High school notebook: Despite 81-0 setback, Geibel Catholic won't give up on season

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His team has only 16 players and it started the season by giving up 81 points -- in the first half!

But Geibel Catholic coach Pete Nace insists that neither he nor his players want to throw in the towel on the season.

Geibel lost to Frazier, 81-0, Friday in a WPIAL Class A game. While the final score was a little hard to believe, consider that Frazier scored all its points in the first half. According to the National Federation of State High School Associations record book, it was the fifth-most points scored in one half in the history of U.S. high school football.

When asked whether he thought Frazier ran up the score, Nace said: "I don't want to publicly comment on it. The score should speak for itself. That's really all I want to say about the score."

Three of Frazier's final five touchdowns were scored on interception returns. Frazier had 27 points after only one offensive play from scrimmage.

Nace, Frazier coach Mike Steeber and game officials got together and agreed to play the second half with only one minute on the clock in the third and fourth quarters. Frazier took the ball in the second half and "took a knee" on plays until the game ended. Due to some injuries and a possible concussion, Geibel had only 13 players for the second half.

"I had 13 guys who wanted to go, but I just could not see risking their health for that game. It was my decision, but the boys were disappointed," Nace said. "But these guys are amazing in my view. I'm not sure the population understands or grasps the gravity of what it takes for these kids to suit up every week and to practice like they practice."

Geibel, a small Catholic school in Connellsville, forfeited two games last year because it did not have enough players. The team did not participate in its first scrimmage this year because of a lack of players. Nace has heard the critics who say Geibel should forfeit the season.

"Come and watch how hard these boys play, come and watch them make a dog pile on the field and get up, come and see how they react to things ... and then you tell me if we should quit on these guys," said Nace, a first-year coach whose son, Jake, plays on the team. "I feel that myself, all the boys and all the coaches play in honor of God, the school and our families. Our guys are not quitters and I'll never quit on them. That's what I say to people."

Remembering the 80s

Since 1952, only four other WPIAL teams, besides Frazier, have scored 80 points in a game. Brownsville scored 85 against South Allegheny in 1998. Gateway scored 85 against Norwin in 2011. Clairton scored 84 in 2011. North Allegheny scored 80 in 1996.

Williams back in action

On Thursday, doctors gave Lenny Williams the clearance to play. One day later, he threw for 227 yards.

Williams is Sto-Rox's standout senior quarterback, but it was thought he might miss the first few games of the season because of an accident Williams had while clipping hedges in early August. Williams was cut by the clippers and had nerve and tendon damage to his left [non-throwing] hand and had surgery.

"I told [doctors] that I heal pretty fast, but they didn't listen," Williams said. "Every time I would go to the doctor, they would say I'm healing a lot faster than expected. On Thursday, they told me I could play."

Williams was practicing a little the past week or so.

"I didn't go full pads, just helmet and shoulder pads," Williams said. "I wrap it up with tape pretty good. It feels good. I can't bend it all the way yet to make a fist, but it doesn't hurt."

Williams is closing in on 6,000 yards passing for his career.

200-yard games

Washington running back Shai McKenzie rushed for 234 yards in the season opener against Greensburg Central Catholic. McKenzie has played 14 games the past two seasons and rushed for 200 yards or more in nine of them.

Unusually close

History says Gateway's 22-20 victory Friday against Latrobe was a shocker. In their previous eight meetings, Gateway outscored Latrobe, 390-10. Gateway overcame four turnovers and 13 penalties to win its first game under coach Donnie Militzer.

Thursday night lights

The first of Root Sports TV's live televised games will be Thursday when Seneca Valley plays at Pine-Richland in a WPIAL Class AAAA Northern Conference game. Seneca Valley's nickname is the Raiders, but you could call them the "Roaders" this season.

Five of Seneca Valley's first six games are on the road and the team plays only three of nine regular-season games at home.

Also Thursday night, Perry plays Brashear in a big City League contest at Cupples Stadium on the South Side. Perry is the Post-Gazette's No. 1-ranked City League team and Brashear is No. 3.


For more on high school sports, go to "Varsity Blog" at www.post-gazette.com/varsityblog. Mike White: mwhite@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1975 and Twitter @mwhiteburgh. First Published September 2, 2013 4:00 AM


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