Week 4’s don’t-miss high school football matchups in Westmoreland County

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017 | 7:54 PM


Class 6ASoutheastern Conference

Canon-McMillan (2-2, 1-1) at Norwin (2-2, 1-1)

7 p.m. Friday

Last week: Canon-McMillan lost to Mt. Lebanon, 24-17. Norwin lost at Bethel Park, 27-7.

The buzz: After giving up triple the points it surrendered in its first three games, Norwin looks to rebound and gets its offense untracked at home.

Key players: Canon-McMillan QB Tre Lewis completed 20 of 28 passes for 255 yards and two touchdowns in a near-upset of Mt. Lebanon. Norwin QB Jack Salopek threw for a season-high 228 yards last week, completing 19 of 30 attempts.

About the Big Macs: They have scored 17 points three times this season, against Kiski Area, Penn Hills and Mt. Lebanon, and are 1-2 in those games.

About the Knights: After back-to-back road games, they play two games in a row in North Huntingdon. Highlighted junior Gianni Rizzo leads a hard-hitting defense.

Class 6ASoutheastern Conference

Hempfield (1-3, 0-2) at Peters Township (3-1, 1-1)

7:30 p.m. Friday

Last week: Hempfield lost at home to Central Catholic, 42-14. Peters Township won at Altoona, 35-7.

The buzz: Hempfield still is reeling after the loss of senior quarterback Justin Sliwoski to injury in Week 1. The Spartans get another tough test Friday.

Key players: Wideout Nick DiAndreth caught touchdown passes of 39 and 52 yards from Blake Remaley last week. Running back Josh Casilli scored three touchdowns against Hempfield last year as a freshman.

About the Spartans: In last year's 38-35 shootout loss to Peters Township, Hempfield lost a fumble in the closing seconds. Sliwoski appeared to break the goal-line plane as time expired, before the ball came loose.

About the Indians: Four of their first five games are at home and they play six total games in Peters Township.

Class 5ABig East Conference

Armstrong (2-2, 0-2) at Franklin Regional (2-1, 2-1)

7 p.m. Friday

Last week: Gateway defeated Armstrong, 54-13. Plum upset Franklin Regional, 33-7.

The buzz: Armstrong played last week without quarterback Dawson Porter, who has thrown for 355 yards and rushed for a team-high 431 yards. Franklin Regional tries to rebound following a tough loss on the road at rival Plum.

Key players: Armstrong senior tackle Nate Baillie has lined up at quarterback in short-yardage situations, and the 6-foot-2, 270-pounder has scored three touchdowns on six attempts. Franklin Regional junior quarterback Adam Rudzinski is 36 for 70 for 506 yards and five touchdowns.

About the River Hawks: Without Porter at quarterback, Armstrong's offense struggled mightily against Gateway last week.

About the Panthers: Franklin Regional turned the ball over three times in scoring position at Plum last week. Rudzinski was intercepted twice. The Panthers don't have a runner who has gained more the 100 yards this season.

Class 5ABig East Conference

2-5A Penn-Trafford (4-0, 2-0) at Latrobe (2-2, 1-1)

7 p.m. Friday

Last week: Penn-Trafford stayed perfect with a 34-8 win at Woodland Hills. Latrobe moved to .500 with a 37-21 win over Kiski Area.

The buzz: Penn-Trafford has been a force on defense, allowing just 15 points. It faces an improved Latrobe team that has won back-to-back games for the first time in six seasons.

Key players: Penn-Trafford's John Gay IV, a third-generation running back, leads the Warriors' rushing attack. He ran for 166 yards and two TDs last week. Zakharee Williams has become a pass-catching threat for Latrobe.

About the Warriors: Watch sophomore Cam Lisbon, who is becoming an impact player on both sides of the ball.

About the Wildcats: While the Wildcats look to keep a hot streak going, they have not won three in a row since 2005.

Class 4ABig Nine Conference

Greensburg Salem (2-2, 2-1) at 3-5A Belle Vernon (3-0, 3-0)

7 p.m. Friday

Last week: Greensburg Salem was shut out by No. 1 Thomas Jefferson, 48-0. Belle Vernon overcame a scare with a 17-14 win over Ringgold.

The buzz: Belle Vernon wants to be considered one of the top teams in 4A and show that it can compete with the likes of powers Thomas Jefferson and South Fayette.

Key players: QB Jake Hoyle has shown the ability to run and throw for the Golden Lions but has handed off to a number of backs, including Aaren Putt. Senior WR Logan Pfrogner is a playmaker for the Leopards, particularly as a deep threat and a returner on special teams.

About the Golden Lions: While they have found several opportunities offensively the last two weeks, drives have been stalled by mistakes.

About the Leopards: Among the conference leaders in fewest points allowed, 14 of the 22 they've surrendered came last week. They've won 11 of their last 12 on the gold turf at James Weir Stadium.

Class 3AInterstate Conference

Derry (3-1, 2-1) vs. South Park (2-1, 2-0) at Baldwin

7 p.m. Friday

Last week: Derry dumped Southmoreland, 48-7. South Park was shut out by Washington, 41-0.

The buzz: Both teams were involved in lopsided contests last week and will look to rebound. This is a big game for playoff seeding purposes, especially for Derry, which is trying to avoid a second conference loss.

Key players: Derry linebacker Dom DeLuca, who rushed for a touchdown, recovered a fumble for a second score last week. South Park quarterback Damon Smith has completed 20 of 29 passes for 286 and rushed for 310 yards and scored four touchdowns.

About the Trojans: Derry has posted impressive wins against Yough and Southmoreland. Starting running back Shawn Broadway has been slowed by injuries.

About the Eagles: While South Park renovates its stadium, the football team has been forced to play at different venues in the South Hills; Baldwin is this week's choice.

Class 3AInterstate Conference

Waynesburg (0-3, 0-3) at Yough (0-4, 0-1)

7 p.m. Friday

Last week: Waynesburg was shut out for the second straight week, falling 41-0 to Elizabeth Forward. Yough fell in its home opener 47-27 against Hopewell.

The buzz: Yough finally got its offense going last week, scoring more than it had in its first three games combined. The Cougars face a winnable game on the turf at Cougar Mountain Stadium.

Key players: Sophomore RB Caleb Shriver leads the Raiders in rushing with more than 300 yards. Yough's Dustin Shoaf is Westmoreland County's top rusher with 608 yards. He ran for 204 and three touchdowns last week.

About the Raiders: They are giving up 43.7 points, the second-highest total in Class 3A.

About the Cougars: A big front line has three players over 6-foot-3 and 280 pounds, including center Scotty Houseman (6-5, 310).

Nonconference

Beaver Falls (0-3) at Southmoreland (0-3)

7 p.m. Friday

Last week: Beaver Falls was blanked by New Brighton, 28-0. Southmoreland lost to Derry, 48-7.

The buzz: Someone is coming out of this week's contest with a victory. Both teams are young and struggling early in the season. Both teams are averaging a touchdown a game.

Key players: Beaver Falls' top returner is running back Torian Leak, who has scored one touchdown. Southmoreland running back Ronnie Robinson has rushed for 153 yards and no touchdowns.

About the Tigers: The returning WPIAL and PIAA Class 3A champions were hit hard by graduation, the transfer of top player (quarterback Malik Shepherd) and the retirement of coach Ryan Matsook.

About the Scotties: Southmoreland senior quarterback Jaden Datz has rushed for two touchdowns and thrown a touchdown pass to Cade Richter.

Nonconference

Brownsville (1-3) at Mt. Pleasant (1-3)

7 p.m. Friday

Last week: Brownsville downed Chartiers-Houston, 14-7. Mt. Pleasant fell in overtime to McGuffey, 28-21.

The buzz: Both teams have identical records, but that's where the similarities end. The Vikings have two close conference losses and a dominating win at Waynesburg. Brownsville has been beat up in its three losses.

Key players: Brownsville running back Shandon Marshall ran for 80 yards and a touchdown in the victory against Chartiers-Houston. Mt. Pleasant lineman Cody Vokes anchors a line that opens up running lanes for the running backs.

About the Falcons: New coach Billy Maczko is trying to turn around a once proud and dominating program. Running back Quadir Johnson and quarterback Lucas Hearn (4 touchdowns) are two players he's relying on.

About the Vikings: Mt. Pleasant has dropped two consecutive close Interstate Conference games, last week in overtime. New coach Jason Fazekas has two talented runners in Cody Reese and Michael Govern.

Nonconference

Charleroi (3-1) at Greensburg Central Catholic (1-3)

7:30 p.m. Friday

Last week: Charleroi topped Frazier, 34-20. Greensburg C.C. fell to Clairton, 38-0.

The buzz: Greensburg C.C. plays its third home game of the season as it steps out of Eastern Conference play against the Class 2A Cougars.

Key players: Junior WR Dakota Romantino caught a key, fourth-quarter touchdown pass last week for Charleroi. Kicker/punter Ethan Slike is a valuable weapon for GCC in field-position battles and on field goals.

About the Cougars: When they win, they win big. They have won by an average of 27 points.

About the Centurions: Clairton only took an 8-0 lead into halftime last week.

Nonconference

Monessen (1-3) at 1-A Clairton (3-0)

7 p.m. Friday

Last week: Monessen lost to Fort Cherry, 33-6. Clairton overcame a slow start to down Greensburg C.C., 38-0.

The buzz: Clairton steps out of conference play to take on a former Eastern Conference opponent.

Key players: Tre'Sean Howard ran for 110 yards and two touchdowns and also returned an interception 49 yards for a score last week. Devin Clifford also had a pick-6 for the Bears. For Monessen, junior RB Vaughn Taylor is a go-to ball carrier.

About the Greyhounds: First-year coach Mikey Blainefield is looking to help the team improve after a 1-9 season in 2016.

About the Bears: They have won 42 consecutive games against WPIAL teams.

District 6Heritage Conference

United (2-2, 2-2) at Ligonier Valley (4-0, 4-0)

7 p.m. Friday

Last week: West Shamokin defeated United, 51-12. Ligonier Valley blanked Penns Manor, 42-0.

The buzz: Ligonier Valley continues to beat up on Heritage Conference teams, positing its third consecutive shutout last week. Could it be United's turn to feel the Rams' wrath?

Key players: Ligonier Valley senior Jackson Daugherty carried the ball eight times for 119 yards and scored on runs of 15 and 47 yards against Penns Manor. United sophomore Kyle Silk has thrown three touchdown passes and rushed for a team-high 310 yards and scored four touchdowns.

About the Lions: United is 0-2 on the road. Freshman running back Hunter Cameron has rushed for 227 yards and two touchdowns. Junior receiver Collin Moore has 12 catches for 121 yards.

About the Rams: The No. 5 ranked Class 2A team in the state, Ligonier Valley has outscored opponents 204-6. Senior running back Aaron Sheeder rushed for 140 yards and a touchdown last week.

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