The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Mike Mastovich

September 28, 2011

MIKE MASTOVICH | Ligonier Valley facing difficult task

JOHNSTOWN — Ligonier Valley and Fort Hill (Md.) might not be exact mirror images, but the two undefeated teams have plenty in common heading into a huge non-conference game Friday night at Weller Field.

This will be the toughest challenge of the season to date for each squad.

Ligonier coach Roger Beitel, his staff and players have heard all about Fort Hill’s storied tradition and dominating start to the season. They’ve seen the game tape, and the coaches attended a Fort Hill home game played before a huge crowd dressed in the school’s red colors. The Rams know they’ve been tabbed by some as an underdog on their home field despite Ligonier’s possessing a 4-0 record.

“We view it as a great opportunity,” Beitel said. “But by no means is it going to define the season.

“Everybody out there doesn’t give us a chance this week. We have an opportunity.

“We’re not here just for the experience. If we want a great experience I’ll take them to the movies. We want to win a football game.”

Click here to see the area's statistical leaders.

Ligonier has outscored opponents 161-6 – opening the season with three consecutive shutouts until Saltsburg finally scored in a 49-6 game last week. The Rams’ deep backfield is led by speedy Russell Markosky, a four-year starter with more than 2,000 career rushing yards. Markosky has 439 yards on 39 carries, seventh-best in the area this season. Ligonier’s Ryan Torrance (31-422) and Anthony Tutino (23-278) also contribute to the Rams’ 1,360 rushing yards, an average of 340 a game.

Likewise, Fort Hill is deep in the backfield, with Garrett Clay gaining 557 yards on 34 carries. He has 10 touchdowns. Ryan Briner gained 368 yards on 37 attempts and scored seven touchdowns, and Dylan Clay ran for 264 yards on 13 touches. Garrett Clay’s playing time was limited in blowout wins over Silver Oak (49-0), Keyser, W.Va. (42-0), Perry Traditional Academy (50-13) and Taylor Allderdice (27-9), the last two Pittsburgh City schools.

When Garrett Clay did get 14 carries in Week 3, he gained 222 yards and scored three times.

Fort Hill has outscored opponents 162-22.

“They run the wing-T, we run the wing-T,” Beitel said. “They have two Clay brothers that are really outstanding athletes that play half and wing back. They’ve thrown less than we have, 16 times this season to our 20 times. They’re sort of balanced but make no mistake, they want the ball in the hands of the two Clay brothers.”

Fort Hill has 593 wins in its 76th season and entered this year with an all-time winning percentage of .768. The Sentinels are 104-30 since 2000.

“There are a lot of similarities and a lot of differences,” Beitel said. “In terms of differences there is no mistaking how important the game of football is in Cumberland, Md. The facility alone, I can’t even begin to tell you. There is nothing around here that comes close to it. Richland would look second rate. Most colleges don’t have the same facilities they have. We went down to the game and their bleachers go from the 10-yard line to the 10-yard line on both sides. They were filled with people wearing red. We thought we were at a Nebraska game.”

 

To read stories in their entirety, visit one of these links:

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat

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