Westmoreland high school football don’t-miss matchups for Week 4

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Wednesday, September 18, 2019 | 4:57 PM


Class 6A

Canon-McMillan (0-4, 0-3) at Hempfield (2-2, 1-2)

7 p.m. Friday at Spartan Stadium

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

Last week: North Allegheny 42, Canon-McMillan 6; Central Catholic 31, Hempfield 14

Coaches: Mike Evans, Canon-McMillan; Rich Bowen, Hempfield

Players to watch: Jon Quinque, Canon-McMillan (Sr., 5-10, 185, QB); Mario Perkins, Hempfield (Jr., 5-11, 180, RB/LB)

Four downs: 1. Hempfield has a knack for staying with better teams early but, like last week, has not been able to sustain momentum. 2. Remaley has been accurate. He was 10 of 18 last week for 108 yards and tossed two touchdowns. He has completed nearly 65 percent of his passes. 3. Quinque scored the Big Macs’ lone touchdown last week against North Allegheny. They trailed 35-0 at halftime. 4. Senior Nathan Roby continues to be a playmaker for Hempfield. He caught a 49-yard touchdown pass and rushed for another score last week.

Extra point: Canon-McMillan, which edged Hempfield last year, 20-16, was a playoff team. The Big Macs lost in the first round to Mt. Lebanon, 38-31.

Norwin (1-3, 0-2) at No. 1 Pine-Richland (4-0, 2-0)

7 p.m. Friday at Pine-Richland Stadium

Last week: Norwin 28, Chartiers Valley 13; Pine-Richland 56, Butler 7

Coaches: Dave Brozeski, Norwin; Eric Kasperowicz, Pine-Richland

Players to watch: Sean Pavlic, Norwin (Sr, 5-8, 155, WR); Cole Spencer, Pine-Richland (Jr., 5-10, 175, QB)

Four downs: 1. Norwin finally put it all together to post its first win of the season. The Knights broke a seven-game losing streak dating to last season. 2. Knights quarterback Jack Salopek and Pavlic have become a formidable passing combination. Against Chartiers Valley, Salopek completed 11 of 12 passes for 222 yards and three touchdowns, with Pavlic grabbing five receptions for 142 yards and two scores. 3. Spencer makes the Rams’ offense go. They have one of the top passing offenses in the state. He not only is accurate, but also a threat to fling it deep. He was 7 of 9 for 106 yards and two scores last week. He is 60-for-90 for 865 yards and 12 touchdowns. 4. Eli Jochem is the top rusher for Pine-Richland with 252 yards and four touchdowns.

Extra point: Pine-Richland is averaging 41.3 points, second-most in WPIAL 6A.

Class 5A Big East

Latrobe (1-3, 0-2) at Connellsville (1-3, 0-3)

7 p.m., Friday at Falcon Stadium, Connellsville

On the air: TribHSSN.triblive.com

Last week: Gateway 49, Latrobe 0; Plum 49, Connellsville 14

Coaches: Jason Marucco, Latrobe; Marko Thomas, Connellsville

Players to watch: Kameron Stevens, Latrobe (sr., 5-11, 155, WR/DB); Ky’ron Craggette, Connellsville (Jr., 5-10, 215, RB)

Four downs: 1. Stevens is a special teams threat. He’s returned three kickoffs for touchdowns, including two against Franklin Regional. He also caught a touchdown pass in that game. 2. Craggette rushed for 120 yards last week in a loss to Plum. He transferred from Uniontown and has rushed for 503 yards and four touchdowns in four games. 3. Latrobe junior running back Logan Gustafson is a threat running the ball and catching the ball out of the backfield. He also plays defensive back. 4. Junior Gage Gillott is an all-conference kicker. He’s caught one touchdown pass and booted three extra points. He missed the first game of the season to attend a baseball camp.

Extra point: Both teams are looking for their first conference win of the season. Both teams have allowed more than 41 points per game in the past three games. Latrobe has won the past three meetings.

Class 4A Big Eight

Greensburg Salem (1-3, 1-0) at Laurel Highlands (0-4, 0-1)

7 p.m. Friday at Mustang Field

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

Last week: South Fayette 49, Greensburg Salem 0; Belle Vernon 63, Laurel Highlands 13

Coaches: Dave Keefer, Greensburg Salem; Rich Kolesar, Laurel Highlands

Players to watch: Trent Patrick, Greensburg Salem (Sr., 5-9, 230, QB/LB); Tyler Christopher, Laurel Highlands (Sr., 6-1, 225, QB)

Four downs: 1. Greensburg Salem stayed close with second-ranked South Fayette early but could not put points in the board and was shut out for the first time since 2017. 2. Could this be a shootout? The Golden Lions are giving up 37.3 points per game, second to Laurel Highlands, which surrenders a conference-worst 48.5. 3. The Mustangs are on a seven-game losing streak. 4. Laurel Highlands trailed No. 4 Belle Vernon at the half, 43-6. Freshman receiver Rodney Gallagher was a bright spot. He caught an 80-yard touchdown and added a 73-yard run for six.

Extra point: The Golden Lions handled the Mustangs last season in Greensburg, 48-12. Running back Aaren Putt ran for 199 yards on 14 carries, including a 77-yard touchdown.

Indiana (1-3, 1-2) at No. 4 Belle Vernon (2-1, 1-1)

7 p.m. Friday at James Weir Stadium

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

Last week: Thomas Jefferson 62, Indiana 0; Belle Vernon 63, Laurel Highlands 13

Coaches: Brandon Overdorff, Indiana; Matt Humbert, Belle Vernon

Players to watch: Zach Harrington, Indiana (So., 5-8, 158, RB); Jared Hartman, Belle Vernon (Sr., 6-0, 175, QB)

Four downs: 1. Belle Vernon eased to a runaway win over Laurel Highlands for a nice bounce-back after a loss to conference rival Thomas Jefferson. Larry Callaway had an 87-yard kick return touchdown in the home opener. 2. Hartman, who has been steady since returning from an ACL injury, was a near-perfect 14 of 16 for 151 yards and four touchdowns. 3. The Leopards are averaging 60 points in their wins. 4. Harrington is a workhorse back for the Indians. He scored two touchdowns in the team’s lone win, 28-13 over Ringgold.

Extra point: Belle Vernon dispatched of the Indians last season, 49-14.

Class 3A Big East

Mt. Pleasant (2-2, 1-1) at Deer Lakes (2-2, 2-1)

7 p.m., Friday at Lancer Stadium, Cheswick

On the air: TribHSSN.triblive.com

Last week: Derry 7, Mt. Pleasant 0; Deer Lakes 61, Yough 30

Coaches: Jason Fazekas, Mt. Pleasant; Tim Burk, Deer Lakes

Players to watch: Jonas King, Mt. Pleasant (Jr., 6-5, 205, WR); Jake Thimons, Deer Lakes (Sr., 5-11, 204, LB)

Four downs: 1. High winds hampered the Mt. Pleasant passing attack last week against Derry. Junior Asher O’Connor completed one pass. He’ll need to complete more if the Vikings hope to earn a road win. 2. The Lancers posted consecutive conference road wins at Uniontown and Yough by a combined score of 96-43. 3. Mt. Pleasant’s defense only allowed seven points and intercepted two passes at Derry. Aaron Alakson and Zac Sellinger came up with the interceptions. 4. Deer Lakes quarterback Aris Hasley, the top passer in the WPIAL, has completed 72 of 125 passes for 1,235 yards and 14 touchdowns. He’s thrown five interceptions, lost two fumbles and has been sacked 10 times. He’s rushed for a team-high 200 yards.

Extra point: The Vikings defense, led by junior nose guard Ian Fasone (5-foot-11, 250 pounds), must put pressure on Hasley and defend the pass. The Lancers offense scored 61 points at Yough, breaking a school record.

Yough (1-3, 1-2) at Burrell (2-2, 1-2)

7 p.m. Friday at Burrell Buccaneers Stadium, Lower Burrell

Last week: Deer Lakes 61, Yough 30; Burrell 43, Uniontown 0

Coaches: Scott Wood, Yough; Shawn Liotta, Burrell

Players to watch: CJ Waldier, Yough (Jr., 6-2, 185, WR/DB); Trent Valovchik, Burrell (Sr., 5-6, 140, WR/DB)

Four downs: 1. Yough has surrendered 116 combined points the past two weeks in losses to Mt. Pleasant and Deer Lakes. 2. Burrell’s passing game was limited last week because of windy conditions at Uniontown. Mikey Scherer led the ground game with 175 yards and a touchdown. 3. Gamal Marballie, who took over at quarterback after Tristan Waldier suffered a knee injury in Week Zero, threw for 292 yards and three touchdowns against Deer Lakes. 4. Bucs quarterback Alex Arledge threw two touchdown passes last week to give him eight this season.

Extra point: Burrell hopes to win games in consecutive weeks for the first time since 2015 when it won four in a row from Week 3 to Week 6.

Class 2A Interstate

No. 3 Southmoreland (4-0, 3-0) at Brownsville (2-2, 1-2)

7 p.m. Friday at Redstone Field, Republic

On the air: TribHSSN.triblive.com

Last week: Southmoreland 62, Beth-Center 16; Washington 44, Brownsville 7

Coaches: Dave Keefer, Brownsville; Scott Fichter, Brownsville

Players to watch: Zach Cernuto (Jr., 6-0, 175, QB); Hunter Assad, Brownsville (So., 5-11, 150, QB)

Four downs: 1. Senior wide receiver Riley Comforti has 27 catches for 466 yards and five touchdowns. Cernuto has completed 45 of 71 passes for 814 yards and eight touchdowns. 2. Running back Dan Grant has rushed for a team-high 317 yards and scored four touchdowns for the Falcons. 3. Senior running back Colt Harper has rushed for a team-high 417 yards and 12 touchdowns. He’s also caught three passes for 24 yards. 4. Senior running back Tony Johnson has rushed for 264 yards and scored three touchdowns in three games for Brownsville. He averages 12 yards per carry.

Extra point: The Scotties can virtually end their 40-year playoff drought with a victory. They average 55.3 points per game in the conference. Brownsville hopes to shorten the game with a solid ground attack.

Class A Eastern

No. 1 Jeannette (4-0, 2-0) at Springdale (4-0, 1-0)

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

Last week: Jeannette 54, Avella 0; Springdale 41, Bishop Canevin 6

Coaches: Roy Hall, Jeannette; Seth Napierkowski, Springdale

Players to watch: Jackson Pruitt, Jeannette (Sr., 6-1, 185, WR/DB); John Utiss, Springdale (So., 6-0, 160, WR/DB)

Four downs: 1. Cavin Kindler took most of the snaps under center for Springdale last Saturday in its first game without starting quarterback Legend Ausk (broken collar bone). 2. Jeannette left no doubt last week as it scored five touchdowns in the first nine minutes against Avella. 3. Dynamos running back Christian Vokes kept rolling against Bishop Canevin with 211 yards and three touchdowns. 4. The Jayhawks have won 48 of 52 regular-season games since the 2014 season.

Extra point: Springdale will be looking for its first 5-0 start since 2003, but the Dynamos are 0-11 all-time versus Jeannette.

Imani Christian (0-4, 0-2) at Greensburg C.C. (3-1, 2-1)

7 p.m. Friday at Centurions Stadium

Last week: Valley 22, Imani Christian 6; Greensburg Central Catholic 42, Leechburg 41 (3 OT)

Coaches: Ronnell Heard, Imani Christian; Bret Colbert, GCC

Players to watch: Adrian Nanji, Imani Christian (Sr., 5-11, 205, RB/LB); Alex Johnston, GCC (Jr., 6-2, 235, OL/DL)

Four downs: 1. Imani has fallen off after looking like a perennial contender in recent seasons. The Saints played in the WPIAL title game two years ago. 2. The Saints are allowing a conference-high 43.5 points a game. They gave up 70 in a season-opening loss to powerhouse National Christian Academy. 3. GCC looked like it was going to sew up a win last week when things went batty against Leechburg. A 7-7 game at the half saw the teams put up 41 points in three overtime periods. 4. Zach Kuvinka is becoming a prominent player in the backfield for GCC. He scored three touchdowns last week. The Centurions have 11 interceptions and 47.5 tackles for loss.

Extra point: This game originally was scheduled to be played Saturday at Graham Field in Wilkinsburg, but that field is undergoing renovations so the game was moved to Carbon.

Class A Tri-County South

No. 3 West Greene (4-0, 3-0) at Monessen (1-3, 1-1)

7 p.m. Friday at Memorial Stadium

On the air: TribHSSN.triblive.com

Last week: West Greene 41, Mapletown 6; Monessen 28, Jefferson-Morgan 21

Coaches: Brian Hanson, West Greene; Michael Blainfield, Monessen

Players to watch: Ben Jackson, West Greene (Sr., 6-1, 220, RB/LB); Mark Mizerak, Monessen (6-3, 288, OL)

Four downs: 1. Jackson has rushed for 1,014 yards and 21 touchdowns in four games. He averages 22.04 yards per carry. 2. Monessen’s DaWayne Howell and Jalen Brice each threw two touchdown passes against Jefferson-Morgan. 3. The Pioneers rely on their ground game. While Jackson leads the way, Kolin Walker has run for 339 yards and four touchdowns. He averages 14.1 yards per carry. 4. Receiver Darius Stevenson caught six passes for 128 yards, including touchdowns of 20 and 24 yards, against the Rockets.

Extra point: If the Greyhounds hope to pull off the upset, which they did last season, they must force West Greene to throw the ball. Quarterback Gavin Scott has only attempted 13 passes and completed four for 59 yards.

Nonconference

Franklin Regional (3-0, 3-0) at Shaler (1-3, 1-1)

1 p.m. Saturday at Titan Stadium

On the air: TribHSSN.triblive.com

Last week: Franklin Regional 16, West Mifflin 9; Bethel Park 31, Shaler 0

Coaches: Greg Botta, Franklin Regional; Jim Ryan, Shaler

Players to watch: Colton John, Franklin Regional (Jr., 6-3, 208, RB/LB); Darin Mizgorski (Sr., 6-2, 210, QB)

Four downs: 1. Senior running back Zac Gordon rushed for 105 yards and scored on a 69-yard run against West Mifflin. It was his third 100-yard game this season. He has gained 431 yards for the Panthers. 2. Mizgorski has completed 57 of 106 passes for 656 yards and five touchdowns. He has thrown four interceptions. 3. The John brothers, senior Justin and junior Colton, are the leading tacklers from the linebacker spot. Justin has 30 tackles and an interception and Colton 13 tackles, three for loss. 4. Running back Jake Miller has rushed for 339 yards and four touchdowns. He has caught 13 passes for 196 yards.

Extra point: Shaler has allowed 31 points in each of its past two games. Franklin Regional won a hard-fought nonconference game at West Mifflin last week. Shaler’s win was against Kiski Area.

No. 1 Penn-Trafford at Massillon Washington (Ohio)

7:30 p.m. Friday at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium

Last week: Penn-Trafford 29, McKeesport 12; Massillon 49, Warren Harding 7

Coaches: John Ruane, Penn-Trafford; Nate Moore, Washington

Players to watch: Aidan Longwell, Washington (Sr., 6-0, 190, QB); Gabe Dunlap, Penn-Trafford (Sr., 6-1, 170, QB)

Four downs: 1. Penn-Trafford showed resilience last week after falling behind 12-7 and losing two key starters in Caleb Lisbon and Sam Fanelli. The Warriors scored 22 unanswered points and backups helped them roll up over 400 yards of offense. 2. Dunlap was terrific last week, rushing for 188 yards and two scores on 25 carries, and throwing a touchdown to Cole DeFillipppo. Third-string running back Brad Ford ran for 86 yards and a touchdown. 3. Massillon is a national power. The Tigers have won 24 Ohio state titles. They are ranked No. 1 in OHSAA Division II, Region 5. 4. Last week, the Tigers mercy-ruled a third straight opponent as Longwell finished 15 of 20 for 200 yards and two TDs. He is two scoring passes away from the school record in a career. Jayden Ballard is a big-play receiver. He had seven catches for 94 yards last week.

Extra point: Paul Brown Tiger Stadium holds 16,884. Like Penn-Trafford, the Tigers had their playing surface replaced this season.

District 6 Heritage

West Shamokin (1-3, 1-3) at Ligonier Valley (4-0, 4-0)

7 p.m. Friday at Weller Field, Ligonier

On the air: TribHSSN.triblive.com

Last week: West Shamokin 13, Blairsville 6; Ligonier Valley 57, Saltsburg 12

Coaches: Jon McCullough, West Shamokin; Roger Beitel, Ligonier Valley

Players to watch: Jaiden Haswell (Sr., 5-11, 190, WR); Kyrie Miller (Sr., 5-9, 186, RB)

Four downs: 1. When the season began, the plan was for Haswell to switch from wide receiver to quarterback. That plan was altered as sophomore Bo Swartz has taken over the quarterback position. He’s completed 38 of 87 passes for 437 yards and three touchdowns. Haswell is back at receiver. 2. Miller scored five touchdowns and rushed for 184 yards against Saltsburg. He now has rushed for 586 yards and 12 touchdowns in three games. 3. Junior Logan McClafferty is the top running back. He’s rushed for 363 yards and five touchdowns. Haswell has rushed for 127 yards and has 12 catches for 239 yards and three touchdowns. 4. Rams linebacker Aiden Kelley has a team-high 17 tackles and two quarterback sacks. Coach Beitel said the tackle numbers are down for linebackers because of the team’s front four.

Extra point: The Rams have played in three games and have inflicted the mercy rule (won by 35 points or more) on every opponent. The consecutive conference win streak stands at 32 games.

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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