A-K Valley high school football don’t-miss matchups for Week 3
Wednesday, September 11, 2019 | 6:13 PM
Class 5A Big East
Connellsville (1-2, 0-2) at Plum (1-2, 0-2)
7 p.m. Friday at Mustangs Stadium, Plum
On the air: TribHSSN.triblive.com
Last week: Penn-Trafford 41, Connellsville 7; Gateway 44, Plum 0
Coaches: Marko Thomas, Connellsville; Matt Morgan, Plum
Players to watch: Ky’Ron Craggette, Connellsville (Jr., 5-10, 215, RB/LB); Billy Guzzi, Plum (Jr., 5-8, 160, RB/DB)
Four downs: 1. Craggette, a transfer from Uniontown, leads the Falcons in rushing through three games. He had 100 yards on 22 carries against Penn-Trafford. 2. Guzzi was the workhorse for Plum last week against Gateway with 98 yards on 23 carries. 3. Plum was held off the scoreboard last Friday for the fourth time in 11 games dating to last season. 4. Connellsville’s fourth-quarter touchdown last week ended a seven-quarter scoring drought.
Extra point: Plum holds a 5-4-1 lead in the all-time series against Connellsville, but the Falcons won last year’s meeting 30-6.
Class 5A Northern
Kiski Area (1-2, 0-2) at Fox Chapel (0-3, 0-2)
7 p.m. Friday at James Burk Athletic Complex, O’Hara Township
Last week: North Hills 34, Kiski Area 7; Penn Hills 33, Fox Chapel 13
Coaches: Sam Albert, Kiski Area; Tom Loughran, Fox Chapel
Players to watch: Kenny Blake, Kiski Area (Jr., 6-2, 180, WR/RB/DB); Alex Wecht, Fox Chapel (Sr., 5-9, 175, WR/DB)
Four downs: 1. Kiski Area is hoping to snap a two-game losing skid after a season-opening 13-12 victory over Allderdice. 2. Fox Chapel was limited to minus-2 yards rushing against Penn Hills last Friday, but quarterback Shane Susnak threw for 177 yards and two touchdowns. 3. The Cavaliers found some success in the wildcat offense against North Hills as Blake tallied 104 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries. 4. Wecht has 16 tackles the past two weeks after missing Fox Chapel’s Week Zero game while recovering from injury. He also blocked a field goal last Friday against the Indians.
Extra point: Fox Chapel has surrendered the most points per game in 5A (37.7), and Kiski Area has scored the fewest per game (8.7).
Class 3A Big East
Burrell (1-2, 0-2) at Uniontown (0-3, 0-2)
7 p.m. Friday at Bill Powers Stadium, Uniontown
On the air: TribHSSN.triblive.com; 590 AM, 101.1 FM
Last week: Elizabeth Forward 34, Burrell 26; Deer Lakes 35, Uniontown 13
Coaches: Shawn Liotta, Burrell; Cedric Lloyd, Uniontown
Players to watch: Trent Valovchik, Burrell (Sr., 5-6, 140, WR/DB); Javon Davis, Uniontown (Sr., 5-8, 160, RB/DB)
Four downs: 1. Six Burrell receivers caught at least one pass from quarterback Alex Arledge (22 of 46, 335 yards) last Friday. Seth Fischbach led the way with nine catches for 152 yards and two scores. 2. Uniontown has lost 25 straight games dating to Week 8 of the 2016 season. 3. The Bucs led Elizabeth Forward at halftime and had a chance to tie the score in the final minute. It was a change from last year, when Burrell fell to EF, 43-14. 4. Bucs running back Mikey Scherer, a 6-foot, 190-pound senior, logged 22 carries against the Warriors and tallied 50 yards.
Extra point: Burrell ended an 0-3 start last season with a blowout of Uniontown, 61-6, in Week 4. It was one of the Bucs’ two conference victories. Mt. Pleasant was the other.
Deer Lakes (1-2, 1-1) at Yough (1-2, 1-1)
7 p.m. Friday at Yough’s Cougar Mountain, Herminie
Last week: Deer Lakes 35, Uniontown 13; Mt. Pleasant 55, Yough 35
Coaches: Tim Burk, Deer Lakes; Scott Wood, Yough
Players to watch: Jack Hollibaugh (Sr., 6-1, 220, TE/LB); Gamal Marballie, Yough (Jr., 5-11, 158, QB)
Four downs: 1. Deer Lakes got its first win last week against Uniontown after surrendering second-half leads in the first two games. 2. Trey Darrah led six receivers with receptions against Uniontown. He made seven grabs for 161 yards and two touchdowns. Hollibaugh added 95 yards and a score. 3. Yough lost starting quarterback Tristan Waldier to a knee injury in Week Zero. Marballie is now under center. Against Mt. Pleasant, he threw for 148 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions and added two rushing scores. 4. Lancers senior Aris Hasley is among the WPIAL passing leaders after three weeks with 849 yards and nine touchdowns.
Extra point: Yough got the better of Deer Lakes last year 32-13 behind 401 yards and five rushing touchdowns from the now-graduated Dustin Shoaf, a freshman at Mercyhurst.
Freeport (0-2, 0-2) at Elizabeth Forward (2-0, 2-0)
7 p.m. Friday at Warriors Stadium, Elizabeth
Last week: North Catholic 28, Freeport 20; Elizabeth Forward 34, Burrell 26
Coaches: John Gaillot, Freeport; Mike Collodi, Elizabeth Forward
Players to watch: Brodey Woods, Freeport (Sr., 5-9, 160, WR/DB); Patrick Filson, Elizabeth Forward (Sr., 6-1, 175, WR)
Four downs: 1. Freeport is hoping to avoid an 0-3 start for the second year in a row. 2. Elizabeth Forward rallied from one-score halftime deficits in its wins against Deer Lakes and Burrell. 3. Warriors quarterback Nico Mrvos was only 5 of 14 passing against Burrell, but four of the completions went for touchdowns. 4. Gaillot said quarterback Garret Schaffhauser, who left last week’s game because of injury, is progressing this week, and his status for Friday is day-to-day.
Extra point: Last year’s matchup at Freeport came down to the wire as the Warriors rallied from a 21-12 deficit and held off a last-minute Yellowjackets scoring attempt to post a 27-21 win.
Class 2A Allegheny
Apollo-Ridge (3-0, 1-0) at East Allegheny (2-1, 1-0)
7 p.m. at East Allegheny High School, North Versailles
Last week: Apollo-Ridge 22, Carlynton 7; East Allegheny 7, South Allegheny 6
Coaches: John Skiba, Apollo-Ridge; Dom Pecora, East Allegheny
Players to watch: Cam Bush, Apollo-Ridge (Sr., 5-11, 170, WR/DB); Tyler Padezan, East Allegheny (Sr., 6-3, 185, WR/DB)
Four downs: 1. The Apollo-Ridge running game produced 246 yards and all three touchdowns against Carlynton. Keighton Reese had two scores and 79 yards, and Logan Harmon rushed for 157 yards and a touchdown. 2. It’s home sweet home for East Allegheny as the Wildcats play four of their first five games on their own turf. 3. The Vikings defense forced four turnovers — two interceptions and two fumbles — and recorded four sacks in Friday’s win. 4. East Allegheny was one of four WPIAL teams in Week 2 to win a game by one point. Padezan, a receiving threat in the Wildcats offense, has college offers from Duquesne, St. Francis (Pa.), Rhode Island and others.
Extra point: Apollo-Ridge hopes to improve to 4-0 for the first time since 2014 when it finished 9-2 overall and made the WPIAL Class AA quarterfinals. East Allegheny won last year’s meeting 34-7.
Class A Eastern
Greensburg Central Catholic (2-1, 1-1) at Leechburg (1-2, 0-2)
7 p.m. Friday at Veterans Memorial Field, Leechburg
Last week: Clairton 21, GCC 14; Leechburg 13, Rochester 6
Coaches: Bret Colbert, GCC; Mark George, Leechburg
Players to watch: David Altimore, GCC (Jr., 6-0, 160, QB/DB); Chace Wadsworth, Leechburg (Sr., 5-10. 165, WR/DB)
Four downs: 1. Altimore and wideout Ben LaCarte connected twice for fourth-quarter touchdowns as GCC attempted to rally from a 21-0 deficit against Clairton. 2. Leechburg turned around its fortunes against Rochester after a 42-6 loss to the Rams last year. 3. Brandon Brown also is a top receiving threat in the GCC offense. He led the team with six TD receptions last year. 4. Leechburg freshman Braylon Lovelace, who returned a kickoff for a touchdown against Jeannette two weeks ago, added his second TD of the season last week, a 67-yard rushing score.
Extra point: Leechburg is 1-12 all-time against GCC. The Blue Devils won the first meeting in 1995 and haven’t won since, including last year’s 29-0 outcome.
Riverview (0-2, 0-2) at No. 3 Clairton (1-2, 1-0)
7 p.m. Friday at Neil C. Brown Stadium, Clairton
Last week: Charleroi 56, Riverview 0; Clairton 21, Greensburg C.C. 14
Coaches: Todd Massack, Riverview; Wayne Wade, Clairton
Players to watch: James Williams, Riverview (Jr., 5-10, 155, WR/DB); Demetrious Weatherspoon, Clairton (Jr., 6-6, 309, OL/DL)
Four downs: 1. The Bears were No. 1 in the Trib’s Class A preseason rankings, but they dipped to No. 3 with losses to Class 3A No. 1 Aliquippa and Class 2A No. 3 McGuffey. 2. Riverview was limited to 74 yards (40 passing, 34 rushing) in last Friday’s loss to Charleroi. 3. Senior linebacker Zach Hanlon leads the Raiders with 18 total tackles through two weeks. 4. Clairton quarterback Brendan Parsons is both a running and throwing threat. He ran for a touchdown and threw for another last week against GCC.
Extra points: Clairton leads the all-time series 19-12-1. Riverview last won in 2005.
Imani Christian (0-3) at Valley (0-3)
7 p.m. Friday at Valley High School
Last week: Jeannette 48, Imani Christian 0; Shady Side Academy 27, Valley 0
Coaches: Ronnell Heard, Imani Christian; Muzzy Colosimo, Valley
Players to watch: Sean McCaskill, Imani Christian (Sr., 5-9, 165, WR/DB); Vaun Ross, Valley (Sr., 5-10, 170, WR/DB)
Four downs: 1. Imani’s game last Friday at Jeannette was halted in the fourth quarter after shots were fired outside McKee Stadium. 2. Valley’s offense has struggled. It is averaging 4.7 points over three games. 3. Heavy graduation losses hit the Saints after last year’s trip to the playoffs. Pharoah Fisher, a receiver in 2018, leads the offense under center. 4. Imani is less than two years removed from the WPIAL Class A title game at Robert Morris.
Extra point: Imani and Valley played a close game last year at the Wolvarena in Turtle Creek. The Saints prevailed 32-25.
Springdale (3-0) at Bishop Canevin (0-3)
7 p.m. Saturday at Dormont Stadium, Dormont
Last week: Springdale 28, Monessen 7; Laurel 57, Bishop Canevin 0
Coaches: Seth Napierkowski, Springdale; T.J. Wiley, Bishop Canevin
Players to watch: Dmitri Fritch, Springdale (Jr., 6-2, 160, WR/CB); Keshawn Harris, Bishop Canevin (So., 5-9, 170, RB/CB).
Four downs: 1. Cavin Kindler, Christian Vokes and Fritch could see time under center for Springdale as sophomore starting quarterback Legend Aust likely is done for the season with a broken collarbone suffered against Monessen. 2. Bishop Canevin was limited to 59 yards of total offense last week against Class A No. 2 Laurel. 3. Springdale already has exceeded its win total from all of last year (two). 4. Vokes has 437 rushing yards and seven TDs on 61 carries through three weeks.
Extra point: Springdale’s 30.3 points per game ranks second to Jeannette (38.3) in the Eastern Conference and seventh overall in Class A. The Dynamos averaged only 9.7 points last year.
Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .