Trib HSSN high school football don’t-miss matchups for Week 1
Thursday, August 29, 2019 | 10:35 PM
Here’s a look at don’t-miss high school football matchups for Week 1:
Class 6A Conference
Mt. Lebanon (0-1) at Canon-McMillan (0-1)
7 p.m. Friday, Big Mac Stadium, Canonsburg
Coaches: Bob Palko, Mt. Lebanon; Mike Evans, Canon-McMillan
Players to watch: Joey Daniels, Mt. Lebanon (So., 5-9, 175, QB); Blake Joseph, Canon-McMillan (Sr., 5-8, 165, WR)
Last week: Gateway 46, Mt. Lebanon 20; Thomas Jefferson 54, Canon-McMillan 10
Four downs: 1. All eyes will once again be on Palko, as the coach with the most district championships looks for his first victory as head coach at Mt. Lebanon. 2. Daniels only completed 4 of 8 passes, but threw for 105 yards and a touchdown last week for the Blue Devils. Unfortunately, sacks left the young quarterback with minus-35 yards rushing. 3. Canon-McMillan trailed Thomas Jefferson, 14-10, late in the first quarter, but the Big Macs were outscored the rest of the game 40-0. 4. Big-play Blake offers hope to the Big Macs offense. Blake Joseph had four catches for an average of more than 25 yards per catch. He scored the only touchdown for Canon-McMillan on a 72-yard pass from Jon Quinque.
Extra point: The 2018 conference opener for both teams turned into an offensive shootout as Mt. Lebanon won at home 43-29.
Class 5A Allegheny 8
Upper St. Clair (1-0) at Peters Township (1-0)
7 p.m. Friday, Peters Township Stadium
On the air: TribHSSN.triblive.com; 1320 AM
Coaches: Mike Junko, Upper St. Clair; T.J. Plack, Peters Township
Players to watch: Ethan Dahlem, Upper St. Clair (Jr., 5-10, 173, QB); Josh Casilli, Peters Township (Sr., 6-1, 185, WR)
Last week: Upper St. Clair 27, South Fayette 13; Peters Township 45, Fox Chapel 0
Four downs: 1. It was a great start to the Mike Junko era at Upper St. Clair. The heir apparent to the winningest coach in WPIAL history, Jim Render, guided the Panthers to a road victory over defending Class 4A district champion South Fayette, 27-13. 2. Dahlem hit on 13 of 19 passes for 160 yards and also led the team in rushing with 104 yards on 19 carries with a touchdown run and a pair of scoring passes for USC. 3. Coming off a breakout 2018 season, Peters Township dominated in Week Zero as it scored all of its points in the first half with 17 in the first and 28 in the second quarter. 4. Indians quarterback Logan Pfeuffer threw for 132 yards, with more than half of those yards on targets to Josh Casilli. The senior wide receiver caught four passes for 71 yards and two touchdowns.
Extra point: Despite going on to earn a share of the Class 5A Allegheny Eight Conference last year, Peters Township lost in Week 1 at Upper St. Clair, 16-14. The Panthers led 16-0 at the half and then held on to beat their neighboring rivals by two.
Class 4A Northwest 8
Montour (0-1) at New Castle (1-0)
7 p.m. Friday, Taggart Stadium, New Castle
On the air: TribHSSN.triblive.com; 1200 AM
Coaches: Lou Cerro, Montour; Joe Cowart, New Castle
Players to watch: Dominic Magliocco, Montour (Sr., 6-1, 180, WR); Demetris McKnight, New Castle (Sr., 6-0, 200, RB)
Last week: Moon 14, Montour 10; New Castle 34, Shaler 27
Four downs: 1. Montour held Moon to only 14 points, but the Spartans struggled offensively with 150 yards of total offense and only 5 yards rushing. 2. One shining spot for the Spartans on offense was the play of wide receiver Dominic Magliocco. The senior had 141 of Montour’s 145 yards total receiving. 3. New Castle delivered the finish of Week Zero when quarterback Michael Wells connected with McKnight on a 42-yard pass with only 8 seconds left to give the Red Hurricanes a thrilling, 34-27 victory at Shaler. 4. Both Wells and McKnight had big nights going even before the thrilling hook up at the end. Wells threw for 112 yards and rushed for 49 more with two touchdowns while McKnight had 165 yards on the ground and scored three times.
Extra point: Part of an 0-5 start in 2018 for Montour was a Week 1 loss at home to New Castle, 17-11
Class 3A Tri-County West
Quaker Valley (0-0) at Central Valley (1-0)
7 p.m. Friday, Sarge Alberts Stadium
On the air: TribHSSN.triblive.com; 1460 AM
Coaches: Ron Balog, Quaker Valley; Mark Lyons, Central Valley
Players to watch: Mike Aspiotes, Quaker Valley (Sr., 5-11, 160, QB); Jaylen Guy, Central Valley (Sr., 6-1, 172, RB)
Last week: Quaker Valley (DNP); Central Valley 32, Blackhawk 15
Four downs: 1. Quaker Valley was one of 20 WPIAL teams that did not participate in Week Zero and went with a second scrimmage. 2. After a slow start last year, the Quakers won four of their final five games to once again reach the WPIAL playoffs for a second straight season after winning district gold in 2017. 3. Central Valley had an impressive start to the season with a 17-point victory at Blackhawk, a top 5 preseason-ranked team in Class 4A. 4. Jaylen Guy was the guy for the Warriors as he rushed for 125 yards on 22 carries with an 8-yard touchdown that was the capper on a 32-15 victory.
Extra point: Even though they would lose their next three games, the Quakers began defense of their 2017 WPIAL and PIAA championships with an 18-0 whitewash of Central Valley in 2018.
Class 2A Interstate
Charleroi (0-0) at Washington (1-0)
7 p.m. Friday, Wash High Stadium
On the air: TribHSSN.triblive.com; 95.3 FM
Coaches: Lance Getsy, Charleroi; Mike Bosnic, Washington
Players to watch: Alex Conrad, Charleroi (Sr., 5-9, 160, QB); Zach Swartz, Washington (Sr., 5-8, 165, WR)
Last week: Charleroi (DNP); Washington 48, Laurel Highlands 21
Four downs: 1. Charleroi was one of 20 WPIAL that went old school and played a second scrimmage instead of a Week Zero game last week. 2. The Cougars are coming off a memorable 2018 season in which they earned a share of the Interstate Conference title with Washington while reaching the Class 2A semifinals before losing to South Side Beaver by 5. 3. Washington showed why it is the preseason top-ranked team in Class 2A with a 48-21 win over Class 4A Laurel Highlands, scoring 34 first-half points. 4. Swartz had a strong debut in Week Zero, connecting on 15 of 22 passes for 202 yards and a pair of touchdowns, plus he led the Little Prexies on the ground with 120 yards rushing with four touchdowns.
Extra point: Washington remembers what happened to its defense in Week 1 a year ago. Charleroi scored 64 points in a 31-point rout of the Little Prexies.
Class A Big 7
Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (1-0) at Sto-Rox (1-0)
7 p.m. Friday, Sto-Rox Stadium
On the air: TribHSSN.TribLive.com
Coaches: Dan Bradley, OLSH; LaRoi Johnson, Sto-Rox
Players to watch: Jaymar Pearson, OLSH (So., 5-10, 185, QB); Amhad Pack, Sto-Rox (Sr., 5-5, 150, WR)
Last week: OLSH 33, Westinghouse 30, Sto-Rox 32, South Side Beaver 21
Four downs: 1. It was a comeback for the ages for defending WPIAL Class A champion OLSH in Week Zero as the Chargers erased a 30-13 fourth-quarter deficit by outscoring the Bulldogs, 20-0, in the final quarter. 2. Following in the footsteps of graduated QB Tyler Bradley, Jaymar Pearson threw for 116 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 87 yards and two scores. 3. Sto-Rox opened up its newly renovated turf stadium with a 12-point victory over a South Side Beaver team that was the runner-up in Class 2A a year ago. 4. The Vikings pack a big punch with their diminutive big-play receiver in Amhad Pack. Last week, Pack had five receptions for 101 yards and a touchdown.
Extra point: Part of the reason OLSH won the Big 7 and eventually a WPIAL title while Sto-Rox missed the playoff party was when the Chargers pounded the Vikings 46-6 in Week 1.
Don Rebel hosts the Rebel Yell podcasts for HSSN.