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Mt. Pleasant-McGuffey highlights Week 1 games

| Thursday, Sept. 3, 2009

Notable : The Highlanders and the Vikings will each likely be battling for a playoff spot in the Interstate Conference this season, making this an important game, even in Week 1. The Vikings are senior-dominated and are led by quarterback Derek Mellors. Mt. Pleasant should feature a strong running game thanks to seniors Mike Rosebosky, Jimmy Stefancic and junior Bryce Ansell. Ansell was the team's leading rusher last season, racking up 670 yards. ... McGuffey beat Mt. Pleasant, 28-0, on its way to the WPIAL playoffs last season. The Highlanders feature a strong running game with the return of senior Trenton Bedillion. Bedillion rushed for 576 yards and scored 11 touchdowns in 2008.

Class AAA

Nonconference

Southmoreland (0-0) at Franklin Regional (0-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday

Notable : This season figures to be another rebuilding year for the Scotties, as many young players will get their share of playing time. Southmoreland is hoping that an offensive line, led by junior Kekoa Hillen and seniors Scott Pitzer and Josh Ritenour, will help the team enjoy some success. ... The Panthers are hoping for a big season in the Greater Allegheny Conference. Like the Scotties, one of the Panthers' biggest strengths will be the offensive line. Senior tight end Shane Hickey gives the team some muscle up front. Senior running back Chad Bowman carried the ball for nearly 500 yards last season. Franklin Regional won this matchup a year ago, 42-0.

Laurel Highlands (0-0) at Belle Vernon (0-0)

7 p.m. Friday

Notable : Laurel Highlands will look to flex its offensive muscle in the opener against the Leopards. The Mustangs feature a strong running game with senior running back Dylan Clifford and a solid passing game led by senior quarterback Carmen Congelio. Congelio threw for 834 yards and eight touchdowns in 2008. ... This game will mark the beginning of a new era for Belle Vernon, as Aaron Krepps replaces Lou Rood as the team's coach. Senior running back Cory Williams is coming off a season in which he rushed for 725 yards and 10 touchdowns. Belle Vernon won, 37-28 last season.

Class A

Nonconference

Geibel (0-0) at Avella (0-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday

Notable : Geibel is trying to build on its three-win season of a year ago. The Gators lost several key players, but have two solid running backs returning in senior Hudnell Caldwell and junior Christian Henckel. Caldwell led the Gators with 591 rushing yards and three scores last year. Junior Chris Erdely is the new quarterback, replacing graduate Mick Betler. ... The Eagles again feature a small roster. A bright spot could be the play of senior quarterback Jesse Noble. Geibel beat Avella, 40-8, last year.

California (0-0) at Frazier (0-0)

7:30 p.m. Friday

Notable : The Commodores open the season hoping to improve on a four-win season in 2008. Senior Jimmy Kline returns at quarterback, and senior running back Chase Kirmeyer will lead the ground game. ... The Trojans feature a strong passing game with senior D.J. Martinak. His top target could be senior wide receiver Wade Stinnett. Stinnett caught five touchdown passes last season. The 2008 matchup went to Frazier, 28-12.

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