Westmoreland County’s don’t-miss high school football matchups for Week 6

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Wednesday, October 2, 2019 | 5:17 PM


Class 6A

No. 2 Central Catholic (5-1, 3-1) at Norwin (2-4, 1-3)

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

Last week: Central Catholic 29, Pine-Richland 7; Norwin 49, Butler 21

Coaches: Terry Totten, Central Catholic; Dave Brozeski, Central Catholic

Players to watch: Eddy Tillman, Central Catholic (Jr., 5-8, 165, RB); Jack Salopek, Norwin (Sr., 6-3, 180, QB)

Four downs: 1. Central pulled the upset of the night last week, knocking off top-ranked Pine-Richland in convincing fashion as Tillman ran for 185 yards and three touchdowns. 2. The Vikings front line is one of the best in Class 6A and it features senior twin brothers A’meer and A’maar Allen as the tackles. A’maar is 6-foot-3, 260; A’meer is 6-4, 280. 3. Norwin had a record-breaking win over Butler as Salopek was sensational — 19 of 23 for school records of 410 yards and six touchdowns. 4. Three receivers have been effective for the Knights, who have struggled to run the ball. They are Connor Chrisman, Sean Pavlic and Declan O’Brien. Chrisman had five receptions for 147 yards, O’Brien five for 107, and Pavlic three for 80 last week.

Extra point: Central beat Norwin last year, 35-16, in a game that saw Salopek leave with a concussion. That game was played at Carnegie Mellon.

No. 5 Seneca Valley (2-4, 2-3) at Hempfield (2-4, 1-4)

7 p.m. Friday at Spartan Stadium, Hempfield

Last week: North Allegheny 40, Seneca Valley 7; Mt. Lebanon 31, Hempfield 17

Coaches: Ron Butschle, Seneca Valley; Rich Bowen, Hempfield

Players to watch: Gabe Lawson, Seneca Valley (Sr., 6-2, 190, QB); Blake Remaley, Hempfield (Sr., 6-2, 205, QB)

Four downs: 1. Both teams are looking for more consistency and some help. Hempfield hangs over the edge of the playoff race. Neither has won two in a row this season. 2. Hempfield could not sustain momentum for four quarters last week, allowing Mt. Lebanon to score twice to pull away. Remaley completed 14 of 30 passes for 225 yards and two touchdowns in the loss. 3. Seneca Valley was only able to get into the end zone once last week, when Lawson tossed a 45-yard touchdown to Seth Baic in the third quarter. 4. Seneca Valley won last year’s matchup with defense, blanking the Spartans at home, 18-0.

Extra point: The Raiders reached the WPIAL championship game before falling to Pine-Richland, 34-7.

Class 5A Big East

No. 1 Penn-Trafford (5-1, 4-0) at Latrobe (2-4, 1-3)

7 p.m. Friday at Latrobe Memorial Stadium

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

Last week: Penn-Trafford 47, Plum 17; McKeesport 34, Latrobe 14

Coaches: John Ruane, Penn-Trafford; Jason Marucco, Latrobe

Players to watch: Ethan Carr, Penn-Trafford (Jr., 6-3, 165, WR/DB); Bobby Fetter, Latrobe (So., 5-10, 160, QB)

Four downs: 1. Penn-Trafford returned to conference play and handled Plum after a slow start. It was 7-3 early before the Warriors found a groove. 2. Carr scored five times last week, on a 95-yard kick return, three rushing scores and a reception. He had three rushes for 107 yards and three scores. 3. Penn-Trafford has won 16 consecutive games at home. Five of its last six losses have come away from Warrior Stadium. 4. Fetter has only played a couple of games at quarterback after he replaced Branden Crosby. He was 10 of 17 for 107 yards last week but scored two touchdowns on the ground.

Extra point: Ruane became the Warriors’ all-time leader in coaching wins with his 84th last week, passing Art Tragesser.

Class 4A Big Eight

Belle Vernon (4-1, 3-1) at Trinity (2-3, 2-3)

7 p.m. Friday at Hiller Stadium, Washington

On the air: TribHSSN.triblive.com; 1450 AM

Last week: Belle Vernon 43, Greensburg Salem 3; Trinity 35, Indiana 15

Coaches: Matt Humbert, Belle Vernon; Jon Miller, Trinity

Players to watch: Devin Whitlock, Belle Vernon (So., 5-6, 150, QB); Talon Cain, Trinity (Sr., 5-6, 160, RB)

Four downs: 1. Belle Vernon’s Nolan Labuda has 14 catches for 111 yards and four touchdowns. 2. The Hillers need to upset Belle Vernon or get a Greensburg Salem loss to qualify for the WPIAL playoffs. 3. Whitlock, who was a quarterback at Monessen last season, has completed 2 of 3 passes and rushed for 249 yards and scored two touchdowns. 4. Trinity has nonconference games Penn-Trafford and Knoch before closing out the season against Laurel Highlands.

Extra point: The Leopards have won three consecutive games since losing to No. 1 Thomas Jefferson.

West Mifflin (4-2, 3-0) at Greensburg Salem (2-4, 2-1)

7 p.m. Friday at Offutt Field, Greensburg

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

Last week: West Mifflin 62, Laurel Highlands 23; Belle Vernon 43, Greensburg Salem 3

Coaches: Rod Steele, West Mifflin; Dave Keefer, Greensburg Salem

Players to watch: Larondy Wilder, West Mifflin (Sr., 5-9, 190, RB); Trent Patrick, Greensburg Salem (Sr., 5-9, 230, QB)

Four downs: 1. Wilder scored five touchdowns in the Titans’ win against Laurel Highlands. 2. The Golden Lions managed only a field goal in a loss to Belle Vernon. 3. Rod Steele comes to West Mifflin after a successful run at Steel Valley, which won the WPIAL Class 2A title in 2017 and ’18. 4. Greensburg Salem still has a shot at reaching 700 wins this season, especially if it can defeat West Mifflin. The Golden Lions sit at 696 and have games remaining against Ringgold and Indiana, along with No. 1 Thomas Jefferson.

Extra point: West Mifflin’s road gets a little tougher. It plays Belle Vernon and Thomas Jefferson in the next few weeks.

Class 3A Big East

Burrell (4-2, 3-2) at Mt. Pleasant (2-4, 1-3)

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

Last week: Burrell 16, Deer Lakes 14; North Catholic 42, Mt. Pleasant 28

Coaches: Shawn Liotta, Burrell; Jason Fazekas, Mt. Pleasant

Players to watch: Alex Arledge, Burrell (Jr., 6-3, 190, QB); Pete Billey, Mt. Pleasant (Jr., 6-2, 225, RB)

Four downs: 1. Wide receiver Seth Fischbach is the Bucs’ leading receiver with 28 catches for 550 yards and eight touchdowns. 2. The Vikings have been successful running the ball, with Jake Johnson rushing for 546 yards, Nick Loughner 331 and Billey 247. 3. Running back Mickey Scherer is the Bucs’ top rusher, running for 467 yards and four touchdowns. 4. During the Vikings’ current three-game losing streak, they dropped close games to Derry (7-0), Deer Lakes (29-26) and North Catholic (42-28).

Extra point: Mt. Pleasant needs to end its three-game losing streak and defeat Burrell if it hopes to challenge for a WPIAL Class 3A playoff berth.

Derry (4-1, 3-1) at Uniontown (0-6, 0-4)

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

Last week: Derry 26, Elizabeth Forward 17; Beaver Falls 47, Uniontown 29

Coaches: Tim Sweeney, Derry; Cedric Lloyd, Uniontown

Players to watch: Justin Huss, Derry (Sr., 5-9, 155, RB); Javon Davis, Uniontown (Sr., 5-8, 155, RB)

Four downs: 1. Huss scored three touchdowns, rushed for 129 yards and threw a touchdown pass to help Derry rally to defeat Elizabeth Forward. 2. Uniontown owns the longest losing streak in the WPIAL at 28 games. Its last win was Oct. 14, 2016 against Laurel Highlands, 27-10. 3. Despite allowing two interception returns for TDs against Elizabeth Forward, the Trojans defense held EF to a field goal. 4. While Huss leads the Trojans with 884 rushing yards, Pryce Donovan, Matt McDowell and Mike Kelly are sharing the load.

Extra point: Huss missed the North Catholic game, but his return sparked Derry to a big win to stay in the race for first place in the Big East.

Class 2A Century

Charleroi (4-1, 3-1) at Southmoreland (5-1, 4-1)

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

On the air: TribHSSN.TribLive.com

Last week: Charleroi 27, Beth-Center 8; McGuffey 55, Southmoreland 28

Coaches: Lance Getsy, Charleroi; Dave Keefer, Southmoreland

Players to watch: Legend Davis, Charleroi (Sr., 5-11, 195, WR); Brandon Peterson, Southmoreland (Sr., 6-4, 190, WR)

Four downs: 1. Charleroi took care of Beth-Center as Davis returned a punt for a touchdown, and Brayden Mihalcin rushed 21 times for 109 yards in the Cougars’ fourth straight win. 2. The Cougars have not surrendered double figures on the scoreboard since a Week 1 loss at Washington. They beat Southmoreland last year, 56-27. 3. Southmoreland went into the fourth quarter tied with No. 3 McGuffey, 28-28, but the wheels fell off. McGuffey erupted for 27 points and handed the Scotties their first loss. Southmoreland led 14-0. 4. Zach Cernuto threw for 102 yards but faced pressure in the second half and could not get a connection going with Riley Comforti. Peterson, meantime, had scoring receptions of 10 and 68 yards.

Extra point: Southmoreland remains in the conference title chase but will likely have to win out. It has not won a conference title since 1979.

Class A Tri-County South

Monessen (2-4, 2-2) at Chartiers-Houston (4-1, 3-1)

7 p.m. Friday Buccaneers Stadium. Houston

Last week: Monessen 60, Bentworth 3; Chartiers-Houston 42, Mapletown 8

Coaches: Mike Blainfield, Monessen; Terry Fetsko, Chartiers-Houston

Players to watch: Isaiah Beltram, Monessen (Jr., 5-6, 155, QB); Tyler Blumen, Chartiers-Houston (Sr., 6-1, 175, WR)

Four downs: 1. Monessen’s offense is finding success through the air. It has produced 10 touchdowns with Darius Stevenson leading the way with five. 2. Blumen has caught 17 passes for 266 yards and four TDs this season. 3. The Greyhounds can hurt the Bucs playoff chances with a victory. 4. Sam DeWalt (384 yards) and Nathan Cavallo (249) are Chartiers-Houston’s top rushers.

Extra point: The Bucs’ losses are to unbeaten West Greene (51-12) and Sto-Rox (46-7). They still have to play once-beaten California.

Nonconference

Greensburg Central Catholic (5-1) at Mapletown (1-5)

7 p.m. Friday at Mapletown Stadium

Last week: Greensburg CC 33, Springdale 7; Chartiers-Houston 48, Mapletown 8

Coaches: Bret Colbert, GCC; George Mesich, Mapletown

Players to watch: Zach Kuvinka, GCC (Sr., 5-9, 180, RB); Landan Stevenson, Mapletown (Fr., 5-9, 160, RB)

Four downs: 1. GCC is on a four-game winning streak and is narrowly shy of being unbeaten. Its only loss was to Clairton, 21-14. The Centurions shut out Imani Christian and plowed past Springdale. 2. Danny Dlugos has an 87-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown and scored on a rush last week. 3. GCC has a head-turning 64 tackles for loss and 15 interceptions as a team. 4. Mapletown has lost four straight after a season-opening win over Avella. Stevenson, who shows promise, had a touchdown and 2-point conversion last week. He has rushed for 582 yards and 10 TDs.

Extra point: GCC cruised to a 43-6 win over Mapletown last year as the team won four of its final five games but missed the playoffs with a 7-3 record.

No. 1 Jeannette (6-0) at No. 5 OLSH (4-1)

7 p.m. Saturday at Moon Stadium

On the air: TribHSSN.TribLive.com

Last week: Jeannette 49, Brownsville 0; OLSH 41, Laurel 33

Coaches: Roy Hall, Jeannette; Dan Bradley, OLSH

Players to watch: Jackson Pruitt, Jeannette (Sr., 6-1, 185, WR/DB); Jaymar Pearson, OLSH (So., 5-10, 185, QB)

Four downs: 1. Pruitt, Toby Cline and Brett Birch all had touchdown catches to lead Jeannette against Brownsville. Versatile Roberto Smith Jr. has been effective as a No. 2 quarterback to James Sanders and as a rusher. 2. Jeannette, ranked No. 2 in the state behind Old Forge last week, has four straight shutouts and has allowed just 18 points all season. 3. Pearson is a dangerous, dual-threat quarterback. Last week, he ran for 122 yards and three touchdowns, and threw for 130 yards and three more scores. 4. Jeannette beat a much different OLSH team last season, 28-13, when both were top five teams.

Extra point: Jeannette’s defense has not allowed a touchdown since the fourth quarter of a win over East Allegheny in Week Zero.

Yough (1-5) at No. 1 Aliquippa (6-0)

7 p.m. Friday at Carl A. Aschman Memorial Stadium

Last week: Freeport 50, Yough 7; Aliquippa 47, Hopewell 9

Coaches: Scott Wood, Yough; Mike Warfield, Aliquippa

Players to watch: CJ Waldier, Yough (Jr., 6-2, 185, WR); Antonio Quinn, Aliquippa (Sr., 5-9, 180, RB)

Four downs: 1. Class 3A No. 1 Aliquippa is riding an 11-game winning streak and the Quips have won 15 in a row at home. 2. The Quips rolled against Hopewell as Quinn rushed for 141 yards and Dewayne Revis caught three passes for 50 yards and a score. 3. Waldier has been a bright spot in the offense for Yough. Last week, he hauled in 12 catches for 146 yards and a touchdown and also returned a kickoff 80 yards for a score. 4. Aliquippa won last year’s meeting at Cougar Mountain Stadium, 54-20.

Extra point: Aliquippa is scoring 44 points a game and Yough is giving up nearly 36. The Cougars have allowed 40 or more points in three straight weeks.

District 6 Heritage

Marion Center (5-1, 5-1) at Ligonier Valley (6-0, 6-0)

7 p.m. Friday at Weller Field, Ligonier

Last week: Marion Center 45, Blairsville 6; Ligonier Valley 48, Purchase Line 0

Coaches: Adam Rising, Marion Center; Roger Beitel, Ligonier Valley

Players to watch: Garret Wells, Marion Center (Sr., 5-8, 160, RB); Sam Sheeder, Ligonier Valley (Sr., 5-9, 190, QB)

Four downs: 1. The Stingers are riding a two-game winning streak and have outscored their opponents, 199-114. 2. The Rams have scored 275 points in five games played and are averaging 55 points. 3. Wells rushed for 135 yards and two touchdowns, and he caught four passes for 42 yards and a TD against Blairsville. 4. Rams running back Kyrie Miller has rushed for 925 yards and 18 TDs this season. He leads the conference in rushing.

Extra point: Ligonier Valley has won 34 consecutive Heritage Conference games. This game is important in the District 6 rankings for both teams because they pick up Class 2A points. The Rams are currently seeded third in the district.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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