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2006 Helmets and Sweats

Helmets and Sweats #1

Helmets and Sweats is our weekly look around the rest of the LHAC, as well as the District 6-AAA scene. We'll also profile the Pittsburgh City League Class AAA teams for advanced scouting purposes.

For the LHAC, there are three Friday games and two Saturday games.

Bedford at Bishop McCort

This match-up is one of the better non-section games that takes place over the rotation of the LHAC schedule. It will have a little extra meaning this time around as the Crushers christen the new look, rebuilt Point Stadium. Both teams have lost a lot to graduation but look for the Crushers to outlast the Bisons.

Central at Bishop Carroll

Another Catholic school and another "new" stadium game. After years of sharing Central Cambria and/or Penn Cambria's field for their home game the Huskies will have their own home field this year. Although technically they'll still be sharing it, albeit with a college team, as they will call the Pine Bowl at St. Francis College home. This Saturday night tilt will round out week one of LHAC play. Central is a game program that plays a lot tougher than their records have shown the past few years. Although Carroll should win, this could be closer than you might think.

Cambria Heights at Richland

Word is that the Rams are much improved from prior seasons. Even with what they showed a year ago, you could probably expect them to beat a Highlanders team that will be outnumbered almost every step of the way this year. Junior quarterback Marco Pecora already has two years of starting at the varsity level under his belt and will continue to lead this team from the offensive side of the ball.

Central Cambria at Somerset

A pair of second year coaches clash in this week one game as Mike Terek of Central Cambria and Steve Costea of Somerset lead programs that seem to be traveling in the opposite direction. Although they had similar records last year (Somerset winless, CC only 2 wins), the Red Devils sound like their maturing and growing into a solid varsity team while things remain the same in Somerset. The Eagles will be playing with heavy hearts as they remember incoming Chris Truxall, a 15-year old that was killed in a dirt bike accident Saturday. Truxall was an incoming freshman and was captain of the Eagles' 8th grade squad last year as well as an accomplished wrestler.

Forest Hills at Westmont

Saturday matinees at Price Field means one thing: you're playing the Hilltoppers. Darin McLarin takes over for Stan Skowron on the Hilltop this year and this probably has many of the Westy faithful happy as Skowron was quite unpopular. McLarin will have his hands full in what is a rebuilding year for Westmont after losing a lot to graduation last year. Don Bailey's Rangers sport the best quarterback in the conference in Travis Rearick and although he lost some of his favorite targets from a year ago, expect the FH offense to be in high gear come week one. A side note: the visitor's sideline is extremely close to the corresponding bleachers due to the fact that on that side of the field the fan seating is inside the running track. Expect this to give FH somewhat of a home field advantage even though they are on the road. No local team has a fan base with more fervor than the Rangers and if things are going well, the players can really feed off that energy.

 

The rest of District 6-AAA

Punxsutawney at Bellefonte

The Red Raiders begin their march back to the 6-AAA playoffs and in their eyes, hopefully the title game, against District 9 and MAC opponent Punxsutawney. The Chucks are looking to rebuild off an 0-10 season a year ago. Starting tailback Josh Gentzel should be 100% for the regular season. He was held out of at least one of the Red Raiders' scrimmages this preseason.

Hollidaysburg at Altoona

Marquee match-up of week one, so much that this will be one of the PCN Games of the Week for week one. The contest will be shown on one-day tape delay on Saturday night. The Tigers are in their first year at AAA after competing with Altoona and State College in the Mid Penn Conference at the AAAA level for the past few years. Both teams are looking to improve on last year's average results and both have many key players back. This should be a good one!

Mount Union at Huntingdon

The defending 6-AAA champs will most likely use this game with the Class A Trojans as a tune up. The reason being they'll play Tyrone and Bellefonte in back-to-back weeks come week two and three.

West Perry at Indian Valley

The Warriors are looking to bounce back from a 2-win season a year ago and get back in the 6-AAA playoff hunt. They open with the West Perry Mustangs out of District 3. The Mustangs, a fellow Class AAA school, were 6-4 last year.

Lewistown at Juniata

The Lewistown Panthers were a feel good story last season. They finished with a .500 record and made a playoff appearance, two things that hadn't happened in a very long time for this Mifflin County school district. They'll be out to prove it wasn't a fluke last year and will get things started against the Juniata Indians, a District 3-AA squad.

 

Finally, we'll take a peek at the AAA members of the Pittsburgh City League. With nine teams in the league, member schools are using Week One to play against a non-conference opponent. Six of the nine schools will play WPIAL opponents this weekend.

Langley at Leechburg

The Langley Mustangs, located in the Sheridan neighborhood of Pittsburgh, will kickoff their season against Leechburg, a WPIAL Class A team that finished 2005 with a 1-8 record. Langley is coming off a .500 season and could start off the season with a win.

Oliver at Springdale

The Oliver Bears are the feeder school for North Side neighborhoods in the Burgh. They will be tested from the get go as the Springdale Dynamos are a premier Class A WPIAL program, having won a WPIAL title at Heinz Field a few seasons ago.

Peabody at Duquesne

If the Highlanders of Peabody are for real, they will have to show it in this tough early season test against another WPIAL Class A power: Duquesne. The Dukes are the defending state runners-up and although they lost the wildly talented Elijah Fields (who will be contributing at Pitt this fall) they still have tons of talent back from. Peabody High School is located on the border of the East Liberty and Point Breeze neighborhoods.

Perry Traditional Academy at Erie Cathedral Prep

Bill Gallagher's Commodores are clearly the favorites to win the City League this year. Although this school is located on the Perry Hilltop, they are able to get kids from all over the city if they are able to meet the academic requirements. This is a point of contention with some as the "R" word is often associated with the program but to date, no transgressions have been found. This looks to be yet another stellar year for Perry and you could probably beat dollars to doughnuts that this will be the squad facing off against the 6-AAA champ come PIAA inter-district playoffs. Erie Cathedral Prep is a great program to showcase your team against too. The Ramblers are a District 10-AAAA team and they are coming off a 9-4 season and should be a quality team again this year.

Westinghouse at Steelton-Highspire

Located in Homewood, the Westinghouse Bulldogs' program is steeped in tradition. They are the only active Pittsburgh City League team with over 500 wins in their program's history. However, tough times have fallen on the House lately. They are coming off an 0-8 season and prior to that they suffered through one-win seasons in 2003 and 2004. First year coach Don Smith will look to turn things around for a program that hasn't had a winning season since 2001. As for the Bulldogs week one opponent, well, you have to hand it to these City League teams. Even though many of their non-league opponents are Class A, they seem to have went out of their way to find quality opponents. Steel High was 11-3 last year and many outlets have the Rollers as a ranked team statewide in Class A. This is one of the premier Class A sports programs in the state. Folks in Trojan Nation can attest to this after watching their juggernaut of a boys' basketball team a few seasons ago in Hershey.

 

Helmets and Sweats #2

It's that time of the week again, leave the shoulder pads in the locker room and get ready to do a walk through in your helmets and sweats.

LHAC

Bishop McCort at Forest Hills

It doesn't get any easier for the Crushers after they were disappointed in double overtime in their home opener and first game at the new Point Stadium. Ken Salem will have to regroup and get ready to play in the hostile environment of Sidman. Don Bailey's Rangers could be the best team through air in the conference this year. BC will need to rush Travis Rearick consistently to have any chance here.

Richland at Central

It what normally would be considered a yawner, this has the makings of a great game. Central hung with Bishop Carroll, forcing overtime before eventually falling. Richland looks strong and athletic after two solid performances in scrimmages to go with their opening week win over Cambria Heights. This one could be too close to call.

Somerset at Bedford

Not too much doing here although it will be interested to see if the Bisons are for real after their defeat of Bishop McCort week one. A blowout here and many might have underestimated this team. Look out for them come section play.

Bishop Carroll at Penn Cambria

This should be a great game. Craig Sponsky's Huskies needed overtime to take care of the Central Martinsburg Dragons at the first game at their new home, the Pine Bowl on campus of St. Francis. PC Coach Ernie Fetzer was a tad disappointed in his team's performance against Johnstown last Friday.

Westmont at Cambria Heights

Probably the least desirable match-up to go watch Friday. Look for the Hilltoppers to go on the road to Patton and easily take care of the Highlanders of Cambria Heights.

 

District 6-AAA

Huntingdon at Tyrone

From one big game to another for Coach John Franco's Golden Eagles. After defeating their archrival Bellwood-Antis a week ago, they will host 6-AAA power Huntingdon. A win over the Bearcats would be huge at this early point in the season for Tyrone as they'd picked up the bonus points for beating a AAA team as well as power points all year from a team that is likely to win its fair share of games.

Hollidaysburg at Central Mountain

The Golden Tigers got rocked last week and will look to rebound against Central Mountain, a former 6-AAA foe. However, enrollment has moved the Wildcats up to AAAA this year. They are coming off a week one win over DuBois. This would be a nice win for the Golden Tigers as they would be up some extra points but I think CM will prevail.

Bellefonte at Philpsburg Osceola

The Red Raiders squeaked one out against the Chucks of Punxsutawney last week and will look to do the same this week with 6-AA P-O. I would expect Tom Gravish's squad to win this game easily and go to 2-0 on the young season.

Lewistown at Bald Eagle Area

The Panthers are coming off a week one loss as is BEA. This is a toss-up game as neither team really showed that much in their first games of the year.

Bishop Guilfoyle at Lewistown

The Panthers host the Catholic High School from Altoona. BG looked impressive in their opening week win over Chestnut Ridge, a potentially solid program in District 5-AA in the past few years. I look for this program to have a good year while they transition to the LHAC. Look for them to go to 2-0 and handle Lewistown despite the travel.

 

Pittsburgh City League

Peabody at Langley

Two City League AAA squads face off against each other here. Peabody fell to Duquesne 29-20 on Saturday while Langley lost 27-0 to Leechburg. I would look for the Highlanders of Peabody to roll on this one.

Oliver at Allderdice

Oliver was the lone City League team to win their opening week game as they took care of Springdale 20-7. The AAAA Allderdice Dragons are coming off 40-14 drubbing that came from the hands of West Mifflin. I'd look for the Dragons to bounce back but this could be a close one.

Perry at Carrick

Both teams were crushed in their opening week games. The Commodores of Perry Traditional lost to Erie Cathedral Prep 33-0 while the AAAA Carrick Raiders got shellacked by Hopewell 58-0. The difference this week is that Perry will be on the winning end of a whitewash. Carrick won't score a point against Perry this week.

Westinghouse at Sharon

The Bulldogs will go outside the City League for their week two contest as well. The kicker here is, they didn't play against Steel-High as inclement weather postponed the game and it was cancelled without make-up a day later. They will look to get on the winning side of things against District 10 Sharon.

 

Helmets and Sweats #4

Take a knee and check out what’s going on in the rest of the LHAC and beyond.

LHAC

Bedford at Penn Cambria

This is most likely the best match-up of the week in the league. Yes, I know there are two 3-0 squads meeting in the Johnstown game but I’d take either of these two teams against Bedford. Thus far, the Trojan defense is the only one that has held Matt Holsberger in check. The Bisons will give it their best shot in Cresson.

Bishop Carroll at Bishop McCort

The annual battle of the bishops may have lost some if its luster being that BC appears to be having an off year, but I don’t know, these two programs together always calls for excitement and high drama. Plus, it’s at the new Point Stadium. Expect a rowdy crowd of Catholics, and a few Protestants, to enjoy this one. The fans from the Johnstown area will go away happy as the Crushers will win going away.

Central Cambria at Cambria Heights

The Red Devils will make the trip to Patton and get back on the winning path with an easy win over the Highlanders. Look for Mike Terek’s squad to get back to .500 with their balanced attack. Shane McGregor will expose CH via air and Faish will take care of things on the ground.

Central at Forest Hills

This week is a tad tougher for the Dragons as they travel to Sidman to take on Forest Hills. Don Bailey’s Rangers have already lost one game at home this year, but I wouldn’t look for this to be number two. Anything less than 300 yards from Travis Rearick would be a surprise.

Somerset at Westmont

The lone Saturday game of the week in the LHAC takes us where else but Price Field on the Hilltop. If Westy plays with the same desire that they did a week ago at Trojan Stadium, this one will be over by the half. They narrowed missed out on picking up the bonus points for beating a AAA squad last week, but look for them to pick up those extra points this week.

 

District 6-AAA

Bellefonte at Clearfield

Tom Gravish’s Red Raiders travel to take on District 9 and fellow MAFC member Clearfield. Important game in the early going for Bellefonte if they want to keep pace of the playoff race in 6-AAA.

Hollidaysburg at DuBois

Slight step down in class for the Tigers from playing a DC school a week ago, but still a tough game nonetheless and hit the road against DuBois. The Beavers are a AAAA school so a win from the Tigers would push them up the standings. To date, the Beavers are winless and hungry for their maiden victory of 2006.

Punxsutawney at Indian Valley

In this clash of two 1-2 MAFC squads, we’ll call it a push. Trojan fans as well as supporters from other 6-AAA schools should pull for the Chucks though ,as they are a District 9 squad.

Lewistown at Huntingdon

The Bearcats trail Johnstown by 100 points for first place in the district. Even though the Panthers are winless, Huntingdon needs this win to keep pace and the keep the heat on the Trojans.

 

Pittsburgh City League (AAA teams in BOLD)

Westinghouse at Langley

Two 0-3 teams, I guess someone has to win! I would give the slightest of edges to the Mustangs of Langley. Neither of these squads has legit playoff chances.

Sharon at Oliver

The Bears look to remain undefeated. They will host District 10 Sharon, who comes into the game 2-1.

Schenley at Peabody

Look for the Highlanders of Peabody to get to .500 ball by beating a winless Schenley squad. Fear not Spartan faithful, you’ll get Peabody back on the basketball court this winter!

Allderdice at Perry

Don Schmidt has been looking to get things turned around in Squirrel Hill for the Dragons of Allderdice and an upset over Perry would do just that. I wouldn’t get my hopes up too high for that, but they still have a shot at the AAAA PIAA playoff spot from the district. They’ll have to battle that out with Brashear though. Commodores win this year.

 

Helmets and Sweats #5

LHAC

Bedford at Central Cambria

CC is getting back on track and Bedford has been solid all year. This should be a tight one with a slight advantage to Bedford.

Westmont at Bishop Carroll

If the reports out of Ebensburg are true and BC is as bad as they are thought to be, then look for another win from the Hilltoppers here.

Bishop McCort at Richland

Homecoming for Richland, but the Crushers will spoil it. Richland got a little exposed as far as their offensive line last week. McCort QB Jordan DeFrancis can throw the ball with the best of the QBs in the LHAC. The status of Marco Pecora and Andy Rubal are uncertain at the time of this post but, like last week against the Trojans, I'm not sure that would make much of a difference. I'm beginning to think the Rams are more a product of their schedule than anything else and their win over Bishop Carroll says more to the status of the Huskies program not their own. Crushers win big.

Forest Hills at Cambria Heights

Blowout. FH wins big.

Penn Cambria at Central

Central is a program that plays better than their record. Look for a game effort from them but PC and Holsberger will prevail.

District 6-AAA

Indian Valley at Bellefonte

Bellefonte should win this game. Tom Gravish’s Red Raiders need this one desperately to stay on track in the playoff race.

Central Dauphin East at Hollidaysburg

The Tigers look to pick up a win against their former AAAA Mid-Penn foe. The extra points could be huge come the end of the season should H’burg pick up this win.

Huntingdon at Punxsutawney

Look for the Bearcats to pick up an easy win over the District 9-AAA Chucks. Huntingdon needs the win to keep pace with first place Johnstown.

Clearfield at Lewistown

The Panthers will fall, and fall farther in the 6-AAA points race.

Pittsburgh City League

Langley at Oliver

The Oliver Bears will prevail in this one and try to keep pace with the rest of the frontrunners in the City.

Carrick at Peabody

Carrick is still trying to rebound from that stinging defeat from Westinghouse last week. The Highlanders of Peabody won’t make it easy on them. Peabody wins big.

Brashear at Perry

This could a precursor to the City League final later this year. Commodores in a close one. Perry remains on top and looks to be the team the 6-AAA champ will take on in the PIAA playoffs.

Westinghouse at Schenley

The ‘House is coming off their first victory in quite awhile. Look for them to make it two in a row against the AAAA Spartans.

 

Helmets and Sweats #7

It's time for our weekly look around the league and district, as well as a peek at the Pittsburgh City League.

LHAC

Penn Cambria at Forest Hills

Outside of the Johnstown/McCort game this is the premier game in the LHAC as these two 5-1 teams battle in Sidman. Fetzer likes to go at it on the ground with Holsberger while Bailey's team is balanced but they go to the air with Rearick much more than the Panthers do with Klayko. Holsberger is one of the better two-way players in the conference and needs to be gameplanned on both sides of the ball in order for FH to win.

Bedford at Cambria Heights

It's becoming old hat predicting teams to have their way with the Highlanders of Cambria Heights but I just don't see any light at the end of the tunnel for this team. CH's program seems to be content in struggling through the LHAC season and get to week ten for their annual Coal Bowl game against Northern Cambria. That game has an Army-Navy likeness to it and the records really don't matter when they meet up. The Bisons will get them one week closer to that game but roughing them up on Friday night in Patton. Field day for Feaster and the rest of Wes Swaim's boys.

Somerset at Bishop Carroll

How times have changed because in any other year, this game was a BC blowout but you can't assume that with the down year the Huskies are having. Somerset is coming off the upset of Richland and are looking at their only legit chance to win two in a row this year. I still think BC has the better squad here but it's really hard to tell. If Coach Sponsky wants to salvage anything out of this season, he'll have to movitate his squad to blowout the Eagles.

Central Cambria at Central

The distractions in Ebensburg this fall are a bit much. This whole Silence of the Lambs thing is very odd. All the political infighting have done nothing but made the season an afterthought and have acted as a huge distraction. In fairness, they've also covered up the fact that this CC team is not very good. The Red Devils are weak against the pass and Central can throw the ball. I look for the Dragons to win and for the rain to continue to a pour for CC.

Westmont at Richland

Both of these squads are coming off disappointing losses although Westy was blown out while Richland lost by a few. This should actually be a good game by two middle of the road teams this year. Pecora is back on track after missing some time with injury but the freshmen RB Chaz Merriman has been a bright spot on this Hilltoppers team. Westy isn't too bad on the pass either as Khuri is a tall target. Both teams will go to the air in a game that will go down to the wire.

District 6-AAA

Bellefonte at Lewistown

Although they are two of the lower classed teams in the this race, but Bellefonte is battling Indian Valley down to the wire for the fourth and final playoff spot. Personally, I think Tom Gravish's team has had some hard luck this year and are slightly better than their record. They will take it out on the hapless Lewistown Pantheres with ease and will improve to 3-4.

Indian Valley at Huntingdon

The Bearcats are on a roll as they showed last week. Without the services of starting RB Joey Riley, they only went out and shutout a 4-1 Clearfield team and in the process saw Tim Rohrer gain 200+ on the ground. Look for the roll to continue against an IV team that needs this one desparately in order to keep pace for the fourth and final playoff spot.

Glen Mills at Hollidaysburg

The Tigers go out of District 6 to take on Glen Mills, a District 1-AAAA team that is 3-3. That's 150 points for the Tigers if they can muster this win and that would make a huge difference in the playoff standings.

Pittsburgh City League

Langley vs. Schenley

The Langley Mustangs have not yet managed to win a game and are eliminated from playoff talks. Look for the Spartans to run it up big on them.

Oliver vs. Perry

City League game of the week as the Bears are looking for the respect that Perry has a lockdown on. The Commodores have lost more than they are accustomed to this year and will look to this game to get back where they feel they belong. The Bears are alone in first place while Perry is in an unfamilar third place. Don't look now, but this could be a City League Final preview.

Peabody vs. Allderdice

The Highlanders need a win here bad as they are in a battle with Schenley for the last playoff spot in the city. Don Schmidt's Dragons are 1-5 but will be upset minded come the weekend.

Westinghouse vs. Brashear

The second place Bulls, a AAAA team, will have little trouble with the 1-4 Bulldogs of Westinghouse.

 

Helmets and Sweats #8

It's week eight which means back to non-section play in the LHAC. Below are this week's match-ups:

Central Cambria at Bishop Carroll

This is a game that Johnstown will game bonus points from regardless of the outcome as the Trojans beat both teams this year.

Cambria Heights at Bishop McCort

The Highlanders make their return trip the Point and this one will be a yawner. It will be decided at the end of the first quarter.

Forest Hills at Somerset

A Somerset win here would give bonus points to Johnstown but if that happens, I'll donate my next paycheck to charity!

Central at Westmont

Better chance for the bonus points here although don't be surprised if the Dragons make a game of it since they have a pretty good passing game.

Penn Cambria at Richland

Another game that gives JHS bonus points regardless of outcome. Look for the increasingly more balanced attack from the Panthers to take it to the Rams. Brandon Bailey's club has fallen on very hard times.

 

Now, let's peek around the rest of District 6-AAA

Penns Valley at Bellefonte

Hollidaysburg at Oxford

Bald Eagle Area at Huntingdon

Indian Valley at Tryone

Philipsburg-Osecola at Lewistown

 

And finally, the AAA squads of the Pittsburgh City League

Langley is off this week.

Oliver vs. Schenely

Peabody vs. Perry

Westinghouse vs. Carrick

 

Helmets and Sweats #10

Kind of a ho-hum week ten and teams are simply playing non-conference teams in games that don't count in the playoff points. Next week, we'll profile the LHAC teams in postseason play, as well as the City League semifinals.

Bedford (6-3) at Chestnut Ridge (6-3)

Don't expect to see too much out these two teams as they both head into the District 5/6-AA playoffs.

Bellefonte (3-6) at Penn Cambria (8-1)

The Red Raiders missed their opportunity at the postseason while the Penn Cambria Panthers are one of the hottest AA teams heading into the playoffs. Tom Gravish's team will try to go out respectable while Ernie Fetzer will play it safe and conservative. Look for Holsberger to get limited action, but still score 3 touchdowns!

Cambria Heights (0-9) at Moshannon Valley (2-7)

The Coal Bowl won't happen this year at Northern Cambria is in playoff action this week. Mo Valley didn't have much of a squad this year, but I can't see them losing to the Highlanders as CH will complete the 0-10 season.

Central (1-8) at Philipsburg-Osceola (6-3)

Last week was the final game that the Central Dragons played in the LHAC and this will be their final game period as a member of the conference. They will move onto the MAFC and will play future conference opponent P-O. The Mounties are headed to the playoffs after this while the Dragons are headed home.

Indian Valley (4-5) at Somerset (2-7)

IV gets the tune-up against Somerset before heading into the AAA playoffs against the #1 seed Huntingdon. This could be their final win of the season, but look for Somerset to give them a game. The Eagles put a lot of points on the board against Richland earlier this year and could be a tough game for the Warriors.

Central Cambria at Bishop Guilfoyle

Week 10 was originally supposed to be CC at Westmont but the Tribune Democrat reported on 11/1 that Westy was cancelling on them. Props to the folks at BG for picking up the game. A very good political move from the LHAC's newest member. And a wag of the finger to the folks in charge at Westy. You scheduled this game, you should have honored it.

Karns City (9-0) at Forest Hills (7-2)

KC is from District 9 and come into the contest undefeated. This should be a good tune up for two teams headed to their respective district playoffs. We mentioned in the report card how Coach Bailey takes what you give him. He went into the game with Johnstown with the area's best passer, but schemed to run the ball. End result: Travis Rearick just 4-for-6 for 43 yards and an INT. Expect more of the ground game, especially in Jared Kostan. The Rangers will give KC their first loss of the year and will have momentum going into the playoffs.

Freedom Village Academy (NY) at Richland (3-6)

Brandon Bailey's Rams team looks to end the 2006 campaign on a winning note against the visitors from New York. This season could only be described as disappointing. After the quick start and three game winning streak to start the season, the Rams have been riddled with injury and haven't won a game since. A positive is that Bailey has Marco Pecora back next year. Pecora is the third leading passer in the state heading into week ten. Also, his favorite target, Dan Fenton is back. Fenton is tops among LHAC WRs.

 

Aside from Westy there is no week ten game for Bishop Carroll, Bishop McCort

6-AAA

Huntingdon (8-1) at Central Mountain (5-4)

The top seed gets in AAA gets the tune up against the Wildcats, who are playing AAAA independent now. Look for the impressive Bearcat running game to continue to put up big numbers and head into the playoffs with a blowout.

Hollidaysburg (5-4) at Chambersburg (1-8)

The Tigers are the third seed and will be JHS' opponent in the first round. They'll get the easy win over Mid Penn doormat Chambersburg and head into the playoffs with a 6-4 mark.

Saltsburg (0-9) at Lewistown (0-9)

I have to give props here, these two schools playing this game might seem meaningless to you or me but it gives one of the teams a chance to go out with a win. One of the teams will have their seniors have their last game be a win. The majority of the kids on both teams will not go onto to college football. What a great thing it will be for those seniors of either the Trojans or Panthers to go out on top. High School football is about the kids and this game is more significant to me than any of the others this week.

Pittsburgh City League

Langley (0-8) vs. Brashear (6-3)

Not sure what it says about the City League that Brashear lost to a winless DuBois team a week ago. The Bulls will most likely be the AAAA PIAA rep coming out of the city. The AAA Mustangs are just playing for pride right now. Look for them to drop to 0-9.

Westinghouse (1-8) vs. Oliver (7-2)

The Bears of Oliver were upset by Peabody a week ago. Look for them to take out that frustration on the woeful Westinghouse Bulldogs and they get back on track for the City playoffs.

Peabody (4-5) at New Castle (3-6)

The Highlanders close out their regular season by traveling to Lawrence County to take on New Castle. It appears that Peabody's playoff hopes are nil as they could finished tied with Schenley if they win and the Spartans lose. However, Schenley beat Peabody so they own that tiebreaker.

Perry (5-4) vs. Schenley (5-4)

The Commodores have had a very rough year by their recent standards. I look for them to beat the Spartans and enter the City League playoffs on a high note. Warning to the other City League teams: don't sleep on these guys come the postseason. Everybody is 0-0 and it's one and done.

 

Helmets and Sweats #11

Welcome to the postseason version of "Helmets and Sweats". Below are the LHAC teams in the playoffs as well as the other 6-AAA game and the City League semifinals.

LHAC

Marion Center (9-1) at Forest Hills (8-2), Friday

The Stingers were one of the top Heritage teams but they will meet their match in the Rangers. Don Bailey's squad can get it done by air or ground. They only attempted six passes against Johnstown despite having the best QB in the region on the team in Travis Rearick. Too many weapons and too much strength on the line for Marion Center to have a chance. Winner here plays the winner of Tyrone and Chestnut Ridge.

Philipsburg-Osceola (7-3) at Penn Cambria (9-1), Friday

Ernie Fetzer's Panthers haven't lost since week one against the Johnstown Trojans. Most impressively, they beat Forest Hills in an LHAC thriller. The Mounties are no easy foe as they were second to Tyrone in the MAFC-Nittany and their 7-3 record includes a huge victory over Bellwood-Antis. Dmitri Sidorick has scored 9 TDs for P-O but that's nothing compared to counterpart Matt Holsberger's numbers. The PC senior is second in the state in points scored with 204, has rushed for over 1,500 yards and has 26 touchdowns plus is a 100+ tackler from his LB position. This could be a good one, but I give the edge to Fetzer and PC. Winner plays winner of the game below.

Bedford (6-4) at Bishop McCort (8-1), Friday at Trojan Stadium

Having seen both these squads multiple times this year, I can't see any way that Bedford beats the Crushers again. BM is unbeaten since that week one set back and running on all cylinders as of late. The Bisons, on the other hand have lost to Johnstown and Chestnut Ridge as of late and will need the game of the season to overcome Ken Salem's team. Winner plays winner of the game above.

District 6-AAA

Indian Valley (5-5) at Huntingdon (9-1), Friday

The other 6-AAA game is the #1 seed of Huntingdon against the #4 seed of Indian Valley. I'll keep this short and sweet: IV loses. Huntingdon advances to play the winner of Johnstown-Hollidaysburg.

 

City League playoffs - both games played at Cupples Stadium (AAA squads in italics)

Thursday: Perry (6-4) vs. Brashear (7-3)

Brashear beat Perry 14-7 back on 9/29 but best believe the Commodores will be a tad more motivated for this one as their City League reign is on the line. They rebounded nicely winning their final three games of the season after dropping the previous three. I say this one is too close to call.

Friday: Schenley (5-5) vs. Oliver (8-2)

The other City League playoff game is easier for me to call as the Bears of Oliver have been playing with fire and desire all season. I look for them to win easily over the Spartans and advance to the City final.

 

Very good chance that the title game will be between the two AAA squads although Oliver beating Schenley would be more of a lock than Perry beating Brashear.

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