Westmoreland County don’t-miss football games for Week 5
Wednesday, September 25, 2019 | 4:16 PM
Butler (0-5, 0-3) at Norwin (1-4, 1-3)
7 p.m. Friday at Norwin Knights Stadium
On the air: TribHSSN.triblive.com; 1050 AM
Last week: Seneca Valley 55, Butler 0; Pine-Richland 46, Norwin 0
Coaches: Eric Christy, Butler; Dave Brozeski, Norwin
Players to watch: Nate Cornibe, Butler (Sr., 6-4, 280, OL/DL); Sean Pavlic, Norwin (Sr., 5-8, 155, WR)
Four downs: 1. Both teams failed to score a point last week as they played potential playoff teams. 2. While injury-plagued Norwin has moved the ball well at times, the Knights have been ineffective in finishing drives. They’re averaging 10.4 points and have been shut out twice. 3. Butler is on a 15-game losing streak and has not won since the last game of the 2017 season, 28-26 over Canon-McMillan. 4. Cornibe, an all-conference guard last season, has offers from Air Force and Toledo.
Extra point: Butler has given up the most points in the WPIAL, allowing 52.4 a game.
Hempfield (2-3, 1-3) at No. 4 Mt. Lebanon (3-2, 3-1)
7 p.m. Friday at Mt. Lebanon Stadium
On the air: TribHSSN.triblive.com
Last week: Canon-McMillan 21, Hempfield 12; North Allegheny 40, Mt, Lebanon 14
Coaches: Rich Bowen, Hempfield; Bob Palko, Mt. Lebanon
Players to watch: Evan Graham, Hempfield (Sr., 6-0, 165, WR/DB); Joey Daniels, Mt. Lebanon (So., 5-9, 175, QB)
Four downs: 1. Hempfield scored first last week but injuries and penalties caught up to the Spartans against then-winless Canon-McMillan. 2. Daniels completed 10 of 16 passes for 154 yards and two touchdowns against North Allegheny. He also was intercepted once. 3. Hempfield senior quarterback Blake Remaley, hobbled by an ankle injury, threw 32 times last week and finished with 124 yards and a late touchdown to Roman Pellis. 4. Eight-time WPIAL champion coach Palko joined the Blue Devils this season after 24 seasons at West Allegheny. He once was candidate for the Hempfield job in 2005.
Extra point: Mt. Lebanon handled Hempfield last year, 37-6. Lucas Guy threw a touchdown to Roman Pellis for the Spartans.
Class 5A Big East
Latrobe at McKeesport
7 p.m. Friday at Weigle-Schaeffer Stadium
On the air: TribHSSN.triblive.com; 97.3 FM, 1480 AM
Last week: Latrobe 34, Connellsville 27; McKeesport 62, Plum 40
Coaches: Jason Marucco, Latrobe; Matt Miller, McKeesport
Players to watch: Logan Gustafson, Latrobe (Jr., 5-8, 140, RB); Devari Robinson, McKeesport (Sr., 5-11, 185, QB)
Four downs: 1. Latrobe broke a three-game losing streak but had to work for it against a Connellsville team that would not go away. 2. Gustafson ran for 182 yards and a score for the Wildcats, who also got 145 yards rushing and two scores from Bobby Fetter. 3. McKeesport rolled up 62 points in one of the state’s highest-scoring games last week (104 points). The Tigers had dropped two games in a row to Cathedral Prep and No. 1 Penn-Trafford. 4. Robinson is one of the more dynamic players in 5A. Last week, he ran for 177 yards and scored five touchdowns, and added another score on a punt return.
Extra point: Raymon Henderson is not the biggest player on the field for Latrobe at 5-5 and 155 pounds, but he had a big pick-six touchdown last week that covered 32 yards.
Plum (2-3, 1-3) at No. 1 Penn-Trafford (4-1, 3-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday at Warrior Stadium
Last week: McKeesport 62, Plum 40; Massillon, Ohio 42, Penn-Trafford 21
Coaches: Matt Morgan, Plum; John Ruane, Penn-Trafford
Players to watch: Jacob Miller, Plum (So., 6-0, 175, QB); Gabe Dunlap, Penn-Trafford (Sr., 6-1, 170, QB)
Four downs: 1. Penn-Trafford returns to Harrison City after a game in Ohio last week. The Warriors gave national power Massillon all it could handle in the first half and racked up yardage despite some key injuries. 2. Dunlap completed 16 of 25 passes for a career-high 260 yards and a touchdown and also ran for two scores. 3. Plum has been in some games early but has not been able to slow teams down. The Mustangs are allowing 33.6 points a game. 4. Miller threw for 215 yards and Logan Brooks caught a touchdown pass and returned a kickoff for another score against McKeesport.
Extra point: Ruane and Morgan both were assistants at Gateway but just missed coaching together.
Class 4A Big Eight
No. 3 Belle Vernon (3-1, 2-1) at Greensburg Salem (2-3, 2-0)
7 p.m. Friday at Offutt Field, Greensburg
On the air: TribHSSN.triblive.com; 98.7 FM, 910 AM
Last week: Belle Vernon 61, Indiana 7; Greensburg Salem 47, Laurel Highlands 27
Coaches: Matt Humbert, Belle Vernon; Dave Keefer, Greensburg Salem
Players to watch: Hunter Ruokonen, Belle Vernon (Sr., 6-0, 170, WR); Alex Briggs, Greensburg Salem (Sr., 5-10, 180, FB)
Four downs: 1. Since falling to Thomas Jefferson, the Leopards have scored more than 60 in wins against Laurel Highlands and Indiana. 2. The Golden Lions rushed for 511 yards against Laurel Highlands and had three backs rush for more than 100 yards — Briggs (21 for 144), Trent Patrick (20 for 129) and Aaren Putt (11 for 107). 3. Belle Vernon welcomed back the return of senior quarterback Jared Hartman, who was injured late in the 2018 season and missed the playoffs. He’s completed 35 of 50 for 424 yards and 11 touchdowns. 4. Patrick has completed 33 of 87 passes for 426 yards and five touchdowns. He’s also a dangerous runner.
Extra point: Greensburg Salem is slowly approaching 700 career wins. The Golden Lions are at 696.
Class 3A Big East
No. 3 Elizabeth Forward (4-0, 3-0) at No. 5 Derry (3-2, 2-1)
7 p.m. Friday at Trojan Stadium, Derry
On the air: TribHSSN.triblive.com
Last week: Elizabeth Forward 42, Quaker Valley 6; North Catholic 13, Derry 3
Coaches: Mike Collodi, Elizabeth Forward; Tim Sweeney, Derry
Players to watch: Nick Mrvos, Elizabeth Forward (Jr., 6-1, 178, QB); Matt Malis, Derry (Sr., 6-3, 270, DT)
Four downs: 1. Mrvos has proven to be dangerous with his arm and legs. He rushed for 133 yards last week. 2. Derry kicker Chance White booted a 41-yard field goal in the loss at North Catholic. North Catholic also had trouble fielding his kickoffs. 3. Elizabeth Forward has won the previous two meetings between the teams; both games were played at Warrior Stadium. The Trojans won the meeting three years ago at Derry. 4. Derry quarterback Paul Koontz threw for 144 yards against North Catholic. Koontz had to carry the load in the absence of running back Justin Huss, who missed the game with a knee injury.
Extra point: This is a big game for both teams, especially the Trojans if they want to stay in contention for the conference title. Elizabeth Forward travels to North Catholic on Oct. 4 in another showcase game for the conference.
Freeport (1-3, 1-3) at Yough (1-4, 1-3)
7 p.m. Friday at Cougar Mountain, Herminie
Last week: Freeport 56, Uniontown 14; Burrell 40, Yough 6
Coaches: John Gaillot, Freeport; Scott Wood, Yough
Players to watch: Garret Schaffhauser, Freeport (Sr., 6-1, 190, QB); Russell Pytlak, Yough (Sr., 6-2, 225, TE)
Four downs: 1. Freeport qualified for the playoffs in 2018, and its three losses have been against the top three teams in the conference. The schedule will get a little easier. 2. Yough QB Gamal Marballie tossed three touchdown passes against Deer Lakes; two went to C.J. Waldier, the Cougars leading receiver with 33 catches for 462 yards. 3. Ricky Hunter scored three touchdowns against Uniontown, two on punt returns. He also scored on a 10-yard run. 4. Pytlak, who recently visited Seton Hill, has eight catches for 100 yards and two touchdowns.
Extra point: Injuries to its starting QB forced Wood to move Marballie from wide receiver.
No. 4 N. Catholic (3-1, 3-0) at Mt. Pleasant (2-3, 1-2)
7 p.m. Friday at Viking Stadium, Mt. Pleasant
On the air: TribHSSN.triblive.com; 107.1 FM
Last week: North Catholic 13, Derry 3; Deer Lakes 29, Mt. Pleasant 26
Coaches: Pat O’Shea, North Catholic; Jason Fazekas, Mt. Pleasant
Players to watch: Zack Rocco, North Catholic (Sr., 6-3, 220, QB); Jake Johnson, Mt. Pleasant (Sr., 6-1, 180, RB)
Four downs: 1. Trojans wide receiver Nick Maher has 19 catches for 354 yards and three touchdowns this season. He caught two touchdown passes against Derry. 2. The Vikings are coming off two tough road losses, 7-0 at Derry and 29-26 at Deer Lakes. Penalties cost them in both games. 3. Trojans running back Eamon Straub has rushed for 255 yards and caught 14 passes for 84 yards. 4. Johnson rushed for 146 yards and scored on a 27-yard run against Deer Lakes. Pete Billey rushed for 139 yards and a score for Mt. Pleasant.
Extra point: North Catholic had trouble with Central Valley’s speed in its only loss.
Class A Eastern
Springdale (4-1, 1-1) at Greensburg C. C. (4-1, 3-1)
7 p.m. Friday at Centurion Stadium
On the air: TribHSSN.triblive.com
Last week: Jeannette 43, Springdale 0; Greensburg CC 41, Imani Christian 0
Coaches: Seth Napierkowski, Springdale; Bret Colbert, GCC
Players to watch: Cavin Kindler, Springdale (Jr., RB/LB); Brandon Brown, GCC (Sr., 5-10, 165, WR/DB)
Four downs: 1. Springdale was limited to 1 yard passing last week against visiting Jeannette, the N0. 1 -ranked team in the WPIAL and No. 2-ranked team in the state in Class A. 2. The Dynamos started 4-0 but have had to deal with the loss of quarterback Legend Ausk, who is out with a broken collarbone. 3. GCC was efficient in dismantling once-strong Imani Christian. Junior David Altimore returned at quarterback and threw for a touchdown and ran for another. Luke Mazowiecki added a 51-yard interception return for a score. 4. The Centurions have spread the wealth. Eight players have scored touchdowns in five games.
Extra point: GCC’s only loss is to No. 3 Clairton, 21-14.
Class A Tri-County South
Monessen (1-4, 1-2) at Bentworth (1-2, 1-2)
7 p.m. Friday at Bentworth Athletic Field, Ellsworth
Last week: West Greene 49, Monessen 24; Bentworth 47, Mapletown 42
Coaches: Mike Blainfield, Monessen; John Knabb, Bentworth
Players to watch: Isaiah Beltram, Monessen (Jr., 5-6, 155, QB); Shawn Dziak, Bentworth (Sr., 6-0, 160, QB)
Four downs: 1. Monessen was ahead 24-14 against West Greene, but fumbled away a possible upset in the third quarter. 2. Running back Owen Petrisek scored the winning touchdown on a 25-yard run in the Bearcats’ 47-42 victory against Mapletown. 3. Beltram rushed for 130 yards and completed 8 of 17 passes for 126 yards and three touchdowns against West Greene. 4. Trent Cavanaugh scored three touchdowns and rushed for 169 yards for Bentworth last week. He has rushed for 364 yards this season.
Extra point: Beltram started the season as a running back for the Greyhounds. He is the third player to line up at quarterback this season.
Brownsville (2-3) at Class A No. 1 Jeannette (5-0)
7 p.m. Friday at McKee Stadium
Last week: Southmoreland 62, Brownsville 21; Jeannette 43, Springdale 0
Coaches: Scott Fichter, Brownsville; Roy Hall, Jeannette
Players to watch: Tony Johnson, Brownsville (Sr., 5-7, 170, RB/LB); James Sanders, Jeannette (Sr., 5-7, 140, QB)
Four downs: 1. Jeannette continued to roll while showing a strong defensive presence with its third straight shutout. The Jayhawks have outscored their last three opponents, 145-0. 2. Class 2A Brownsville got out of the gates fast against upstart Southmoreland, leading 21-7 after the first quarter, but the Falcons gave up 41 points in the second half. 3. Jackson Pruitt, a senior receiver and defensive back for Jeannette, returned from injury and was effective last week, grabbing six receptions for 109 yards and a touchdown. 4. Other playmakers for Jeannette include Imani Sanders, Brett Birch, Toby Cline and Bayley Molter — among others.
Extra point: Jeannette has allowed the fewest points in the WPIAL (18).
District 6 Heritage
Ligonier Valley (5-0, 5-0) at Purchase Line (3-2, 3-2)
7 p.m. Friday at Barry T. Madill Stadium, Commodore
On the air: TribHSSN.triblive.com; 92.5 FM
Last week: Ligonier Valley 54, West Shamokin 7; Purchase Line 42, Blairsville 16
Coaches: Roger Beitel, Ligonier Valley; Matt Falisec, Purchase Line
Players to watch: Wylie Spiker, Ligonier Valley (Sr., 6-3, 250, DL); Jacob Barnett, Purchase Line (Sr., 6-3, 200, QB)
Four downs: 1. Rams quarterback Sam Sheeder leads the conference in passing with 735 yards, completing 37 of 51 passes with eight touchdowns. He threw for 310 yards against West Shamokin. 2. Barnett has completed 27 of 47 passes for 403 yards and three touchdowns. His main target is running back Josh Syster, with six catches for 89 yards. 3. Kyrie Miller is the Rams’ leading rusher with 669 yards and 14 touchdowns. John Beard has 22 catches for 345 yards and three touchdowns. 4. The Red Dragons have a solid 1-2 punch in the running game. Syster has rushed for 510 yards, and fullback Cullen Gonchar has 467 yards and seven touchdowns.
Extra point: Ligonier Valley has won 33 consecutive conference games. The Rams defeated the Red Dragons, 67-20, in 2018.
Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .
Tags: Belle Vernon, Bentworth, Brownsville, Butler, Derry Area, Elizabeth Forward, Greensburg C.C., Greensburg Salem, Hempfield, Jeannette, Latrobe, Ligonier Valley, McKeesport, Monessen, Mt. lebanon, Mt. Pleasant, North Catholic, Norwin, Penn-Trafford, Purchase Line, Yough