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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Sunday Morning QB: Alex Erby breaks PA career passing record; CV stuns CD; East Pennsboro falls and more

The most coveted quarterback passing record in the state of Pennsylvania belongs to a senior from the Steel-High Steamrollers.

Senior Alex Erby, a four-year starter, now owns the state record for career passing yards with 11,287 yards, surpassing the mark of 11,084 yards established by South Fayette’s Brett Brumbaugh in 2014.

And Erby still has plenty of football left in the 2023 season, as the undefeated Rollers are a strong candidate to repeat as the PIAA Class 1A champions.

Erby owns the record, but he also has enjoyed a wealth of talent to work with at the receiver position. That matters, too. But at the end of the day, the lefty delivers the rock, and nobody has done it better over a four-year career than Erby.

His career numbers to date reveal his level of excellence beyond the coveted record for passing yards. With more than 850 attempts he completes 75 percent of his passes, better than 20 percent of his completions are for touchdowns. With such a massive number of attempts, what grabs my attention more than anything is only 27 interceptions. That’s roughly one pick every 32 attempts.

Records are established to be broken, right? And the number Erby posts at the end of this season will fall as the game continues to evolve and change. That doesn’t change one bit the level of excellence he displayed from the moment he stepped on the field as a wispy freshman four seasons ago.


You can remove East Pennsboro from the ranks of the unbeaten and the Panthers’ first loss of the season to Northern means the chase for the Colonial Division title is up for grabs. Does anybody besides me fancy the football Susquehanna Township is playing these days?

Either way, the Panthers clearly were not ready for what you knew the Polar Bears would bring to the table – a healthy dose of RB Cole Bartram from start to finish. The East Penn simply couldn’t stop the train early and fell into a Bartram-led 21-0 hole only 11 seconds into the second quarter.

Sure East Pennsboro joined the battle and rallied behind a defense that went on lockdown for the better part of two-plus quarters and the offense chipped away. The Panthers forged a 21-21 deadlock early in the fourth quarter before Bartram, who finished with 171 yards on 32 carries and all four touchdowns the Polar Bears posted, and the Northern offense went on the grind and took the lead for good midway through the final quarter.

Everyone knows the coaches pick the division all-stars and superlatives. My vote for Colonial Division Offensive MVP would be Bartram. Northern would struggle to compete without him. That’s a clear MVP in my book. The upset of East Penn was only victory No. 2 this season for Northern. The Polar Bears didn’t have a turnover and had only two penalties. That’s how you pull off an upset.


Down by a touchdown inside the dying minutes of the fourth quarter, Cumberland Valley turned the tide of a struggling season by scoring twice to upset a confident Central Dauphin squad.

A switch to quarterback Grant Shepley in the second half was a difference -maker on the scoreboard. Inside the details of this game reveal it was the Eagles defense that set the table for this upset by limiting the Rams to a single touchdown offensively.

Central Dauphin helped the cause by attempting only 10 passes and leaning on its run game to finish the job.

The Eagles’ brutal opening three-game stretch is countered by real opportunity over the stretch run with games against Carlisle and Altoona on deck – both winnable games.


Watching Harrisburg use its superior collection of overall talent to finally subdue CD East in the dying minutes provided a chance to get eyes on CD East junior running back Jared Porter.

This isn’t a pedestrian defense the Cougars bring to the table, yet somehow Porter made the Harrisburg defense look ordinary.

The 5-9, 170-pound junior had 227 yards on 28 carries including a 58-yard scamper late in the fourth quarter to make it 27-all.

Porter is the best pure running back in the Mid-Penn Conference from my seat and he reminded me so much of another slightly underrated and lightly recruited back for the Panthers.

Former CD East star Chase Edmonds, who went to Fordham because nobody else offered and has enjoyed a six-year NFL career, and Porter have similar styles, moves, and determination inside the tackles but in the open field will run away from you.


For the record, I did closely examine the District 3 power rankings, as promised. At the end of the day, nothing really grabbed my attention. So my apologies. More to come next week on the PR front.

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