Trib HSSN don’t-miss high school football matchups for 2022 Week 2

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Thursday, September 8, 2022 | 5:57 PM


Welcome to Week 2 of the 2022 WPIAL football season.

The district is slowly creeping toward the start of conference play.

Last week, there was one Class 6A conference contest; this week, there is another 6A game to go along with two Class 5A conference openers.

If this weekend is anything like last weekend, conference or nonconference, the football should be exciting.

Below are six of the standout matchups around the WPIAL on Friday, four of which you can watch here on Trib HSSN.

Class 6A vs. 5A nonconference

Class 6A No. 1 Central Catholic (1-1) at Bethel Park (2-0)

7 p.m. Friday, Black Hawks Stadium, Bethel Park

On the air: Video stream at TribHSSN.TribLive.com

Coaches: Terry Totten, Central Catholic; Brian DeLallo, Bethel Park

Last week: Central Catholic 35, Philadelphia Abraham Lincoln 22; Bethel Park 27, Mt. Lebanon 24 in overtime

Players to watch: Amari Shields, Central Catholic (Soph., 5-9, 195, RB); Austin Caye, Bethel Park (Sr., 5-10, 185, RB/S)

Four downs

1. After a tough start in its season opener in Ohio, Central Catholic bounced back nicely from a Week Zero loss to St. Edwards. The Vikings hammered the Nailsplitters from Abraham Lincoln, a Philadelphia City League team, by two touchdowns. Junior quarterback Payton Wehner hit on 12 of 16 passes for 75 yards and a touchdown, his first of the season.

2. Have the Vikings found another diminutive, young running back to build around for the next few years? Sophomore Amari Shields carried the ball 33 times for 161 yards and scored two touchdowns in the Central Catholic win in Week 1.

3. In 58 previous gridiron meetings against South Hills neighbor Mt. Lebanon, Bethel Park had only won 13 times. However, that historic factoid didn’t slow the visiting Black Hawks down one bit. Down three points in overtime, sophomore quarterback Tanner Pfeuffer scored from a yard out to give BP the big OT win over the defending 6A champions.

4. Black Hawks senior running back Austin Caye built off a strong start in Week Zero with 151 yards rushing on 36 carries. He also scored the Hawks’ three regulation touchdowns on runs of 5, 4 and 16 yards. He now had 270 yards and four scores through two weeks.

Historic factoids: Central Catholic and Bethel Park have squared off 14 previous times, with the Vikings holding a 12-2 edge. The last meeting was in 2019 when Central Catholic rolled to a 45-14 win. The last Black Hawks victory in the series came 20 years ago when the black and orange edged the navy blue and gold, 13-5, in the 2002 regular season. The two have met four times in the WPIAL playoffs with the Vikings winning in 2001, 2004 and 2007. The lone Black Hawks postseason triumph came in 1984.

Class 5A Allegheny Six Conference

Baldwin (1-1) at No. 5 Upper St. Clair (2-0)

7 p.m. Friday, Panthers Stadium, Upper St. Clair

On the air: No broadcast

Coaches: Tim Sweeney, Baldwin; Mike Junko, Upper St. Clair

Last week: Thomas Jefferson 35, Baldwin 19; Upper St. Clair 37, North Hills 7

Players to watch: John Kozar, Baldwin (Jr., 5-10, 160, QB/DB); Jamaal Brown, Upper St. Clair (Sr., 5-11, 210, RB/LB)

Four downs

1. A year ago, Baldwin was 0-2 after Week 1 and had been outscored in those losses, 83-7. This season, the Highlanders are 1-1 heading into the Allegheny Six Conference opener with a 1-1 record and a 66-52 advantage on the scoreboard through two games. Baldwin competed but lost at home last week to Class 4A power Thomas Jefferson by 16 points.

2. Highlanders junior quarterback John Kozar had mixed results in his aerial attack against the Jaguars. He tossed three interceptions but did throw for 156 yards and a touchdown that helped keep the game close until the fourth quarter.

3. Upper St. Clair hit the road for the first time this season last week and used a combination of defense and a strong running game to roll past North Hills by 30 points. The USC trio of quarterbacks — sophomore Julian Dahlem, senior Brady Erdos and sophomore Brayden Wells — only attempted 13 passes, but two of them went for touchdowns.

4. Panthers senior running back Jamaal Brown enjoyed a successful night in Week 1. He carried the ball 16 times and gained 124 yards on the ground, scoring the first touchdown of the game on a 28-yard first-quarter run. Brown now has 276 yards rushing and two touchdowns in USC’s two wins.

Historic factoids: Upper St. Clair has dominated this South Hills rivalry, owning an all-time record of 35-9 against Baldwin. The Panthers won the annual meeting last season, 48-14, giving USC an 11th straight win in the series. The Highlanders’ last victory came in 2009, 21-17. Baldwin actually dominated the early part of this series. From 1970-1979, the Highlanders won six of the 10 clashes. The only postseason meeting between the two came in 2005 when USC prevailed, 48-0.

Class 4A nonconference

No. 1 Aliquippa (1-0) at No. 5 North Catholic (2-0)

7 p.m. Friday, J.C. Stone Field, North Park

On the air: Video stream at TribHSSN.TribLive.com

Coaches: Mike Warfield, Aliquippa; Pat O’Shea, North Catholic

Last week: Aliquippa defeated Armstrong, 28-14; North Catholic defeated Shady Side Academy, 21-10

Players to watch: Tiqwai Hayes, Aliquippa (Soph., 6-0, 190, RB); Jack Fennell, North Catholic (Jr., 5-10, 180, RB/DB)

Four downs

1. The defending WPIAL and PIAA Class 4A champions are off and running after an opening season win in Week 1 at Armstrong. Junior quarterback Quentin Goode threw for 75 yards and also rushed for 42 yards as the Quips extended their winning streak to 13.

2. Following a tremendous freshman season, Quips sophomore running back Tiqwai Hayes picked up where he left off with a big night in Armstrong County. Hayes rushed for 201 yards on 36 carries and scored all four Aliquippa touchdowns on runs of 3, 1, 1 and 21 yards.

3. North Catholic followed up an impressive Week Zero victory over defending WPIAL Class 2A champion Serra Catholic with a very business-like win in its home opener over Shady Side Academy in Week 1. One of the Trojans’ touchdowns came on special teams on a blocked punt recovery and return by junior Gavin Kamody.

4. Trojans junior running back Jack Fennell only carried the ball eight times against the Bulldogs but led the team with 84 yards rushing, an average of over 10 yards a tote. A good chunk of that came on the only touchdown for either team in the second half, a 45-yard third-quarter run that put NC ahead by 11 points.

Historic factoids: This is the first meeting between Aliquippa and North Catholic in over three decades. The last time they met on the football field, the Quips blanked the Trojans, 49-0, in the 1989 season. Later that year, Aliquippa won its third straight WPIAL championship. Overall, Aliquippa has a 14-4 advantage in the series, including a win in their only playoff battle, 24-14 in 1987. The last time the Trojans beat the Quips was in 1965, 19-0.

Class 2A vs. 3A nonconference

Class 2A No. 4 Sto-Rox (0-1) at Class 3A No. 2 Avonworth (1-1)

7 p.m. Friday, Lezner Field, Avonworth

On the air: Video stream at TribHSSN.TribLive.com

Coaches: Marvin Mills, Sto-Rox; Duke Johncour, Avonworth

Last week: Steel Valley 27, Sto-Rox 24; Central Valley 37, Avonworth 22

Players to watch: Josh Jenkins, Sto-Rox (Sr., 6-1, 180, QB/S); Nate Harper, Avonworth (Sr., 5-11, 185, QB)

Four downs

1. Sto-Rox kicked off its season in Week 1 with a tough loss at home to Steel Valley in a nonconference battle of Class 2A powers. The Vikings had a chance in the waning seconds, but a pass in the end zone was picked off to seal the Ironmen victory. Senior Diego Ellis scored twice for Sto-Rox, on a 10-yard touchdown reception and an 85-yard kickoff return.

2. Vikings senior quarterback Josh Jenkins had a strong season debut, connecting on 17 of 28 passes for 275 yards and three touchdown tosses of 59, 3 and 10 yards. The dual threat also carried the ball 11 times for 53 yards to lead Sto-Rox on the ground.

3. Avonworth played up in classification in Week 1 against 4A Central Valley and became the Warriors’ 29th straight victim in falling by 15 points on the road. Trailing 30-0 at halftime, the Antelopes fought back in the second half to make it respectable with seven points in the third quarter and 15 more in the fourth.

4. The Antelopes had no success moving the football on the ground, so they relied on senior quarterback Nate Harper. The senior completed 19 of 32 passes 185 yards and two touchdowns of 15 yards to junior Brandon Vitai-Biagiarelli and 24 yards to senior Peyton Faulkner.

Historic factoids: This is only the fourth meeting between the schools, although three of them have come in the last three seasons. Last fall, Jaymar Pearson returned an interception for a score and the Vikings defense came up big as the Antelopes threatened late in the game in a 19-16 Sto-Rox win. The Vikings won in 2020, 28-13, and in the first meeting in 2003, 42-30.

Class 2A nonconference

No. 2 Washington (2-0) at No. 5 Serra Catholic (1-1)

7 p.m. Friday, Eagles Stadium, Serra Catholic

On the air: No broadcast

Coaches: Mike Bosnic, Washington; Jose Regus, Serra Catholic

Last week: Washington 48, Clairton 20; Serra Catholic 56, Seton LaSalle 24

Players to watch: Logan Carlisle, Washington (Soph, 5-10, 150, QB); Elijah Ward, Serra Catholic (Sr., 5-11 165, QB/DB)

Four downs

1. Washington continued its 2022 victory tour through the Mon Valley last week. After an season-opening win over Monessen, the Little Prexies scored 21 fourth-quarter points to pull away from host Clairton, 48-20. Special teams posted two touchdowns on a 76-yard punt return by senior Davoun Fuse and a 20-yard blocked punt return for a score by junior Ruben Gordon.

2. Little Prexies sophomore quarterback Logan Carlisle built on a good Week Zero performance in Game 2. He was 8 of 12 passing for 134 yards and three touchdowns on tosses of 26, 14 and 20 yards, all to Gordon. He has now thrown for 315 yards and five touchdowns in two games.

3. After falling to North Catholic in the season opener, defending WPIAL Class 2A champion and state runner-up Serra Catholic bounced back last week to even its record with a convincing 32-point win over Seton LaSalle. Senior running back DaiQuan Chatfield averaged nearly 10 yards per carry against the Rebels with 72 yards rushing on seven carries and a touchdown.

4. Following a rough start against North Catholic, senior Eagles quarterback Elijah Ward had a big bounce back against the Rebels. Ward connected on 5 of 6 passing for 237 yards and three touchdowns, plus he rushed for 58 yards. He now has over 350 yards passing and rushing in the first two games.

Historic factoids: This is the first meeting between Washington and Serra Catholic on the football field. That is hard to believe since both programs have made the Class 2A playoffs in the last six years since expansion to six classifications. The closest they came to a postseason clash was in 2017 when Washington beat East Allegheny in the quarterfinals and advanced to the semifinals to play the winner of No. 3 North Catholic vs. No. 6 Serra Catholic. The Eagles lost to the Trojans in the quarterfinals, 35-14. Wash High went on to win the district 2A title.

Class A nonconference

Carmichaels (2-0) at Chartiers-Houston (2-0)

7 p.m. Friday, Buccaneers Stadium, Chartiers-Houston

On the air: Video stream at TribHSSN.TribLive.com

Coaches: Ron Gallagher, Carmichaels; Terry Fetsko, Chartiers-Houston

Last week: Carmichaels 29, Fort Cherry 26; Chartiers-Houston 31, West Greene 21

Players to watch: Alec Anderson, Carmichaels (Sr., 5-10, 155, QB/LB); Zeke Watkins, Chartiers-Houston (Fr., 5-9, 160, RB)

Four downs

1. Carmichaels finished in second place in the Class A Tri-County South Conference last season and might be positioning itself as the team to beat in the TCS with a quick 2-0 start. After shutting out Waynesburg in Week Zero, the Mikes were mighty in a back-and-forth victory over Fort Cherry in Week 1.

2. Senior quarterback Alec Anderson has been a big part of the Mighty Mikes’ quick start. Anderson has thrown a pair of touchdown passes and has run for three scores in the first two wins over the Raiders and Rangers.

3. Chartiers-Houston is off to a 2-0 start for the second straight season after a 10-point win over West Greene in Week 1. The Bucs trailed the Pioneers at halftime and tied the game after three quarters before scoring 10 unanswered points in the fourth quarter for the win.

4. A new weapon has surfaced for the Buccaneers on offense in freshman running back Zeke Watkins. He rushed for 114 yards on 20 carries and touchdown runs of 5 and 7 yards. Junior quarterback Terry Fetsko threw for 70 yards and a touchdown.

Historic factoids: This is the first meeting between Carmichaels and Chartiers-Houston on the football field since 2009 when C-H won, 35-21. The Buccaneers hold the all-time series lead, 10-5, with victories in the last five meetings. The last Mighty Mikes win over the Bucs was nearly 50 years ago, 8-0 in 1973.Carmichaels won four of the first six matchups, including the first meeting in 1958, 41-16.

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