WPIAL Saturdays Scholastic Starz – Week Zero
By: Don Rebel
Monday, August 28, 2017 | 2:23 AM
Zero equal nothing, much like nothing from nothing leaves nothing. But Saturday in Week Zero was something, yes definitely something. In fact, the six games on the first Saturday slate made for the busiest Saturday of the entire 2017 campaign. None of the games had any postseason ramifications, but that doesn’t mean the stars weren’t shining bright on the final dress rehearsal before Week One.
Hollis Mathis – Penn Hills
Two neighboring school districts east of Pittsburgh renewed their rivalry north of the city in the final game of a tripleheader at North Allegheny High School. The standout was Penn Hills Quarterback Hollis Mathis, who hit on 11 of 21 passes for 245 yards and two touchdowns as the Indians rolled to a 26-0 blanking of the Mustangs.
Michael Trent and Austin Veatch – Brentwood
While winning teams from Friday may have decided to stay up late to celebrate a hard fought victory, at least two players made sure they made an early curfew Friday so they could be fresh for a Saturday morning kickoff. Brentwood quarterback Michael Trent was 15 of 24 passing for 266 yards and four touchdowns, with three scores and six receptions going to Austin Veatch for 167 yards as the Spartans rolled past the host Carrick Raiders 32-8.
T.J. Botkin – South Side Beaver
Coaches like to use Week Zero as a final testing ground, perhaps spreading the workload around to see who can handle what. That certainly was not the case for T.J. Botkin of South Side Beaver, as he carried the ball 30 times for 154 hard fought yards, many times gaining something after being hit in the backfield as he and his teammates surprised the Our Lady of the sacred Heart Chargers 28-21 at North Allegheny.
Max Pisula – Greensburg Central Catholic
Two local high school football teams opened up the season in the Buckeye state on Friday and both came back home to the commonwealth with an opening season loss. Max Pisula helped make sure that wouldn’t happen again on Saturday as he connected on 23 of 40 passes for 257 yards and a touchdown toss along with a pair of scoring runs as the Centurions beat the host Tuscarawas Central Catholic Saints 26-13.
Raven Chandler – Western Beaver
Western Beaver visited Avella in Week Zero last August in a competitive game that ended with the visitors claiming a 14-6 victory that went down to the wire. No such edge of the seat viewing would happen in this go around in Industry thanks in part to Raven Chandler, who rushed for 139 yards and scored on a 60-yard jaunt as the Golden Beavers cruised to a 43-0 whitewash of the Eagles.
Don Rebel hosts the Rebel Yell podcasts for HSSN.