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| Thursday, Sept. 7, 2006

Class AAA Non-conference

No. 2 West Mifflin (1-0) at No. 4 Hopewell (1-0) 7:30 p.m., Friday

This is a meeting between teams which both handily defeated City League teams to open last week.

This game most likely won't be easy for either team. Both combine powerful offenses with stingy defenses. West Mifflin is led by Division I prospect junior quarterback Leon Green. He completed 9 of 13 passes for five touchdowns and 149 yards in a win over Allderdice.

"Leon has so much experience, and he is the kind of player who makes things happen," said coach Joe Lamenza, who earned his first victory with the Titans. "He certainly is a very talented player. He is representative of a team which is committed to doing what it takes to win. It has been easy to coach them because they have accepted the challenge."

Hopewell's big threat is Division I prospect junior Dave Posluszny. He said he knows of Green but hasn't played against him.

"We have heard of Leon Green," Posluszny said. "But we have to be ready for more than just him. We need to practice hard all week because we know West Mifflin has tradition there. We know it won't be an easy game."

Posluszny was one of six players to score touchdowns in a win over Carrick. He and his teammates compiled 351 yards of total offense, but the running back/safety said he prefers defense because he likes to stop the other team from scoring.

Lamenza said he knows how football is at Hopewell, which is in Beaver County, because he played at Ellwood City, another Beaver County team.

"We know this will be a tough game because Hopewell's defense is as tough as its offense," Lamenza said.


Class AAAA Non-conference

Shaler (1-0) at Hempfield (1-0) 7:30 p.m. Friday

Weather won't be a factor for Hempfield as it was in its opener at Offutt Field against Greensburg Salem when the Spartans committed five turnovers in a 6-0 victory over its closest regional rival. This time, all the team will have to worry about is a tough Shaler squad that is trying to make its mark before heading into a tough Quad North schedule.

Shaler will be led by sophomore running back Dan Wikowski (6-foot-2, 170) , who carried 13 times for 62 yards in an opening week win over Baldwin, but there are several quality backs on the team including senior Jim Kohan (5-foot-9, 180) who is still tring to regain top form after missing most of the 2005 season when he suffered a Martin Grammatica-like major knee injury while celebrating a touchdown.

Titans wide receiver Drew Stanny caught two passes for 32 yards against the Highlanders, but accounted for all 10 of his team's points with a 28-yard touchdown reception, the extra point and a 33-yard field goal. He's not the only threat Hempfield will have to watch on the outside as senior flanker Curtis McGriff (5-foot-11, 180), who caught three passes for 14 yards against Baldwin, is a game-breaker with 4.52 speed in the 40.

That could be the one problem for Hempfield. Though the Spartans are strong up front and should be able to keep the Shaler running game under control, but if they are unable to pressure sophomore Shaler quarterback R.J. Palso, the defensive backs don't have the flat out speed to keep up with McGriff and could be beaten deep.

Nick Higinbotham scored the only touchdown for Hempfield last week on a 22-yard third quarter run. The 5-foot-8, 161-pound running back picked up 57 yards on eight carries and will be complemented by Greensburg Central Catholic transfer Travis Uncapher, who had 10 carries for 41 yards in his Quad-A debut against Greensburg Salem.

The two teams have not met each other in the last five seasons.

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