WPIAL high school football don’t-miss matchups for Week 6
By: Bill Hartlep
Thursday, October 4, 2018 | 8:57 PM
Here’s a look at some key Week 6 high school football games in Western Pennsylvania:
Class 5A No. 5 Upper St. Clair (5-1) at Class 6A No. 5 Mt. Lebanon (3-3)
7:30 p.m. Friday at Mt. Lebanon Stadium
On the air: 1320-AM; TribHSSN.triblive.com
Last week: Upper St. Clair 33, Fox Chapel 7; Mt. Lebanon 37, Hempfield 6
Coaches: Jim Render, Upper St. Clair; Mike Melnyk, Mt. Lebanon
Top players: Jason Sweeney, Upper St. Clair (Sr., 6-2, 180, QB); Seth Morgan, Mt. Lebanon (Sr., 6-3, 170, QB)
Keep an eye on: Chris Pantellis, Upper St. Clair (Sr., 6-2, 185, WR)
Momentum: Upper St. Clair started the season 4-0 before a 28-12 setback to West Allegheny.
Four downs: 1. Chris and David Pantellis have been the top targets for USC quarterback Sweeney. They have combined for 37 catches for more than 600 yards and eight touchdowns. 2. Antonio Orsini leads the Panthers’ rushing attack with 106 carries for 604 yards and four scores. 3. Mt. Lebanon bounced back from back-to-back losses to Seneca Valley and North Allegheny with a win last week at Hempfield. The Blue Devils face a tough home stretch against No. 1 Pine-Richland, Norwin and No. 3 Central Catholic. 4. Morgan is the Blue Devils’ leading passer (936 yards, 7 TDs) and rusher (277 yards, (4 TDs).
Extra point: These teams didn’t play the past two seasons after being slotted into different classifications. The WPIAL scheduled this game as a nonconference contest.
Moon (2-4, 1-2) at No. 3 Peters Township (4-2, 2-1)
7:30 p.m. Friday at Peters Township Stadium
On the air: 95.3 FM; TribHSSN.triblive.com
Last week: Bethel Park 38, Moon 14; Canon-McMillan 35, Peters Township 26
Coaches: Ryan Linn, Moon; TJ Plack, Peters Township
Top players: Dante Clay, Moon (Jr., 5-11, 165, QB); Logan Pfeuffer, Peters Township (So., 6-0, 160, QB)
Keep an eye on: Jamal Littlejohn, Moon (Jr., 5-7, 185, RB)
Momentum: Peters Township was riding a three-game winning streak before last week’s loss. The Indians took down perennial powers Woodland Hills, West Allegheny and North Hills.
Four downs: 1. Pfeuffer shined in a losing effort last week, completing 22 of 30 passes for 314 yards and two scores. 2. Littlejohn scored both of Moon’s touchdowns in last week’s loss to Bethel Park. He found the end zone on a 3-yard run and a 41-yard interception return. 3. Peters Township wide receiver Jackson McCloskey had four catches for 127 yards and a score last week. 4. Clay has developed into a dual threat for Moon, throwing for 415 yards and two scores and rushing 33 times for 129 yards and three TDs.
Extra point: Moon rebounded from three straight losses with a 26-0 victory over Chartiers Valley in Week 4.
Greensburg Salem (2-4, 2-1) at West Mifflin (3-3, 3-0)
7:30 P.M. Friday at West Mifflin Stadium
On the air: 98.7 FM, 910 AM; TribHSSN.triblive.com
Last week: Belle Vernon 48, Greensburg Salem 14; West Mifflin 48, Laurel Highlands 13
Coaches: Dave Keefer, Greensburg Salem; Ray Braszo
Top players: Tyler Williams, Greensburg Salem (Sr., 6-0, 165, WR/DB); Parrish Parker, West Mifflin (Sr., 5-11, 185, RB/CB)
Keep an eye on: Trent Patrick, Greensburg Salem (Jr., 5-10, 220, QB)
Momentum: Greensburg Salem. Despite last week’s loss to Belle Vernon, the Golden Lions are in the hunt for a playoff berth. A win at West Mifflin almost will guarantee them a berth.
Four downs: 1. The Golden Lions had too many offensive penalties that stopped scoring drives against Belle Vernon. 2. West Mifflin hasn’t won a nonconference game, losing to Mars, Franklin Regional and New Castle. 3. For Greensburg Salem to be successful, it needs to establish a running game. 4. Parker has scored 13 touchdowns and rushed for more than 550 yards.
Extra points: Braszo has been coaching at West Mifflin for the past 25 years. The Titans have qualified for the WPIAL playoffs 17 times. West Mifflin used to have two schools — North and South — before the district merged.
No. 4 North Catholic (5-1, 3-1) at No. 2 Elizabeth Forward (5-0, 4-0)
7 p.m. Friday at Warrior Stadium, Elizabeth
On the air: TribHSSN.triblive.com
Last week: North Catholic 49, Mt. Pleasant 7; Elizabeth Forward 25, Derry 22
Coaches: Pat O’Shea, North Catholic; Mike Collodi, Elizabeth Forward
Top players: Zack Rocco, North Catholic (Jr., 6-3, 229, QB); Zach Benedek, Elizabeth Forward (Sr., 6-1, 190, QB)
Keep an eye on: Nikhai Hill-Green, North Catholic (Jr., 6-1, 215, WR)
Momentum: Elizabeth Forward is riding high after dealing Derry its first loss last week. The Warriors are averaging 27.0 points.
Four downs: 1. Rocco is one of the WPIAL’s top passers and has thrown for 977 yards and 13 touchdowns this season. He also has run for 231 yards and four scores. 2. Benedek showed off his dual-threat ability last week for EF, throwing for 144 yards and a score and rushing 18 times for 138 yards and another touchdown. 3. R.J. Buchina scored on a 7-yard interception return to get EF on the board in the first quarter last week. 4. North Catholic’s Rashod Allen got the Trojans off to a quick start last week with a 60-yard punt return for a score.
Extra point: Both teams are stingy defensively. North Catholic allows 12.3 points per game, and EF allows 15.4.
Mohawk (5-1, 4-1) at Riverside (4-1, 3-1)
7 p.m. Friday at Riverside’s Memorial Stadium
On the air: 1230 AM; TribHSSN.triblive.com
Last week: Mohawk 56, Shenango 0; Riverside 42, Carlynton 7
Coaches: Tim McCutcheon, Mohawk; Ron Sciarro, Riverside
Top players: Brayden Cameron, Mohawk (Sr., 6-0, 200, RB/LB); Ben Hughes, Riverside (Jr., 6-2, 215, QB)
Keep an eye on: Nate McCutcheon, Mohawk (Sr., 6-3, 190, WR)
Momentum: Mohawk is riding a three-game winning streak that includes a victory over Freedom.
Four downs: 1. Cameron has been a workhorse for Mohawk, carrying the ball 117 times for 598 yards and six scores. 2. Riverside relies on the running of Lamarcus Cleckley, who has 70 totes for 577 yards and six touchdowns. 3. Nate McCutcheon has caught 19 passes for 419 yards and scored seven times for Mohawk. 4. The Panthers have allowed just 20 points over the past three games, wins over Western Beaver, Shenango and Carlynton.
Extra point: The winner of this game will have the inside track at the MAC title, though Freedom (5-1, 3-1) and New Brighton (2-4, 2-1) also are in the hunt.
No. 4 Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (6-0) at No. 1 Jeannette (6-0)
7 p.m. Friday, McKee Stadium, Jeannette
On the air: TribHSSN.triblive.com
Last week: OLSH 56, Laurel 13; Jeannette 55, Brownsville 0
Coaches: Dan Bradley, OLSH; Roy Hall, Jeannette
Top players: Rico Tate, OLSH (Sr., 6-3, 185, WR/DB); Seth Howard, Jeannette (Sr., 6-1, 170, QB)
Keep an eye on: Marcus Barnes, Jeannette (Sr., 6-4, 185, WR/DB)
Momentum: Jeannette. The Jayhawks have back-to-back shutouts and have outscored their last three opponents, 157-7.
Four downs: 1. These schools never have played in football but met in the boys basketball playoffs last year. Many of these players are two-sport athletes. 2. Jeannette has been dominant but has not faced a team with a winning record since Week 2 (Imani Christian). The Jayhawks’ last three opponents were a combined 1-16. 3. Howard threw for a season-high 243 yards and three touchdowns last week. He has been one of the unheralded dual-threat QBs in the classification. 4. OLSH big-play quarterback Tyler Bradley has thrown for more than 1,300 yards and 20 touchdowns. He passed for 2,700 yards and 31 scores last season.
Extra point: Running back Austin Wigley has given the Chargers more balance offensively. He missed last season with an injury.
Bill Hartlep is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bill at email@example.com or via Twitter @TribHSInsider.