WPIAL high school football don’t-miss matchups for Week 1

September 25, 2018

Pittsburgh Central Catholic's Kenneth Blake brushes off a tackle from Erie Cathedral Prep's Billy Lucas when Pittsburgh Central Catholic faced Erie Cathedral Prep at the Wolvarena in Turtle Creek, Friday, August 24, 2018.

Here’s a look at some don’t-miss WPIAL high school football games for Week 1:

Class 6A

Seneca Valley (1-0, 0-0) vs. 3-6A Central Catholic (1-0, 0-0)

7 p.m. Friday at at Wolvarena, Turtle Creek

Radio/Internet: TribHSSN.triblive.com.

Last week: Seneca Valley 30, McDowell 6; Central Catholic 24, Cathedral Prep 21

Coaches: Ron Butschle, Seneca Valley; Terry Totten, Central Catholic

Top players: Dom Pieto, Central Catholic (Jr., 6-0, 180, QB); Gabe Lawson, Seneca Valley (Jr., 6-2, 190, QB/DB)

Keep an eye on: Gavin Thomson, Central Catholic (Sr., 6-0, 180, WR/DB)

Momentum: Central Catholic is coming of a momentous Week Zero victory, taking down Erie power Cathedral Prep, and ending the Ramblers’ 28-game winning streak.

Four downs: 1. Pieto had a solid debut for the Vikings, completing 6 of 12 passes for 122 yards and two touchdowns. 2. Lawson completed 12 of 14 passes for 188 yards and three scores, as Seneca Valley rolled to a Week Zero victory. 3. Central’s Johnathan Opalko, an all-section soccer player, is one of the area’s top kickers. He booted a 25-yarder in Week Zero. 4. The Raiders return three starters on the offensive line -- Kevin Meeder, Drew Robertson and David Tkatch, and Marcus Might returned after taking the year off to focus on basketball.

Extra point: Seneca Valley started 1-6 last season.

Class 5A

Allegheny 8

Woodland Hills (0-1, 0-0) at Bethel Park (0-0, 0-0)

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

Radio/Internet: TribHSSN.triblive.com.

Last week: Woodrow Wilson, Washington, D.C. 20, Woodland Hills 7; Bethel Park was idle. The Black Hawks finished 8-2 overall and 6-0 in the Southeastern (6A) last season.

Coaches: Tim Bostard, Woodland Hills; Jeff Metheny, Bethel Park

Top players: Gavin Gurreri-Judson, Woodland Hills (Sr., 6-3, 196, QB/DB); Anthony Chiccitte, Bethel Park (Jr., 6-1, 180, QB)

Keep an eye on: Jay Smith, Woodland Hills (Sr., 5-8, 151, WR/DB)

Momentum: Bethel Park is coming off a trip to the WPIAL quarterfinals and has made the playoffs 17 straight seasons.

Four downs: 1. Bethel Park will begin its trek in Class 5A after dropping down from the highest classification. 2. Woodland Hills, which hosted the Western Pa. vs. Everyone Showcase in Week Zero, managed just one score in the opener, a 16-yard reception for Smith, who leaped onto the pylon. 3. The Wolverines played without Toledo recruit Mike Coleman, who was injured but is expected back soon. 4. Metheny is in his 25th season as head coach at Bethel Park.

Extra point: Bethel Park will get another test next week against Allegheny 8 foe West Allegheny.

Class 4A

Big 8

5-4A West Mifflin (0-1, 0-0) at Indiana (0-1, 0-0)

7 p.m. Friday at Andy Kuzneski Field, Indiana

Radio/Internet: 1450 AM, 100.3 FM, TribHSSN.triblive.com.

Last week: Mars 7, West Mifflin 6; Armstrong 26, Indiana 20

Coaches: Ray Braszo, West Mifflin; Brandon Overdorff, Indiana

Top players: Parrish Parker, West Mifflin (Sr., 5-10, 180, RB/DB); Grant Harkleroad, Indiana (Sr., 5-10, 180, QB/LB)

Keep an eye on: Matt Schuster, West Mifflin (Sr., 6-3, 190, QB)

Momentum: West Mifflin’s defense was stellar against the No. 4-ranked Planets, but the offense struggled to find the end zone.

Four downs: 1. Parker, a Howard recruit, scored on a 5-yard run in the fourth quarter of West Mifflin’s 7-6 loss to Mars in Week Zero. The point-after attempt failed. Parker ran for 51 yards on 17 carries. 2. For Indiana, Harkleroad ran for a 3-yard touchdown and threw a 25-yard TD pass to Malik Turner last week. 3. Schuster threw just 51 times a year ago for the run-first Titans, accumulating 251 yards. 4. Overdorff, a former head coach at Purchase Line, was hired in May to replace 15-year veteran coach Mark Zilinskas.

Extra point: West Mifflin has qualified for the WPIAL playoffs eight straight times, falling to South Fayette a year ago.

Class 3A

Tri-County West

Central Valley (0-1, 0-0) at 3-3A Quaker Valley (0-0, 0-0)

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

Radio/Internet: 1460 AM, 92.1 FM; TribHSSN.triblive.com.

Last week: Blackhawk 21, Central Valley 7; Quaker Valley was idle. The Quakers won the WPIAL and PIAA Class 3A title in 2017.

Coaches: Mark Lyons, Central Valley; Ron Balog, Quaker Valley

Top players: Ameer Dudley, Central Valley (So., 5-11, 165, QB); Ethan Moore, Quaker Valley (Sr., 6-0, 175, QB)

Keep an eye on: Ryan Jackovic, Quaker Valley (Sr., 6-5, 210, WR/S)

Momentum: Quaker Valley is the reigning WPIAL and PIAA champion, and is still expected to contend for a title despite graduating the bulk of the starting lineup.

Four downs: 1. Dudley scored Central Valley’s lone touchdown last week, an 8-yard run against Blackhawk. He completed just two passes for 21 yards with an interception. 2. Central Valley returns just four starters, including seniors Anthony Mendicino, a wide receiver, and lineman Joe Toth. 3. Jackovic returns for QV after shining in the WPIAL title game. He had two interceptions and seven tackles, finishing the season with 76 tackles and seven INTs. 4. Quaker Valley will take on Aliquippa in Week 2 in a rematch of the WPIAL championship game.

Extra point: Moore is a Kent State baseball recruit.

Class 2A


1-2A Washington (1-0, 0-0) at 5-2A Charleroi (0-0, 0-0)

7 p.m. Friday at Cougar Stadium, Charleroi

Radio/Internet: 1450 AM; TribHSSN.triblive.com.

Last week: Washington 59, Laurel Highlands 25; Charleroi was idle.

Coaches: Mike Bosnic, Washington; Lance Getsy, Charleroi

Top players: Zack Swartz, Washington (Jr., 6-3, 195, QB/DB); Geno Pellegrini, Charleroi (Sr., 6-0, 165, QB/DB)

Keep an eye on: Zahmere Robinson, Washington (Jr., 6-0, 170, WR/DB)

Momentum: Washington looked to be in mid-season form in the opener, erupting for 59 points. Charleroi administrators chose to cancel the Cougars’ game at Monessen because of threats to the students.

Four downs: 1. Swartz cut his arm loose in Week Zero, throwing for 379 yards and three touchdowns on 16 of 20 passing. He connected with Robinson for scores of 62 and 74 yards. 2. Washington’s Dan Walker, a Division I prospect, returned a kickoff 94 yards for a score. 3. Pellegrini threw for 2,333 yards and 24 touchdowns a year ago. 4. Also back for the Cougars are WR Dakota Romantino (1,033 yards) and RB Hunter Perry (1,060 yards).

Extra point: Washington’s female kicker Lilly Christy is a fourth-year starter.

Class A

Big Seven

Sto-Rox (0-1, 0-0) at 4-A OLSH (1-0, 0-0)

7 p.m. Friday at Moon Tiger Stadium, Moon

Radio/Internet: TribHSSN.triblive.com.

Last week: South Side Beaver 28, Sto-Rox 26; OLSH 41, Westinghouse 6

Coaches: LaRoi Johnson, Sto-Rox; Dan Bradley, OLSH

Top players: Eric Wilson, Sto-Rox (Jr., 6-3, 180, QB); Tyler Bradley, OLSH (Sr., 6-3, 195, QB)

Keep an eye on: Noah Campalong, OLSH (Jr., 5-11, 195, RB/LB)

Momentum: OLSH reached the WPIAL quarterfinals last season and looked strong in a Week Zero triumph.

Four downs: 1. One of the WPIAL’s top passers last season, Tyler Bradley got off to a solid start last week, completing 11 of 18 passes for 201 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for a 1-yard score. 2. OLSH’s Campalong caught a TD pass and ran for one last week. 3. Wilson bolstered the Sto-Rox offense last week with 395 passing yards and four touchdowns. 4. Amahd Pack was Wilson’s favorite target with four catches for 232 yards and three scores.

Extra point: Johnson, Sto-Rox’s first-year coach, guided Imani Christian’s offense last season as the offensive coordinator, helping the Saints reach the WPIAL Class A title game.

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