The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Mike Mastovich

October 27, 2011

Mike Mastovich | Richland-Penn Cambria tilt has playoff implications

Teams still have two weeks to collect rating points in District 5-6 Class AA, so Brandon Bailey figures it’s a bit premature to expend a lot of energy figuring out playoff scenarios.

But the Richland coach is certain of one fact.

His team’s game against visiting Penn Cambria on Friday night will have significant implications in both the 5/6-AA race and the LHAC.

“It’s really tough to try to figure everything out but from a coaching and players’ standpoint you have to take care of your own business,” said Bailey, whose 7-1 Rams currently sit in second place with 910 points,

80 behind  5/6-AA leader Tyrone.

“In terms of the league, we’re very excited. We think we have the opportunity to be tri-champs. There are three teams at 7-1 with us, Johnstown and Forest Hills. I believe if we all finish 8-1 we’d all be champs because this is the last week in the standings in the Laurel Highlands.”

Penn Cambria (6-2) won’t make the path easy for Richland.

Coach Ernie Fetzer’s squad is 6-2 with wins in five of its past six games. Last week the Panthers blanked Bedford 24-0.

“Coach Fetzer does a great job and so does his staff. They’re always in position to make the play,” Bailey said. “They have a strong running game. They can throw when they need to, and defensively they have probably two of the best linebackers in the area.”

Panthers Devin Lawhead and Mac Behe rank one and two, respectively, with 107 and 106 tackles.

“They’re about as good a tandem as I’ve ever coached,” said Fetzer, who has coached more than 40 years. “I’ve had some great linebackers over my years of coaching. To have two of them at that caliber is special.”

Fetzer’s defense will contend with a diverse offense at Richland.

“They present a lot of problems,” Fetzer said. “They are very well-schooled offensively.

“They’re a scoring machine. If you stop one thing, they have three other things they can do.

“Rizzo is a horse and a big one at that. The thing about it is they have a lot of supporting roles too.”

Rizzo is 27 yards away from reaching the career 3,000-yard rushing mark. He has carried 457 times for 2,973 yards, an average of 6.5 per carry since his freshman season. Complete official records weren’t available, but Bailey believes no one in Richland history has rushed for 3,000 yards.

Like Bailey, Penn Cambria’s Fetzer is more concerned about performing on the field than computing playoff scenarios.

“For us, every game seems to be a huge game,” Fetzer said.

“Last week was a huge game.

“The week before too. In Double-A the race is tough. There might be five or six teams with eight wins. There are going to be some teams that are 6-4 and won’t make it.”

Bailey is hoping for a strong finish and at least one home playoff date.

“It’s Senior Night. If we don’t take care of business it might be the last time those senior kids play on that surface,” Bailey said of Herlinger Field. “The difference between being seeded first and fourth or fifth is slim. One through four gets a home game in Week 1 of the playoffs.”

 

 

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Mike Mastovich
  • mastovich, mike color.JPG MIKE MASTOVICH| Huskies hot again this season

    Cosie Aliquo heard people talking about how talented his Bishop Carroll boys’ basketball team is this season.
    He’s read the preseason news clippings and certainly noticed that the Huskies were ranked third in the state in one Class A preseason poll.

    December 14, 2013 1 Photo

  • mastovich, mike MIKE MASTOVICH| Shaffer revitalizes Richland's passing game

    Two years ago, Brandon Bailey saw potential in a tall, strong-armed quarterback looking to establish himself in the Richland High program.
    Matt Shaffer was a sophomore splitting the quarterback duties with classmate Nico Pecora back then.

    November 6, 2013 1 Photo

  • mastovich, mike MIKE MASTOVICH | Berlin's Fochtman rushing into lead

    Braden Fochtman always seems to be in a rush on the football field.
    How else do you explain his area-best 1,042 rushing yards through five weeks of the scholastic season?
    But the Berlin Brothersvalley sophomore back actually has been a much more patient runner this season, and that’s made a significant difference to the undefeated Mountaineers’ success.

    October 3, 2013 1 Photo

  • mastovich, mike color.JPG MIKE MASTOVICH| Experienced players valuable for Meyersdale

    Gavin Berkley will make his 34th career start when undefeated Meyersdale hosts once-beaten Portage on Friday night.
    The Red Raiders senior two-way standout has experienced plenty of highs and lows during the past three-plus seasons.

    September 19, 2013 1 Photo

  • mastovich, mike MIKE MASTOVICH| Rule waiver soothes concerns

    Dean Albany felt a sense of baseball relief late Wednesday night.
    For days, even weeks, the Youse’s Maryland Orioles of Baltimore GM had pondered the possibility of life without the the AAABA Tournament this summer and perhaps beyond.

    July 24, 2013 1 Photo

  • mastovich, mike.JPG MIKE MASTOVICH| Hot times for two AAABA League teams

    Two AAABA League franchises have heated up as the temperatures soared this month.
    The Berkley Hills Renegades beat First Commonwealth 11-1 on Wednesday, the defending champs’ seventh consecutive victory.
    Manager Larry McCabe’s team has won 11 of its past 12 games and now has a 22-12 record, good for second place and 31⁄2 games behind league-leading Delweld.

    July 17, 2013 1 Photo

  • mastovich, mike MIKE MASTOVICH| Shirley lifting Renegades

    Jason Shirley provides the Berkley Hills Renegades with offensive punch and speed on the base paths, a combination that will be important if the defending champions are to challenge for a spot atop the AAABA League standings.
    Shirley is batting a league-high .458 (22-for-48) through 22 games. The Youngstown State University product also has eight stolen bases in nine attempts.

    July 10, 2013 1 Photo

  • mastovich, mike MIKE MASTOVICH | Mazey scholarship continues legacy

    Forrest Mazey was a fixture at Point Stadium and baseball diamonds throughout the region.

    July 3, 2013 1 Photo

  • mastovich, mike MIKE MASTOVICH| Martella's right-hander a zero specialist

    Zero has been Mike Mulvey’s number throughout the AAABA League season.
    Zero, as in runs scored against the big Martella’s Pharmacy right-hander.
    Mulvey tossed his fourth shutout of the season and remained perfect in five decisions during a 1-0 victory over Altoona’s Johnston Realty on Tuesday night at Point Stadium. Johnston Realty had been undefeated in four previous interleague games prior to the rain-shortened, six-inning contest.

    June 26, 2013 1 Photo

  • MIKE MASTOVICH| Rookie manager righting Laurel Auto Group ship

    Casey Craig is new to his role as GM of the Laurel Auto Group franchise in the AAABA League.
    But Craig has seen enough of Mark Thomchick to realize the first-year manager has brought instant respectability to a team that finished eight games under .500 last season.

    June 20, 2013

Poll

Would you like to see the Johnstown Community Corrections Center remain open after its lease runs out on Oct. 11, 2015?

Yes
No
I'm not sure
     View Results
Order Photos


Photo Slideshow

House Ads