A-K Valley high school football matchups for 2023 Week 3

Wednesday, September 13, 2023 | 4:56 PM

Class 5A

Big East Conference

Plum (2-1, 0-0) at Norwin (1-2, 0-0)

7 p.m. Friday, Norwin Knights Stadium, North Huntingdon

Last week: Shaler 28, Plum 14; Norwin 33, Fox Chapel 18

Last year’s result: Plum 42, Norwin 13

A power running attack meets a go-and-throw approach in a Big East opener. … Offensive centerpiece Nick Odom is a challenge to bring down and makes the Mustangs go. Plum allowed a 282-yard passer last week against Shaler in Keegan Smetanka, so Norwin will look to test that same secondary. … Tristyn Tavares threw for 270 yards and four touchdowns last week, two to Jake Knight.

Class 4A

Greater Allegheny Conference

Kiski Area (1-2, 0-0) at Hampton (0-3, 0-0)

7 p.m. Friday, Fridley Field, Allison Park

Last week: Kiski Area 28, Laurel Highlands 24; Central Valley 55, Hampton 0

Last year’s result: Hampton 38, Kiski Area 0

All games in the Greater Allegheny Conference have importance, but this matchup could go a long way toward deciding positioning as both teams are looking for needed wins early on. … Carson Heinle shined in Kiski Area’s win last week, throwing for 185 yards and three touchdowns. His accuracy will be needed against a Hampton defense that has allowed 47.66 points per game. Isaiah Gonzalez, Terry Martin and Connor Jordan combined for 12 catches last week and will be counted on again. … Hampton QBs Porter Kelly and Jack Shaunessey still are getting their feet under them after replacing starter Adrian Midgley, who suffered a knee injury the first day of training camp. Kiski Area has a 6-3 lead over Hampton in the all-time series that dates to 1984.

Class 2A

Allegheny Conference

Apollo-Ridge (1-2, 0-0) at Ligonier Valley (1-2, 0-0)

7 p.m. Friday, Weller Field, Ligonier

Last week: Deer Lakes 49, Apollo-Ridge 21; Greensburg Salem 34, Ligonier Valley 7

Last year’s result: Ligonier Valley 28, Apollo-Ridge 14

Both teams are coming off losses to bigger schools. … Apollo-Ridge is led by senior quarterback Karter Schrock, who has rushed for 289 yards and scored four touchdowns. He is 12 of 34 for 102 yards and three interceptions. … The Rams are led by junior running back John Jablunovsky, who has rushed for 279 yards and three touchdowns. Sophomore Bryce Vida has three quarterback sacks.

Serra Catholic (0-3, 0-0) at Burrell (1-2, 0-0)

7 p.m. Friday, Buccaneer Stadium, Lower Burrell

Last week: Washington 40, Serra Catholic 15; Burrell 30, Valley 8

Last year’s result: Serra Catholic 38, Burrell 20

In the Allegheny Conference opener, Burrell is looking to keep its offense humming after a strong performance last week, and Serra Catholic’s defense has struggled so far this season, allowing 43.3 points per game. … Serra Catholic’s surprising 0-3 start has provided some offensive highlights, notably QB Quadir Stribling, who is third in the WPIAL with 770 yards and nine touchdowns. De’reon Washington, Jesere Young, Chris Warren and Mason Jones have been his primary targets. … Burrell’s offense runs through RB Devin Beattie, who ran for 135 yards and a TD last week in the program’s 300th win. Stevie Hasson added two scores — an 18-yard pick-6 and a 2-yard sneak. His running ability could be an X-factor in controlling the clock against Serra. Burrell will host Serra Catholic for the first time since 1971, a 33-7 Bucs victory.

Class A

Eastern Conference

Leechburg (2-1, 0-0) at Springdale (1-2, 0-0)

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

Last week: Leechburg 28, Bentworth 21; Springdale 35, Summit Academy 21

Last year’s result: Leechburg 77, Springdale 0

With a 13-game losing streak behind them, the Dynamos are hoping to start Eastern Conference play with a second straight win. Leechburg, which is averaging 34.3 points, won’t make it easy. … Leechburg’s Jayden Floyd showed off his all-around ability last week with a 75-yard blocked field goal return for a touchdown, along with a pair of TD runs. The Blue Devils QB ran for 114 yards and threw for 66. … Springdale again will try to capitalize on mistakes. Against Summit Academy, Garrett Myers returned an interception 47 yards for a score. Noah Bradley, Chase Weihrauch (2) and Brayden Layhew also ran for touchdowns, and Weihrauch rushed for 155 yards. Springdale leads the all-time series 43-37.

Riverview (2-1, 0-0) at Class A No. 4 Clairton (1-2, 0-0)

7 p.m. Friday, Neil Brown Stadium, Clairton

Last week: Northgate 38, Riverview 21; Clairton 38, OLSH 7

Last year’s result: Clairton 54, Riverview 0

Riverview’s multi-faceted rushing attack will face its toughest test to date against perennial power Clairton in an Eastern Conference opener. … Riverview runners have piled up 1,292 yards through three games behind Landon Johnson, Carlo Buzzatto and Rio Stotts, who have combined for 10 touchdowns. QB Rocco Cecere also could be a factor in the running game against the Bears. … Clairton has struggled offensively this season, albeit against high-quality nonconference opponents. The Bears were shut out by Westinghouse and Washington before their convincing win over OLSH last week. Donte Wright leads the rushing attack with 266 yards and two scores, and Michael Wright has thrown for 228 yards and a TD. The last time Clairton lost to Riverview was 24-14 in 2005, the last year Clairton failed to make the playoffs.


Class 4A No. 5 Armstrong (2-1) at Freeport (2-1)

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

Last week: Armstrong 44, New Castle 19; Freeport 38, Quaker Valley 6

Last year’s result: Armstrong 49, Freeport 7

Freeport has allowed 11.3 points per game this season against its three opponents, but Class 4A Armstrong’s aerial attack (39.0 ppg) will provide a different challenge. … Colt Sprankle stepped in for the graduated Cadin Olsen and has fit in perfectly in the role, throwing for 481 yards and seven touchdowns. Ian Olsen and Isaiah Brown have been primary targets. … Freeport’s skill player trio of Brady Sullivan, Cyp Selinger and Sean Selinger are key playmakers on both sides of the ball. Sean Selinger had a 65-yard interception return for a score last week, and Sullivan and Cyp Selinger each caught a pair of TD passes.

Fox Chapel (0-3) at Class 5A No. 3 Upper St. Clair (3-0)

7 p.m. Friday, Panther Stadium, Upper St. Clair Township

Last week: Norwin 33, Fox Chapel 18; Upper St. Clair 42, Baldwin 34

Last year’s result: Upper St. Clair 49, Fox Chapel 7

Fox Chapel’s final nonconference tune-up before Northeast Conference play comes against one Class 5A’s top contenders. … The Foxes have scored just 28 points but found some success in the passing game last week with QB Max Melocchi, who threw for 152 yards and a touchdown. Kellan Bleier also ran for a TD and kicked a field goal. Fox Chapel will be trying to avoid tying the school record of 15 straight losses set 2003-05. … Mason Chambers, who has 229 rushing yards and five touchdowns, will be one to watch for the Panthers. QB Ethan Hellmann has spread the ball around to 11 receivers this season, totaling 355 yards and four touchdowns.

Greensburg Salem (1-2) at Deer Lakes (2-1)

7 p.m. Friday, Lancer Stadium, West Deer

Last week: Greensburg Salem 34, Ligonier Valley 7; Deer Lakes 49, Apollo-Ridge 21

Last year’s result: Greensburg Salem 28, Deer Lakes 14

One of two more nonconference games before the start of conference play for the Golden Lions and Lancers. … Greensburg Salem is at its best when it starts fast. It was 20-0 after the first quarter last week. QB Peyton Chismar returned after serving a two-game suspension and ran for two touchdowns. Brady Smith rushed for 164 yards and two scores. … A 21-point first quarter propelled Deer Lakes past Apollo-Ridge. Zier Williams ran for 193 yards and two touchdowns, and Derek Burk ran for two TDs and threw for two more.

Valley (1-2) at Mt. Pleasant (2-1)

7 p.m. Friday, Mt. Pleasant Area Stadium, Mt. Pleasant

Last week: Burrell 30, Valley 8; Mt. Pleasant 26, McGuffey 21

Last year’s result: Mt. Pleasant 40, Valley 13

Valley followed a win over Apollo-Ridge with a loss to neighboring Burrell. Chuck Perkins scored the Vikings’ only touchdown, and Derek Hassim had two catches for 120 yards. … The Vikings rallied to defeat McGuffey last week as quarterback Cole Chatfield returned an interception 78 yards for a score and threw a 39-yard touchdown pass to Luke Nicotera. Running back Garrett Eicher, who has rushed for 249 yards, scored twice, including the winning touchdown in the third quarter.

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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