WPIAL Friday Night HighLights – Week Seven – 2017
By: Don Rebel
Saturday, October 14, 2017 | 2:48 PM
Friday of Week Seven not only marked the start of the ‘TribLive Stretch Run’ and the final three weeks of the regular season, it was also Friday the 13th. (ooooooohhh, aaaaaaaahhh) But on a night littered with showdonw games in each classification, there was nothing scary about these top performances as broken mirrors, walking under ladders and crossing black cats would not prevent these players from shining bright.
Anthony Chiccitt – Bethel Park
Playing quarterback on a team that prides itself on the old ground and pound mentality of moving the football can be a lot like like the old Maytag repairman commericals…a lonely existance. But against Canon-McMillan, Bethel Park decided to air out thier offense to great success as Anthony Chiccitt hit on 10 of 13 passes for 280 yards and three third quarter touchdowns as the Black Hawks beat dwon the Big Macs 48-16 to stay unbeaten in Class 6-A Southeastern Conference play.
Hollis Mathis – Penn Hills
Penn Hills had to sit around last November and wonder ‘what if’ as they missed out on the first ever Class 6-A postseason tournament. But even though they were playing a 6-A Non-Conference game, PH clinched a playoff berth thanks in large part to the play all season of quarterback Hollis Mathis, who on Friday hit on 14 of 20 passes for 261 yards and five touchdown tosses as the Indians broke open a close game in the fourth quarter to beat the host Hempfield Spartans 42-27.
Brady Walker – Gateway
While stiffer challenges are coming up with Franklin Regional in Week 9 and McKeesport on the schedule for Week 8, Gateway quarterback Brady Walker carved up one more non-playoff defense to gear up for the tough road ahead. Walker was 20 of 27 passing for 405 yards for SIX touchdowns on a night when even his mistakes went for scores (two pick 6’s for Kiski Area) as the Gators mercy-ruled the Cavaliers in a Class 5-A Big East Conference tilt.
Layton Jordan – McKeesport
So far this year, the flex-bone offense of McKeesport has produced two and even three rushers gaining triple digit yardage in a game. Friday night in a Class 5-A Non-Conference showdown against Upper St. Clair, Layton Jordan was a one man wrecking crew as he gained 223 yards and two loooong touchdowns on runs of 74 and 63 yards as the Tigers beat the visiting Panthers for the third time in a year with a 42-14 triumph in a battle of playoff bound teams.
Jared Hartman – Belle Vernon
As a quarterback, when you are sacked EIGHT times in a game, it usually spells doom and gloom and you spend most of the weekend sulking in a hot tub. But that will not be the case for Belle Vernon signal caller Jared Hartman. Sure, he may be sore, but those are tears of joy after he threw a pair of touchdown passes in leading the host Leopards to a stunning 21-17 victory over the top-ranked and defending champion Thomas Jefferson Jaguars to clinch the top spot in the Class 4-A Big Nine Conference.
Lionel Deanes – Seton-LaSalle
It seems every Saturday morning we are tipping our helmet to this Seton-LaSalle senior running back, but while this ride on the ‘L-Train’ was a lot bumpier, it was still very satisfying. Lionel Deanes rushes for 288 yards and scored all three of his teams touchdowns, including a pair of fourth quarter scoring jaunts that helped the Rebels stay unbeaten with a 21-10 comeback victory over the visiting Freeport Yellow Jackets in a battle for first place in the Class 3-A Allegheny Conference.
Logan Shrubb – Keystone Oaks
Opposing coaches batter start to learn that when playing against Keystone Oaks, part of the game plan should be to ‘trim the shrubs’. By the looks of things, Apollo-Ridge must have forgotten their hedge cutters. Freshman KO quarterback Logan Shrubb completed 20 of 31 passes for 229 yards and four touchdowns as the host Golden Eagles wiped out a 13-0 deficit and beat the Vikings in a Class 3-A Allegheny Conference battle 35-13.
Geno Pellegrini – Charleroi
Burgettstown has been writing an incredible story to the 2017 season with unprecedented success that many around Class 2-A have noticed. Meanwhile, since losing big to Washington in Week One, Charleroi has flown under the radar despite also having a great year. The black and red are a secret no more though after quarterback Geno Pellegrini completed 15 of 23 passes for 369 yards and FIVE touchdowns plus he scored on a 22-yard run to lift the Cougars to a convincing 37-14 Century Conference triumph that knock the Blue Devils from the ranks of the undefeated.
Braydon Cameron – Mohawk
There has been very little to cheer about in Bessemer when it comes to the local high school football team. In 2015 and 2016 combined Mohawk won ONE game and the team hadn’t had a winning team in a decade and had not participated in the WPIAL playoffs since 2005. That has all changed BIG time in 2017 thanks in part to Braydon Cameron, who rushed for 250 yards and all three of his teams touchdowns as the playoff bound Warriors improved to 5-2 overall with a 20-14 Class 2-A Midwestern Athletic Conference victory over the host Freedom Bulldogs.
Zach Rocco – Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic
In a battle for the top spot in the Class 2-A Midwestern Athletic Conference Friday, things did not look for host Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic as they fell behind Riverside 14-0 in the second quarter at J.C. Stone Field. But then Zach Rocco and company hit the switch and a thriller was underway. CWNC quarterback Zach Rocco rushed for 226 yards but did most of his damage with his arm, passing for three touchdowns and connecting on the game winning two-point conversion with one minute left as the Trojans took control of the MAC with an epic 29-28 victory over the Panthers.
BONUS – Aliquippa Defense
An opposing team finally scored a touchdown on the Aliquippa defense and it was produced by the vaunt Quaker Valley offense which has put up mind boggling numbers this season. So that is eight wins and one touchdown allowed by the Quips. Yeah, I’d say they are pretty good!
Don Rebel hosts the Rebel Yell podcasts for HSSN.