Monday, September 29, 2014

Monday Morning QB: Week Five


-- Somerset handled Johnstown by a score of 50-13. Somerset winning isn't a surprise, but they way the did kind of was.  Somerset is a really good team that is loaded top to bottom, but Johnstown has talent. Somerset must be the real deal because many could still argue Johnstown is the second best team in the AAA sub-region. Somerset basically has a cake walk to being 9-0 before the showdown with Guilfoyle. A loss in any of the next four games would be a major upset. They have a date with Westmont on Saturday afternoon this week.   Johnstown drops to 3-2 after their second consecutive loss in which they gave up 50 points. The Trojans need to sure up their defense if they have plans on going anywhere this season. It takes a special defense to completely shut down this Johnstown offense, and Somerset managed to do that.  Johnstown should be able to let some frustration out in the coming weeks. They have an important game with an improving Richland team. 

-- Richland remained alive in the AA playoff race by scoring 42 unanswered points to beat Bishop McCort 42-7. The Rams are now 2-3, but they have a tough road ahead. Four out of the next five games are against presumed playoff teams, and that leaves little room for error. Still, this is a team I expected to start slow, but get better as the season progressed. The best of Richland football may yet to come this season.  Bishop McCort drops to 2-3 and they now stare down the three best teams in the LHAC over the next three weeks. It starts with Bedford at the Point Stadium on Saturday. If McCort wants to sneak into the playoffs, they are going to need to find three wins in their last five, but the schedule is definitely working against them. 

-- Bedford easily rolled over Westmont 63-10, and the Bison continue to look impressive. Austin Montgomery tossed four touchdowns and went for over 200 passing yards, and his tremendous season keeps getting better. Bedford should get to 5-1 with a trip to Johnstown to take on Bishop McCort.  Westmont slips up to 1-4 with their fourth consecutive loss. The running game for Westmont has been solid, but with a limited passing attack and a struggling defense, it is being overshadowed.  Westmont welcomes undefeated Somerset to town on Saturday in hopes of pulling a major upset. 

-- Bishop Guilfoyle kept things moving right along with their fourth consecutive shutout, this time a 49-0 decision over Penn Cambria. The Marauders have only given up 12 points all year long, and their defense has been great, but their offense has been getting the headlines. Sam McCloskey and Brandon Chadbourn are both on their ways to All State seasons, and they have been putting on a show each and every week. Forest Hills can be a tricky game. The Rangers will look to play a physical game, and hope the natural grass field may slow down the fast paced Marauders.  Penn Cambria has no answer for BG as they slipped up to a 2-3 record. The Panthers have long struggled scoring the football, and in their three defeats they have six total points.  They need to find a way to be more competitive against top competition. Still, Penn Cambria can work their way into the playoffs by beating the teams they should, and Bishop Carroll on Friday is one of those games. 

-- Forest Hills was able to roll past Cambria Heights by a score of 53-19. The Rangers were able to once again ride Shareef Blough on offense.  The senior back torched the Highlanders for 220 yards on just 12 carries for four touchdowns. The Rangers will need a similar performance from Blough on Friday if they have any hope to keep up with Guilfoyle.  Still no Joe Donoughe, but the hope was to get him back this week, but that remains to be seen.  Cambria Heights slips to 1-4 with the loss and it was the second straight week the defense surrendered at least 47 points. Cambria Heights is not built to play in a lot of track meets, so if the defense is failing them, their offense can struggle to stay close.  They get Central Cambria at home. 

-- Central Cambria picked up their second consecutive win, and they now sit at 2-3 with a very optimistic outlook on the rest of the season. The Red Devils easily raced past their neighboring rivals, Bishop Carroll by a score of 41-14.  Central Cambria has a favorable schedule ahead, and it starts with a road trip to 1-4 Cambria Heights on Friday.  Bishop Carroll is now 0-5, and they are the only winless team in the league. They will look for win number one on the road against Penn Cambria this week. 


-- Tyrone kept rolling with an easy win over Bald Eagle 47-7. The win sets the Golden Eagles to 5-0, and they are atop of my District Six AA power rankings.  Tyrone has used a balanced offense and a solid season from Garrett Hunter to get where they are currently.  Hunter went 12-16 for 169 yards and two touchdowns on Friday, and he is up to 722 yards through five games. Tyrone should move to 5-0 this week with a game at Bald Eagle, and that will set up a big showdown with Clearfield in two weeks. Bellefonte drops to 1-4 with the loss. The Red Raiders have had a rough year on defense and have been on the wrong end of some blowouts. They will lookm to get things corrected this week, but it won't be easy as they head to Clearfield.

-- Clearfield was able to fend off a strong class A team Brockway last week by a score of 28-17. The win sets the Bison up with a 3-2 record and they should get it to 4-2 this week with Bellefonte at home this Friday.

-- Central continued their winning ways with a 40-0 drubbing of Bald Eagle Area. The Dragons have now won three straight, and they look the part of a D6 AA Title contender. They have an exciting quick strike offense, and they have been rolling of late. The Drgaons will be put to the test with a very difficult road game at Chesnut Ridge on Friday. Bald Eagle dips to just a 1-4 mark, and it looks more and more unlikely that they will be heading to the postseason for a third straight year. They host league front-runner Tyrone on Friday.

-- Huntingdon survived a shootout with Penns Valley by a score of 49-44. The Bearcats improved to 2-3, and they are right in the thick of landing one of the eight AA playoff spots. They have a tough one with Ligonier this week, but playing at home against a team with that long of a bus ride is a big advantage. Penns Valley slips to 1-4, and they had a real chance to make it 2-3 with that close of a loss. Penns Valley is one of the many lower half Mountain League teams vying for a playoff berth. AA is not loaded with great teams, and 5-5 should be good enough for a spot in the field, maybe even 4-6.

-- Philipburg-Osceola dropped to 0-5 with a lopsided loss to Chestbut Ridge 48-7.  If the Mounties want to get into the win column, a game with 1-4 Penns Valley this week could be their chance. Chestnut Ridge is like an honorary member to the conference this season, and they have been playing very strong football. They are 4-1, and their lone loss came to Maryland power, Fort Hill.  They host Central this week in a big game for both sides.


-- Once again, Blairsville had a solid win. The Bobcats pitched their first shutout of the season as they took down Northern Cambria 28-0. Blairsville was pegged as the league favorite by a lot of people and they have not disappointed through five weeks. They will get the full test this week as they welcome 5-0 and defending Heritage Conference champion Homer-Center this week. This is the game everyone has been waiting for, and all the big game hype and atmosphere will come with it. Northern Cambria is 2-3 but all three of their losses have come to the league's top three teams, and perhaps they can make a run with some weaker games on the schedule in the coming weeks. Purchase Line comes to town on Friday, and that is a very big game for both sides, but it is very winnable game for NC. 

-- Homer Center is following up their 8-0 mark in the Heritage last year very nicely with a 5-0 start this season. The Wildcats still have a powerful offense, but it's clear the defense has taken a step back from last season's district championship team. It was evident last week as they survived a shootout with Purchase Line 43-40. They head to Blairsville this week in the game of the year in the Heritage Conference. Purchase Line has not been able to take down one of the league's best teams, but they have won the games they are supposed to as they now sit with a 2-3 record. They have a big one at Northern Cambria this week as they look to get even at 3-3, and make a big step towards the postseason.

-- Ligonier Valley handled Marion Center by a score of 44-0.  I don't know if anyone was expecting that big of a margin, but it was an impressive win for the Rams. Collin Smith continues to get better, and he had a big day running the ball, but threw it well last week also. Ligonier heads to Huntingdon on Friday for an important game. The Rams could use the points that comes with beating a AA team, but they have to deal with a long road trip.  Marion Center dropped to 2-3 on the year with the loss. The Stingers have been doing very well on offense, but Ligonier really got the best of them this week.They will look to spring an upset over Penns Manor this week. 

-- Penns Manor won their fourth straight game on Friday to improve to 4-1. They really took it to a struggling United team 49-0.  The last three games, the Comets have outscored the opposition 147-14. They should be able to keep things rolling this week against Marion Center, but it may be closer than the past few weeks. United is now down to 1-4 and they were shutout for the second straight week at the hands of Penns Manor. They travel to Saltsburg Friday in hopes on picking up win number 2, and that is a real possibility.

--Saltsburg fell to 0-5 this week with a 38-0 loss to Westinghouse in Pittsburgh. Westinghouse was 0-4 heading into that game, but the Trojans couldn't muster much of anything.  They host United this week in what could be a winnable game.


-- Mt. Union improved to 5-0 with a big win over longtime ICC league power, Bellwood-Antis.  The Trojans trailed at the half 7-0, but outscored the Blue Devils 21-0 in the second half to secure their first win over Bellwood since 1996. It is a huge win for a Mt. Union team, and there is a realistic chance this team can run the table from here on out. They have some difficult games, but Mt. Union is legit, watch out for this team come playoff time. They host Northern Bedford this week.  Bellwood slips up to 3-2, but they are still one of the top teams in class A. Both losses have come to strong AA teams in competitive games, and Bellwood should be the favorites from here on out in the regular season. They have a tough game with Everett this week, and it should not be overlooked. Everett is 4-1 and they have been playing well of late. 

-- Northern Bedford improved to 3-2 with a hard-fought 7-0 win over Southern Huntingdon.  The Panthers have taken care of some teams they should beat, but have struggled against the top teams this league has to offer. They will have a tall task this week as they travel to 5-0 Mt. Union. For the second consecutive week, Southern Huntingdon lost a close game by one touchdown. For a team battling for a playoff berth, it these kind of close losses that sting the most down the line. They sit with a 2-3 record, but could get back to .500 with a game at West Branch this week. 

-- Everett rolled over West Branch to a 43-0 victory to improve to 4-1.  They continue to impress me each week, and I think between them Tussey, Berlin, and Meyersdale - the District Five A race is going to be very strong. The Warriors have a tough second half of the season with Bellwood on the road Friday, at Mt. Union in two weeks, and a date with Tussey on the road to close out the year.  We will find out relatively soon how legit this Everett team is. West Branch lost their fourth consecutive game this week, and they have only scored 6 points in their past six games. The offense will look to wake up this week when Southern Huntingdon comes to town. 

-- Tussey Mountain escaped another close game this week, this time with a 34-28 win over Williamsburg on the road.  The defending District 5 A champions are now out to a 4-1 start, and look ready to defend their title. They have a three game stretch of winnable games ahead before they take on Mt. Union in week nine.  They get Glendale this week. Williamsburg put up a great fight against the top team in the Silver Division of the ICC. The loss sets them down to 2-3, but they still hang on to some playoff hopes. They have a game with 1-4 Juniata Valley at home this week in hopes of getting back to .500. 

-- Moshannon Valley snapped a three game losing streak with a 35-0 thrashing of Juniata Valley on Friday.  The worst of their schedule is over, and the Black Knights may have a serious run in them in the second half of the season. They should be able to take down Claysburg-Kimmel this week.  Juniata Valley is now 1-4, and a playoff berth looks highly unlikely right now. They head to Williamsburg this week as they look to slow down that high-powered offense. 

-- Glendale picked up their second straight win to get to 2-3 on the year.  The Vikings have one of the area's top talents in Shea O'Donnell, and he rarely gets the attention he deserved.  Glendale still has some playoff hopes at the halfway mark, and they will look to pull a big upset at Tussey this weekend. Claysburg-Kimmel is now 1-4 after being shutout for the third straight week. The offense needs to figure something out soon, or it could be a real rough finish to the year. The road doesn't get any easier as they head to Moshannon Valley this week. 


-- Portage improved to 5-0, but it proved to be a much more difficult road in week five than some expected. Portage needed all four quarters to escape with a 21-19 win over a scrappy Shade team. Sometimes playing in some tight games is just what certain teams need, as Portage should have some runaway kind of games coming up over the next two weeks. Portage will have no trouble with Ferndale this week.  Shade dropped to 2-3, but showed just what kind of team they can be. Playing with Portage was a sign they can play with anyone in District Five, and that makes that playoff race that much more deeper. The Panthers should get back into the win column with a game against Township this week on the road.

-- Berlin shook off their loss to Portage with a dominating win over Windber by a score of 41-0. Braden Fochtman put on one of the best performances of the year with an astounding stat. Fochtman rushed five times for 183 yards and four touchdowns. Five carries -  four go for touchdowns...unbelievable. The Mountaineers take on North Star this week. Windber falls to 2-3, and the road won't get any easier this week as they take on Meyersdale on the road. The Ramblers have had a disappointing season, and it really has been defensive oriented. The rushing defense has allowed some massive performances, and Meyersdale may put up another big day on the Ramblers.

-- Meyersdale rolled over Conemaugh Valley 47-0 on Saturday. The Red raiders have won all their games by at least 21, and they have pitched three shutouts. Quietly, Meyersdale has probably been the most dominant team in the area. They should handle Windber this week. Conemaugh Valley falls to 1-4 on the year. The Blue Jays look to win their second of the season against nearby rival, Blacklick Valley on Saturday.

-- North Star got back on the winning track with an easy 46-8 win over Frendale. The win snaps a three game losing streak the Cougars were riding. They have a tough road ahead starting Friday with a trip to 4-1 Berlin. Ferndale's rough season continued as they fell to 0-5. The Yellow Jackets have a tall task with Portage on Friday.

-- Blacklick Valley took down Conemaugh Township 42-28, and it actually sets the Vikings up for a very intriguing next few weeks.  Blacklick sits at 2-3, but with Conemaugh Valley, Ferndale, and a struggling Windber team ahead, a potential playoff berth is attainable. Conemaugh Township slipped to 2-3 with the loss. Austin Myers put up another big time performance, but not much else was working for the Indians.  They host Shade this week in a big game for both sides.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

D6SN Week Six Rankings

D 5/6 A

1. Bishop Guilfoyle 5-0 - @ Forest Hills

Easy pick here. The Marauders won by another big margin with a 49-0 shutout of Penn Cambria. Friday marked the 4th straight game BG pitched a shutout, and Richland is the only team to have scored on them this season. Can Forest Hills slow them down? I say BG continues to roll, but this could be their first test.

2. Portage 5-0 - Ferndale 

Portage played a tight one with Shade last week and the narrowly beat the Panthers 21-19. It was the Mustangs' lowest offensive output all year, but they held on for the win. Portage will have no trouble this week with Ferndale. 

3. Blairsville 5-0 -Homer Center

Blairsville slides up to the number three ranking as they handled Northern Cambria 28-0. The big week is here as the unofficial Heritage Championship is being held Friday in Blairsville with 5-0 Homer-Center coming to town. Look for this game to highly competitive as this year's favorites try to take down the defending champions. 

4. Homer Center 5-0 - @ Blairsville

Homer Center survived quite a scare from Purchase Line this week, and the Wildcats survived their closest conference game in recent memory 43-40. Homer heads to Blairsville for the biggest game of the year on their schedule. 

5. Meyersdale 5-0 - Windber

Meyersdale enters the rankings as the first D5 team in here all season.  The Red Raiders are undefeated and have been dominant all year long. They should handle a struggling Windber team and head into the showdown with rival Berlin at 6-0. 

D 5/6 AA

1. Tyrone 5-0 - @ Bald Eagle

Tyrone had little trouble with Bellefonte defeating them by a score of 47-7. The Golden Eagles should keep things rolling to 6-0 with a game at Bald Eagle this week. They have a big showdown with Clearfield in two weeks on the horizon. 

2. Mt. Union 5-0 - Northern Bedford

Mt. Union got a big monkey off their back by taking down Bellwood-Antis last week. The Blue Devils had won the previous 18 meetings. It just may be the Trojans' year with everything coming together how it is.  They should be able to handle a struggling Northern Bedford offense this week.

3. Bedford 4-1 - @ Bishop McCort

There is a real possibility that Bedford could finish 9-1. The schedule sets up favorable for the Bison, and of course, they are a pretty good team as well. Bedford rolled past Westmont last week, and should do the same to McCort Saturday. 

4. Central 4-1 - @ Chestnut Ridge

Central has played solid football this season, and the Dragons aren't too far away from being 5-0. The Drgaons easily took care of Bald Eagle 40-0, but taking on a very good Chestnut Ridge team on the road will be quite the challenge. 

5. Chestnut Ridge 4-1 - Central

Chestnut Ridge is off to a solid 4-1 start. The Lions' only loss came to out of state Fort Hill of Maryland.  Ridge has looked pretty good this season, and dominant at times. The game with Central this week is huge for both sides. 

D 5-6-8-9 AAA

1. Somerset 5-0 - @ Westmont

Somerset just continues along their destructive path through the LHAC. Somerset breezed past Johnstown last week, a team some thought would be their biggest competition in AAA. And Maybe Johnstown is, and maybe Somerset is that good. That's a scary thought. They should run over Westmont this week.

2. University Prep 3-0 - Carrick

University Prep had a bye week, and they are now 3-0. They play AAAA Carrick this week, who is only 1-4.

3. Clearfield 3-2 - Bellefonte 

Clearfield beat a pretty good Brockway team last week, and they move past Johnstown in the rankings. They should get to 4-2 this week against Bellefonte. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Monday Morning QB: Week Four


-- Somerset handled Richland, and that was pretty much expected. In 2013 the two teams met in a pivotal showdown, with Richland winning a close one. Things have changed big time since last season, and it showed up on Friday night.  Richland was able to post an early score, but that was all they could muster. Somerset scored the next 55 points to set the final at 55-6. The Golden Eagles have just been so dominant early on this season, and they are right where they want to be at 4-0 heading into the big showdown with fellow AAA school, Johnstown. Richland slips to 1-3, and they will welcome Bishop McCort to Herlinger Field on Friday.  Richland is certainly in a new territory from the past few seasons, but they still have playoff potential.  They need to right the ship this week with a winnable game against the Crushers.

-- Bedford came into Johnstown and dropped 50 on the Trojans in a very impressive win for the Bison. It was really the Austin Montgomery show all night long as he threw for 3 touchdowns and rushed for 4 more while topping the century mark in both passing and rushing yardage. The win was a big statement for Bedford, after playing Somerset tough last week, and now beating Johnstown on the road in convincing fashion this week, it really validates this football team as one of the area's best.  Johnstown was able to put up points and trade blows with Bedford for most of the night. Jeremy Updyke continues his impressive 2014 campaign as he went for 305 passing yards and two touchdowns on Friday.  Updyke is definitely one of the more under appreciated guys around, but if he keeps putting up these kind of numbers, more people will start talking about him. Johnstown will need a stellar offensive performance on Friday as they travel down 219 to Somerset.  Both teams can score in a hurry, and it should be an exciting game.  Johnstown has the tools to keep scoring with Somerset, but they need to prove they can come up with a stop when they need it, and they didn't display that in the Bedford game.

-- Bishop McCort eased past Westmont 26-14 on Saturday afternoon for their 14th consecutive win over the Hilltoppers.  McCort used a nice performance from their sophomore quarterback, Levi Cook. Cook was able to use both his legs and arm to lead the Crushers to victory.  The Crushers also got another strong performance from freshman, Carnell Andrews. Bright days are ahead with those two players, and they will have a big opportunity Friday as they travel up to Richland on Friday. McCort has a brutal stretch on the schedule coming up in two weeks, and a win against Richland will go a long way to keep them in playoff contention.  Westmont falls to 1-3. The Hilltoppers continue to move the ball methodically with their run game, but turnovers and the inability to get into the end zone have cost them.  They head down to Bedford for  a difficult road contest this Friday.

-- Bishop Guilfoyle is averaging 55 points through four games, and this team looks like a freight train coming through over everyone. The Marauders had little problem with Bishop Carroll on Saturday with an easy 55-0 win. The Marauders continue to spread the ball around and get multiple people involved, and this offense can beat you in many different ways with many different players. BG has a Saturday night home game with Penn Cambria. Bishop Carroll is now 0-4, and they are the only team in the league without a win to date. The Huskies played without five starters on Saturday, and the depth is really hurting for them as they are down to about 25 healthy players.  BC takes on Central Cambria in the battle of Ebensburg on Friday.

-- Central Cambria got into the win column on Friday with a big 33-16 win over Forest Hills. The Red Devils still have high expectations, but with that dreadful 0-3 start, it certainly put some doubt in some people's minds. Will Seymour put on a good showing with a 100 yard rushing performance after missing last week's game.  Seymour proved to be the difference this week, and the Red Devils are a much better team when he is leading the offense. They look to get their second win with Bishop Carroll making the short walk over to Red Devil Stadium on Friday. Forest Hills drops one without starting quarterback Joe Donoughe in the lineup. The Rangers managed to win last week without him, but taking on Central Cambria on the road without your starting QB is a really difficult task.  The Rangers will likely be without Donoughe a little longer, so they need to find a way to take care of Cambria Heights with a backup QB and a heavy dose of Shareef Blough.

-- Penn Cambria rolled over Cambria Heights 47-7, and that score is a little surprising. The Panthers haven't been able to score like that in a while so that's a bit unusual, and Heights' D has been playing well this season. Still, it was a big win for a Penn Cambria team looking to snag one of the 8 playoff berths in a wide open AA race right now.  Penn Cambria has quite the task of trying to take down  BG at Mansion Park. Cambria Heights is now 1-3 on the year with the loss. The Highlanders have been playing competitive games to date, but this one was a rough setback.  They get a crack at Forest Hills at home this week.


-- Tyrone a sound 42-3 victory over Philipsburg-Osceola.  The Golden Eagles are now 4-0, and look to be in cruise control atop the District Six AA race. Tyrone used an efficient 163 yard passing performance by Garrett Hunter, while also receiving a nice rushing day from Aleic Hunter, who posted three touchdowns.  Tyrone has a balanced offense, and a suffocating defense and they are certainly the favorite in AA through four weeks.  Philipsburg-Osceola drops to 0-4, and they head to New Paris to take on a very solid Chestnut Ridge team. The Mountaineers are in serious trouble of heading towards a win-less season, maybe they can begin to turn things around soon.

-- Clearfield moved to .500 with a 30-14 win over Huntingdon. The Bison have had a few tough games already, and I think they will have trouble this week with fellow District 9 team, Brockway.  I know Brockway is only class A, but they have a pass happy attack that should be able to score the ball.  Interesting game to say the least.  Huntingdon falls to 1-3, but in fairness to the Bearcats, they have had an awfully tough schedule in the early going.  Mt. Union, Tyrone, and Clearfield are now out of the way, and perhaps they can build some momentum with most of their difficult games behind them. Penns Valley on Friday should be a competitive game, as they too have had a tough early schedule and is looking to turn things around this week.

-- Central improved to 3-1 with a 41-12 win over Penns Valley. The Dragons used a very efficient 5-6 114 yard 3 touchdown performance from Noah Benton. Mike Mock, Justin Helsel, and Alex Hoenstine all provided excellent games, and the trio of playmakers for Central has been fun to watch this season. Bald Eagle will travel to Central this week. Penns Valley has had some tough games in the early part of the season, but flashed potential in their win over Bald Eagle two weeks ago. Perhaps they are able to get things back on track this week, but Huntingdon is in the same boat, so it should be a good game.

-- Bald Eagle dropped a 26-0 contest to Chestnut Ridge. The loss sets the Bald Eagles with a 1-3 mark through four games. Bald Eagle is looking to make it three straight trips to the playoffs, but they do have a pretty big hole they need to to climb out of soon if they want to make that happen. No easy task this week playing at Central.  Chestnut Ridge is like a half member to this league with all the games they are playing against Mountain League opponents. The Lions play five more MAC teams this season starting Friday with Philipsburg-Osceola.  Quietly, Ridge is putting together a nice season with their 3-1 start.

-- Bellefonte lost 49-20 to John Marshall of West Virginia on Friday.  John Marshall was ranked 20th in the AAA classification of West Virginia according to Maxpreps heading into the game. Bellefonte was able to put some points on the board, but the defense continues to struggle. They head to Tyrone on Friday.


-- Blairsville improved to 4-0 with a convincing 28-7 win over Ligonier Valley. The preseason favorites of the Heritage Conference have been outstanding this season. The defense is only surrendering 8.5 points per game. The offense is being paced by one of the best running backs in the area, Deion Robinson. The senior tailback rushed for all four of Blairsville's touchdowns in their win Friday, and already has 9 in three games. The Bobcats have a tough road contest with Northern Cambria on Friday, and of course the showdown with Homer Center looms next week. Ligonier was not able to muster much on Friday against Blairsville. The Rams have been an up and down type of team already this season as they sit with a 2-2 mark. Ligonier has some talented players, but many of them are freshmen and sophomores, and this inconsistency could be partly pointed towards that. Still, Ligonier is firmly in the running to get a AA playoff spot. They have to travel to Marion Center Friday for a game with the Stingers. 

-- Homer Center continues to roll in league play. After finishing a perfect 8-0 last year in the Heritage, the Wildcats are off to a 4-0 start this season. Homer has been pounding the ball on the ground this season behind seniors Ean Lee and Aaron Berezansky. Both players rushed for over 100 yards against Marion Center last week and helped lead Homer to a 38-20 win. Marion Center is now 2-2 following the loss. We will find out a lot about the Stingers in the coming weeks with a number of tough games in this hard to navigate Heritage Conference. 

-- Penns Manor moved to 3-1 with a 47-8 win over Saltsburg. It was the Comets third straight win, and the second consecutive week they managed to post 47 points on an opponent. Penns Manor heads to United this week, and Marion Center next week. As long as they play how they have been playing, the Comets could be 5-1 heading into a week seven showdown with league favorite, Blairsville. Saltsburg remains the league's only winless team. The Trojans have given up at least 47 points in all four contests, and they will look to get things corrected against 0-4 Westinghouse in Pittsburgh on Friday.

-- Purchase Line snapped a two game losing streak with a 33-27 win over St. Joseph's Academy. The Red Dragons are now 2-2 and welcome 4-0 Homer Center to town in a big game with a big running back showdown between Grant Syster and Ean Lee.

-- Northern Cambria rolled all over United 44-0 to improve their record to 2-2. The Colts opened with a pretty tough three game stretch, but this week they were able to coast over United a little. Northern Cambria is an intriguing team to me, as I truly believe they are capable of upsetting some of the top teams in the league on any given night. They will get a chance to take down Blairsville this week.  United now falls to 1-3 and 0-3 in the conference. The Lions play Penns Manor this week in hopes of springing a big upset.


-- Bellwood-Antis raced past Juniata Valley by a score on 58-7. Since being held to just 14 points in week one, they have posted scores of 48, 49, and 58 in consecutive weeks. Bellwood has a strong offense led by Jake Burch at quarterback. The junior play caller has thrown for 441 yards in four games. The running game has seen six different ball carriers get at least 15 rushing attempts.  It's crazy good balance on offense, and it's epitomizes Bellwood football. In probably the game of the year in the ICC, Bellwood will host Mt. Union this week. Juniata Valley is now 1-3 after the big defeat to Bellwood. It was a very lopsided loss for Juniata Valley, and they are reeling after making the playoffs for the past five seasons. It will take a big turnaround for Juniata Valley to get back into the postseason again. They welcome Moshannon Valley to town this week in a difficult game.

-- Mt. Union rolled over Moshannon Valley in a game some thought might be close.  The Trojans are now outscoring the opposition 208-27 through four games. Trevon Walker and BJ Loner have made for a lethal offensive connection, and the pair has the Mt. Union offense operating at a high level. Mt. Union gets their big stage on Friday, as they travel to Bellwood for what many are calling the game of the year for the ICC.  Moshannon Valley is a pretty good team, but they are in the midst of a three game losing streak albeit to some pretty good teams. The Black Knights have a chance to win out if they play well.

-- Northern Bedford got back on the winning track with a 26-0 win over Claysburg-Kimmel. The win snapped a two game losing streak and pulls the Panthers to a 2-2 mark. NBC has their work cut out for them this season, as they have a tough remaining schedule. They head to Southern Huntingdon this week in an important game against a AA opponent. Claysburg-Kimmel fell to 1-3 with the loss to Northern Bedford. They have a chance to turn it around with a game at Glendale on Friday.

-- Everett moved to 3-1 with a 48-13 win over Williamsburg.  I really like this football team, and they should be fully on the radar to make some noise in this league and in the district. They will look to go 4-1 this week with West Branch coming to town. I think they win and move on to 4-1. Williamsburg is now 2-2 with the loss. They are looking for their second consecutive winning season, and possibly a berth into the D6 A playoffs. As you look down the schedule, they do have some difficult games, but getting to 6 wins is possible. They play Tussey Mountain this week, and that will be a difficult game for the Pirates.

-- Southern Huntingdon dropped a close decision to Tussey Mountain 36-30.  I think this was a bit of a surprising outcome. I expected Tussey to run away with this one, but SHC put up a fight. It was the Rockets second consecutive loss, but they have played better than last season and they are an improved bunch. Tussey Mountain extended their winning streak to three with the win over Southern Huntingdon. The Titans have used a powerful rushing game through four weeks and that looks like it will be the plan the rest of the way. They have four games with at least 100 yards with Daniel Taylor's 446 yards leading the way.  They take on Williamsburg this week on the road in hopes of moving to 4-1.

-- Glendale posted their first win of the season with a 34-6 win over West Branch. The Vikings have a chance to make it two in a row with a game against Claysburg-Kimmel this week.  West Branch dropped to 1-3 with their third straight loss. They head to Everett this week for a tough road game.


-- Portage outlasted Berlin in what was one of the most highly anticipated games in the WestPac season. The Mustangs rolled to a 38-27 win behind a big performance by the star back, Caleb Kephart. Kephart torched the Berlin defense for 242 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns. Portage will look for a 5-0 start with a road game against Shade this weekend. Berlin slips to 3-1, but played fairly well in the process.  Playing Portage on the road in that atmosphere was a tall task, but Berlin was hanging in there for most of the game. Braden Fochtman posted his second 100 yard output of the season, but still has yet to have one of those massive rushing games. Perhaps he gets it this week with Berlin heading to Windber to take on the Ramblers. 

-- Windber was able to bounce back after an embarrassing 56-16 loss to Portage by knocking off North Star 32-6. The Ramblers rode a Shadoe Smith four touchdown game to victory as they got back to playing Windber football of dominating in the running game and playing good team defense. It will be a tough game against Berlin this week, but if they can establish the running game, they may be able to keep it close.  North Star is now 1-3, but they get a winnable game with Ferndale at home on Friday. 

--Shade got to 2-2 with a 37-20 win over Blacklick Valley. The Panthers have played well against the teams they are supposed to beat, but have struggled against better competition. There is a good chance Shade makes the playoffs for a third straight season, and taking on a good Portage team at home should be a good postseason simulation. Blacklick Valley now falls to 1-3. The Vikings have some exciting underclassmen. and the future is bright. I still think they have a few wins left in them this season. I would say Friday's game is a toss-up against Conemaugh Township. 

-- Meyersdale moved to 4-0 and they have been every bit as impressive as Portage this season. Can the Red Raiders keep it up?  I think they can. This is a good football team with a very talented young quarterback, Riley Christner.  The young sophomore has already thrown for 518 yards on the season, and he has Meyersdale rolling. They had little trouble with Conemaugh Township last week, and they should roll over Conamugh Valley on Saturday. The Conemaugh Township Indians now fall to 2-2 with the loss. The Indians have relied heavily on Austin Myers this season, as they are giving the junior running back the ball nearly 40 times a game. Teams have been loading the box on him, but he has still found enough running room to keep the offense respectable.  They will travel to Blacklick Friday in a big game for both sides. 

-- Conemaugh Valley got their first win of the season by defeating rival Ferndale 23-6. The Jays received a big time performance from Brandon Galasso on the ground, and he spurred them to victory. Ferndale dropped to 0-4. The Jackets only have scored two touchdowns through four games this season, and times are tough for Ferndale.  Malik Ream is quietly one of the better players in this league, but not much else has been working for Ferndale. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

D6SN Week Five Rankings

D 5/6 A

1. Bishop Guilfoyle 4-0 - Penn Cambria

Bishop Guilfoyle easily rolled over Bishop Carroll Saturday night. The Marauders have yet to seriously be tested, and I don't think that happens this week either.  I say BG rolls to 5-0 this week. 

2. Portage 4-0 - @ Shade

Portage outlasted Berlin in a big time game in front of a standing room only crowd. It was one of the better games of the young season, and Portage looked like the real deal. It was a big test, and they passed with flying colors. The Mustangs should be in good shape until the game with Meyersdale on October 17, I expect them to be 7-0 going into that one. 

3. Bellwood-Antis 3-1 - Mt. Union

Bellwood and Mt. Union are going to meet Friday in the game of the week locally. The Blue Devils have been impressive this season, and I think they are exceeding expectations to a degree. Friday night should be a good one, I think Bellwood can keep up with the Mt. Union offense, but beating them is going to be quite the task. 

4. Blairsville 4-0 - @ Northern Cambria

Blairsville has looked really good four games into this season. The defense has been dominant, and the running game led by Deion Robinson has been stellar.  The Northern Cambria game can be a test for Blairsville, they need to be on alert this week. 

5. Homer Center 4-0 - @ Purchase Line

Homer Center has been very strong this season. The defending district champs have stuck to the same recipe as last year, and that is run the ball....and run it some more.  The Wildcats have a tricky one with Purchase Line Friday, but if they play their game they should be just fine. 

D 5/6 AA

1. Tyrone 4-0 - Bellefonte

Tyrone cruised over Philipsburg this week, and should do much the same against Bellefonte this week.  The Golden Eagles' schedule should pick up in a few weeks when they take on Clearfield. 

2. Mt. Union 4-0 - @ Bellwood-Antis

Is there a better QB-WR connection than Trevon Walker to BJ Loner right now? The Trojans' high powered attack has been something else this season, but they will be pushed to the limit this week. If Mt. Union wants to be the best, they have to beat the best.  Bellwood has had a stranglehold over the ICC for so long, beating them would be a major accomplishment for Mt. Union.

3. Bedford 3-1  - Westmont

Bedford went into Johnstown and hung 50 points on a very good Johnstown team. Austin Montgomery had a hand in all seven touchdowns, and this Bison offense is a special group.  Bedford should roll this week over Westmont. 

4. Central 3-1 - Bald Eagle

Central rolled over Penns Valley last week, and will look to carry that momentum into beating Bald Eagle this Friday. 

5. Juniata 4-0 - East Juniata

The Indians of Juniata are out to a 4-0 start. Most don't know about this team, but they will likely be in the postseason. If the record holds, they could be one of the top seeds in the tournament. They play an 0-4 East Juniata team with a good chance of moving to 5-0. 

5-6-8-9 AAA

1. Somerset 4-0  - Johnstown

Somerset put up 55 unanswered points in a 55-6 thrashing of Richland.  The Golden Eagles have their first big time game with Johnstown this week.  The Trojans should be able to move the ball better than most of their opponents, and it will be a challenge. 

2. Johnstown 3-1 - @ Somerset

Johnstown was unable to keep the pace with Bedford in the fourth quarter, and dropped their first game of the season. Still, the Trojans are a much improved football team and should be able to hang with Somerset this week in one of the area's bigger games. 

3. Punxsutwaney 3-1 - Dubois

The Chucks make their debut in the rankings as they are off to a good 3-1 start.  They take on AAAA Dubois this week with a big opportunity to get some points for the standings. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Monday Morning QB: Week Three


-- Eyes turned to Bedford and Somerset, as it was the marquee game of the week, and it did not disappoint. The two teams exchanged scores for a half, and it looked like it could be a good game, but Somerset flexed their muscles and took over in the second half. Dylan Barnes had a exceptional game with two touchdowns passing, and one rushing. He did throw two picks, but overall Barnes has been impressive in the early part of the season.  Somerset's defense is really what sets them apart, and Bryce Mostoller is looking to add another all-state selection to his resume, as he already has 5.5 sacks on the season.  Somerset will welcome Richland to town Friday night, and they will to get some revenge after last year's heartbreaking loss to Richland.  Bedford loses for the first time on the season, but they did play reasonably well, and the Bison have been looking good in the early part of the season. We knew about Austin Montgomery and the type of player he is, but Zach Shaffer has really emerged as one of the most versatile players in the conference. Shaffer has 7 touchdowns on the young season, and has scored them in four different ways.  He will need to be making plays all over the field as Bedford heads up to Johnstown to take on the upstart 3-0 Trojans. 

-- Once upon a time, Johnstown and Bishop McCort would take center stage above any other game in the area. Things have changed, both teams have struggled through recent struggles, but Johnstown seems to be ready to take a big step forward this season. Coming off a pair of 3-8 seasons, Johnstown is already out to a 3-0 start, and they easily took care of the Crushers this past weekend. The Trojans rode the play of their junior quarterback Jeremy Updyke this weekend, as he went 6-7 for 168 yards and 3 touchdowns. Updyke's performance is about as efficient as you can get, and in a league with plenty of good quarterbacks, I don't think Updyke is talked about enough.  The Crimson Crushers dropped to 1-2 on the young season, and it's apparent the offense is struggling to get the ball in the end zone. Marc Smith and Carnell Andrews have paced a fairly good rushing attack this season, but turnovers and mistakes have led to McCort's demise this season. The Crushers will look to get back to .500 as they travel up the hill to face Westmont on Saturday. 

-- The two time defending champions Richland posted their first win of the 2014 campaign with a 56-16 win over Westmont. The Rams used a speed rushing attacks spearheaded by Dom Farina and Colby Warshel to blow the game wide open in the second quarter.  Richland has some talent, and they are going to get better. Still, the Rams are tasked with a tough slate of games in the coming weeks, and it all starts with Somerset on Friday.  Somerset has sent a message to the rest of the league in the early part of the season, and the young Rams will be tested in a big way. Westmont dropped to 1-2, and lost their second straight game by allowing the opposing team to rack up big yardage on the ground.The Hilltoppers have a good chance to move back to .500 this week when a struggling McCort team comes to Price Field.

-- Bishop Guilfoyle routed Central Cambria 49-0, and it has been all business through three weeks for the Marauders. BG has used a powerful, quick-strike offense to overwhelm opposing defenses. Brandon Chadbourn and Sam McCloskey have been the two workhorses for this offense, as the two have accounted for a good bit of the scoring and yardage. The Marauders are averaging 380 yards a game on the ground through three weeks.  Central Cambria struggled mightily without Will Seymour leading the offense. Without Seymour, the Red Devils struggled to get anything going on offense. Central Cambria is reeling with an 0-3 start, despite expectations of being one of the league's top teams. The Red Devils will welcome Forest Hills this weekend as they are in desperate need of a win.  BG will travel to Loretto to take on Bishop Carroll.

-- Forest Hills was able to pull off a 24-0 win over Penn Cambria without Joe Donoughe at quarterback. The Rangers only managed three passing yards on Friday, but they rode a solid defensive performance and a big day from Shareef Blough on the ground. The speedy Blough torched the Penn Cambria defense for 253 yards and two touchdowns, including a 98 yard scamper for a score. The offense will likely center around Blough until Donoughe comes back, and he is always a threat to take one to the house.  The Rangers make the short trip to Central Cambria on Friday. After a solid win over Richland in week two, Penn Cambria was shut out by the Rangers. It was a disappointing effort, as they definitely had a chance to make it a game with Forest Hills playing without their star quarterback.  Penn Cambria has a chance at redemption this week with Cambria Heights coming to town.

-- Cambria Heights posted a 27-7 win over Bishop Carroll in week three. The Highlanders are not all that far off from being 3-0 in all actuality. Heights lost two close ones to McCort and Westmont, but after playing probably the three weakest teams in the league, the schedule will start to pick up from here, starting with Penn Cambria. Bishop Carroll drops to 0-3, and the Huskies biggest concern has to be offense. through twelve quarters, the Huskies only have two touchdowns. They will welcome the high powered Bishop Guilfoyle squad to Saint Francis this weekend.


-- Central and Clearfield were involved in a classic shootout, but it was Central that emerged on top with a 35-28 victory on the road. The Dragons received an all-star performance from senior QB, Mike Mock as he threw for four touchdowns.  Justin Helsel was also pivotal in the win as he came down with seven receptions with two going for touchdowns.  The Dragons certainly have a different look this season, as they are way more pass oriented.  Clearfield dropped to 1-2 with the loss. The Bison are coming off such a big season, but with their loses to graduation, this is not the same team. Still, Clearfield should be able to get things rolling over the next few weeks before the showdown at Tyrone on October 10. 

-- Tyrone was all over Huntingdon in a 52-21 game, and the game was not even that close. Huntingdon was able to post some late touchdowns to make it closer than the game really was. Tyrone used a three touchdown performance by quarterback Garrett Hunter, as he finished the day with 200 yards exactly. Huntingdon only managed six first downs against a stingy Tyrone defense, and they fell to 1-2. The Bearcats welcome a tough Clearfield team to town this weekend. 

-- Bellefonte got off an 18 games losing streak with a convincing 31-0 win over Philipsburg-Osceola. Austin Jackson led a big rushing attack for the Red Raiders as he went for 108 yards on just 8 carries. Bellefonte will make a trip the whole way to West Virginia to take on 2-1 John Marshall High School. Philipsburg-Osceola drops to 0-3, and the Mountaineers have really fallen from grace after being a solid program not all that long ago. They welcome league front-runner, Tyrone to town this week. 

-- Penns Valley put up a 28-6 win over Bald Eagle last week. The Rams take back the Iron Bell trophy from their rivals, Bald Eagle. The Rams used a big defensive performance to take the game from Bald Eagle led by Colton Treaster's big night of scoring two defensive touchdowns. Bald Eagle's performance was rather disappointing. The Eagles are now 1-2, and after two playoff performances, they are in danger of missing out this season. They will to start their turnaround with a good Chestnut Ridge team coming in on Friday.


-- Portage just flat out steamrolled over Windber in week three. The game was decided before halftime, and the poweful Mustangs did not even need to use the starters at all in the second half. Caleb Kephart's hot start continued as he went for 124 yards and 3 touchdowns on just 8 carries.  Obviously not much more needs to be said about that one, because the big one is this week. Berlin and their powerful running game comes to Portage for the showdown of all showdowns in the WestPac. Windber is not usually on the wrong end of 56-16 outcomes, but it does show the inexperience on this roster.  Windber will look to rebound this week with a trip to Boswell to take on North Star.

-- Berlin made quick work of an over matched Ferndale team with a 49-0 victory. The Mountaineers raced out to a 42-0 lead in the first quarter, and it was no contest from there. Braden Fochtman is the star of Berlin's attack, and he went for 63 yards on two carries with both going for touchdowns. It was just one of those kind of games for Berlin. I would expect Fochtman to see a few more touches this week, as he will look to recreate the magic of his 350 yard performance against Portage last year. Ferndale has been outscored 164-6 through three games. It has been a rough start for a team without a lot of depth. They get to host their cross-town rivals, Conemaugh Valley this Saturday at "The Hive" with an opportunity to play a competitive game.

-- Meyersdale ran into a little resistance last week for the first time, but not all that much. The Red Raiders still ran out to a 21 point halftime lead, but that was it in a 21-0 win. Shade was able to slow them down just enough, but Meyersdale still won comfortably. Sophomore quarterback, Riley Christner, had a big game as he went 10-18 for 196 yards and two touchdowns. They will make the trip up 219 to Davidsville to take on 2-1 Conemaugh Township this week in what could be their toughest game yet. Shade played Meyersdale reasonably tough, but failed to punch a score into the end zone. The Panthers have two loses to two of the better teams in the conference, but as long as they can continue to hang around in those games, and win the games they should, they will be alright. The Panthers host Blacklick Valley this week.

-- Blacklick Valley picked up their first win of 2014 with a 27-6 win over visiting North Star. The Vikings saw a big performance from sophomore running back, Isaiah Scott, as he rushed for 163 yards as he raises his season total to 326 yards. Nathan Smith also chipped in 100 yard performance, and the two backs form a formidable rushing attack. Blacklick Valley heads to Shade this week in a big game for both teams. North Star is now 1-2 with the loss to Blacklick. I had the Cougars picked pretty highly in this league, but they have yet to resemble the team I thought they would be.  They host Windber on Friday with a chance to move back to .500.

-- In a battle of the Conemaughs, it was Township that got the better of Valley. The Indians rode their workhorse back once again in Austin Myers. The Conemaugh Township junior tailback rushed for 149 yards and 2 scores, but needed 38 carries to do it.  Myers is already up to 118 carries through three games, by far the most touches of any one player in the area. Conemaugh Valley now drops to 0-3, but the Jays have been competitive throughout the most part. This was only a 14-7 halftime score, but Valley struggled to get on the board beyond that. Brandon Galasso was held to only 53 yards on offense, and the Jays typically move as he does. Valley heads to Ferndale in hopes of finding their first win of 2014.


-- Blairsville improved to 3-0 with a 27-6 win over Purchase Line.  The preseason favorites of the Heritage used a strong running game to overpower the Drgaons. Deion Robinson rushed for 156 yards and two scores to lead the way for Blairsville. They have looked very strong through three weeks, but they will be in for quite the game as they travel to Ligonier this weekend.  Purchase Line lost for the second consecutive week and now they sit with a 1-2 record. The Red Dragons displayed an explosive offense in week one, but it has slowed down considerably in recent weeks. Look for Purchase Line to get things rolling again this week with a game on the road against 1-2 Saint Joseph's Academy. 

-- Homer Center continues to play well, and the defending champions look very strong in the early going of the season. Northern Cambria was expected to come give the Wildcats a game, but Greg Page's club calmly dispatched the Colts 34-6 and moved to 3-0. Homer should move to 4-0 this week as Marion Center comes to Homer City. Northern Cambria opened with that big win over Ligonier, but have dropped the past two games. Are the Colts for real, or was that a fluke in week one? I'm leaning towards a different answer, and that the Heritage league has a lot of parity beyond Blairsville and Homer, and on any given night, anything can happen.  I look for NC to pull back to .500 with a game with United this week. 

-- Ligonier moved to 2-1 with an easy win over United. The Rams used a stellar rushing performance from quarterback, Collin Smith. The sophomore torched the Lions' D for 130 yards and 2 touchdowns on just six carries. 21.7 yard per carry, no big deal.... Ligonier is a young team that is growing more confident each and every day, I look for them to be in the race down the stretch, and I look for them to give Blairsville a tough game this weekend at historic Weller Field. United slips to 1-2, and 0-2 in the Heritage. They have a home game with a good Northern Cambria team Friday. It would be a major step forward if they can compete in this one. 

-- Penns Manor had an easy go of it with a 47-6 win over St. Joseph's Academy. Nathan Dumm, Bailey Mumau, and Beck Branton combined for 256 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. The Comets are now 2-1 and have one with Saltsburg this week. 

-- Marion Center moved to 2-1 with a 54-24 win over winless Saltsburg.  The Stingers have defeated two teams they should have, but Blairsville did hand them a 35 point loss. It is hard to say which Marion Center team will show up on a week to week basis. They have a brutal four game stretch with Homer, Ligonier, Penns Manor, and Purchase Line coming up in the coming weeks. We will find out all we need to know about Marion Center in those games. Saltsburg's defensive woes continued as they gave up 50+ plus points for the third time this season. The offense is not playing all that bad, but the defense is not giving them much of a chance to stay in games. 


-- Trevon Walker posted a 199 yard 3 touchdown passing performance for Mt. Union against Southern Huntingdon in a showdown between a pair of 2-0 teams. The showdown turned into a route rather quickly as the Trojans won with a major statement 57-7. Walker is now up to 595 yards and 11 touchdowns and the passing game for Mt. Union is currently the best in the area. They will take their high-powered attack to Moshannon Valley on Friday. Southern Huntingdon was a surprise 2-0 team, but this loss grounds the Rockets a little. I will be interested in seeing how they respond as they have a big road game with Tussey Mountain this week. 

-- Bellwood-Antis rolled over West Branch by a score of 49-0. The Blue Devils have employed a balance offense through three games with 517 passing yards and 561 rushing yards. Jake Burch has played well in his second year as a starting quarterback, and Cameron Wood has been solid as the new featured back. Bellwood is rolling right now, and it will likely continue when they face Juniata Valley on Friday. West Branch opened the year with a win, but they have dropped their past two. The Warriors have been battling numbers for a few years, and depth is always going to be a problem this season.  0-3 Glendale comes to town this weekend.

-- Everett and Northern Bedford had a war of attrition on Friday with the Warriors holding on for an 8-0 victory. Not much happened throughout the game, but it was Everett to come out on top with the victory with a fourth quarter touchdown. The win sets Everett up with a 2-1 record, and they are a D5 class A sleeper right now.  Northern Bedford drops to 1-2, and the Panthers struggle on offense as they transition from a passing team to more of a running team. Everett heads to Williamsburg, while NBC has Claysburg coming to Panther Community Stadium.

-- Tussey Mountain used a strong and balanced rushing attack to take down Moshannon Valley 35-21. The win puts Tussey Mountain at 2-1, while Mo Valley drops to 1-2. The Titans have rode Daniel Taylor, Curtis Wentz, and Quinn Barnett on offense so far, and Drew Sitch has also made some contributions as well. Tussey is certainly not short on weapons, and they whole arsenal will be on display as they take on Southern Huntingon this week. Moshannon Valley is an improved team, but they have been tasked with playing a tough slate of games to start the year. Unfortunately for the Knights, it does not get any easier as they host Mt. Union this week.

-- Juniata Valley got into the win column with an 18-0 victory over Claysburg-Kimmel.  The Hornets are definitely in a rebuilding mode right now, and they are not as good as they have been in the past. They have a big game at Bellwood on Friday.  Claysburg falls to 1-2 on the year.The offense has been completely based on Logan Johnson, as he has 449 yards through three games. Everything else beyond Johnson has not been clicking. They travel to Northern Bedford in what is a very big game for both teams. It will be a grind it out kind of game.

-- Williamsburg got back on the right track with 21-6 over Glendale. The Blue Pirates have been led by one of the area's more overlooked players, Bryce Young. The senior wideout has made an impact in all three games this season, and he will need to make some plays when they play Everett this week. Glendale is now 0-3 this season, and they are the only team in the ICC without a win. They have a chance to get a win with a game at West Branch this week.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

D6SN Week Four Rankings

D5/6 A

1. Bishop Guilfoyle 3-0 - @ Bishop Carroll 

The Maruaders kept in rolling last week with a sound 49-0 victory over Central Cambria.  The Red Devils were probably the best team they have seen to date, but clearly BG is on a different level right now.  Sam McCloskey already has 10 touchdowns in the young season, and BG is outscoring their opponents 173-12 so far.  The train should keep rolling against Bishop Carroll this week. 

2. Portage 3-0 - Berlin

Three games - three blowouts. The Mustangs have been a force on the offensive end in the early part of the season, and they look like they are the real deal. Portage ran away from Windber last week 56-16, and that was all done in the first half essentially. It's rare to go into Windber Stadium and handle them the way Portage did.  Things should be more difficult this week with Berlin coming to town, as it will be the two best teams in the WestPac squaring off against each other. 

3. Bellwood-Antis 2-1 - Juniata Valley

Bellwood went into West Branch and took care of business against the over matched Warriors by a score of 49-0. The Blue Devils will look to stick to their winning ways with a down Juniata Valley team coming to town.  Bellwood's biggest concern heading into this week will be not looking ahead to the Mt. Union game next weekend.

4. Blairsville 3-0 - @ Ligonier 

Blairsville passed their first big test of the season by handing Purchase Line by a score of 27-6. The Bobcats have been really impressive on both sides of the ball early in the season, but particularly on the defensive end. They were able to keep a good Purchase Line team in check for most of the game.  The Bobcats have a tough one with Ligonier this week on the road, it will be a good test for them. 

5. Homer Center 3-0 - Marion Center

Homer Center has yet to have the drop-off so many were expecting. The Wildcats beat Northern Cambria by a score of 34-6, and by that have won their 11th straight Heritage Conference game. They should be able to keep the streak going with Marion Center this week. 

D 5/6 AA

1. Tyrone 3-0 - @ Philipsburg-Osceola

Tyrone easily dispatched Huntingdon last week as the Golden Eagles moved to 3-0. Last week was the first easy game for Tyrone after surviving two nail biters in the first two weeks. Tyrone should roll again this week against 0-3 Philipsburg-Osceola. 

2. Mt. Union 3-0 - @ Moshannon Valley

The high flying Trojans did it again last week with a 57-7 drubbing of Southern Huntingdon. They will now take their aerial assault to Houtzdale to take on Eric Sherkel and the Moshannon Valley Black Knights. 

3. Central 2-1 - Penns Valley

Central storms into the rankings with a huge come from behind win over Clearfield on the road. The Drgaons rode the arm of Mike Mock for an impressive win away from home.  Mock tossed four touchdowns and 179 yards in the win. They will welcome Penns Valley to town this week after their tough three game stretch to start the season.

4. Bedford 2-1 - @ Johnstown

Bedford ran into the Somerset machine last week, and matched them blow for blow in the first half, but the Golden Eagles ran away with it in the second half. Hard to penalize Bedford too much for losing to Somerset, but the Bison have a huge showdown with Johnstown next week, and we will find out a lot about this team. 

5. Forest Hills 2-1 - @ Central Cambria 

 The Rangers were without all-everything quarterback Joe Donoughe last week, but the green and gold managed to win 24-0 over Penn Cambria. The offense was carried by the speedy Shareef Blough as he torched the Panthers for 233 yards, including a 98 yard touchdown run. The game Friday night in Ebensburg will be a difficult one going up against a desperate Central Cambria team. 

D 5-6-9 AAA

1. Somerset 3-0 - Richland

Somerset has probably been the most impressive local team to date. The Golden Eagles have a strong offense filled with play-makers, and a defense that has been down right nasty. Somerset had a tough one with Bedford for a half, but they were able to break it open and run away with it late. They will host Richland this week, and after last year's instant classic, you know Somerset will want to get some revenge. 

2. Johnstown 3-0 - Bedford

Johnstown has already matched their win total from last season with a quick 3-0 start. The Trojans easily handled cross-town rivals McCort, but will see a tough opponent this week when Bedford comes to Trojan Stadium. 

3. University Prep 2-0 - @ Perry

The lone City League team takes this spot with a 2-0 record right now. They will play Perry this weekend. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Monday Morning QB: Week Two


-- What can you say about Somerset's dominating performance other than, WOW? The Golden Eagles set the tone early with a big kickoff return from Jake Heiple, and never looked back from there. Heiple went on to be the big star of the game with four touchdowns in four different ways, but that's the great thing about this Somerset team, it could be anyone on any given night. Dylan Barnes, Raven Beeman, or Bryce Mostoller are also capable of carrying the offense. The Defense pretty much was dominant, and through two weeks these Eagles look as good as anyone.  Forest Hills was reeling before they even knew what happened, but any chance of them making it a game went out the window with Donoughe's injury that forced him to miss most of the game. Take a QB away from any team and it's going to be rough, take away a QB that means so much to his team like Donoughe does to Forest Hills, and it is a disaster waiting to happen. Somerset will head into their second big road game in as many weeks with a trip to Bedford, while Forest Hills hosts 1-1 Penn Cambria.  

-- Bishop Guilfoyle has matched Somerset step for step so far in most impressive LHAC team through two weeks. They easily dispatched Westmont 62-0, and that was pretty much expected. The Marauders keep rolling and keep riding the Chadbourn and McCloskey train. Not much to say about this one.  Westmont finally got one in the win column last week, but it was a little premature to think they could hang with BG. Westmont heads to Richland next week, and judging by their one common opponent, BG, it might be close. Guilfoyle welcomes Central Cambria to town, who is 0-2, but it will be their toughest test yet. 

-- And how about that Central Cambria-Bedford game? I don't think anyone expected such a high scoring game, but then again they have two very good quarterbacks leading the respective offenses.  Bedford had a slow start out of the gates with a 19-6 win over Penn Cambria, but the offense got rolling this week in a big way. I noted that I found it a little troubling Bedford had a small rushing output in week one, and just like that August Cook rushed for 232 yards and 3 touchdowns on Friday.  Having a back that can do that, and obviously we know what Montgomery and Shaffer can do, it really makes this offense special. Central Cambria is now 0-2, and obviously not the start they were envisioning. Seymour had one of the best games of his career with 331 passing yards, but it was not enough to take down Bedford.  Central Cambria obviously has some defensive issues through two weeks, and those need to be corrected in a hurry. Johnstown and Bedford were able to run for some big plays, and you know that will be Bishop Guilfoyle's game plan this week.  Bedford also runs into a very good Somerset team in a battle of 2-0 teams.

-- Johnstown has jumped out to a 2-0 start, but their win over Bishop Carroll proved to be costly. Starting quarterback, Jeremy Updyke and running back Terrell Jones, both went down with injuries. At this point, it sounds like Jones has a more serious injury, which is heartbreaking for him as it looked like he was ready for a big year. If Updyke can come back, the spread passing attack should be fine, but the running game will have to have guys like Devin Miller and Tavis Price step up this season.  Johnstown is far beyond where they were the past two seasons, and you just hope both kids have speedy recoveries.  Bishop Carroll goes down again, and the offense is really struggling through two games. David Swatsworth has done alright, but it appears they aren;t getting the push up front they were expecting from that big line.  Unfortunately for them, they did open with the two AAA schools in the league, so maybe they can get rolling soon. Bishop Carroll has a winnable one against Cambria Heights, while Johnstown goes cross-town to take on Bishop McCort at the Point Stadium.

-- Bishop McCort was able to get into the win column with a road win over Cambria Heights.  It was a senior, Marc Smith, that gave the offense steady production with a 100 yard rushing performance, but it was Levi Cook (sophomore QB) and Carnell Andrews (freshman WR/RB) that made some exciting plays to help ensure a win.  McCort will be fired up to play Johnstown in a rare September meeting of this rivalry, but will they have enough offensive firepower to go toe to toe with Kareem Gibson and the Trojans? Cambria Heights dropped another close loss after falling to Westmont in week one. The Highlanders are close to pulling in a win, but have trouble finishing out games.  They welcome Bishop Carroll to town this week, and it should be another chance for a close game, and a potential win for the Highlanders.

-- Penn Cambria scored 70 points total in 2013, but in a sense exploded for 28 in week two against Richland. The Panthers had a strong showing against Bedford in week one, and with this win, it certainly puts them into the conversation of making a run at being a playoff caliber team.  Sure, playoffs are a ways off from here, but not much was expected of the Panthers in 2014. Penn Cambria gets a crack at Forest Hills this week in Sidman, and the two schools have played in their fair share of big games in recent years, maybe another big one coming on Friday. It is pretty clear Richland is a brand new team from the one that was 26-2 in the previous two seasons. The Rams were so accustomed to rolling over teams, and it is obviously taking time adjusting, but I do think the talent is there. Colby Warshel and Dom Farina are two very good backs, and they will be able to break some big plays for the Rams this season, but the defense is still a work in progress. Richland will host cross-town rivals, Westmont, and it is a chance for Richland to get back to their winning ways.


--Berlin had an early mistake which led to a Safety and two point for Conemaugh Township, and the thought this might be a game appeared to be real. From there, the Mountaineers ripped off 44 straight points and costed for a 44-2 win over the Indians. Berlin got contributions from a number of players, and they won by 6 touchdowns without Braden Fochtman getting over 100 yards, and that should be a scary sign for the rest of the WestPac.  Township was not able to muster anything offensively, and after that big first half against Windber they have gone six straight quarters without an offensive score. The Indians have some talent, but we knew coming in they have a younger group and they'll be a team that grows as the season moves on. The Indians travel to Johnstown to take on Conemaugh Valley, while Berlin hosts Ferndale. Both teams should be able to cruise next week. 

-- Portage cruised once again, much like they did last week the Mustangs easily dispatched North Star 42-8. A 21 point second quarter really put everything out of reach, and Portage was able to cruise from there. The Mustangs rode a special performance from their main man, Caleb Kephart. Kephart rushed it 10 times for 140 yards and 3 scores. He's one of the best around, and has proved it through two games. North Star was expected to have some struggles this season, but they still find themselves at 1-1. It's early, but I think they can piece together enough victories to make a run at the playoffs. Portage has a tricky one at Windber, while the Cougars head to winless Blacklick Valley.

-- After a comeback effort fell short against Conemaugh Township in week one. the Windber Ramblers responded with a sound 41-6 win over Ferndale. The Ramblers are definitley a power running team, and Jared Maurizio and Shadoe Smith have done a good job through two weeks carrying the offense. Ferndale fell by a large margin once again, but the Jackets were able to show a sign of life with a Malik Ream 56 yard burst down the sideline in the first half, but that was all they could muster.  Windber has a big one with Portage at home next week, while Ferndale heads South for a tough order with Berlin.

-- Meyersdale rolled again for the second consecutive week, this time with an easy 55-13 win over Blacklick Valley.  Many feel that the Red Raiders are the one team that could take down Berlin or Portage, and take the WestPac crown. Although they have not been tested yet, Meyersdale is looking like that team. They have to host Shade this week, and the Panthers are a team that should provide more resistance than their two games. Blacklick Valley dropped their second straight lopsided loss, but now that they have two of the three best teams in the league out of the way, the Vikings should be able to grow and be more competitive in the coming weeks. They host North Star this week in what should be a good game.

-- Shade got on track this week with an impressive 41-13 effort against Conemaugh Valley at home. The Panthers have aspirations of heading to the postseason for the fourth straight season, and I think that is very likely. This is a good football team that will give some of the top teams trouble. I think they go into Meyersdale with nothing to lose, and could give the Red Raiders some problems.  Conemaugh Valley is an undermanned team, but they have been able to move the ball with a strong running game fronted by Brandon Galasso. Valley needs to sure up the defense a little, but it's going to be hard with so many players going both ways.


-- The aerial assault on opposing defense by the Mt. Union passing attack continued this week against Juniata Valley with a 57-0 rout. OK get this, Trevon Walker has 396 passing yards, 8 touchdowns, and no interceptions through two weeks. The Trojans have already outscored opponents 110-20. BJ Loner has six total touchdowns on offense, and this Mt. Union team looks to be the real deal.  It is hard envision any team in the ICC slowing them down anytime soon.Southern Huntingdon gets the next crack at Mt. Union, and the Rockets are 2-0. Juniata Valley looks to be in for a long year. The Hornets have been a competitive team for so long, but with the coaching change and losing last year's seniors to graduation might be too much for them to overcome this season. It is evident that the usual strong Juniata Valley rushing game is not nearly what it was, and if that is not working, JV is in trouble.  The Green Hornets travel to 1-1 Claysburg this week. 

-- Bellwood-Antis rebounded after a heartbreaking loss to Tyrone with a 48-29 win over upstart Moshannon Valley. Cameron Wood was the star of the show as he rushed for four touchdowns in a dominating performance over Mo Valley. Jake Burch played another steady game at QB, and the Blue Devils seemed to let out some frustration by jumping out to a 28-7 halftime lead.  Bellwood is a good team, and they will head to West Branch this week to look to move to 2-1.  Moshannon Valley is led by the exciting Eric Sherkel, and he turned in another good performance last week. The final stats were not all that bad for Moshannon Valley, but Bellwood seemed to get things rolling early on, and Mo Valley struggled to keep up with the pace. We knew the Black Knights had a tough stretch to open the year, and it will continue next week with Tussey Mountain coming to town.

-- Everett had a sound 41-20 victory over Glendale in week two. I think the Warriors are a dark horse District 5 championship contender, as they do have an impressive team. Kyle Sheaffer is a good player, as is Jacob Jay. This team played the past few seasons in AA, but dropping to single A should pay its dividends, and could really surprise some of the main contenders. Glendale drops to 0-2, and they have a game with a solid Williamsburg team this week. The Vikings have a few pieces there, but I think they ran into two good teams in their first two games.

-- The annual Backyard Brawl was a one-sided affair with Tussey Mountain having their way with Northern Bedford. The Titans are the defending champs and had a rough opener against a good Central team, but the Titans played them fairly tough. It was only a matter of time until Tussey got things rolling, and Northern Bedford was the beneficiary of that. Daniel Taylor has been superb this season with two 100 yard rushing efforts to date. They will walk into a very difficult game this week with a road game against Eric Sherkel and Moshannon Valley.  Northern Bedford was not able to get it going against Tussey Mountain despite a solid effort by Austin Heck and the running game. The Panthers must travel to Everett this week in what will be a difficult road game. The two teams took part in an instant classic last season, and it could be another good game this year.

-- Southern Huntington was 1-9 last season, but with a win last week, the Rockets have already surpassed that total of wins and sit at 2-0. It was a hard fought victory against a talented Williamsburg group, but Southern Huntingdon found a way to pull it out 15-13. It is early in the year, but the Rockets sit at #4 in the District Six AA rankings. They will have a huge test this week with a road game against the high-flying Mt. Union team. It will be tough, but if they can control the tempo with Mason Parks, they might have a chance.  Williamsburg was not able to get a lot of points on the board last, and that's the name of their game. The Blue Pirates can score, and they like to do it in a quick strike style. They travel to Glendale this week in a winnable game, and the Pirates should get back on track to their goal of district playoffs.

-- Claysburg was able to hold off West Branch in week two by a score of 20-15 to get their first win of the season. The Bulldogs have been riding the success of Logan Johnson on the ground, as he already has posted 347 rushing yards in two games.  Claysburg will host Juniata Valley this weekend in a very winnable game for the Dogs.  West Branch was able to snap a 10 game losing streak in week one, but they were unable to make a winning streak in week two. They are tasked with hosting a very good Bellwood-Antis team in week three, and it will be a tough game to say the least.


-- Blairsville has looked strong early on as they opened Heritage Conference play with a 42-7 win over Marion Center. The game saw the return of Deion Robinson who missed last week's game, and all the senior back did was rush for 226 yards on 21 carries. Scott Thompson added a big game, and the two senior leaders look poised to carry Blairsville to big things this season. They have a home game with Purchase Line this week, and two of the better running backs in the district will go head to head with Robinson, and Grant Syster of Purchase Line. The Stingers got the ball run at them last week, and they had no answer for Blairsville at all. Marion Center gets a home game against the only winless team in the Heritage, Saltsburg. 

-- The defending Heritage Conference champions, Homer Center, continued their run of domination over their league members with their 10th straight conference win last week. The Wildcats beat up on Saltsburg by a final score of 50-28 to move them to 2-0 this season. Homer has not regressed yet, and they are riding the power running game led by Ean Lee, who went for 153 yards last week. Homer should get a good test this week by hosting a good Northern Cambria team.  Saltsburg, on the other hand, drops to 0-2, They are the only team in the league without a win, and the defense has given up 50 or more points in two straight games.  The defense needs to figure things out, because this league has too many good offenses, and that could spell all kinds of trouble for the Trojans. 

-- After 21 straight losses, United finally got a win. The Lions beat second year program, Saint Joe's Catholic Academy 15-2. The defense obviously came to play, and this should be a big confidence boost for a once proud program. The Lions should be able to manage another win or two this year, they are an improved bunch. 

-- In week one Ligonier lost a three point game, in week two, the Rams won a three point game. The Ligonier team is certainly giving their fans anxiety with all these close games, but it might be one of those kind of seasons where they make every game exciting. I said at the beginning of the year that Collin Smith may be the next big thing in the Heritage Conference. He struggled in week one, but showed up big in week two with 112 rushing yards and two scores. He was only 3-8 passing, but did not throw an interception. Ligonier hosts United this week.  Purchase Line is a good football team, and through two weeks I think they have a chance to contend with the top of the league.  Grant Syster is a special player, and alreayd has 8 total touchdowns on the season. He is a guy they can ride all year long, and they have a big test with league favorites, Blairsville, on the road.

-- Penns Manor and Northern Cambria was a hard game to figure, because we still don't know what both teams are capable of doing.  Penns Manor was able to respond to a a rough 18 point loss to Homer in week one, by coming out and grabbing an 18-7 win over Northern Cambria on the road. The Comets rode another strong rushing performance by Bailey Mumau, as he finished with 101 yards. Beck Banton came up with a big showing, and the Comets may be developing a traditional running game, rather than one dependent on the QB.  Northern Cambria had a bit of a surprising win in week one, but could not follow that up with a win here. The Colts are going to be a team that can gut out wins this season, and will be in close games in almost all of their games. I think they can go into Homer and give them a game, but it may be hard keeping up with that high-powered running game.


-- Tyrone and Central had the showdown of the week, and for the second straight week Tyrone came out victorious in a battle against a big rival. The odds on favorite to win D6AA right now is Tyrone, and they have survived two gut-wrenching games. The Golden Eagles have a solid defense that has made life difficult on Bellwood and Central so far, and they have an offense that has been getting just enough to win games. Garrett Hunter has been very good running the show, and he is going to grow into a good player this season. Central is right in the thick of the AA race, and I don't know if anyone expected that after losing what they lost from 2013. They went into Tussey Mountain, and took it right to them in week one, and played a close game with Tyrone in week two. Noah Benton has been solid in his first two starts, and he is only going to get better. Mike Mock, Justin Helsel, and Alex Hoenstine have been solid weapons in this offense. This is a good football team, and one that is better than we anticipated. Tyrone has a home date with Huntingon this week, and Central's brutal start to the season continues with a road game at defending AAA champs, Clearfield. 

-- Huntingdon was able to hold off Bellefonte 28-20 in week two. The Bearcats have found themselves a pretty good running back in Jon Wagner. the first year starter has already rushed for 157 yards in two games, and has been a catalyst for this offense. He will get a big time test this week going up against the Tyrone defense. Bellefonte dropped their 19th straight game in the loss, and they will look to avoid a 20th straight with a game against Philipsburg-Osceola.

-- Bald Eagle got their first win of the season with a 42-17 thrashing over Philipsburg. The Bald Eagles had expectations of making it to the district playoffs a third straight year, but with an opening season loss to single A, Moshannon Valley, it put some doubt in everyone's minds. Bald Eagle should be able to get win #2 with Penns Valey coming to town this week.  Philipsburg-Osceola has been reeling since 2011's 9-3 team. The Mountaineers have only won 1 game in their 22. 

-- After a tough 43-30 loss in West Virginia, Clearfield got the ball rolling back in PA with a 31-0 over Penns Valley. The Bison will have their first home game this week with Central, and it will be a very high profile conference game.  Look for this to be a good one. Penns Valley has been another struggling program in this league, as they look for their first winning season since 2007.  The Rams are not out to a good start, and will look to rebound with a game at Bald Eagle on Friday.