Westmoreland County don’t-miss high school football matchups for Week 2

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Wednesday, September 4, 2019 | 6:45 PM


Class 6A

Hempfield (1-1, 0-1) at Norwin (0-2, 0-1)

7 p.m. Friday at Norwin Knights Stadium, North Huntingdon

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

Last week: Pine-Richland 42, Hempfield 14; North Allegheny 42, Norwin 0

Coaches: Rich Bowen, Hempfield; Dave Brozeski, Norwin

Players to watch: Blake Remaley, Hempfield (Sr., 6-2, 205, QB); Jack Salopek, Norwin (Sr., 6-3, 180, QB)

Four downs: 1. Both teams faced daunting challenges last week as Hempfield hosted No. 1 Pine-Richland, and Norwin visited No. 3 North Allegheny. Hempfield stayed with the Rams early, but both higher-ranked teams pulled away, Pine-Richland through the air and North Allegheny on the ground. 2. Norwin edged Hempfield last year, 28-20, as since-graduated Zeke Houser ran for 158 yards and two touchdowns. Remaley threw for 147 yards and three scores for the Spartans, who pressured Salopek and forced him to run more. 3. Hempfield has a sound running game behind a big line led by seniors Ryan Cross (6-0, 290) and Fintan Brose (6-3, 280). Rushers Nate Roby and Mario Perkins share carries. 4. Salopek, a Western Michigan recruit, was limited to five completions and 108 yards against North Allegheny.

Extra point: Injured senior lineman Aaron Bowen, who plays for Norwin, is the son of the Hempfield coach.

Class 5A Big East

Latrobe (1-1, 0-0) at Franklin Regional (1-0, 1-0)

7 p.m. Friday at Franklin Regional HS Stadium, Murrysville

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

Last week: Penn Hills 41, Latrobe 14; Franklin Regional 42, Plum 14

Coaches: Jason Marucco, Latrobe; Greg Botta, Franklin Regional

Players to watch: Tucker Knupp, Latrobe (Jr., 6-0, 195, TE/LB); Zac Gordon, Franklin Regional (Sr., 5-10, 170, RB/CB)

Four downs: 1. Franklin Regional used a push-the-pile running game to dispatch neighboring Plum in its season opener. The Panthers played two scrimmages before starting the year. Gordon ran for 180 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries, and Justin Johns and Brandon Zanotto also scored, and the Panthers forced five turnovers. 2. Latrobe stayed with defending WPIAL and PIAA champion Penn Hills early before the Indians used big plays to pull away. Dakota Morrison had a touchdown catch, and Sam Miller recovered a fumble in the end zone for another score for the Wildcats. 3. Then-freshman kicker Anthony DiFalco, a soccer star for Franklin Regional, booted a 27-yard field goal to help the Panthers edge Latrobe, 17-14, last season. Latrobe led the Panthers, 14-0, at the half. 4. Botta has 170 victories in 26 years coaching the Panthers.

Extra point: Senior center Anthony Bonaci (6-1, 266) is a leader for the Panthers. He is a third-year starter.

No. 1 Penn-Trafford (2-0, 1-0) at Connellsville (1-1, 0-1)

7 p.m. Friday at Falcon Stadium, Connellsville

On the air: TribHSSN.triblive.com

Last week: Penn-Trafford 28, Gateway 7; McKeesport 52, Connellsville 0

Coaches: John Ruane, Penn-Trafford; Marko Thomas, Connellsville

Players to watch: Caleb Lisbon, Penn-Trafford (Sr., 6-0, 210, RB/DB); Josh Maher, Connellsville (Sr., 6-6, 215, QB)

Four downs: 1. Penn-Trafford made a major statement with a 28-7 victory over Gateway, the top-ranked Class 5A team in the state. The Warriors blew open a tight game behind Lisbon, who had three interceptions and scored a rushing touchdown. 2. Warriors quarterback Gabe Dunlap ran for 119 yards and a TD on 19 carries against the Gators as he continues to show his dual-threat mobility. 3. Thomas is a Penn-Trafford graduate, but his alma mater has not been kind in two previous matchups, winning 57-3 last year and 48-7 in 2017. 4. The Warriors have an experienced line and a wealth of depth at those positions.

Extra point: Cole Defillippo sealed last week’s stunner with a 31-yard interception return touchdown.

Class 3A Big East

Yough (1-1, 1-0) at Mt. Pleasant (1-1, 0-0)

7 p.m. Friday at Vikings Stadium, Mt. Pleasant

Last week: Yough 25, Uniontown 0; Mt. Pleasant 48, Hopewell 34

Coaches: Scott Wood, Yough; Jason Fazekas, Mt. Pleasant

Players to watch: Gamal Marballie, Yough (Jr., 6-0, 180, WR/DB); Jake Johnson, Mt. Pleasant (Sr., 6-3, 180, RB/DB)

Four downs: 1. Yough was dealt a blow last week when it learned sophomore quarterback Tristan Waldier would miss the rest of the season with a torn left ACL and MCL. 2. In place of Waldier, Marballie threw two touchdown passes, ran for another score and topped 100 yards in passing (106) and rushing (122). 3. Mt. Pleasant bounced back from a season-opening defeat to Southmoreland as Johnson ran for 124 yards and three touchdowns, and Brady Johnson returned a kickoff 90 yards for another score. 4. The Vikings defense gave up 33.8 points a game last year and is surrendering 30.5 this season.

Extra point: Mt. Pleasant won last year’s meeting 22-16 in Herminie.

Class 2A Interstate

Carmichaels (1-0, 1-0) at Southmoreland (2-0, 1-0)

7 p.m. Friday at Russ Grimm Field, Alverton

On the air: TribHSSN.triblive.com

Last week: Carmichaels 34, Beth-Center 25; Southmoreland 56, Frazier 12

Coaches: Ryan Krull, Carmichaels; Dave Keefer, Southmoreland

Players to Watch: Nate Swaney, Carmichaels (Jr., 6-4, 280, OT/DT); Zack Cernuto, Southmoreland (Jr., 6-0, 175, QB)

Four downs: 1. Quarterback Kevin Kelly rushed for four touchdowns, and the Carmichaels defense shut out Beth-Center in the second half for the Mikes’ first win of the season. 2. Scotties running back Colt Harper has rushed for 157 yards and scored five touchdowns in two games. 3. The Mikes hope to improve defensively after allowing more than 40 points per game. Shutting down Beth-Center in the second half is a good start. 4. Cernuto has completed 19 of 30 passes for 259 yards and three touchdowns. He has connected with Riley Comforti 12 times for 259 yards and two touchdowns.

Extra point: Neither team made the WPIAL playoffs in 2018, but a good start in 2019 could propel them to a spot. The Scotties haven’t made the playoffs since 1979.

Class A Eastern

No. 3 Clairton (0-2, 0-0) at Greensburg C.C. (2-0, 1-0)

7 p.m. Friday, Centurion Stadium, Greensburg

On the air: TribHSSN.triblive.com

Last week: McGuffey 42, Clairton 27; Greensburg Central Catholic 32, Riverview 13

Coaches: Wayne Wade, Clairton; Bret Colbert, Greensburg Central Catholic

Players to Watch: Brendan Parsons, Clairton (Sr., 6-2, 170, QB); David Altimore, Greensburg Central Catholic (Jr., 6-0, 155, QB)

Four downs: 1. Clairton opened the season with losses to higher classified teams: Class 3A Aliquippa and 2A McGuffey. The Bears have been outscored 77-41. 2. Greensburg Central Catholic will face its toughest opponent so far after defeating Monessen (21-18) and Riverview (32-13). 3. Clairton junior receiver Kenlein Ogletree has five catches for 104 yards. He also has scored three touchdowns. 4. Wide receiver Brandon Brown has hooked up with quarterback Altimore eight times for 140 yards. He has scored three touchdowns.

Extra point: This will be a test for the Centurions, who will be playing an angry bunch of Bears looking for their first win of the season.

Imani Christian (0-2, 0-1) at No. 2 Jeannette (2-0, 1-0)

7 p.m. Friday at McKee Stadium, Jeannette

Last week: Springdale 34, Imani Christian 20; Jeannette 33, Leechburg 6

Coaches: Ronnell Heard, Imani Christian; Roy Hall, Jeannette

Players to watch: Adrian Nanji, Imani Christian (Sr., 5-11, 205, RB/LB); James Sanders, Jeannette (Jr., 5-7, 140, QB/DB)

Four downs: 1. Jeannette used big plays to roll past Leechburg and christen McKee Stadium’s new turf field. Imani struggled to stop the run and fell behind 20-0 by halftime as Springdale beat Imani for the first time. 2. Senior wideout Bayley Molter had a breakthrough game for Jeannette as he caught five passes for 167 yards and three touchdowns. 3. Sanders threw for 242 yards and four scores, the other to Toby Cline, and the Jeannette defense had two interceptions and a fumble recovery. 4. Jeannette beat Imani, 35-34, two years ago in the WPIAL championship game at Robert Morris, and went on to win the state title.

Extra point: Jeannette beat the Saints, 28-12, last year. This year’s game was supposed to be at Graham Field in Wilkinsburg but was moved because of renovations to Chatham University.

Nonconference

Derry (1-1) at South Park (0-1)

7 p.m. Friday, Eagle Stadium, South Park

On The Air: TribHSSN.triblive.com

Last week: Derry 35, Freeport 27; Beaver Falls 34, South Park 7

Coaches: Tim Sweeney, Derry; Marty Rieck, South Park

Players to Watch: Paul Koontz, Derry (Jr., 5-10, 170, QB); Ryan Mihoces, South Park, (Sr., 5-11, 190, RB/LB)

Four downs: 1. Derry senior running back Justin Huss has scored five touchdowns and rushed for a team-high 341 yards. He also has four catches for 83 yards. 2. South Park running back Ryan Mihoces rushed for 38 yards, caught a pass for 16 yards and scored the Eagles’ only touchdown in a loss to Beaver Falls. 3. Koontz has completed 16 of 25 passes for 218 yards and two touchdowns for Derry. He also has thrown three interceptions. 4. South Park quarterback Stephen Kmonk completed 3 of 18 passes for 38 yards against Beaver Falls.

Extra point: Derry bounced back from an opening-night loss to Latrobe with a solid win against Freeport.

Greensburg Salem (1-1) at Mars (1-1)

7 p.m. Friday, Mars Stadium, Mars

On The Air: TribHSSN.triblive.com; 98.7 FM, 910 AM

Last week: Greensburg Salem 19, Trinity 13 (OT); Moon 36, Mars 14

Coaches: Dave Keefer, Greensburg Salem; Scott Heinauer, Mars

Players to Watch: Jalen Page, Greensburg Salem (Sr., 5-10, 180, SB/OLB); Teddy Ruffner, Mars (Jr., 5-9, 195, RB)

Four downs: 1. Greensburg Salem quarterback Trent Patrick scored two touchdowns, including the winner in overtime at Trinity. 2. Mars junior running back Teddy Ruffner has rushed for 342 yards and five touchdowns this season. 3. The Golden Lions defense was able to keep Trinity out of the end zone in overtime to help earn the first win of the season. 4. Mars has used three quarterbacks this season, and the trio has completed only 8 of 16 passes for 72 yards.

Extra point: Greensburg Salem arguably has one of the toughest schedules in the WPIAL. The nonconference schedule includes Hempfield (6A), Mars (5A), South Fayette (4A) and conference games against Thomas Jefferson and Belle Vernon.

Monessen (0-2) at Springdale (2-0)

7 p.m. Friday at Veterans Memorial Field, Springdale

Coaches: Mike Blainfield, Monessen; Seth Napierkowski, Springdale

Last week: California 42, Monessen 7; Springdale 34, Imani Christian 20

Players to Watch: Jalen Brice, Monessen (Sr., 5-9, 190, QB/DE); Brandon Green, Springdale (Sr., 5-11, 160, RB/LB)

Four downs: 1. Springdale, paced by its ground game, established a three-score lead over Imani Christian at halftime and beat the Saints for the first time in four tries. Christian Vokes (174 yards, three touchdowns) and Cavin Kindler (82 yards, two TDs) helped lead the way. 2. Monessen finished 7-3 overall last year, captured a share of the Class A Tri-County South title and battled eventual WPIAL champion Jeannette in the first round of the playoffs before losing 18-14. 3. Springdale is averaging 31.5 points through its first two contests. The Dynamos averaged 9.7 points over 10 games last year. 4. Devin Whitlock, a freshman do-everything player for Monessen last year, transferred to Belle Vernon, but Brice, an all-conference performer, is back after recording a team-best 71 tackles, seven sacks and three fumble recoveries last year.

Extra point: Monessen defeated Springdale, 40-6, last year as a part of its 3-0 start. Friday’s game is Springdale’s third straight at home to start the season.

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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