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Previewing some of Western Pennsylvania's top Week 3 matchups

| Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, 9:33 p.m.

Below is a look at some of the top Week 3 high school football matchups in Western Pennsylvania:

CLASS AAAA

Quad Central

9-AAAA Bethel Park (0-2, 0-2) at 6-AAAA Upper St. Clair (2-0, 2-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday

The buzz: Records don't always tell the whole story. Bethel Park is winless after opening the season with losses to No. 1 Central Catholic and No. 2 Woodland Hills.

Key players: Bethel Park wide receiver Charlie Davis had seven catches for 173 yards and two touchdowns last week. Upper St. Clair quarterback Jackson Geisler threw two touchdowns last week against Peters Township with an 89-yarder to Connor Brennan included.

About the Black Hawks: After an 0-2 start last season, Bethel Park beat USC, 21-14, when quarterback Levi Metheny threw three touchdowns. Two of his scoring throws went to Davis.

About the Panthers: Upper St. Clair running back Thomas Vissman leads the team with 201 yards on 22 carries and four touchdowns. The junior scored three times last week.

Prediction: USC, 28-21

Quad East

Connellsville (0-2, 0-2) at Latrobe (0-2, 0-2)

7 p.m. Friday

The buzz: Both Quad East teams are looking for their first conference victory after frustrating losses the past two weeks. Connellsville won 21-7 last year.

Key players: Running back Braden Hone has led the Connellsville offense with 94 yards. Dylan Harshman and Derek Orndorff have shared quarterback duties. Craig Stevens scored Latrobe's lone touchdown last week on a 4-yard run.

About the Falcons: Connellsville was outscored 111-21 in its first two losses against No. 5 McKeesport and No. 3 Penn-Trafford. The Falcons have committed eight turnovers.

About the Wildcats: After being shut out by Norwin in Week 1, Latrobe suffered a 49-7 setback at Kiski Area last week.

Prediction: Connellsville, 24-14

Kiski Area (1-1, 1-1) at Hempfield (1-1, 1-1)

7 p.m. Friday

The buzz: Both teams are coming off big wins in Week 2, as Kiski Area ran over Latrobe and Hempfield shocked Norwin with a big comeback. Both teams have showed flashes of success on offense.

Key players: Kiski Area quarterback Chad Kuhn completed 12 of 16 passes for 199 yards and two touchdowns against Latrobe. Hempfield quarterback Daniel Walters was 17 for 32 for 284 yards and three scores against Norwin.

About the Cavaliers: Kiski Area ended its 11-game losing streak last week. Running back Tariq Gant rushed for 144 yards and a score against Latrobe.

About the Spartans: Hempfield trailed Norwin 20-0 last week but didn't roll over thanks to Walters and running back Don Washington, who helped pull off an incredible 35-34 victory.

Prediction: Hempfield, 21-17

7-AAAA Plum (2-0, 1-0) at Altoona (1-1, 0-1)

7 p.m. Friday

The buzz: The Mustangs will try to keep pace at the top of the Quad East standings, while the Mountain Lions hope to pull off an upset at home.

Key players: Plum's Kevin Brown now has a touchdown three different ways this season, as he caught a pass and rushed for a score in Week 1 and returned a kickoff 90 yards for the Mustangs' lone score last week in a win at North Hills. Altoona senior linemen Troy Livermore and Jarod Lutz are experienced players who hope to get the passing and running games moving.

About the Mustangs: Plum is seeking its first 3-0 start since 2001. That year, the Mustangs started 5-0, finished the regular season 7-2 and lost in the WPIAL Class AAAA first round to North Allegheny.

About the Mountain Lions: Altoona lost 22 seniors, including 18 starters from last year's playoff team. Kevin Givens now is a freshman defensive end at Penn State, and last year's leading rusher, Eli Mencer, plays at Albany in the Football Championship Subdivison. Quarterback Ryan Shope passed for 100 yards and two scores in a Week 1 win over Butler.

Prediction: Plum, 27-7

Quad North

1-AAAA Central Catholic (2-0, 1-0) at 8-AAAA North Allegheny (1-1, 1-1)

7:30 p.m. Friday

The buzz: Two standouts in the Quad North, each team started the season wanting to win the conference title. However, a loss Friday would deal a serious blow to NA's hopes a week after losing at Pine-Richland.

Key players: Central Catholic running backs Ronnie Jones and Vinny Emanuele have each rushed for more than 200 yards. Emanuele has 251 yards on 28 carries. Jones has 201 on 20 carries. North Allegheny wide receiver Matt Sell had seven catches for 186 yards, including a 26-yard touchdown last week.

About the Vikings: Sophomore quarterback Troy Fisher led Central Catholic to victory in each of his first two starts, including a win over Shaler last week. Fisher has thrown three touchdowns (all to different receivers) and rushed for another.

About the Tigers: North Allegheny started quarterback Ethan Maenza against Pine-Richland and the junior passed for 237 yards with one touchdown and three INTs. Week 1 starter Riley Trueman, who was injured in the opener, played safety.

Prediction: Central Catholic, 28-14

4-AAAA Pine-Richland (2-0, 2-0) at Fox Chapel (0-2, 0-2)

7 p.m. Friday

The buzz: Defending WPIAL champion Pine-Richland, which beat North Allegheny 28-14 last week, looks to continue its hot start to the season with a victory over the Foxes, who fell to Seneca Valley.

Key players: Pine-Richland quarterback Phil Jurkovec is filling in well for the graduated Ben DiNucci, as the 6-foot-4 sophomore leads the Rams in passing and rushing and accounted for three touchdowns last week. Fox Chapel's Thomas Smith rushed for 99 yards and returned an interception for a touchdown against Seneca Valley.

About the Rams: Only four starters returned from Pine-Richland's 2014 championship team. Senior lineman Matt Hampson, who has more than a dozen college offers, is one of the returners. He anchors a defense that has allowed 21 points in two games. Jurkovec is a standout basketball and football player.

About the Foxes: Slow starts hurt Fox Chapel in each of its first two games. The Foxes haven't scored a point in the first half, getting outscored 34-0 in the first two quarters. Brendan Whelan passed for 74 yards and a touchdown last week.

Prediction: Pine-Richland, 42-7

CLASS AAA

Big 10

Albert Gallatin (0-2, 0-2) at 7-AAA West Mifflin (2-0, 2-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday

The buzz: West Mifflin's strong rushing attack and stout defense have caused fits for opponents so far.

Key players: Albert Gallatin quarterback Hunter Moody is capable of hurting teams with his running and passing. He topped 100 yards in both aspects during a 28-0 loss to Elizabeth Forward on Friday. Quarterback Karlyn Garner is the centerpiece of the West Mifflin offense, which helped the Titans break out to a 47-7 victory over Yough.

About the Colonials: Though having nothing to show for it, winless Albert Gallatin received 113 yards passing and 100 yards rushing from Moody in the loss to Elizabeth Forward.

About the Titans: Running backs Russell Tyree (110) and Maryce Johnson (108) as well as Garner (103) all topped 100 yards in rushing against Yough. West Mifflin's defense also stood out in a season-opening 13-7 victory at Uniontown.

Prediction: West Mifflin, 40-6

4-AAA Ringgold (2-0, 2-0) at Yough (1-1, 1-1)

7:30 p.m. Friday

The buzz: The Rams' offensive machine scored on the first five possessions last week in a 41-20 win over Uniontown. Yough's defense that has given up 67 points in two games, including 47 against West Mifflin last week.

Key players: Everybody knows about Rams running back Chacar Berry (26-290, 5 TDs), but don't sleep on fellow running back Brenden Small (19-202, 2 TDs). Both average more than 10 yards per carry. Yough running back Eric Borkovich has rushed for more than 150 yards and three touchdowns.

About the Rams: Ringgold has a balanced attack that includes quarterback George Martin (242 yards passing, 2 TDs) throwing to Dalton Holt (6-79). The Rams have to guard against looking ahead to next week's showdown with West Mifflin.

About the Cougars: Yough is 1-10 since moving to Class AAA last season. In last week's loss, Yough trailed 41-0 at halftime.

Prediction: Ringgold, 42-14

Thomas Jefferson (0-2, 0-2) at Laurel Highlands (2-0, 2-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday

The buzz: After falling to Belle Vernon last week, Thomas Jefferson is 0-2 for the first time in the Bill Cherpak coaching era, a span covering 21 years. Both teams jumped out to big first-half leads last week. Laurel Highlands sat on a 31-7 halftime cushion against Trinity.

Key players: TJ's Jonathan Muehlbauer caught two touchdown pass last week — one from Julian Metro and one from Zane Zandier, who completed 6 of 8 passes for 125 yards from his Wildcat position. Laurel Highlands quarterback Jimmy Pierce completed 13 of 21 passes for 319 yards and four scores last week. Chad Livingston hauled in seven receptions for 218 yards and scored three times, while Christian Jones reached paydirt twice.

About the Jaguars: The Jaguars have been outscored 58-44 through two games. TJ won last year's matchup 48-19, and has won seven games in a row in the series dating back to 2007.

About the Mustangs: The Mustangs, who cruised past Elizabeth Forward, 49-28, in their season opener, have racked up 93 points in two games, an average of 46.5 ppg.

Prediction: Thomas Jefferson, 28-17

Trinity (0-2, 0-2) at Elizabeth Forward (1-1, 1-1)

7:30 p.m. Friday

The buzz: Elizabeth Forward beat Albert Gallatin on Friday, providing Michael Collodi with his first victory as coach of the Warriors.

Key players: Quarterback Dylan Kearn threw a touchdown pass of 59 yards to wide receiver Dajour Hull and finished 8 of 12 for 145 yards for Trinity in a 44-21 loss to Laurel Highlands on Friday. Running backs Conor Hinchey (209 yards rushing) and Zach Budde (173) powered Elizabeth Forward's 28-0 victory over Albert Gallatin.

About the Hillers: Trinity has been outscored by nearly double its offensive output in the season's first two games, losing to No. 9 Belle Vernon, 17-7, and Laurel Highlands by 23 points.

About the Warriors: Elizabeth Forward hopes to avoid looking ahead to Thomas Jefferson, the preseason Big 10 Conference favorite, which is off to a 0-2 start.

Prediction: Elizabeth Forward, 21-19

Uniontown (0-2, 0-2) at 9-AAA Belle Vernon (2-0, 2-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday

The buzz: The Leopards beat TJ for the first time since 2000 and also snapped the Jaguars' 58-game home winning streak last week. Coach Matt Humbert's team is now in position contend for the conference title for the first time in 15 years. Uniontown, which lost to Ringgold, is meeting its third unbeaten team in as many weeks.

Key players: Belle Vernon quarterback Mike Fine has been more successful running the ball (222 yards, 3 TDs) than passing it (110, 0) and running back Luke Durigon is coming off an 18-carry, 105-yard performance. Uniontown quarterback Deuce Mosely has thrown for 71 yards and a touchdown and is also the team's leading rusher with 112 yards.

About the Leopards: The last time BVA started out the season 2-0 was in 2009, but it lost the next three games. Last week, the Leps overcame a 14-0 deficit early in the first quarter.

About the Raiders: Since 2010, Uniontown is 10-36 and the Raiders' last winning season was in 2009 when they went 7-4, including a 21-10 win over BVA in the first round of the WPIAL playoffs.

Prediction: Belle Vernon, 20-14

Greater Allegheny

8-AAA Gateway (2-0, 1-0) at 6-AAA Hampton (2-0, 1-0)

7 p.m. Friday

The buzz: Both teams will try to stay undefeated in a hotly contested conference race. Hampton won last year's meeting at Gateway, 37-14.

Key players: Hampton sophomore Ross Andersson had a big fourth quarter against Indiana with three touchdown passes. He completed 12 of 15 passes for 191 yards in the win. Gateway's Rashaun Tarrant had a 33-yard touchdown run and a 32-yard interception return for a touchdown in last week's blowout victory over Perry.

About the Gators: The Gateway defense held Greensburg Salem (46) and Perry (73) to a combined 119 yards of total offense. Sophomore quarterback Brady Walker is off to a good start in his first year as a starter – 15 of 24, 208 yards with one touchdown pass and one scoring run.

About the Talbots: Hampton is averaging 40 points after two games. The Talbots scored 48 in a Week 1 shootout victory over City League favorite Allderdice. Matt Rech, the team's leading rusher last year, has 350 yards rushing in two weeks but was held to 65 on 13 carries against Indiana.

Prediction: Hampton, 30-20

Hollidaysburg (1-1, 1-1) at Greensburg Salem (0-2, 0-2)

7 p.m. Friday

The buzz: Hollidaysburg pulled off an early-season surprise by upsetting Franklin Regional, 21-17, last week, while Greensburg Salem's offense sputtered against Knoch.

Key players: Hollidaysburg safety Ryan Adams was a first-team GAC all-purpose back in 2014. Greensburg Salem running back Teegan Hahn rushed for 96 yards last week at Knoch.

About the Golden Tigers: Hollidaysburg returns 17 seniors and nine juniors and is looking to contend for a WPIAL playoff berth in its final year in the district. The Golden Tigers earned their 600th victory last week.

About the Golden Lions: Greensburg Salem coach Dave Keefer was hoping for a quick start in 2015, but two tough losses has the team needing a win Friday in a big way.

Prediction: Hollidaysburg, 23-14

Indiana (0-2, 0-2) at Armstrong (1-1, 1-1)

7 p.m. Friday

The buzz: A pair of teams coming off narrow Week 2 losses will look to rebound and avoid falling too far behind in the Class AAA playoff race.

Key players: Indiana quarterback Jacob Zilinskas accounted for all four of the Little Indians' touchdowns last week against Hampton, passing for three and rushing for the other. Junior running back Zane Dudek did everything for Armstrong last week, rushing for 177 yards and two touchdowns and returning a pair of kickoffs for two more scores against Mars.

About the Little Indians: Indiana led Hampton, 27-13, through three quarters but lost the game after getting outscored 20-0 in the fourth. Dylan Stapleton caught two of Zilinskas' three touchdown passes last week. Zilinskas is the son of 14-year Indiana coach Mark Zilinskas.

About the River Hawks: The second half against Mars featured six different lead changes. Armstrong's last-ditch comeback attempt ended with a failed fourth down pass deep in Mars territory. Dudek, who has a 4.5 grade-point average, is receiving interest from Ivy League colleges.

Prediction: Armstrong, 26-16

2-AAA Mars (2-0, 2-0) at 10-AAA Franklin Regional (1-1, 1-1)

7 p.m. Friday

The buzz: Mars hopes to maintain its strong start in conference play, while Franklin Regional hopes to recover from last Friday's upset loss against Hollidaysburg. The Panthers won last year's meeting at Mars, 21-15.

Key players: Mars quarterback Sam Morissey, in his first year as a starter, completed 9 of 11 passes for 129 yards and a touchdown in the win over Armstrong on Friday. Franklin Regional linebacker Jake Lauer was strong against Hollidaysburg with nine tackles (seven solo) and an interception.

About the Fightin' Planets: Isaiah Johnson is the new featured back for Mars, and he had 87 yards and two touchdowns in last week's victory. The Mars offense is averaging 33 points in its two conference victories.

About the Panthers: Franklin Regional hasn't lost two games in a row since the regular-season finale and its WPIAL first-round playoff game at the end of the 2008 season. Santino Birty is the Panthers' leading rusher (134 yards) and passer (258 yards) with two rushing and three passing touchdowns.

Prediction: Mars, 27-20

Class AA

Allegheny

10-AA Apollo-Ridge (1-1, 1-0) at Freeport (2-0, 2-0)

7 p.m. Friday

The buzz: Tabbed one of the top Allegheny Conference games to watch this season, the matchup has lost some luster with key Apollo-Ridge ball carriers Duane Brown and Maurice Stankus likely out with concussions.

Key players: Dillon Shipman suddenly becomes Apollo-Ridge's go-to player on offense, as a receiver and, potentially, as a quarterback. Shipman scored on an 85-yard kickoff return and 90-yard reception last week against Highlands. Freeport's Ryan Weigold has been the most effective passer in the A-K Valley through two weeks, throwing for 551 yards and six touchdowns.

About the Vikings: Injuries have put a damper on a season of high hopes, but this is only their second conference game, which means a long road in which to recover. Brown is the last player the Vikings can afford to lose: he has scored seven touchdowns this season and has a 200-plus-yard rushing game.

About the Yellowjackets: A potent passing attack has spread the wealth to six different receivers, including the Hochbein twins, Dylan and Brandon, who've combined for 13 receptions, 332 yards and three TDs.

Prediction: Freeport, 28-13

Burrell (0-2, 0-2) at Summit Academy (0-2, 0-2)

12:30 p.m. Saturday

The buzz: One team will get its first win and climb out of the Allegheny Conference cellar early in the season.

Key players: Junior Max Garda is one of the A-K Valley's top dual-threat quarterbacks. He ran for a 36-yard score last week and nearly rallied the Bucs in a defensive struggle. Earl Davis, a sophomore receiver, has been the Knights' go-to player in the first two weeks. He also is dangerous on defense.

About the Bucs: Burrell last week came extremely close to breaking a now school-record 11-game losing streak, falling to Shady Side Academy, 17-14, in overtime.

About the Knights: While they have big-play ability, it's been big plays that have plagued them. They allowed an 88-yard scoring pass against Freeport.

Prediction: Burrell, 16-14

Shady Side Academy (1-1, 1-1) at Valley (1-1, 1-1)

7 p.m. Friday

The buzz: A key early-season game looms for a pair of Allegheny Conference teams with playoff aspirations.

Key players: Shady Side Academy senior Eric Harris rushed for a 65-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage last week and finished with 147 yards against Burrell. Tyson Hill caught two touchdown passes for Valley last week in a loss to Deer Lakes and is also one of the Vikings' top defensive players.

About the Indians: Nathan Genstein's 24-yard field goal made the difference in the victory over Burrell. The Indians also forced a fumble deep in their red zone late in regulation to send the game to overtime. Brian Foster ran for a 57-yard touchdown.

About the Vikings: Valley drove 95 yards late in the fourth quarter to cut its deficit to 14-12 against Deer Lakes, but the team's two-point conversion try came up short. The Vikings forced three red-zone turnovers against Deer Lakes, including interceptions by Eugene Bailey and D'Aundre Johnson.

Prediction: Valley, 14-13

West Shamokin (1-1, 0-1) at 6-AA Highlands (2-0, 2-0)

7 p.m. Friday

The buzz: Defending conference champion Highlands looks for its 12th consecutive regular season victory, while West Shamokin hopes to get back in the Allegheny race.

Key players: West Shamokin's Jacob Szul rushed for a 45-yard touchdown in the second quarter in a win against South Park last week. Highlands junior kicker Taylor Gunn booted the winning field goal from 20 yards out against Apollo-Ridge. It was her first field goal attempt.

About the Wolves: West Shamokin runs a wing-T offense, and a pair of long runs – Szul's and Jarret Kintz's 40-yarder – provided the Wolves' touchdowns against South Park. West Shamokin ended four South Park scoring threats in the second half last week with either sacks or forced turnovers.

About the Golden Rams: Highlands has given up touchdowns on the opening kickoff in back-to-back games and also fell behind by multiple touchdowns in the first quarter of both contests. Sophomore Jermaine Jett rushed for 100-plus yards in each of Highlands' first two games and also has four touchdowns on the year.

Prediction: Highlands, 35-14

Century

Keystone Oaks (0-2, 0-1) at East Allegheny (0-2, 0-2)

7 p.m. Friday

The buzz: After blowout losses in Week 2, both teams are looking for a win in conference play. KO lost to South Fayette, 51-7, and East Allegheny fell to Steel Valley, 60-0.

Key players: Quarterback Alex Smith has more than 300 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns for Keystone Oaks. Steel Valley quarterback Deon Smith powers the offense with his arm and legs.

About the Golden Eagles: Keystone Oaks returned five offensive linemen from last season. Tight end Leo Palmer is the leading receiver with 139 yards and a touchdown.

About the Wildcats: Rocco Dunn is a top target is the passing attack. Offensive lineman Sam Mikolas is a three-year starter. East Allegheny has not scored a touchdown yet this season.

Prediction: Keystone Oaks, 35-14

Sto-Rox (1-1, 1-1) at 7-Steel Valley (2-0, 2-0)

7 p.m. Friday

The buzz: Steel Valley leads the Century Conference in scoring offense (58.0 ppg.) and scoring defense (3.0 ppg).

Key players: Sto-Rox quarterback Deon Liddell threw two touchdown passes Friday in a 14-13 victory over Carlynton. Steel Valley is led by running back DeWayne Murray and quarterback Tre Earl Edwards, who passed for one score and returned a punt 80 yards for another in the Ironmen's 60-0 rout of East Allegheny.

About the Vikings: Sto-Rox is playing in its second season in Class AA after making three consecutive appearances in the WPIAL Class A championship game.

About the Ironmen: Steel Valley has yet to be tested, also beating Carlynton, 56-6, in the opening week of the season.

Prediction: Steel Valley, 56-7

Interstate

Derry (0-2, 0-2) at Charleroi (0-2, 0-2)

7:30 p.m. Friday

The buzz: Something has to give as both teams come into the conference game starving for that first win. A year ago, the Cougars were shellacked, 37-6, as the Trojans snapped a 20-game losing streak.

Key players: The silver lining last week for Charleroi in a 36-22 loss to McGuffey was the play of freshman quarterback Geno Pelligrini, who threw for 261 yards and two touchdowns, both to speedy wide receiver Trey Douyon. Douyon has caught 12 passes for 282 yards and three scores this season. Derry quarterback Sonny Stevens has thrown for 112 yards and the team's lone score.

About the Cougars: With star running back Brock Shannon banged up last week, Charleroi went back to its passing attack as Pelligrini threw 38 times, completing 18. Douyon caught nine passes for 183 yards. Charleroi is trying to avoid an 0-3 start for the first time since 2011.

About the Trojans: The Trojans have been outscored 90-7 in two games. The ground game has managed just 80 yards this season.

Prediction: Derry, 17-14

Midwestern

4-AA Beaver Falls (2-0, 1-0) at 9-AA Beaver (2-0, 1-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday

The buzz: Beaver Falls could contend for the conference title, but first must seek redemption for a 35-0 loss to Beaver last season.

Key players: Beaver Falls wide receiver Derrell Carter had two catches last Friday and both ended in touchdowns. The junior had a 28-yarder and a 68-yarder. Beaver running back Te'Vierre Williams needed only nine carries to reach 98 yards last week, nearly an 11-yard average.

About the Tigers: Beaver Falls outscored its first two opponents 79-7. Among WPIAL teams, only Steel Valley (six), Clairton (six) and Frazier (zero) have allowed fewer points.

About the Bobcats: Beaver quarterback Darius Wise had 101 yards passing, 102 rushing and three combined touchdowns last week in a 21-20 win over Quaker Valley. A year ago, he scored two rushing touchdowns vs. Beaver Falls.

Prediction: Beaver Falls, 27-14

CLASS A

Eastern

10-A Greensburg Central Catholic (2-0, 1-0) at 1-A Clairton (2-0, 1-0)

7 p.m. Friday

The buzz: Through the season's first two weeks, Clairton's no-huddle offense has averaged 72 points per game.

Key players: Greensburg Central Catholic quarterback Tommy Pellis is a Penn baseball recruit. The righthander threw five touchdown passes Friday in the Centurions' 34-20 victory over Beth-Center. Clairton quarterback Aaron Mathews threw for three touchdown passes and three two-point conversions and rushed for another touchdown and two two-point conversions in a 72-6 rout of Wilkinsburg last week.

About the Centurions: Greensburg Central Catholic has begun with victories over Monessen in its Eastern Conference opener and Beth-Center in a nonconference game. The Centurions haven't made it past a first-round WPIAL playoff game since 2012.

About the Bears: Clairton, ranked No. 1 in the state by pennlive.com after reaching the PIAA championship game in 2014, hasn't been tested so far this season. The Bears have beaten up on California, 72-0, to open the season and matched their points total against Wilkinsburg in their first Eastern Conference test.

Prediction: Clairton, 48-14

2-A Jeannette (2-0, 2-0) at Leechburg (1-1, 1-1)

The buzz: Fresh off the 700th win in program history last week against Serra Catholic, Jeannette looks to keep rolling against Leechburg.

Key players: Jeannette senior Swade Redman ran for scores of 55 and 40 yards and had two interceptions against Serra Catholic. J.B. Burtick, a 5-foot-6 junior, is in his second season as Leechburg's starter.

About the Jayhawks: Jeannette, which is now 700-310-48, joined New Castle (714) as the only WPIAL programs with at least 700 victories. Only six Pennsylvania schools have reached that number. Jeannette led Serra Catholic, 42-0, at halftime.

About the Blue Devils: Leechburg trailed just 6-0 at halftime against Springdale, but three lost fumbles proved costly for the Blue Devils in a 20-0 loss. A snap over the punter's head in the fourth quarter allowed Springdale to eventually widen its lead to 13-0.

Prediction: Jeannette, 39-7

Monessen (1-1, 1-1) at Serra Catholic (0-2, 0-2)

7 p.m. Friday

The buzz: Inserting Lavalle Rush into the quarterback spot gave the Greyhounds' offense a huge spark as he passed and rushed for more than a combined 160 yards and accounted for three touchdowns in a win over Riverview. Serra has had defensive struggles, giving up 76 points in two games.

Key players: Jaron Youngblood is a hard running tailback who also is a solid defensive player for the Greyhounds. He had 74 yards on 11 carries and two sacks last week. Wide receiver Andrey Bolton has breakaway speed, as evidenced by his two scores last week. Serra quarterback Jason Cerniglia has thrown for 232 yards and three touchdowns, all in Week 1.

About the Greyhounds: With games coming up against Leechburg, Wilkinsburg and Springdale, Monessen has a chance to get some confidence and get on a roll with improved play.

About the Eagles: Corey Thomas has caught two touchdown passes from Cerniglia. Last week, Jeannette scored all 42 of its points in the first half. Serra hasn't beaten Monessen since shutting the Greyhounds out 28-0 in the WPIAL Class A semifinals in 2007.

Prediction: Monessen, 35-14

Springdale (2-0, 2-0) at Wilkinsburg (0-2, 0-2)

1 p.m. Saturday

The buzz: Springdale will look to take a 3-0 record into a Week 4 showdown at Clairton in Week 4. The Dynamos face Jeannette and Monessen in back-to-back games after Clairton.

Key players: Quarterback Sammy Carey has been an effective game manager for the Dynamos. He threw for 112 yards last week against Leechburg. Logan Panza kicked two field goals in that game. Junior Dremar Everett is a dual-threat quarterback for the Tigers. He lined up at quarterback against Leechburg but also caught a touchdown pass.

About the Dynamos: A different running back has rushed for 100 or more yards in consecutive weeks. In Week 1, it was Ben Sowinski, who gained 203 against Serra Catholic. Last week, Ethan McFarland ran for 106 yards in a 20-0 win over Leechburg.

About the Tigers: The Tigers have struggled to stop teams through two weeks, allowing the second-most points in the WPIAL, at 113. They lost to Clairton, 72-6.

Prediction: Springdale, 18-8

Tri-County South

9-A Frazier (2-0, 2-0) at Bentworth (2-0, 2-0)

7 p.m. Friday

The buzz: For the first time in a long while the winner of this game will be all alone in first place in the Tri-County South Conference standings.

Key players: Freeport's Hunter Patterson has completed 14 of 17 passes for 291 yards and four touchdowns and also leads the team in rushing with 117 yards and three scores. Bentworth's quarterbacks Josh Hughes and Riley Nickeson have combined to throw for 383 yards and seven scores. Wide receivers Noah Peternel and Ty Mitchell have each caught two touchdown passes, as has running back Ethan Tush.

About the Commodores: Frazier is one of the top scoring teams in the WPIAL, averaging 46.5 points. Defensively, Frazier is the only team in the WPIAL not to have been scored on. Frazier kicker Josh Cox is 12 for 12 on extra-points and also has booted a field goal.

About the Bearcats: Bentworth hasn't started a season 3-0 since the glory days of coach Ron Skiles back in the 1980s. Tush has 253 yards rushing and three touchdowns.

Prediction: Frazier, 32-14

Nonconference

Carrick (0-2) at Knoch (1-1)

7 p.m. Friday

The buzz: Coming off a strong second-half performance in a win over Greensburg Salem, Knoch steps out of conference play with a contest against City League opponent Carrick.

Key players: Twins Taylor and Tyler Thornton are two of Carrick's key seniors. Taylor Thornton plays wide receiver and defensive end, and Tyler plays offensive and defensive line. Mac Christy had a rushing and receiving touchdown for Knoch against Greensburg Salem.

About the Raiders: Carrick is attempting to qualify for the City League playoffs for the first time since 2007, but the Raiders aren't off to a good start. They were outscored 49-6 in league losses to Westinghouse and Brashear. Ed White is in his first year as Carrick coach.

About the Knights: It took Knoch six quarters to score its first offensive point, but a 23-0 second half against Greensburg Salem provided the Knights some confidence. Sophomore Jake Herrit won the starting quarterback job and rushed and passed for a touchdown last week.

Prediction: Knoch, 21-6

Riverview (0-2) at Carmichaels (1-1)

7 p.m. Friday

The buzz: After two difficult games against Eastern Conference opponents, Riverview hopes a step outside of conference play will result in its first victory of the season.

Key players: Riverview quarterback Jake Hanus threw for a touchdown against Jeannette in Week 1. David Morgan rushed for two touchdowns and passed for another last week for Carmichaels.

About the Raiders: Riverview's offense is struggling, as the Raiders managed six points combined against Jeannette and Monessen to begin the season. The Raiders are coming off a winning campaign in 2014, former Riverview player Jason Cappa's first season as coach.

About the Mighty Mikes: Carmichaels was in playoff position going down the stretch in 2014 but lost its final three games to miss out. Cody Brown and Jonathan Christopher both have seven catches for 73 yards this season. Robert Meadows returned a fumble for a touchdown last week.

Prediction: Carmichaels, 19-15

NONCONFERENCE

Seneca Valley (1-1) at Norwin (1-1)

7 p.m. Friday

The buzz: Seneca Valley is coming off its first win of the season over Fox Chapel, while Norwin is coming off a game lost in the final seconds of the fourth quarter to Hempfield.

Key players: Quarterback Jack Cook threw for 154 yards, ran for 120 and had five touchdowns for the Raiders last week. Quarterback Nick Amendola has more than 300 all-purpose yards and five touchdowns for the Knights.

About the Raiders: Linebacker Corey Lasker is a leader on defense. Tight end Cody Boozel is a 6-foot-4 target in the passing attack. First-year coach Dave Vestal won 95 games at Hopewell.

About the Knights: Peyton Deri leads the team in rushing with 244 yards and two touchdowns. Bucknell wrestling recruit Drew Phipps is a linebacker. Amendola has 15 tackles at linebacker.

Prediction: Norwin, 28-21

South Allegheny (1-1) at Deer Lakes (2-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday

The buzz: Just two games into the season and Deer Lakes already has surpassed its victories total of the past two years. The Lancers were winless in 2013 and won just one game in 2014.

Key players: South Allegheny quarterback Tyler Hinerman, who rallied the Gladiators past Sto-Rox in their opener with a 99-yard touchdown pass to Jonathan Mayerick, hooked up with Mayerick on a 15-yard scoring pass Friday to account for their only touchdown in a 49-6 Century Conference loss to No. 3 Seton-La Salle. Deer Lakes tailback Hunter Burns gained 183 yards and scored one touchdown and the deciding two-point conversion in a 14-12 Allegheny Conference victory over Valley.

About the Gladiators: South Allegheny will attempt to avoid the start of a repeat of last season's long losing streak after winning its opener both years.

About the Lancers: Deer Lakes has ridden Burns, a converted wide receiver, to a pair of victories to start the season. The 5-foot-11, 175-pound senior gained 205 yards rushing in a 26-6 victory over West Shamokin in the opener before leading the Lancers' two-point victory Friday.

Prediction: Deer Lakes, 32-19

2-AAAA Woodland Hills (2-0) at Shaler (0-2)

1:30 p.m. Saturday

The buzz: After a 63-7 loss to No. 4 Pine-Richland in its opener, Shaler is facing the top two WPIAL Class AAAA teams back to back in Central Catholic and Woodland Hills. The Titans were beaten by No. 1 Central Catholic, 42-6, on Friday.

Key players: Woodland Hills relies heavily on the 1-2 offensive punch of running backs Miles Sanders and Jo-El Shaw, a pair of highly rated seniors likely headed to Division I FBS schools. Sanders already is committed to Penn State. Shaler quarterback Jack Quinn was 10 for 24 for 140 yards in its Quad North Conference loss to Central Catholic.

About the Wolverines: Woodland Hills held off No. 9 Bethel Park, 28-23, in a Quad Central Conference game Friday as Sanders and Shaw combined to rush for 267 yards.

About the Titans: Shaler has lost 33 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the WPIAL. The Titans' last prevailed on Oct. 8, 2011, beating Erie McDowell, 41-28.

Prediction: Woodland Hills, 35-0

CITY LEAGUE

Brashear (2-0, 1-0) vs. USO (2-0, 1-0)

7 p.m. Friday at Cupples Stadium

The buzz: These are two of the most-talented City League teams, each with Division I recruits. Brashear is the defending City League champion, having won 27-8 over USO in the semifinals last season. USO won the regular-season matchup 41-34 in 2014.

Key players: Pitt defensive back recruit Therran Coleman has three rushing touchdowns this season for Brashear, including a 50-yarder last week. USO receiver/defensive back Kenny Robinson, another D1 recruit, had nine catches for 194 yards and three touchdowns last week.

About the Bulls: Brashear has outscored its first two opponents 93-0. Among the points were two long kickoff returns by Qu'ran Powe covering 71 and 85 yards.

About the Wildcats: USO quarterback Shawn Rutherford has surpassed 300 passing yards in both games this season. The senior completed 22 of 31 passes for 378 yards and four touchdowns last week.

Prediction:USO, 34-28

DISTRICT 9

Class AA

Keystone Shortway Athletic Conference

St. Marys (2-0, 0-0) at Karns City (2-0, 1-0)

7 p.m. Friday

The buzz:Karns City defeated St. Marys, 49-19, in the 2014 District 9 Class AA championship game. The Gremlins also defeated St. Marys in the regular season last year.

Key players:St. Marys junior running back Christian Steffan leads the Dutchmen with four rushing touchdowns. Karns City senior Collin Dunmyre has 200 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

About the Dutchmen: St. Marys outscored A-C Valley, 34-7, in the second half in a 41-7 win last week. The Dutchmen will play their first road game of the season on Friday.

About the Gremlins: Karns City has outscored its opponents 89-7 this season, including a 42-7 victory against Redbank Valley last Friday. The Gremlins have racked up 776 rushing yards through two games.

Prediction:Karns City, 35-21

Class A

Keystone Shortway Athletic Conference

Keystone (2-0, 1-0) at Redbank Valley (1-1, 1-0)

7 p.m. Friday

The buzz:Redbank Valley will try to get back on track after losing to Karns City last week. Keystone already has two wins after only getting three last year.

Key players: Jacob Weaver, a senior, has 553 rushing yards and eight touchdowns for Keystone. Weaver is averaging 11.5 yards per carry. Senior linebacker Brylee Shumaker and the Bulldogs defense will look to contain Weaver.

About the Panthers: Keystone scored a big victory against Class AAA Punxsutawney, 33-14, last week. Since 2010 the Panthers have a 14-38 record, but could be a factor in the KSAC this season.

About the Bulldogs: The Bulldogs gave up the first five touchdowns last Friday in a 42-7 loss to Karns City. The Bulldogs defeated Keystone, 35-6, last year.

Prediction: Redbank Valley, 21-14

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