Sunday, September 21, 2014

Waynesburg strong in loss and other notes from Week 4

Waynesburg senior Hunter Cenname
Wow, Ringgold made a statement Friday night. After losing to Thomas Jefferson in Week 1, few people thought the Rams were a contender in Class AAA. How could you blame them? The Jaguars dominated the line of scrimmage, Ringgold could not generate much offensively and TJ ran all over the Rams.

Yes, West Mifflin is not the same team without Jimmy Wheeler. I did think that DiAngelo Mitchell is a solid tailback with a great burst of speed, but Wheeler could do it all. He led the WPIAL in rushing yards and scoring last season.

Mitchell did rush for 113 yards against Ringgold, but Titans head coach Ray Braszo was forced to shy away from the run as the Rams’ offense kept putting points on the scoreboard in a 40-6 win. If its defense were able to get a few stops, West Mifflin could have stuck to giving Mitchell the football and the game would have been much different.

Ringgold was aided greatly by offensive and defensive lines that controlled the line of scrimmage. WM junior quarterback Karlyn Garner was under pressure all night and when he was able to scramble, the Rams’ linebackers did a nice job with open-field tackling.

When you look at Ringgold’s schedule, there isn't much of a test the rest of the way. Belle Vernon in Week 6 will be interesting because it is Matt Humbert’s return to Joe Montana Stadium, but the Rams are the far superior team.

It will be exciting to see what they can do in the playoffs.

Mt. Pleasant 28, Waynesburg 27

The Raiders are the best 2-2 team in Class AA. I’m pretty confident with that statement. Once again, Waynesburg running backs Hunter Cenname and John-Glen Davis had big games, but the defense could not get a stop and the passing game failed to produce first downs.

You have to love the way Waynesburg plays. Their linemen are tough and those two running backs are very hard to tackle. You often see opponents trying to tackle high with no success then going low just to have the duo hurdle over them.

The Raiders have a great chance to make the playoffs, but they need to win their next three conference games. Charleroi and Southmoreland shouldn't be much of a challenge, but a win over McGuffey would go a long way.

Burgettstown 41, Charleroi 26

What did we learn from this game? Well, the Blue Devils ended the WPIAL’s longest losing streaks in a game where no one gave them a chance to win. You have to tip your hat to Terry Havelka and the Blue Devils.

They won’t be making the playoffs, but this a big win for that program. Charleroi is improved from last year, but needs to develop linemen and improve defensively. The Cougars have a long way to go.

McGuffey 42, Southmoreland 14

I expected this to happen. Southmoreland struggled against Charleroi in Week 1, while McGuffey has been on a roll since losing to Mt. Pleasant.

This was a big win for the Highlanders. They want to make the playoffs for the first time since 2009 and have a great chance to do that. Nathan Whipkey is playing great and James Duchi should be drawing attention from college coaches with his play on both sides of the ball.

The next three games will be fairly easy before McGuffey finishes the season with Waynesburg and Wash High. They cannot afford to lose both of those games.

Fort Cherry 35, Bishop Canevin 31

I haven’t given Fort Cherry enough credit, but it’s hard to measure teams in the Black Hills Conference. The balance of power is a mess with North Catholic and Avonworth on top then everybody else is fighting for the final playoff spots.

The Rangers had to win this game. They travel to Avonworth in Week 5 then host North Catholic before two road games at Northgate and Chartiers-Houston. Winning the final two games would likely make Fort Cherry a playoff team.

Bentworth 42, Avella 26

Bentworth is a perfect example of the impact an established head coach can have on a young program. Ron Skiles returned to the program for the third time and has the Bearcats playing great offensively. While the loss to Carmichaels in Week 1 is a concern, defeating Avella is big for trying to capture one of the playoff spots in the Tri-County South.

If Bentworth can win two of the next three games against Jefferson-Morgan, California and Mapletown; I see them as a playoff team. The Bearcats scored 83 points in nine games last season and 43 of those came in a win over Geibel, which dropped its football program. Through four games in 2014, Bentworth has scored 90 points. 

A round of applause for the players and Skiles.



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