Big Game Hunting – Week Six
By: Don Rebel
Wednesday, October 4, 2017 | 10:15 PM
There was a bit of a shocker last week in 1-A with Imani knocking off Clairton. Maybe not everyone was stunned that the Saints were able to knock off the Bears, but short five kids who were suspended made it was quite an accomplishment and a signature win for Imani. The other top ranked teams kept rolling. Pine-Richland controlled Central as Jordan Crawford scored six touchdowns. We also take a moment to toot the horn of the “L Train”, Seton LaSalle running back Lionel Deans goes cruising past 4,000 for his career in style with 280 yards and three scores as the Rebels stay perfect. Now we look forward to Week Six and big-time playoff implications come calling as we go Big Game Hunting!
6-A Southeastern Conference:
Norwin Knights (3-3)(2-2) vs #6 Mount Lebanon Blue Devils (4-2)(3-0) Friday October 6th @ 7:30 PM at Blue Devil Stadium on the campus of Mount Lebanon high school broadcast on the TribLiveHSSN by Sean Saputo and Kevin Zielmanski
If you like the passing game this might be the game for you this weekend. Both these clubs will put it in the air. The Knights come in after a tough loss to Peters Township last week, desperate to keep their playoff hopes alive. Lebo lost a non-section game to North Allegheny and looks to rebound and keep pace with Bethel Park to set up a week nine match-up for the conference championship. But you have to handle your business one week at a time, as 2017 has so clearly pointed out to us.
Jack Salopek is the quarterback for the Knights, he has completed 76 of 145 passes for 1113 yards and six touchdowns.
Gianni Rizzo has 21 catches for 302 yards and has scored three touchdowns. Dylan Kantz is second on the Norwin team in receptions with 14 for 178 yards.
When it comes to the rushing game the Knights try and stay thrifty, Jayvon Thrift has 64 carries for 239 yards and a team-high five touchdowns, older cousin Tevin Thrift has rushed 29 times for 218 yards and a score.
Mount Lebanon has split playing time at quarterback this season. Seth Morgan and James Stocker have combined to complete 119 of 197 passes for 1773 yards and 16 touchdowns, and it is pretty evenly split statistically speaking. If just one of them had those numbers they would be near the top in every passing category in the WPIAL.
One thing for certain no matter who is throwing the ball, they will throw it to Aidan Cain most of the time. Cain is number in in the WPIAL for catches with 61 and receiving yards with 1119, no one is close to those numbers. He has also scored ten touchdowns on the season.
On the ground the Blue Devils are led by Antonio LaSota with 461 yards and four touchdowns on 91 carries. John Naylor has 60 rushes for 296 yards and five scores.
5-A Allegheny Nine Conference:
#4 Upper Saint Clair Panthers (5-1)(5-0) vs #1 West Allegheny Indians (5-0)(4-0) Friday October 6th @ 7:00 PM at West Allegheny high school broadcast on WJAS AM 1320 and the TribLiveHSSN by Lanny Frattare and Sean Meyers
Since stumbling out of the blocks in week zero with a loss at Steubenville, the Panthers have been perfect for Jim Render, their most recent win a 38-12 handling of Chartiers Valley at home last week. The defending champion Indians had no such stumble although they did need overtime and a two-point conversion to get past North Hills in week two. More recently West A made the long drive to Vandergrift to win a non-section match over Kiski last week 31-7.
West Allegheny will use three different quarterbacks and a couple different guys to run out of the wildcat. Wil Weber is in the wildcat a lot for this offense and leads the Indians in rushing with 460 yards and eight scores, but he will throw it as well in fact he is 10 of 10 passing for 180 yards and four touchdowns without an interception.
Jamie Diven and Kam Kruze are more throwers of the football, the duo has combined to complete 31 of 71 passes for 319 yards and a score.
Tyler Gallant and Dante Flati can both run out of the wildcat. Flati has rushed for 410 yards and six scores.
Tony Dellovade has a combined 59 tackles to lead the Indians from his middle linebacker spot including five tackles for loss.
For the Panthers senior quarterback Jack Hansberry has completed 50 of 92 passes for 889 yards and six scores.
Senior Dom Cepullio leads USC with 18 catches for 321 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Tom Kyle has a dozen catches on the year for 287 yards and a touchdown.
On the ground Hansberry will run it as well with 212 yards rushing and another six touchdowns, but the go-to for the Panther’s rush game is junior Colin Mclinden with 103 carries for 506 yards and seven touchdowns.
Jack Burton leads a tough USC defense with 50 tackles on the year, junior Jake Slinger has six tackles for loss including three of the teams 12 sacks on the season.
4-A Big Nine Conference :
#4 Montour Spartans (4-1)(4-1) vs #9 Highlands Golden Rams (3-2)(2-2) Friday October 6th at Highlands high school, it is the Chick-Fil-A Robinson game of the week broadcast on the TribLiveHSSN by Sam Hall and Justin McCauley
The Spartans come into this game riding a two-game win streak, they are hoping for a crack at sharing a Big Nine title with South Fayette in week nine. To get that crack they will likely need to stay perfect as Joe Rossi’s Lions have shown no signs of slowing down. Highlands bounced back from a week four loss to Mars to handle Albert Gallatin 30-20 last week. They are looking for a win to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Montour senior quarterback Kavon Mormon has completed 41 of 60 passes for 753 yards and nine touchdowns while throwing just a single interception, you know those numbers delight “Captain” Lou Cerro. Mormon makes Lou even happier when you add in his 262 yards and six scores rushing the football.
Senior Brandon Lipford has team-highs in catches with 11, receiving yards with 257 and receiving touchdowns with four. Another senior Jaxon Schrenker has ten catches for 157 yards and a score.
The leading rusher for Sparty is Brayden Jones, the senior has 420 yards and four scores in his 72 carries for the season.
Senior linebacker Dustin Snyder leads the Spartan in tackles with 58, while Braden Jones has three tackles for loss on the year.
Highlands quarterback Seth Cohen has hooked up on 57 of 125 passes for 988 yards and 12 scores without tossing a pick. Romello Freeman leads the Golden Rams with 16 catches for 333 yards he also has a team-high four scores. Logan and Johnny Crise have combined for 24 catches for 353 yards and six touchdowns on the season.
3A #1 Aliquippa Quips (6-0) vs 1A #4 Clairton Bears (4-1) Friday October 6th @ 7:00 PM at “The Pit” at Aliquippa high school broadcast on WMBA AM 1460 and the TribLiveHSSN by Tom Hays and Bruce Frey
Not a whole lot happening in terms of big games in 3 A this week but, anytome the Quips and the Bears get together it is going to spark big-time football fan interest. Did the Bears maybe get caught looking ahead to this non-conference battle in picking up their first loss of the year against Imani last weekend? Maybe, at least a little. Meanwhile that Quips defense pitched their fifth shutout in six games on the season blanking South Park 52-0. Aliquippa is allowing just 1.7 points per game for the 2017 campaign.
The Bears had trouble scoring against Imani, putting up just six points in an 18-6 loss, it was the first loss in section play for the Bears in four years.
The Quips quarterback is Eli Kosanovich who has completed 25 of 42 for 499 yards and eight touchdowns.
William Gipson is the top-target for Kosanovich with eight catches for 173 yards.
Aliquippa doesn’t throw it much because, well because why would you? Avante McKenzie has rushed for 784 yards and seven scores on the year. Tariq Jones has 33 yards rushing and four more scores in his 47 carries.
The Bears will be looking to rebound, one-game losing streaks are not even their thing, let alone two-game losing streaks.
Quarterback Brendan Parson is completing over 50% of his passes for the Bears and has tossed for over 500 yards. Tre’sean Howard has been the do everything guy for the Bears leading them in receptions, receiving yards, rushes, and rushing yards as well as touchdowns.
Clairton has been bitten by the injury bug in a big way this season Aaron Thompson missed last week’s game against Imani and Kijafi Fuqua, has not played in 2017.
2-A Three Rivers Conference:
Brentwood Spartans (3-3)(1-2) vs South Allegheny Gladiators (1-4)(1-3) Friday October 6th @ 7:00 PM at South Allegheny high school broadcast on the TribLiveHSSN by Paul Paterra and Lou Rood
On its surface this may not look like a beauty, but it almost has the feel of playoff desperation for these two clubs. Lose here and your hopes of nabbing that final playoff spot in the TRC become miniscule indeed.
Brentwood snapped a three-game losing streak with a non-conference win over Deer Lakes at home last week 40-0. South Allegheny has dropped two straight since a 54-6 victory over Carlynton.
Michael Trent is the quarterback for the Spartans and has had a solid season so far. Trent has completed 86 of 166 passes for 1173 yards and eight touchdowns.
Trent’s top target is Austin Veatch who has 33 catches for 578 yards and has scored team-high ten touchdowns on the year. Veatch also has 15 rushes for 70 yards.
The leading rusher for the Spartans is Evan Vickless with 81 carries for 315 yards and six scores.
Brandon Nolder, the South Allegheny signal-caller has completed 34 of 73 passes for 737 yards and ten touchdowns, he has also tossed five picks on the season.
Senior Derrick Lockhart leads the Gladiators in catches with 16 for 481 yards and nine iof the ten touchdowns Nolder has tossed.
Juwan Mitchell is the leading rusher for SA with 55 carries for 214 yards, the Gladiators need to get more out of the run game in terms of points if they hope to make the post season.
Lockhart is the man for the SA defense leading them with 44 tackles on the season, sophomore Frank Cortazzo has 2.5 of the teams 6.5 sacks on the year.
1-A Tri-County South :
#6 Carmichaels Mighty Mikes (4-1)(4-0) vs #3 California Trojans (6-0)(4-0) Friday October 6th @ 7:00 PM at California high school broadcast on the Greene County Sports Network and the TribLiveHSSN by Greg Finley and Ray Paquet
A pair of unbeaten teams with title hopes on the line Friday night in 1 A.
Carmichaels rides high into this game coming off a 31-8 victory over Mapletown last weekend, while California thumped Monessen 53-0. The Trojans have been dominant outscoring their opponents 59.8 to 8.8 on the season.
The Trojans work almost exclusively on the ground. Senior quarterback Colin Philips has thrown for 263 yards and five scores, he has rushed for 201 yards and four more scores.
Cochise Ryan is the leading receiver for the Trojans with four catches for 1412 yards and all four touchdowns. Ryan has also rushed for 290 yards and four more scores.
All told there are five California Trojans who have rushed for 200 yards or more on the season. The leader by far is junior Jelani Stafford with 964 yards and 15 touchdowns on 79 carries.
Defensively Phillips has three interceptions on the year, he is a ball hawk in that Trojan secondary.
The Mighty Mikes won this game last year 33-17 and went on to win the conference title with an unbeaten conference record. Just like last year Ft. Cherry is still hanging around as well in the TCS.
Carmichaels is not going to throw the ball all over the field either, quarterback Kevin Kelly is over 400 yards throwing but again they would prefer to run the ball.
Nick Mundell along with Kevin Kelly will largely be the carriers of the football in the ground game for the Mighty Mikes.
Don Rebel hosts the Rebel Yell podcasts for HSSN.