The first full week of WPIAL high school football is in the books. Our two feature matchups here on Pittsburgh Sports Now were Beaver Falls at Aliquippa and South Side at New Brighton.
Aliquippa 36 Beaver Falls 0:
The Quips have the look of a team that will be very difficult to beat and will be surprising if they don’t make it back to Heinz Field for the 10th season in a row. The Aliquippa defense pitched a shutout for the second consecutive week, after blanking New Castle 24-0 in “Week Zero”, they completely shutdown the Tigers offense.
Once again, Aliquippa running back Avante McKenzie led the way offensively rushing for 154 yards and scoring four touchdowns. Next up for Mike Zmijanac’s team is a trip to Beaver to take on the high-powered Beaver Bobcats.
The loss for Beaver Falls was its first since losing last season’s opener also to Aliquippa, 44-13.
South Side 28 New Brighton 21:
A late defensive stand by South Side preserved the win in what could turn out to be a key win for the Rams. With New Brighton driving for a game-tying touchdown, South Side defensive lineman Jacob Navarra sacked New Brighton quarterback Jackson Hall which ended the Lions comeback attempt.
Offensively, South Side was led by fullback Thomas Botkin who rushed for 210 yards and two touchdowns. Last week, Botkin ran for 154 yards. The ground attack that South Side is putting up is impressive considering, of the five starting offensive lineman, four of them are first year starters.
Hall was the star for New Brighton offensively passing for 225 yards, including a 65 yard pass to Deshawn Clark. On the ground, Ashton Fath ran for 81 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Central Valley 42 Ellwood City 7:
After getting shutout in their opener, Central Valley rebounded with a strong effort on both sides of the ball to dominate Ellwood City. Running back Danny Santia paced the way for the Warriors with 100 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Speaking of four, the Central Valley defense picked off Ellwood City quarterback Shane Reisinger four times. Anthony Mendicino had three of those picks and Jaeden Gordon returned the other one 21 yards for a Central Valley touchdown.
Central Valley outgained Ellwood City 381 to 134. This Friday, Central Valley travels to Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic while Ellwood City is on the road at Hopewell.
Hopewell 12 Burrell 6:
A week after losing a tough game to Freedom, the Vikings were able to rebound with a dramatic win over Burrell.
Vikings running back DeShawn Sanders scored a 8 yard touchdown with 1 minute left in the game to give Hopewell their first win of the 2017 season. Earlier in the game, Sanders scored on a 43 yard run to record the games first score. For the game, Sanders rushed 28 times for 146 yards.
Burrell running back Logan Bitar had a nice night rushing for 183 yards including a 86 yard touchdown run which tied the game in the fourth quarter.
Next up for Hopewell is another home game at Tony Dorsett Stadium as they take on Ellwood City.
Beaver 42 Freedom 0:
One of the early storylines of the 2017 season is the offensive dominance of the Beaver Bobcats. Thru the first two weeks, Beaver has put up 111 points including 42 on Friday at Freedom.
Bobcats running back Te’Vonn Williams continues to be the leader of the offense. On Friday, Williams only had 8 carries but rushed for 89 yards and 2 touchdowns. Also scoring for Beaver were Brodie List (15 yard run), Amen Cottrill (45 yard run) and Tyler Wallace, who return two interceptions for scores.
Freedom quarterback Zach Rosa completed 6 of 14 passes for 82 yards. The Bulldogs will try to regroup this coming Friday as their on the road to take on rival New Brighton, which could turnout to be a big conference game.
Quaker Valley 52 McGuffey 0:
Speaking of high-powered offenses, Quaker Valley once again dominated another early season opponent.
QV quarterback Ricky Guss, who was the Pittsburgh Sports Now Player of the Week last week, had another big game. Guss accounted for six touchdowns (4 passing and 2 rushing) while combining for 272 total yards. In two games this season, the senior quarterback has accounted for 12 Quaker Valley touchdowns.
The other offense star for Jerry Veshio’s team was senior wide receiver Isaiah McNair, who had 7 catches for 118 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Next up for Quaker Valley is a road trip to Neshannock before a big showdown at home against Beaver.
Rochester 36 Shenango 7:
First year starting quarterback Mahlik Strozier was the star of this game leading the Rams to their first win of the season.
The first offensive snap for Rochester was a sign of things to come for Strozier as he took the snap and ran 88 yards for the touchdown. For the game, Strozier finished with 263 yards rushing and 3 touchdowns. Last season, Strozier was a starting wide receiver for Rochester’s semifinal team.
On the opening kickoff, Rochester’s Elijah Goosby ran 82 yards for the touchdown so it was a night of big plays for the Rams.
For this effort, Strozier is the Pittsburgh Sports Now Beaver County Player of the Week. For this, Strozier will be awarded two gift certificates from two of PSN’s great sponsors, one to Vocelli’s in Hopewell or Rochester and another one to Dunkin’ Donuts.
Also scoring for Rochester was Caleb Collins, who scored on a 10-yard run.
Highlands 28 Ambridge 21:
The Bridgers gave a good effort and came close to earn their first win in two years but lost came up short. Ambridge had a halftime lead of 14-7 but were outscored 21-0 in the second half.
Special teams was a killer for Ambridge as they allowed a 60 yard punt return to Gabe Booker and then a 87 yard kickoff return to Logan Crise. One of Ambridge’s two touchdowns was a 57 yard pass from Noah Campalong to Dozhay Crumb.
West Allegheny 41 Fox Chapel 0:
Bob Palko’s team opened the season on the road and came away with an easy victory. West Allegheny scored two defensive touchdown, interception returns by Will Weber and Noah Ledford. Offensively, Weber chipped in with two touchdown passes for the Indians.
Also scoring for West Allegheny were Dante Flati on a 36 yard run, Mateo Vandemia on a 20 yard pass from Weber, Brent Mangold on a 8 yard pass from Weber and Flati scored a second touchdown on a 10 yard run.
This win sets up a big showdown on Friday night as West Allegheny hosts North Hills.
Western Beaver 27 Summit Academy 22:
Western Beaver opens the season 2-0 with a win over Summit Academy. After jumping out to a 21-0 lead, Western Beaver had a withstand a charge from Summit Academy but were able to hold on. Western Beaver’s Noah Gray intercepted a ball in the endzone as time expired to give Western Beaver the victory.
Jeddy Young was the star offensively rushing 37 times for 177 yards and a touchdown. Young also completed 10 of 14 passes for 143 yards and 3 touchdowns.
In two other area games, Knoch beat Blackhawk, 39-13 and Moon dropped a tough game falling to Armstrong 28-21.