Last week was so much fun, what do you say we do it again? At least it's finally starting to feel like fall.
I'm checking another school off my newbie list this week in Jefferson-Morgan, which I'm told is an awesome place to watch a game. I do think Jefferson-Morgan/Beth-Center will be entertaining. Two solid running teams, teams that will run out of non-traditional formations.
Anyway, before I get going too fa, here's a look around our coverage area:
Five to watch:
QB Gino Faieta, Beth-Center: Lots of great RBs in Beth-Center/Jeff-Morgan: Conti and Jento for the Rockets, Riggle and Durant for Beth-Center. This first-year starter -- Sal's younger brother -- has completed 63 percent of his passes for 480 yards and four TDs.
RB Hunter Cenname, Waynesburg: Raiders have a very winnable game this week against winless Charleroi, and Cenname (34-185-3TD-5.4 ypc average) could have a big day.
WR Zach Thompson, Avella: Frazier throws it a lot, and its receivers get a fair amount of attention. Don't overlook Avella's playmaker, who has 11 catches for 335 yards and five touchdowns while also returning a punt for a score.
RB Patrick Frey, Trinity: Belle Vernon's defense gave up 344 yards and three touchdowns to West Mifflin's Jim Wheeler, 83 and two to Ringgold's Demetrius Louis. Frey (450 yards, seven touchdowns) hopes to have a similarly big day.
LB Matt Loether, Peters Township: The Indians, angry after a lackluster performance during a loss last week to Bethel Park, hit the road to face winless Plum. Keep an eye on Loether, who has 60 tackles, four sacks, 10 TFL and two forced fumbles.
Game to watch (other than the GOTW): Frazier at Avella
Talk about two opposite teams. Frazier = passing, Avella = power running. This scares me a bit, just because I don't think Avella has seen a team who can throw it as well as Frazier and QB Charlie Manack (793 yards, 10 TDs). Expect plenty of the the backfield tandem of Nick Kusich and Jake Temple -- combined: 900 yards, 14 touchdowns -- mixed with a few downfield shots to Thompson. Eagles also need not get in an early hole and get flustered.
Team with the most to gain: Trinity
Very winnable game against Belle Vernon could move Hillers to 4-1 in the Class AAA Big Nine Conference, 4-2 overall. A win next week against 1-4 Uniontown would be even better, further solidifying that No. 3/4 spot in the conference, depending on what happens in Week 9 against Ringgold. New coach and last year's starting QB goes down in a scrimmage with a neck injury -- though, to be fair, Don McWreath was pushing for time -- yet still be very much relevant this late in the season? Nice job 26-year-old Ryan Coyle.
Team with the most to lose: Chartiers-Houston and Fort Cherry
Chartiers-Houston should finally get a win this week over a team that very likely won't compete for the WPIAL Class A title in Carlynton. Should be a nice change for the Bucs, who've been on the wrong end of a lot of close decisions. But the reality remains that Char-Houston will probably need to win out to make the playoffs. Fort Cherry, meanwhile, has lot three straight, getting crushed the last two. There's a possible silver lining here in that Bishop Canevin, this week's opponent, has Clairton next week. Maybe the Crusaders will be looking ahead?
Sleeper pick of the weekend: Bentworth
The Bearcats got some much-needed confidence with last week's win over Vincentian, and running back Ben Carlisle, who had 263 yards and five touchdowns, has turned into a pretty nice playmaker. (He has eight touchdowns four different ways through four games.) I could see Bentworth pulling one out here, although Mapletown QB Kevin Ridgley (397 yards, five touchdowns) and WR Jordan Griffin (16-245-2TD) are impressive.