Week 6’s don’t-miss high school football matchups in the A-K Valley

Wednesday, October 4, 2017 | 9:30 PM

Class 5A Allegheny 9 CONFERENCE

Hampton (2-4, 2-2) at Fox Chapel (2-4, 2-3)

7 p.m. Friday

Last week: Hampton fell to Woodland Hills, 31-21, while Fox Chapel overwhelmed Moon, 42-6.

The buzz: The Foxes and Talbots hope to make a move up the conference standings with a win. They are two of four teams with two conference wins.

Key players: Ross Andersson was a workhorse for Hampton last Friday, rushing for 160 yards and a touchdown against the Wolverines. Micah Morris helped the Foxes rout the Tigers last week with 100 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 13 carries.

About the Talbots: Hampton has lost three in a row after a 2-1 start. The Talbots are hoping to continue a turnaround in Class 5A after going 0-10 last year.

About the Foxes: Fox Chapel, which snapped a two-game losing skid, outgained Moon, 504-147, last week. Quarterback Nick Gizzo had a season-best 312 yards rushing and three touchdowns.

Class 5A•Big East 9 Conference

5-5A Gateway (5-1, 3-1) at Plum (2-4, 2-3)

7 p.m. Friday

Last week: Gateway was blanked by Penn-Trafford, 28-0, while Plum fell at Armstrong, 27-14.

The buzz: The neighboring rivals meet with both hoping to bounce back from conference losses. Gateway won last year's meeting 44-6, as the series resumed in conference play.

Key players: Gateway senior quarterback Brady Walker is second in the WPIAL in passing yards (1,542) and has 16 touchdowns against only one interception. Plum senior Dakota Sunday has a team-best four rushing touchdowns this season.

About the Gators: Gateway was shut out Friday for the first time since a 10-0 loss to Central Catholic in the 2010 WPIAL Class 4A title game. The last time it happened in the regular season was 2006.

About the Mustangs: Plum still is in the mix for a WPIAL playoff spot despite two straight conference setbacks. Anthony Little threw for 140 yards and a touchdown last week against Armstrong.

Class 5A•Big East 9 Conference

4-5A McKeesport (4-1, 4-1) at Kiski Area (1-5, 1-3)

7 p.m. Friday

Last week: McKeesport shut out Latrobe, 48-0, while Kiski Area fell to Class 5A No. 1 West Allegheny, 31-7.

The buzz: The Cavaliers hope to slow down a Tigers team on a roll. McKeesport hopes to keep pace with first-place Penn-Trafford in the conference.

Key players: Layton Jordan leads the pack of McKeesport runners with seven touchdowns and more than 400 rushing yards. Kiski Area quarterback Ryne Wallace threw his fourth touchdown of the season last week against the Indians.

About the Tigers: McKeesport has only thrown 13 passes in five games. The Tigers only threw three in Saturday's blowout win over Latrobe.

About the Cavaliers: Kiski Area is surrendering 20 points per game this season, ranking the Cavaliers fifth in the Big East 9 and eighth out of 18 in Class 5A in scoring defense.

Class 4ANorthwest 9 Conference

4-4A Montour (4-1, 4-1) at Highlands (3-2, 2-2)

7 p.m. Friday

Last week: Montour raced past Knoch, 35-3, while Highlands stepped away from conference play and topped Albert Gallatin, 30-20.

The buzz: Highlands hopes to move to 3-1 at Golden Rams Stadium this season and improve its playoff resume with a signature victory.

Key players: Montour's dual-threat quarterback Kavon Morman threw for two touchdowns and ran for another in the win over Knoch. Jermaine Jett continues to impress for Highlands. He had two more rushing touchdowns in Friday's triumph.

About the Spartans: Montour is scoring the third most points on average — 37.0 — in Class 5A this season. Only Thomas Jefferson (52.6) and South Fayette (40.5) have put up more per game.

About the Rams: Highlands is gunning for its first winning streak of the season. It has alternated wins and losses over its first five contests.

Class 3AAllegheny Conference

Keystone Oaks (3-2, 2-1) at Burrell (1-5, 0-4)

7 p.m. Friday

Last week: Keystone Oaks lost its second in a row, 35-28 to conference foe Shady Side Academy. Burrell was shut out by Freeport, 44-0.

The buzz: The Bucs hope to snap a five-game losing streak, while the Golden Eagles hope to keep pace with the top teams (Seton LaSalle and Freeport) in the conference standings.

Key players: Keystone Oaks running back Michael Daure is one of the WPIAL leaders with 14 rushing touchdowns this season. Running back Logan Bitar continues to be a go-to guy in the offense for Burrell. He had 58 yards on 12 carries last week to lead the Bucs.

About the Golden Eagles: Keystone Oaks came back from a deficit three times against Shady Side Academy, but the Indians scored the game-winner to break a 28-28 tie in the fourth quarter.

About the Bucs: Burrell's offense is averaging 15.2 points this season — seventh in the Allegheny Conference. Only Deer Lakes has scored less (8.2).

Class 3A Allegheny Conference

2-3A Seton LaSalle (5-0, 4-0) at Deer Lakes (0-5, 0-4)

7 p.m. Friday

Last week: Seton LaSalle remained undefeated with a 35-21 victory at Apollo-Ridge, while Deer Lakes suffered a 40-0 shutout loss at Brentwood.

The buzz: Deer Lakes faces another uphill challenge as Seton La Salle hopes to keep rolling in conference play.

Key players: Rebels running back Lionel Deanes is one of two WPIAL running backs — Mapletown's Dylan Rush is the other — with more than 1,000 yards (1,096 in five games) on the season. Lancers quarterback Ethan Bender completed 8 passes for 122 yards against Brentwood.

About the Rebels: Seton LaSalle has been consistent with point totals this season. In their five games, the Rebels scored 35 three times and 37 twice.

About the Lancers: Deer Lakes struggled in the run game against Brentwood. Four Brentwood sacks and a lack of running room led to 6 yards rushing.

Class 3A Allegheny CONFERENCE

Valley (1-4, 1-2) at Shady Side Academy (3-2, 3-2)

3 p.m. Saturday

Last week: Valley dropped a nonsection game to Ellwood City, 20-18, while Shady Side Academy bounced back from the loss to Freeport with a 35-28 win over Keystone Oaks.

The buzz: Valley hopes to overcome and move on from last week's late-game, benches-clearing brawl as it faces an Indians team hoping to improve its playoff stock.

Key players: First-year senior wideout Shawn Demharter, Valley coach Muzzy Colosimo said, continues to shine, and fellow senior wideout Darius Johnson is returning to the field from injury. Shady Side's Skyy Moore, a New Kensington resident, threw for 293 yards and accounted for three offensive touchdowns in Friday's win against KO. He also returned an interception for a score.

About the Vikings: Four players ejected from last week's game will not be permitted to play this week, per PIAA rules. Colosimo declined to name the suspended players.

About the Indians: Billy Frohlich has proved to be a reliable receiver for Moore. Against Keystone Oaks, he caught six passes, including the winning score in the fourth quarter, and finished with 165 yards.

Class A Eastern Conference

1-A Jeannette (6-0, 4-0) at Springdale (3-3, 2-1)

7 p.m. Friday

Last week: Jeannette rolled past Bishop Canevin, 51-7. Springdale beat rival Riverview, 42-13.

The buzz: Jeannette looks to make it 15 consecutive road conference wins as it faces Springdale, the team it defeated 69-21 in last year's quarterfinals, and 48-0 during the regular season.

Key players: Jeannette QB Robert Kennedy continues to be one of the WPIAL's premier playmakers. Last week, he ran for four touchdowns. He has scored via pass, rush, interception return and punt return. Springdale do-it-all running back Josh Harmon ran for 164 yards and three scores last week.

About the Jayhawks: Jeannette has 727 all-time wins, just four behind New Castle (731) for the WPIAL record.

About the Dynamos: They did not register a passing yard last week, instead used their power running game to rush for 278 yards and six touchdowns.

Class A Eastern Conference

Riverview (1-4, 1-4) at Greensburg Central Catholic (2-4, 1-2)

7 p.m. Friday

Last week: Riverview fell to Springdale, 42-13. Greensburg Central Catholic topped Leechburg, 36-13.

The buzz: Both teams still are alive in the race for a Class A playoff spot out of the Eastern Conference, but a win is crucial for both team's chances.

Key players: Devon Binz was the workhorse in the backfield last week for the Raiders, and he picked off a pass on defense. GCC's Tom Voelker ran through the Leechburg defense last week to the tune of 259 yards and two touchdowns in 20 carries.

About the Raiders: Riverview's WPIAL playoff appearance last year was made possible with the help of a 13-7 victory over Greensburg Central at Riverside Park.

About the Centurions: Greensburg Central's win over Leechburg last Friday snapped a four-game losing streak. Included in that were setbacks to Imani Christian and Clairton in conference play and a nonconference loss to 5-1 Charleroi.


Leechburg (0-6, 0-5) at West Greene (4-2, 3-2)

7 p.m. Friday

Last week: Leechburg fell to Greensburg Central Catholic, 36-13, while West Greene lost at Fort Cherry, 32-6.

The buzz: The Blue Devils make the long trek to Greene County hoping to get into the win column. The Pioneers won last year's meeting 26-14.

Key players: Leechburg freshman quarterback Dylan Cook threw for 60 yards and two touchdowns last Friday. He had a rushing score against Springdale on Sept. 22. West Greene's Zachary Pettit has more than 300 yards passing and almost 600 yards rushing to lead the Pioneers.

About the Blue Devils: Leechburg continues to progress through its season with a young squad that consists of one senior, one junior and the rest sophomores and freshmen.

About the Pioneers: West Greene is in position to make the WPIAL playoffs for the first time since 1993. That season, the Pioneers made it to Three Rivers Stadium but fell to Duquesne, 55-0.

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