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The Leader is ready for a road trip

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Bill Shirley | For The Valley News Dispatch
Freeport's Andrew Romanchak, right, breaks up the pass that was intended for Kittanning's Nick Bowers during first half action on Friday night at James Shwartz Memorial Field in Freeport, August 30, 2013.
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'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013, 1:31 a.m.

Anyone up for a trip to New York City? Maybe Washington, D.C., perhaps? As long as it's not Cleveland.

The Leader is in the mood for a road trip after looking at this week's slate of games and seeing the long distances some of the visiting teams have to travel.

Avonworth and Southmoreland both have drives in excess of an hour to visit their Armstrong School District opponents, while Redbank Valley is going from New Bethlehem to what is essentially the Ohio border to face Farrell. At least Apollo-Ridge and Leechburg are staying close to home for a little border war in the southern part of the county.

Of course, The Leader prefers the comfort of his air-conditioned, XM-equipped car over a school bus for making those lengthy journeys, and as he makes his picks, he has to wonder if the distance will have an adverse effect on any of the teams.

Avonworth at West Shamokin

The Wolves will be playing the biggest game in school history in front of a packed house, and The Leader feels as though there's something special about this year's Wolves.

West Shamokin, 26-20

Leechburg at Apollo-Ridge

The Blue Devils can't catch a break on their schedule. The Vikings are the second straight ranked opponent for Leechburg, and the result is going to be similar.

Apollo-Ridge, 35-13

Summit Academy at Kittanning

Summit has plenty of skill-position talent, and its one win so far came as a result of a turnover-producing defense. The Wildcats will protect the ball and stop the run at home to extend their win streak.

Kittanning, 34-14

Southmoreland at Ford City

Heavy rain rushing through ruined Southmoreland's home field earlier this year. Ford City backs rushing through will ruin the Scotties' defense Friday.

Ford City, 31-20

Valley at Freeport

Freeport coach John Gaillot was right when he said his Yellowjackets would get better each week. They earned a deserved win last week, but Valley is playing at a much higher level than Deer Lakes is.

Valley, 26-8

Redbank Valley at Farrell

The Bulldogs can score, but can they stop a top team? Farrell has a Division I prospect at running back and wide receiver, and unlike their pro namesakes, these Steelers can put points on the board.

Farrell, 41-27

Karns City at Union-Rimersburg

Gremlins running backs Wyatt Everetts and Tristan Rhoades must be licking their lips after watching what Redbank's Mark Strothers did to the Golden Knights last week.

Karns City, 49-28

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