So here we are, the best week of the season by far. As you will read in Friday's Observer-Reporter, there are a ton of great games this weekend. We will be staffing four of them, and they are:
South Fayette vs. Seton-La Salle, at Baldwin, Friday, 7 p.m. -- Mackey
Only this week would The Brumbaugh Bowl (Brett versus older brother Luke) not be the biggest game in the WPIAL. It still could be, of course, as it pits two of the league's most dominant teams against each other. Combined PF-PA: 357-19. There's also that 21-13 loss for South Fayette in the WPIAL Class AA quarterfinals a season ago, a game where Brett Brumbaugh, making his third career start, threw four INTs.
Jeannette at Wash High, Friday, 7 -- Chris Dugan
I said something to Chris yesterday about how quick this one could be. Two running teams and -- perhaps more important -- two GOOD running teams should make for a fast game. And an entertaining one. Isn't it strange how a year ago Washington surprised nearly everyone around the WPIAL by going 8-3 ... and now the Prexies have one of the league's best backs in Shai McKenzie and are viewed as a legitimate challenger to Jeannette, which has gone 79-17 since 2004, with one WPIAL Class AA championship, a PIAA Class AA title (thanks Terrelle Pryor) and an appearance at Heinz Field last fall.
"I don’t think we’re shocking people like we did last year," Prexies coach Mike Bosnic told me this week. "I think everyone, from last year being 8-3, kind of expected us to have a pretty good season. I don’t think we’re sneaking up on anybody. I think we’re opening some eyes."
Bethel Park at Peters Township, Friday, 7:30 p.m. -- Kevin Jacobsen
Raise your hand if you expected Peters Township's football team to be 4-1 through five games. Soccer, field hockey or volleyball sure. But football? Peters lost this game, 21-7, last year. Bethel Park is coming off a 44-0 win over Canon-McMillan. The Black Hawks start a freshman at quarterback: Levi Metheny, who's dad, is Bethel Park's head coach. I'm guessing Peters might try to run Mike Minjock considering he has 66 carries for 531 yards and 11 touchdowns. Among area backs, only McGuffey's James Duschi (74 carries) and Fort Cherry's Koltan Kobrys (82) have gotten more work, and only Wash High's Shai McKenzie (13) has scored more touchdowns.
West Mifflin at Ringgold, Friday, 7:30 p.m. -- Matt Shetler
The first time Ringgold played someone expected to win the Class AAA Big Nine Conference things didn't go so well -- a 41-14 loss at Thomas Jefferson in Week 1. But that was TJ, and this is ... a team that hasn't played anybody. Yes, the Titans are 4-0. Got that. But those wins, as I wrote last night, have come against Laurel Highlands, Belle Vernon, Uniontown and Albert Gallatin, a combined 2-12. RB Jim Wheeler is one to watch for West Mifflin. He's near the top of the WPIAL rushing charts with 50 carries for 672 yards and 10 touchdowns.