Akil Young knew at halftime he was having a big game. He heard an announcement at Cupples Stadium on the South Side that he already had thrown for more than 300 yards.
By the end of the game, Young unknowingly had the biggest performance throwing of any quarterback in the history of southwestern Pennsylvania high school football.
Young threw for 462 yards, completing 30 of 46 passes, to help University Prep defeat Somerset, 47-38, Friday night in a PIAA Class AAA playoff game. The 462 yards is believed to be a single-game record for any quarterback in the history of the City League or WPIAL.
"Huh. I didn't realize that," Young said.
The 462 yards also was the second most in any PIAA playoff game. The PIAA playoffs started in 1988 and the record for passing yardage in a game is 496, set a year ago by Allentown Central Catholic's Brendan Nosovitch in a game against Valley View. Nosovitch is quarterback at the University of South Carolina.
"I just took what the defense gave me," Young said.
Somerset's defense gave Young a spot in the record books. On top of his yardage, Young, a 6-foot-1, 180-pound senior, also threw six touchdown passes.
"A huge part was our receivers making plays," Young said. "They were getting a lot of yards after catches and that was helping me, too."
While Young's performance against Somerset was one for the ages, he has had a few other big games this season. He threw for 266 and 280 yards in two other contests. For sure, he is not your usual City League quarterback.
"The City League is known more for running the ball," Young said. "Our offensive coordinator [Laroi Johnson] just has a lot of faith in me. He knows I can make a lot of throws all over the field, and he knows I know my reads and everything. He just trusts me to make plays."
Clairton's Tyler Boyd is a touchdown maker with more than 100 touchdowns in his career. But he is also the master of the big play.
This season, Boyd has 38 touchdowns and the average length of those scores is 35.1 yards. He has 16 scores of 45 yards or more and he has scored five ways -- runs, receptions, an interception return, a fumble recovery return and three punt returns.
Jake Cappa was a longtime head coach at Verona and then Riverview. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Now one of his sons is making a name for himself as a coach in eastern Pennsylvania.
Jeff Cappa is in his second season as coach at Wissahickon and Friday night guided his team to one of the biggest upsets in Pennsylvania this season. Wissahickon was the No. 16 seed in the District 1 playoffs and played No. 1 seed Downingtown East in the first round. Downingtown East also was the Post-Gazette's No. 2-ranked Class AAAA team in the state.
Wissahickon pulled off the upset, beating Downington East, 38-35. Greg McDonough kicked a 22-yard field goal as time expired to give Wissahickon the win.
Elsewhere in eastern Pennsylvania, another big game this weekend was St. Joseph's Prep vs. La Salle College in the Philadelphia Catholic League Class AAAA final. La Salle won, 28-27, in overtime. St. Joseph's Prep missed a 40-yard field goal with 16 seconds left in regulation and also missed an extra point in overtime. St. Joseph's was the Post-Gazette's No. 3 Class AAAA team.
Central Catholic coach Terry Totten after his Vikings' team suffered the worst WPIAL playoff loss in school history to Upper St. Clair, 38-0: "The Vikes will rise from the ashes. You can bet on that."
Major Canady, a guard at Kiski School, made a verbal commitment to Drexel. Kiski School is a prep school in Saltsburg.hsfootball
For more on high school sports, go to "Varsity Blog" at www.post-gazette.com/varsityblog. Mike White: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1975. Twitter: @mwhiteburgh. First Published November 12, 2012 5:00 AM