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Aerial attack: Richland senior quarterback Matt Shaffer has completed 64 of 100 passes for 1,096 yards, 15 touchdowns and four interceptions for the undefeated and state third-ranked Rams.
Richland receiver Kyle Flick has 22 catches for 489 yards and seven touchdowns. He ranks second in receiving yardage behind Windber’s Matt Barkley, who has 501 yards on 27 receptions.
The area has a strong group of talented receivers this season.
In addition to Flick, a Tribune-Democrat first-team pick with just shy of 1,000 receiving yards a year ago, and Barkley, a T-D second-team selection at wide receiver, Westmont’s Colin Barron and Ligonier Valley’s Alec Bloom each have more than 20 catches.
Barron is a legit playmaker with 25 catches for 367 yards. Bloom is a 6-7 Division I UConn recruit with 21 receptions for 343 yards. Bloom has size, strength and speed not often seen in the area.
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It’s official: It might fall under the “no big surprise” category, but the WestPAC voted Wednesday at its regularly-scheduled meeting to exclude Rockwood from the football schedule the next two seasons. The Rockets abruptly dropped their program five days before the season opener, forcing conference teams to scramble for opponents.
“We as a league decided to not include Rockwood in the 2014 and 2015 cycle in scheduling football at this point,” said WestPAC Secretary Craig Gindlesperger of Meyersdale. “They’re still part of our conference and still involved in all the other sports. With their low enrollment in football and not having the numbers we felt it was in the best interest in the other teams.”
Gindlesperger said Ferndale’s situation might be more optimistic. With only 11 healthy players, the winless Yellow Jackets halted play at halftime at Shade two weeks ago and forfeited last week to Meyersdale. Ferndale originally was scheduled to play Rockwood this week.
“Ferndale voiced to us that at this point they’re getting several of their injured kids back and hope to continue to play,” Gindlesperger said.