5 things to watch in Week 2 of high school football

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Thursday, September 5, 2019 | 7:25 PM


In more than a century of WPIAL football, only three schools have reached 700 all-time victories: New Castle, Jeannette and Aliquippa.

Soon, they’ll be joined by a fourth.

Washington is one win from reaching that rare milestone. The Prexies’ record stands at 699-368-56 for a program that started playing football in 1901.

They’ll travel Saturday to Summit Academy.

“Our tradition here is really important to the community,” Washington coach Mike Bosnic said. “Our kids are well aware of the expectations and the traditions that have been established here. There’s a lot of pride.”

Washington is on the road this week. If the team reaches 700 on Saturday, the milestone will be celebrated at a home game sometime later this season, Bosnic said.

“We’ll have a 700-win celebration up here,” Bosnic said.

New Castle was first to reach 700 wins in 2012. Jeannette, which reached 700 three years later, has 749 all-time victories — most in WPIAL history.

Washington’s wins total rose quickly over the past five years with five consecutive seasons of 10 wins or more. Since 2014, the Prexies are 57-6.

“We’ve been fortunate,” Bosnic said. “We’ve had some really good football players, tough kids and good athletes. In a town like Washington and Aliquippa and New Castle, athletics is important.”

More WPIAL teams could reach 700 in the next few years.

There are seven that have more than 600 wins, led by Greensburg Salem with 695. Also approaching 700 are Clairton with 683, Monessen 664, Rochester 661, Beaver Falls 660, McKeesport 653 and Beaver 648.

McKeesport welcomes state champion

A defending state champion is coming to McKeesport.

The Tigers needed someone to play in Week 2 after Albert Gallatin withdrew from WPIAL football last winter, so they scheduled Cathedral Prep, the powerhouse from Erie.

The teams play at 7 p.m., Friday in McKeesport.

Cathedral Prep has spent four consecutive Decembers in Hershey. The Ramblers won PIAA Class 4A titles in 2016-18 and was the Class 3A runner-up in 2015.

Prep is 2-0 this season and ranked first in the state in the TribLive HSSN rankings for Class 4A. The Ramblers’ two wins are over teams from Ontario, Canada.

Newcomers meet in Allegheny 8

Chris Lucas and Brian DeLallo took hold of keys to winning football programs this winter, a job that comes with some expectations. Lucas replaced Bob Palko at West Allegheny. DeLallo took over for Jeff Metheny at Bethel Park.

Both teams are undefeated after solid Week 1 victories, but that will change this week when West A visits Bethel Park in what should be a competitive week in the Allegheny Eight. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m.

Whichever team wins will certainly boost its status as a conference title contender. But there are two other conference matchups Friday worth watching. Peters Township visits Woodland Hills, and Baldwin visits Upper St. Clair. Both start at 7 p.m.

A view from above

Don’t look for Penn-Trafford coach John Ruane on the sideline Friday when the Warriors visit Connellsville.

Ruane, who injured his Achilles tendon last week and was scheduled Wednesday for surgery, was optimistic he could coach from the press box.

He was injured during last Friday’s victory over Gateway.

“I was walking away from the play, looking over my shoulder and there was an interception,” Ruane said. “I pivoted and turned and took one step. … I look down, took another step and I couldn’t move my foot. I knew right then it was my Achilles.”

Ruane was a guest Tuesday on “This Week in the WPIAL” on the TribLive High School Sports Network. His injury drew its share of attention including his postgame speech on crutches.

Now, he wants to put the incident behind him.

“I don’t want to be remembered as the only coach in WPIAL history to get injured on the sideline during a game,” Ruane said. “Hopefully we’ll have a better moment (to remember from this season).”

0-4 to 3-0?

Central Valley started last season with four consecutive losses but could start this year 3-0 with a win Friday at Beaver Falls.

The Warriors already celebrated wins over Blackhawk, 32-15, and Quaker Valley, 55-0, hinting that this season might include a turnaround for Warriors. The last time they started 3-0, they won the WPIAL Class 3A title in 2014.

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at charlan@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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