Trib HSSN don’t miss high school football matchups for 2023 Week 6

Thursday, October 5, 2023 | 5:29 PM

September football this season provided tremendous weather and lots and lots of points.

So as the calendar turns and October football begins, what can we expect over the next four weekends?

The weather won’t be the same, at least for this weekend, as we cool off and bring a serious chance of rain into the Friday night picture.

Will the offenses continue to shine throughout the district? October is usually when we start to see teams buckle up and turn up the heat on defense.

Here is a look at some of the top district high school football contests in Week 6.

Class 6A

No. 2 North Allegheny (5-1, 1-1) at No. 4 Mt. Lebanon (4-2, 1-1)

7 p.m. Friday, Mt. Lebanon HS Stadium

Coaches: Art Walker, North Allegheny; Mike Collodi, Mt. Lebanon

Last week: North Allegheny 45, Pine-Richland 10; Upper St. Clair 42, Mt. Lebanon 27

Players to watch: Logan Kushner, North Allegheny (Sr., 6-1, 200, QB); Fred LaSota, Mt. Lebanon (Sr., 5-10, 185, RB/FS)

Team notes

• North Allegheny: The Tigers were in bounce-back mode last week following a Week 4 loss to Central Catholic, and it was mission accomplished in a big way against rival Pine-Richland. Senior quarterback Logan Kushner completed 10 of 19 passes for 264 yards and three touchdown tosses to of 65 and 12 yards to Khiryn Boyd and 6 yards to Tyree Alualu, along with 139 yards rushing and two touchdowns on runs of 1 and 54 yards in the 35-point victory over the Rams. The NA QB has thrown for over 800 yards this season with 11 touchdown passes while leading the Tigers on the ground with 520 yards.

• Mt. Lebanon: The Blue Devils lost for the second time this season last week in dropping a nonconference road game against rival Upper St. Clair. Quarterback Michael Malone threw for 128 yards and two touchdowns before leaving the game due to injury. A.J. Hyland in relief threw for 54 yards and a touchdown. Senior running back Fred LaSota led the Lebo ground game with 59 yards and a touchdown while sophomore Pat Smith gained 52 yards rushing. LaSota is the team’s leading rusher with 476 yards and a team-high five touchdowns.

Historic factoids

A year ago, 2022 Class 6A champion North Allegheny defeated 2021 winner Mt. Lebanon, 20-6. Tigers quarterback Logan Kushner and Khiryn Boyd ran for touchdowns and Jack Yatchenko scored on a fumble recovery. Kushner threw for 81 yards for NA.

After winning last season, North Allegheny leads the all-time series against Mt. Lebanon, 18-17. The Tigers had won 11 straight from 2006-2020; however, the Blue Devils won twice in 2021. Mt. Lebanon shut out North Allegheny, 20-0, in the first meeting in 1979.

The teams have played each other five times in the postseason with the Blue Devils holding a 3-2 edge. Lebo won playoff games over the black and gold in 1983, 1991 and 2021 while NA earned postseason victories over the blue and gold in 2006 and 2017.

Class 5A Allegheny Six Conference

No. 3 Upper St. Clair (5-1, 1-1) at Bethel Park (2-4, 1-0)

7 p.m. Friday, Bethel Park Stadium

Coaches: Mike Junko, Upper St. Clair; Phil Peckich, Upper St. Clair

Last week: Upper St. Clair 42, Mt. Lebanon 27; Penn Hills 28, Bethel Park 12

Players to watch: Mason Chambers, Upper St. Clair (Sr., 5-10, 210, RB/MLB); Ryan Petras, Bethel Park (Jr., 5-10, 180, WR/DB)

Team notes

• Upper St. Clair: Much like North Allegheny, Upper St. Clair lost for the first time this season in a conference showdown in Week 4; however, the Panthers were back on the prowl last week in a 15-point victory at home over rival Mt. Lebanon. Senior running back Mason Chambers had a big night for USC, rushing for 176 yards on 14 carries with touchdowns runs of 79, 25, 4 and 59 yards, plus he had three receptions for 25 yards. Panthers quarterback Ethan Hellman was 6 of 10 passing for 77 yards and a 13-yard scoring strike to Cam Phillips.

• Bethel Park: The Black Hawks have lost four of their last five games after falling last week by 16 points at Penn Hills. The loss was the first to a Class 5A team as BP’s first three losses were to 6A opponents Mt. Lebanon, Central Catholic and Canon-McMillan. Bethel Park junior wide receiver and defensive back Ryan Petras did a little bit of everything for the Hawks in the loss to the Indians, including 45 yards receiving, 17 yards rushing and a returned interception 40-yards for a touchdown. Petras leads the team in receiving and touchdowns through six games.

Historic factoids

In Week 6 last fall, Bethel Park knocked off host Upper St. Clair, 27-14. Tanner Pfeuffer threw for one touchdown and ran for another while Ryan Petras had a touchdown run and a scoring reception for the Black Hawks. Justin Dahlem had two touchdown passes for the Panthers. The outcome decided the Class 5A Allegheny 6 Conference as BP finished 5-0 and USC was 4-1.

This is the 52nd meeting between the South Hills neighbors. Upper St. Clair has the advantage, 33-17-1; however, Bethel Park has won six of the last 10 meetings. The first game between BP and USC was 55 years ago when the Black Hawks shut out the Panthers, 20-0, in 1968.

The rivals have met twice in the postseason with USC winning both times. The Panthers beat the Black Hawks in the 2003 postseason, 20-14. They played again in the 2022 Class 5A semifinals with Upper St. Clair eliminating Bethel Park, 17-7. Jamal Brown rushed for 132 yards on 22 carries as USC stunned top-seeded BP.

Class 4A Parkway Conference

N0. 5 Montour (5-1, 2-1) at No. 4 Central Valley (5-1, 3-0)

7 p.m. Friday, Sarge Albert Stadium at Central Valley

Coaches: Lou Cerro, Montour; Mark Lyons, Central Valley

Last week: Montour 48, New Castle 14; Central Valley 42, Blackhawk 14

Players to watch: Jake Wolfe, Montour (Sr., 6-1, 185, QB/DB); Jance Henry Jr., Central Valley (Fr., 5-9, 190, RB/SS)

Team notes

• Montour: Since losing their only game of the season three weeks ago to Aliquippa, the Spartans have picked up back-to-back Parkway Conference wins over Ambridge and New Castle by a combined score of 96-21. In winning at New Castle last week, senior quarterback Jake Wolfe once again led the way on offense with 8 of 13 passing for 169 yards and two touchdowns, plus he rushed for a team-high 70 yards and scored on a short run. For the season, Wolfe has thrown for 1,224 yards and 13 touchdowns while rushing for 403 yards and eight TDs.

• Central Valley: Another successful football season for Central Valley and another star in the making is emerging. Freshman running back Jance Henry Jr. had a breakout game last week in a 28-point victory over Blackhawk, rushing for 234 yards on 21 carries and scoring two touchdowns, nearly doubling his running totals from his first five games. Warriors quarterback Steven Rutherford threw for 145 yards and two touchdowns last week, giving him 781 passing yards for the season with seven touchdowns. He has also rushed for 271 yards and seven scores.

Historic factoids

Central Valley dominated Montour in last year’s meeting in Week 6, 43-0. Bret Fitzsimmons rushed for 181 yards and two touchdowns for CV while quarterback Antwon Johnson was 9 of 15 passing for 114 yards and two touchdowns.

This all-time series has been short but competitive. Central Valley has won five meetings while Montour has been victorious in four contests with no team winning more than two in a row. Montour was 2-1-1 all-time against Center and 2-0 against Monaca.

The first two years after the merger to form Central Valley, the Warriors and Spartans met four times. In 2010, Montour won the regular season game, 12-7, and then lost to Central Valley in the 3A championship game, 24-7. In 2011, the Warriors won the regular season contest, 27-16, and then the Spartans avenged the loss with a win in the 3A semifinals, 21-14.

Class 3A Western Hills Conference

No. 3 Avonworth (6-0, 3-0) at Beaver (5-1, 1-1)

7 p.m. Friday, Pat Tarquinio Field at Gypsy Glen Stadium at Beaver

Coaches: Duke Johncour, Avonworth; Cort Rowse, Beaver

Last week: Avonworth 38, West Mifflin 14; Beaver 56, Brentwood 20

Players to watch: Dimitri Velisaris, Avonworth (Fr., 5-5, RB/CB); Brady Mayo, Beaver (Jr., 6-1, 180, WR/DB)

Team notes

• Avonworth: The Antelopes remained undefeated with their third 3A Western Hills Conference victory last week with a 24-point win over visiting West Mifflin. Freshman running back Dimitri Velisaris led the ‘Lopes on the ground with 173 yards on 18 carries with two touchdowns. Teammates Nico Neal ran for 75 yards and a score and Andrew Kuban rushed for 55 yards and two touchdowns. Velisaris now has 515 yards rushing with 10 touchdowns on the season.

• Beaver: The Bobcats got back on the winning track last week following a Week 4 loss to West Mifflin. Beaver scored 28 points in the first quarter and added 21 more in the second quarter last week in cruising to a 36-point victory over visiting Brentwood in a nonconference game. Junior Brady Mayo scored on 5-yard and 23-yard runs in the opening quarter then added a 55-yard interception return for a score in the second quarter.

Historic factoids

In the meeting between the schools last year in Week 6, Avonworth erased a 3-0 deficit with 20 second-quarter points on its way to a 29-3 conference victory over visiting Beaver. Nate Harper threw for 155 yards and a touchdown pass to Andrew Kuban, who also scored on a 28-yard run.

This is only the second meeting between the schools in 81 years. Before 2022, the previous time they met, the Antelopes edged the Bobcats, 7-0, in 1942. The first meeting between the schools was in 1915 with Avonworth winning, 14-13.

Avonworth leads the all-times series 5-3 with the Antelopes winning in 1915, 1920, 1941, 1942 and 2022 while the Bobcats were triumphant in 1919, 1922 and 1940.

Class 2A Midwestern Athletic Conference

Beaver Falls (3-3, 2-1) at No. 5 Mohawk (5-1, 3-0)

7 p.m. Friday, Warriors Stadium at Mohawk

Coaches: Nick Nardone, Beaver Falls; Tim McCutcheon, Mohawk

Last week: Beaver Falls 41, Riverside 6; Mohawk 38, Ellwood City 14

Players to watch: Da’Sean Anderson, Beaver Falls (Sr., 5-11, 180, QB/DB); Jay Wrona, Mohawk (Sr., 6-0, 170, QB)

Team notes

• Beaver Falls: The Tigers have not been the dominant cats we are used to seeing in the Class 2A Midwestern Athletic Conference, splitting their first six games this season. However, they are still dangerous, as they showed last week at Riverside. BF senior quarterback Da’Sean Anderson hit on 5 of his 7 passes for 131 yards and a 49-yard touchdown toss to Di’Nari Harris as Beaver Falls cruised to a 35-point victory. Anderson also rushed for 94 yards and two scores while Harris returned a punt 40 yards for a touchdown.

• Mohawk: In between rounds of the WPIAL Class 2A boys individual golf championships, Warriors senior quarterback Jay Wrona proved he could toss around the pigskin as well as he can shoot for birdies. Wrona continued his outstanding season last week by being named Trib HSSN Player of the Week after hitting on 21 of 38 passes for 289 yards and four touchdowns as Mohawk remained tied for first place with Neshannock in the MAC by beating host Ellwood City. Wrona is fourth in the WPIAL in passing with 1,434 yards and leads the district in touchdown passes with 24.

Historic factoids

In Week 6 of the 2022 season, Beaver Falls crushed visiting Mohawk, 54-7. The Tigers led 22-0 after the opening quarter and cruised into halftime up 46-7. Jaren Brickner led the Tigers with 202 yards passing and three touchdown passes and a scoring run while Trey Singleton caught all three TD throws. Jay Wrona threw for 105 yards and a touchdown for the Warriors.

Beaver Falls has dominated the series, beating Mohawk in 17 of the 18 meetings. The teams have met 10 times in the last 14 years and the Tigers have won them all in convincing fashion by a combined score of 469-86 or an average score of 47-9.

The only time Mohawk knocked off Beaver Falls came 23 years ago when the Warriors edged the Tigers, 31-28, in 2000. Ten years earlier in 1990, the programs met for the first time with BF prevailing, 20-13.

Class A Tri-County South Conference

West Greene (5-1, 3-0) at California (5-1, 3-0)

7 p.m. Saturday at Trojan Stadium at California

Coaches: Beau Jackson, West Greene; Ed Woods, California

Last week: West Greene 41, Monessen 32; California 58, Mapletown 0

Players to watch: Colin Brady, West Greene (Sr., 6-2, 200, RB/OLB); Spencer Petrucci, California (Sr., 6-0, 190, RB/MLB)

Team notes

• West Greene: The Pioneers have the fourth highest scoring offense in Class A thanks to the running of Colin Brady. Despite missing Week 4 due to injury, the senior running back leads the WPIAL in rushing with 1,055 yards on 95 carries, an incredible 11.1 yards per carry average. Upon his return to the lineup last week, all Brady did was rush for 301 yards on 20 carries with four touchdowns on runs of 67, 9, 9 and 74 yards as West Greene outscored Monessen by nine points to remain tied for first in the TCS.

• California: While the Pioneers have the fourth leading offense in Class A, the Trojans are third behind only Fort Cherry and South Side. California added to its impressive numbers this season last week by dropping 58 points on host Mapletown. Eight Trojans had carries and ran for positive yards in the game led by senior running back Spencer Petrucci, who gained 119 yards and scored on touchdown runs of 40, 32 and 20 yards, all in the first half. It was the third shutout for California in five wins.

Historic factoids

Both teams come into this game riding three-game winning streaks after both lost nonconference games in Week 2, California to Waynesburg and West Greene to Greensburg Central Catholic.

California defeated host West Greene in Week 6 last fall, 47-14. Trojans quarterback Jake Layhue threw for 234 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 140 yards and three touchdowns in a dominating performance. Lane Allison threw for 152 yards and a touchdown for the Pioneers.

This is the 39th meeting all-time between the schools with California winning 30 times and West Greene eight. Up until the Pioneers winning in 2019 and 2021, the Trojans had won 13 games in a row in the series, including four straight shutouts from 2014-2017 in which they outscored WG 153-0. California won the first meeting in 1977, 14-6, while the Pioneers picked up their first series victory two years later in 1979, 6-0.

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