A-K Valley high school football don’t-miss matchups for Week 2

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Wednesday, September 4, 2019 | 6:49 PM


Class 5A Big East

Plum (1-1, 0-1) at Gateway (1-1, 0-1)

7 p.m. Friday at Antimarino Stadium, Monroeville

Coaches: Matt Morgan, Plum; Don Holl, Gateway

Last week: Franklin Regional 42, Plum 14; Penn-Trafford 28, Gateway 7

Players to Watch: Jake Miller, Plum (So., 6-0, 175, QB); Derrick Davis, Gateway (Jr., 6-1, 190, RB/LB)

Four downs: 1. Plum hopes to avoid the turnover bug against Gateway. The Mustangs had five turnovers against Franklin Regional. 2. Gateway’s loss to Penn-Trafford last Friday was its first regular-season setback since it fell to the Warriors in Week 5 2017, a span of 15 games. 3. Davis, a Division I prospect with more than three dozen offers, was limited to 100 rushing yards by the P-T defense despite rambling for a 66-yard score on Gateway’s first play. 4. Mustangs junior wideout/defensive back Max Matolcsy accounted for both scores against Franklin Regional with a 48-yard halfback pass and a 44-yard reception from Miller.

Extra point: 1. Gateway has won the three games in the most recent series by a combined 147-20, including last year’s 55-0 result. The Gators own 10 straight victories against the Mustangs overall. Plum last won in 2001 (34-7).

Class 5A Northern

Fox Chapel (0-2, 0-1) at No. 4 Penn Hills (1-1, 0-0)

7 p.m. Friday at McKinley-Yuhas Stadium, Penn Hills

Coaches: Tom Loughran, Fox Chapel; Jon LeDonne, Penn Hills

Last week: North Hills 35, Fox Chapel 28; Penn Hills 41, Latrobe 14

Players to Watch: Warner Macklin, Fox Chapel (Sr., 5-10 170, WR/DB); Eddie McKissick, Penn Hills (Sr., 6-1, 170, QB/FS)

Four downs: 1. Fox Chapel’s offense rebounded against North Hills with 339 total yards after being limited to 14 by Peters Township in Week Zero. 2. McKissick is the new QB for Penn Hills, replacing the graduated Hollis Mathis, who threw for 2,800 yards and 40 touchdowns last year. 3. Shane Susnak completed 20 of 31 passes against North Hills for 296 yards and two touchdowns. Macklin had a breakout game with six catches for 113 yards. 4. The Indians offense also came alive last week with 41 points after being shut out by Pine-Richland in Week Zero.

Extra point: Fox Chapel senior running back/linebacker Sam Brown picked up his second FCS Division I offer — Valparaiso — on Monday to go with the one he received from Dayton early last month. Brown recorded 13 tackles (10 solo), a sack and a forced fumble against North Hills.

Class 4A Northwest 8

Beaver (1-1, 0-1) at Knoch (2-0, 1-0)

7 p.m. Friday at Knoch Knight Stadium, Saxonburg

Coaches: Jeff Beltz, Beaver; Brandon Mowry, Knoch

Last week: South Fayette 55, Beaver 6; Knoch 21, Blackhawk 20

Players to Watch: Anthony George, Beaver (Jr., 6-2, 215, RB/LB); Jared Schrecengost, Knoch (Sr., 6-2, 185, WR/CB)

Four downs: 1. The Knights are hoping to start 3-0 for the first time since 2013. They also will be going for the 300th victory in program history. 2. Beaver hopes to get its offense back on track after it was limited to 111 total yards against South Fayette. 3. Knoch’s Matt Goodlin rushed for 187 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries against Blackhawk. 4. Brady Hansen leads the Beaver offense at quarterback.

Extra point: Every team in the Northwest 8 has played two games, and Knoch leads the way in scoring defense at 10 points allowed per game.

Highlands (0-2, 0-0) at Blackhawk (0-2, 0-1)

7 p.m. Friday at Blackhawk’s Northwestern Stadium

Last week: Keystone Oaks 31, Highland 0; Knoch 21, Blackhawk 20

Players to Watch: D.J. Loveland (Jr., 6-0, 160, WR/CB), Highlands; Marques Watson-Trent, Blackhawk (Sr., 6-0, 190, RB/FS)

Four downs: 1. Sophomore running back Brock White paces the Highlands offense after Week 1 with 224 yards on 48 carries. 2. Blackhawk, a WPIAL semifinalist from a year ago, rallied from a 14-0 first-quarter deficit against Knoch but was not able to come all the way back. 3. Highlands junior defensive lineman Jeremiah Nelson leads the team in tackles (14). Loveland and White are second with 13 apiece. 4. Watson-Trent, a Division I prospect with offers from Robert Morris, Duquesne, Lehigh and Youngstown State, led the Cougars last week with 242 yards and three touchdowns on 29 carries.

Extra point: The last time Highlands was shut out in a game was in 2015 when the Golden Rams fell to Freeport, 14-0.

Class 3A Big East

Deer Lakes (0-2, 0-1) at Uniontown (0-2, 0-1)

7 p.m. Friday at Uniontown’s Bill Power Stadium

Coaches: Tim Burk, Deer Lakes; Cedric Lloyd, Uniontown

Last week: Elizabeth Forward 15, Deer Lakes 7; Yough 25, Uniontown 0

Players to Watch: Isaiah Yoder, Deer Lakes (Sr., 5-9, 160, RB/LB); Jake Shiley, Uniontown (Sr., 6-0, 205, TE/LB).

Four downs: 1. Deer Lakes committed five turnovers against Elizabeth Forward in what turned out to be a one-score game. 2. Uniontown has lost 24 consecutive games dating to the Week 7 victory over Laurel Highlands in 2016. 3. Senior tight end Jack Hollibaugh (6-1, 220) leads all Lancers receivers with 10 catches for 137 yards and a score through two weeks of play. 4. Aris Hasley is among the WPIAL passing leaders in total yards with 526 through two games. He also leads the team in rushing with 89 yards.

Extra point: Deer Lakes scored early and often against Uniontown last year and rolled to a 47-14 victory at Lancers Stadium.

No. 3 Elizabeth Forward (1-0, 1-0) at Burrell (1-1, 0-1)

7 p.m. Friday at Burrell’s Buccaneers Stadium

Last week: Elizabeth Forward 15, Deer Lakes 7; North Catholic 54, Burrell 6

Players to Watch: Evan Lewis, Elizabeth Forward (Jr., 5-10, 170, RB/CB); Logan Phillips, Burrell (Sr., 6-0, 180, WR/RB/CB)

Four downs: 1. Elizabeth Forward rallied in the second half against Deer Lakes, gaining 145 yards after being held to 32 over the first two quarters. 2. Burrell QB Alex Arledge and receiver Seth Fischbach connected for the Bucs’ lone score last week. 3. Junior Nico Mrvos gets the call as the new Elizabeth Forward quarterback. He took over for graduate Zach Benedek, a three-year starter who is playing at St. Francis (Pa.). 4. Burrell plays its home opener after consecutive weeks on the road at Valley and against North Catholic at North Park’s J.C. Stone Field. The Bucs host games three of the next four weeks.

Extra point: Elizabeth Forward topped Burrell, 43-14, last year en route to a three-way tie for the Big East title with Derry and North Catholic.

No. 2 North Catholic (1-0, 1-0) at Freeport (0-1, 0-1)

7 p.m. Friday at Freeport Area Athletic Field, Sarver

Last week: North Catholic 54, Burrell 6; Derry 35, Freeport 27

Players to Watch: Eamon Straub, North Catholic (Sr., 6-0, 175, RB/SS); Ricky Hunter, Freeport (Sr., 5-9, 160, RB/LB/K)

Four downs: 1. The Trojans defense was stout last week as it picked off Burrell quarterback Alex Arledge four times. 2. Freeport scored twice in the fourth quarter against Derry last Friday to close a three-touchdown deficit. A final drive with a chance to tie in the waning minutes ended on downs. 3. North Catholic quarterback Zack Rocco (6-3, 235) was an efficient 6 of 7 passing for 133 yards and two scores last week. He added a rushing score, all in a quarter and a half. 4. Yellowjackets signal caller Garret Schaffhauser produced with his arm and his feet last week, totaling 263 yards and two touchdowns through the air and another 102 yards and a score on the ground.

Extra point: Freeport is hoping to avoid an 0-2 start for the second year in a row. North Catholic won last year’s meeting 40-8 en route to a Big East co-championship.

Class 2A Allegheny

Valley (0-2, 0-1) at Shady Side Academy (1-0, 0-0)

7 p.m. Friday at Shady Side Academy’s Michael J. Farrell Stadium

Coaches: Muzzy Colosimo, Valley; Chuck DiNardo, Shady Side Academy

Last week: Avonworth 47, Valley 14; Shady Side Academy 35, Brownsville 12

Players to Watch: Vaun Ross, Valley (Sr., 5-10, 170, WR/RB/DB); Mason Tomlin, Shady Side Academy (Sr., 5-9, 160, WR/DB)

Four downs: 1. Ross continues to be a do-everything skill player on offense for the Vikings. He contributed a 20-yard touchdown run last week in the loss to Avonworth. 2. Shady Side Academy came into this season with holes to fill after losing 12 seniors. 3. Jeremiah Johnson sparked the Vikings on special teams last week as he returned a kickoff 88 yards for a TD. 4. Indians senior running back/safety Eddie Faulkner (5-9, 175) has big-play ability on both sides of the ball.

Nonconference

Carlynton (2-0) at Apollo-Ridge (2-0)

7 p.m. Friday, Owens Field, Apollo

Coaches: Rich Piccinini, Carlynton; John Skiba, Apollo-Ridge

Last week: Carlynton 42, Fort Cherry 8; Apollo-Ridge 34, Summit Academy 6

Players to Watch: Dallas Paolino, Carlynton (Sr., 5-10, 210, RB/LB); Klay Fitzroy, Apollo-Ridge (Jr., 6-4, 195, WR/DB)

Four downs: 1. Apollo-Ridge hopes to go 3-0 for the second time in three seasons, and Carlynton is 2-0 for the first time since 1985. 2. Paolino was featured in Carlynton’s offense against Fort Cherry as he collected 85 yards and three TDs on 18 carries and added a receiving score. 3. Apollo-Ridge QB Jake Fello finished an efficient 9 of 12 for 172 yards with touchdown completions to Fitzroy, junior Keighton Reese and senior Cam Bush in the win over Summit Academy. 4. Logan Harmon, from his linebacker spot, leads the Vikings in tackles with 14. He paced the team with eight stops against Summit.

Extra point: Apollo-Ridge hopes to make it two in a row in the home-and-home series with Carlynton. The Vikings captured last year’s meeting, 28-18.

Monessen (0-2) at Springdale (2-0)

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

Last week: California 42, Monessen 7; Springdale 34, Imani Christian 20

Players to Watch: Jalen Brice, Monessen (Sr., 5-9, 190, QB/DE); Brandon Green, Springdale (Sr., 5-11, 160, RB/LB)

Four downs: 1. Springdale, paced by its ground game, established a three-score lead over Imani Christian at halftime and beat the Saints for the first time in four tries. Christian Vokes (174 yards, three touchdowns) and Cavin Kindler (82 yards, two TDs) helped lead the way. 2. Monessen finished 7-3 last year, captured a share of the Class A Tri-County South title and battled eventual WPIAL champion Jeannette in the first round of the playoffs before falling 18-14. 3. Springdale is averaging 31.5 points. The Dynamos averaged 9.7 points over 10 games last year. 4. Devin Whitlock, a freshman do-everything player for Monessen last year, transferred to Belle Vernon, but Brice, an all-conference performer, is back after recording a team-best 71 tackles, seven sacks and three fumble recoveries last year.

Extra point: Monessen defeated Springdale, 40-6, last year as a part of its 3-0 start. Friday’s game is Springdale’s third straight at home to start the season.

Riverview (0-1) at Charleroi (0-1)

7 p.m. Friday at Myron Pottios Stadium, Charleroi

Last week: Greensburg Central Catholic 32, Riverview 13; Washington 42, Charleroi 14

Players to Watch: Ryan Aber, Riverview (Jr., 5-11, 190, QB/DB); Legend Davis, Charleroi (Sr., 5-11, 185, WR/SS)

Four downs: 1. Riverview hopes to rid itself of the turnover bug that bit in the opener last Saturday. The Raiders had three interceptions and a fumble end drives against GCC. 2. Davis produced for Charleroi last Friday against Class 2A No. 1 Washington with a 60-yard punt return for a score and a 9-yard touchdown reception. 3. Riverview senior Zach Hanlon fared well on both sides of the ball against GCC with 14 carries for 62 yards and a touchdown to go along with 10 tackles. 4. Charleroi led Washington, 14-6, in the second quarter of its opener, but the Prexies flexed their muscles and scored the final 35 points.

Extra point: Last year, Riverview trailed Charleroi, the No. 3 team in Class 2A at the time, only 14-7 at halftime at Riverside Park before the Cougars broke open the game in the third quarter en route to a 48-7 victory.

Rochester (0-2) at Leechburg (0-2)

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

Last week: Laurel 42, Rochester 0; Jeannette 33, Leechburg 6

Players to Watch: Zaine Jeffers, Rochester (Sr., 5-9, 175, QB); Braylan Lovelace, Leechburg (Fr., 6-1, 170, RB/LB)

Four Downs: 1. Rochester and Leechburg are two of 33 WPIAL teams with an 0-2 start. 2. Lovelace brought the Blue Devils their only points last week against Class A No. 2 Jeannette with a 79-yard kickoff return. 3. Starting with back-to-back shutout losses, the Rams have dropped out of the Trib’s top-five rankings. 4. Leechburg sophomore Eli Rich, who caught five passes for 117 yards against Apollo-Ridge in Week Zero, missed last week’s game with a thumb injury. Coach Mark George said Rich is probable.

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

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