Westmoreland County high school football matchups for 2023 Week Zero

Wednesday, August 23, 2023 | 6:43 PM


Mt. Pleasant at Greensburg Central Catholic

7 p.m. Friday, Centurion Stadium, Carbon

Last year’s meeting: Greensburg C.C. 56, Mt. Pleasant 35

After a shootout last year, plenty of points are expected between a pair of county teams with some key offensive weapons back. … Mt. Pleasant has a host of experienced players returning, including quarterback Cole Chatfield, running back Jackson Hutter and a solid line. … Quarterback Tyree Turner, wideout Samir Crosby and running back Nick Dlugos are the nucleus of an athletic offense for GCC.

Thomas Jefferson at Franklin Regional

7 p.m. Friday, Panther Stadium, Murrysville

Last year’s meeting: DNP

A new regular-season matchup has the look of a potential playoff pairing as two returning conference champions meet. … The QB-WR combination of either Brody Evans or Luke Kosko to Sean Sullivan should propel the Jaguars, who also can run the ball with Elias Lippincott and Aidan Whalen. Lippincott and Whalen combined for almost 1,500 yards last season. … Senior playmaker Ayden Hudock is expected to power the Panthers in a number of ways, and the team also brings back junior linebacker Austin Kerns, senior linebacker Owen Sinclair and junior tackle Anthony Devola.

Jeannette at Burrell

7 p.m. Friday, Buccaneer Stadium, Lower Burrell

Last year’s meeting: Burrell 31, Jeannette 10

After Burrell won for the first time at McKee Stadium since 1993 last year, Jeannette will look for payback on the road. Burrell rushed the ball 50 times in that win. … Devin Beattie is the centerpiece of the Bucs running game after piling up over 1,400 yards and 18 touchdowns as a junior. … Jeannette, which is tied with Aliquippa for the most wins in WPIAL history (770), will be led by senior quarterback Payton Molter, senior running back/slot receiver Noah Sanders and a young supporting cast.

McGuffey at Southmoreland

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

Last year’s meeting: McGuffey 44, Southmoreland 28

Former Class 2A Interstate Conference teams with high expectations will match big plays in the season opener. … McGuffey, which went 8-4 last season and has 300 all-time wins, has 32 combined seniors and juniors, including senior Connor Crowe, who will orchestrate the flexbone offense. … Proven quarterback Kaiden Keefer and 6-foot-4 wideout Ty Keffer make Southmoreland a playoff contender. But watch newcomer Da’sjon Craggette, a transfer from Greensburg Central Catholic who attends Geibel, which has a co-op with Southmoreland.

Norwin at Upper St. Clair

7 p.m. Friday, Panther Stadium, Upper St. Clair

Last year’s meeting: Upper St. Clair 42, Norwin 6

Upper St. Clair had the upper hand in last year’s game, controlling the line of scrimmage and racing by the Knights by scoring all 42 in the first half. … The Class 5A runner-up Panthers have a young team that returns seven starters. Quarterback Ethan Hellman is a sophomore who took over the position midway through last season. Former quarterback Julian Dahlem moved to receiver. … Norwin has some skill and speed with Jackson Pons (Miami, Ohio) and Luke Denny in the slot. The Knights also are led by a sophomore quarterback in Trystan Tavares.

Derry at Latrobe

7 p.m., Friday, Memorial Stadium

Last year’s meeting: Latrobe 55, Derry 0

A matchup of neighboring rivals looking to improve on their 2022 seasons. … The Wildcats will look for more postseason success after going 7-5 and winning a playoff game for the first time since 1968. Junior quarterback John Wetzel is poised for a breakout after throwing for 477 yards and four touchdowns last year. … The Trojans finished 0-10 and look to climb back to respectability under second-year coach Mike Arnone. Look out for wide receiver Damauri Robinson, who had 20 catches for 232 yards and three touchdowns last year.

Canon-McMillan at Penn-Trafford

7:30 p.m. Friday, Warrior Stadium

Last year’s meeting: Penn-Trafford 35, Canon-McMillan 28

A matchup of 2022 playoff teams who put on an offensive show in last year’s opener. … Junior Tasso Whipple, who rushed for 386 yards and three touchdowns, will be counted on in the running game for the Warriors. Senior wide receiver Carmen Metcalfe is a key component in the passing game. … Canon-McMillan senior quarterback Mike Evans passed for 1,463 yards and 18 touchdowns. Senior tight end Kaeden Singleton is back after catching 14 passes for 155 yards.

South Allegheny at Yough

7 p.m., Friday, Cougar Mountain

Last year’s meeting: South Allegheny 25, Yough 7

A clash of two teams that have something to prove after tough 2022 seasons. … South Allegheny (1-9) dropped nine consecutive games after opening with a win against the Cougars. The Gladiators return nine starters, including junior running back Cam Lewis and junior quarterback Ryan Coates. Brian Hanson is South Allegheny’s new coach. … Yough finished 3-7, and second-year coach Ben Hoffer looks to increase that win total. Junior Raidon Kuroda hopes to improve on his passing game. He threw for 292 yards and three touchdowns. Yough returns three linemen, led by tackle Aiden Humenik.

Ligonier Valley at Springdale

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

Last year’s meeting: Ligonier Valley 48, Springdale 0

This is a game that features twins on both squads: John and Mark Jablunovsky of Ligonier Valley and Colton and Calen Gent from Springdale. This is also a role reversal. Last year, Springdale had three seniors and a lot of inexperience. Ligonier Valley has only one senior this season. … Ligonier Valley (8-3) looks to use a wing-T offense highlighted by the Jablunovskys. … The Dynamos will rely on senior quarterback Chase Weihrauch, senior linebacker Noah Bradley and the Gents.

Washington at Monessen

7 p.m., Friday, Memorial Stadium

Last year’s meeting: Washington 54, Monessen 22

A meeting of teams with more than their fair share of talented athletes. They’re also two of the winningest programs in the WPIAL. Washington has won 731 games and Monessen 678. … Washington features senior wide receiver Ruben Gordon, who caught 27 passes for 505 yards and 15 touchdowns, and junior running back Eddie Lewis, who rushed for 803 yards and 13 touchdowns. … Monessen sophomore running back Tyvaughn Kershaw rushed for 1,353 yards and 17 touchdowns as a freshman, and the Greyhounds won five conference games for the first time since 2018.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

More High School Football

5 WPIAL teams, Westinghouse make March to Mechanicsburg for PIAA championships
Trib HSSN football player of the week for Week 14
This week on Trib HSSN for week of Dec. 4, 2023
North Allegheny ends 11-year wait, moves on to state finals vs. powerhouse St. Joseph’s Prep
Westmoreland high school notes: Teams will shift classifications next season