5 things we learned from the high school football weekend

October 1, 2017
Burgettstown’s Seth Phillis is tackled by Bishop Canevin’s Alex Shaughnessy during a game at Burgettstown’s Hill Memorial Stadium last month. The undefeated Blue Devils clinched a playoff berth from the Class AA Century Conference last weekend - Celeste Van Kirk/Observer-Reporter Order a Print

Fort Cherry might have been the biggest winner Friday night as the Rangers stayed in contention for the Tri-County South Conference title with an impressive win over West Greene, but there were all types of wins last weekend. There were playoff-clinching wins, streak-snapping victories and wins that set up conference showdowns this weekend.

Here are five things we learned from the high school football weekend:

1. Hooligans going home happy – The Trinity student section, also known as the Hiller Hooligans, didn’t have much to cheer about at home games last season. Trinity went 0-5 at home.

Much has changed this season. Trinity has won three straight games, including two on the new turf and under the new lights at Hiller Field. Trinity thumped Uniontown 48-0 at home Friday night.

While those three wins came against inferior opponents, what Trinity (2-2, 3-2) does over the next four weeks will determine whether the Hillers play into November.

Trinity plays on the gold turf at Belle Vernon (5-0, 5-0) Friday and will try to take a big leap in the Big Nine Conference and put the Leopards’ conference title hopes on hold.

Trinity finishes its schedule with Albert Gallatin, Greensburg Salem and Ringgold. Each of those teams, along with the Hillers, are vying for one of the conference’s four playoff berths.

2. We’re talking about playoffs? – Yes, that’s the word on the streets of Burgettstown. The Blue Devils clinched a Class AA playoff berth with a 45-0 homecoming victory over Brownsville Saturday afternoon.

The Blue Devils have clinched a playoff berth in impressive fashion. They have an average margin of victory of 43 points.

The road will get much tougher for Burgettstown (4-0, 5-0), which hasn’t played a team currently with a winning record. The matchup Friday at Beth-Center (3-0, 6-0) is the biggest local game so far this season as first place in the Century Conference will be on the line. Both the Blue Devils and Bulldogs still have to play Washington (3-0, 5-0).

Burgettstown wasn’t the only local team to clinch a playoff berth last weekend. California (4-0, 6-0) and Carmichaels (4-0, 4-1) each secured postseason berths in Class A. The Trojans and Mikes play Friday in California with the winner having sole possession of first place in the Tri-County South.

3. Defense has Peters Township nearing playoffs – The talk revolving around Peters Township before the season was how teams were going to try to stop senior quarterback Jake Cortes.

The question opponents are now asking is how to score against the Indians’ defense.

Through six games, Peters Township (3-1, 5-1) has allowed more than 20 points in a game only one time – in a Sept. 8 loss to Bethel Park.

There is no question why the Indians are in a prime spot to make the 6-A playoffs.

The Indians have allowed the second-fewest points in the classification, yielding only 13.2 points per game. There are only two teams that rank similarly defensively and one is Norwin, which lost 14-7 to the Indians last Friday, and Pine Richland, which hosts the Indians in a nonconference game Friday.

The formula is simple for PT: continue to play solid defense and don’t make mistakes on offense. It’s a recipe that will be put to a strong test over the next two weeks in games against Pine-Richland and Mt. Lebanon.

4. Feel-good win for Waynesburg – Fandom falls by the wayside once you become a sports writer, but one can’t help but feel happy for Waynesburg coach Russ Moore and the Raiders, who earned their first win of the season by defeating Southmoreland, 36-14.

The victory ended a 17-game losing streak for Waynesburg that dated back to exactly two years ago today.

5. Rush climbing – With 113 yards in Mapletown’s 31-8 loss to Carmichaels in a Tri-County South Conference game, Maples senior running back Dylan Rush moved into the top 10 on the WPIAL’s career rushing yards list with 5,554 yards. With four regular-season games remaining, and the potential for a playoff game, Rush has a good chance to reach the 6,000-yard mark.

Staff writer Luke Campbell can be reached at lcampbell@observer-reporter.com.

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