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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: GAME PREVIEWS

on October 10, 2013 10:40 AM

WEST MIFFLIN (6-0) at INDIANA (2-4)

Kickoff: 7 p.m. Friday

Matchup: Indiana, playing a non-conference game, looks to regroup and tune-up for two huge upcoming games.

Team statistics

WM I

377.0 Rushing offense 176.3

89.5 Passing offense 148.7

466.5 Total offense 325.0

n/a Rushing defense 183.7

n/a Passing defense 81.7

n/a Total defense 265.3

45.5 Scoring offense 23.2

10.3 Scoring defense 21.8

n/a Turnover margin +5

About West Mifflin: The Titans, first in the WPIAL Big Nine Conference, have scored at least 35 points in each game, topping 40 five times and eclipsing 50 twice. They allowed 28 points to Ringgold, but no more than 12 to any other opponent. Senior Jimmy Wheeler has gained 1,569 yards on 155 carries and scored 23 touchdowns. He has a chance at the WPIAL’s regular-season rushing record of 2,149 yards, set by Steel Valley’s Delrece Williams in 2010. Wheeler gained 257 yards on 30 carries and scored six touchdowns in a 40-16 win at Elizabeth Forward last week.

About Indiana: The Indians’ playoff hopes took a major hit last week with a 28-21 loss at Greensburg Salem, which had been blown out in its previous four games. Indiana likely will have to beat Knoch and Hollidaysburg in its final two WPIAL Greater Allegheny Conference games to get into the postseason. Quarterback Sean Thompson broke a finger on his passing hand while playing defense last week, and Jake Zilinskas filled in, going 9 of 15 for 147 yards. Zilinskas is 15 of 28 for 272 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions

Last year: West Mifflin, 29-0.

Next week: Indiana plays host to Knoch on Friday.


 

UNITED (0-6) at PURCHASE LINE (2-4)

Kickoff: 7 p.m. Friday

Matchup: Purchase Line seeks back-to-back wins for the first time since 2011.

Team statistics

U PL

99.0 Rushing offense 211.8

41.7 Passing offense 41.3

140.7 Total offense 253.2

248.3 Rushing defense 213.8

72.2 Passing defense 90.8

320.5 Total defense 304.7

5.0 Scoring offense 19.7

37.5 Scoring defense 27.0

-11 Turnover margin +1

About United: The Lions have lost 16 straight games and 19 of their last 20. They were shut out, 37-0, by Homer-Center last week, managing just 97 total yards. United has posted area-worst marks in total offense, scoring offense and turnover margin and is last in the Heritage Conference in rushing offense, rushing defense and scoring defense.

About Purchase Line: The Red Dragons got their second win in four weeks, holding off Marion Center, 28-16, last week. Grant Syster, the area’s leading rusher with 840 yards, gained 279 yards on 29 carries and scored twice. Syster is sixth in the area in scoring (54 points). Royce Bish leads the conference in punting (38.0 yards). Purchase Line last won consecutive regular-season games in 2011, when it beat Homer-Center (24-6) and George Mason, of Virginia, (26-0) in consecutive weeks.

Last year: Purchase Line, 33-14.

Next week: Both teams play Friday. United welcomes Blairsville, and Purchase Line visits Penns Manor.


 

SALTSBURG (1-5) at BLAIRSVILLE (3-3)

Kickoff: 7 p.m. Friday

Matchup: Blairsville has work to do to get into the District 6 playoffs, starting with this Heritage Conference game.

Team statistics

S B

109.8 Rushing offense 140.7

112.3 Passing offense 129.0

222.2 Total offense 269.7

234.8 Rushing defense 236.2

92.8 Passing defense 53.2

327.7 Total defense 289.3

13.0 Scoring offense 19.7

31.3 Scoring defense 25.8

-4 Turnover margin -2

About Saltsburg: The Trojans are coming off a 50-14 loss to Ligonier Valley. Frankie Plowman was 8 of 20 passing for 117 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions, and Steve Richards gained 82 yards on 10 carries. Plowman is 45 of 93 for 587 yards with six touchdowns and eight interceptions. Richards has 340 yards rushing. The Trojans rank last in the Heritage Conference in total defense.

About Blairsville: The Bobcats are No. 9 in this week’s District 6 Class A rankings. The top eight qualify for the playoffs. Blairsville has lost two in a row and three of its last four, with all three losses coming to undefeated teams. The Bobcats lost to Penns Manor, 34-7, last week, managing just 10 yards rushing and 116 overall. Quarterback Scott Thompson and receiver Colton McMillan, who have missed the past three games with injuries, should be ready to play this week. Thompson is 37 of 59 for 557 yards with three scores and five interceptions. McMillan has eight catches for 140 yards. Blairsville has won 16 in a row against Saltsburg.

Last year: Blairsville, 23-9.

Next week: Both teams play Friday. Saltsburg welcomes Northern Cambria, and Blairsville travels to United.


 

PENNS MANOR (6-0) at LIGONIER VALLEY (6-0)

Kickoff: 7 p.m. Friday

Matchup: Two of the Heritage Conference’s undefeated teams meet in a matchup that will shape the conference title race.

Team statistics

PM LV

343.3 Rushing offense 201.2

43.5 Passing offense 152.7

386.8 Total offense 353.8

63.0 Rushing defense 125.7

69.5 Passing defense 99.0

132.5 Total defense 224.7

35.7 Scoring offense 35.0

8.5 Scoring defense 12.0

+3 Turnover margin +10

About Penns Manor: The Comets are tied for second in the District 6 Class A rankings. They stayed undefeated by holding Blairsville to 10 yards rushing in a 34-7 victory last week. Louie Tate (93 yards rushing) and Lucas Kowalski (90) led the offense. Kowalski is third in the area in rushing (687 yards) and first in scoring (13 TDs, 78 points). James Conway leads the area in kick scoring (28 points). Penns Manor leads the area in rushing offense, total offense, rushing defense, total defense and scoring defense. The defending conference champions have won 10 straight games in the league. The two teams have accounted for the past three conference titles, with the winner of the Penns Manor-Ligonier game taking the crown each time — Penns Manor in 2012 and ’10, and Ligonier Valley in ’11.

About Ligonier Valley: The Rams are fourth in the District 6 Class AA rankings. They defeated Saltsburg, 50-14, last week. Scott Fennell threw for a career-high 294 yards on 14 of 20 passing. He threw for two scores and ran for two. Alec Bloom had five catches for 135 yards. He leads the area in receptions (26 for 478 yards). Fennell leads the area in interceptions (5). The Rams lead the area in passing offense and turnover margin.

Last year: Penns Manor, 20-11.

Next week: Both teams play Friday. Penns Manor welcomes Purchase Line, and Ligonier Valley visits Homer-Center.


 

MARION CENTER (1-5) at NORTHERN CAMBRIA (2-4)

Kickoff: 7 p.m. Friday

Matchup: Two struggling Heritage Conference teams try to move in the right direction.

Team statistics

MC NC

113.7 Rushing offense 238.7

85.5 Passing offense 50.2

199.2 Total offense 288.8

232.2 Rushing defense 227.8

86.7 Passing defense 55.0

318.8 Total defense 282.8

11.8 Scoring offense 22.8

26.3 Scoring defense 24.3

-5 Turnover margin -2

About Marion Center: The Stingers have lost four straight since a Week 2 win over Saltsburg. They gave up 320 yards rushing in a 28-16 loss to Purchase Line at home last week. Marion Center ranks in the bottom half of the Heritage Conference in most statistical categories, including second- to-last in total offense, scoring offense and turnover margin.

About Northern Cambria: The Colts lost to an undefeated team for the fourth time this season in a 53-6 defeat by Berlin in a non-conference game last week. Still without running quarterback Dartagnan Suchar, the Colts managed 117 yards rushing. Tyler Pershing was 5 of 16 for 53 yards with three interceptions. Nolan Paronish has 489 rushing yards, and Northern Cambria has the third-best rushing offense in the Heritage Conference.

Last year: Northern Cambria, 18-6.

Next week: Both teams play Friday. Marion Center plays host to Shade, and Northern Cambria travels to Saltsburg.


 

HOMER-CENTER (6-0) at CONEMAUGH TWP. (1-5)

Kickoff: 7 p.m. Friday

Matchup: Undefeated in the Heritage Conference, Homer-Center takes its act into non-conference action.

Team statistics

HC CT

266.8 Rushing offense 203.5

55.3 Passing offense 51.2

322.2 Total offense 254.7

128.2 Rushing defense 205.2

57.7 Passing defense 101.2

185.8 Total defense 306.3

37.5 Scoring offense 20.8

9.2 Scoring defense 31.5

+6 Turnover margin +3

About Homer-Center: The Wildcats are No. 1 in the District 6 Class A rankings. They are 6-0 for the first time since 1994, when they started 8-0, won the District 6 title and finished 11-2. Homer-Center recorded its first shutout of the year, topping United, 37-0, last week. Aaron Berezansky was 2 of 3 for 31 yards, throwing a touchdown to Jim Bence and running for another. Ean Lee scored twice, including a 51-yard punt return. Mike Newhouse is fifth in the area in rushing (569 yards), and Lee is sixth (533). Berezansky leads the area in pass efficiency (23 of 32, 332 yards, 6 TDs, 0 ints).

About Conemaugh Township: The Indians are tied for seventh in the 11-team WestPAC. They threatened to upset Windber (4-2) last week, but lost on a fourth-quarter scoring drive, 42-35. Kody Ofsanko gained 240 yards on 33 carries. Austin Myers has 388 yards rushing, followed by Ofsanko (375) and Bruno Rosa (352). Rosa is 22 of 39 for 307 yards. Conemaugh Township’s only win came over winless Blacklick Valley.

Last year: Homer-Center, 19-13.

Next week: Homer-Center welcomes Ligonier Valley on Friday.


 

NORTHGATE (1-5) at APOLLO-RIDGE (4-2)

Kickoff: 7 p.m. Friday

Matchup: Apollo-Ridge looks to build a winning streak to shore up its playoff standing in the WPIAL Eastern Conference.

Team statistics

N AR

n/a Rushing offense 212.0

n/a Passing offense 131.5

n/a Total offense 343.5

n/a Rushing defense 169.3

n/a Passing defense 107.0

n/a Total defense 276.3

9.7 Scoring offense 38.5

35.0 Scoring defense 17.7

n/a Turnover margin +9

About Northgate: The Flames have lost five in a row since a season-opening win at Riverview (1-5). They scored for the first time in three weeks but lost to Leechburg, 35-14, at home last week as the Blue Devils snapped a 13-game losing streak. Johnny Camello ran for a touchdown and Rodney Burrows returned a kickoff 97 yards for a score.

About Apollo-Ridge: The Vikings have won four of their past five to move into fourth place in the conference. Apollo-Ridge’s losses came to North Catholic and Avonworth, who were both 5-0 entering last weekend before North Catholic defeated Avonworth. The Vikings are coming off a 42-0 win over Springdale, their second shutout of the season. Ben Gemballa rushed for 83 yards on 10 carries, and Tre Tipton returned an interception 71 yards for a touchdown. Tipton is third in the area in receptions (23 for 229 yards). Jesse Zelonka is second in the area in pass efficiency (55 of 93, 732 yards, 11 TDs, 0 ints).

Last year: Apollo-Ridge, 20-19.

Next week: Apollo-Ridge plays at Riverview on Saturday.


 

SOUTH SIDE BEAVER (0-6) at WEST SHAMOKIN (4-2)

Kickoff: 7 p.m. Friday

Matchup: West Shamokin gets a break from the hotly contested WPIAL Eastern Conference.

Team statistics

SSB WS

143.3 Rushing offense 229.3

72.5 Passing offense 47.7

215.8 Total offense 277.0

n/a Rushing defense 174.0

n/a Passing defense 117.0

n/a Total defense 291.0

11.3 Scoring offense 25.5

35.8 Scoring defense 25.8

n/a Turnover margin +4

About South Side Beaver: The Rams scored the first two touchdowns but allowed 19 third-quarter points and fell to Sacred Heart, 26-18, in one of their closest losses of the year. Nathan Block gained 122 yards on 22 carries and was 9 of 16 for 184 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Block has 417 rushing yards and is 11 of 19 for 181 yards. Jake Berger is 10 of 32 for 161 yards.

About West Shamokin: The Wolves set the school record for wins in a season, snapping a two-game losing streak with a 27-8 win at Wilkinsburg last week. The previous record was set when West Shamokin went 3-7 last year. Zac Horner gained 103 yards on 20 carries. Andrew Wingard is seventh in the area in rushing (522 yards) and fifth in scoring (60 points).

Last year: South Side Beaver, 40-18.

Next week: West Shamokin welcomes Leechburg on Friday.


 

DERRY (0-6) at HAMPTON (3-3)

Kickoff: 7 p.m. Friday

Matchup: Derry tries to stop its losing streak in its road finale.

Team statistics

D H

76.8 Rushing offense 118.8

101.5 Passing offense 166.3

178.3 Total offense 285.2

332.3 Rushing defense n/a

147.7 Passing defense n/a

480.0 Total defense n/a

5.7 Scoring offense 21.2

57.3 Scoring defense 15.7

-6 Turnover margin n/a

About Derry: The Trojans have lost 14 straight games dating to last season’s opener. They have allowed more than 50 points in each game, including last week’s 57-7 loss to Highlands.

About Hampton: The Talbots saw their three-game winning streak end in a 17-13 loss at Hollidaysburg last week. Nick Grabowski was 10 of 19 for 227 yards and two touchdowns. He is 64 of 123 for 993 yards with nine touchdowns and four interceptions. Jon Floss and Eddie Edwards have combined for 47 receptions for 804 yards.

Last year: Hampton, 49-0.

Next week: Derry plays host to Greensburg Salem on Friday.


 

KARNS CITY (5-1) at PUNXSUTAWNEY (3-3)

Kickoff: 7 p.m. Friday

Matchup: Punxsutawney gets a test from the KSAC Large School Division leader.

Team statistics

KC P

276.2 Rushing offense 199.8

140.2 Passing offense 97.0

416.4 Total offense 296.8

44.7 Scoring offense 20.5

15.8 Scoring defense 23.2

About Karns City: The Gremlins are on a four-game winning streak. They crushed Keystone, 55-14, last week, gaining 551 total yards. Tyler Kepple threw four touchdown passes and ran for two scores. The Gremlins’ only loss came to Clarion (6-0).

About Punxsutawney: The Chucks have alternated wins and losses, most recently defeating Clarion-Limestone, 28-12, last week. Punxsutawney forced six turnovers, all interceptions. Christian Falgout gained 228 yards on 35 carries. He is second in the area in rushing (788 yards) and third in scoring (70 points).

Last year: Karns City, 17-14.

Next week: Punxsutawney plays host to Clarion on Friday.

Next Article
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Key Blairsville starters set to return Friday
October 10, 2013 10:35 AM
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