Westmoreland County don’t-miss football matchups for Week 9

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Wednesday, October 23, 2019 | 5:34 PM


Class 6A

Norwin (2-7, 1-6) at Seneca Valley (3-6, 3-4)

7 p.m. Friday at NexTier Stadium

Last week: Mt. Lebanon 45, Norwin 16; Pine-Richland 35, Seneca Valley 21

Coaches: Dave Brozeski, Norwin; Ron Butschle, Seneca Valley

Players to watch: Jack Salopek, Norwin (Sr., 6-3, 180, QB); Gabe Lawson, Seneca Valley (Sr., 6-2, 190, QB)

Four downs: 1. Seneca Valley clinched a playoff spot last week, and Norwin was eliminated, leaving the Class 6A playoff field the same as it was last season. 2. The Raiders stayed close with Pine-Richland as Lawson completed 14 of 32 passes for 220 yards. 3. Salopek, a Western Michigan commit, was 19 of 33 for 255 yards last week, moving him closer to the 6,000-yard mark for his career. 4. Norwin has scored just 110 points in conference games, the second fewest in 6A.

Extra point: Seneca Valley averages 22.0 points and allows 22.3.

Class 5A Big East

No. 1 Penn-Trafford (8-1, 5-0) at Franklin Regional (4-4, 3-2)

7 p.m. Friday at Franklin Regional Panthers Stadium

On the air: TribHSSN.triblive.com; 107.1 FM

Last week: Penn-Trafford 56, Hampton 7; McKeesport 31, Franklin Regional 14

Coaches: John Ruane, Penn-Trafford; Greg Botta, Franklin Regional

Players to watch: Gabe Dunlap, Penn-Trafford (Sr., 6-0, 170, QB); Brandon Zanotto, Franklin Regional (Jr. 6-1, 170, WR/LB)

Four downs: 1. Penn-Trafford has clinched the Big East Conference title and top seed. Its lone loss came to Washington Massillon (Ohio). 2. After starting the season 3-0, Franklin Regional has dropped three of its past four games. 3. Penn-Trafford lost its top two running backs, Caleb Lisbon and Sam Fanelli, to injuries in the McKeesport game. 4. Franklin Regional has been dealing with all sorts of injuries this season. The Panthers welcomed back Zanotto last week.

Extra point: Franklin Regional will need to finish drives if its hopes to upset Penn-Trafford. That’s something it didn’t do against McKeesport.

Class 4A Big Eight

Indiana (1-8, 1-5) at Greensburg Salem (4-5, 4-2)

7 p.m. Friday at Offutt Field

On the air: TribHSSN.triblive.com; 98.7 FM, 910 AM, 1450 AM, 100.3 FM

Last week: Laurel Highlands 42, Indiana 6; Thomas Jefferson 42, Greensburg Salem 0

Coaches: Brandon Overdorff, Indiana; Dave Keefer, Southmoreland

Players to watch: Zach Harrington, Indiana (5-8, 160, RB); Billy McChesney, Greensburg Salem (So., 6-0, 245, OL-DL)

Four downs: 1. Indiana has lost six straight games following a 28-13 win over Ringgold. The Indians are giving up 43.4 points, the most in 4A. 2. Harrington is a shifty back who can be dangerous running to the outside. 3. Greensburg Salem needs to win and have West Mifflin lose to Thomas Jefferson to clinch third place in the conference. 4. The Golden Lions struggled to move the ball last week and managed just 44 yards of offense against TJ.

Extra point: Two more wins will give Greensburg Salem 700 in the program’s history.

Ringgold (1-7, 0-6) at No. 3 Belle Vernon (7-1, 5-1)

7 p.m. Friday at James Weir Stadium, Rostraver

Last week: West Mifflin 54, Ringgold 18; Belle Vernon 58, Plum 7

Coaches: Darwin Manges, Ringgold; Matt Humbert, Belle Vernon

Players to watch: James Minnie, Ringgold (Sr., 5-7, 150, WR); Cam Guess (Sr. 6-0, 190, K)

Four downs: 1. Minnie leads Ringgold with five touchdowns. 2. Belle Vernon scored 58 points against Class 5A Plum last week. 3. Rams broke a long losing streak by defeating Beaver in a nonconference game. 4. Belle Vernon senior running back Larry Callaway has scored 15 touchdowns.

Extra point: Belle Vernon has scored 40 or more points in every game it has won this season.

Class 3A Big East

Elizabeth Forward (6-2, 5-2) at Yough (1-8, 1-6)

7 p.m. Friday at Cougar Mountain

Last week: Elizabeth Forward 28, Uniontown 0; North Catholic 48, Yough 13

Coaches: Mike Collodi, Elizabeth Forward; Scott Wood, Yough

Players to watch: Nico Mrvos, Elizabeth Forward (Jr., 6-1, 185, QB/WR); C.J. Waldier, Yough (Jr., 6-1, 175, WR/FS)

Four downs: 1. Elizabeth Forward has locked up third place in the Big East Conference and a road game in the opening round of the playoffs. 2. Yough is in eighth place in the conference standings and out of the playoff picture but would like to enter the offseason with momentum. 3. The Warriors were bolstered last week by a 44-yard punt return touchdown by Zachary Boyd and a fumble recovery in the end zone by Nicholas Murphy. 4. Yough QB Gamal Marballie and Waldier have made quite a connection this season. Waldier has caught 53 passes for 672 yards and eight touchdowns. Marballie has thrown for 949 yards and eight scores and also run for 582 yards and five TDs on 141 carries.

Extra point: Elizabeth Forward is allowing just 11.3 points per game, good for third in Class 3A (Derry, 10.8; Aliquippa, 5.9).

Mt. Pleasant (4-5, 3-4) at Uniontown (0-9, 0-7)

7 p.m. Friday at Bill Powers Stadium, Uniontown

Last week: Mt. Pleasant 35, Freeport 7; Elizabeth Forward 28 Uniontown 0

Coaches: Jason Fazekas Mt. Pleasant; Cedric Lloyd, Uniontown

Players to watch: Asher O’Connor, Mt. Pleasant (Jr., 6-0, 170, QB/DB); Javon Davis, Uniontown (Sr. 5-8, 155, RB)

Four downs: 1. Mt. Pleasant has a chance to make the WPIAL Class 3A playoffs with a win, a Burrell loss to Derry and a Deer Lakes loss to North Catholic. 2. Uniontown has lost 31 consecutive games, and a loss to Mt. Pleasant would make it three consecutive 0-10 seasons. 3. Mt. Pleasant relies on the running trio Jake Johnson, Nick Loughner and Pete Billey. 4. Mt. Pleasant junior nose tackle Ian Fasano is a difference-maker on defense.

Extra point: Mt. Pleasant looks to win consecutive games for the second time this season.

Class A Tri-County South

Avella (1-8, 0-6) at Monessen (3-6, 3-3)

7 p.m. Friday at Monessen’s Memorial Stadium

Last week: Mapletown 27, Avella 25; Rochester 41, Monessen 12

Coaches: Ryan Cecchini, Avella; Mike Blainfield, Monessen

Players to watch: Tanner Terensky, Avella (Jr., 5-11, 160, WR/FS); Isaiah Beltram, Monessen (Jr., 5-6, 145, QB/SB)

Four downs: 1. Both teams have been eliminated from playoff contention. 2. Avella shut out Bishop Canevin in Week 1 but has been outscored 298-52 since. 3. Terensky caught two touchdown passes for Avella last week, including a 50-yard pass from Derek Tarolli. Tarolli threw for 219 yards and four TDs. 4. Elijah Davis scored on a pair of 1-yard runs Monessen’s loss to Rochester last Friday.

Extra point: Monessen is averaging 22.1 points per game, highlighted by wins over Jefferson-Morgan, Bentworth and Mapletown.

Nonconference

Highlands (3-6) at Latrobe (4-5)

7 p.m. Friday at Latrobe Memorial Stadium

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

Last week: Highlands 28, New Castle 22 (OT); Latrobe 35, Midd-West 7

Coaches: Dom Girardi, Highlands; Jason Marucco, Latrobe

Players to watch: Johnny Crise, Highlands (Sr., 6-6, 200, WR/DB); Logan Gustafson, Latrobe (Sr., 5-9, 145, RB/DB)

Four downs: 1. Highlands played another thriller against New Castle as Crise, an athletic pass-catcher, pulled in four receptions for 152 yards and touchdowns of 34 and 76 yards. 2. Scoring has been an issue for Highlands, which has suffered three shutouts and managed just 13.8 points a game. 3. Latrobe will play its second straight nonconference game after visiting Midd-West in Middleburg last week. 4. The Wildcats are playoff-bound for the second straight season and will be on the road for the first round next week.

Extra point: Latrobe is trying to win its final three regular-season games for the second straight year. The Wildcats won at Highlands last year, 39-13.

Plum (3-6) at Hempfield (3-6)

7 p.m. Friday at Spartan Stadium

Last week: Belle Vernon 58, Plum 17; Hempfield 55, Butler 28

Coaches: Matt Morgan, Plum; Rich Bowen, Hempfield

Players to watch: Reed Martin, Plum (Jr., 5-8, 170, WR); Nathan Roby, Hempfield (Sr., 5-7, 155, RB/DB)

Four downs: 1. Plum dropped its second straight game to a Westmoreland team as it gets set to face another opponent from the county this week. 2. Max Matolcsy and Logan Brooks had touchdowns for the Mustangs last week, the former on a pass from quarterback Ryan Hubner, who came in for starter Jake Miller in the Latrobe game. 3. Roby was practically unstoppable last week, running for 313 yards and six touchdowns in the victory. He had a 70-yard score. 4. Brendan Sliwoski, the younger brother of former Spartans quarterback Justin Sliwoski, caught his first career scoring pass from Blake Remaley.

Extra point: Martin is a dangerous runner in the wildcat for Plum, but he kicked a 51-yard field goal last week to break Jake Chapla’s school record.

Southmoreland (5-4) at Greensburg C.C. (6-3)

7 p.m. Friday at Centurion Stadium

Last week: Washington 44, Southmoreland 16; Cornell 8, Greensburg Central Catholic 0

Coaches: Dave Keefer, Southmoreland; Bret Colbert, Greensburg Central Catholic

Players to watch: Colt Harper, Southmoreland (Sr., 6-0, 210, RB/LB); Ben LaCarte, Greensburg C.C. (Sr., 6-1, 185, WR/FS)

Four downs: 1. Southmoreland is looking to gain momentum heading into the WPIAL Class 2A playoffs after losing four straight games. The Scotties started 5-0 but then lost to McGuffey, Charleroi, Shenango and Washington. 2. Greensburg Central Catholic has lost two in a row after a four-game winning streak. The Centurions have locked up one of the wild-card berths in the Class A playoff field. 3. While quarterback Zach Cernuto and wide receiver Riley Comforti have drawn praise for the Scotties passing attack, Harper has gained 688 yards on the ground with a team-high 20 touchdowns. 4. Despite his team being shut out at Cornell last week, David Altimore threw for 150 yards. Luke Mazowiecki had eight catches for 88 yards.

Extra point: Southmoreland will finish fourth in the Century Conference despite tying Charleroi with a 5-2 conference record. The Cougars have the head-to-head tiebreaker. The Scotties have qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 1979.

District 6 Appalachian Bowl

Portage (8-1, 8-1) vs. Ligonier Valley (9-0, 9-0)

7 p.m. Saturday, Penns Manor Field, Clymer

Last week: Portage 1, Conemaugh Valley 0 (forfeit); Ligonier Valley 58, Blairsville 14

Coaches: Gary Gouse, Portage; Roger Beitel, Ligonier Valley

Players to watch: Gabe Forst, Portage (Sr., 5-8, 160, RB/SS); Kyrie Miller, Ligonier Valley (Sr. 5-9, 186, RB/DB)

Four downs: 1. Portage finished in a three-way tie with Meyersdale and Berlin-Brothersvalley for the WestPAC title. It got the top spot on tiebreaker points. 2. Ligonier Valley defeated every team in the Heritage Conference by the Mercy Rule. 3. Forst has rushed for a team-high 874 yards and 13 touchdowns. The Mustangs have rushed for 2,811 yards and 37 touchdowns as a team. 4. Miller has rushed for 1,417 yards and 27 touchdowns. The Rams have rushed for 2,539 yards and 40 touchdowns.

Extra point: Ligonier Valley goes after its fourth consecutive Appalachian Bowl title. The Rams have defeated Conemaugh Township (56-0), Berlin-Brothersvalley (41-0) and Shade (45-8).

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

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