A-K Valley football notebook: Springdale players respond to coach’s advice

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Saturday, October 3, 2020 | 9:57 PM


Springdale football coach Seth Napierkowski emphasized to his team before Friday’s game with Greensburg Central Catholic not to take the Centurions lightly.

He said his players responded.

Fueled by the return of junior quarterback Legend Ausk, the Dynamos weapons on both sides of the ball combined to pull away from GCC, 45-22, and set up Friday’s Eastern Conference clash with Jeannette (3-1, 3-1) at Veterans Memorial Field in Springdale.

“GCC came out strong, but our guys responded,” Napierkowski said.

Ausk was 10 of 15 for 197 yards and two touchdowns. Dmitri Fritch and John Utiss had touchdown receptions, and Logan Dexter rushed for 91 yards and a touchdown.

Springdale also was 4-0 last year heading into a matchup with the Jayhawks. The Dynamos hope to avoid a similar result. Jeannette won the 2019 meeting, 43-0.

“It is a typical Jeannette team. They’re big. They’re fast, and they’re very well-coached,” Napierkowski said of the Class 1A No. 3 Jayhawks, who beat Leechburg, 60-14, on Friday.

“We have to play our best game. It should be a good matchup.”

Winless no more

Fox Chapel woke up Saturday morning with that winning feeling.

After tough losses to Pine-Richland, Franklin Regional and Moon — a combined 9-2 overall — to open the season, the Foxes broke into the win column Friday with a 36-21 victory over Shaler. The triumph also got them right into the thick of the Class 5A Northeast Conference standings.

Shaler scored first, but 29 points in the second quarter allowed the Foxes (1-3, 1-1) to take control.

Senior Justin Rice had a career night for Fox Chapel. He finished with 174 passing yards, not a season high, but he tossed five touchdowns. Three went to junior Lorenzo Jenkins and the others went to Colin Kwiatkowski and Benjamin Wilk.

Rice has 650 passing yards and eight touchdowns to go with a pair of rushing scores.

Fox Chapel hopes to make it two in a row Friday at Kiski Area.

Return to competition

Apollo-Ridge returns its focus to game action this week after Friday’s bye as it hopes to maintain its undefeated start.

Allegheny Conference member Summit Academy cancelled its season in August, leaving the void in the Vikings schedule.

Apollo-Ridge coach John Skiba said the time off was not ideal, but it did give his team a chance to rest and take care of a few bumps and bruises that developed over the first three games.

The Vikings seek a 4-0 start for the second year in a row as they host Shady Side Academy at Owens Field on Friday at 7 p.m.

Apollo-Ridge is one of the highest-scoring offenses in WPIAL Class 2A. It averaged 49.3 points in wins over Ligonier Valley, Freeport and Burrell. The Vikings conclude the regular season at Serra Catholic on Oct. 16 and at Steel Valley on Oct 23.

Milestone

It wasn’t the outcome Alex Arledge and his teammates hoped for in Friday’s loss to Class 3A No. 2 North Catholic, but the Burrell junior reached a passing milestone in the contest.

Arledge surpassed 3,000 career passing yards after throwing for 104 yards and a touchdown against the Trojans, giving him 3,094 over two-plus seasons.

He has 3,019 yards in 14 games the past two seasons at Burrell, and he tallied 71 yards as a freshman at Pittsburgh Central Catholic.

Arledge has 561 yards and three passing touchdowns through four games this season. Burrell hosts Deer Lakes on Friday.

Streak continues

Highlands sophomore quarterback Chandler Thimons threw for 122 yards (14 of 24) and a touchdown Friday in the Golden Rams’ 20-7 Greater Allegheny Conference loss to undefeated Plum.

It was the 10th straight game he has thrown for 100 or more yards.

Through four games, Thimons has 648 passing yards and eight touchdowns.

Highlands (1-3, 1-3) will try to snap a three-game losing skid Friday at home against Indiana.

Among the leaders

Leechburg senior Dylan Cook threw for 201 yards and a pair of touchdowns to junior tight end Eli Rich in Friday’s loss to Jeannette. After four games, Cook remains among the WPIAL leaders in passing yards with 848.

Rich caught five passes for 150 yards against the Jayhawks and has 11 receptions for 232 yards and three scores over the past two weeks.

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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