WPIAL Big Game Hunting – Week Two 2015

Wednesday, September 9, 2015 | 9:07 PM

I don’t know if there will be a moment of silence for the remembrance of 9-11-01 at your game Friday night around the WPIAL. I think there should be. I hope there will be, and I believe there will be, but I don’t know for certain. I know this, Friday for me at South Park, I will take a moment to myself to soak in the National Anthem with a little more thought than “who won the toss”, or “where are their starters”. I hope you do so as well, we should do that more often. I was a brand new father on 9-11, my daughter, now a freshman at Bishop Canevin, had not reached a month old when the Towers fell, and the kids on the fields in front of you Friday night were the same, or just a little older. They don’t know that fear that we felt that morning, and I pray they never do. They should see our gratitude and respect for the people who lost their lives and gave their lives that day, to get some idea of the gravity of that situation. They say every generation has that “moment”, I hope they’re wrong.

AAAA Northern Eight Conference
#4 North Allegheny Tigers (1-0)(1-0) vs #7 Pine-Richland Rams (1-0)(1-0) Friday September 11th @ 7:00 PM @ Pine-Richland Stadium Broadcast on The MSA Sports Network and WJAS 1320 AM by Lanny Frattare and Bob Orkwis, also broadcast on the MSA Sports Network and The North Allegheny Sports Network by Randy Gore and Rick Meister

The Tigers were one of those teams hit by the weather last Friday night and it slowed them all the way through the first quarter of Saturday’s game against Seneca Valley. The Tigers fell into a 14-0 hole at the end of one quarter but rebounded and outscored the Raiders 17-7 in the fourth quarter to come away with a 34-24 win in their season and conference opener.

The Tigers got the win despite losing starting quarterback Riley Trueman to injury late in the third quarter, it was back-up junior Ethan Maenza who led the Tigers on their three scoring drives in the final frame, he rushed for 115 yards and a touchdown and also threw for 41 yards and another score in the win. Running back Michael Pope carried the ball 29 times for 106 yards and a pair of scores. As of press time there was no word on the status of Trueman for this week’s game.
The Rams got 142 yards passing and 105 yards rushing from sophomore quarterback Phil Jurkovec in their week one thrashing of Shaler 63-7.

Senior running back Donald Bryant rushed for another 94 yards on the ground and also scored four touchdowns as Pine-Richlnad served notice to the Northern Eight that they are the Kings of the conference until someone comes and takes the crown away.

If their is a chink in the defending champions armor perhaps there is some room to run on them. the Rams allowed 133 yards on the ground to Shaler’s Jake Hartman. Can the Tigers and Michael Pope have the same type of success? The answer to that question will go a long way to determining which of these teams will continue to separate themselves from the pack in the Northern Eight.

AAA Big Ten Conference
#7 Belle Vernon Leopards (1-0)(1-0) vs #5 Thomas Jefferson jaguars (0-1)(0-1) Friday September 11th @ 7:30 PM @ Thomas Jefferson high school broadcast on the MSA Sports Network by Greg Warnock and Geron Von

The Jags were stunned in week one falling on the road to Ringgold 27-20. The loss snapped Thomas Jefferson’s 24 game winning streak in the Big 10 Conference. Heavy is the head that wears the crown they say and TJ has worn the crown for a long, long time. This game suddenly becomes huge as starting out 0-2 in conference play for a team that has won 95 of their last 100 conference games would be a shock, yes, but more importantly an 0-2 hole in a nine week season would be very tough to overcome.

The Jags for the time being will remain without would be starting quarterback junior Bobby Kelley out with an appendectomy. They will go with senior Julian Metro who struggled in week one completeing just 3 of 17 passes for 105 yards. Two of his completions though were for touchdowns, if you’re a “look on the bright side” guy, which I have always been.

Junior wide receiver Zane Zandier caught both of those scoring passes one each from 24 and 78 yards out. Zandier size and speed are a potential nightmare for opposing secondaries.

Look for the Jaguar defense to rally from allowing 27 points, you don’t face guys like Chacar Berry every Friday night.

Belle Vernon won a low-scoring battle with the Trinity Hillers 17-7 to begin their season in last week. Junior Mike Fine rolled for 122 yards and a pair of scores on the ground for the Leps as they debuted their new gold surface. Fine also tossed for 73 yards for Belle Vernon.

Look for Phil Taylor to get touches as both a wide out and a quarterback in this game for Matt Humbert’s team. The Leopards have to know they are walking into a nasty, angry pack of Jaguars this coming Friday night. How they respond, and the outcome of this game will tell us a lot about the Big Ten Conference 2015.

AA Interstate Conference
Burgettstown Blue Devils (1-0)(1-0) vs #4 Washington Prexies (1-0)(1-0) Friday September 11th @ 7:00 PM @ Wash High Stadium broadcast on the MSA Sports Network and 1450 AM WJPA by Bob Gregg and Nate

Burgettstown built finished 2014 with a two game winning streak and kept rolling to start the 2015 campaign knocking off Waynesburg 35-8. Senior wide receiver Jacob Shipley five passes for a Blue Devil record 182 yards including three touchdowns on the night. Safe to say Shipley and junior quarterback Brad McLaughlin, who completed 10 of 13 passes for 226 yards and three touchdowns have a whole lot of people in Burgettstown excited for this 2015 season.

On the ground for the Blue Devils junior running back Shane Tennant runs strong behind the Burgettstown offensive line that has a pair of returning starters.

Blue Devil defense with fresh new coordinator in Rich Druga who comes over from the West Allegheny staff bringing a 3-4 with him and so far so good after allowing over 30 points per game last year the Blue Devils held the Radiers to just eight in week one.

Washington meanwhile just keeps rolling coming off an 11-1 season that ended in the semi-finals with a loss to Aliquippa. Washington cruised over Derry in week one 48-0, behind a rushing game that totaled over 350 yards and a pair of touchdown passes from first year starter at quarterback, junior Markel Pulliam.

Pulliam on the night was 7 for 7 throwing for 105 yards and two scores, he also rushed for 96 yards and a touchdown.

Washington is very young and lacking in experience but the athletes are there and the experience grows each week under head coach Mike Bosnic.

The youth showed a bunch for Wash High in week one. The Prexies fumbled the ball seven times this past Friday night, you know they will have to improve on that number through the year dramatically to have any chance of getting to where they want to be.

Class A Big Seven Conference
#4 Neshannock Lancers (1-0)(1-0) vs #6 Shenango Wildcats (1-0)(1-0) Saturday September 12th @ 7:00 PM @ Shenango high school broadcast on the MSA Sports Network by Bob Orkwis and Lee Mohn 

A pair of top ten teams close out the weekend of high school football on the MSA Sports Network Saturday night.

A rematch of a game won last year by Neshannock 33-0, this one, on the surface might not look as good as we think it will be. Neshannock lost a tremendous amount of talent from that team last year that went 11-1 before falling to Clairton in a semi-final thriller 48-42. Shenango on the other hand has a ton of returning talent including senior quarterback Evan Kendall who is super.

The Wildcats mercy-ruled week one opponent Western Beaver 47-0 behind Kendall who rushed for one touchdown and threw for a couple more in the win.
Also back is senior running back Hunter Waskin who caught a pair of touchdown passes and rushed for a score as well in the romp.

If Shenango head coach Mike Commesso is looking for a measuring stick for the 2015 version of the Wildcats he need look no further than the Lancers who despite the losses to gradutaion are still a lot of folks’ top dog in the Big Seven.

Junior quarterback Frank Antuono did nothin to douse those expectations with his performance in a week one win over South Side 46-21. Antuono completed 12 of 14 passes for 94 yards, while rushing for 151 yards and five touchdowns.

Senior Robert Lindsey carried the ball 15 times for 1323 yards and a pair of touchdowns as well in the win.

The Lancer defense forced a pair of turnovers in the game as well including and Anthony Medure interception. Middle linebacker Matt Natale recorded eight total tackles and three tackles for loss in the Lancer victory.

Mix in Bobby O and Lee Mohn’s new mullet, there is nowhere else you want to be this Saturday night than right here at the MSA Sports Network.

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