Big Game Hunting: The Football Fourpack for Week 3

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010 | 12:00 AM


Week three is upon us and wow how time flies, after this Saturday the 2010 season will one-third of the way through. We have already had a lot of thrill rides and exciting stories in the WPIAL. Cinderella teams that are off to great starts, and big time programs that are shockingly still looking for their first win of the season.

Come on!! Who out there says they knew that after week two Woody High and Gateway would be a combined (0-4) and Cornell and Ringgold would be a combined (4-0)?? That is what makes every week a blast, when we get set to go WPIAL Big Game Hunting.

WPIAL Class AAAA Non-Conference
#2 Mount Lebanon Blue Devils (0-0)(2-0) @ #9 Penn Hills Indians (0-0)(1-1)
Friday September 17th @ 7:30pm
Broadcast on the MSA Sports Network and 1320 WJAS-AM By Sam Hall and Jonathan Whaley

The non-conference action continues for most of AAAA headlined by a tremendous match-up between Mount Lebanon and Penn Hills at Yuhas McGinley Stadium in Penn Hills.

The Blue Devils continued their impressive start to the season with a convincing 43-18 win over Penn Trafford. Junior tailback Luke Hagy has been spectacular and, after rushing for 148 yards and a pair of touchdowns in week two, has now amassed 336 yards and five touchdowns for Chris Haering's team to start the 2010 season. Quarterback Pat Goff has been steady as well completing 14 of 19 passes for 134 yards and three touchdowns with just a single pick on the season.

Senior running back and defensive back Jake Alberts is a great two-way player for the Blue Devils. Tight end /defensive end Paul Lang will play at the next level and makes a tremendous target for Goff. Christian Orfanopoulos gets it done both receiving and taking care of the place kicking duties for Mount Lebanon. Left tackle Tim Cwalina is one of the biggest and best the WPIAL has to offer at 6'8'' 300 pounds he leads a very strong group up front for Mount Lebanon.

The Indians meanwhile rebounded from a rough start in week one by beating rival Gateway in week two 18-7 to even their 2010 mark at 1-1. Running backs Corey Jones and Malik Blakeman have been strong for the Indians here in 2010.

Jones, a 5'9'' 160 pound junior is a dramatic playmaker, in week one he returned a pair of kickoffs for touchdowns against St. Edwards of Ohio, one for 82 and another 92 yards. Last week Jones also busted a big play against the Gators scoring on a 49 yard run. Obviously he will be a big play threat for Ron Graham's team. Blakeman is another very athletic junior for Penn Hills, the 5'8'' 160 running back scored on a 23 yard run from scrimmage against Gateway in week two, look for those two guys to be a solid 1-2 punch out of the backfield all night against Mount Lebanon.

Senior quarterback Phillip Morford at 6'1'' 165 will also run the ball and has completed over 50% of his passes on the young season. Morford will toss it to Jaquan Williams and Jones who also plays some flanker for Penn Hills.

Defensively for the Indians keep an eye on 6'3'' 275 pound junior who was second team all-conference in 2009. Also Freshman corner Jonathan Pawlowski has been turning a lot of heads with his early season play.

WPIAL Class AAA Parkway Conference
#1 West Allegheny Indians (1-0)(2-0) @ #7 Blackhawk Cougars (1-0)(2-0)
Friday September 17th @ 7:30pm
Broadcast on the MSA Sports Network at msasports.net by Glenn Thompson and Adam Hoerner

The Indians scored 14 fourth quarter points to get a dramatic win in week two over Central Valley 30-27 this past Friday night. West Allegheny, continuing to try and overcome the week one loss of running back Mike Caputo, got a tremendous night from junior quarterback Dylan Bongiorni who completed 12 of 16 passes for 178 yards and a touchdown in the win.

The Indians used a running back by committee approach to filling in for Caputo Wes Thomas rushed for 88 yards and a score while Aaron McKinney added 82 yards and a pair of touchdowns from the backfield for Bob Palko's team. Look for more of the same against the Cougars in this one.

Maybe the biggest hole left by Caputo is on the defensive side of the ball, he was the Indians leading tackler in their championship season of 2009. Linebacker C.J. Revtai will be the leader of this group now, he will get plenty of help from a solid two-way performer in McKinney.

Blackhawk has raised a few eyebrows with their 2-0 start with last years starting quarterback Matt Emge leaving the club to concentrate on baseball and a lot of young contributors some thought this might be a season that Joe Hamilton's club would struggle.

Coach Hamilton has used a pair of underclassmen to fill the void at quarterback in junior Josh Desmond and freshman Chandler Kincade. Kincade overcame a pair of interceptions returned for touchdowns in week two against Moon by throwing nine yards for the game winning touchdown in overtime to Brett Alberti.

Yes the Cougars are 2-0 but this will be by far their toughest test of the season. Junior running back Mike Shansky (6'2'' 215 pounds) will need to have a big night to help take some pressure off the Blackhawk Cougars. Shansky has rushed for 135 yards and a pair of touchdowns on the season.

The Cougars defense has been very solid all season long allowing just 123 total yards to Hampton in an opening week victory and then allows Moon's only a single touchdown in OT in week two, and on that they stopped the Tigers from succeeding on the attempted two-point conversion to seal the deal on the win.

WPIAL Class AA Midwestern Conference
#9 Laurel Spartans (0-1)(1-1) @ #10 Beaver Falls Tigers (1-1)(1-1)
Friday September 17th @ 7:30pm
Broadcast on the MSA Sports Network at msasports.net by Justin McKim and Greg Kuntz

Laurel got bitten by one of the big dogs in the Midwestern conference already falling to the Quips in week one, if they can somehow find a way to sneak by Beaver Falls on the road, they will find themselves most likely right in the thick of things for a playoff spot, they get the third big conference powerhouse, Beaver at home in week eight.

The rushing game was the key for the Spartans in a week two non-conference win against Jeannette 38-26. Junior Dylan Jones (6'0'' 185) carried 24 times for 235 yards and three touchdowns in the win. Jerry Holzhauser would love another line like that against the Tigers this Friday.

If Jones is going to roll it will be because of his tremendous talent and a great, experienced offensive line, the Spartans return four of five starters on the offensive line, including Patrick Young, who was second team all-conference in the Big Seven as a junior. Tyler Kirkwood also received post-season honors at guard, as did Kaleb Kingston. Those guys will need to grind it out against the tough, but young Tigers for the Spartans to come away with a win.

Beaver Falls lost to rival Aliquippa in week two in the Thursday nighter 27-14, But Head coach Ryan Matsook was happy with the way his very young team fought back after falling behinds the Quips 27-0.

Senior quarterback Carlin Henderson has been a tremendous bright spot for the Tigers early on completing 20 of 37 passes so far for 389 yards and a pair of touchdowns all without throwing an interception. In the backfield both Andre Williams and Trey Hall went over a hundred yards rushing in week one for the Tiger so they will have a nice balanced attack offensively it would seem.

Devin Cook, Dean Dinell, Rob Bell and Williams will be there leaders defensively all season long. They will need to be at their best against the Spartans and Dylan Jones. The Tigers allowed 115 yards rushing to Aliquippa's Darius Walker in their week two loss. Keep an eye on the Spartans' run offense versus the Tigers run defense as being the single most important factor in this big game.

WPIAL Class A Tri-County South
#7 Monessen Greyhounds (2-0)(2-0) @ Carmichaels Mighty Mikes (0-1)(1-1)
Friday September 17th @ 7:30pm
Broadcast on the MSA Sports Network and WANB-FM 105.1 by Jordan Thompson and Mike Winland

Monessen has absolutely crushed the early conference opponents in the Tri-County South out scoring Geibel and Mapletown in weeks one and two by a margin of 98-14. The competition takes a sharp turn for the improved in week three against the Mighty Mikes.

Senior quarterback Brady Kunsa has not thrown much, there really has been no need. Kunsa on the season is seven of nine for 155 yards and a touchdown on the year, he can also hurt you with his feet he has rushed for a pair of touchdowns.

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