George Guido: Highlands’ Seth Cohen on verge of local history

November 10, 2018

Highlands quarterback Seth Cohen is on the verge of making local history. The senior needs just 64 passing yards to become the first player in the 120 years of Alle-Kiski Valley football to surpass the 4,000 in his career.

Cohen has 3,936 yards going into Friday’s home game against Latrobe. He collected 260 yards as a sophomore in 2016, 2,001 yards last season and 1,675 yards this season. Highlands has been eliminated from WPIAL playoff contention, so this will be Cohen’s last chance to hit the milestone. In fact, this is the first time Highlands has missed the playoffs three consecutive seasons since 1992-95.

Friday also will be the final Highlands appearance for senior linebacker Noah Gillette. Those associated with the football program say Gillette has the career record for tackles with 291. Gillette also has 15 sacks, six fumble recoveries and two defensive touchdowns.

Remembering ‘Little Mo’

Word arrived in the area late Saturday afternoon that Dick “Little Mo” Modzelewski died at age 87.

Modzelewski was a key to some great Har-Brack football teams in the late 1940s, including playing in the 1947 finals at Forbes Field. He also played for Maryland during a great Terrapins run. Maryland was No. 3 in the country in 1951.

While in the NFL, he played in 180 consecutive games, an incredible feat for a defensive lineman.

As a reporter, you always are eager to touch base with somebody you know always will have something notable to say, and “Little Mo” was one of them. He played in one of the most famous NFL games in history, the 1958 championship game between the Giants and the Colts that was won by Baltimore, 23-17, in overtime.

Modzelewski sacked Colts quarterback Johnny Unitas three times. He thought he had a fourth sack, but Unitas ran a draw on third and long.

“I had him on the ground, and said, ‘Johnny how could you run a draw on third and 17?’ ” Modzelewski recalled. “And he told me, ‘I got a first down, didn’t I?’ ”

I asked him his reaction when Har-Brack lost 27-0 in the ’47 title game at Forbes Field.

“My brother (Ed) and I were so embarrassed, we didn’t come out of the house for four days,” he said.

Geneva honors Exler

Congratulations to Erica Exler Cresta, who will be inducted into the Geneva College Sports Hall of Fame. The 1998 Springdale graduate will be inducted with 14 others Nov. 3 when the Golden Tornadoes host Grove City at Reeves Field.

Exler Cresta pitched for Geneva from 1999-2002. She holds Geneva’s all-time career strikeout record and pitched the school’s first perfect game March 24, 2000 and the first no-hitter. Exler Cresta was a two-time All-American and an NAIA scholar-athlete. She also played volleyball for three seasons at Geneva.

At Springdale, she lettered in softball, volleyball, basketball and soccer. In softball, she compiled a 53-7 record with 608 strikeouts and was a member of the Dynamos 1998 WPIAL semifinalist and PIAA quarterfinalist. Exler Cresta was also a goalkeeper on the 1997 WPIAL soccer champs and state runner-up.

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