DiGiorgio tops 3,000 yards passing as Frankford wins

Posted: September 21, 2012

Seemingly small decisions can set the stage for huge accomplishments.

For verification, check with Tim DiGiorgio.

The strong-armed lefty, a 6-4, 180-pound senior at Frankford High, Friday became only the third quarterback in Public League history to reach 3,000 career passing yards.

Not only did he ch-ching his way to such an impressive number in only 15 games, he wound up getting the chance because of baseball. Yes, baseball.

After passing for 227 yards, raising his total to 3,117 (207.8 average), in Frankford's 27-6 AAAA Gold triumph over visiting Northeast, DiGiorgio talked about numerous aspects of QBing.

Fittingly, pretty much in passing, he mentioned that the nationally known Frankford Chargers youth program sent his career into overdrive and that the only reason he played for them was the diamond sport.

Through eighth grade, he played football for other nearby youth organizations, flip-flopping between the Oxford Circle Raiders and Moss Eagles. But after joining the Chargers for baseball, he decided to hang around for football, and a pair of wonderful 160-pound seasons resulted.

Then, DiGiorgio decided to play for Frankford High and the new coach, Will Doggett, opted to install a run-and-shoot offense favored by one of his new assistants, ex-Chargers boss Rasheed Muhammad; the Pioneers had been using the wing-T since 1965.

"I found out in summer workouts that they were putting in the new offense," DiGiorgio said. "It made for some pressure, but it showed they had faith in me. Putting so much trust in me; that meant a lot."

DiGiorgio thought about playing high school ball as a soph, but nixed the idea.

"I had a talk with'Cap' [former coach Mike Capriotti] and he was honest with me," Tim said. "He said they were sticking with the wing-T and the returning senior was pretty much guaranteed the job. So, even though it was still Pop Warner ball, I thought it would be good to remain with the Chargers another year."

This one was started 35 minutes late because of a moving ceremony, complete with a dozen ex-comrades on motorcyles, to honor the memory of deceased police officer Brian Lorenzo (Class of'82, 2-year varsity football player); his widow, Linda, was given a No. 47 jersey, and his badge number, 5591, was stenciled into the grass in the north end zone.

As mentioned in Tuesday's Daily News, DiGiorgio entered Friday's game needing 110 yards to hit 3,000.

He eclipsed that total (to 3,009) 18 seconds before halftime with a left-side toss to a kneeling Denzel Turbeville. A 51-yarder to Turbeville followed, placing the ball 4 yards from the end zone at 0:06, but the spike-it option was not exercised, and DiGiorgio was dumped for a 10-yard loss by outside linebacker David Pulliam, who was terrific throughout.

"He hit me a lot," said DiGiorgio, who finished 13-for-23. His career totals show 179 completions in 330 attempts (54.2 percent) and 35 TDs (at least one in every game). "And it seemed like he was the only one getting to me."

Almost. Pulliam registered four of Northeast's five sacks (for 26 yards) while adding two tackles for losses.

DiGiorgio's beefsters were center Lorenz "Bubbles" Compton, guards Will Robinson and Carlos Saldano, and tackles Kelvin Coit and Unique Davis. The tight end was Wydell "Woo Woo" Compton. Yet another Compton brother, Renz, aka "Rodeo," was one of the wideouts. Lorenz and Renz are twins. Wydell is their younger brother.

"Every time we have a good play, I praise the linemen in the huddle," DiGiorgio said. "If we don't, it's just, 'On to the next play. That one's over.' "

DiGiorgio said he does not pattern his approach after one specific NFL quarterback, but instead looks for bits here, pieces there.

"How one guy drops back. How another reads the field," he said. "I do like how Peyton Manning gets the ball out quick to avoid sacks.

"My favorite passes? Well, I do like going deep. And I like sideline patterns, the 10-and-outs and comebacks. Oh, and I like drags . . . Yeah, pretty much everything."

DiGiorgio's father, Joe, who's quite the animated spectator, is his No. 1 fan.

"Sometimes we'll watch the tapes together, but usually it's separate," Tim said. "Then he'll tell me what he saw, and I'll do the same."

DiGiorgio's TD pass, a 5-yarder, went to Wydell Compton (4-38). Turbeville posted five catches for 133 yards, while three scores went to rusher Damion Samuels (13-58). Northeast scored on Daquan Bohannan's 75-yard connection with Devon Dillard.

DiGiorgio, who lives on the 1900 block of Granite Street, a short walk from the Chargers' complex, is receiving varying levels of interest from Penn State, Rutgers, Boston College and Villanova, among others. He wants to become an accountant.

And he wouldn't mind playing quarterback forever.

"I like throwing the ball," he said, simply. "I like making plays. I like having the game in my hands."

Let there be a night game

Danny Algeo, Cardinal O'Hara's coach, announced Friday that the Lions' Catholic AAA game with Archbishop Wood will be played next Friday, 7 p.m., on O'Hara's campus. Visiting stands and lights have just been installed, and O'Hara is the only Catholic League school that plays varsity games on campus.

"This is pretty exciting!!" he noted via a text message.

Contact Ted Silary at silaryt@phillynews.com.

High school coverage online at www.philly.com/rally.

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