Trib HSSN don’t-miss high school football matchups for 2021 Week 7
Thursday, October 14, 2021 | 8:05 PM
Welcome to Week 7 and the “stretch run” of the 2021 WPIAL football season.
The “stretch run” is the final three weeks of the season, where every game seems to have conference championship, home-field advantage or other playoff implications.
Four teams — Hampton, North Catholic, McGuffey and Cornell — have had their ticket punched to the district playoffs with many more clinchings coming this weekend.
A postponement update: There are two Week 7 games that have been postponed. The 3A Interstate Conference game between Southmoreland and Brownsville is a 1-0 forfeit victory for the Scotties, while the 2A Century Conference game between Frazier and Beth-Center is a no contest.
These contests are worth checking out on Friday in Week 7, with five of them seen or heard here on HSSN.
No. 3 North Allegheny (4-3, 2-2) at No. 5 Canon-McMillan (4-3, 2-2)
7 p.m. Friday, Big Mac Stadium, Canonsburg
On the air: Audio stream on WJPA-AM 1450 and at TribHSSN.TribLive.com
Coaches: Art Walker, North Allegheny; Mike Evans, Canon-McMillan
Last week: North Allegheny defeated Norwin, 42-24; Canon-McMillan lost to Seneca Valley, 24-17 in double overtime
Players to watch: Logan Kushner, North Allegheny (So., 5-10, 160, QB); Ryan Angott, Canon-McMillan (Sr., 5-10, 190, RB/LB)
1. After suffering back-to-back conference losses, North Allegheny returned home to get back on the winning track. Sophomore Khiryan Boyd scored on a pair of touchdown runs and two touchdown receptions for the Tigers while senior J.R. Burton also scored on the ground as NA evened their record in 6A.
2. Tigers quarterback Logan Kushner had a big day against Norwin last week. The sophomore connected on 8 of 14 passes for 186 yards and three touchdown tosses of 19, 74 and 40 yards as NA broke open a tight game with 21 second-half points to win by 18.
3. Canon-McMillan must find a way to bounce back from a heartbreaking overtime loss on the road last week. C-M had an eight-point lead heading into the fourth quarter, but Seneca Valley prevailed in the second overtime. Sophomore quarterback Michael Evans had a TD run for the Big Macs.
4. It was tough sledding for Big Macs senior running back Ryan Angott last week against a staunch Raiders defense. Angott was limited to 58 yards, but he did score the game’s first touchdown, his eighth touchdown run of the season.
Extra point: Canon-McMillan has never beaten North Allegheny. Since the two became 6A conference rivals in 2018, the Tigers have beat the Big Macs four straight times, including a 35-0 whitewash a year ago. NA has outscored C-M in those four contests, 170-34, which included a 48-7 triumph in the quarterfinals of the 6A playoffs in 2019. The only other meeting between the programs prior to 2018 was when North Allegheny defeated Canon-McMillan, 41-6, in the first round of the WPIAL AAAA playoffs in 2002.
Class 5A Allegheny Six Conference
Peters Township (4-3, 0-2) at Bethel Park (4-3, 2-0)
7 p.m. Friday, Black Hawks Stadium, Bethel Park
On the air: Video stream at TribHSSN.TribLive.com
Coaches: T.J. Plack, Peters Township; Brian DeLallo, Bethel Park
Last week: Peters Township lost to Moon, 29-26; Bethel Park defeated South Fayette, 27-7
Players to watch: Sam Miller, Peters Township (Sr., 6-0, 185, QB/DB); Troy Volpatti, Bethel Park (Sr., 5-11, 195, RB/S)
1. After getting soundly beaten by Upper St. Clair the previous week, Peters Township responded with a strong showing against top-ranked and undefeated Moon in a game that was suspended from Friday to Saturday due to storms. The Indians, however, just came up short, dropping them to 0-2 in the Allegheny Six.
2. Indians quarterback Sam Miller had a strong Friday/Saturday against a tough Tigers defense. The senior was 19 of 24 passing for 276 yards and two touchdown passes to senior wide receiver Jacob Makosko, plus he ran for 40 yards and scored on a 5-yard run.
3. The Black Hawks did not win a game in 2020, but now they find themselves in a tie for first place in the uber-competitive Allegheny 6 Conference. Their fourth win of the season last week was the most impressive as they beat South Fayette behind 130 yards passing from senior QB Max Blanc.
4. Bethel Park not only had success in the air at South Fayette but on the ground as well. Senior running back Troy Volpatti carried the ball 29 times and ended up with 180 yards and three touchdowns on runs of 6, 80 and 3 yards in the 20-point win over the Lions.
Extra point: Peters Township has won three straight in the all-time series, winning last year, 45-7. Prior to these three straight wins by the Indians, the Black Hawks had won seven in a row. Bethel Park leads the series 15-9, including a 34-0 win 20 years ago in 2001 and a 7-0 victory 90 years ago in 1931.
Class 4A Greater Allegheny Conference
Indiana (4-3, 2-2) at No. 5 Hampton (7-0, 4-0)
7 p.m. Friday, Fridley Field, Hampton
On the air: Audio stream on WDAD-AM 1450, WDAD-FM 100.3 and at TribHSSN.TribLive.com
Coaches: Brandon Overdorff, Indiana; Jacque DeMatteo, Hampton
Last week: Indiana defeated Highlands, 29-14; Hampton defeated Plum, 35-7
Players to watch: Devin Flint, Indiana (Sr., 5-10, 163, QB); Brock Borgo, Hampton (So., 6-0, 180, RB)
1. Quietly, Indiana is in a position to reach the WPIAL playoffs for the first time since 2014. Their four wins this season matches the total combined victories the Little Indians had in the 2019 and 2020 seasons. A 22-point second quarter was the key in last week’s 15-point win over Highlands.
2. Little Indians quarterback Devin Flint did more damage with his legs last week than with his arm. The senior only threw for 16 yards but ended up with 101 yards rushing on 15 carries and a game-clinching 15-yard scoring jaunt in the fourth quarter.
3. Hampton continued its undefeated season with a 28-point win on the road at Plum. Leading only 14-7 at the half, the Talbots scored 21 unanswered points in the second half with senior Christian Liberto scoring three touchdowns on two runs and a pass.
4. Talbots running back Brock Borgo led the team on the ground with 139 yards rushing and a 53-yard touchdown run. For the season, the sophomore has 719 yards rushing and is tied for the team lead along with Liberto with 11 touchdowns.
Extra point: Hampton clinched a playoff berth last year with a victory at Indiana, 42-14. The Talbots have won four straight with the Little Indians’ most recent victory coming in 2013. However, the all-time series is close with Hampton leading 9-6.
Class 3A Interstate Conference
Keystone Oaks (2-5, 0-2) at Quaker Valley (2-5, 1-1)
7 p.m. Friday, Chuck Knox Stadium, Quaker Valley
Coaches: Greg Perry, Keystone Oaks; Ron Balog, Quaker Valley
Last week: Keystone Oaks lost to Central Valley, 42-0; Quaker Valley defeated Hopewell, 30-7
Players to watch: Kevin Drew, Keystone Oaks (Sr., 6-0, 230, FB/DE); Patrick Cutchember, Quaker Valley (Sr., 5-11, 190, RB/S)
1. After a 2-0 start, Keystone Oaks has dropped five straight and is fighting for its playoff lives at 0-2 in the 3A Northwestern Six Conference. The good news for the Golden Eagles is that conference powers Central Valley and Avonworth are in the rearview mirror. KO needs just two wins in its final three games to return to the postseason.
2. The Golden Eagles could not get much going offensively last week against defending champion Central Valley, the top team in 3A in the district and state. Senior running back Kevin Drew pounded out 55 yards on the ground as KO managed only 127 yards total offense against the Warriors.
3. Quaker Valley had lost two straight heading into Week 6, losing to WPIAL powers Aliquippa and Central Valley by a combined score of 131-7. However, the Quakers bounced back with their first conference victory, a 23-point win over visiting Hopewell.
4. Quakers running back Patrick Cutchember had a night to remember last week against the Vikings. The senior rushed for 200 yards on 15 carries and scored three touchdowns on runs of 1, 74 and 44 yards, giving QV its second overall win of the season.
Extra point: The game between Quaker Valley and Keystone Oaks last fall was postponed due to covid-19 concerns. The two have split their last two meetings with the Golden Eagles winning 42-0 in 2019 and the Quaker prevailing in a 2018 classic, 50-43. The all-time series has been close with Quaker Valley leading, 9-7-1. The lone tie came 59 years ago with KO and QV playing to a 6-6 deadlock in 1962.
Class 2A Three Rivers Conference
No. 1 Sto-Rox (7-0, 2-0) at Western Beaver (6-1, 2-0)
12:30 p.m. Saturday, Western Beaver Stadium
On the air: Video stream at TribHSSN.TribLive.com
Coaches: LaRoi Johnson, Sto-Rox; Ron Busby, Western Beaver
Last week: Sto-Rox was awarded a forfeit victory over Seton LaSalle, 1-0; Western Beaver defeated Brentwood, 40-12
Players to watch: Josh Jenkins, Sto-Rox (Jr., 6-2, 170, QB); Xander LeFebvre, Western Beaver (Jr., 6-0, 175, QB)
1. Sto-Rox picked up its second Three Rivers Conference win and improved to 7-0 overall without breaking a sweat. The Vikings picked up a 1-0 forfeit victory after Seton LaSalle postponed the game. The Vikings could be well rested or a tad rusty as they will have had 15 days between games.
2. Prior to their unexpected off week, Vikings quarterback Josh Jenkins was heating up. The junior threw for 246 yards and five touchdowns in a win over Shady Side Academy, then followed that up with 173 yards passing and three touchdowns in a conference-opening rout of South Side two weeks ago.
3. Western Beaver lost a tough one in Week Zero to New Brighton, 27-20. Since then, the Golden Beavers have beaten Seton LaSalle and Brentwood to open up Three Rivers Conference play. Last week, brothers Levi and Thad Gray each scored twice in the home win over the Spartans.
4. Golden Beaver quarterback Xander LeFebvre has been the X-factor in the team’s passing game. The junior connected on 9 of 12 passes for 162 yards and three touchdowns of 47, 59 and 13 yards as Western Beaver scored 33 first-half points on their way to a 28-point victory.
Extra point: Sto-Rox crushed Western Beaver last year, 50-14. This is the 10th all-time meeting between the schools. The Golden Beavers won the first three games in 2000, 2001 and 2010, while the Vikings have won the last six clashes in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016, 2017 and 2020.
Class A Big 7 Conference
No. 3 Cornell (5-1, 4-0) at No. 5 Rochester (5-1, 3-1)
7:30 p.m. Friday, Rochester Football Stadium
On the air: Video stream at TribHSSN.TribLive.com with audio on WBVP-AM 1230, WBVP-FM 99.3
Coaches: Ed Dawson, Cornell; Gene Matsook, Rochester
Last week: Cornell defeated Burgettstown, 34-14; Rochester defeated Fort Cherry, 35-0
Players to watch: Sincere Kimbrough, Cornell (Sr., 5-10, 190, QB/LB); Antonio Laure, Rochester (Fr., 5-7, 165, RB)
1. Cornell lost to Mohawk in Week 1, 14-7. Since then, the Raiders have won five straight, including all three of their Big 7 Conference games to date. Last week, junior Raequan Troutman supplied the spark with an 80-yard kickoff return and a 50-yard punt return for touchdowns.
2. The Raiders’ 20-point win at Burgettstown last week came in part to another sincerely splendid performance by their quarterback. Senior Sincere Kimbrough threw for two touchdowns and ran for another score to help Cornell remain all alone in first place in the Big 7.
3. Since being upset by Union in Week 3, Rochester has rebounded and won three straight Big 7 Conference games, including a shutout of Fort Cherry last week. Senior running back Sal Laure rushed for 71 yards and scored three touchdowns against the Rangers.
4. While big brother Sal was finishing drives with his three scores, little brother Antonio was behind the wheel on many of those drives. Rams freshman running back Antonio Laure rushed for 130 yards on 18 carries and scored on a 1-yard run for Rochester.
Extra point: Rochester has dominated this series against Cornell, including a 35-7 triumph last year. The Rams have an 18-3 advantage against the Raiders, including a 60-6 win in the 1998 WPIAL Class A first-round playoffs. Rochester has won 16 of the last 17 meetings. Cornell’s three wins came in 2019 (35-8) as well as in 1985 and 1986.
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