A-K Valley football players to watch in 2023 Week 5

Wednesday, September 27, 2023 | 5:43 PM

Player of the week

Cooper Hornack

Burrell, Sr., RB/DB

Hornack, the reigning two-time Valley News Dispatch wrestler of the year and the 2023 PIAA Class 2A champion at 127 pounds, was a difference-maker last Friday as Burrell won its third straight game after an 0-2 start. Burrell ran the ball 42 times, and Hornack tallied 67 yards on 10 carries and scored one of the Bucs’ two offensive touchdowns. He also caught a conversion pass from quarterback Steve Hasson. Defensively, he was quick and physical as he led Burrell with nine tackles.

Players to watch

Demetrius Ballard

Valley, Sr., DL

Ballard has been a headache for opposing offenses. Last Friday in the Vikings’ victory over Uniontown, he recorded 12 tackles, including a sack that pushed the Uniontown offense back 9 yards. He also tallied six pressures and recovered a fumble he returned 27 yards for a touchdown. Ballard hopes to keep up the pressure this week as Valley opens Allegheny 6 Conference play against East Allegheny.

Angelo Markey

Highlands, Sr., OL/DL

Markey has been solid in the defensive trenches for the Golden Rams whether he is clogging up running lanes for his teammates to make plays or making tackles at the line and in the backfield. He recorded five tackles, including a sack, last Friday to help Highlands get back in the win column with a 28-21 Greater Allegheny Conference victory over Indiana. Through five games, Markey has delivered 21 tackles and two sacks. Highlands (4-1, 1-1) visits Mars on Friday.

Philup Rearick

Leechburg, So., OL/DL

A guard on offense and a defensive tackle, Rearick has impressed Leechburg coaches with his play in the trenches. The 5-foot-10, 220-pounder is a key component of an line that has opened holes for juniors Jayden Floyd and Jake Cummings and others in the run game and also has protected Floyd in the passing game. Rearick has caused havoc defensively with coach Randy Walters calling his play “dominant.”

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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