The cream of the pass-catching crop

Posted: October 14, 2012

We continue with our top-10 football rankings, this week giving the area's good-hands people their due.

Our subjective list of the best wide receivers is based on route-running ability, knack for making the big catch, toughness in traffic, and skill at running for yardage after the reception.

Please note that pass-catchers who are multipurpose standouts, including La Salle's Sean Coleman, Neshaminy's Justin Andrews, and Cardinal O'Hara's Thaddius Smith, will not be listed here.

1. William Fuller, Roman Catholic, senior, 6-foot, 165 pounds. With his soft hands, quickness, and leaping ability, the Notre Dame recruit is all but unstoppable in man-to-man coverage.

Fuller's 81-yard, fourth-quarter score helped the Cahillites rally past visiting Cardinal O'Hara, 39-34, Saturday in a Catholic League interdivision matchup.

2. Jay Harris, Downingtown East, Sr., 5-11, 175. Through seven games, Harris, bound for Michigan State, has 36 catches for 539 yards and 10 touchdowns.

3. Andrew DeStefano, Conestoga, Sr., 5-10, 175. DeStefano, sure-handed and elusive near the sideline, gives opposing cornerbacks fits. He is hearing from Ivy and Patriot League schools.

4. Chris Jones, Coatesville, Sr., 6-0, 175. The speedster and quarterback Emmitt Hunt make up one of Southeastern Pennsylvania's best pass-catch duos.

5. Jamal Custis, Neumann-Goretti, Jr., 6-6, 205. Entering Saturday's game against Bishop McDevitt, the up-and-coming wideout had 23 catches for 467 yards and eight TDs.

6. Vince Careghini, Central Bucks East, Sr., 6-1, 180. Careghini is arguably the purest pass-catcher in the Suburban One League.

7. Mike Crowley, Ridley, Sr., 5-9, 160. With the athletic Crowley on the other end of Collin Wright's throws, the Green Raiders are bidding for another Central League crown.

8. Donnie Reed, Bensalem, Sr., 6-1, 190. In a 24-21, overtime upset of Pennridge, Reed turned eight receptions into 211 yards and three TDs.

9. Cale Mosher, Central Bucks South, Sr., 6-2, 177. For the 6-1 Titans, Mosher, with toughness and solid instincts, has 28 catches for 425 yards and four touchdowns.

10. Juwan Valentine, Harriton, Jr., 5-9, 170. Valentine's numbers are down from last year, but he remains a threat to score from anywhere on the field.

Twenty others to watch, listed alphabetically: Gordon Bentley, Wissahickon, Sr.; Kenny Brown, Harriton, Sr.; Cameron Chambers, St. Joseph's Prep, Fr.; Wydell Compton, Frankford, Jr.; Alton Custus, Plymouth Whitemarsh, Sr.; Ricky Dempsey, Haverford High, Sr.; Clay Domine, Perkiomen Valley, Jr.; Mike Grant, Upper Merion, Sr.; Delane Hart, Germantown, Jr.; Gary Hopkins, Spring-Ford, Jr.; Brandon Knotts, Council Rock North, Sr.; Kurt Logan, Central Bucks West, Sr.; Jawan McAllister, St. Joseph's Prep, Jr.; Chris Morgan, Haverford School, Sr.; Matt Raymond, Owen J. Roberts, Sr.; Jamel Stinson, Pope John Paul II, Sr.; Kevin Trusty, Penncrest, Sr.; Denzel Turbeville, Frankford, Sr.; Paul Weeks, Central Bucks South, Jr.; Kyle Wenger, Souderton, Sr.

Nearing a record. For his career, Harriton's Pat Moriarty has completed 369 of 668 passes for 5,492 yards and 49 TDs.

With four scheduled games remaining, the 6-2, 180-pound senior is set to break the Central League's all-time passing yardage mark of 5,897, set in 1995 by Marple Newtown's Chris Gicking.

Moriarty, who is drawing interest from Penn and Villanova, also has rushed for seven TDs.

Extra points. In Pennridge's 21-10 victory over Suburban One League Continental Conference rival Central Bucks South on Friday night, Rams linebackers Kyle Bigam (seven stops, six solos), MacKenzie Crawford (seven, three), and Imeir Simmons (six, four) combined for 20 tackles. Free safety Micah Stutzman (six stops, four solos), who made a late third-quarter interception, was next in line. Shane Kraynik, a 6-5, 230-pound tackle, deflected a pair of passes. . . . C.B. South's leaders on defense were end Mike McDermott (nine tackles, eight solos), linebacker Jon Mullin (seven, four), tackle Tyler Paradysz (seven, four), and free safety Steve Veal (seven, five). Support came from tackle Tyler Lonergan (six, four) and linebacker Joe Flynn (six, four). Flynn notched a second-quarter sack. . . . If Pennridge (6-1 league, 3-0 conference) can beat visiting North Penn (4-3, 2-1) next Friday, the Rams would take a huge step toward winning their first conference title since 2004 (Suburban One National, three-way tie for first). . . . Jenkintown quarterback Tom Kinniry has carried the ball 109 times for 459 yards and seven TDs. . . . Bishop Shanahan's Pat Corcoran, a two-way back, is out for the season after suffering a dislocated collarbone in Week 5 against West Chester Henderson. . . . St. Joe's Prep will get a taste of Friday Night Lights when it opens next season at Dallas Jesuit. The Hawks are in talks to begin the 2014 season in San Diego, possibly against highly touted Vista Murietta. . . . Entering Saturday night's game vs. the Prep, La Salle was ranked No. 23 in the country by USA Today. . . . Academy Park's Tyler Street has completed 48 of 95 passes for 10 TDs, with two interceptions.


Contact Rick O'Brien at robrien@phillynews.com, or @ozoneinq on Twitter. Read his blog, "The O'Zone," at www.philly.com/ozone

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