WPIAL high school football don’t-miss matchups for Week 7

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Thursday, October 11, 2018 | 8:36 PM


Here’s a look at some of Week 7’s top high school football games in each class:

Class 6A

No. 5 Mt. Lebanon (3-4, 3-2) at No. 1 Pine-Richland (6-1, 5-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday, Pine-Richland Stadium

On the air: 96.5 FM, 730 AM, 1250 AM; TribHSSN.triblive.com

Last week: Upper St. Clair 28, Mt. Lebanon 7; Pine-Richland 38, Canon-McMillan 7

Coaches: Mike Melnyk, Mt. Lebanon; Eric Kasperowicz, Pine-Richland

Top players: Seth Morgan, Mt. Lebanon (Sr., 6-3., 170, QB); Luke Meckler, Pine-Richland (Jr., 5-10, 175, RB)

Keep an eye on: Cole Spencer, Pine-Richland (So., 5-10, 180, QB)

Momentum: Pine-Richland. After a season-opening loss to IMG Academy, Fla., the Rams have outscored opponents 278-49 in six straight wins.

Four downs: 1. Running behind some of the top linemen in the state, Meckler has rushed for 582 yards and 12 scores this season. 2. Spencer also has made an impact in the running game, with 350 yards and seven scores. He also has thrown for 864 yards and seven scores. 3. Morgan has thrown for 1,235 yards and eight touchdowns this season but also has 11 interceptions. 4. The Blue Devils have lost three of their past four games and have tests remaining against Norwin (3-4) and Central Catholic (5-2).

Extra point: Pine-Richland defeated Mt. Lebanon, 53-29, last season en route to winning WPIAL and PIAA championships.

Class 5A

Allegheny 8 Conference

Baldwin (4-3, 2-3) at Bethel Park (4-2, 3-1)

7:30 p.m. Friday at Bethel Park Stadium

On the air: 1320 WJAS; TribHSSN.triblive.com

Last week: West Allegheny 29, Baldwin 26; Bethel Park 49, Chartiers Valley 21

Coaches: Loran Cooley, Baldwin; Jeff Metheny, Bethel Park

Top players: Mason Stahl, Baldwin (Jr., 6-2, 200, QB/FS); Luke Surunis, Bethel Park (SR., 6-0, 190, RB)

Keep an eye on: Angelo Priore, Baldwin (Jr., 5-10/200, RB/LB)

Momentum: Bethel Park. The Black Hawks posted consecutive wins over Moon and Chartiers Valley, averaging 43.5 points the past two weeks.

Four downs: 1. Few teams have had more close calls this season than Baldwin and Bethel Park. In addition to last week’s three-point loss to West Allegheny, Baldwin fell to Upper St. Clair, 28-21, in overtime and lost 12-0 to Woodland Hills. Bethel Park’s losses are to West Allegheny (36-35) and Central Catholic (7-6). 2. Stahl has completed nearly 50 percent of his passes, throwing for 1,130 yards and 15 touchdowns. 3. Surunis has rushed for 507 yards and 10 touchdowns for Bethel Park. 4. The Black Hawks also have a reliable kicker in John Gummo, who has four field goals and 26 extra points this year.

Extra point: Baldwin will finish the regular season at Class 6A No. 2 Penn Hills and at Class 5A No. 3 Peters Township.

Class 4A

Knoch (2-5, 2-4) at New Castle (3-4, 1-3)

7 p.m. Friday, New Castle’s Taggart Stadium

On the air: 1200 AM, 680 AM; TribHSSN.triblive.com

Last week: South Fayette 35, Knoch 14; Blackhawk 42, New Castle 17

Coaches: Frank Whalen, Knoch; Joe Cowart, New Castle

Top players: Matt Goodlin, Knoch (Jr., 5-9, 180, RB/LB); Demetris McNight, New Castle (Jr., 6-1, 190, RB/CB)

Keep an eye on: Noah Cetnar, Knoch (Sr., 5-8, 165, RB/WB/LB)

Momentum: Despite losses in conference play the past two weeks, Knoch still is in the mix for a Class 4A playoff spot. The Knights must win this week to stay in contention.

Four downs: 1. New Castle has lost three straight in conference play since beating Montour, 17-11, in Week 1; Knoch quarterback Chase Mullen threw for 100 yards and ran for a touchdown against South Fayette; 3. Knoch is 0-4 on the road this year and 0-7 overall since a 39-13 win at Blackhawk in the 2017 season opener; 4. McKnight rushed for both touchdowns (31 and 23 yards) against Blackhawk.

Extra point: Because of changes to the conference alignment, New Castle and Knoch are playing at New Castle for the second year in a row. The Red Hurricanes won last year’s matchup 42-21.

Class 3A

Nonconference

Beaver (5-2) at Quaker Valley (3-3)

7 p.m. Friday, Chuck Knox Stadium, Leetsdale

Last week: Beaver 51, Ambridge 0; Quaker Valley 46, Waynesburg 14

Coaches: Jeff Beltz, Beaver; Ron Balog, Quaker Valley

Top players: Ethan Moore, Quaker Valley (Sr., 6-0, 175, QB); Brodie List, Beaver (Sr., 6-2, 200, QB)

Keep an eye on: Gino Mavero, Beaver (Sr., 5-7, 155, RB)

Momentum: Quaker Valley. The Quakers have bounced back from three straight losses with back-to-back wins over Keystone Oaks and Waynesburg.

Four downs: 1. Moore has been a statistical standout for the Quakers. He has thrown for 1,126 yards and six touchdowns and also run for a team-high 418 yards and nine scores. 2. Quaker Valley is in position for a playoff berth in the Class 3A Tri-County West. 3. Beaver sits in third place in the Northwest Eight at 3-2, but Montour, Highlands and Knoch all have two wins and are close behind. 4. The Beaver running game has been led by List (373 yards) and Mavero (604).

Extra point: As Beaver Valley Conference foes last season, Quaker Valley defeated Beaver, 45-21, en route to winning WPIAL and PIAA titles.

Class 2A

Century Conference

McGuffey (7-0, 5-0) at No. 4 Charleroi (5-1, 4-1)

7 p.m. Friday, Cougar Stadium, Charleroi

On the air: TribHSSN.triblive.com

Last week: McGuffey 34, Brownsville 9; Charleroi 56, Southmoreland 27

Coaches: Ed Dalton, McGuffey; Lance Getsy, Charleroi

Top players: Christian Clutter, McGuffey (Sr., 6-0, 180, RB/S); Geno Pellegrini, Charleroi (Sr., 6-0, 165, QB)

Keep an eye on: Marshall Whipkey, McGuffey (Jr., 5-10, 175, QB)

Momentum: McGuffey. The Highlanders are averaging 44.3 points but allowing a conference best 10.3 en route to an unbeaten record.

Four downs: 1. McGuffey’s running game has been dominant this season, led by Clutter (829 yards, 23 TDs), McKinley Whipkey (513 yards, 3 TDs) and Marshall Whipkey (452 yards, 6 TDs). 2. Pellegrini has completed 60 of 88 passes for 1,113 yards and 20 touchdowns. His favorite target is Dakota Romantino (23 catches, 427 yards, 8 TDs). 3. Charleroi also has shown the ability to run the ball with Brayden Mihalcin, who has 73 carries for 655 yards and 11 scores. 4. McGuffey graduated 22 seniors last season but has managed to maintain its depth with talented underclassmen.

Extra point: The winner of this game could claim the conference title, though Beth-Center (5-2, 4-1) also is in the mix after defeating Charleroi and losing to McGuffey.

Class A

Nonconference

No. 2 Clairton (6-0) at West Greene (5-2)

7 p.m. Friday, Kennedy Field, Rogersville

Last week: Clairton 45, Imani Christian 18; California, 24, West Greene 14

Coaches: Wayne Wade, Clairton; Rod Huffman, West Greene

Top players: Brendan Parsons, Clairton (Jr., 6-1, 150, QB); Ben Jackson, West Greene (Jr., 6-1, 205, RB)

Keep an eye on: Keinlein Ogletree, Clairton (Jr., 6-1, 166, WR)

Momentum: Clairton. The Bears are coming off a statement win over No. 3 Imani Christian and have their sights set on playing No. 1 Jeannette in Week 9 for the Eastern Conference title and possibly the top seed in the Class A playoffs.

Four downs: 1. Ogletree made an impact on both sides of the ball last week, catching a 65-yard touchdown pass and also intercepting three passes on defense. 2. Parsons threw fro 241 yards and four touchdowns and also ran for two in last week’s victory. He has thrown for 700 yards and 10 scores. 3. Jackson is the WPIAL’s second-leading rusher with 1,429 yards and 24 touchdowns. 4. West Greene is chasing a Class A Tri-County South title but needs to rebound after last week’s loss to California.

Extra point: While Clairton has been impressive offensively, averaging 40 points per game, the Bears are allowing just 5 points per game and have posted three shutouts.

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