Sunday, September 7, 2014

What we learned from Week Two

Beth-Center RB Anthony Welsh
Penn Hills 42, Canon-McMillan 7
Penn Hills is one of the best teams in Class AAAA and C-M is inexperienced. That’s a bad combination and the Big Macs now find themselves 0-2 in the Southeastern Conference. The tough schedule doesn’t stop with Peters Township this week and Bethel Park after that.

Upper St. Clair 35, Peters Township 13
Peters Township is the victim of a tough schedule and like C-M, inexperience. The Indians have not been able to get settled on offense with back-to-back games against Woodland Hills and USC. Sophomore running back TJ  Kpan had a nice game in Week Two, which bodes well for the success of the Indians’ offense. Now standing at 0-2 in the conference, it’s time for PT to pull off a string of wins if they want to find themselves in playoff contention. C-M waits in Week Three with a nonconference game next week against New Castle and Mt. Lebanon after that.

Class AAA
Laurel Highlands 55, Trinity 42: The Hillers fell behind early and could not gain their footing despite a 42-point outburst. The point total has to make Trinity feel good, but mistakes continue to creep up and cost them football games. Things don’t get easier with Elizabeth Forward this week. Trinity needs to beat EF and Albert Gallatin next week, which is very doable if the defense improves.

Ringgold 56, Uniontown 21: After a mistake-filled Week One loss at the hands of Thomas Jefferson, the Rams bounced back in a big way. The Rams’ offense was effective and they showed the toughness to back their size. Ringgold has Knoch in a nonconference game this week, which is a tune-up for a game at West Mifflin in Week Four. Getting defeated by TJ in Week One was discouraging, but Ringgold showed a lot with how it responded against Uniontown. This team has the potential to be great and we’ll learn where the Rams stand after they face WM.

Class AA
South Fayette 51, Keystone Oaks 7: Absolute dominance. The Lions have outscored their first two opponents by a combined 87 points and they get a nice test in Week Three against an underrated South Park squad. The Eagles defeated Quaker Valley in Week Two and are a program on the rise in Class AA. They still have to find a way to stop SF’s offense, which is highly unlikely.

McGuffey 45, Charleroi 0: The Cougars were overmatched and plagued by mental mistakes. On the other hand, McGuffey quarterback Nathan Whipkey was extremely effective and the Highlanders grabbed a huge win. Charleroi’s program is pointed in the right direction, but it ran into an angry McGuffey team that has a lot of potential if it stays healthy. The Highlanders have a nonconference match up with Mohawk this week with Southmoreland waiting in Week Four. Charleroi has Derry and is in a must-win situation after starting 0-2.

Washington 41, Burgettstown 12: What was more surprising: the Prexies only scoring 41 points or the Blue Devils avoiding a shutout? Either way, Wash High is clicking on all cylinders heading into a big game against Waynesburg. Speed and size will win that game for the Prexies. I don’t see them having much of a test with any team beside Mt. Pleasant in the Interstate Conference. Those two play in Week Five so circle that on the calendar.

Waynesburg 42, Brownsville 0: The Raiders dominated a decimated Brownsville program that is facing low numbers and has struggled mightily in recent years. Waynesburg has scored 75 points in two weeks, but facing Wash High this week is the first test. Can the Raiders match up with the Prexies’ size, strength and numbers? I don’t think so.

Class A
Brentwood 17, Fort Cherry 14: The Rangers’ inexperience showed in this game, but with how much they lost from 2013, their performance through two weeks is a testament to the coaching staff and seniors on the team. Fort Cherry escaped OLSH with a win and gave a talented Brentwood team a game. Moral victories don’t exist in a conference like the Black Hills. This week is a nonconference game against S.S. Beaver then a home game against Bishop Canevin, which is a game they must win. After that, it’s two straight against Avonworth and North Catholic.

North Catholic 49, Chartiers-Houston 0: An inexperienced Bucs team against the defending state champions. Not an easy one for Chartiers-Houston, which opened with Avonworth and NC – two of the better teams in Class A. it’s tough to measure where the team stands because of the competition it has faced. It will be interesting to see where C-H stands after a nonconference game with Western Beaver this week and a conference game against Northgate in Week Four.

Frazier 28, Jefferson-Morgan 7: The Commodores look solid again and J-M, like many other local teams, is battling inexperience. The Rockets have Avella in Week Three then a home game against California. This conference is wide open and it’s blurry where some teams stand. We should know more about J-M in two weeks.

Mapletown  30, Carmichaels 2: The Maples looked impressive in a Week One loss to Beth-Center and answered with a big win over the Mikes. Mapletown looks like a playoff team in the Tri-County South and has an easy game against West Green this week. Then comes a test against Frazier, which will be a game to watch.

Bentworth 35, West Greene 6: The result shows how far the Pioneers have fallen. WG was seen as a contender in the conference this season, but injuries have decimated the offense, which has lacked creativity through two games.

Avella 33, California 6: This is a big win for the Eagles and senior quarterback Santino Paris, who bounced back from an injury in Week One to lead Avella to a big win. Rumors circulated that he could have suffered a season-ending injury, but it was good to see Paris air it out Saturday night. He’s an impressive pro-style quarterback, who will garner Division II offers. I like Avella to make the playoffs, but as I said, it’s too early to tell where everyone stands in the conference.

Beth-Center 29, Greensburg C.C. 20: The Bulldogs almost lost this game because of missed opportunities and mental errors, but Beth-Center earned a huge win. This win shows that the Bulldogs are a top-five team in Class A with a deep backfield and a line that plays bigger than its size. Clairton and North Catholic are still the obvious top two teams in the classification, but Beth-Center is showing that it belongs.

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