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Football

Jeannette facing rival GCC with playoff seeding, bragging rights on line

| Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
Quarterback Julian Batts runs ahead of the defenders for a touchdown this season.
Quarterback Julian Batts runs ahead of the defenders for a touchdown this season.
Zack Altieri runs across the goal for a touchdown in a game early this season.
Zack Altieri runs across the goal for a touchdown in a game early this season.
Terell Canady runs the ball down field in a game this season.
Terell Canady runs the ball down field in a game this season.
Swade Redman kicks off for the Jayhawks in a game this season.
PHOTOS: John Howard | For Trib Total Media
Swade Redman kicks off for the Jayhawks in a game this season.

Roy Hall knows what it means to be a Jeannette Jayhawk.

He knows that it means being a part of a local institution — a tradition-rich winner — a heartbeat of a proud city.

He also knows the burden that puts on young players to perform week in and week out. Especially this week — Greensburg Central Catholic week.

Many things changed when Jeannette was dropped from Class AA to Class A this season — new rivalries, new conference and such — but the one constant is GCC who dropped in classification with Jeannette.

This week will mark Hall's seventh crack at GCC as head coach of Jeannette. He is 2-4 in his previous six games and is well aware of the significance of the matchup.

“I am like everyone else in Jeannette. I get fired up every time I see Greensburg Central Catholic on the schedule,” said Hall. “It is going to be a very big game because both teams are always gunning for each other.”

Jeannette enters the game in second place in the Class A Eastern Conference at 6-1 in the conference and 7-1 overall following last Friday's 62-20 non-conference win over Bentworth.

The Jayhawks' offense managed nine touchdowns in the game including three on runs of 36, 61 and 50 by senior Zach Altieri.

GCC, meanwhile, will be foaming at the mouth after letting a chance to tie Jeannette for second place in the conference slip in a 14-12 loss at Springdale. GCC fell to 5-2 in conference and 5-3 overall.

Still, as Hall likes to point out, the records never matter when Jeannette and GCC lock horns. This year's Jayhawks, who were underclassmen a year ago, clearly remember the 41-14 beating they took at the hands of GCC.

“We haven't forgotten last year,” said Hall. “We want to win this game and then see what it does for us for the playoff seedings.”

A win would make for an interesting playoffs selection process indeed. With just one loss on the ledger to Clairton — Class A's No. 1 team — Jeannette could be in line for a top-four seed.

Kickoff at McKee Stadium tomorrow night is 7 p.m.

Dave Moio is a freelance writer.

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