A-K Valley high school football matchups for 2023 Week 1

Wednesday, August 30, 2023 | 7:09 PM


Apollo-Ridge (1-0) at Valley (0-1)

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

Last week: Apollo-Ridge 18, Leechburg 16; Armstrong 49, Valley 16

Last year’s meeting: Apollo-Ridge 34, Valley 19

These longtime rivals each would like to gain some nonconference momentum before conference play begins. … The big story for the Vikings is the return of QB Karter Schrock, who ran for 153 yards and two scores on 34 carries last week. Alex Wurmb’s 80-yard blocked field goal return showed his big-play potential. … Valley is seeking its first winning season since 2016 and is looking to even its record after last week’s loss. QB Mason Simmons was a bright spot after completing 17 of 33 passes for 139 yards and two scores and connecting with five different receivers.

Fox Chapel (0-1) at Plum (1-0)

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

Last week: Peters Township 35, Fox Chapel 0; Plum 28, Kiski 18

Last year’s meeting: Plum 28, Fox Chapel 13

The Foxes are hoping to taste success closer to home after being shut out last week, while Plum aims to maintain momentum with Big East play looming. … The Foxes struggled to move the ball against Peters Township last week, ending up with minus-3 yards of total offense. … The Mustangs beat Kiski Area with a balanced attack. Nick Odom ran for 149 yards and a score, and Sean Franzi connected with Darian Nelson for two TDs.

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

7 p.m. Friday, Blackhawk Stadium, Chippewa Township

Last week: Highlands 45, Ambridge 8; Beaver Falls 28, Blackhawk 7

Last year’s meeting: Highlands 23, Blackhawk 0

Highlands will try to take advantage of a strong running game that found success last week against a Blackhawk defense that struggled to slow the Beaver Falls rushing attack. … The Cougars have a tough task ahead of them. Highlands’ eight ball-carriers amassed nearly 300 yards and combined for six touchdowns, including three for RB Luke Bombalski and two for Julius Saunders. QB Aaran Randolph ran for 106 yards and a TD. … Alex Pritchard got Blackhawk on the board in the fourth quarter last week with a 2-yard run.

Indiana (1-0) at Knoch (1-0)

7 p.m. Friday, Knights Stadium, Saxonburg

Last week: Indiana 28, Freeport 14; Knoch 45, Hampton 38

Last year’s meeting: Indiana 32, Knoch 31

Players and coaches certainly remember last year’s matchup that went three overtimes before Tristan Redinger’s point-after sealed Indiana’s win. … Indiana got off to strong start last week behind QB Trevor Smith, who threw for 204 yards and three scores, including two to Levi Porter. Porter also ran for 96 yards, highlighted by a 59-yard TD run. … The high-flying Knights matched last year’s win total behind a stunning aerial assault. Codi Mullen threw for 370 yards and four touchdowns. Kaden Spencer was the primary beneficiary with eight catches for 234 yards and two TDs.

Kiski Area (0-1) at Class 5A No. 3 Pine-Richland (0-1)

7 p.m. Friday, Pine-Richland Stadium, Gibsonia

Last week: Plum 28, Kiski 18; Pickerington North (Ohio) 35, Pine-Richland 14

Last year’s meeting: Pine-Richland 33, Kiski Area 0

Both teams have sights set on getting in the win column after a tough start. … The Cavaliers had some bright spots last week, notably QB Carson Heinle, who ran for 119 yards and two scores on 26 carries and also threw for 109 yards and a TD. Landon Kucic carried the ball 16 times for 75 yards. … The Rams’ trip to Ohio was a learning experience after they fell behind by three scores before halftime. Vasile Balouris caught a TD pass from Kanan Huffman, and Aaron Strader added a TD run in the second half for the Rams, who couldn’t keep up with powerhouse Pickerington North.

Northgate (0-1) at Springdale (0-1)

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

Last week: Fort Cherry 42, Northgate 6; Ligonier Valley 28, Springdale 14

Last year’s meeting: Northgate 37, Springdale 14

Both teams were gashed by opposing rushers last week and will try and shore up some holes in Week 1. … Springdale showed promising signs on offense, highlighted by Brayden Layhew’s 17 carries for 113 yards and a TD. … Austin Mitchell scored on a 30-yard run for Northgate last week, but the Flames had a tough time corralling sophomore QB Matt Sieg, who ran for 196 yards and three scores and also threw for 70 yards and a TD.

South Allegheny (1-0) at Freeport (0-1)

7 p.m. Friday, Freeport Area Athletic Stadium, Buffalo Township

Last week: South Allegheny 28, Yough 14; Indiana 28, Freeport 14

Last year’s meeting: Freeport 37, South Allegheny 15

Trib HSSN Player of the Week Cameron Epps will be a challenge for the young Freeport defense. … South Allegheny lost nine straight games after falling to the Yellowjackets last season but snapped that skid last week against Yough. Epps ran for 226 yards and three touchdowns. … Freeport will look to carry over some second-half momentum from the opener. After falling behind 21-0, Drew Ross connected with Brady Sullivan on 30- and 20-yard passes on back-to-back plays for fourth-quarter touchdowns. Sullivan also returned an interception 30 yards for a score.

Summit Academy (0-1) at Leechburg (0-1)

7 p.m. Friday, Veterans Stadium, Leechburg

Last week: Shady Side Academy 55, Summit Academy 0; Apollo-Ridge 18, Leechburg 16

Last year’s meeting: Leechburg 69, Summit Academy 0

Leechburg will try to rebound after a narrow lost last week, while Summit is working out the kinks with an all-new team. … After the opener, it’s clear QB Jayden Floyd is the driving force for Leechburg. He completed 18 of 28 passes for 226 yards and a score and also ran for 121 yards and a TD. … Summit is led by quarterback Marcel Freeman, WR/S Esias Taylor, WR/S Kye’mere Robinson, all-purpose back Andrew DeArmitt, RB/LB Jamari Manning and OL/LB Wade Jeffers.


Carlynton (1-0) at Riverview (1-0)

Noon Saturday, Riverside Park, Oakmont

Last week: Carlynton 46, Carrick 6; Riverview 41, Beth-Center 20

Last year’s meeting: Riverview 38, Carlynton 8

Both teams are coming off statement wins in Week Zero, including Carlynton snapping a 14-game losing streak. … Riverview showed what its running game can do last week behind Landon Johnson (259 yards, 2 TDs) and Carlo Buzzato (143 yards, 2 TDs). … Ryan Lewis scored four times for the Cougars last week, and Jaydin McKnight, Devonte Dean and Damien Holloway also made offensive contributions.

Bill Hartlep is the sports editor of the Tribune-Review. You can contact Bill at bhartlep@triblive.com or via Twitter @BHartlep_Trib.

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