It has become a fall tradition, an "I got next"-type of thing. Someone puts on the green and gold at Seton-LaSalle, steps into the quarterback position and throws the ball around with the best in the WPIAL.
Right now, Tyler Perone got next.
Perone is a junior quarterback at Seton-LaSalle and in his first season as a starter. Like so many other Rebels QBs before him, he finished the regular season among the WPIAL passing leaders. Then he completed 19 of 34 for 358 yards and led Seton-LaSalle to a 35-27 victory against Washington in the first round of the WPIAL Class AA playoffs last Friday.
This passing thing isn't just a passing fad at Seton-LaSalle.
"I think we kind of expect it from whoever plays [quarterback]," Seton-LaSalle coach Greg Perry said.
Perone finished the regular season sixth in the WPIAL in passing yardage with 1,826 yards (135 of 211 completions). It is the 13th time in the past 18 seasons that a Seton-LaSalle quarterback has finished in the top 11 in the WPIAL in passing yardage.
The first was Shane Patterson, who finished third in 1996.
Then came Bruce Gradkowski (fourth in 1999 and first in 2000). Anthony Doria (eighth in 2001 and third in 2002), Bill Stull (first in 2003 and second in 2004), Matt Rodgers (eighth in 2005 and 11th in 2006), Anthony Rizza (first in 2009), David O'Brien (fifth in 2010) and Luke Brumbaugh (10th in 2012).
Perry has been around for all of those quarterbacks. He started as the offensive coordinator in 1994 and took over for Lou Cerro as head coach in 2005 when Cerro left for Montour.
"We've really been throwing it around a lot here since 1994," Perry said. "Now, teams are doing it everywhere. But I think we were one of the first ones around here to come in and wing the thing around -- and get good at it.
"I think whoever the quarterback is here, they want to try and get a little bit above the guy before them."
And get on the board.
In the coaches office at Seton-LaSalle, Perry has a board that lists Seton-LaSalle's quarterbacks who made all-state in the past 20 years. There are four -- Gradkowski, Stull, Doria and Rodgers. Perone has a chance to impress the masses more tonight when Seton-LaSalle plays undefeated South Fayette in the WPIAL quarterfinals. South Fayette also has an impressive quarterback in Brett Brumbaugh, Luke's brother.
"I think Tyler is a little under the radar because he didn't play until this year," Perry said. "But he can really wing it. Plus, he's 6 feet 3, 190 pounds. I think next year he's going to get some kind of scholarship for sure."
The WPIAL/City League had eight quarterbacks attempt at least 200 passes in the regular season, the second-most in the past 10 years. In 2005, 14 quarterbacks attempted 200 passes.
Also, this was the third consecutive year that 37 quarterbacks passed for more than 1,000 yards in the regular season. Compare that total with a few decades ago and it shows how much passing has increased in the area.
In 1993, only 21 quarterbacks threw for 1,000 yards. In 1987, 21 threw for 1,000, 20 in 1986, 23 in 1984 and 17 in 1983.
Root Sports television will televise the Upper St. Clair vs. North Allegheny game live tonight from Baldwin High School.
The station plans to televise a semifinal game on a delayed basis next week after the Penguins game. Root also plans to televise all four WPIAL championship games at Heinz Field Nov. 23, but only two will be live because of a Penguins game.
The order of the championship games will be changed because Root wants to televise the Class AAAA game live, and only the first two games can be shown live. On Nov. 23, the Class A game will start at 11, the AAAA game at 2, the AA game at 5 and the AAA game at 8.
University Prep begins the PIAA Class AAA playoffs tonight with a game against Somerset at Cupples Stadium on the South Side.
Somerset is 9-1 and has outscored opponents, 303-129. Its only defeat was a 28-24 setback to Richland, a Johnstown-area school and the Post-Gazette's No. 3-ranked Class AA team in the state.
Somerset uses two quarterbacks. Senior Tanner Stull was the starter at the beginning of the season, but played only the first three games before sustaining a broken arm. Sophomore Dylan Barnes took over for the next few games. Stull returned Oct. 18 and the team has used both quarterbacks the past few games.
Stull has completed 37 of 67 for 512 yards and also rushed for 706 yards on 103 carries. Barnes has completed 45 of 74 for 732 yards and rushed for 557 yards on 95 attempts.
Hall calls Lucchino
You may know Larry Lucchino as the president and CEO of the World Series champion Boston Red Sox. But you can now also refer to him as a member of the Allderdice Hall of Fame.
Lucchino was inducted to the Hall of Fame Thursday. This is not a sports Hall of Fame. It is for all graduates of Allderdice.
Lucchino is a 1963 graduate of Allderdice, where he excelled in both basketball and baseball. He went on to play basketball at Princeton and was a teammate of Bill Bradley on an NCAA Final Four team in 1965. He then attended Yale's law school.