MSA Sports Friday Night HighLights for Week Two

Saturday, September 10, 2016 | 10:26 AM

It was wet…it was wild…and depending on what sideline you were on, it was a wonderful Friday night of high school football…and we are only in Week Two. A long winning streak stretching over parts of seven years came to a sudden halt…a long losing streak came within inches of ending…and depending on what part of Western Pennsylvania you were watching your favorite team, you either had to deal with a pregame sprinkle or a mid-game downpour. Oh yeah, there were these gems that provided the icing on a very delicious scholastic football cake.

Phil Jurkovec – Pine-Richland

It has become a weekly occurrence it seems for the outstanding junior quarterback to have the HighLight shining down on him as he is now a perfect 3 for 3 here in 2016. Phil Jurkovec wasn’t perfect on Friday, but he was pretty darn good in helping Pine-Richland win their home opener which was also their Class 6-A Northern Seven Conference lid-lifter. He hit on 17 of 25 passes for 367 yards and five touchdown tosses as the Rams cruised by the Seneca Valley Raiders 51-20.

Justin Sliwoski – Hempfield

Don’t look now, but Hempfield is a perfect 3-0 overall and after edging visiting Mount Lebanon Friday night in a thrilling Class 6-A Southeastern Conference contest, perhaps they are the team to beat. All of that is thanks in large part to quarterback Justin Sliwoski, who connected on 23 of 40 passes for 328 yards and two long touchdown passes of 62 and 80 yards to go along with an 11-yard scoring run as the Spartans came back with a big fourth quarter en route to a 41-38 triumph over the Blue Devils.

Zane Dudek – Armstrong

As the musical group Cypress Hill once sang, “Insane in the membrane, Insane in the brain.’ That is how opponents must feel in trying to slow down Armstrong superstar running back Zane Dudek. Dudek rushed for 301 yards and scored five touchdowns in regulation on runs of 1, 81, 64, 1 and 1 yard, plus scored the winning points in overtime on a broken play for the two point conversion as the River Hawks beat the host McKeesport Tigers 43-42 in a Class 5-A Big East Conference game that is an early season entry on the Game of the Year ballot.

Caleb Brake – Mars

After falling behind by three scores in the first half, Mars players must have felt like a bunch of country music kids after their big comeback in the second half as they went Boot, Scoot and Boogey on host Blackhawk en route to a thrilling Class 4-A Northwest Nine Conference win. Caleb Brake kicked extra points after three touchdowns in the second, third and fourth quarters tied the game at 21-21, then the Fighting Planets kicker booted a game winning 39-yard field goal to help down the host Cougars.

Howard Reid – West Mifflin

With all eyes focused on conference action now that the season is underway, sometimes it’s easy to overlook what is going on in the various non-conference matchups each week. The results may mean nothing as far as the playoff chase is concerned, but don’t tell that to Howard Reid. Reid ran wild, collecting 239 yards on the ground and scoring two first quarter touchdowns on gallops of 79 and 77 yards as the host West Mifflin Titans whitewashed the Knoch Knights 42-0 in a Class 4-A non-conference game that ended early in the third quarter due to lightning.

Darius Wise – Beaver

Last week, Aliquippa blew out Beaver Falls in one of the Week One spotlight games that gave the Quips their 62nd straight regular season victory that began in 2009. Number 63 would not come thanks to the play of Beaver quarterback Darius Wise. Wise rushed for 144 yards and scored three touchdowns on runs of 29, 62 and 12 yards, plus he sealed the deal in the fourth quarter with a 10-yard fumble return for a score as the Bobcats went to The Pit at Aliquippa and came away with a 28-14 Class 3-A Beaver Valley Conference stunner.

Alex Smith – Keystone Oaks

When Greg Perry left Seton-LaSalle to go across the street to be the Keystone Oaks head coach, that was nothing but good news for any young signal caller in the Castle Shannon, Dormont or Green Tree area. the first to benefit from the QB guru coach has been Alex Smith, who Friday continued his strong play under center with 20 of 33 passing for 325 yards and five touchdown tosses as the Golden Eagles flew by the visiting Carlynton Cougars in a Class 3-A vs Class 2-A non-conference contest.

Brady Doubt – Sto-Rox

Another cradle for recent outstanding quarterbacks this century is Sto-Rox High School where there is little Doubt that the current signal caller can successfully follow in the footsteps of former S-R field generals Adam DiMichele, Paul Jones and Lenny Williams. Brady Doubt hit on 20 of 28 passes for 417 yards Friday while connecting on four touchdown tosses of 76, 61, 57 and 6 yards as the Vikings remained undefeated with a 36-12 rout of the host Shenango Wildcats in a Class 1-A Big 7 Conference contest.

Dylan Rush – Mapletown

Is great to see tiny Mapletown High School enjoy some early success on the gridiron as they have won two straight games, thus allowing one of the more underrated running backs in the district to get some time on our little HighLights gathering here. Rush ran wild in the muck, gaining 221 yards and started the scoring with a 1-yard run and capping the scoring with an 80-yard scoring jaunt as the Maples beat the host West Greene Pioneers 15-6 in a Class 1-A Tri-County South Conference win.

Lamont Wade – Clairton

This was not your typical Clairton conference game on Friday. Usually, the orange and black attack early and often, then cruise with a running clock and starters on the bench in the second half. However this conference opener was a battle the Da Bears until Lamont Wade took over in the fourth quarter with touchdown bursts of 93 and 41 yards as he ended up with 214 yards on the night in a 32-0 victory over the host Springdale Dynamos in a Class 1-A Eastern Conference tilt.

Bonus Tip of the Cap: George Novak – Woodland Hills

I nicknamed him The Doctor back in the 90’s because he was like a surgeon going about his duties with great calmness and steadiness. The ole Doc is still making house calls at The Wolvarena in Turtle Creek, home of the Woodland Hills Wolverines. However on Friday, the teal and black hit the road and pounded the Fox Chapel Foes 54-12. The win was the teams third this season, and the 300th in the magical career of Coach Novak. He becomes only the third coach in WPIAL history (Jim Render and Joe Hamilton) to reach that milestone.

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