Wednesday, October 24th, 2012
Brett Grissinger and Jesse Claar have proven quite the effective 1-2 punch in Juniata Valley’s backfield this season.
It turns out the pair more than likely could be the first western Pennsylvania’s first 1,000-yard rushing duo of the season.
Grissinger (979 yards) and Claar (978) are on the verge of the accomplishment entering this ninth week of the season and are one of several potential backfield duos in the western half of the state who could have that distinction by the end of the regular season or early in the playoffs.
Having a team finish with a pair of 1,000-yard rushers in the same season isn’t rare – 24 teams accomplished the feat in 2011 and 27 did it in 2010. Since 2006, there have been 107 different instances across the state of a pair of 1,000-yard rushers on the same team.
Juniata Valley’s 2012 duo would become the seventh pair of 1,000-yard rushers from District 6 in the last half-decade. In that time span, Ligonier Valley has produced two of the previous six such duos.
Other western PA programs who could boast a pair of 1,000-yard rushers by season’s end include Curwensville (Zach Tibbins, 1,134, and Josh Greslick, 792), Clearfield (Christian Lezzer, 904, and Tyler Stratton, 845), Ligonier Valley (Ryan Torrance, 917, and Conner Maust, 639 – the duo’s rushing totals through seven games) and Aliquippa (Dravon Henry, 752, and Terry Swanson, 716).
Curwensville, located near Clearfield, last finished a season with two 1,000-yard rushers in 2004, when the Golden Tide advanced to the PIAA A semifinals opposite Rochester behind the play of brothers Nick & Nate Sipes. Nate rushed for 2,511 yards that season; Nick totaled 1,772.
Aliquippa last produced a pair of 1,000-yard rushers in 2008 (Maurice Carter and Terry Patrick). The Quips just missed a 1,000-yard rushing duo last season – Henry totaled 1,497 yards and Swanson 946 in 15 games.
Zach Schademan’s sensational senior season continued with two more touchdown receptions Friday night, giving him 20 scoring receptions in eight games. The state record for touchdown receptions in a single season is 27, established in 2011 by then-Allentown Central Catholic senior Kevin Gulyas, who is currently at Villanova.
Penns Manor senior quarterback Danny Ferens surpassed 5,000 career rushing yards Friday night as the Comets soundly defeated Purchase Line, 48-0. In the game, Ferens recorded two rushing attempts and two passes. He finished with 127 yards on the ground and completed both passes for touchdowns.
Ferens is up to 5,088 yards on the ground for his career with the Comets. Since a season-opening loss to Northern Cambria, Penns Manor has won seven games in a row, including a 20-11 decision over then-undefeated Ligonier Valley. Ferens is PM’s first ever 5,000-yard rusher; he was also the program’s first ever 4,000-yard rusher, too.
Don’t do a double take – there are two quarterbacks in western Pennsylvania who share the same name, but with slightly different spellings of the last name.
Meet Chad Eisenhooth (Cochranton) and Chad Eisenhuth (Ferndale). Both are juniors and compete for schools in the state’s smallest classification (A) in districts 10 and 6, respectively.
Cochranton’s Eisenhooth has helped the Cardinals to a 5-3 overall record and amassed 1,647 yards of total offense (1,178 passing, 469 rushing) and accounted for 23 total touchdowns (15 passing, eight rushing). The Cardinals, of District 10 Region 2 A and based in southeastern Crawford County, are averaging 334 yards and 38.9 points per game.
Ferndale’s Eisenhuth, meanwhile, has nearly identical stats to his District 10 counterpart, throwing for 1,089 yards and rushing for another 462 with 18 total touchdowns (10 passing, eight rushing). But Ferndale, located immediately southwest of the city of Johnstown, is 1-7 overall.
Blackhawk senior running back Cole Chiappialle rushed for 404 yards and six touchdowns Friday night, marking the 10th WPIAL running back to surpass 400 yards rushing in one game, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Mars owns two of the 10 400-yard rushing performances and is the only WPIAL program with multiple single-game 400-yard rushers.
Kittanning dual-threat quarterback Kevin Barnes is closing in on a 1,000-1,000 season. The Wildcats’ field general has already thrown for 1,085 yards, completing 97-of-155 passes. He’s added 833 yards rushing on 202 attempts. The Wildcats have never produced a 1,000-1,000 quarterback in its program history.
Barnes has at least one game, and possibly a second, to amass the 167 yards rushing he needs for the milestone. Kittanning (4-4) closes its regular season Friday against Shady Side Academy, and the winner of that game clinches the fourth playoff berth out of the WPIAL’s AA Allegheny Conference.
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