Westmoreland County don’t-miss football matchups for Week 8

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Wednesday, October 16, 2019 | 5:51 PM


Class 6A

Hempfield (2-6, 1-6) at Butler (0-8, 0-6)

7:30 p.m. Friday at Art Bernardi Stadium

On the air: TribHSSN.triblive.com; 1050 AM

Last week: North Allegheny 62, Hempfield 35; Central Catholic 55, Butler 6

Coaches: Rich Bowen, Hempfield; Eric Christy, Butler

Players to watch: Nathan Roby, Hempfield (Sr., 5-7, 155, RB/DB); Nate Cornibe, Butler (Sr., 6-4, 280 OL-DL)

Four downs: 1. Hempfield found itself in a shootout with top-ranked North Allegheny last week and scored the most points against the Tigers in the regular season since 2017, when Pine-Richland put up 48. The Spartans scored 27 against North Allegheny last year. 2. Roby ran for 189 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries (223 all-purpose yards), and Blake Remaley completed 13 of 20 passes for 190 yards and two scores against the Tigers. 3. Butler has lost 18 straight games and has allowed the second-most points in the WPIAL (51.9 per game). 4. Roman Pellis has been a go-to receiver for the Spartans. He had four catches for 114 yards and a touchdown last week.

Extra point: Hempfield remains in the playoff chase. Six of the nine teams in the 6A conference qualify.

No. 4 Mt. Lebanon (5-3, 4-2) at Norwin (2-6, 1-5)

7 p.m. Friday at Norwin Knights Stadium

Last week: Pine-Richland 41, Mt. Lebanon 0; Canon-McMillan 49, Norwin 14

Coaches: Bob Palko, Mt. Lebanon; Dave Brozeski, Norwin

Players to watch: Joey Daniels, Mt. Lebanon (So., 5-9, 175, QB); Jack Salopek, Norwin (Sr., 6-3, 180, QB)

Four downs: 1. Norwin is battling for a playoff spot in the nine-team 6A conference, and a win over the Blue Devils would carry tremendous weight in that endeavor. Mt. Lebanon has clinched a playoff spot. 2. Salopek was 19 of 43 for 304 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in last week’s loss, which saw Canon-McMillan gash the Knights with its rushing attack. 3. Mt. Lebanon had a two-game winning streak stopped as Pine-Richland quarterback Cole Spencer passed for 308 yards and four touchdowns. The Blue Devils fell behind 34-0 by halftime. 4. Palko is an eight-time WPIAL champion coach. He came out of retirement to lead Mt. Lebanon after 24 years at West Allegheny.

Extra point: Mt. Lebanon had not been shut out since Week 8 of 2014 when it lost to Woodland Hills, 47-0.

Class 4A Big Eight

No. 1 Thomas Jefferson (8-0, 5-0) at Greensburg Salem (4-4, 4-1)

7 p.m. Friday at Offutt Field

On the air: TribHSSN.triblive.com; 98.7 FM, 910 AM

Last week: Thomas Jefferson 60, Laurel Highlands 0; Greensburg Salem 37, Ringgold 0

Coaches: Bill Cherpak, Thomas Jefferson; Dave Keefer, Greensburg Salem

Players to watch: Shane Stump, Thomas Jefferson (Sr., 6-1, 200 QB); Cavan Trout, Greensburg Salem (Sr., 6-2, 210, WR)

Four downs: 1. Thomas Jefferson is ranked No. 1 in the state and has won 19 consecutive regular-season games. 2. The Jaguars average 48.4 points — they have scored 48 or more five times this season — and surrender just 4.8 points. Stump threw for 195 yards and six touchdowns last week. He has thrown for 1,141 yards and 16 TDs and also leads the team with 29 tackles. Daniel Deabner has 10 receiving TDs and six interceptions. Dylan Mallozzi has 11 rushing TDs. 3. Greensburg Salem has won three of its last four games and is primed to lock down a top-three spot in the conference. The Golden Lions are playoff-bound for the second straight season. 4. A number of players have contributed offensively to the Golden Lions offense, which has been particularly effective on the ground. Junior Alex Briggs, senior Trent Patrick and senior Aaren Putt are key ball carriers.

Extra point: Thomas Jefferson won 70-21 last year and 48-0 two years ago.

Class 3A Big East

No. 4 Derry (6-2, 5-1) at Deer Lakes (3-5, 3-3)

7 p.m. Friday at Lancer Stadium, Cheswick

On the air: TribHSSN.Triblive.com

Last week: Derry 42, Yough 6; Keystone Oaks 42, Deer Lakes 14

Coaches: Tim Sweeney, Derry; Tim Burk, Deer Lakes

Players to watch: Justin Huss, Derry (Sr., 5-9, 155, RB/DB); Jack Hollibaugh, Deer Lakes (Sr. 6-1, 220, TE/LB)

Four downs: 1. Huss has rushed for 1,097 yards and scored 20 touchdowns even though he missed the North Catholic game with an injury. 2. Hollibaugh has 41 catches for 667 yards and six touchdowns. 3. Derry quarterback Paul Koontz has completed 47 of 81 passes for 555 yards and seven touchdowns. 4. Quarterback Aris Hasley has thrown 21 touchdowns, nine to Trey Darrah, who has 28 catches for 526 yards.

Extra point: Derry will clinch its fourth consecutive WPIAL playoff appearance with a win. Deer Lakes has dropped three consecutive games.

Freeport (3-4, 3-4) at Mt. Pleasant (3-5, 2-4)

7 p.m. Friday at Mount Pleasant Stadium

Last week: Burrell 36, Freeport 35; Elizabeth Forward 24, Mt. Pleasant 0

Coaches: John Gaillot, Freeport; Jason Fazekas, Mt. Pleasant

Players to watch: Brodey Woods, Freeport (Sr., 5-9, 160, WR); Nick Loughner, Mt. Pleasant (5-10, 165, RB).

Four downs: 1. Woods is quarterback Garret Schaffhauser’s favorite target with 22 catches for 343 yards and six touchdowns. 2. Mt. Pleasant was shut out last week by Elizabeth Forward. 3. Schaffhauser had completed 62 of 98 passes for 995 yards and 10 touchdowns. 4. The Vikings used a solid running game led by Jake Johnson and Nick Loughner. The duo has combined for 1,280 yards on the ground.

Extra point: Freeport had its three-game winning streak snapped with a double-overtime loss to Burrell. Both teams are still in the playoff hunt.

No. 3 North Catholic (6-1, 6-0) at Yough (1-7, 1-5)

7 p.m. Friday at Cougar Mountain Stadium

Last week: North Catholic 56, Uniontown 14; Derry 42, Yough 6

Coaches: Pat O’Shea, North Catholic; Scott Wood, Yough

Players to watch: Zack Rocco, North Catholic (Sr., 6-3, 240, QB); C.J. Waldier, Yough (Jr., 6-2, 185, WR)

Four downs: 1. North Catholic rolled to its fourth straight win and moved closer to a conference title. The Trojans are one game ahead of No. 4 Derry (6-2, 5-1). 2. Rocco has thrown for more than 1,300 yards and 12 touchdowns. He has been one of the top passers in the conference the past few years. 3. Yough has dropped six straight games by an average margin of 37.3 points. 4. Reno Ustazewski scored on a 73-yard run last week for the Cougars, who could not slow down Derry’s rushing attack.

Extra point: Yough has lost seven straight on the road, but its last two wins have come at home.

Class 2A Century

No. 1 Washington (8-0, 5-0) at Southmoreland (5-3, 4-2)

7 p.m. Friday at Russ Grimm Field at Southmoreland Stadium

Last week: Washington 56, Beth-Center 14; Shenango 42, Southmoreland 26

Coaches: Mike Bosnic, Washington; Dave Keefer, Southmoreland

Players to watch: Zack Swartz, Washington (Sr., 6-2, 195, QB); Zach Cernuto, Southmoreland (Jr., 6-0, 175, QB)

Four downs: 1. Washington has had one of the top-scoring defenses in Class 2A for some time. The big-play Prexies are averaging 50.4 points and allowing just 12.4. 2. Swartz is a dual-threat QB who last week rushed for 125 yards and three touchdowns and passed for 101 yards (on five completions) and two more scores. 3. Upstart Southmoreland will look to avoid a three-game losing streak after a 5-0 start — its best since 1991. The Scotties could not slow down Shenango, which got 243 passing yards and four touchdowns from QB Tino Campoli. 4. Senior receiver Riley Comforti had 10 catches for 161 yards and a touchdown last week, returning to his early-season form.

Extra point: Cernuto became the Scotties’ all-time leading passer last week. He now has 3,354 yards in just two seasons.

Class A Eastern

Riverview (2-5, 1-4) at No. 1 Jeannette (8-0, 5-0)

7 p.m. Friday at McKee Stadium

Last week: Springdale 33, Riverview 0; Jeannette 48, Greensburg CC 14

Coaches: Todd Massack, Riverview; Roy Hall, Jeannette

Players to watch: Zach Hanlon (Sr., 6-2, 215, RB/LB); Bayley Molter, Jeannette (Sr., 6-4, 205, WR)

Four downs: 1. Riverview had a two-game winning streak snapped by rival Springdale last week. 2. Jeannette senior running back Imani Sanders rushed for 211 yards and five touchdowns last week against Greensburg Central Catholic. 3. Riverview relies on a running game and struggles throwing the ball. Hanlon has rushed 356 yards and three touchdowns. 4. Jayhawks quarterback Jimmy Sanders rushed for 105 yards and threw for 142 yards last week.

Extra point: Don’t blame Jeannette if its focus is on its Week 9 showdown at Clairton.

Nonconference

4A No. 3 Belle Vernon (6-1) at Plum (3-5)

7 p.m. Friday at Mustang Stadium

Last week: Belle Vernon 40, West Mifflin 7; Latrobe 28, Plum 20

Coaches: Matt Humbert, Belle Vernon; Matt Morgan, Plum

Players to watch: Devi Whitlock, Belle Vernon (So., 5-6, 150, RB/DB); Reed Martin, Plum (Jr., 5-8, 170, WR/DB)

Four downs: 1. Belle Vernon is on a hot streak and scoring points in bunches. Since a 34-7 loss to nemesis Thomas Jefferson, the Leopards have won five straight by an average score of 51-7. 2. Whitlock might have had his best game last week. The Monessen transfer caught a 23-yard touchdown and returned an interception 57 yards for a score. 3. Martin scored three touchdowns against Latrobe but was stopped on a fourth-and-goal from the 1 in the final minute. He is a dangerous runner on direct snaps. 4. Plum lost its starting quarterback last week to injury in Jacob Miller, but backup Ryan Hubner was steady in relief, nearly leading a comeback.

Extra point: BVA senior quarterback Jared Hartman set the program’s single-season touchdown record with his 17th score last week.

Greensburg C.C. (6-2) at Cornell (6-1)

7 p.m. Friday at Cornell Football Field, Coraopolis

Last week: Jeannette 48, Greensburg CC 14; Cornell 33, Laurel 21

Coaches: Bret Colbert, Greensburg CC; Ed Dawson, Cornell

Players to watch: Brandon Brown, Greensburg CC (Sr., 5-10, 165, WR); Zaier Harrison, Cornell (Sr. 5-11, 180, QB)

Four downs: 1. GCC’s Ben LaCarte (22-270) and Brown (20-283) are the leading receivers. 2. Harrison has completed 84 of 155 passes for 1,686 yards and 21 touchdowns. He also has rushed for 457 yards. 3. Quarterback David Altimore has completed 64 of 107 passes for 748 yards. 4. Cornell has five receivers who have caught 10 or more passes. Kaden DiVito leads the way with 26 for 365 yards.

Extra point: Both teams are in the running for a playoff wild-card berth. Cornell has a big game left with Our Lady of the Sacred Heart. GCC won 43-8 in 2018.

Latrobe (3-5) at Midd-West (3-5)

7 p.m. Friday at Midd-West Stadium

On the air: TribHSSN.triblive.com; 97.3 FM, 1480 AM

Last week: Latrobe 28, Plum 20; Midd-West 34, Athens 32

Coaches: Jason Marucco, Latrobe; Brad Hatter, Midd-West

Players to watch: Tucker Knupp, Latrobe (Jr., 6-0, 195, TE/LB); Hunter Wolfley, Midd-West (Jr., 5-8, 160, RB)

Four downs: 1. Latrobe clinched its second consecutive playoff spot as it held off a comeback from visiting Plum. Logan Gustafson tackled Reed Martin on a fourth-and-goal from the 1 in the closing seconds to seal the victory. 2. Sophomore quarterback Bobby Fetter ran for 116 yards and scored three touchdowns and Gustafson added 98 yards. 3. Midd-West is a District 4 Class 3A football school, but this is just the second year for the program. The Mustangs were a late addition and replaced Albert Gallatin on Latrobe’s schedule. 4. Wolfley ran for 142 yards and two touchdowns, Christian Regester threw for 114 yards and two scores, and Gabe Regester, the QB’s brother, caught three passes for 103 yards and two TDs in last week’s tight win at Athens.

Extra point: Safety Dylan Gustafson had a strong showing last week for Latrobe as he blocked a field goal and returned it 75 yards for a touchdown and also recovered a fumble.

Monessen (3-5) at Rochester (1-7)

7 p.m. Friday at Rochester Stadium

Last week: Monessen 24, Mapletown 8; Rochester 50, Northgate 16

Coaches: Mike Blainfield, Monessen; Eugene Matsook, Rochester

Players to watch: Antwon Tucker, Monessen (Jr., 6-3, 215, RB/LB); Rashawn Reid, Rochester (Jr., 6-0, 165, RB)

Four downs: 1. Tucker caught a touchdown pass and returned a punt for a touchdown against Mapletown. 2. The WPIAL Class A finalist won its first game of the season last week against Northgate. 3. Monessen quarterback Isaiah Beltram completed 15 of 22 passes for 225 yards and two touchdowns last week. 4. Reid has scored four touchdowns for the Rams.

Extra point: Rochester won the 2018 contest 22-14. Neither team will make the playoffs.

5A No. 1 Penn-Trafford (7-1) at Hampton (2-6)

7 p.m. Friday at Fridley Field

On the air: TribHSSN.TribLive.com

Last week: Penn-Trafford 55, Trinity 14; West Allegheny 42, Hampton 7

Coaches: John Ruane, Penn-Trafford; Jacque DeMatteo, Hampton

Players to watch: Brad Ford, Penn-Trafford (Jr., 5-11, 175, RB); Will Schuit, Hampton (Sr., 6-0, 165, WR)

Four downs: 1. Penn-Trafford rolled to another home victory, increasing its streak at Warrior Stadium to 17 straight wins. Ford scored a career-high three touchdowns, two via rush and one through the air. 2. Accurate quarterback Gabe Dunlap completed 15 of 19 throws for 247 yards and two TDs. He topped 1,000 passing yards for the season. He has 728 yards rushing. The Warriors had 20 first downs and just one penalty. 3. Hampton managed just a first-quarter touchdown catch by Schuit last week against West Allegheny. The Talbots started 2-1 but have dropped five in a row since. 4. Penn-Trafford’s line has been consistently good, allowing the Warriors to run for 237 yards per game.

Extra point: Penn-Trafford beat the Talbots last year 42-6.

District 6 Heritage

Blairsville (3-5, 3-5) at Ligonier Valley (8-0, 8-0)

7 p.m. Friday at Weller Field, Ligonier

On the air: TribHSSN.Triblive.com; 106.3 FM

Last week: Blairsville 22, Homer-Center 21; Ligonier Valley 42, Northern Cambria 7

Coaches: Rick Artley, Blairsville; Roger Beitel, Ligonier Valley

Players to watch: Zak Artley Jr. (Jr., 6-3, 215, RB/LB); Michael Petrof, Ligonier Valley (Sr.6-2, 276, G/DL)

Four downs: 1. Artley has completed 66 of 156 passes for 928 yards and five touchdowns. 2. Ligonier Valley QB Sam Sheeder has completed 54 of 86 passes for 1,191 yards and 14 touchdowns. 3. Sophomore running back Sincere McFarlin has rushed for 642 yards and caught 12 passes for 195 yards. 4. Rams running back Kyrie Miller has rushed for 1,159 yards and 23 touchdowns. He owns school records in rushing and rushing touchdowns.

Extra point: Ligonier Valley has won 36 consecutive Heritage Conference games and this is maybe its final game in the conference after the LV school board voted to join the WPIAL.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

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