In Hall of Fame Company
Every year players pass through the high school ranks, dazzling us with their prolific abilities. With the 22 young warriors spread along 120 yards of grass there is always one that rises above the rest though, the elite, the one everyone comes to see. Then – sometimes – we see a once in a generation player who simply defies the laws of the football gods like Brendan Nosovitch did at Allentown Central Catholic over the past few years.
Those are the players that you never forget.
Nosovitch was the ultimate field general for the Vikings, showing the poise and leadership of a savvy veteran and the ability to feel a pass rush from every angle. He played with eyes in the back of his head, ice in his veins and it was as if the game slowed down for only him in the chaos between when the ball snapped and the whistle blew to end the play.
While he didn’t possess a cannon for an arm, Nosovitch was deadly accurate with the pill and did most of his damage hitting his trusty receiver Kevin Gulyas over the years; another great. Giving him an open lane to run through was a death sentence for any team as the Viking signal caller has enough speed in the open field to make just about any defender miss. Simply speaking, you could only hope to contain him in any contest.
Nosovitch’s breakout season came in 2010 when the Vikings opened their season against the highly-touted Cougars of Downingtown East on the road; a game they narrowly won even as East was without their best player.
From then on, Allentown Central Catholic was on a mission. They beat their next three opponents by a combined score of 112-14 and continued cruising through the season to a perfect 10-0 record. Blue Mountain was their first playoff hurdle and Nosovitch made short work of them, passing for two scores and rushing for 263 yards on only seven carries in a 55-20 win. After throwing for 10 touchdowns in their next two playoff contests against Southern Lehigh and Abington Heights, Nosovitch had brought his team to 13-0.
Nosovitch’s team did most of the work versus Clearfield and his team was now in position to go to the state championship with one more win. They needed to get past the Vikings of Archbishop Wood, a very talented group of juniors out of the Philadelphia Catholic League who ACC had been warned might be their match. Nosovitch’s answer to that challenge was over 600 yards of offense and seven touchdowns in one game against Wood en route to a 49-27 victory; a Herculean effort that forever cemented him in Pennsylvania Football history.
In what would be his team’s toughest challenge, Nosovitch led the Vikings against Bishop McDevitt in the state championship at Hershey Park Stadium. Down 27-20 late in the 4th quarter, the Vikes were out of options on 4th and 12 deep in their own territory. Nosovitch got them out of it. A few plays later, he took a quarterback draw straight up the belly of the defense for what proved to be the winning touchdown, his third of the game on the ground.
16-0. Perfection. A true storybook ending.
While Nosovitch and his teammates didn’t make it back to the glory land his senior year, he did pile up quite the resume in high school. He is the state’s career record holder with 12,809 career yards. Nosovitch also set all-time records for District 11 which also ranks very high on the state list as well. Among them are eight touchdown passes in a game, 3,809 yards passing in a season, 420 passing attempts in a season, 106 touchdown passes in a career, 579 career completions and 9,249 career passing yards (all second in the state). He also threw for 487 yards in a single time, good for third all-time in Pennsylvania.
He has been named the Gatorade Player of the Year and was the first ever winner of the Maxwell Football Club Pennsylvania Player of the Year. Nosovitch was an Honor Roll student at Allentown Central Catholic who was part of Student Council for all four years of his time there and carried a 3.3 cumulative GPA. He scored an 1810 out of 2400 on his SAT, showing that he truly is a great student-athlete. The young man volunteers as a coach and speak at many youth sports events and helps out with his church as well. He’ll continue to show off his talents with Steve Spurrier at South Carolina.
The amazing part of all of this is that Nosovitch will go down in history as one of the best quarterbacks in Pennsylvania history. A state that has produced seven NFL Hall of Fame players at the position in George Blanda, Joe Montana, Fran Tarkenton, Dan Marino, Joe Namath, Jim Kelly and Johnny Unitas.
High school and college greats like Johnny Lujack and the heavily-hyped Ron Powlus have left the Keystone State and neither topped what this young athlete did on the football field before leaving. To this point of his career, Nosovitch stands above them all. To even be mentioned in that class of names, let alone literally deserve to be in it due to your performance on the gridiron is a remarkable feat. Nosovitch has earned every bit of the praise he receives.
Unfortunately for Vikings fans, they may never see a player like Brendan Nosovitch again and with an end of that era; came an end to an entire era as Head Coach Harold Fairclough resigned recently as well.
Forever on North Fourth Street will be a pigskin with a score scribbled on it in marker and a picture of the 2010 season though. Brendan Nosovitch’s name will remain legend long after he has left the hallway this semester. We hope to see him create new legend in the SEC over the next several years.