There has never been a "dual-threat" quarterback in WPIAL history like Ringgold's Nico Law.
That might sound like an overstatement. But at least if you go by statistics, Law is on a level by himself when it comes to running and throwing.
Law, a 6-foot-1, 180-pound junior quarterback, is believed to be the first player in the WPIAL to pass and rush for 1,000 yards in the regular season. A handful of WPIAL quarterbacks over the years have surpassed 1,000 yards in both categories, but not in the regular season.
Former Jeannette star Terrelle Pryor actually had two seasons with more than 1,000 yards passing and throwing, but not in the regular season. He did come close, though, in 2006 when he rushed for 884 and threw for 1,081. Pryor, incidentally, is the only player in Pennsylvania history to have 4,000 career yards in both rushing and passing.
This season, Law has 1,353 yards passing and 1,116 yards rushing. He has completed 81 of 154 passes and thrown for 14 touchdowns. He has run 99 times.
"I don't know if people realize what an accomplishment it is," Ringgold coach Matt Humbert said of making the 1,000/1,000 club. "The key thing is he did it in the regular season."
It certainly isn't unusual to reach 1,000 yards throwing. Nowadays, an average regular season in the WPIAL has 30 to 35 quarterbacks throw for 1,000 yards. The hard part, though, is having a quarterback also rush for 1,000.
But in these days of no-huddle, spread offenses where more quarterbacks are running the read-option, you might see more players with high yardage totals in both passing and rushing. Elizabeth Forward's JaQuan Davidson came close to reaching the 1,000/1,000 club this season with 1,003 rushing and 870 throwing.
Humbert has been Ringgold's coach for four seasons, and he always has had a Law at quarterback. Quad Law, Nico's brother, was the Rams' starter in 2010 and '11. Nico became the full-time starter after four games last season.
Quad is now a receiver at Gannon and Nico is bigger than his older brother.
"Nico put in a lot of hard work in the offseason and that's paying off in him having a heck of a year," said Humbert, whose team enters the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs with a 7-2 record. "He's definitely a playmaker with the ball in his hands."
While Humbert believes Law is a little under the radar in the WPIAL, Pitt has certainly noticed his talents. Law has visited Pitt and plans to make another visit soon. The Panthers have not yet offered a scholarship.
"But Pitt has definitely showed the most interest," Humbert said.
Humbert said Law can run the 40-yard dash in the 4.4 range and also has a good arm. He said if Pitt offered a scholarship, it is not certain what position Law would play.
"He's fast enough to do everything we need him to do and to really hurt defenses," Humbert said. "He's an all-round, athletic kid and I hate to tout him as an 'athlete' for college, because I think he's a quarterback."
First play Pryor
Pryor seems to be big on first impressions.
That 93-yard touchdown run that the Oakland Raiders quarterback had on the first play against the Steelers Sunday brought back memories of another lasting first impression. Pryor came into his senior season at Jeannette in 2007 with a big reputation. On the first play of the game against Brownsville, he went 53 yards for a touchdown.
City and the PIAA
The City League championship game is Saturday between Allderdice and University Prep. But no matter what happens in that game, three of the six teams in the City League will move on to the PIAA playoffs.
Allderdice will play in Class AAAA and will meet McDowell Nov. 15 at Cupples Stadium on the South Side. University Prep will play in Class AAA and will play at Cupples Nov. 8, against an undetermined opponent.
Westinghouse, which has a 1-8 record, will go into the District 5 regional and probably play next weekend.
Moving up in class
In December, the PIAA will have new enrollment cutoffs for classifications. The Beaver Falls boys basketball team is certain to be in Class AA again, but if coach Doug Biega has his way, the Tigers will play "up" in Class AAA, starting next season.
It would be a notable move because Beaver Falls has won the past two WPIAL Class AA titles and three since 2005. The Tigers also have two PIAA titles in that time.
Biega has to convince school officials to make the move. Teams can play "up" in classification if they choose. Beaver Falls would probably go into a section with Beaver, Central Valley, Blackhawk and Ambridge, among others. New Castle will most likely move from Class AAAA to AAA next season and join that section.
Beaver Falls currently plays in a section with Aliquippa, Neshannock, Riverside, Mohawk, New Brighton, Shenango and Laurel.
"I feel economically it makes sense [to move up]," Biega said. "There would be much higher interest in our crowds seeing neighboring schools come into play. Also, it would be great to feed into the competitive spirit of challenging your program to play at a higher classification.
"On my end, it's what I want for our program, however, there are more people involved in the decision. I hope it gains approval. I'd embrace the challenge."
Holliday and Uniontown
You might know of Matt Holliday, baseball player for the St. Louis Cardinals. But maybe you didn't know Holliday has ties to the WPIAL.
Holliday's father, Tom, was a fomer standout quarterback and baseball player at Uniontown High School. He was a teammate of running back Chuck Muncie, who went on to play in the NFL.
Tom Holliday had football scholarship offers from Division I colleges, but decided he wanted to pursue a baseball career. Forty-three years ago, Tom Holliday played in a game against Washington when Washington broke an 11-game losing streak by defeating Uniontown, 23-20. Holliday had a pass intercepted by Guy Montecalvo, currently Canon-McMillan's athletic director and longtime football coach at Washington and Canon-McMillan.
For more on high school sports, go to "Varsity Blog" at www.post-gazette.com/varsityblog. Mike White: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-1975 and Twitter @mwhiteburgh