Canon-McMillan next up for Upper St. Clair
Tom Rizza escaped the grasp of would-be tacklers and found his way into the end zone four times during Seton-La Salle’s 40-3 rout of South Allegheny in the Century Conference opener for both clubs.
Eleanor Bailey / The Almanac
After toppling the No. 1 team in Quad-A, Upper St. Clair welcomes Canon-McMillan into its lair at Panthers stadium for a Southeastern Conference contest at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 6.
Under new head coach Ron Coder, the Big Macs enter the fray fresh off a 39-17 loss to Penn Hills.
Of primary concern for USC is quarterback Jordan Smith. He threw for 121 yards versus the Indians. One of his six completions enabled CM to stake a short-lived lead. Jake Martin’s 42-yard TD reception coupled with Luke Starcevic’s extra point gave the Big Macs a 7-0 advantage in the first frame. Starcevic also added a 38-yard field goal. Jules Gdovic’s 2-yard run in the third frame capped CM’s scoring.
Meanwhile, USC impressed scholastic football fans with its hard-fought victory, 16-10 against Woodland Hills. On a hot August night at the Wolvarena in Turtle Creek, USC overcame a 7-0 deficit to record the win.
Mac Pope’s 1-yard plunge into the end zone capped an 11-play, 80-yard scoring drive and Max Herold’s extra point tied the game, 7-7. Rori Blair blocked a punt for a safety, giving USC the lead for good, 9-7, with 7:41 left before intermission. After Joe Repischak’s 24-yard TD run to close the first half, USC held off the Wolverines.
Though Woodland Hills started the second half with a 19-play drive, the USC defense stiffened,and the Wolverines settled for a 27-yard field goal. Plus, a fumble recovery by Pope thwarted another attempt at a comeback by the Wolverines late in the game.
In addition to the defense, a unit that returns nine starters plus Blair from a 2012 squad that allowed only 120 points, special teams is a bonus for this year’s USC club, which is striving for its first title since winning both the WPIAL and PIAA championships in 2006.
Against Woodland Hills, Jesse Slinger excelled. He averaged 50 yards per punt. His best kick went for 62 yards and put the Wolverines in a tight spot on its final possession.
While USC’s defense was as stifling as the weather, limiting Woody High to 203 total yards, 22 through the air, Miles Sanders broke loose for 101 yards on 11 carries. He scored the first touchdown of the game on a 5-yard scamper.
Penn Hills at Peters
Peters Township welcomes Penn Hills in its home opener at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 6.
The Indians escaped Baldwin with a 33-28 victory in their Southeastern Conference opener last week. With the game tied, 7-7, they outgunned the Highlanders, 26-21, in a frantic fourth quarter.
Mark Minjock sparked PT’s comeback. He scored back-to-back TDs on 10- and 24-yard runs to vault the Indians into the lead. The senior is the younger brother of Mike Minjock, who rushed for 1,300 yards last year before matriculating to Carnegie Mellon University.
Cory Owens rambled for three more scores of 59, 47 and 2 yards behind PT’s powerful offensive line.
CV at Hopewell
Moon spoiled Niel Loebig’s debut as head coach when the Tigers tripped up Chartiers Valley, 56-23, in the Parkway Conference opener for both squads.
This Friday at 7 p.m., the Colts try again at Hopewell. The Vikings are also 0-1 after their 20-14 loss to Montour.
Tyler Ishman is CV’s primary concern. The sophomore averaged 5.8 yards per carry last year and appears up to snuff this season. He rolled up 141 yards and scored twice on runs of 15 and 59 yards in the loss to the Spartans.
Down 21-0, CV scored its first TD of the Loebig era, oddly, by an offensive lineman. Ryan Bush pounced on a Tiger fumble in the end zone for the score.
Against Moon, Tom Kovach kicked a 22-yard field goal, Anthony Voss rushed for a 21-yard TD and Tanner Garris returned a kick 85 yards to complete CV’s scoring.
Josh Lapiana, however, showed signs of the Loebig passing style. Loebig threw for neary 6,000 yards and 65 scores in high school at South Fayette and more than 10,000 yards and 100 TDs in college at Duquesne University. Against Moon, Lapiana completed 12 attempts for 201 yards. Last fall, Lapiana passed for more than 1,000 yards and eight scores.
KO at SF
An airshow over South Fayette takes place at 7 p.m. Sept. 6 as the Lions host Keystone Oaks in this Century Conference clash.
The Lions are fresh off a 41-14 triumph over McGuffey while the Golden Eagles are licking their wounds after a 47-13 debacle against Steel Valley.
Brett Brumbaugh leads the Lions. The junior is well on his way to eclipsing last year’s totals of 2,283 passing yards and 37 TDs. Against the Highlanders, he completed 17 of 24 aerials for 245 yards and three scores to Justin Watson, Conner Beck and Logan Sharp.
Beck finished with six receptions for 75 yards.
SF was not without a ground game as J.J. Walker rushed for two, 5-yard scores and Grant Fetchet ran for a 3-yard TD.
While his team got off to a rocky start, Kobe Phillippi flashed signs of last year’s 1,000-yard season. The junior signal caller completed 6- and 28-yard TD strikes to Braydon Griffiths in the loss to the Ironmen.
McGuffey vs. SLS
Although a different stadium, Seton-La Salle hopes for similar results in week two of Century Conference action when the Rebels host McGuffey at 7 p.m. Sept. 6 at Chartiers Valley. In their opener Aug. 31, the Rebels blasted South Allegheny, 40-3, at Baldwin’s Cibik Stadium.
Tom Rizza proved Mr. Touchdown for the Rebels as the senior racked up four scores in the win over the Gladiators. He rushed for scores of 5, 16 and 8 yards. He also an 11-yard TD strike from Tyler Perone.
Rick Mellick, who recovered a fumble to set up a SLS score in the third quarter, put the Rebels on the scoreboard with his 3-yard plunge into the end zone at the 8:41 mark of the second stanza. The score erased SA’s 3-0 advantage, waged by a 31-yard field goal by Audra Lewis. James Ross caught an 11-yard TD aerial for SLS’s other score.
Perone completed 16 of 20 attempts for 196 yards. Rizza was the top target, hauling in five passes for 59 yards.
Canevin at CH
The 1-2 punch of Tyler Reddy and Giovanni DeMarzo are Chartiers-Houston’s top concerns as the Buccaneers host Bishop Canevin at 7 p.m. Sept. 6. It is the second straight road game for the Crusaders.
In Darren Schoppe’s debut as head coach, the Crusaers thumped United, 31-3. Because Imani Christian’s football program folded officially in August, the Indiana County school filled the vacancy on Canevin’s schedule.
In the triumph, Reddy and DerMarzo led the way, rolling up 151 and 100 yards respectively to lead Canevin’s ground game. Reddy scored twice on rambles of 13 and 31 yards while DeMarzo raced 85 yards for his score.
Also for the Crusaders, Ryan Durbin kicked a 37-yard field goal and Zach Cortese returned an interception 31 yards for another touchdown.
Meanwhile, the Buccaneers are 0-1 overall after being mauled by the Bears from Clairton, 35-0, in their opener. Clairton is the four-time defending state champion.
Canon-McMillan next up for Upper St. Clair
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