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WesternPAFootball.net Notebook: Airing it out in District 5, Wested doing it all for Franklin, rare season for traditional District 6 AA power

Written by: on Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

Maybe North Star’s Max Strasiser started a passing trend.

Strasiser graduated from North Star as the Cougars’ (and District 5’s) all-time leading passer, with 5,313 yards. He posted consecutive seasons of 2,000 passing yards or more in leading North Star to consecutive District 5 Class A championships.

On the surface, it appears some District 5 teams are maybe, just maybe, opening up their passing games a little more.

Northern Bedford junior field general Blake Over is averaging 185 yards passing per game and, if he reaches 2,000 yards passing, is believed to be the first ever Panther quarterback to surpass that milestone. Last season, Northern Bedford averaged 133 passing yards per game and then-senior Logan Fluke threw 16 touchdown passes.

Somerset, D5’s lone AAA program, has seen senior field general Tanner Stull average 139 yards passing per game and help the Eagles to a surprising 4-1 start. Compared to its 2012 per-game passing averages, Somerset averaged 61 fewer yards passing per game in 2011 and 80 yards fewer in 2010. In fact, Stull is on pace to end the regular season with 1,396 yards passing – nearly as much as the Eagles’ combined 2010-11 passing totals (1,416).

Windber Area, known for its punishing ground attack, didn’t have to pass much with 2,300-yard rusher, All-State selection and current Penn State “run-on” (the Nittany Lions’ new term for walk-on) Colin Bryan leading the way in 2011. The Ramblers averaged only 53.5 yards passing per game for the season. Fast-forward one year, and Windber has nearly tripled its per-game passing yards average – to 142.8.

The Ramblers have thrown eight touchdown passes in five 2012 games – they threw seven touchdowns in 11 games last season.

***
One year after qualifying for the District 9 football playoffs for the first time in its program history, the Sheffield Wolverines have another reason to celebrate the football program, which has shown signs of improvement over the last couple of seasons. Saturday, the Wolverines defeated Coudersport, 31-30, to snap a streak of 25 consecutive losses to the Potter County school. D9Sports.com reported it is the Wolverines’ first victory over Coudersport since 1972.

***
If the name Forrest Wested rings a bell, it’s because he was Farrell’s quarterback for his sophomore and junior seasons, and he helped lead the Steelers to a District 10 Class A championship as a sophomore. Now, Wested is playing his senior season for Franklin, a AAA school from Venango County.

Wested has evolved into the Knights’ most versatile offensive player, statistically speaking. He’s thrown for 410 yards, rushed for a team-best 475 on 52 carries and caught a team-leading 20 passes for another 348. He’s completing 51.6 percent of his passes and averaging 9.1 yards per carry and 17.4 yards per reception. Wested has also had a hand in 12 of Franklin’s 17 total offensive touchdowns (five rushing, four passing, three receiving).

Though Franklin is 1-4 overall, Wested is on pace to finish with more than 2,300 total yards from scrimmage in his senior season.

***
Seneca Valley’s Jordan Brown, a senior quarterback, became the WPIAL’s latest career 4,000-yard passer two weeks ago against Connellsville, and after throwing for three touchdowns against traditional power Pittsburgh Central Catholic, Brown finds himself perched at 4,211 career passing yards. Through five games, Brown has thrown for 687 yards and eight touchdowns and the Raiders are 4-1 overall.

***
Forest Hills, not too far removed from consecutive District 6 AA championship seasons, finds itself mired at 2-3 overall following a 24-6 loss to Cambria Heights. The Rangers, led by 300-game winning head coach Don Bailey, have only experienced three losing seasons since 1974 – 1983, 1986 and 2007 (4-6). The Rangers have enjoyed 26 seasons of eight or more victories, including 13 seasons of 10 or more victories. FH posted consecutive 13-win seasons in 2009 and ’10, reaching the PIAA AA semifinals in the latter year opposite South Fayette.

***
Mercyhurst Prep senior running back Cornelius Barclay personally saw to it Youngsville wouldn’t be celebrating consecutive victories over his Lakers.

Youngsville upset Mercyhurst Prep last season en route to a 10-1 overall record and Region 2 championship, but Saturday night belonged to Barclay. In the Lakers’ 48-18 victory, Barclay rushed for 311 yards and scored four touchdowns on just 15 carries, averaging 20.43 yards per carry and boosted himself over the 3,000-yard rushing plateau.

In four games, Barclay has run for 881 yards and 12 touchdowns on 57 carries, averaging 15.5 yards per carry and more than 200 yards per game. He’s up to 3,180 yards rushing for his career, just 1,002 yards shy of Aaron Horton’s program record of 4,184 career yards.

Horton, recall, set District 10’s single-season rushing yardage record of 2,444 yards in 2010 when the Lakers ripped and rolled through their opponents to a school-record 612 points and a 12-1 overall record. Hickory’s DeShawn Coleman challenged that mark last season, finishing with 2,393 yards for the Hornets. Speaking of Coleman, the West Virginia recruit also surpassed the 3,000-yard rushing mark for his career Friday as Hickory drubbed Titusville, 38-0, and presently sits at 3,099.

***
If Corry Area High School, a AA program in District 10, improves to 6-0 Friday night, it will mark head coach Homer DeLattre’s 50th career victory leading the Beavers. DeLattre, who recently coached in the East-West All-Star Game played at Gateway High School in May, began coaching the Beavers in 2003.

DeLattre’s record is 49-61, but the Beavers did enjoy some recent success, finishing 9-3 overall in 2010 and reaching the District 10 AAA semifinals opposite Grove City. That 2010 season capped a two-year run of 16-7 overall for the Beavers.

***
Avella is 5-0 overall, which, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, hasn’t happened since 1994. Avella is a Class A program in the WPIAL. The Eagles’ Jake Temple and Nick Kusich (the team’s top two rushers) and Zach Thompson (the Eagles’ featured receiver) have combined to score 22 of Avella’s 31 touchdowns in five games.

Here’s a keeper stat involving Thompson – through four games, the Eagle junior was averaging a whopping 31.2 yards per reception.

Follow Josh Funk on Twitter @Funk_pafb

Follow WesternPAFootball.net on Twitter @WPAFootball

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