Trib HSSN high school football don’t-miss matchups for Week 7
Thursday, October 10, 2019 | 5:00 PM
Class 6A Conference
Pine-Richland (4-1, 6-1) at Mt. Lebanon (4-1, 5-2)
7:30 p.m. Friday, Mt. Lebanon Stadium
On the air: KDKA-AM 1020 and at TribHSSN.TribLive.com
Coaches: Eric Kasperowicz, Pine-Richland; Bob Palko, Mt. Lebanon
Players to watch: Cole Spencer, Pine-Richland (Jr., 5-10, 175, QB); Evan Jones, Mt. Lebanon (Sr., 6-2, 215, QB)
Last week: Pine-Richland 63, Canon McMillan 8; Mt. Lebanon 28, Upper St. Clair 14
1. Defending champion Pine-Richland clinched a playoff berth and bounced back big time from its first loss of the season by scoring 35 first-quarter points and 56 points by halftime in a rout of Canon McMillan. 2. Junior quarterback Cole Spencer threw three first-quarter touchdowns in Week 6, giving him 18 touchdown passes to go along with 1,456 yard passing. 3. Mt. Lebanon had already clinched a playoff spot going into its rivalry nonconference game against Upper St. Clair last week. The Blue Devils used a 21-point second quarter to win for the fifth time in seven games. 4. Blue Devils sophomore quarterback Joey Daniels tossed a touchdown pass, but senior quarterback Evan Jones also pitched in with a touchdown throw and two scoring runs.
Extra point: If history is any indication, expect a lot of offense. Pine-Richland has won four straight games against Mt. Lebanon, including a 42-24 victory last year and a 42-13 playoff game in 2015. The Rams have outscored the Blue Devils, 179-90, in those wins. Mt. Lebanon’s last win in the series was by a 34-7 score in 2011.
Class 5A Allegheny Eight Conference
Upper St. Clair (3-1, 5-2) at Moon (3-1, 5-2)
7 p.m. Friday, Tiger Stadium
On the air: WJAS-AM 1320, WMBA-AM 1460 and at TribHSSN.TribLive.com
Coaches: Mike Junko, Upper St. Clair; Ryan Linn, Moon
Players to watch: Ethan Dahlem, Upper St. Clair (Jr., 5-10, 173, QB); Tyler McGowan, Moon (Soph., 5-10, 160, QB)
Last week: Mt. Lebanon 28, Upper St. Clair 14; Moon 21, Peters Township 13
Four downs: 1. After three straight narrow conference wins and a nonconference blowout victory, Upper St. Clair saw its four-game win streak end against rival Mt. Lebanon. 2. Junior quarterback Ethan Dahlem leads the Panthers in passing with 1,726 yards and 15 touchdowns while also leading USC in rushing with 480 yards and nine touchdowns. 3. Moon bounced back from a tough overtime loss to Bethel Park with an inspired victory over Peters Township last week. What was even more impressive then handing PT its first loss of the season was that the Tigers pulled off the big win without starting quarterback Dante Clay. 4. No starting QB for Moon, no problem, as sophomore Tyler McGowan hit on 10 of 17 passes for 111 yards and two touchdowns in the Tigers’ stunner over Peters Township.
Extra point: Last year, Upper St. Clair won, 24-16. It was the third straight win for the Panthers, who outscored the Tigers in 2016-17 by a combined 76-13. These teams are tied for second place in the Allegheny Eight with Peters Township, all a game behind Bethel Park and a half-game ahead of fifth-place Baldwin.
Class 4A Northwest Eight Conference
Montour (2-2, 3-4) at Ambridge (0-4, 0-7)
7 p.m. Friday, Moe Rubenstien Stadium
Coaches: Lou Cerro, Montour; Don Phillips, Ambridge
Players to watch: Gannon Kadlecik, Montour (Jr., 5-11, 175, RB); Deyvon Gill-Martin, Ambridge (Jr., 5-11, 180, RB)
Last week: Montour 17, Highlands 0, Beaver 20, Ambridge 7
Four downs: 1. Montour lost three of its first four games before winning its last two. For a return to the playoffs after missing out last season, the Spartans need to keep winning and get some help as they lose tiebreakers with New Castle and Blackhawk. 2. Defense has been a big part of the Spartans’ two-game win streak as they have only allowed seven points in wins over Knoch and Highlands. Last week, running back Gannon Kadlecik rushed for 114 yards and two touchdowns. 3. It is another long season for Ambridge. The Bridgers have lost 14 in a row dating to last year. Their last win was a 14-0 shutout of Waynesburg Central last September. 4. Ambridge has only scored 27 points this season, with three of those four scores coming from junior running back Dayvon Gill-Martin. He scored on a 2-yard run in last week’s loss to Beaver.
Extra point: Since expansion to six classes, Ambridge is 1-35 and has lost all three games against Montour by a combined score of 117-7. Montour has won 13 straight in the series with the Bridgers’ last win over the Spartans coming in 2005.
Class 3A Tri-County West Conference
South Park (3-1, 3-3) at Aliquippa (4-0, 7-0)
7 p.m. Friday, Carl A. Aschman Stadium
Coaches: Marty Rieck, South Park; Mike Warfield, Aliquippa
Players to watch: Rudy Mihoces, South Park (Sr., 5-11, 190, RB); Vernon Redd, Aliquippa (Jr., 5-10, 165, WR/DB)
Last week: South Park 41, Hopewell 23; Aliquippa 67, Yough 0
Four downs: 1. South Park brings a three-game conference win streak into ‘The Pit’ after losing its conference opener to Beaver Falls. In the Eagles’ three wins, they average over 30 points per game. In their three losses, they average just over 9 points per game. 2. The Eagles had a double-barrel attack in the run game against Hopewell last week, with junior Nate May rushing for 127 yards and a touchdown while senior Rudy Mihoces ran for 125 yards and two scores in an 18-point victory. 3. Aliquippa improved to 7-0 with a rout of Yough in nonconference action. The shutout was the third of the season for the Quips, who have the longest current WPIAL win streak at 12 in a row. 4. Junior Vernon Redd did damage on both sides of the ball last week in a 61-point first half for the Quips. Redd scored on a 20-yard run and had a pair of pick sixes with a 61- and a 42-yard interception return for a score.
Extra point: One school is from the South Hills of Pittsburgh while the other is in the heart of Beaver County. Yet this is the sixth meeting between the two in four years. Aliquippa has won all three regular season matchups and both postseason games against South Park by a combined score of 249-40.
Class 2A Allegheny Conference
Avonworth (4-0, 7-0) at East Allegheny (2-1, 5-2)
7 p.m. Friday, Churchman Memorial Stadium
On the air: TribHSSN.TribLive.com
Coaches: Duke Johncour, Avonworth; Dom Pecora, East Allegheny
Players to watch: Park Penrod, Avonworth (Sr., 6-3, 181, QB); J.D. DiNampoli, East Allegheny (Fr., 5-11, 190, QB)
Last week: Avonworth 35, Seton LaSalle 7; East Allegheny 41, Beth-Center 0
Four downs: 1. If Avonworth can win out, it would be hard not to see the team getting a top three seed in the Class 2A district postseason. They would have won the Allegheny Conference with a perfect record, plus they have already defeated MAC powers Neshannock and New Brighton and face Century Conference top team McGuffey in Week 8. 2. Antelopes quarterback Park Penrod continues to have a strong senior season. Last week, he hit on 10 of 18 passes for 161 yards and two touchdowns, giving him 1,081 yards and 19 touchdowns on the season. 3. East Allegheny will finish the regular season with three straight Allegheny Conference games after four of its first seven contests have been nonconference. The Wildcats enter the stretch run with a season-high three-game win streak in which they have outscored their opponents 131-22 with two shutouts. 4. The Wildcats passing game has come up aces. Freshman quarterback J.D. DiNampoli has thrown for 1,111 yards and 12 touchdowns, including 185 yards passing and four touchdowns in a 41-0 whitewash of Beth-Center last week. DiNampoli also scored on a 35-yard interception return.
Extra point: In the three years these teams have been conference foes, first in the Three Rivers and now in the Allegheny, East Allegheny has won two of the three games with Avonworth coming out on top last year, 28-14. All three games have been close and on the low-scoring side. The Antelopes have outscored the Wildcats, 43-41, in those three previous contests,
Class A Nonconference
West Greene (6-0, 7-0) at Clairton (4-0, 5-2)
7 p.m. Friday, Neil Brown Stadium in Clairton
On the air: TribHSSN.TribLive.com
Coaches: Brian Hanson, West Greene; Wayne Wade, Clairton
Players to watch: Ben Jackson, West Greene (Sr., 6-1, 220, RB); Brenden Parsons, Clairton (Sr., 6-2, 170, QB)
Last week: West Greene 35, California 0; Clairton 41, Imani Christian 0
Four downs: 1. There will be no coin flips this season in the Class A Tri-County South Conference. West Greene’s impressive shutout of California last week not only clinched a playoff spot for the Pioneers, it also earned them at least a share of the conference crown and the top-seed coming out of the TCS. 2. Pioneers star senior running back Ben Jackson continues to tear up the competition despite all opponents’ gameplans centering around slowing him down. Last week, Jackson rushed for 282 yards and two long touchdowns runs, giving him 1,857 yards on 96 carries, a mind-numbing 19.3 yards per tote. He also has scored 31 touchdowns. 3. So much for the demise of Clairton. After losing to 3A No. 1 Aliquippa and 2A No. 3 McGuffey in their first two games, the Bears are back to being the Bears. They have won five straight, including all four of their Eastern Conference games, and have outscored their opponents, 201-35, in those victories. 4. Bears senior Brenden Parsons is another in a growing breed of quarterbacks in the WPIAL that can do damage rushing and passing. Parsons has thrown for 1,020 yards and 11 touchdowns this season, plus he leads Clairton in rushing with 510 yards and eight touchdowns.
Extra point: Clairton beat West Greene last year, 33-14. These are two elite teams that should both get high seeds in the upcoming Class A playoffs. However, that hasn’t always been the case. In the first three years that Clairton started their district and state record 66-game win streak, the Bears were 47-1. In those same years, from 2009-11, the Pioneers were a combined 1-26.
Don Rebel hosts the Rebel Yell podcasts for HSSN.