Another regular season is in the books. Ten weeks of high school football has flown past.
It might seem like only yesterday that the nine area high schools were running through summer practices in the heat and humidity of August, but anyone out attending last Friday night's games when temperatures fell into the 20s knows that the 2009 season is now in its home stretch.
During the past few months, the TIMES NEWS Football Page has given our readers tons of preview information on the week's upcoming games, all the stats compiled by the top players in the area, a variety of interesting facts and figures in our OVERTIME column, and 10 Player of the Week awards.
Since this week's edition will be the final week for both OVERTIME and the Player of the Week, we thought it would be a good time to look back at the players who captured those awards and also some who didn't.
In addition, OVERTIME will look at a couple of impressive offensive accomplishments by Tamaqua and another big game by a Pleasant Valley quarterback.
Over the course of the 2009 regular season, there were plenty of oustanding offensive performers and performances. The TIMES NEWS sports staff acknowledges a lot of those efforts with our Player of the Week awards.
Every Monday during football season, we get together and chose the player who we felt had the best game that week. The one rule we have and it was instituted prior to the 1998 season - is that no player can win the award more than once in a season.
Through the years, the Player of the Week Award has been dominated by quarterbacks and running backs and this year was no exception.
The 10 weekly winners were comprised of five quarterbacks (Lehighton's Kyle Hunter, Jim Thorpe's Corey Cinicola, Panther Valley's Casey Lawrence and a pair of Plesant Valley athletes in Derrik Walling and Anthony Bumbulsky); four running backs (Pleasant Valley's Rob Getz, Northern Lehigh's Cody Remaley, Tamaqua's Grif Griffiths and Jim Thorpe's Shane Edwards); and one receiver (Panther Valley's Jake Dunn).
While all those players turned in memorable performances to capture their award, there were some athletes who had the bad luck of having great weeks at times when someone was just a little better.
OVERTIME has decided to take a look at some of the players from the season who had outstanding numbers, but never quite had the "best" game of a particular week.
Although there were dozens of players considered for the awards during the season, here are 10 players who had great season stats but never won the award:
* Panther Valley's Kyle McAvoy ... Although he was finalist for the award several times the last two seasons, McAvoy never won it either year. He was fourth in the area in rushing this season (836 yards) and sixth in scoring (64 points).
* Tamaqua's Anthony Bumbulsky ... led the area in receptions (36) and was third in receiving yards (520).
* Lehighton's JT Keer ... led area receivers with an impressive 23.9 yards per catch average and was fourth in receiving yards (502).
* Marian's Paul Martin ... was third in the area in rushing (1,107 yards) and fifth in scoring (78 points).
* Northwestern's Colton Breininger ... his 6.46 yards per carry average was the best among the area's rushing leaders.
* Northwestern's Garrett Lerner ... Was eighth in the area in receiving yards (405) and fifth in average yards per catch (16.2). Also had special teams and defensive returns for scores this year.
* Northwestern's Trevor German ... Like his teammates Breininger and Lerner, German was part of a 7-3 Tiger team that did not have one Player of the Week winner this year. On a NW offense that spread the wealth, German passed for over 700 yards and scored eight TDs.
* Pleasant Valley's Rob Irving ... was second in the area in receptions with 31.
* Palmerton's Christian Marcin ... One of only four area players with at least 30 catches, Marcin had 374 receiving yards.
* Northern Lehigh's Jake Kern ... might have been the most explosive player in the area as he averaged 9.8 yards per rush (31-305), 14.8 per reception (5-74) and scored seven TDs. Had a memorable game against Pen Argyl when he scored TDs on a punt return, a kickoff return and an interception return.
CHEWING UP THE YARDAGE ... In Friday night's win over Marian, Tamaqua had 538 yards in total offense.
Since 1987, no Blue Raider team had had more total yards in a game.
Tamaqua's previous high was 458 yards against Minersville on Oct. 26, 2001.
The 538 yards was also the sixth highest by any area school since 1987.
The top total during the last 22 years belongs to Lehighton, which had 587 yards against Whitehall on Sept. 15 2000.
BACK-TO-BACK ... Pleasant Valley quarterback Derrik Walling was 18-of-29 for 272 yards and three TDs vs. PM East on Oct. 30. He followed that up with a 21-for-32, 279 yard, three touchdown performance against Stroudsburg last week.
That was the first time a TIMES NEWS area quarterback threw for 270 or more yards in back-to-back weeks since Panther Valley's Cazzie Kosciolek had 307 on Nov. 14, 1992 and 270 on Nov. 21, 1992.