Big Game Hunting for Week Three 2012

Wednesday, September 12, 2012 | 9:55 AM

Just two games in and we are already beginning to sort the wheat from the chaff here in the 2012 WPIAL football season.  That process will continue as we get into week three.

Here’s hoping your favorite high school team is having more success than our local major – college and professional football teams are in Pittsburgh.

Heading into the final game of the first third of the football season and Avella has more wins than Woodland Hills and McKeesport combined…that is why you have to pay close attention on a weekly basis in the WPIAL and that close attention starts with Big Game Hunting.
AAAA Northern Eight Conference
#  Seneca Valley Raiders (2-0)(2-0) at #1 North Allegheny Tigers (2-0)(1-0) Friday September 14th at Newman Stadium on the campus of North Allegheny high school @ 7:30 pm broadcast on KDKA AM 1020 and the MSA Sports Network by Lanny Frattare and Bob Orkwis. Also broadcast on the North Allegheny Sports Network and the MSA Sports Network by Randy Gore and Rick Meister.

The Tigers are a consensus number one in AAAA and they have been impressive to open the 2012 campaign with solid wins over Mount Lebanon and Fox Chapel. But it says here they are about to get their most serious test to-date on Friday night at home against a fast, experienced Seneca Valley Raiders team.

Mack Leftwich is winging it at quarterback for the two-time defending WPIAL AAAA champs leading the entire league in passing with 602 yards already. Leftwich has completed 26 of 36 passes for six touchdowns and not thrown a single pick so far.
Gregg Garrity has caught 22 of those passes for 208 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Leftwich likes to get it downfield, witness Skylar Cox, Brendan Coniker, and Zack Lyon all averaging over 30 yards per catch on the year.

On the ground as expected, Alex DeCiantis leads the Tigers with 102 yards on 21 carries. Sean Idowu is having a solid year running for North Allegheny as well, with 108 yards on just seven carries. Look for North Allegheny to keep it on the ground a little more this week to try and keep the Seneca Valley offense off the football field for big chunks of time.

They will want to do that because The Raiders have been very productive in their own right with veteran quarterback Jordan Brown off to a great start completing 26 of 48 passes for 355 yards and five scores to go with just a single interception.

Brown’s go-to guys are Jonathan Dorogy with seven catches for 88 yards and R.J. McCauley who has 6 catches for 111 yards on the year.

Brown can hurt you with his legs as well, he has rushed for 161 yards and a touchdown this season. The main guy in the Seneca Valley rushing attack though is Forrest Barnes who has 255 yards on 42 carries, he has scored four touchdowns as well and in the open field he is quite something to behold. Winner here, like so many other football games will be determined by who can run and stop the run the best.
AAA Big Nine Conference
Belle Vernon Leopards (1-1)(1-1) at Ringgold Rams (1-1)(1-1) Friday September 14th  at 7:30 pm @ Ringgold high school broadcast on the MSA Sports Network by Mike Sackley and Mike Krcil

It has been a tale of two weeks for these two teams Belle Vernon had a huge win in week one over Uniontown 41-13. The Leps then got thumped in week two by West Mifflin 48-14. Conversely Ringgold took their lumps in a week one loss to Thomas Jefferson 41-14, and got back on track in week two blowing out Laurel Highlands 48-27.

This game figures to be more evenly matched than any of the previous four these clubs have been involved in. It also looks like the outcome of this game will have significant impact on the postseason picture in AAA.

Belle Vernon looks to have a very special player in sophomore quarterback Travis Snyder who has completed 18 of 28 passes on the year for 286 yards and four touchdowns. Snyder’s favorite target is senior wide out Adam Ferita who has a pair of touchdown catches in both games the Leopards have played this season.
On the ground the Leps run behind a very formidable offensive front with Anthony Levis carrying 29 times for 239 rushing yards on the season.

Don’t be too fooled by the score of that West Mifflin loss either the Leps were very much in that game for a long time trailing by only a score at the break before the Titans, clearly one of the premiere AAA teams this year pulled away.

Ringgold is trying to recover from losing a ton of talent to graduation. Demetrius Louis is back though and he has been ripping off big chunks of yardage for the Rams on the ground. Louis has wracked up 345 rushing yards and five scoring runs in the first two weeks of the season.

Chris Spahr and Niko Law have both been productive at times running the Rams offense and they have a solid receiver in senior Joe Wall. The question for this game is which team shows up for which club? Both teams have scored in the forties to win games this year, but both teams have allowed opponents to score in the forties to lose games this year. Defense will be the key to this match up.

AA Century Conference
Steel Valley Ironmen (2-0)(2-0) at South Fayette Lions (2-0)(2-0) Friday September 14th at South Fayette high school @ 7:00 pm broadcast on the MSA Sports Network by Paul Paterra and Lou Rood

A huge game in the Century to get your week three started as the Ironmen head into Lions’ country to play in what is developing into a very nice little rivalry. Seton LaSalle will have their say in this conference as well, and these three teams Seton, Steel Valley and South Fayette, will be done playing each other before the month of September ends; so the separating of the wheat and chaff gets going right now in the Century.

These two teams have combined to outscore their opponents by a margin of 171-13 through the first two weeks of the 2012 season.
South Fayette sophomore quarterback Brett Brumbaugh is fantastic. He has thrown for 495 yards and eight touchdowns in the opening two weeks of the season. His favorite receiver, is Pitt recruit Zach Challingsworth, and that combination alone is worth taking a trip to see the Lions in this 2012 season. Returnees like Shane Girman, Dylan Opar, and Mike Fetchet are all icing on the cake for head coach Joe Rossi and the Lions’ fans. South Fayette is kind of odd in that while they are still very, very young they are also a football team with a lot of experience. Pssst they are going to be very good for a while, take my word for it.

Steel Valley is rolling as well to get this season underway. Senior quarterback Pat O’Malley has completed 20 of 34 passes for 319 yards and three touchdowns on the year.

Junior D’Andre Pickens went off for over 200 yards rushing in a week one thumping of Keystone Oaks. He has scored four touchdowns on the season for the Ironmen.

Steel valley’s defense has been spectacular allowing just seven points on the year but they will be tested big-time coming up Friday night on the road. Guys like Richard Brooks, juniors Corey Pinkerton and Shane King and sophomore Vinny Steele will need to take their game to the next level against the Lions.

A Eastern Conference
Northgate Flames (2-0)(2-0) at North Catholic Trojans (2-0)(2-0) Friday September 14th at 7:30 @ Lt. J.C. Stone Field broadcast on the MSA Sports Network by Adam Hoerner and Greg Kuntz

A pair of unbeatens will battle it out at J.C. Stone Field Friday night and the winner will take a significant step toward being the favorite to win the Eastern Conference title.

For North Catholic, the defensive challenge seems obvious, the Flames of Northgate rely very heavily on senior quarterback Cody Walter who has scored seven touchdowns on the season. In a week two win over West Shamokin Walter rushed for three touchdowns, threw for a touchdown and returned a punt 65 yards for a touchdown. Junior wide out Mark Lodge is becoming an impressive playmaker for the Flames also, he is a favored target for Walter along with another junior in Alex Marusic.

On defense and in the trenches for the Flames MacKenzie Quinn leads a solid group of returning starters for second year head coach T.J. Wiley.

North Catholic meanwhile has gotten some tremendous work in the running game from sophomore running back P.J. Fulmore who followed up 265 yards rushing in week one with 153 in week two. On the year Fulmore, 5’6’’ 170 pounds, has scored six touchdowns to lead the Trojans. His 418 yards rushing is also tops on the team.

Fulmore will line up in the wildcat at quarterback for North Catholic and you will also see junior Ryan Kirby at quarterback for the Trojans. Kirby has a couple of solid receivers in tight end Ronnie Meder and wide out Shawn Tunstall.

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