If anything was evident Friday night, it was the difference between being a good team and a bad one is still very large.
The average margin of victory in the 17 games involving local high school football teams was slightly more than 31 points.
Defense, for many WPIAL teams, seems to be optional as seven of those games featured at least 50 points being scored by one team.
Here is what we also learned during a week filled with lopsided scores:
1. No defensive deficiencies – While many local teams have no trouble scoring points, Burgettstown and South Fayette have defensive units that might be the most important reason for the undefeated starts by the Blue Devils and Lions.
Burgettstown, which has wins over Frazier and Bishop Canevin, has scored more points than it has allowed.
At this point last season, Burgettstown already had allowed 50 points. This year, they’ve only given up six, including a shutout victory over Bishop Canevin last Friday.
In South Fayette’s season opener Aug. 24, the Lions’ defense made a Central Valley offense, which has scored 42 points each of the past two weeks, look pedestrian. The Lions easily disposed of Mars’ wing-T attack and surrendered only a late touchdown to Ambridge in their latest win.
Through three games, South Fayette is allowing only 4.3 points per game.
Burgettstown’s 3.0 points per game allowed ranks first in Class 2A.
2. Bad blood – The running clock in the fourth quarter couldn’t wind fast enough for Avella.
Despite California scoring 66 first-half points against the Eagles, it must have not been enough as the Trojans went on to an 86-13 win.
That didn’t – and shouldn’t – sit well with the Avella coaching staff, which made its displeasure known as the game went final.
3. Just keep running – Though West Greene kept Mapletown running back Dylan Rush in check for most of the night, Rush was able to surpass both the school’s career rushing yards and touchdown records that were previously held by Derek Bochna.
Rush, now with 4,824 career rushing yards, will likely eclipse the 5,000-yard mark when the Maples travel to Avella Friday.
He has seven games left in the regular season to reach 6,000 yards.
4. Lounder leading the charge – Switching positions for the betterment of the team is sometimes a sacrifice a player has to make.
For former wide receiver and now Burgettstown quarterback Ryan Lounder, it’s been a switch well worth making for the Blue Devils and head coach Mark Druga.
Lounder didn’t have to throw often to have an impact Friday as he completed only four passes in the win over Bishop Canevin. All four completions went for touchdowns. He also had 50 rushing yards and intercepted a Canevin pass.
He did exactly what you want your senior leader to do, make game-changing plays that helped extend Burgettstown’s narrow halftime lead.
The Blue Devils will go as far as Lounder and their defense will take them, maybe even as far as a Century Conference championship.
5. It’s time to circle Oct. 6 – We are still a long way from Week 6 but a huge matchup in the Century Conference is already brewing. It possible that when Burgettstown travels to Beth-Center on Oct 6., both the Blue Devils and Bulldogs will be undefeated.
Both Burgettstown (2-0) and Beth-Center (3-0) should be considered favorites to win their next three games before they meet in Fredericktown, which should set up quite an important showdown.
The biggest roadblock to the battle of unbeatens could come Friday when Springdale, a Class A opponent, plays at Beth-Center in a nonconference game. The Dynamos are 1-2. However, they gave Clairton everything it could handle last Friday.
Even if Beth-Center and Burgettstown don’t come into that game undefeated, it will still have playoff implications.
Staff writer Luke Campbell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.