WPIAL Plays of the Week – Week One 2017
Tuesday, September 5, 2017 | 5:12 PM
After Week Zero whet the appetite of many high-school football fans, this past Friday served as the official start of the 2017 WPIAL campaign. For most teams, that marked the beginning of conference play, as well. Out of thousands of snaps from the games, just four plays made this last. These highlights included a top-ranked team being upset with just one second remaining, a back-and-forth affair that culminated in a late score in 6A, a pass connection that capped a comeback win, and a big game from a running back who helped get his team an overdue conference win. Without further ado, here are the top plays from the opening week of the season.
1. Franklin Regional 13, McKeesport 7
Despite falling in the WPIAL championship last year, the Tigers entered 2017 as the consensus top team in 5A. Franklin Regional certainly put that ranking in doubt, as the Panthers scored the early upset. With the game tied at 7-7 late in the fourth quarter, the Panthers’ defense forced a turnover. The offense did the rest, culminating with Nate Leopold’s 5-yard touchdown run with just one second left.
WHJB-FM 107.1’s Mike Zappone and Jimmy Lee Santorella have the call from the dramatic score in the waning moments:
2. Canon-McMillan 33, Hempfield Area 28
This 6A battle saw the Big Macs and Spartans exchange leads throughout, the Hempfield was clinging to a narrow edge with just over one minute remaining. That quickly changed, though, as Canon-McMillan’s Trey Lewis hooked up with Greyden Piechnick on a 10-yard strike. That play represented the winning score, as Canon-Mac notched a five-point win.
WJPA-FM 95.3’s Mark Uriah and Bill Dukett provide the commentary for the touchdown connection:
3. Upper St. Clair 21, North Hills 7
A pair of 2016 playoff teams met in the Allegheny Nine Conference, as the Panthers traveled to face the Indians. North Hills held an early lead, but Upper St. Clair tied the game at 7-7 late in the first half, and then took command in the third quarter. The biggest play came courtesy of a 39-yard touchdown from Jack Hansberry to Chris Pantellis, accounting for the final points of the contest.
MSA Sports’ Sean Meyers and Cory Campano on 1320-AM WJAS detail the big strike that gave the Panthers the road W:
4. Mohawk 20, Laurel 14
Mohawk had not won a conference game since 2014, but the Warriors quickly checked that off their to-do list in 2017. Pacing the Mohawk attack was running back Brayden Cameron, who scored three times. His final touchdown came early in the fourth on a 37-yard run. That play provided the cushion the Warriors needed, as they held off Laurel 20-14.
MSA Sports’ Rob Matzie and Steve Nagler have the call on Cameron’s impressive scamper to pay dirt:
More Football• Plum’s Max Matolcsy verbally commits to Penn
• WPIAL football changes scuttle marquee matchups for Westmoreland County teams
• Ligonier Valley has extra challenge moving to WPIAL
• Frank Morea, pillar of Kiski Area football program, dies at age 90
• A day after his twin brother received one, Penn-Trafford’s Nate Frye gets offer from Butler