A-K Valley don’t-miss high school football matchups for Week 6

Wednesday, October 2, 2019 | 5:17 PM

Class 4A Northwest 8

Highlands (2-4, 2-2) at Montour (2-4, 1-2)

7 p.m. Friday at Thomas J. Birko Memorial Stadium, Robinson Township

Last week: Highlands 33, Ambridge 0; Montour 14, Knoch 7 (OT)

Coaches: Dom Girardi, Highlands; Lou Cerro, Montour

Players to watch: Chandler Thimons, Highlands (Fr., 6-0, 190, QB/LB); Gannon Kadlecik, Montour (Jr., 5-11, 175, RB/DB)

Four downs: 1. Thimons was an efficient 8 of 11 passing against Ambridge for 165 yards and TDs to Johnny Crise and DJ Loveland. 2. Kadlecik was the workhorse for Montour in last week’s overtime upset of Knoch with 26 carries for 145 yards and both touchdowns. 3. Golden Rams sophomore Brock White’s 158 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries last Friday gives him 633 yards and four scores on 111 rushes through six games. 4. Cerro said starting quarterback Luke Persinger, out last week because of injury, remains day-to-day.

Extra point: The Golden Rams’ second win in a row, also its second straight shutout, puts them a half-game behind Blackhawk for the fourth and final playoff spot in the conference.

No. 5 Knoch (5-1, 4-1) at No. 2 South Fayette (5-1, 3-0)

7 p.m. Friday at South Fayette Stadium, South Fayette Township

On the air: Tribhssn.triblive.com

Last week: Montour 14, Knoch 7 (OT); South Fayette 34, Blackhawk 14

Coaches: Brandon Mowry, Knoch; Joe Rossi, South Fayette

Players to watch: Naman Alemada, South Fayette (Jr., 6-4, 200, QB); Keith Washington, Knoch (Jr., 5-10, 155, RB/CB)

Four downs: 1. The Lions, the defending WPIAL 4A champions, are the only team still undefeated in the conference. They have won four in a row since a loss to 5A Upper St. Clair in Week Zero. 2. Knoch was limited to seven points against Montour after averaging 29 points over its first five contests. 3. South Fayette is third in Class 4A in points per game at 39.5. Thomas Jefferson (49.8) and Belle Vernon (46.4) are the only teams with higher scoring averages. 4. Matt Goodlin was held without a rushing touchdown last Friday for the first time this season, but he found the end zone defensively with a 7-yard interception return.

Extra point: Knoch can clinch a WPIAL playoff spot with a win Friday and a Montour loss to Highlands.

Class 3A Big East

Burrell (4-2, 3-2) at Mt. Pleasant (2-4, 1-3)

7 p.m. Friday at Vikings Stadium, Mt. Pleasant

Last week: Burrell 16, Deer Lakes 14; North Catholic 42, Mt. Pleasant 28

Coaches: Shawn Liotta, Burrell; Jason Fazekas, Mt. Pleasant

Players to watch: Alex Arledge, Burrell (Jr., 6-3, 190, QB); Pete Billey, Mt. Pleasant (Jr., 6-2, 225, RB)

Four downs: 1. Wide receiver Seth Fischbach is the Bucs’ leading receiver with 28 catches for 550 yards and eight touchdowns. 2. The Vikings have been successful running the ball, with Jake Johnson rushing for 546 yards, Nick Loughner 331 and Billey 247. 3. Running back Mickey Scherer is the Bucs’ top rusher, running for 467 yards and four touchdowns. 4. During the Vikings’ current three-game losing streak, they dropped close games to Derry (7-0), Deer Lakes (29-26) and North Catholic (42-28).

Extra point: Mt. Pleasant needs to end its three-game losing streak and defeat Burrell if it hopes to challenge for a WPIAL Class 3A playoff berth.

Class 2A Allegheny

Apollo-Ridge (5-1, 3-1) at Valley (1-5, 0-3)

7 p.m. Friday at Memorial Stadium, New Kensington

Last week: Apollo-Ridge forfeit win over Shady Side Academy; Freeport 14, Valley 10

Coaches: John Skiba, Apollo-Ridge; Muzzy Colosimo, Valley

Players to watch: Adam Troutman, Apollo-Ridge (Jr., 6-2, 195, TE/S); Justin Hooper, Valley (Jr., 5-9. 180, TB/LB)

Four downs: 1. Apollo-Ridge picked up a conference victory when Shady Side Academy forfeited last Friday’s game, citing a lack of healthy players. 2. Hooper paced Valley last Friday with 122 rushing yards and a touchdown on 19 carries. 3. A win Friday would clinch Apollo-Ridge’s 15th playoff berth in program history and its first since 2016. 4. Apollo-Ridge’s running game is 11 yards shy of 1,000 for the season. Logan Harmon (689 yards, six touchdowns) and Keighton Reese (222 yards, four TDs) lead the way.

Extra point: Valley leads the all-time series 5-4 and moved ahead with last year’s 28-16 victory at Owens Field.


Connellsville (1-5) at Fox Chapel (1-5)

7 p.m. Friday at James M. Burke Stadium, O’Hara Township

On the air: Tribhssn.triblive.com

Last week: Thomas Jefferson 61, Connellsville 7; Upper St. Clair 42, Fox Chapel 0

Coaches: Marko Thomas, Connellsville; Tom Loughran, Fox Chapel

Players to watch: Ky’Ron Craggette, Connellsville (5-10, 210, RB/LB); Alex Wecht, Fox Chapel (Sr., 5-8, 175, WR/S)

Four downs: 1. Foxes quarterback Shane Susnak, with his 219 passing yards against USC, surpassed 1,000 yards for the season. 2. Craggette, a transfer from Uniontown, leads Connellsville in rushing with more than 600 yards and three touchdowns. 3. Starting Friday, Fox Chapel will play three of its final four games at home after five of its first six were on the road. 4. Connellsville is the only team to face both Class 4A No. 1 Thomas Jefferson and Class 5A No. 1 Penn-Trafford.

Extra point: Fox Chapel won two games last year, and one of the two was a 45-15 triumph at Connellsville behind 154 rushing yards and four touchdowns from Sam Brown.

Leechburg (2-4) at Frazier (0-6)

7 p.m. Friday at Commodore Stadium, Perryopolis

Last week: Clairton 48, Leechburg 14; Washington 64, Frazier 7

Coaches: Mark George, Leechburg; Greg Boggs, Frazier

Players to watch: Alex Stramaski, Leechburg (Sr., 5-11, 180, RB/LB); Kenny Fine, Frazier (Jr., 5-9, 155, WR/CB)

Four downs: 1. Dylan Cook threw for 114 yards and a touchdown and ran for a score against Clairton. He now has five passing TDs on the season. 2. Frazier is one of 16 winless teams remaining in the six WPIAL classifications. 3. Jake Blumer’s receiving touchdown against Clairton gives him 11 total scores (six rushing, five receiving) on the season. 4. Blue Devils senior defensive lineman Jacob Shaw recorded 10 tackles last Friday, giving him a team-best 50 on the season.

Extra point: Leechburg topped Frazier, 21-14, last year as part of its 3-1 stretch run to its first non-losing season (5-5 overall) since 1991.

Northgate (0-5) at Springdale (4-2)

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

Last week: Sto-Rox 80, Northgate 0; Greensburg Central Catholic 33, Springdale 7

Coaches: Michael Fulmore, Northgate; Seth Napierkowski, Springdale

Players to watch: Clayton Cooper, Northgate (Sr., 6-1, 180, OG/DE/LB); Demitri Fritch, Springdale (Jr., 6-2, 160, QB/RB/WR/CB)

Four downs: 1. Fritch tallied 118 rushing yards and threw a touchdown pass to Christian Vokes to get Springdale on the board against GCC. The touchdown ended a nearly eight-quarter scoring drought. 2. Northgate has surrendered 53.6 points a game, the most in the WPIAL. 3. The Dynamos are 3-0 in nonconference games and have averaged 32.2 points in those contests. 4. Sto-Rox led Northgate 59-0 at halftime last Friday en route to the big victory.

Extra point: Springdale edged Northgate 14-11 last season for one of its two victories.

Riverview (1-4) at Jefferson-Morgan (2-4)

7 p.m. Friday at Parker Field, Jefferson

Last week: Riverview 21, Imani Christian 20; California 69, Jefferson-Morgan 21

Coaches: Todd Massack, Riverview; Aaron Giorgi, Jefferson-Morgan

Players to watch: James Williams, Riverview (Jr., 5-10, 155, WR/DB); Cole Jones, Jefferson-Morgan (Fr., 5-9, 170, QB)

Four downs: 1. Riverview’s 21 points last Saturday were eight more than it had in its first four games and snapped a three-game scoreless streak. 2. Rockets running back Jonathan Wolfe has 518 yards rushing and five touchdowns through six games. 3. Zach Hanlon, who scored the game-winning touchdown and added the 2-point conversion in the fourth quarter, finished with a team-best 112 rushing yards. Dean Cecere added 91 on the ground. 4. The Riverview defense stopped Imani on fourth down five times, including the final time with 2 minutes, 21 seconds left to seal the win.

Extra point: Riverview defeated Jefferson-Morgan in a 1994 WPIAL playoff game known as “The Miracle in the Park.” A condensed version of the game is on You Tube.

Weir, W.Va. (3-2) at Plum (2-4)

7 p.m. Friday at Mustangs Stadium, Plum Borough

Last week: Penn-Trafford 47, Plum 17; Weir 40, Petersburg (W.Va.) 6

Coaches: Tony Filberto, Weir; Matt Morgan, Plum

Players to watch: Sebastian Spencer, Weir (Sr., 5-10, 155, WR/QV/DB); Max Matolcsy, Plum (Jr., 6-1, 210, WR/LB)

Four downs: 1. Weir filled the void in Plum’s schedule created when Albert Gallatin left the WPIAL after last season. 2. Spencer is a dual offensive threat for the Red Riders. He has four passing touchdowns and six on the ground. He tallied five total TDs in the win over Petersburg. 3. Matolcsy was a tackling machine last week against Penn-Trafford with 15 stops, including a sack. Senior Rocco Knauss added eight tackles and a fumble recovery for the Mustangs. 4. Plum’s four losses have come against conference teams with a combined 17-5 overall record.

Extra point: Weir is Plum’s first opponent not affiliated with the WPIAL since a home-and-home series with Erie Strong Vincent in 2006-07. It also is the first matchup with a team from outside Pennsylvania.

Woodland Hills (0-6) at Kiski Area (3-3)

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

On the air: Tribhssn.triblive.com

Last week: West Allegheny 21, Woodland Hills 20 (OT); Kiski Area 21, Hampton 17

Coaches: Tim Bostard, Woodland Hills; Sam Albert, Kiski Area

Players to watch: William Clark, Woodland Hills (Sr., 5-7, 170, RB/CB); Brock Wilkins, Kiski Area (So., 6-0, 200, FB/LB)

Four downs: 1. Kiski Area picked up its third win of the season, its second in conference play and the 300th in program history last Friday behind Kenny Blake’s 172 yards and three touchdowns on 26 carries. 2. Woodland Hills, uncharacteristically winless this deep into the season, has lost its last three games by a combined eight points. 3. The Cavaliers defense has surrendered just four touchdowns over the past three games. 4. Clark paced the Wolverines against West Allegheny with 143 rushing yards.

Extra point: The Cavaliers are seeking a reversal of fortune against the Wolverines after a 47-0 loss at the Wolvarena in 2018.

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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