Alle-Kiski Valley high school football notebook: Springdale enjoys ‘crazy, fun night’

Saturday, August 24, 2019 | 11:25 PM

Springdale and Deer Lakes didn’t play Week Zero games last year, so the teams decided to match up for the first time since 1993.

Friday night’s contest turned out to be a classic battle that came down to late heroics. Legend Ausk and Demitri Fritch connected on a touchdown pass with 53 seconds left, and the Dynamos edged the Lancers, 29-27.

“It was a crazy, fun night,” Dynamos coach Seth Napierkowski said. “Even after wins like that, the nights are restless. You want to watch the film and see what you did well and what you need to improve on. I don’t have much of a voice today, but that’s OK.”

Napierkowski said the victory, which snapped Springdale’s three-game losing streak in season openers, hopes to be a solid springboard into Eastern Conference play.

“We were excited to play Deer Lakes, and it was great for both teams and both communities,” he said. “It was something we hadn’t done in a long time, and we hadn’t beaten them in almost 40 years. We didn’t care that they were a 3A school or they were bigger than us up front. We just wanted to play anyone. It was a great challenge. The kids executed the game plan and played well.”

Springdale hopes to win two in a row to start a season for the first time since 2015 as they kick off conference action Friday at home against Imani Christian. Deer Lakes hopes to bounce back as it kicks off the home portion of its schedule Friday with its Big East opener against Elizabeth Forward.

A productive opener

Logan Harmon said in preseason camp he wanted to get his season off to a physical start.

The Apollo-Ridge senior running back did just that in his team’s 28-12 victory over rival Leechburg on Friday.

The 210 pounder carried the ball 23 times for 196 yards, including a bruising 10 times for 65 yards on a fourth-quarter scoring drive that seized back momentum after the Blue Devils scored twice to trim a 21-0 deficit.

Harmon finished with three rushing touchdowns and added his team’s fourth score with a 96-yard fumble return in the second quarter.

“This win gives us a lot of confidence for moving forward,” Harmon said. “We hope to avenge a lot of games we lost last year.”

The Vikings, who avenged last year’s loss to Leechburg in the rivalry series, kicks off Allegheny Conference (Class 3A) play next week at home against Summit Academy.

Dynamos player recovering

During what turned out to be Springdale’s dramatic victory over Deer Lakes, thoughts and concerned turned to the condition of Dynamos sophomore Logan Dexter, who suffered a hip injury on a kickoff return late in the first quarter.

Dexter was taken from the field by ambulance and to the hospital for further examination.

Sharon Dexter, Logan’s mother, said Saturday that he suffered an avulsion fracture of a bone in the area of where the hip and pelvis come together. With that type of fracture, a tendon or ligament pulls away, and a small piece of bone pulls away with it.

“He’s on crutches, and it’s pretty painful,” Sharon said. “We will visit an orthopedic doctor. No surgery is needed for this type of fracture, but he’s probably going to be out for a couple of weeks. He’s ready to get back now.”

Napierkowski said he looks forward to Dexter’s recovery and his return to the field when he is ready.

“Logan’s a tough kid. He will be missed for however long he’s not able to play,” Napierkowski said. “I think the kids kind of rallied around that and continued to play hard for him and for the team.”

Gearing up for debuts

The Freeport and Riverview football teams hope to follow the lead of Knoch, Springdale, Apollo-Ridge, Plum, Kiski Area and Burrell and kick off their seasons in the win column.

The Yellowjackets and Raiders were the only two Alle-Kiski Valley teams to not play a Week Zero game, opting instead to ready for their seasons with a second scrimmage.

Both jump right into conference play.

Freeport will travel to Derry at 7 p.m. on Friday in a Big East (Class 3A) rematch of a 2018 game the Trojans won in overtime on the way to a conference co-championship.

The Yellowjackets began last season 0-3 in conference play but were able to rebound to make the playoffs.

Riverview hopes to make a return to the WPIAL postseason this fall, and the road begins Saturday afternoon against Greensburg Central Catholic at Riverside Park.

The Raiders hope to fair better than last year’s game, a 35-0 setback at the home of the Centurions.

Coming attractions

• Freeport at Derry, 7 p.m. Friday: The Yellowjackets will open Class 3A Big East Conference play with a test against last year’s co-champion.

• Kiski Area at Shaler, 7 p.m. Friday: After scoring a nonconference win over Allderdice, the Cavaliers begin Class 5A Northern Conference competition.

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

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