Westmoreland County don’t miss high school football matchups for 2021 Week 1
Wednesday, September 1, 2021 | 5:25 PM
Class 4A No. 2 Belle Vernon (0-0) at Chartiers Valley (1-0)
7 p.m. Friday, Chartiers Valley Stadium, Bridgeville
Belle Vernon beat Chartiers Valley in last year’s quarterfinals, 49-21. Choosing to play a second scrimmage instead of a Week Zero opener, highly touted Belle Vernon is ready to roll out one of its sharper looking teams. The Leopards, a semifinalist last year, feature elusive senior quarterback Devin Whitlock, and big-play sophomore running back Quinton Martin, who has college offers from Pitt, Penn State, West Virginia and others. … Improved Chartiers Valley opened with a 21-14 victory over visiting West Mifflin. Tailback Anthony Mackey ran for 117 yards and two touchdowns. Junior Lamont Payne has a number of Division I offers, including Pitt, Penn State, West Virginia, Kent State, Rutgers, Syracuse and Virginia Tech.
Connellsville (0-1) at Greensburg Salem (0-1)
7 p.m. Friday, Offutt Field, Greensburg
Connellsville ran into star quarterback/defensive back Rodney Gallagher and Laurel Highlands in the opener and fell, 44-14. Gallagher threw for 111 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 101 yards and two scores. Sophomore Anthony Piasecki, meantime, threw for 110 yards for Connellsville, which is led by first-year coach Bill Maczko. Lineman Cullen Lynch will be a four-year letterman. … Despite big numbers from quarterback Hayden Teska and Cody Rubrecht, Greensburg Salem fell to Hempfield, 29-14, allowing 22 points in the fourth quarter. Teska completed 14 of 40 passes for 318 yards and two scores, both to Rubrecht, who caught seven for 198 yards. Watch lineman Billy McChesney, a Columbia wrestling commit, who anchors an experienced line.
Franklin Regional (1-0) at Kiski Area (1-0)
7 p.m. Friday, Richard J. Dilts Field, Vandergrift
Franklin Regional opened the season by defeating Plum, 41-12. The Panthers used three offensive scores, a defensive score and two kickoff returns to handle the Mustangs. Franklin Regional safety Caden Smith intercepted three passes, returning one 98 yards for a touchdown, and threw a wide receiver pass 64 yards to Ayden Hudock for a score. Hudock (80 yards) and Zach Bewszka (79) returned kickoffs for scores. … Three players scored as Kiski Area opened the season with a 21-7 victory against Butler. Kiski Area QB Logan Johnson ran for a score (5 yards) and tossed a 49-yard pass to Matthew Hilty for another score. Brock Wilkins also ran for a touchdown.
Hempfield (1-0) at Class 5A No. 2 Penn-Trafford (1-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday, Warrior Stadium, Harrison City
Hempfield won its sixth straight season opener, rallying for 22 fourth-quarter points to defeat rival Greensburg Salem, 29-14. Junior quarterback Jake Phillips threw for 187 yards and two touchdowns, and senior running back Gino Caesar ran for 101 yards and a score. Jeannette transfer Eli Binakonsky had a 29-yard pick-six in the win. First-year Spartans coach Mike Brown is a Penn-Trafford graduate. … With a 35-14 win at rival Norwin, Penn-Trafford opened with a bang. The Warriors had two 100-yard rushers: first-year senior quarterback Carter Green (173) and senior running back Cade Yacamelli (140). Green took his first snap and went 99 yards for one of his three touchdowns. The Warriors have one of the largest lines in the WPIAL. Penn-Trafford has won 22 straight at Warrior Stadium. Since 2013, the Warriors are 42-1 in Harrison City.
Imani Christian (0-0) at Monessen (0-1)
7 p.m. Friday, Memorial Stadium, Monessen
Imani Christian was off in Week Zero. It is coming off a 2-5 season with wins against Riverview and Leechburg. Imani will be counting on running back Raysaun Jackson, who rushed for 509 yards, and quarterback Malik Shannon to carry the offense. The defense must improve after allowing 37.1 points per game. … Monessen opened the season with a 42-7 loss at Class 2A Washington. The Greyhounds were 0-7 in 2020, forfeiting their final three games. Monessen got a 26-yard touchdown run from Anthony Crews in its opener. First-year coach Wade Brown looks to rebuild the Monessen program.
Laurel Highlands (1-0) at Southmoreland (1-0)
7 p.m. Friday, Russ Grimm Field, Alverton
This could be an interesting Week 1 game as both teams came away with impressive victories — Laurel Highlands rolled over Connellsville, 44-14, and Southmoreland blasted McGuffey, 47-22. This will be a good test for both squads. … Laurel Highlands quarterback Rodney Gallagher tossed two touchdown passes to Keondre DeShields (17 and 11 yards). Southmoreland got three touchdowns apiece from quarterback Anthony Govern and Issac Trout. Govern also threw for two touchdowns.
Ligonier Valley (1-0) at No. 4 (3A) Elizabeth Forward (1-0)
7 p.m. Friday, Warrior Stadium, Elizabeth
After stepping up to defeat Class 4A Indiana, 20-14, in Week Zero, Ligonier Valley plays one of the top teams in Class 3A in Elizabeth Forward. Ligonier Valley coach Roger Beitel has now defeated every team in Indiana County. Ligonier Valley quarterback Haden Sierocky tossed a 19-yard touchdown pass to Miles Higgins and then returned a fumble 27 yards on the final play of the first half against Indiana. Nick Beitel scored the deciding touchdown in the fourth quarter on a 12-yard run. … Elizabeth Forward opened with a 12-0 win against Ringgold. Elizabeth Forward got touchdown runs of 9 and 49 yards by DaVontay Brownfield in its win against the Class 4A opponent.
Mt. Pleasant (1-0) at Derry (0-1)
7 p.m. Friday, Trojan Stadium, Derry
Mt. Pleasant opened the season with an impressive victory against Burrell, 40-7. Derry was humbled in its opener, 61-0, to Latrobe. These teams have been rivals since the Keystone Conference days in the 1980s. … The Vikings used a solid running game of Robbie Labuda and Aaron Alakson to run over Burrell. Labuda rushed for 110 yards and four touchdowns and quarterback Tyler Reese scored two touchdowns. Derry’s offense struggled to gain traction against Latrobe. The only scoring chance was a 40-yard field goal attempt by Chance White, which was blocked.
Seton La Salle (0-0) at Greensburg Central Catholic (0-1)
7 p.m. Friday, Centurion Stadium, Carbon
Chris Siegle is the new coach at Seton La Salle. He was going to be an assistant under Mauro Monz, but Monz resigned after he was suspended for recruiting violations. Siegle has coached as a college assistant at West Virginia Tech, Florida International, Hampton and Duquesne, where he played quarterback. He also was a head coach at Shaler. Running back Gabe Finale will be one of the Rebels’ top ball carriers, but keep an eye on dual-threat quarterback Emmett Harris. … Greensburg Central Catholic, a Class A team, took part in a rare opener. The Centurions faced 5A Upper St. Clair and, while they were blanked, 28-0, new coach Marko Thomas said his defense played well in spots. GCC’s running game relies heavily on senior Danny Dlugos, while Youngstown State commit Joe Blahovec is a handful at receiver and outside linebacker.
Class 2A No. 2 Sto-Rox (1-0) at Jeannette (0-1)
7 p.m. Friday, McKee Stadium, Jeannette
Sto-Rox is expected to be an explosive offensive team, but defense shown through in a 19-7 opening-night win over the now-infamous Bishop Sycamore of Columbus, Ohio, at the Western Pa. vs. Everyone showcase at Woodland Hills. Junior quarterback Josh Jenkins was 8 of 15 for 121 yards and two touchdowns, and Austin Jones had two touchdown catches for the Vikings, who finished as the WPIAL 2A runner-up last season to Beaver Falls. … A bumpy road for perennial power Jeannette began with a 40-0 loss at East Allegheny, just the team’s second season-opening loss in 24 years — and second in a row. Jeannette, which was hit hard by transfers and graduation, had not lost to a team other than Clairton since dropping to Class A in 2014.
Yough (0-1) at Ringgold (0-1)
7 p.m. Friday, Joe Montana Stadium, Monongahela
It wasn’t the Week Zero results either team had hoped for. Yough fell 41-0 to Albert Gallatin and Ringgold was blanked, 12-0, by Elizabeth Forward. Both teams look for their first win of 2021. … Yough must find a way to include wide receiver Tristan Waldier in the offense. The senior played quarterback the previous seasons, which were shortened by injuries. The Rams return nine starters on offense and eight on defense from a team that finished 1-7. Senior quarterback Brayden Fine returns.
Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at email@example.com or via Twitter .
Tags: Belle Vernon, Chartiers Valley, Connellsville, Elizabeth Forward, Franklin Regional, Greensburg C.C., Greensburg Salem, Hempfield, Imani Christian, Jeannette, Kiski Area, Laurel Highlands, Ligonier Valley, Monessen, Penn-Trafford, Ringgold, Seton La Salle, Southmoreland, Sto-Rox, Yough