Trib HSSN don’t-miss high school football matchups for Week 6
Thursday, October 15, 2020 | 5:54 PM
Canon-McMillan (2-2, 2-2) vs. No. 1 North Allegheny (4-0, 3-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday, Newman Stadium at North Allegheny
On the air: Audio on KDKA-AM 1020 and at TribHSSN.TribLive.com
Coaches: Mike Evans, Canon-McMillan; Art Walker, North Allegheny
Players to watch: Ryan Angott, Canon-McMillan (Jr., 5-10, 185, RB); Khalil Dinkens, North Allegheny (Sr., 6-4, 218, WR)
Last week: Seneca Valley 31, Canon-McMillan 17; North Allegheny 49, Norwin 13
1. Canon-McMillan had its modest two-game winning streak end in Week 5 in a 14-point loss at Seneca Valley. The game was deadlocked at 3-3 after one quarter before the host Raiders outscored the Big Macs 21-0 in a game-changing second quarter.
2. Big Macs junior running back Ryan Angott rushed for 453 yards in the first three games of the season. However, the junior was limited to only 50 yards on 12 carries last week by Seneca Valley. Angott was also kept out of the end zone as Canon-McMillan’s two scores came on quarterback Lamont Lyons’ scoring pass and run.
3. North Allegheny sits all alone atop the Class 6A standing with a perfect record through five weeks. The Tigers rolled over Norwin last week with a big second quarter. Leading by only a touchdown, NA outscored the Knights 28-0 in the second to ease to victory.
4. Whether he is catching the ball or running with it, senior Khalil Dinkins is showing why he is one of the top recruits coming out of the WPIAL this year. He leads the Tigers in receiving, averaging 17.0 yards per catch and 9.3 yards per tote. Last week, he had a pair of touchdown receptions and two rushing scores.
Extra point: This is the fifth meeting this century between the Tigers and Big Macs. Two of the previous meetings have been in the last two regular seasons while the other two have been postseason clashes. North Allegheny won all four of the games: 42-6 last year, 45-21 in 2018, 41-6 in the 2002 Class AAAA first round and 48-7 in the 2019 Class 6A quarterfinals.
Class 5A Big East Conference
No. 2 Gateway (2-0, 1-0) vs. Woodland Hills (4-1, 2-1)
7 p.m. Saturday, The Wolvarena in Turtle Creek
On the air: Video at TribHSSN.TribLive.com
Coaches: Don Holl, Gateway; Tim Bostard, Woodland Hills
Players to watch: Derrick Davis, Gateway (Sr., 6-2, 195, RB); Deontae Williams, Woodland Hills (Jr., 5-11, 171, QB)
Last week: Penn-Trafford at Gateway, ppd.; Woodland Hills 32, Franklin Regional 13
1. Gateway may have made WPIAL history. They are thought to be the first district football team to have three weeks off between games. Contests between Pine-Richland and Latrobe were postponed due to covid-19 issues with the Gators. Then last week’s conference showdown against Penn-Trafford slated for Sunday was postponed when Penn-Trafford had to take covid-19 precautions.
2. While rust could be a factor, one of the top players in the WPIAL is set to run on fresh legs. Derrick Davis, who recently narrowed his college choices to Pitt, Penn State, Ohio State, LSU, Georgia and Clemson, is averaging over 12 yards per carry with 278 yards and five touchdowns in two games played.
3. After losing for the first time in Week 4 at Penn-Trafford by 32 points, Woodland Hills enjoyed a sweet comeback last week against Franklin Regional. Trailing by one point in the second quarter, the Wolverines scored 26 unanswered points to beat the Panthers and improve to 2-1 in the Big East.
4. Junior quarterback Deontae Williams continues to shine with his arm and his legs. Williams hit on 7 of 12 passes for 130 yards and two touchdowns against Franklin Regional, plus he ran for 87 yards, giving him a team-high 297 yards on the ground.
Extra point: These neighboring rivals east of Pittsburgh haven’t played each other since 2017. In that year, Gateway beat Woodland Hills in the opening night of the season, 35-23, then again in district playoffs in the 5A quarterfinals, 40-28. The Wolverines’ last victory over the Gators came on opening night in 2016 by a score of 37-21.
Class 4A Parkway Conference
No. 2 Aliquippa (5-0, 3-0) vs. Montour (4-1, 2-1)
7 p.m. Saturday, Thomas J. Birko at Montour
On the air: Audio at TribHSSN.TribLive.com
Coaches: Mike Warfield, Aliquippa; Lou Cerro, Montour
Players to watch: Vernon Redd, Aliquippa (Sr., 5-10, 165, RB); Luke Persinger, Montour (Sr., 6-3, 195, QB)
Last week: Aliquippa 35, Chartiers Valley 6; Montour 34, Blackhawk 8
1. Aliquippa is alone in first place in the Parkway Conference after beating Chartiers Valley last week in a battle of undefeated teams. The Quips used big plays, including a Cyair Clark 102-yard interception return for a score, to jump out to a 21-0 lead in the second quarter and cruise to a 29-point victory over the Colts.
2. More big plays last week came from senior running back Vernon Redd. He rushed for 188 yards and two touchdown runs of 55 and 46 yards, plus he started the game by returning the opening kickoff 84 yards for a score. Redd now has 736 yards rushing and eight touchdowns in leading the Quips to a 5-0 start.
3. Since losing in Week 1 to Chartiers Valley, Montour has won four straight. Its latest victory came on the road at Blackhawk. The Spartans scored the game’s first 34 points. Montour has outscored opponents in this four game winning streak 127-49.
4. Spartans senior quarterback Luke Persinger leads the team in passing with 417 yards, is second in rushing with 147 yards and is tied for third in scoring with three touchdowns. Persinger had 112 total yards from scrimmage in the win over Blackhawk, including a 10-yard touchdown run.
Extra point: In 49 seasons since 1972, Aliquippa has had only one losing season. That came in 1994 when the Quips finished 4-6. The victory over Chartiers Valley last week guaranteed Aliquippa another winning campaign. Even though their paths didn’t cross in conference play because the Quips were a class down from Montour going back to the four classification days, these teams did meet in nonconference play the last two years. Aliquippa destroyed Montour in 2018, 62-0, while the teams played a much more competitive game last year with the Quips prevailing, 27-14.
Class 3A Interstate Conference
South Park (3-2, 3-1) vs. South Allegheny (2-3, 2-3)
7 p.m. Friday, Glassport Stadium
Coaches: Marty Rieck, South Park; Frank Cortazzo, South Allegheny
Players to watch: Nathan May, South Park (Sr., 6-0, 206, RB); Antonio Epps, South Allegheny (Sr., 5-11, 186, RB)
Last week: North Catholic 28, South Park 2; Elizabeth Forward 20, South Allegheny 14 in double OT
1. After a 3-0 start, South Park has lost back-to-back games to two of the top three teams in Class 3A. After losing to undefeated Elizabeth Forward in Week 4, the Eagles dropped a 26-point decision to No. 2 North Catholic last week.
2. Nathan May has proven to be a versatile weapon for the Eagles. The senior running back is second on the team in rushing, leads the Eagles in receiving and leads the team in scoring with five touchdowns.
3. South Allegheny had a two-game win streak snapped last week in heartbreaking fashion. Trailing unbeaten Elizabeth Forward by 14 points in the fourth quarter, the Gladiators rallied for two scores to force overtime. However, the Warriors scored the only points in OT, putting a big dent in SA’s playoff hopes.
4. Gladiators senior running back Antonio Epps scored the game-tying touchdown last week against EF on a 61-yard lateral from Jett Jones off a pass from Eric Wehrer on the old hook-and-lateral. Epps finished the game with 122 rushing yards, giving him 676 for the season to go along with his team-high 13 touchdowns.
Extra point: South Park needs a win to stay a game behind the Elizabeth Forward-Mt. Pleasant winner in the Interstate Conference. The loss last week by the Gladiators will likely extend their playoff drought to eight years. This particular “Battle of the South” has not taken place on the football field since 2015. The Eagles have won the last three meetings between the schools by a combined score of 99-30. The Gladiators’ last victory in this matchup came in their last playoff season in 2012. SA beat SP eight years ago, 28-7.
Class 2A Midwestern Athletic Conference
New Brighton (3-2, 3-2) vs. Neshannock (4-1, 4-1)
7 p.m. Friday, Bob Bleggi Stadium at Neshannock
On the air: Video at TribHSSN.TribLive.com
Coaches: Joe Greco, New Brighton; Fred Mozzocio, Neshannock
Players to watch: Nya Greene, New Brighton (Sr., 6-3, 230, RB); Cam’ron Owens, Neshannock (Jr., 6-2, 185, RB)
Last week: Laurel 27, New Brighton 25; Neshannock 26, Riverside 8
1. Following a 3-0 start, New Brighton lost back-to-back games to Midwestern Athletic Conference leader Beaver Falls and then last week at home to Laurel. After falling behind the Spartans 21-13 at halftime, the Lions came back and pulled to within two points on a 69-yard touchdown run by senior Kei’Ondre Abercrombie. However, New Brighton was stopped short on a 2-point conversion run as the Lions’ playoff hopes took a hit.
2. Bruising running back Nya Greene showed off his versatility last week against Laurel. Greene scored three touchdowns on a 3-yard run and a pair of 12-yard scoring passes from junior quarterback Gabe Haddox. Greene now leads the Lions in rushing (425 yards), receiving (104 yards) and scoring (nine touchdowns).
3. After losing to Laurel on opening night, Neshannock has won four straight to move into second place in the MAC. The latest victory for the Lancers last week was an 18-point win over host Riverside in which senior Matt Nativio scored on a 45-yard pick-six and a 59-yard scoring pass from junior quarterback Kurt Sommerfield.
4. Running back Cam’ron Owens ran for two long touchdowns in the win over the Panthers, scoring on scampers of 73 and 85 yards. The junior leads Neshannock in rushing with 621 yards, in receptions with nine and in scoring with eight touchdowns.
Extra point: Neshannock only lost two regular season games in 2019, and one of them was to New Brighton. The Lions have won the last two years, including a 31-18 decision in Week 5 last season. The last time the Lancers won was a 31-18 triumph in 2017. These teams had not met in this century until they became 2A Midwestern Athletic Conference foes in 2016. Since then, they are 2-2 against each other.
Class A Tri-County South Conference
No. 4 California (4-0, 4-0) vs. Carmichaels (5-0, 5-0)
7 p.m. Saturday, Coaches Field at Carmichaels HS
On the air: WMBS-AM 590, WMBS-FM 101.1 and at TribHSSN.TribLive.com
Coaches: Ed Woods, California; Ron Gallagher, Carmichaels
Players to watch: Jaedan Zuzak, California (Sr., 5-10, 206, RB); Bailey Jones, Carmichaels (Sr., 6-1, 201, RB)
Last week: California 65, Jefferson-Morgan 22; Carmichaels 10, Moneseen 0 (forfeit)
1. California ran wild in Week 5 for a fourth straight win, a 43-point victory over visiting Jefferson-Morgan. The game was actually tied at 6-6 in the first quarter before California scored four straight touchdowns and ended up leading the Rockets 46-14 by halftime. While the Trojans didn’t throw for a single yard, they did outgain Jefferson-Morgan on the ground, 597-63.
2. Trojans running back Jaedan Zuzak set a school single-game rushing record and enjoyed one of the best nights running the ball in WPIAL history. The senior carried the ball 19 times for 440 yards and scored seven touchdowns. His yards are believed to be the eighth-most in a single game in WPIAL football history. He now has 1,114 yards for the season, tops in the WPIAL.
3. Carmichaels was 4-0 heading into Week 5, and its fifth victory turned out to be the easiest. Due to injuries and low roster numbers, Monessen was unable to field a team and had to forfeit. It goes in the books as a 10-0 win for the Mighty Mikes and their first shutout of the season. They’ve only yielded 37 points this season.
4. The Mighty Mikes are averaging over 37 points per game in their four games actually played thanks to the efforts of running back Bailey Jones. The senior is averaging almost 8.5 yards per carry and has 657 yards on the season. He leads Carmichaels in scoring with 10 touchdowns and, just for kicks, has also booted two extra points.
Extra point: Because of a Week 2 postponement against West Greene, California has been the road warriors. This will be their fourth road trip in five games played. Because Monessen has forfeited the rest of its games, California wins the Tri-County South Conference outright with a victory over Carmichaels since the Trojans are scheduled to play the Greyhounds in Week 7. With Rochester losing last week, Carmichaels now has the second-longest current winning streak in the WPIAL with eight consecutive wins. Thomas Jefferson has won 20 straight. The Mighty Mikes are trying to earn a playoff spot for the first time since 2017. That was the last year these teams met on the football field with the Trojans winning, 42-7.
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