A-K Valley don’t miss high school football matchups for 2022 Week 5

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Wednesday, September 28, 2022 | 4:52 PM


Class 5A Big East

Plum (3-2, 1-1) at Franklin Regional (2-2, 1-0)

7 p.m. Friday, Panther Stadium, Murrysville

Plum came back last week in the second half against No. 5 Gateway but fell 28-26. The Mustangs trailed 28-7 at halftime. Eryck Moore-Watkins ran 26 times for 148 yards and scored three touchdowns, two on receptions. Moore-Watkins has rushed for over 600 yards. Plum will log a combined 32 total miles, round-trip, in consecutive games against neighboring schools. Plum coach Matt Morgan played at Pitt. … Franklin Regional nearly made it three straight wins but dropped a 42-41 decision to Shaler in double overtime Saturday. Ayden Hudock scored the first two touchdowns and the Panthers continued to get a push up front, but the defense could not get key stops late. Quarterback Roman Sarnic and tailback Zach Bewszka are a one-two punch out of the backfield. Watch linebacker Owen Sinclair on the defensive side. The Panthers beat Plum last year 41-12.

Class 5A Northeast

Fox Chapel (0-5, 0-1) at North Hills (1-4, 1-1)

7 p.m. Friday, Martorelli Stadium, Ross Township

The Foxes are one of 15 WPIAL teams still searching for their first victory. Fox Chapel was not able to contain Pine-Richland in a 61-14 home loss last Friday. Junior Ben DeMotte threw a touchdown pass to junior Tyrese Samuels and finished with 175 yards (6 of 20). Senior Matt Fugh rushed for 43 yards and a score on seven carries. It was his first touchdown of the season. … North Hills got into the win column for the first time last week with a 27-26 overtime victory over Penn Hills (3-2, 1-1). The Indians scored more points (27) last Friday than they did in their previous three games combined (24). North Hills’ game winner in OT came on a 10-yard pass from John Green to Cooper Thompson. Green finished with 90 yards and three touchdowns on 12-of-21 passing. Fox Chapel is 5-23-1 all-time against North Hills. The last Foxes victory in the series was 14-0 in 1978. North Hills has had only two coaches the past 45 years: Jack McCurry (1978-2012) and Pat Carey (2013-present).

Class 4A Greater Allegheny

Indiana (2-3, 0-2) at Kiski Area (0-5, 0-2)

7 p.m. Friday, Richard Dilts Stadium, Allegheny Township

Kiski Area is one of 15 WPIAL teams seeking its first win. Carson Heinle threw for a touchdown and ran for another last week against North Catholic, but the Cavaliers were not able to overcome the Trojans in a 33-21 loss. Heinle finished with 129 yards on 10-of-18 passing. Isaiah Gonzalez caught five passes for 56 yards. … Indiana suffered shutout losses the past two weeks at home against Mars and Highlands, two of the top teams in the conference, by a combined 68-0. Both of the Little Indians’ victories this season have come by one point: Knoch, 32-31, and Shady Side Academy, 23-22. Senior Liam McFarlane started last week against Highlands in place of injured junior quarterback Trevor Smith, and injuries also affected the offensive line. McFarlane collected 101 yards and three touchdowns on 27 carries through the first three games, including the wins over Knoch and SSA. Kiski Area has an 11-3 advantage in the all-time series. The teams haven’t played since 2009 when Kiski won 35-7.

Class 3A Allegheny 6

4-Freeport (4-1, 0-0) at Shady Side Academy (1-3, 0-0)

7 p.m. Friday, McKelvy Field, Fox Chapel

The Allegheny 6 Conference is one of the last in the WPIAL to have all of its teams not play a conference game until this week. Freeport bounced back from its first loss of the season with last week’s 24-6 victory over Mt. Pleasant. Senior quarterback Gavin Croney threw for 174 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score. The run game balanced things out for the offense with 25 plays for 165 yards. Starting linebackers Colton Otterman (knee) and Parker Lucas (ankle) continue to battle their way back into the lineup. … Shady Side Academy played three of its first four games on the road. The Bulldogs broke out in a big way last Friday in a 41-0 win at South Allegheny. SSA led 34-0 at the break. Senior Joey Bellinotti was a difference-maker all over the field with a rushing, receiving and kick return touchdown. Senior quarterback Max Wickland went 3 for 3 for 65 yards and a TD and added 80 rush yards and two scores. Freeport and SSA played each other for 24 straight years from 1994-2017, but this is the first meeting since. The Yellowjackets lead the series 14-10, and eight of the games were decided by eight points or fewer.

Knoch (0-5, 0-0) at Deer Lakes (2-3, 0-0)

7 p.m. Friday, Lancers Stadum, West Deer

Deer Lakes earned its first shutout of the season last Friday with a 9-0 nonconference win over Southmoreland. The Lancers have won two of their past three games and average 16.2 points given up through four games. As the Deer Lakes defense kept the Scotties off the board, the offense produced enough for the win as Zier Williams, a sophomore, scored on a 1-yard touchdown plunge. Mason Metzler, a senior who also is a member of the Lancers boys soccer team, sealed the win with a 24-yard field goal with 58 seconds left. … Knoch found tough sledding last Friday in a 42-0 loss to undefeated Elizabeth Forward, the No. 1 team in the Trib Class 3A rankings. Five of the Knights’ six offensive touchdowns this season have come from the arm of sophomore Codi Mullen. This will be the first of two straight games for Knoch at Lancers Stadium. The Knights will play Shady Side Academy there next week for the school’s homecoming game. Knoch leads the all-time series with Deer Lakes, 9-4, with a 6-6 tie in 1972.

Valley (1-4, 0-0) at 5-East Allegheny (4-1, 0-0)

7 p.m. Friday, Churchman Stadium, North Versailles

Valley removed itself from the group of winless teams in the WPIAL with a 20-13 victory last Friday at WPIAL independent Uniontown. Senior Xavier Wilson scored on a 3-yard touchdown run, fellow senior Dallas Price added a 73-yard scoring run and junior Darnell Coaston returned a kickoff 83 yards for his team’s third TD. Valley has averaged 17.2 points scored and 31.8 points surrendered through five games. … East Allegheny moved into the Trib Class 3A rankings at No. 5 after last week’s 42-21 victory at Greensburg Salem. The Wildcats’ lone loss in five games was to Class 3A No. 1 Elizabeth Forward, 42-7, in Week 2. Against the Golden Lions, East Allegheny led 27-21 at halftime before pulling away with touchdowns in the third and fourth quarters. Trey Jeter paced the Wildcats with 118 yards and two touchdowns on seven carries, and quarterback Michael Cahill threw for 139 yards (7 of 13) and a score. East Allegheny leads the all-time series 7-3. The last Vikings win in the series was 47-12 in 2013. The Wildcats and Vikings have played each year in conference since 2018. East Allegheny has won all four.

Class 2A Allegheny

Apollo-Ridge (3-2, 1-1) at 1-Steel Valley (4-0, 2-0)

7 p.m. Friday, Campbell Stadium, Munhall

Apollo-Ridge snapped a two-game losing streak last Friday with a 49-14 victory over Derry behind 324 yards and five touchdowns from the running game. Senior Nick Curci led the way with 171 yards and two scores, and junior Alex Wurmb (2) and senior Landon Harmon also rushed for TDs. Senior Gage Johnston was an efficient 6 of 7 passing for 96 yards and two scores. The Vikings are averaging 27.6 points a game and giving up 26.4. … TribLive HSSN Class 2A No. 1 Steel Valley averaged 55.3 points the past three weeks in wins over Seton LaSalle, Imani Christian and Ligonier Valley. The Ironmen rolled past Ligonier Valley, 48-0, last week as Cruce Brookins completed 9 of 10 passes for 90 yards and a touchdown. Donald Barksdale added 162 rushing yards and two scores on seven attempts. Apollo-Ridge is 1-4 all-time against Steel Valley. The only win came two years ago, 47-14. The Ironmen won last year’s meeting at Owens Field, 57-6.

Burrell (4-1, 1-1) at Imani Christian (2-3, 0-2)

7 p.m. Friday, UPMC Graham Field, Wilkinsburg

Burrell continued to do what it does best last week: run the football. It did not attempt a pass in its 42-6 home win over Yough and rushed 64 times for 402 yards. Running backs Devin Beattie (16-121, 2 TD), Mason Jones (16-83), and Tristan Brothers (7-95, TD) and quarterback Chase Fenner (13-40, TD) led the way for the Bucs, and Nijere Floyd and Andrew Gratzmiller also scored. Burrell bounced back from its first loss of the season, 38-20, to Serra Catholic, two weeks ago. … Imani Christian has lost two in a row to the conference leaders, Serra Catholic and Steel Valley, by a combined 103-18 the past two weeks after consecutive wins over Brentwood and South Allegheny. Freshman David Davis leads Imani with eight touchdowns. This is the first meeting between the Bucs and Saints and the first time Burrell has played at Graham Field in Wilkinsburg since Oct. 17, 1981, when it beat Wilkinsburg, 14-6. Graham Field is hosting high school football for the 107th season.

Class A Eastern

Frazier (0-5, 0-2) at 5-Leechburg (3-2, 1-1)

7 p.m. Friday, Veterans Stadium, Leechburg

Frazier has lost its last 15 games dating to the 2020 season finale. The Commodores are one of 15 teams in the WPIAL still searching for their first win. In last week’s 18-6 loss to Riverview, Frazier scored first as Austin Wilson found Brenden Stewart for a 12-yard score in the first quarter. The Commodores are averaging 9.4 points scored a game and are surrendering 46.8 per contest. … Leechburg hung tough with Trib Class A No. 3 Clairton last week before falling 20-13. The Blue Devils slipped one spot to No. 5 in the rankings. Sophomore defensive back Jayden Floyd made an impact with an 18-yard fumble return for a score, and senior Braylan Lovelace’s fourth-quarter 18-yard run was his 11th TD (10 rushing, one receiving) of the season. Leechburg and Frazier have played four times, all nonconference games. The Blue Devils won in 2018 (21-14) and lost in 2014, 2015 and 2019.

Jeannette (1-4, 1-0) at Riverview (2-3, 1-1)

Noon Saturday, Riverside Park, Oakmont

Jeannette could not get its second straight win despite nearly 300 yards of offense in a 24-20 loss to Charleroi. The Jayhawks gave up 333 yards in their seventh straight road loss. Payton Molter passed for 147 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 78 yards and a score. Jesse McCurdy had a team-high 10 tackles and a sack. … Riverview, which has been playing Saturday games for decades, broke a two-game losing streak with an 18-6 win over Frazier, the team Jeannette beat 60-14 two weeks ago. Rio Stotts scored two touchdowns for the Raiders, one a 13-yard pass from Rocco Cecere. Stotts ran 16 times for 90 yards. Carlo Buzzatto had nine tackles.

Nonconference

Springdale (0-5) at Union (3-2)

7 p.m. Friday, Socs Roussos Stadium, Union Township

The youthful Dynamos struggled again last week, scoring just once while giving up 69 points in an Eastern Conference loss to Greensburg Central Catholic. Colton Gent recorded Springdale’s only touchdown, a 68-yard catch in the first quarter. … Union suffered a 28-22 overtime loss to Big 7 Conference foe Laurel last week, which snapped a three-game winning streak. Braylon Thomas is a dual threat in the Scotties offense. He finished last week’s game 10 of 15 passing for 168 yards and touchdowns to Elijah Booker and Dayne Johnke to go with 30 rushing attempts for 106 yards. Springdale and Union met for the first time in the 1973 WPIAL Class 2A title game won by the Dynamos, 20-14, at Thomas Jefferson’s Jaguars Stadium. The all-time series is tied 5-5-1, with the 7-7 tie game coming in 2002. It is the last time an Alle-Kiski Valley team played to a tie. Lightning suspended the game, and it was never finished.

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at mlove@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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