Big Game Hunting for Week Four 2016

Wednesday, September 21, 2016 | 4:48 PM

Welcome to week four of the WPIAL football season. Upon the conclusion of this week’s games we will have played exactly as many weeks of regular-season football as will remain. Yes, half way already. Football is like a really good chili-cheeseburger, before you realize it, and have time to really savor it, you’re almost done with it. I double checked that information with in-house MSA Sports Network Chili Cheeseburger Expert Robert “Bobby O” Orkwis before I just threw it out there and he did confirm. Week four and we start to see some separation, finding out who are the contenders and who are the pretenders continues as we go Big Game Hunting!

6 A Southeastern:
Altoona Mountain Lions (1-1)(2-2) vs Mount Lebanon Blue Devils (1-1)(2-2)  Friday, September 23rd  at 7:30 PM at Blue Devil Stadium on the campus of Mount Lebanon high school broadcast on the MSA sports network by Greg Warnock and Sean Saputo

The Blue Devils stopped a two-game losing streak with a win over Canon-Mac last week 32-7. Junior quarterback James Stocker tossed a pair of touchdown passes in the win. He has been, along with a strong receiver corps, the focus of the Blue Devil offensive attack this season. The 6’1’’ 205 pounder has completed 67 of 117 passes for exactly 900 yards and five touchdowns. He has tossed four interceptions as well so, I think it is reasonable to assume head coach Mike Melnyk would like him to take better care of the football.

Wide receiver Jack Young and running back Edgar Parilla, both seniors, are the center of that strong corps of receivers. Young has 28 catches for 416 yards and a score. Parilla has 22 catches for 262 yards and has totaled five scores on the season.

The Blue Devils have a ground game as well. Senior David Harvey is strong and brings a load of speed and power at 6’1’’ and 200 pounds. Harvey has accumulated 479 yards and six touchdowns in his 69 carries.

Senior Eric Kraus leads the Blue Devils in total tackles with 44. The Lebo defense has a pair of interceptions and six fumbles recovered through four games, no one player has more than a single one of those turnovers.

Altoona also snapped a two game slide with a win last week in a considerably closer game beating Peters on a last minute touchdown pass 40-37.

Ryan Shope to Kyle Good was the game winning connection against the Indians and that has been the go-to connection all-season for the Mountain Lions. Shope has completed 74 of 124 passes for 786 yards and nine scores while throwing five picks.

Good has 24 catches for 291 yards and five touchdowns.

Daiquain Watson also has chipped in with 14 catches for 209 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

On the ground the Lions will turn to Josh Russo to tote the ball, he has racked up 289 yards and four score on 50 carries.

5 A Allegheny Nine:
Chartiers Valley Colts (1-1)(2-2) vs Woodland Hills Wolverines (2-0)(3-1)  Friday, September 23rd at 7:00 PM @ the Wolvarena  broadcast on the Woodland Hills Sports Network and the MSA Sports Network by Adam Gusky and Fred Guy

The Colts saw their two-game winning streak come to an end at the hand of Bob Palko’s West Allegheny Indians last week 14-0, but while we a not a huge proponent of moral victories here at BGH, we do think of that as a respectable loss hanging with a very solid West A club.

Junior quarterback Reed Bruggeman has hooked up on 39 of 77 passes for the Colts for 490 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Steve Alauzen leads the Colts in receptions coming out of the backfield with 19 catches for 139 yards he also leads them in rushing yards with 187.

Dom Pocci has 42 carries for 169 yards for Char Valley as well.

Chartiers Valley has played very solid defense allowing less than 18 points per game but they need to get the offense going to help them out, the Colts are putting up just 14.5 points per game. It won’t help facing a very stout Woody high defense this week.

Michael Whiteherse and Daniel Jones have shared time at quarterback for George Novak’s club this year but the main focus of the Woody high attack will be the running game.

The Wolverines are posting 36.5 points per game, as a team they have rushed for over 600 yards the bulk of which has come from senior Saeed Holt who is also has scored 10 touchdowns. Holt scored the only Woody high touchdown in their loss last week to Penn Trafford. Holt is the leading rusher for the Wolverines, but Ja’Juan Hill and Jayquan Smith will both also get plenty of touches.

4A Northwest Nine:
#9 Knoch Knights (1-1)(1-2) vs #1 South Fayette Lions (2-0)(4-0) Friday, September 23rd  at 7:00 PM @ South Fayette Stadium on  the campus of South Fayette high school broadcast on WISR-AM 680 and the MSA Sports Network by Scott Briggs and Dave Bacon

The Knights might not have been facing a “must win situation” against Highlands last week but it sure felt like it in Saxonburg after an 0-2 start. The Knights responded with a huge conference win at home 21-14 but, there is no time to breathe a sigh of relief because, look there on the schedule, it’s Joe Rossi and the top team in AAAA, the South Fayette Lions.

Senior quarterback Mac Christy has completed 13 of 35 passes for Knoch for 232 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He has also rushed for a team-high 432 yards and scored three touchdowns.

Another senior Jayden Refrew has carried the ball 25 times for 88 yards and two touchdowns and leads the team in receptions with four for 110 yards.

Not only is Christy the leader for the Knights in most offensive stats, he is also their leading tackler with 23 total tackles on the season. Renfrew also jumps in on defense with both an interceptions and a fumble recovery credited to him on the year.

The Lions just keep rolling along. Junior quarterback Drew Saxton is 51 of 73 for 713 yards and eight touchdowns on the year, he has thrown three picks, but none in the last two weeks.

Joe Rossi’s club punished Uniontown last week 63-7, and their average margin of victory is 31.50 points.

Saxton spreads the ball around to a very skilled receiver set, three Lions have already reached double-digits in catches on the season. Senior Dan Trimbur has 12 catches for 200 yards and three touchdowns. Junior tight end Noah Plack has 11 catches for 184 yards and, Cam Garland has also 11 catches for 130 yards. If you try to focus in on those three though, Mike Speca will kill you he is averaging nearly 14 yards per catch.

The Lions are great in the trenches on both sides, the ground game consists largely of Geavonie Love who has 37 carries for 329 yards and five score but Johnny Beck will gouge teams as well as he is getting over 13 yards every time he touches the ball.

Knoch will need to be stout on defense to keep this game close.

The Lions’ defense is allowing a best in the conference 9.5 points per game….. and a lot of those points have been in mop-up time.

3A Inter-Conference:
#1 Beaver Bobcats (2-0)(3-0) vs #5 Keystone Oaks Golden Eagles (2-0)(3-0) Friday September 23rd @ Dormont Stadium broadcast on the MSA Sports Network by Sam Hall and Johnny Lee

Normally I’m not big on the non-conference game working into the mid-season BGH, but sometimes the playoff implications come in the form of seeding implications and that is the case with this match-up, plus there are some amazing athletes getting together in this game. A pair of unbeaten teams and two of the best quarterbacks in the WPIAL, throw in hanging out in Dormont with the King of Dormont, Johnny Lee and I’ve got myself a pretty fantastic Friday night on tap.

Greg Perry has always been the guru of the WPIAL quarterback, so it is no surprise that now that he has settled in at K.O. the footballs are flying at Dormont. The Golden Eagles are 3-0 and scoring a the most points in all of AAA at 47 points per game.

Senior quarterback Alex Smith is building on a fantastic junior year with a fantastic senior year. Smith has completed over 67% of his passes, hooking up on 51 of 76 throws for 794 yards and eight touchdowns.

Dylan Knor has 16 catches for 238 yards and three scores. Nick Hrivnak also into double digits in catches with 11 for 141 yards.

On the ground K.O. gets Devin Thomas going and he is impressive rushing for nearly 11 yards per carry on the season.

The Golden Eagle defense has been pretty good as well allowing under 16 points per game. But that defense has yet to see Darius Wise.

Wise is a one-man yard gaining machine for Jeff Beltz. The senior has thrown for 233 yards, and rushed for 506 yards on the year. He has also scored a team-high eight touchdowns.

Micah Weaver is averaging over 11 yards per catch in the Bobcats offense. Wise’s decision making has been great and when he decides to hand it off to someone else to run that has been Dante Anzevino for the most part. Anzevino has 29 carries for 111 yards and a score. Te’Vonn Williams has 111 yards rushing as well in 20 fewer carries, that makes him a big-play threat.

The Bobcats have already knocked off the Quips in this 2016 season, that gives them a realistic shot at the top seed in this AAA playoff bracket that will be coming out before you know it.

Winner in this game puts a very impressive W on their resume for the committee.

2A Century:
Chartiers-Houston Buccaneers (2-0)(3-1) vs #10 Burgettstown Blue Devils (2-0)(2-1) Friday, September 23rd  at 7:00 PM @ Chartiers-Houston high school broadcast on WJPA FM 95.3 and the MSA Sports Network by Mark Uriah and Bill Dukett

The Bucs and Blue Devils get together in Houston Friday, both team in the MSA Sports Top 10 and feeling good coming off solid wins in week three.

The Bucs rolled Brownsville 58-20 behind a big night from senior running back Spencer Terling who rumbled for 141 yards and three touchdowns. T.J. Johnston completed 9 of 11 passes for 206 yards and a pair of touchpasses to A.J. Meyers in the win.

The Bucs have nice balance in that offense, what some would call a “Big Three” typs of deal has evolved. Terling, who has started in Terry Fetsko’s backfield since his freshman year, is reliable, strong, fast and really smart with the ball. So far in his senior season he has carried the ball 52 times for 394 yards and five touchdowns.

Johnston has come into his own as a quarterback in his senior year as well. He has completed 30 of 58 passes for 434 yards and six touchdowns, all without tossing an interception.

Meyers has always been a big-play guy and now as a senior that has not changed. He has 10 catches for 221 yards, over 22 yards every time he touches the ball, and he is tied with Terling for the team lead in scores at five.

Cody Scears does a nice job spelling Terling and Matt Whitfield does a great job of springing them both. The junior fullback is a tremendous lead blocker and he and Terling anchor a very solid linebacking corps for the Bucs.

The Blue Devils will rely heavily on senior quarterback Brad McLaughlin who is a guy who can hurt you with his arm and his feet. He is a huge part of the Burgettstown rushing attack.

The Blue Devils will try to spread you out and let McLaughlin make a lot of decisions. They run the option, McLaughlin will keep it himself or hand it to fellow senior Shane Tenant.

Ryan Lounder on the edge is a threat with speed and very nice hands, and James Choff is just a gamer. Kid makes the tough catches in traffic, blocks well for his teammates and is always around the ball on the defensive side.

On a side note here, stat guys, get your kids information into the network and / or the other media outlets around town. That’s your job and those kids work hard and their accomplishments need to be recognized. You volunteered, or you’re being paid to do it, either way, it needs to be done. **Gets down off soapbox**

1A Big Seven:
#5Northgate Flames (3-0)(3-0) vs #7 Sto-Rox Vikings (2-1)(3-1) Friday, September 23rd  at 7:00 PM  @ Sto-Rox high school broadcast on the MSA Sports Network by Sean Meyers and Steve Nagler

If you had not been following the WPIAL season so far and I said to you ‘name the undefeated teams heading into week four.’ How many of you would have come up with the Northgate Flames? Put your hands down!

T.J.Wiley does it again, not only are the Flames unbeaten but they are killing everyone. Beating teams by an average margin of 46-8 might not continue for the rest of the year but, WOW anyway!

Senior quarterback Stefon Adams has completed 18 of 34 passes for 532 yards and four scores, he has yet to throw a pick.

Stefon’s brother, junior running back Surron Adams leads the rushing attack for the Flames. He has 22 carries for 257 yards and 9 touchdowns. Yes, he is averaging over a first down every time he carries the football.

Mike Allen is the leading receiver for Northgate with eight catches for 388 yards, he has scored six touchdowns on the year.

The Flames defense is allowing a conference-low eight points per game but they get their toughest test of the year Friday night, Doubt.

Yes I did it again, going to end up in the penitentiary!

The Vikings look to rebound from a disappointing loss last week to Rochester 27-0.

Senior quarterback Brady Doubt tossed three picks in the loss to the Rams but he will have to put that behind him for the Vikes to get where they intend to go. For the year Doubt has completed 53 of 80 passes for 871 yards and seven scores.

Amir Austin, LaVaughn Hawkins and R Gee Jr. have all reached double digit in catches for the season, the trio has combined for 35 catches and 623 yards in the Sto-Rox passing attack.

Davonte Williams is the leading rusher for the Vikes with 121 yards on 24 carries. The Vikes need to wash-off that Rams loss quickly as one coach in town likes to say, because the Flames are the real deal.

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