Big Game Hunting – Week Two

Thursday, September 7, 2017 | 5:42 PM

Week two gets us into the thick of the 2017 WPIAL football season with some dandy matchups on the MSA sports network. In fact there are so many dandy match ups that we find ourselves in the unique situation of having all six games in BGH feature a battle of Top Ten teams. So let’s not waste a lot of time with the opening paragraph, instead, let’s go Big Game Hunting! 6 A Northern Seven Conference: #2 Central Catholic Vikings (1-1)(1-0) at  #4 North Allegheny Tigers (1-1)(0-0) Friday September 8th at 7:00 PM @ Newman Stadium on the campus of North Allegheny high school broadcast on the North Allegheny Sports Network and the MSA Sports Network by Randy Gore and Rick Meister North Allegheny looks to rebound after being knocked off in week one by Bethel Park. Tiger quarterback Luke Trueman on the season has completed 23 of 44 passes and tossed a pair of touchdowns without throwing an interception. Trueman is a dual threat for the Tigers, he has passed for 150 yards and rushed for 143. The top receivers for North Allegheny are John Varzdell with seven catches for 99 yards and, Joey Porter who has six catches for 83 yards. On the ground, in addition to Trueman, Ben Maenza has 13 Carries for 84 yards and three touchdowns. Central Catholic rebounded from their week zero loss to beat Shaler in week one. Viking quarterback Troy Fisher on the season has hooked up on 24 of 37 passes for 333 yards and three touchdowns without throwing an interception. Top receivers Cam Laconi (three catches 58 yards) and Khalil Weathers (three catches for 56 yards) are both big-time playmakers. On the ground Kyros Thorpe has rushed 12 times for 86 yards, and Austin Vigliotti has for rushed for 37 yards and a score. The Central defense has allowed 20 points per game on the season with North Allegheny giving up 17.5 in a pair of small sample sizes. 5 A Big East Conference: #4 McKeesport Tigers at (0-1)(0-1) vs  #8 Armstrong Riverhawks (2-0)(0-0) Friday September 8th at 7:00 PM @ Kittanning Stadium broadcast on the MSA Sports Network by Matt Vandriak and Rennie Detore McKeesport looks to rebound from a stinging loss late last week to Franklin-Regional. It’s not often the Tgers are 0-1 in the conference. They don't throw it a lot as has always been the case for the Tigers. In fact, Konota Gaskins was two of three for 56 yards last week. Gaskins spread the ball around with a single completion each to Layton Jordan and Branson Smith. On the ground is where the Tigers would rather play with John Harper will carrying the workload so far. Harper has rushed 15 times for 94 yards and a score. Rahmon Powell and Marcquis Butler will get touches as well in that vaunted Tiger rush attack. The Armstrong Riverhawks are a perfect 2-0 on the 2017 campaign. Dustin Porter their quarterback, has been impressive completing 21 of 37 passes for 308 yards on the season. He has tossed 4 touchdown passes while throwing just a single pick. His main target is Ryan Pearce with 10 catches for 132 yards and three touchdowns. Porter also does the work on the ground with 53 rushes for 376 yards and a pair of scores. The Riverhawks defense is holding opponents to just 17.5 points per game on the year, but this week in their first conference game of 2017 the competition will be a little stiffer. In fact they now face one of the tougher stretches in the WPIAL this year, home versus McKeesport, and then on the road in the next two weeks to face Gateway and Franklin-Regional. 4 A Northwest Nine: #10 New Castle Red Hurricane (0-2)(0-1)  at #6 Highlands Golden Rams (1-0)(1-0)  Friday September 8th at 7:00 PM @ Highlands Stadium Highlands looks to build on a victory over Ambridge last week 28-14 Logan Crise with an 87-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, while Gabe Booker added a 60-yard punt return for a touchdown in that contest. So, special teams have been huge for the Golden Rams. Quarterback Seth Cohen has completed 11 of 21 passes for 111 yards and a touchdown. Has top three receivers, Gabe Booker, Logan Crise and Johnny Crise have combined for 10 catches and 84 yards. Last week on the ground, Jermaine Jett had 23 carries for 99 yards and one score. The Red Hurricane looks for their first victory on the season. They have had trouble against the rush. They allowed 298 rushing yards to Montour in a week one 42-21 loss. Marcus Hooker is an amazing athlete for them, the Ohio State recruit has 18 rushes for 147 yards. He has also thrown the only touchdown pass of the year for New Castle. Quarterback Dan Minenok has completed 5 of 18 passes for 88 yards on the season. Look for Freddy Soto to do some damage on the ground for New Castle he has rushed for a touchdown he also caught a touchdown pass. 3 A Beaver Valley Conference: #1Aliquippa Quips (2-0)(1-0)  at  #3Beaver Area Bobcats (2-0)(0-0) Friday September 8th at 7:30 PM at Pat Tarquinio Field at Gypsy Glen Stadium broadcast on the MSA Sports Network and 92.1 FM The Pickle by Matt Farago The Quips are back and loaded again.  Avante to McKenzie has scored five touchdowns including four in week one vengeance win over Beaver Falls.  Aliquippa has blanked two football teams that most expect to be pretty solid this year in shutting out New Castle and Beaver Falls. The Quips have so far outscored their opponents 60-0. Very “Quip-like” numbers for both the offense and the defense. Junior quarterback Eli Kosanovich has completed more than 50% of his passes. Coach “Z” likes to keep it on the ground, Aliquippa rushed for 272 yards last week in the win over Beaver Falls. Meanwhile how about the Bobcats? They are scoring over 55 points per game on a year! Quarterbacks Harrison Pontoli and Brodie List have combined to go 11 of 24 for 128 yards with one touchdown and two picks. Leading receiver Tyler Wallace has four catches on the year for 46 yards. The rush game has been amazing featuring TeVonn Williams 18 rushes 249 yards and four touchdowns. This is a bobcat team that is on a mission only allowing 10.5 points per game of the year. Number one versus number three sets up to be a real dandy in 3A. 2 A Three Rivers Conference: #1 Steel Valley Ironmen (1-0)(0-0) vs #4 Avonworth Antelopes (1-0)(1-0) Friday Septenber 8th @ 7:00 PM @ Avonworth high school broadcast on the MSA Sports Network by Rob Matzie and Brandon Showers Number four Avonworth coming off a 49-0 blanking of Carlynton in week one sees the competition step up in a big way as they get set to host the defending WPIAL and PIAA champion Ironmen. ‘Lopes quarterback Derek Johncour hooked up on 10 of 14 passes in week one for 193 yards and a touchdown. J.J. Igims had four catches for 54 yards of pair of scores in Avonworth’s week one win. Turner Grau had a pair of catches for 78 yards. Igims gets it done on the ground for the Lopes as well with seven rushes for 50 yards and that win last week. Avonworth netted 111 yards rushing and 193 yards passing in week one, nice balance for Duke Johncour’s club. Steel Valley meanwhile continues to roll 16 straight wins now for the Ironmen who played in week one without Naj West, who sat out with an injury. We'll see if he's back this week is a big part of their offense. Steel Valley suffered through a lot of pre-snap penalties and made a lot of mistakes but still a comfortable victory in week one over Riverside 48-28.  Trevon Adams had seven carries for 100 yards and a touchdown. Todd Hill rushed for a pair of wildcat touchdown runs for Steel Valley in the win. Defensively last week Steel Valley scored a pair of touchdowns with interceptions returned for scores from both Amonte Strothers and Shaun Meadows. 1 A Big Seven Conference: #6 Northgate Flames (1-0)(1-0) vs #8 Union Scotties (2-0)(1-0) Friday September 8th at 7:00 PM @ Union high school broadcast on the MSA Sports Network by Sean Saputo and Adam Hoerner In one A the Northgate flames look to remain perfect after a thrilling 29-28 went over OLSH last week. Eric Hogan completed seven of 10 passes for 136 yards in a pair of touchdowns for the Flames. Gary Hairston had four of those catches for 85 yards and a score. Surron Adams had a big game as well,  this kid can do it all. Adams had two catches for 25 yards and 21 rushes for almost 100 yards, and he also scored a pair of touchdowns. Union looks to remain perfect after getting their first victory over Sto-Rox in program history last week in convincing fashion 51-0. Quarterback Evan Pinkerton has thrown it well completing 13 of 23 passes for 95 yards for the Scotties. Tre Charles is “The Guy’ for Union, they want him to touch it a lot, and he does. Charles has piled up 5 catches for 23 yards, and 18 rushes for 140 yards to go along with those numbers he has added five touchdowns. Look for Seth Pinkerton to be a playmaker in the passing game, he has a pair of catches for a team-high 32 receiving yards.

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