Football: Rutherford returns to alma mater Perry as head coach

Written by Mike White on .

Mike White reports that City League great Rod Rutherford is the new head football coach at Perry.

"One of the greatest athletes in Pittsburgh City League history is coming back to his alma mater to be its head football coach.

Rod Rutherford is the new coach at Perry Traditional Academy on the North Side. Rutherford is one of the City League's favorite sons, starring in football and basketball at Perry before going on to a highly successful career as a quarterback at Pitt.

Rutherford was hired as Perry's coach last month and takes over for Craig Aguglia, who left to become an assistant at Shaler. Rutherford, 36, has worked at Perry since February as a project assistant, mentoring students and also helping in community outreach. Rutherford lives with his 1-year-old son, Rod Jr., on the North Side.

"I look at it as a great opportunity," Rutherford said of his coaching job. "I know what this community is about and what the kids are about. Unfortunately, people haven't been willing to roll up their sleeves and work, and not worry about a paycheck."



Boys Basketball: Perry’s Smith leads City League in scoring

Written by Brad Everett on .

Perry hasn't won a game this season, but the Commodores do boast the City League's top scorer.

Kenneth Smith is scoring like no other player in the league. Smith was averaging 18 points per game in his team's first eight contests, best among City League players when the Post-Gazette compiled its first list of statistical leaders for the 2016-17 season. The scoring averages were for games played through Dec. 31.

Smith has been a bright spot for Perry, which fell to 0-10 on Friday by losing its league opener at Obama Academy, 75-54.

Two other City League players made the leading scorers list, both from Westinghouse. Koran Fleming was averaging 16.4 points per game and James Ellis was averaging 15 a game. Westinghouse improved to 6-2 on Friday after a 64-54 win at Carrick.


Football: Perry has its season come to an end

Written by Brad Everett on .

A win away from punching a ticket to the PIAA playoffs, Perry got punched in the gut by a District 9 power.

Perry's season came to end Thursday night with a 54-36 loss to Karns City in the PIAA Distircts 8-9 Class 3A subregional championship at Clarion University. Perry (4-7) was looking to reach the PIAA playoffs for the first time six years. Karns City (9-2) qualified for the playoffs for the fifth year in a row and will play the District 10 champion (Sharon or Hickory) in next weekend's first round.

Thursday's game was more lopsided than the score indicated. Karns City stormed a 21-0 lead before Perry even ran its second offensive play. After Karns City scored on the game's opening posession, Perry fumbled on the ensuing kickoff. Karns City turned that miscue into a touchdown, and did so again after Perry threw an interception on its first offensive play. Karns City took a 41-6 halftime lead, which meant the second half was played under the mercy rule. Trailing, 54-12, Perry went on to score the final 24 points of the game.

David Freeman passed for 166 yards and three touchdowns for Perry, while James Goodwine rushed for 149 yards and two touchdowns.


Football: Perry a win away from PIAA playoff berth

Written by Brad Everett on .

Not since 2012 has a City League team qualified for the PIAA football playoffs.

Perry can change that with a win Thursday.

Wins haven't come easy for Perry this season -- its just 4-6 -- but the Commodores can clinch a spot in the PIAA Class 3A playoffs when they take on Karns City (8-2) at Clarion University in the PIAA Distircts 8-9 subregional championship. No team from the City League has advanced to the state tournament since University Prep made it four years ago.

Perry lost in the City League semifinals, but got new life when it played St. Marys in a subregional semifinal last week. The Commodores pulled out a 38-27 win, sending them into Thursday's championship with a spot in the PIAA playoffs on the line. Karns City, which competes in District 9, automatically advanced to the championship as it did not have to play a semifinal game.


Football: Perry plays PIAA subregional game tonight

Written by Brad Everett on .

Perry has had little success over the past month and a half, winning just once in five tries.

But even after falling in the City League semifinals, the Commodores haven't seen their season end just yet.

Perry (3-6) travels to St. Marys (6-3) tonight to play a Class 3A Districts 8-9 subregional semifinal. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. The winner will advance to next weekend's championship, the winner of which will earn a spot in the PIAA main bracket.

Perry is coming off a 40-6 loss against University Prep in the City League semifinals. It was another setback for the Commodores, whose only win in their last five games came against Allderdice in the regular-season finale. Both of their other wins this season were against Carrick.