I’ll host my preseason football live chat on Monday at 1 p.m., which will be my normal weekly chat slot.

I moved my time from 2 p.m. on Monday’s to 1 p.m. to avoid direct conflict with Eric Epler of the Patriot-News.  His always-fun chat will be at 2 p.m. on Mondays on pennlive.com.

Also, my preseason Pennsylvania football rankings will be posted on Thursday, Sept. 1.   Would have loved to have them late last week or early this week, but working for The Man (if one can call District 3 The Man) is a time-gobbler.  Love it, though.

Please check back Monday at 1 p.m. for a live chat.

Week 1 schedule:

Monday – live chat at 1 p.m.

Thursday – RodFrisco.com state preseason football rankings; college football season opens, butt parked in front of TV

Friday – modified live blog of Cumberland Valley at Red Lion football game

Saturday – no live football coverage; Central Dauphin field hockey season opener at Warwick (no, I won’t have a live blog of that game, either)

Sunday – Will decide soon on Gateway-Bishop McDevitt and Pittsburgh Central Catholic-Archbishop Wood doubleheader


Damn, that’s a long headline.

I consider this story the unofficial kickoff to the 2011 high school football season.  It’s not rankings or predictions or analysis.  It’s just some solid, big-name news.

Bishop McDevitt.  Gateway.  Pittsburgh Central Catholic.  Archbishop Wood.  Four schools virtually certain to be in their respective preseason top fives – Central Catholic is fast closing in on a consensus AAAA No. 1  … well, that will get my attention, especially when they will play on the same field on the same day.

McDevitt, which shut out Gateway 23-0 last year at the Rockpile (our loving sobriquet for McDevitt Field), returns the favor with a trip to Monroeville on Sept. 4 for the second game of a rare Sunday doubleheader.  Central Catholic and Wood play the opener at 2 p.m.; McDevitt-Gateway kicks at 6 p.m.

And here’s the good news: You don’t have to travel to suburban Pittsburgh to watch those games.

Central Catholic-Wood will get the national TV broadcast, going live on ESPN2.  McDevitt-Gateway, which might be the better of the two games, gets the little brother treatment; it will be broadcast live on ESPN3, the network’s online channel.  In addition, the game is being considered for a statewide broadcast on Comcast cable.  Details on the broadcast will be announced later.

Details were announced Tuesday on pennlive.com.  That story is here.

Can’t say I’m thrilled about this.  I was planning to make that doubleheader my opening-week, live-blog centerpiece on RodFrisco.com, but that move to Sunday brought on a first-rate grimace.   Saturday was pretty much a done deal. Sunday is pretty much a family done deal.  What’s a high school football freak who loves his family to do?

I know!  Kids to Kennywood, the blond to Monroeville Mall.  She can drop me off at the gate; parking at the G is awful.

I knew it would all work out.


Weather issues? Not as far as Christian Brumbaugh of South Fayette and Brendan Nosovitch of Allentown Central Catholic were concerned. They were too busy savaging the PIAA playoff record book to worry about chilled fingers.

I will post the entire updated PIAA football playoff records below (2010 records are in red once you access them), but some need to be pulled out.

First, Brumbaugh. Not satisfied with his five-TD, 380-yard effort against Brockway in semifinals, he lit up Forest Hills for six touchdowns passes, the first quarterback to throw for 6 TDs in a PIAA playoff game. Remember, we’re now talking 23 years and 575 games.

He threw for 362 yards against Forest Hills, raising his PIAA playoff series total to 742 yards in two games. Pretty good, I’d say. Yet in the process, he lost his PIAA single-game yardage mark to Nosovitch, who had that incredible 417-yard, 5-touchdown effort on Friday against Archbishop Wood. Nosovitch has been a machine: he had 601 yards of offense and accounted for 7 TDs against Wood alone, and has compiled 356 yards rushing, 760 yards passing (1,156 yards total) and accounted for 16 touchdowns in his three PIAA playoff games.


But for a single game, it might be impossible to beat La Salle College’s 38-35 win over North Penn in the Class AAAA East Championship game. The game did not set any offensive records, save for the most combined points in regulation in a AAAA semifinal game. But the game did have a PIAA playoff record 7 lead changes and everyone in attendance at Plymouth-Whitemarsh – and there was a huge crowd – gasping throughout the game.

Two of my former print colleagues – Dom Cosentino and Kevin Cooney of the Bucks County Courier-Times – both sent independent texts saying it was the best high school football game they’ve ever seen. I saw much of it on a live stream, and I’m in the ballpark with them. Both teams were relentless in a very well-played game that didn’t end until La Salle picked off a tipped screen pass with 1:14 left. It was a magnificent ball game.

Below are the updated PIAA records:






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