High-SchoolPennsylvania: Mack Leftwich
February, 29, 2012
By Doug Huff | ESPN.com
Ralph Wilson/APCentral Dauphin (Harrisburg, Pa.) players celebrate with fans after winning the school's first state football title in December.During the offseason, we’ll check out one team per week that looks like a sure bet to be among the best in the nation for next fall.
FAB 50 Offseason Primer Archive
This week’s team: Central Dauphin (Harrisburg, Pa.).
2011 Season: 15-1, PIAA AAAA state champion, No. 38 in the final POWERADE FAB 50.
Projected 2012 Preseason Ranking: Top 15. The Rams celebrated their first state title last season with a team that featured several underclass standouts. Coach Glen McNamee's squad won its final 14 games after losing to rival Bishop McDevitt (Harrisburg, Pa.). The team defeated defending state champ North Allegheny (Wexford, Pa.) in the semifinals and then upended perennial contender North Penn (Lansdale, Pa.) in the championship. The Rams will likely enter the reason ranked No. 1 in the Keystone State, a spot that’s always going to translate to a high ranking in the FAB 50.
Team Strengths: The three most productive offensive players for the Rams will return for their senior seasons in the fall and that spells problems for upset-minded foes. Quarterback Brandon LaVia ran a balanced attack, throwing for 1,490 yards and 16 touchdowns and rushing for four scores. Running back/linebacker Zayd Issah was league MVP on offense, but he’s just as touted on the defensive side. He finished the year rushing for 1,345 yards and 21 touchdowns and catching 10 touchdown passes on offense and racking up 123 tackles and 14 sacks on defense. Junior running back/defensive back Drew Scales had nine touchdowns on offense and was also a dynamic kickoff returner.
Another Pennsylvania team to watch: North Allegheny (Wexford, Pa.) had its unbeaten season and bid for a second straight PIAA AAAA state crown halted in the state semifinals by Central Dauphin, which won 23-20 on a last-second field goal. The Tigers, who finished No. 49 in the FAB 50, could be in the running for another state crown in the fall with the return of eight all-conference players, three of which earned all-state honors. ESPNHS Underclass All-American and two-way lineman Patrick Kugler, a Michigan commit, will anchor both lines. Quarterback Mack Leftwich will run the offense after accounting for 36 touchdowns as a junior.
December, 13, 2011
By Christopher Parish | ESPN.com
Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday
Whether you’re putting together a grouping of best quarterbacks or worst albums, or you’re making that special list for Santa, there’s nothing quite like a good list. So in honor of the holiday season we’re bringing you lists all week long — Merry List-Mas!
Today: The top underclassmen in high school football.
The state championships are nearly over and the Class of 2012 has had a great run, but it’s never too early to start looking at the impressive players in the Class of 2013 and beyond. Who’s going to rule the gridiron in Pennsylvania next season? We give you the early rundown of who to watch for.
5. Mack Leftwich (JR), North Allehgeny, QB
Credentials: Threw for 2,223 yards, 20 TDs; ran for 933 yards and 16 scores; led team to POWERADE FAB 50 national ranking and state semifinal berth
4. Michael Keir (JR), Roman Catholic, QB
Credentials: Three-year starter, earning D-I interest, threw for nearly 1,500 yards this season, owns school passing record
3. David Williams (JR), West Philadelphia Catholic, RB
Credentials: Rushed for more than 1,500 yards, 16 scores, led team to state semifinals
2. Patrick Kugler (JR), North Allegheny, OL
Credentials: Stellar lineman anchored protection for Mack Leftwich (see No. 5), already has 15 major D-I offers
1. Robert Foster (JR), Central Valley, DB/WR
Credentials: Scored 12 TDs on offense but was even better on defense; named to Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Fabulous 22 as sophomore, already has six D-I offers
Click here to check out some of the other states in our Five Days of List-Mas.
Tomorrow: The POWERADE Pennsylvania Weekly Rankings.