A-K Valley don’t-miss football matchups for Week 7

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Wednesday, October 9, 2019 | 5:03 PM


Class 5A Big East

Plum (3-4, 1-4) at Latrobe (2-5, 1-4)

7 p.m. Friday at Latrobe Memorial Stadium

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Last week: Plum 30, Weir, W.Va. 27; Penn-Trafford 39, Latrobe 7

Coaches: Matt Morgan, Plum; Jason Marucco, Latrobe

Players to watch: Reed Martin, Plum (Jr., 5-8, 170, WR); Kameron Stevens, Latrobe (Sr., 5-11, 155, WR)

Four downs: 1. The winner clinches a playoff spot. 2. Plum stepped out of conference to play a team from West Virginia. The game filled the vacancy left by the WPIAL and Big East departure of Albert Gallatin. Latrobe’s fill-in game will be Midd-West in Middleburg (Pa.) in two weeks. Martin had a rushing touchdown and a 32-yard punt return score for the Mustangs last week. Quarterback Jake Miller also threw a touchdown pass to Max Matolcsy. 3. This game could determine fifth-place in the conference. 4. Stevens has been a big part in the Wildcats’ scoring. He has been a special teams ace, returning four kickoffs for touchdowns, including a 95-yard return against No. 1 Penn-Trafford.

Extra point: Latrobe has not been settled at quarterback. Sophomore Bobby Fetter took over three weeks ago but was replaced by the original starter, Branden Crosby, last week.

Class 5A Northern

Fox Chapel (2-5, 1-3) at Mars (5-2, 3-1)

7 p.m. Friday at the Mars Athletic Complex, Mars

Last week: Fox Chapel 35, Connellsville 20; Mars 14, North Hills 7

Coaches: Tom Loughran, Fox Chapel; Scott Heinauer, Mars

Players to watch: Teddy Ruffner, Mars (Jr., 5-9, 195, RB); Sam Brown, Fox Chapel (Sr., 6-1, 200, RB/LB)

Four downs: 1. Fox Chapel still is alive for a WPIAL 5A playoff spot, but it needs to win its final three conference games and get help. 2. Ruffner is the second-leading rushing in the WPIAL after Week 6 with 1,513 yards and 22 touchdowns. 3. Brown again found running success against Connellsville to the tune of 136 yards on 28 carries in Friday’s win. 4. Mars, on a three-game winning streak after a 14-7 loss to Penn Hills in Week 3, leads the Northern Conference in scoring at 26.6 points a game.

Extra point: Fox Chapel rallied from a 10-0 second-quarter deficit to Connellsville. Shane Susnak threw for two touchdowns and ran for two in the win.

Class 4A Northwest 8

New Castle (4-3, 2-2) at Knoch (5-2, 4-2)

7 p.m. Friday at Knights Stadium, Saxonburg

On the air: Tribhssn.triblive.com

Last week: Blackhawk 26, New Castle 6; South Fayette 42, Knoch 7

Coaches: Joe Cowart, New Castle; Brandon Mowry, Knoch

Players to watch: Demitris McNight, New Castle (Sr., 6-1, 195, QB/RB/DB); Dalton Reed, Knoch (Jr., 6-1, 235, OT/NG)

Four downs: 1. Knoch, despite two straight losses in conference play, still controls its own destiny and clinches a playoff spot with a win Friday. 2. McNight leads the Red Hurricanes with more than 700 rushing yards and 12 total touchdowns. 3. The Knights’ potent run game was held by the South Fayette defense to 75 total yards on 32 attempts. 4. New Castle has alternated wins and losses since starting out 2-0 with a seven-point victory over Montour in Week 1.

Extra point: Knoch and South Fayette are tied for the conference lead in scoring defense. Both have given up just 12.7 points a game.

South Fayette (6-1, 4-0) at Highlands

7 p.m. Friday at Golden Rams Stadium, Natrona Heights

Last week: South Fayette 42, Knoch 7; Montour 17, Highlands 0

Coaches: Joe Rossi, South Fayette; Dom Girardi, Highlands

Players to watch: Naman Alemada, South Fayette (Jr., 6-4, 200, QB); Chandler Thimons, Highlands (Fr., 6-0, 190, QB/LB)

Four downs: 1. Despite Friday’s loss to Montour, Highlands still is alive for a spot in the WPIAL playoffs. But an upset win over the Lions is a must. 2. South Fayette’s lone loss this season came at the hands of 5A Upper St. Clair by a 27-13 score in Week Zero. 3. Thimons threw for 96 yards to lead the Golden Rams against the Spartans. 4. Alemada ranks second in the WPIAL in passing with 1,920 yards and 24 touchdowns.

Extra point: South Fayette routed Knoch for its 61st straight conference victory. Its last conference loss came to Seton LaSalle in 2011.

Class 2A Allegheny

Apollo-Ridge (6-1, 4-1) at Steel Valley (2-4, 1-3)

7 p.m. Friday at Campbell Field, Munhall

Last week: Apollo-Ridge 35, Valley 28; Western Beaver 7, Steel Valley 6

Coaches: John Skiba, Apollo-Ridge; Ray Braszo, Steel Valley

Players to watch: Nick Curci, Apollo-Ridge (Fr., 6-0, 180, RB/LB); Ronnell Lawrence (Jr., 6-0, QB/RB/DB)

Four downs: 1. Apollo-Ridge can clinch a home playoff game with a win Friday. 2. Steel Valley’s lone win in conference play this season came against Valley, 19-7, in Week 3. Logan Harmon’s 344 rushing yards Friday against Valley was the second-most in the WPIAL this season. West Greene’s Ben Jackson tallied 359 in a win over Monessen on Sept. 20. 4. Lawrence found the end zone last Saturday for Steel Valley’s lone points against Western Beaver.

Extra point: While Apollo-Ridge is securely in the postseason, Steel Valley still is alive but needs to win out and get help to return to the playoffs for the sixth straight season.

Valley (1-6, 0-4) at Summit Academy (0-7, 0-4)

12:30 p.m. Saturday at Summit Academy, Herman

Last week: Apollo-Ridge 35, Valley 28; Shady Side Academy 28, Summit Academy 20

Coaches: Muzzy Colosimo, Valley; Joseph Marak, Summit Academy

Players to watch: Justin Hooper, Valley (Jr., 5-9, 180, RB/LB); Paul Hines, Summit Academy (Fr., WR/DB)

Four downs: 1. Hooper carried the ball 23 times for 106 yards and a touchdown last Friday against Apollo-Ridge. 2. Summit Academy has faced three of the top five teams in the Trib 2A rankings — Washington, Burgettstown and Avonworth. 3. Valley lost its last two games by a combined 11 points. It was tied with Apollo-Ridge in the fourth quarter before a game-winning 57-yard run by Logan Harmon. 4. Summit Academy is hoping to snap a 17-game regular-season losing streak.

Extra point: Despite their 0-4 conference records, Valley and Summit Academy still are alive for a playoff spot.

Class A Eastern

Imani Christian (0-7, 0-5) at Leechburg (2-5, 1-3)

7 p.m. Friday at Veterans Memorial Field, Leechburg

Last week: Clairton 41, Imani Christian 0; Frazier 20, Leechburg 14

Coaches: Ronnell Heard, Imani Christian; Mark George, Leechburg

Players to watch: Pharaoh Fisher, Imani Christian (Soph., 6-0, 165, QB/CB); Anthony Mangee, Leechburg (Sr., 5-8, 150, WR/DB)

Four downs: 1. A remodeling project at Wilkinsburg’s Graham Field forced Friday’s game to be switched to a Leechburg home game. 2. Fisher is a dual-threat quarterback in the Imani offense. He threw for 161 yards and a touchdown and added a rushing score against Riverview two weeks ago. 3. Freshman Braylan Lovelace ran for a touchdown against Frazier. It was the fourth offensive score of his Blue Devils varsity career. 4. Dylan Cook tossed his sixth TD of the season last Friday. Eli Rich was on the receiving end of the scoring strike.

Extra point: Leechburg is hoping to turn the tables in the current series with the Saints. Imani won the past three years by a combined 124-41.

Springdale (5-2, 1-2) at Riverview (2-4, 1-3)

7 p.m. Friday at Riverside Park, Oakmont

Last week: Springdale 55, Northgate 14; Riverview 34, Jefferson-Morgan 14

Coaches: Seth Napierkowski, Springdale; Todd Massack, Riverview

Players to watch: Logan Dexter, Springdale (Soph., 6-2, 165, RB/WR/DB); Cam Jackson, Riverview (Sr., 6-0, 210, OL/DL)

Four downs: 1. Riverview is seeking its first three-game winning streak since it closed out the 2015 season with three straight victories. 2. Springdale got back in the win column last Friday as Christian Vokes rushed for 140 yards and three scores, giving him 836 yards and 13 TDs on the season. 3. The Raiders racked up 275 yards rushing on 48 attempts against Jefferson-Morgan. Dean Cecere led the way with 80 yards and a touchdown. 4. Springdale’s Dmitri Fritch completed five passes against Northgate, and three of them went for touchdowns (to Dexter, John Utiss and Sonny Yungwirth).

Extra point: Riverview hosted Springdale for the night game two years ago, and the Dynamos scored a 42-13 victory. The Raiders won last year’s meeting at Springdale, 18-0.

Nonconference

Keystone Oaks (4-3) at Deer Lakes (3-4)

7 p.m. Friday at Lancers Stadium, West Deer Township

Last week: Beaver Falls 34, Keystone Oaks 21; Freeport 40, Deer Lakes 21

Coaches: Greg Perry, Keystone Oaks; Tim Burk, Deer Lakes

Players to watch: Logan Shrubb, Keystone Oaks (Jr., 6-0, 190, QB); Isiah Yoder, Deer Lakes (Sr., 5-9, 160, RB/LB)

Four downs: 1. Shrubb is a dual threat at quarterback with more than a 1,000 yards passing and 800 yards rushing. 2. Deer Lakes’ tight end Jack Hollibaugh caught five passes for 77 yards and two touchdowns last Friday. He has a team-best 537 yards and four TDs through seven games. 3. Three of Keystone Oaks’ four victories this season have come by shutout. 4. The Lancers are hoping to snap a two-game losing skid after winning three straight.

Extra point: Keystone Oaks rolled to a 50-0 victory in last year’s game at Dormont Stadium.

McKeesport (5-2) at Kiski Area (3-4)

7 p.m. Friday at Richard J. Dilts Field, Allegheny Township

Last week: McKeesport 50, Indiana 0; Woodland Hills 28, Kiski Area 2

Coaches: Matt Miller, McKeesport; Sam Albert, Kiski Area

Players to watch: Devari Robinson, McKeesport (Sr., 5-11, 180, QB/DB); Luke Lander, Kiski Area (Sr., 5-9, 190, WR/LB)

Four downs: 1. Robinson is a throwing and running threat in the Tigers offense. He had two rushing TDs and also returned a punt for a score, all in the first half, against Indiana last Saturday. 2. In its four losses, Kiski Area has scored a combined 18 points. 3. Kiski Area has lost its last 16 games against McKeesport. The Cavaliers’ last win over the Tigers came in 1992. 4. Lander led the Kiski offense with 18 carries for 87 yards against Woodland Hills.

Extra point: Nearly 85% of the Cavaliers offense this season, a little more than 1,300 yards, has come from the running game.

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

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