Blog notes: Northeast edition
Somber news in Pennsylvania, where Pittsburgh Central Catholic junior Kyle Wilson died overnight at Pittsburgh's Childrens Hospital, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Wilson suffered an apparent stroke while attending the Gateway-McKeesport game Thursday night. The 5-foot-7, 160-pound junior was the Vikings' third-leading rusher this fall with 241 yards on 59 carries with four touchdowns. The 7-2 Vikings have decided they will play their scheduled playoff game Friday night against Penn-Trafford at Fox Chapel High School. Our thoughts and best wishes go out to Wilson's family and friends, and the Central Catholic team and community.
• Central Catholic is part of the WPIAL in Pennsylvania, which begins playoff play this weekend. The full schedule can be found here, courtesy of The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, which also has a detailed look at the upcoming playoffs. FAB 50-ranked Gateway opens Friday against Mt. Lebanon. The winners of the WPIAL finals, played Nov. 22 at Heinz Field, then feed into the PIAA state playoffs. Most other teams outside of the WPIAL in Pennsylvania have one more regular season game this weekend.
• ESPN RISE's Doug Huff has the story of a new national record set this past weekend in Arkansas, where Rose Bud High's J.D. Felice totaled 421 yards receiving in the Ramblers' 64-55 loss to England. Congrats to J.D. and look for video of his record-breaking performance on Thursday's ESPN RISE segment on ESPNNEWS (4:40 p.m. ET). Gotta admit, as a former WR, I'm a little bit envious of his stat-line -- 24 catches for 421 yards and five TDs -- and just wish I got fed the rock like that in high school.
• More state playoff brackets are out, including Vermont's, which come courtesy of The Burlington Free-Press. I like undefeated Hartford in DI, the Whalers have a heck of a team this year. Oh wait, wrong Hartford. The Hartford High Hurricanes (White River Junction, Vt.) are the defending DI state champs and have outscored their opponents 257-60 so far this year.
• Staying in the Northeast, Tom Yantz of The Hartford Courant has his updated state rankings here. New London, in at No. 2, is led by Florida-commit Jordan Reed at quarterback.
• Two games are in doubt in New Jersey, where reps from Cranford and Scotch Plains are refusing to send their teams to play games in Newark this week after drive-by shootings in the city killed two and injured another last Friday, reports the Newark Star-Ledger.
• Congrats to coach Paul Longo and the Floyd Colonials (Mastic Beach, N.Y.), who won the program's 40th straight game on Saturday, topping Connetquot, 27-9. The 40 consecutive victories broke the Suffolk-record unbeaten streak of Central Islip (37-0-2) and continued to extend the county's all-time winning streak, which the Colonials shattered last year with a Long Island-championship victory that was their record-setting 33rd in a row.