Big Game Hunting: The Football Fourpack for Week 4

Wednesday, September 22, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Injuries seem to have stolen the spotlight here in the 2010 WPIAL football season, dramatic injuries to big-time star players in so many classifications have served notice to a lot of coaches and teams that in high school football as in life, everything can change in the blink of an eye, or the turn of an ankle. Here's hoping everyone heals quickly, and that conference play allows us to focus more on the games than the pains as we go WPIAL Big Game Hunting.

WPIAL Class AAAA Big East Conference
#1 Central Catholic Vikings (1-0)(3-0) @ #6 Woodland Hills Wolverines (1-0)(1-2)
Friday September 24th @ 7:00pm
Broadcast on the MSA Sports Network and KDKA 93.7fm by Paul Paterra and Dan Zangrilli also broadcast on the MSA Sports Network and the WHSN by Adam Gusky and Matt Kirk

The Wolverines bounced back from a tough 0-2 start to get a week three win over previously unbeaten Plum 21-0. Jevonte Pitts threw for three touchdowns in the shutout victory. More importantly maybe for George Novak's team several injured Wolverines returned to action after some early season nagging injuries. Lafayette Pitts rushed for 74 yards on 17 carries and also caught one of his cousins touchdown passes. Jevonte finished the night completing 7 of 10 passes for 139 yards the aforementioned three touchdowns and zero interceptions.

Mike Caprara and junior running back Dutrieuille Jaimire will likely get plenty of touches in the backfield for the Wolverines against the Vikings in this huge week four match-up. Woodland Hills has shown some nice balance in their offensive attack with strong play from wideouts Shakim Alonzo and Devon White adding to the passing game.

The Wolverines have only allowed an average of 3.5 points per game against WPIAL opponents but still face a very real possibility of being put behind the proverbial "eight-ball" in a race for the Big East title in this game against unbeaten Central Catholic.

Central has had a very impressive three game winning streak to start the 2010 campaign and have quickly become the number team in the AAAA top-ten. That streak was added to in week three with a convincing 48-14 win against Kiski. The Vikes rolled up 28 first quarter points in the victory.

Junior running back Damian Jones-Moore continued to be the focus of Terry Totten's offense in the win and has now totaled 347 yards and seven touchdowns on 52 carries in 2010 for a "yards per carry" average of 6.67. Jones-Moore gets the chance to take a break and stay fresh when freshman Luigi Lista-Brinza spells him from time to time.

Junior quarterback Perry Hills continues to impress and improve on the year, in his last two games Hills is a very solid 18 of 21 for 367 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions. That is a "perfect passer rating" of 158.3 if you plug those numbers into a passer-rating calculator. Hills favorite target in yet another junior in Anthony Nixon (6'2'' 192 pounds), Nixon is a threat with his speed from anywhere on the field and also uses his height for a tremendous advantage in jump ball situations.

The Vikes defense has allowed just 23 points all season long, many of those in "mop-up" time, that works out to an average of just over a touchdown and extra point per game, that defense will face it's toughest test of the season in this week four "Big Game".

WPIAL Class AAA Keystone Conference
#5 Greensburg Salem Golden Lions (1-0)(3-0) @ #10 Ringgold Rams (1-0)(3-0)
Friday September 24th @ 7:00pm
Broadcast on the MSA Sports Network and WJPA 95.3fm by Mark Uriah and Bill Dukett

The Golden Lions of Greensburg Salem have been an impressive offensive machine in starting the 2010 season with a perfect 3-0 mark. Junior tailback Mike Kizzie has been especially busy in the last two weeks. In wins over Connellsville and Uniontown he has rushed for 416 yards on 44 carries for an average of just less than 9.5 yards per carry. Kizzie has also rushed for six touchdowns on the season.

Junior quarterback Josh Falatovich has been a tremendous contributor to the Greensburg Salem offense as well. Falatovich rushed for a team high 100 yards in week one including a 61 yard touchdown run. All told on the year he has rushed for three touchdowns and thrown for another three.

The Golden Lions might need to shore up the defense a little bit they allowed 35 points to Hempfield in a week one win and another 20 last week in a week three victory over Uniontown. They will be tested this week by a very good offensive unit for the Ringgold Rams.

Ringgold has been surprising quite a few folks with their early season play. The Rams under first year head coach Matt Humbert have been very solid in the running game especially considering they have not had the use of what was supposed to be their starting quarterback Dylan Patch due to an injury.

Quad Law has stepped in and stepped up big time at that position for the Rams. Law has been spectacular running the option for coach Humbert. Law was the leading rusher for Ringgold in a week three win over Hollidaysburg, but there were plenty of yards to go around.

The Rams got 463 yards on the ground against Hollidaysburg in the win, with three different Rams cracking the century mark. Law wracked up 168 and a pair of touchdowns in his 16 totes. Senior wingbacks Derrick Fiore (133 yards and three touchdowns) and Damond Goggins (15 carries 162 yards) also had monster games on the ground in the win.

The three straight wins for the Rams has bumped them into the MSA Sports Top Ten for the first time in a long, long while. Coach Humbert and company will be facing their toughest test of the season in Greensburg Salem Friday night.

WPIAL Class AA Midwestern Conference
#5 Beaver Bobcats (3-0)(3-0) @ #9 Ellwood City Wolverines (2-0)(3-0)
Friday September 24th @ 7:30pm
Broadcast on the MSA Sports Network by Matt Steinhiser and Josh Rowntree

Wow! How about the Ellwood City Wolverines? Dating back to the start of the 2006 season this team came into the 2010 season having won just two of their last 36 games. You cannot over-emphasize what a great job third year head coach Don Phillips has done.

They are very physically strong. The Wolverines are really into lifting and it has paid off up front. Travis Karenbauer is back for his senior year after missing much of his junior year due to injury, the 6'4'' 320 Karenbauer, along with Robert Hozick another senior, anchor a very strong, very experienced group in the trenches on both sides of the ball for coach Phillips. Scott Higby, Josh Guisler and Greg Williams are all beasts as well for the Wolverines who used many of these guys on their weightlifting team that won the Midwestern Conference lifting competition.

The Wolverines also have some very solid "skill" guys. Junior running back Kyle Crawford scored three touchdowns last week in a convincing week three victory over Mount Pleasant 35-0. Senior quarterback Gino Ceriani (6'0'' 170) is off to a great start in 2010 contributing mightily with his arm and his legs.

Beaver meanwhile yet again appears to be right on the verge of getting over the hump to "elite" status in the Midwestern conference. The Bobcats under head coach Jeff Beltz have become a perennial playoff team and this year might have a shot at a conference title. They are perfect so far to start and the schedule works in their favor with both the Beaver Falls, and Aliquippa games coming up on their home turf.

Coach Beltz has a very experienced core of offensive skill players back for the 2010 season led by senior running back Sam O'Neill. O'Neill has been as great as advertised to start 2010 averaging nearly ten yards per carry, is approaching 400 yards on the season through just three games and has scored six touchdowns.

At quarterback Christian Herstine started the season and suffered a hand injury that has kept him sidelined for the past couple games. P.J. Kohlman has filled in admirably and his emergence as a solid player gives coach Beltz yet another option in the backfield once Herstine is all the way back in a week or so from the banged paw.

Marcus Little and Trent Shanahan are tremendously talented outside linebackers for the Bobcats and their combination of size and speed creates a very difficult match-up for most offensive teams on the edge. Travis Johnston and Tom Helbling might be the two best athletes on a very athletic team, playing linebacker in the middle for the Wolverines. On the defensive line Roman Nardone is a big time contributor, not terribly big for a lineman (5'10'' 180) Nardone uses his quickness and penetration skills to aggravate opposing offenses.

Up front on the offensive side they needed some guys to step up in 2010, and they have gotten them. Twins Troy and Travis Johnston have been very solid in the offensive line along with 230 pound senior Paul Pavlinich.

WPIAL Class A Big 7 Conference
#4 Sto-Rox Vikings (1-0)(3-0) @ #2 Rochester (1-0)(3-0)
Friday September 24th @ 7:30pm
Broadcast on the MSA Sports Network and WBVP 1230am by Bob Barrickman and Tom Hays

This might be the game of the week, not just in single A but in the entire WPIAL. This Big Seven match-up has the feel of a conference championship type of game. Sto-Rox has dropped down this year into single A after a stint in the Century Conference in AA where they more than held their own. Rochester meanwhile has been one of the benchmark programs in the WPIAL's smallest classifications for years.

The Rams and head coach Geno Matsook have been in their usual stellar defensive mode for the 2010 season, I think that is safe to say, considering they have yet to allow a single point in the 2010 campaign. Linebackers De'Andre Moon and Nick Tapia are tremendous contributors to that defense along with Devon Glass and sophomore Todd Weischedel.

Jason Adamson is back for his senior year at quarterback for the Rams and has been, just as he was as a junior, spectacular. On the season Adamson has completed 13 of 19 passes for 311 yards and six touchdowns and just a single interception. Considering the Rams are blowing folks out night in and night out and he does not play much late in games, plus their powerful rushing attack and these numbers are astronomical. Jay Ratti and Troy Belcastro are two of Adamson's favorite targets.

The run game as always, is very solid, the sophomore Weischedel leads a solid group up front opening holes for Glass, Moon and Tapia.

Sto-Rox has a two-game shutout streak of their own, heading into this match-up on Friday night. The Vikes have blanked Carlynton and Neshannock in weeks two and three to get into the spirit of playing "Big 7 Defense. Junior linebacker Deaysean Rippy not only has one of the best names in the WPIAL he is in fact one of the best defensive players in the state of Pennsylvania. Rippy is coming off of a sophomore season in which he totaled 77 tackles and seven sacks. The 6-1, 210 pounder, has already picked up verbal scholarship offers from Penn State and Pitt. already has listed Rippy as one of the top 100 recruits for the class of 2012

Running back Josh Beverly is a tremendous combination of speed, moves and power. In week one he rushed for nearly 200 yards and three touchdowns, he is a great player on both sides of the football for the Vikes. Jordan Latimer blossomed when filling in last year for injured starter Paul Jones at quarterback. Now freshman Lenny Williams is emerging as the back-up to an injured Latimer.

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