A-K Valley don’t-miss high school football matchups for Week 6
Class 5A Big East
Plum (1-5, 0-5) at Albert Gallatin (0-6, 0-3)
7 p.m. Friday at Albert Gallatin’s York Run Stadium
Last week: Penn-Trafford 45, Plum 3; Franklin Regional 65, Albert Gallatin 0
Coaches: Matt Morgan, Plum; Drew Dindl, Albert Gallatin
Top players: William Guzzi, Plum (So., 5-7, 160, RB/DB); Alex McMiller, Albert Gallatin (Sr., OL/DE, 5-10, 215)
Keep an eye on: James Schropp, Plum (Sr., 5-11, 185, RB/WR/DB)
Momentum: Something has to give as one team will gain a measure of momentum with its first conference victory.
Four downs: 1. Guzzi and Schropp combined for 70 yards on 19 carries against a stingy Penn-Trafford defense last Friday. 2. Albert Gallatin has been outscored 232-0 over the past four weeks. 3. Plum is averaging eight points a game this season, third lowest in 5A (Albert Gallatin 4.2, Ringgold 2.2). 4. Albert Gallatin was limited to 23 yards of total offense (15 rushing, eight passing) against Franklin Regional.
Extra point: This is the first football meeting between the schools.
Class 4A Northwest Eight
Montour (1-5, 1-2) at Highlands (2-4, 2-2)
7 p.m. Friday at Golden Rams Stadium, Natrona Heights
Last week: Montour 35, Knoch 33; Highlands 56, Ambridge 17
Coaches: Lou Cerro, Montour; Dom Girardi, Highlands
Top players: Seth Cohen, Highlands (Sr., 6-2, 194, QB/S); Luke Persinger, Montour (So., 6-2, 175, QB)
Keep an eye on: Gabe Booker, Highlands (Sr., 6-1, 194, RB/S)
Momentum: Montour grabbed it with an upset win over Knoch, while Highlands remained right in the middle of the playoff race in the Northwest Eight with last week’s triumph over Ambridge.
Four downs: 1. Booker, who has battled injuries in the first half of the season, caught two passes for 112 yards and a touchdown against Ambridge. He has three catches for 136 yards on the season. 2. Montour’s 35 points Friday came after it was shut out in three straight games. 3. Highlands’ two-game winning streak is the first in 15 games under Dom Girardi. The Golden Rams alternated wins and losses last year en route to a 5-4 overall record. 4. Gannon Kadlecik was a workhorse for Montour against Knoch with 26 carries for 147 yards and a touchdown. His fourth-quarter score proved to be the game winner.
Extra point: The teams began their current conference series in 2016. Montour won 24-14 last year, but Highlands took the 2016 meeting 12-10.
No. 2 South Fayette (5-1, 3-0) at Knoch (2-4, 2-3)
7 p.m. Friday at Knoch Knight Stadium, Saxonburg
On the air: 680 AM; TribHSSN.triblive.com
Last week: South Fayette 21, Blackhawk 0; Montour 35, Knoch 33
Coaches: Joe Rossi, South Fayette; Frank Whalen, Knoch
Top players: Jamie Diven, South Fayette (Sr., 6-2, 190, QB); Matt Goodlin, Knoch (Jr., 5-9, 180, RB, LB)
Keep an eye on: Mike Trimbur, South Fayette (Sr., 5-11, 175, WR/CB).
Momentum: South Fayette hopes to make it six straight wins and stay in the lead in the Northwest Eight Conference. Blackhawk is on the Lions’ heels at 4-1.
Four downs: 1. South Fayette is two points away from being undefeated. The Lions suffered a 34-33 loss to 5A Upper St. Clair in Week Zero. 2. Knoch’s Matt Goodlin rushed for 215 yards and two scores against Montour last Friday. He has nine touchdowns through the Knights’ six games. 3. South Fayette senior lineman Tom Elia (6-3, 280) has verbally committed to Richmond. 4. With his three TD runs against Montour, Chase Mullen has accounted for nine total scores (seven run, two pass) on the season.
Extra point: South Fayette won last year’s meeting 52-14.
Class 3A Big East
Mt. Pleasant (1-5, 1-3) at Burrell (1-5, 1-4)
7 p.m. Friday at Buccaneer Stadium, Lower Burrell
Last week: North Catholic 49, Mt. Pleasant 7; Deer Lakes 34, Burrell 21
Coaches: Jason Fazekas, Mt. Pleasant; Shawn Liotta, Burrell
Top players: Lucas Pieszak, Mt. Pleasant (Sr., 6-4, 190, QB/S); Luke Kastelic, Burrell (Sr., 5-10, 180, RB/LB)
Keep an eye on: Seth Fischbach, Burrell (Jr., 6-1, 190, WR/DB)
Momentum: The winner will stay alive in the Class 3A playoff race in the Big East.
Four downs: 1. With his rushing touchdown against Deer Lakes, Kastelic leads Burrell in TDs this season with 10. 2. Mt. Pleasant is averaging 13.8 points, last in the Big East Conference. 3. Fischbach, a wide receiver, got a chance to throw the ball Friday against Deer Lakes, and he connected with Jack Henderson on a 63-yard touchdown. Fischbach also caught a TD. 4. Wideout Jacob Johnson leads the Vikings in scoring with six touchdowns.
Extra point: Burrell is 2-5 all-time against Mt. Pleasant. The teams last played in the first round of the 2012 WPIAL Class AA playoffs, and the Vikings won 48-28. It was the last time the Bucs qualified for the postseason.
Class 3A Allegheny
Valley (1-5, 0-3) at Apollo-Ridge (2-4, 1-3)
7 p.m. Friday at Owens Field, Apollo
Last week: Freedom 44, Valley 7; Shady Side Academy 63, Apollo-Ridge 21
Coaches: Muzzy Colosimo, Valley; John Skiba, Apollo-Ridge
Top players: Deonte Ross, Valley (Sr., 6-0, 225, RB/LB); Klay Fitzroy, Apollo-Ridge (So., 6-3, 185, QB/WR/DB)
Keep an eye on: Brad Milko, Apollo-Ridge (Sr., 6-0, 165, WR/DB)
Momentum: Apollo-Ridge hopes to snap a three-game losing streak, while Valley hopes to get in in the win column for the first time since a Week Zero victory over Burrell.
Four downs: 1. Fitzroy was back under center for Apollo-Ridge against Shady Side Academy, and he threw for 257 yards and three touchdowns. He was intercepted twice. 2. Penalties continue to plague Valley. The Vikings were whistled for 17 infractions last week totaling 149 yards. 3. Apollo-Ridge has surrendered 46.3 points a game the past three weeks. 4. Ross, with two TD runs against Freedom, now has a team-leading 10 rushing scores on the season.
Extra point: Valley won last year’s meeting 20-6, snapping a three-game winning streak by Apollo-Ridge in the current conference series that started in 2014.
Fox Chapel (1-5) at Connellsville (2-4)
7 p.m. Friday at Falcon Stadium, Connellsville
Last week: Upper St. Clair 33, Fox Chapel 7; Thomas Jefferson 56, Connellsville 14
On the air: TribHSSN.triblive.com
Coaches: Tom Loughran, Fox Chapel; Marko Thomas, Connellsville
Top players: Alex Wecht, Fox Chapel (Jr., 5-8, 170, WR/FS); Josh Maher (Jr., 6-6, 190, QB)
Keep an eye on: Jalen Rogers, Connellsville (Sr., 6-3, 205, WR/DB)
Momentum: Both the Foxes and Falcons are hoping to get back in the win column after losses last Friday to teams positioned in the TribHSSN Class 5A rankings.
Four downs: 1. Wecht leads the Foxes defense with 44 tackles and also has recovered a fumble. 2. Maher has thrown for 895 yards and nine touchdown this season. 3. Fox Chapel is averaging 10.8 points, the lowest total in the Northern Conference. 4. Rogers has a touchdown reception in five of Connellsville’s six games and has seven total for the season.
Extra point: Fox Chapel has accumulated 1,236 yards of total offense split evenly between rushing (623) and passing (613).
Frazier (2-4) at Leechburg (2-4)
7 p.m. Friday at Veterans Memorial Stadium, Leechburg
Last week: Washington 42, Frazier 0; Clairton 36, Leechburg 0
Coaches: Mike Steeber, Frazier; Mark George, Leechburg
Top players: Nico Venanzio, Leechburg (Sr., 6-3, 205, TE/OL/DE); Julian Muccioli, Frazier (Sr., 6-0, 170, WR/RB/FS)
Keep an eye on: Bret Kardos, Leechburg (Sr., 5-9, 200, RB/LB)
Momentum: Both teams are hoping to get back on track after shutout losses last week following conference victories.
Four downs: 1. Leechburg has scored only six points in its four losses and 69 in its two victories. 2. Muccioli is a running quarterback who has accounted for 404 rushing yards, 295 passing yards and eight total touchdowns. 3. Leechburg is hoping to reach three victories in a single season for the first time since 2010. 4. Frazier’s offense featured only one pass last week against Washington, and it collected 98 rush yards on 35 attempts.
Extra point: Jake Blumer leads the Blue Devils with five touchdowns through six games. Kardos and Tanner Dudek have accounted for three scores apiece.
Kiski Area (3-3) at Woodland Hills (1-5)
7 p.m. Friday at the Wolvarena, Turtle Creek
On the air: TribHSSN.triblive.com
Last week: Hampton 34, Kiski Area 31; West Allegheny 14, Woodland Hills 13
Coaches: Sam Albert, Kiski Area; Tim Bostard, Woodland Hills
Top players: Anthony Meredith, Woodland Hills (Sr., 5-11, 180, RB/OLB); Ryne Wallace, Kiski Area (Sr., 6-5, 205, QB)
Keep an eye on: Troy Kuhn, Kiski Area (Sr., 6-4, 190, TE/LB)
Momentum: Woodland Hills’ last two losses, sandwiched around its lone win of the season two weeks ago, were by a combined three points.
Four downs: 1. Wallace threw for 249 yards and a touchdown and added a rushing score last week against Hampton. He now has 1,516 passing yards and 13 touchdowns through six games. 2. Woodland Hills’ 0-4 and 1-5 marks this season are not unprecedented in the team’s history. The Wolverines had the same start in 2007 before winning two of their final three in the regular season to snag a Quad-A playoff spot. 3. Drew Dinunzio-Biss leads the Cavaliers defense with 47 tackles. He also has four sacks. 4. Meredith and junior running back William Clark each have three touchdowns to lead the Wolverines.
Extra point: Woodland Hills and Kiski Area last played in 2011 as members of the Quad-A Big East Conference. The Wolverines won that meeting 35-6 at Davis Field.
Jefferson-Morgan (2-4) at Riverview (0-5)
7 p.m. Friday at Riverside Park, Oakmont
Last week: California 54, Jefferson-Morgan 0; Imani Christian 54, Riverview 0
Coaches: Aaron Giorgi, Jefferson-Morgan; Todd Massack, Riverview
Top players: Jonathan Wolfe, Jefferson-Morgan (So., 5-9, 215, RB/LB); JD Sykes, Riverview (Sr., 5-8, 165, RB/LB)
Keep an eye on: Jacob Broadwater, Jefferson-Morgan (Sr., 5-11, 210, QB/DE/LB)
Momentum: Both teams are hoping to gain a measure of it after both were unable to get untracked in sizeable losses last week.
Four downs: Jefferson-Morgan scored only 20 points in its four losses but broke out for 86 points in its victories over Mapletown and Avella. 2. Injuries throughout the lineup, especially on the offensive line, have plagued the Raiders through their first five games. 3. Wolfe went over the 100-yard rushing mark and scored four touchdowns in a Week 4 rout of Avella. 4. This is the first trip to Riverview for Jefferson-Morgan since the “Miracle at the Park” game in the first round of the 1994 WPIAL playoffs. The Raiders rallied late in regulation and won the game in overtime.
Extra point: Riverview has faced the No. 2 and 3 teams in Class A and the No. 4 team in 2A among its five games. The Raiders opening opponent, Greensburg Central Catholic, also is 4-2
Springdale (0-5) at Northgate (0-6)
Noon Saturday at Sheridan Avenue Stadium, Bellevue
Last week: Greensburg Central Catholic 47, Springdale 0; Sto-Rox 54, Northgate 0
Coaches: Seth Napierkowski, Springdale; Michael Fulmore, Northgate
Top players: Christian Vokes, Springdale (Jr., 5-8, 140, RB/DB); Anthony Barbarino, Northgate (Sr., 5-10, 175, RB/LB)
Keep an eye on: Josh Jones, Springdale (Sr., 6-0, 180, QB/DB)
Momentum: One team will be able to build on its first victory of the season.
Four downs: 1. Both offenses hope to find a spark this week. Springdale has just 20 points in its five games, while Northgate has 19 over six contests. 2. Vokes scored a pair of touchdowns and rushed for 125 yards in Week 3 against Bishop Canevin. 3. Because of injuries and other reasons, Northgate has played several games this season with less than 20 players, including just 15 dressed against Union in Week 3. 4. Springdale is trying to avoid its first 0-6 start since 1993.
Extra point: The teams last played in 2013 as members of the Eastern Conference. Springdale won three of four in the conference series from 2010-13, but Northgate captured the 2013 contest 28-14.