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Baldwin, Fox Chapel both need a win

| Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012, 9:01 p.m.
South Hills Record
Senior running back Nick Barca, at left, scored Baldwin's lone touchdown last week against Woodland Hills on a 1-yard burst in the fourth quarter. Sophomore quarterback Doug Altavilla, at right, completed sksksksksks. Randy Jarosz | for the South Hills Record
South Hills Record

Both the Baldwin and Fox Chapel varsity football teams are in need of a much-desired victory.

The Foxes (1-5, 1-4) host the Fighting Highlanders (1-5, 1-5) in a nonconference matchup on Friday at 7 p.m.

Baldwin lost its fourth consecutive Quad Central Conference game last week, falling at home to Woodland Hills, 35-7.

Fox Chapel jumped out to an early 7-0 advantage against North Hills in a Quad North Conference matchup, as Brandon Mitchell raced to an 80-yard touchdown in the first quarter.

But the roof then caved in for the visitors, as 5-1 North Hills answered with 31 unanswered points and won, 31-7.

Baldwin head coach Jim Wehner is leary of this week's opponent.

“(Fox Chapel) will try to spread you out with their offense,” he said. “They run to the ball on defense, and they are well-coached. They are a good 1-5 team.”

Baldwin kicked off the past two seasons with 35-10 and 30-7 nonconference victories against the Foxes.

Fox Chapel finished 1-8 overall in 2010, and 3-7 last season when it slipped into the WPIAL playoffs and lost to North Allegheny in the first round, 53-20.

The Foxes, who were members of the Quad East Conference the past two years, are competing in the Quad North due to WPIAL realignment.

The Quad North is dominated by North Allegheny, Central Catholic, Seneca Valley and North Hills.

“I think we're in an even more competitive conference now,” said Fox Chapel's second-year head coach Eric Ravotti, a former Penn State and Steelers linebacker.

Mitchell, a 6-foot-6, 205-pound junior quarterback who finished with 131 yards rushing on 17 carries last week, has run for 306 yards and two touchdowns this season for the Foxes.

A transfer from Penn Hills, he has been drawing Division I recruiting interest.

In recent years, Fox Chapel gained a reputation for producing Division I linemen. And this season, the Foxes again have good size in junior Pat Denny (6-3, 265), and seniors Levi Kendrick (5-11, 270) and Tyler Lever (5-11, 270) — but a relatively inexperienced group of linemen.

Baldwin averted a shutout last week on junior running back Nick Barca's short touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

Barca and Jake Elk, a junior linebacker, led the local squad in tackles against the Wolverines.

Following this week's game, the Fighting Highlanders end their regular season against conference foes Canon-McMillan and Plum.

In the Quad Central Conference, Upper St. Clair and Mt. Lebanon are 5-0, followed by Bethel Park (4-2), Peters Township (3-2), Woodland Hills (3-2) and Penn Hills (2-3).

Baldwin and Canon-McMillan have one win apiece, while Plum is 0-6.

Baldwin has been outscored by a 181-75 overall margin this season; Fox Chapel has been outscored, 181-84.

Ray Fisher is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5820 or rfisher@tribweb.com.

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