Trib HSSN high school football don’t-miss matchups for Week 4
Thursday, September 19, 2019 | 4:49 PM
Bethel Park (2-0, 3-0) at Central Catholic (2-1, 3-1)
7 p.m. Friday, The Wolvarena in Turtle Creek
On the air: WJAS-AM 1320, TribHSSN.TribLive.com
Coaches: Brian DeLallo, Bethel Park; Terry Totten, Central Catholic
Players to watch: Anthony Chiccitt, Bethel Park (Sr., 6-2, 185, QB); Jonathan Opalko, Central Catholic (Sr., 5-10, 160, K)
Last week: Bethel Park 31, Shaler 0; Central Catholic 31, Hempfield 14
Four downs: 1. BP senior quarterback Anthony Chiccitt continued writing his success story after battling cancer earlier this year by hitting on 12 of 17 passes for 160 yards and three touchdowns in a non-conference win at Shaler. 2. This is the second trip to the Wolvarena in four weeks for the Black Hawks. Bethel Park opened its season with a 29-16 Allegheny Eight Conference win over host Woodland Hills in Week 1. 3. Junior running back Edward Tillman had a big day on the ground last week for Central Catholic, rushing for 112 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries in a 6A win at Hempfield. 4. In the Vikings’ win over the Spartans in Week 3, senior kicker Jonathan Opalko booted a 54-yard field goal that gave the Vikings a 17-7 lead at halftime. The kick was a yard shy of the WPIAL record 55-yard field goal set by Josh Miller of East Allegheny 17 years ago.
Extra point: Last year’s meeting was a defensive slugfest with Central Catholic edging Bethel Park, 7-6. The last time these teams met in the postseason was 12 years ago when the Vikings crushed the Black Hawks, 38-6, in a Class AAAA quarterfinal game at, coincidentally enough, the Wolvarena in Turtle Creek. Bethel Park has dropped eight straight in this series and hasn’t won since 2002.
Class 5A Allegheny Eight
Upper St. Clair (2-1, 3-1) at West Allegheny (1-2, 1-2)
7 p.m. Friday, Joe P. DeMichela Stadium
On the air: KDKA-AM 1020, TribHSSN.TribLive.com
Coaches: Mike Junko, Upper St. Clair; Chris Lucas, West Allegheny
Players to watch: Ethan Dahlem, Upper St. Clair (Jr., 5-10, 173, QB); Nico Flati, West Allegheny (Jr., 5-9, 185, RB)
Last week: Upper St. Clair 45, Woodland Hills 41; Peters Township 23, West Allegheny 7
Four downs: 1. Junior quarterback Ethan Dahlem set a school single-game passing record last week by hitting on 22 of 33 passes for 485 yards and three touchdowns, plus he rushed for 75 yards and three more scores. 2. The Panthers are coming off a two-game homestand in which they won both games after trailing at halftime. In fact, they trailed Woodland Hills last week twice by 17 points before coming back to win a key conference game. 3. After rushing for 224 yards in the first two weeks, West Allegheny junior running back Nico Flati was held to only 41 yards by Peters Township, but did score the Indians’ lone touchdown on a 4-yard run in the third quarter. 4. West Allegheny is looking to avoid losing three straight games for the first time since the Indians lost their last two regular season games and their lone playoff contest to end the 2011 season.
Extra point: Since these teams became Class 5A Allegheny Eight foes three years ago, West Allegheny is 2-1 against Upper St. Clair, including a 29-12 win for the Indians over the Panthers last season.
Class 4A Northwest Eight
Montour (0-1, 1-3) at Blackhawk (2-1, 2-2)
7 p.m. Friday, Blackhawk High School Stadium
On the air: WBVP-AM 1230, TribHSSN.TribLive.com
Coaches: Lou Cerro, Montour; Zack Hayward, Blackhawk
Players to watch: Dominic Magliocco, Montour (Sr., 6-1, 180, WR); Marques Watson-Trent, Blackhawk (Sr., 6-0, 190, RB)
Last week: Aliquippa 27, Montour 14; Blackhawk 49, Ambridge 0
Four downs: 1. Montour senior wide receiver Dom Magliocco is quietly having a big season. He has 18 of the team’s 40 receptions for 346 yards and a pair of touchdowns, including a 43-yard scoring catch in a loss to Aliquippa last week. 2. The Spartans are 1-3 but have outscored three opponents, 87-75. That’s a far cry from their 0-4 start a year ago against the same teams in which they were outscored, 143-17. 3. Senior running back Marques Watson-Trent of Blackhawk is averaging over 7 yards per carry this season with 514 yards and eight touchdowns in the first four games. 4. It’s been feast or famine for the Cougars. In the first two weeks, they lost to unbeaten Central Valley and Blackhawk by a combined score of 53-35. Blackhawk won the last two games against winless Highlands and Ambridge by a combined margin of 79-12.
Extra point: These old Parkway Conference foes had seen their rivalry turn one-sided this decade. Blackhawk’s 28-0 shutout of Montour last fall ended a nine-game win streak for the Spartans against the Cougars going back to 2008. In those nine wins, Montour had outscored Blackhawk, 319-112.
Class 3A Tri-County West
Beaver Falls (2-1, 3-1) at Aliquippa (2-0, 4-0)
7 p.m. Friday, Carl A. Aschman Memorial Stadium
On the air: WMBA-AM 1460, TribHSSN.TribLive.com
Coaches: Nick Nardone, Beaver Falls; Mike Warfield, Aliquippa
Players to watch: Shileak Livingston, Beaver Falls (Jr., 5-10, 210, RB); Chuinua Soloman, Aliquippa (Sr., 6-1, 180, WR)
Last week: Beaver Falls 57, Quaker Valley 22; Aliquippa 27, Montour 14
Four downs: 1. Junior running back Shileak Livingston had two touchdown runs and senior tight end Noah Vaughn had a touchdown reception and a pick six to lead Beaver Falls to a 35-point victory at Quaker Valley last week. 2. The Tigers have scored 139 points in wins over Ellwood City, South Park and Quaker Valley. BF scored only six points in their lone loss two weeks ago to Central Valley. 3. Aliquippa senior wide out Chuinua Soloman continues to be a scoring machine. Eight of his 14 receptions have gone for touchdowns, including scores of 19 and 67 yards on passes from Vaughn Morris in last week’s win over Montour. 4. The Quips own the longest current winning streak in the WPIAL at nine games after winning all five district and state postseason games last fall and starting this season with four victories.
Extra point: Since Aliquippa lost to Beaver Falls in the 2016 WPIAL Class AA championship game, 35-22, the Tigers have not scored a point in two regular season losses in 2017 and 2018, losing by a combined score of 75-0. The Quips’ win streak is three straight, including last year’s 42-14 win in the district Class 3A semifinals.
Class 2A Three Rivers
South Side (2-0, 2-2) at Burgettstown (2-0, 3-0)
7 p.m. Friday, Hill Memorial Stadium in Burgettstown
On the air: TribHSSN.TribLive.com
Coaches: Luke Travelpiece, South Side; Mark Druga, Burgettstown
Players to watch: Anthony Navarra, South Side (Sr., 5-10, 175, RB); Seth Phillis, Burgettstown (Sr., 5-10, 195, WR)
Last week: South Side 50, Carlynton 13; Burgettstown 46, Summit Academy 12
Four downs: 1. Anthony Navarra barely broke a sweat last week with only four carries, but he was able to add to his team leading 286 yards rushing with 106 yards on the ground and a touchdown in South Side’s rout of Carlynton. 2. It was a tough start for the 2018 Class 2A runner-up Rams with back-to-back close losses to Sto-Rox and Western Beaver. However, it appears the success from last fall is back in Hookstown with wins in their first two Three Rivers Conference frays. 3. Burgettstown was stunned after one quarter last Saturday, trailing winless Summit Academy, 12-2. Then Seth Phillis and his teammates went to work. The senior wide receiver caught a touchdown pass, had a 45-yard interception return for a score, booted a 42-yard field goal and converted four extra points in the 34-point win. 4. After a perfect 2018 regular season, the Blue Devils have now won 12 straight regular season games with their last loss coming in Week 9 of the 2017 season, a 35-14 loss at Elizabeth Forward.
Extra point: Last year, the first meeting between the teams since 2011 was a memorable one. The game was suspended because of storms in the second quarter with Burgettstown leading, 20-7. When the game resumed the next day, the Rams’ Derek Franchek scored on a 4-yard run with no time left on the clock, but his 2-point try for the tie was stopped inches shy of the goal line as the Blue Devils held on for a 23-21 win.
Class A Nonconference
Laurel (2-0, 4-0) at Clairton (2-0, 2-2)
7 p.m. Friday, Neil Brown Stadium in Clairton
On the air: TribHSSN.TribLive.com
Coaches: Brian Cooper, Laurel; Wayne Wade, Clairton
Players to watch: Dom Wade, Laurel (Sr., 6-0, 231, FB/QB); Brendon Parsons, Clairton (Sr., 6-2, 170, QB)
Last week: Laurel 15, California 0 (game stopped at halftime); Clairton 58, Riverview 0
Four downs: 1. With the Laurel backfield banged up, senior Dom Wade has lined up just about everywhere on offense. He is 5 of 11 passing for 35 yards and a touchdown and he leads the team in rushing from his fullback position with 235 yards and three touchdowns, including a 2-yard score last week before lightning forced the stoppage of the game against California after two quarters. 2. Now through four games (or 14 quarters), the Laurel defense is tops in Class A. In fact, they are the No. 1 scoring defense in the entire WPIAL. They are the only district team that has not given up a point yet. 3. Senior Clairton quarterback Brendon Parsons is not only the team’s top passer with 672 yards and eight touchdown tosses, he is also the Bears’ leading rusher with 312 yards and five touchdowns on the ground.4. After widespread panic in Clairton Nation after season-starting losses to Aliquippa and McGuffey (both a combined 8-0), things are back to normal for the Bears as they started Eastern Conference play with wins over Greensburg Central Catholic (21-14) and Riverview (58-0).
Extra point: Here is a fun factoid: Clairton racked up a WPIAL and PIAA record 66-game win streak starting Sept. 9, 2009 and running until Sept. 20, 2013 when the Bears lost to Monessen. That loss was the first suffered by Clairton since a 15-8 loss to Laurel on opening night of the 2009 season.
More High School Football• Concern about unsanctioned workouts grows as PIAA awaits guidelines from governor
• Latrobe honors senior A.J. Rock with Findley Scholarship
• Trib HSSN May Madness: Terrelle Pryor, Jeannette vs. Lance Jeter, Beaver Falls
• Canon-Mac lineman Connor McMahon commits to ‘perfect school’ for hard work
• Trib HSSN May Madness: Sean Lee, Upper St. Clair vs. Luke Hagy, Mt. Lebanon