TJ looking to continue dominance versus Leopards
The Belle Vernon football team certainly doesn't have history on its side.
The Leopards (2-4, 2-3) host undefeated Thomas Jefferson (6-0, 5-0) in a key Big Nine Conference game Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The home team, which ended a four-game losing streak with a 26-17 win at Trinity last week, have dropped 11 in a row to the Jaguars dating back to 2001.
After a season-opening victory at Uniontown, Belle Vernon fell to West Mifflin, Ringgold and Elizabeth Forward in conference action, and Franklin Regional in a nonconference test, prior to last week's results.
Thomas Jefferson has won its last four games by scores of 55-0, 40-7, 50-0 and 45-6 against the likes of Hollidaysburg, in a nonconference matchup, Trinity, Albert Gallatin and Laurel Highlands.
On the season, the Jaguars own a lofty 42 points per game scoring average, and a 7.7 ppg defensive average.
Belle Vernon is averaging 16 ppg and allowing an average of 30.3 ppg.
One of team strengths for Belle Vernon is its offensive line. All five of last year's starters returned in 2012, including Division I prospect Dorian Johnson, a 6-foot-6, 290-pound senior.
Collin Woss, a 6-4, 290-pound senior, also has a leading role on the lines.
Belle Vernon's main offensive linchpins are sophomores — quarterback Travis Snyder and running back Anthony Levis.
Cory Urlacher, a senior linebacker, is a team leader on defense.
Snyder passed for 170 yards and two touchdowns, and also scored once, last week. He has thrown for 573 yards and seven touchdowns on the year.
Snyder's favorite targets are Adam Ferita and Matt McCloskey, both senior wide receivers. Ferita leads the team in scoring with five touchdowns.
Levis rambled for 245 yards on 36 carries against Trinity, padding his 2012 rushing total to 713 yards — an average of 118.9 yards per game.
Belle Vernon trailed early, 10-0, and by a 17-13 score at halftime against Trinity, before rallying with 13 unanswered second-half points.
Thomas Jefferson held 14-0 and 38-0 leads after the first and second quarters last week, as junior running back Jake Farrell scored three times and senior wideout Zach Schademan scored twice.
Farrell reached the end zone on runs of 47, 11 and 5 yards en route to a 106-yard rushing performance on just 11 carries.
Schademan, one of the leading receivers in Western Pennsylvania, had touchdown catches of 37 and 25 yards. He has reeled in 28 passes for 570 yards and a WPIAL-best 13 touchdowns this season.
Schademan has tied the team record for touchdown catches in one season, matching the mark set by Dan Virgin in 2008.
Senior quarterback Joe Carroll hit on 7 of 16 passes for 120 yards and two touchdowns versus Laurel Highlands.
On the season, Carroll has connected on 56 of 99 passes for 1,114 yards and a WPIAL-leading 23 touchdowns.
The Jaguars were sparked defensively last week by senior linebacker Colton Booher and junior lineman Matt Nagy, who both were credited with a safety.
Chase Winovich, a junior linebacker, led the team with five tackles and two fumble recoveries; while Russell Siess, a sophomore defensive end, registered four unassisted tackles; and Dalton Dietrich, a junior cornerback, had an interception.
TJ belted Belle Vernon last season, 40-7, behind running back Ryan Ruffing's 175 yards rushing and four touchdowns.
The Jaguars are seeking their 70th win in their past 72 conference games.
QUAKER VALLEY at SETON-LA SALLE 7 p.m., Friday
South Fayette had generated at least 50 points in four consecutive games.
The Lions were able to maintain that torrid offensive streak last week with a 52-0 win against Quaker Valley.
The Quakers fell to 2-4 overall and in the Century Conference, with the victories coming against South Park in their season opener and Keystone Oaks in Week 4.
“Quaker Valley looks like they have some good athletes,” Greg Perry, Seton-La Salle's head coach, said. “Their quarterback throws well, and they play multiple defenses. They had a rough outing last week, but they had been scoring points.
“They are co-oping with Cornell, so their numbers look good.”
Seton-La Salle (5-1, 5-1), meanwhile, returned to its winning ways with a 49-7 thrashing of Burgettstown last week.
Luke Brumbaugh, the Rebels' senior quarterback, passed for a career-high 261 yards and four touchdowns, giving him 1,049 yards passing on the year.
“Luke just went out and had fun. We told him go play and have fun, but Luke is as good as anyone and hopefully continues growing as a player,” Perry said.
Lou Rotunda, a senior wide receiver who leads the team in scoring, and Scott Orndoff, a senior tight end and a Pitt recruit, nabbed two touchdown receptions apiece for Seton-La Salle.
“Lou Rotunda, who lost his father earlier in the week, really stepped it up,” Perry said.
Under a cooperative sponsorship, a group of about 15 players from Cornell, a Class A playoff team in 2011, is playing for Quaker Valley this season. The agreement was forged last December.
“We have a lot of kids who can turn a 5-yard run into a 60-yarder,” John Tortorea, QV's head coach, said.
The Quakers have accounted for 104 points this year, or 17.3 ppg., while surrendering 179 points, or 29.3 ppg.
The catalyst on offense is 6-3, 200-pound senior quarterback Burke Moser, who leads the team in scoring with five touchdown runs. Moser also started last year and passed for 786 yards and eight scores.
Aaron Cunningham, a sophomore running back, is both a running and receiving threat for the Quakers.
Seton-La Salle has clipped QV in each of the past four seasons, by scores of 7-0, 35-14, 55-13 and, last year, 35-0.
BRENTWOOD at CARLYNTON 7:30 p.m., Friday
Brentwood, 3-3 in the Black Hills Conferfence and 3-3 overall, is looking to win its final three games and advance to the WPIAL playoffs.
“We haven't played a good game yet,” Kevin Kissel, Brentwood's head coach, said. “Hopefully, we'll get there.
“We're still struggling a little bit; I still believe we have a good team.”
The first step in that process for the Spartans arrives this Friday against Carlynton (1-5, 1-5), which lost at Chartiers-Houston last week, 36-16.
The Buccaneers built up a 36-3 lead in the game before the Cougars scored twice.
Isiah Canton, a freshman running back, scored on a 1-yard run, while Caleb Richardson, a senior running back, nabbed an 11-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Kevin Schuster.
Justin Dean also booted a 25-yard field goal for Carlynton, which is averaging 21 ppg and allowing 33.8 ppg this season.
The Cougars' lone win in 2012 came at the expense of Serra Catholic, a 65-8 decision in Week 4.
Brentwood lost at home to undefeated Clairton (6-0, 6-0) last week, 42-7.
The Spartans held a 7-6 first-quarter edge but Clairton, which has won a WPIAL-record 53 games in a row, scored 36 points in the second and third stanzas.
“We had a little game-plan we put in (against Clairton) and in theory it (could) work,” Kissel said. “But you still have to block their guys, and you can't turn the ball over.”
Brentwood's senior tight end, Mike Kish, caught an 11-yard scoring strike from senior quarterback Chris Shortley with 2:50 left in the first quarter.
Jason Pilarski tacked on the PAT kick.
Brentwood hammered Carlynton last season, 41-21, and has dominated the Cougars in recent years.
The Spartans have won six consecutive games against Carlynton, and seven of eight since the 2004 season.
Ray Fisher is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5820 or firstname.lastname@example.org.