WPIAL high school football don’t-miss matchups for Week 5

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Thursday, September 27, 2018 | 11:54 PM


Here are some of the top matchups for Week 5 of Western Pennsylvania high school football:

Class 6A

No. 4 Seneca Valley (4-1, 3-1) at No. 2 North Allegheny (5-0, 4-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday, North Allegheny’s Newman Stadium

On the air: TribHSSN.triblive.com

Last week: Seneca Valley 37, Butler 0; North Allegheny 34, Mt. Lebanon 3

Coaches: Ron Butschle, Seneca Valley; Art Walker, North Allegheny

Top players: Joey Porter Jr., North Allegheny (Sr., 6-1, 165, WR/DB); Gabe Lawson, Seneca Valley (Jr., 6-2, 190, QB)

Keep an eye on: Ben Maenza, North Allegheny (Sr., 5-9, 160, RB/DB)

Momentum: North Allegheny. The Tigers remain undefeated and are averaging a Class 6A best 41.4 points per game.

Four downs: 1. Maenza rushed 11 times for 133 yards for the Tigers in last week’s win over Mt. Lebanon. That included a 62-yard touchdown jaunt. He has 11 scores this season. 2. Precise Colon added 115 yards and two scores on the ground for North Allegheny last week and also caught a 32-yard pass. 3. Lawson is a dual-threat quarterback for the Raiders. He has thrown for 534 yards and six scores and run for 183 yards and three TDs on 35 carries. 4. North Allegheny won the matchup 49-14 last season.

Extra point: Seneca Valley is allowing just 8.0 points per game, best in Class 6A.

Class 5A

Nonconference

North Hills (4-1, 3-0) at No. 1 Gateway (5-0, 3-0)

7 p.m. Friday at Pete Antimarino Stadium, Monroeville

Last week: Peters Township 35, North Hills 7; Gateway 62, Ringgold 0

Coaches: Pat Carey, North Hills; Don Holl, Gateway

Top players: Tyler Brennan, North Hills (Sr., 6-1, 185, RB/DB); Courtney Jackson, Gateway (Sr., 5-11, 160, WR/DB)

Keep an eye on: Derrick Davis, Gateway (So., 6-0, 175, RB/LB)

Momentum: Gateway continues to ride momentum as the preseason No. 1 team in Class 5A with a 5-0 start, including a 3-0 mark in the Big East Conference.

Four downs: 1. While Gateway’s offense gets plenty of attention for averaging 45.6 points, the Gators’ defense also has been stout, allowing just 6.8 points per game. 2. Davis has continued to shine after an eye-opening freshman season a year ago for the defending WPIAL champs. He has 62 carries for 562 yards and 10 touchdowns. 3. One of the WPIAL’s top pass-catchers, Jackson has 16 catches for 303 yards and seven touchdowns. 4. After missing time with an injury, Brennan returned the lineup last week for the Indians. He has a team-high 509 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns.

Extra point: Gateway will wrap up the regular season with four conference games – at Franklin Regional, Albert Gallatin, at Connellsville and against McKeesport.

Class 4A

Northwest Eight Conference

No. 4 Blackhawk (5-0, 4-0) at No. 2 South Fayette (4-1, 2-0)

7 p.m. Friday, South Fayette Stadium

On the air: TribHSSN.triblive.com (video stream)

Last week: Blackhawk 28, Montour 0; South Fayette 48, Hopewell 0

Coaches: Zack Hayward, Blackhawk; Joe Rossi, South Fayette

Top players: Marques Watson-Trent, Blackhawk (Jr., 6-0, 190, RB); Jamie Diven, South Fayette (Sr., 6-1, 195, QB)

Keep an eye on: Mike Trimbur, South Fayette (Sr., 5-11, 180, WR)

Momentum: Blackhawk. While South Fayette is regularly one of the WPIAL’s top teams, Blackhawk is riding a five-game winning streak.

Four downs: 1. Blackhawk has outscored its past three opponents 110-20 and is allowing just 7.8 points per game. 2. The Cougars rely on a balanced running game with Watson-Trent, Kenny Gawley and Josh Butcher. The group has accumulated more than 1,100 yards on the ground. 3. Trimbur is coming of a game where he had four catches for 86 yards and a touchdown as the Lions blanked Hopewell. 4. Kicker Ryan Coe, who had six extra points last week, is a Temple recruit.

Extra point: South Fayette won this matchup 43-0 a year ago.

Class 3A

Big East Conference

No. 2 Derry (5-0, 3-0) at Elizabeth Forward (4-0, 3-0)

7 p.m. Friday, Warrior Stadium, Elizabeth

On the air: TribHSSN@triblive.com

Last week: Derry 27, North Catholic 0; Elizabeth Forward 7, Quaker Valley 6

Coaches: Tim Sweeney, Derry; Michael Collodi, Elizabeth Forward

Top players: Colton Nemcheck, Derry (Sr., 6-0, 185, RB/LB); Zach Benedek, Elizabeth Forward (Sr., 6-1, 190, QB)

Keep an eye on: Justin Huss, Derry (Jr., 5-9, 155, RB/DB)

Momentum: Derry. The Trojans are coming off a dominating performance in a 27-0 victory against No. 2-ranked North Catholic.

Four downs: 1. Derry rushed for 242 yards and Justin Flack scored four touchdowns against North Catholic. 2. Elizabeth Forward scored a touchdown late in the first half on a pass from Benedek against Quaker Valley. 3. Derry’s defense limited North Catholic to 83 yards. 4. With Elizabeth Forward leading a halftime, the coaches decided to end the game because of heavy thunderstorms.

Extra point: Derry lost to Elizabeth Forward, 39-7, in Week 1 in 2017. The Trojans have won 13 consecutive regular-season games since.

Class 2A

Century Conference

No. 2 Charleroi (4-0, 3-0) at Beth-Center (4-1, 3-1)

7 p.m. Friday, Beth-Center Stadium

On the air: TribHSSN.triblive.com

Last week: Charleroi 69, Carmichaels 7; McGuffey 48, Beth-Center 16

Coaches: Lance Getsy, Charleroi; Joe Kuhns, Beth-Center

Top players: Geno Pellegrini, Charleroi (Sr., 6-0, 165, QB); Bailey Lincoski, Beth-Center (Sr., 5-10, 180, QB)

Keep an eye on: Dakota Romantino, Charleroi (Sr., 5-11, 165, WR)

Momentum: Charleroi is averaging nearly 60 points and is tied for the conference lead with McGuffey (5-0, 3-0).

Four downs: 1. Pellegrini was an efficient 5 for 6 passing for 121 yards and three touchdowns in last week’s blowout victory. He also ran four times for 101 yards and a score. 2. Romantino is one of the WPIAL’s top wide receivers, but he also has made an impact in the return game, evidenced by an 83-yard kickoff return for a score last week. 3. Beth-Center averaged 49 points in its four victories this season but was held to 14 points against McGuffey. 4. Beth-Center’s Lincosky has thrown for 637 yards and four touchdowns and also run for 417 yards and nine scores.

Extra point: Charleroi opened the season with a 64-33 win over defending WPIAL champion Washington.

Class A

Big Seven Conference

No. 5 Rochester (4-1, 2-1) at Cornell (3-1, 2-1)

7 p.m. Friday at Frank Lettieri Stadium, Coraopolis

On the air: 1230 AM; TribHSSN.triblive.com

Last week: Rochester 43, Union 6; Cornell 56, Northgate 12

Coaches: Gene Matsook, Rochester; Ed Dawson, Cornell

Top players: Noah Whiteleather, Rochester (Sr., 5-11, 180, RB); Zaire Harrison, Cornell (Jr., 5-11, 180, QB)

Keep an eye on: Darius Goosby, Rochester (Sr., 6-3, 205, RB/DE)

Momentum: Rochester. The Rams rebounded from a 37-8 loss to No. 4 OLSH with last week’s convincing victory over Union.

Four downs: 1. Whiteleather has been one of the WPIAL’s leading rushers this season with 879 yards and nine touchdowns. 2. Goosby scored twice in a win over Union last week. 3. Harrison leads Cornell in passing and rushing. He has thrown for 630 yards, with nine touchdowns, while running for 293 yards and three scores. 4. Cornell is coming off a 1-8 season but finished with a 22-6 victory over Northgate to enter the offseason with momentum. The Raiders lost to Rochester, 49-12, last season.

Extra point: Rochester benefited from two long returns in its win last week – a 65-yard interception return by Parker Anthony and a 75-yard kickoff return by Rashawn Reid.

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