Photo by Mike Longo Jr.
Tigers Joey Marasco fumbles a kick return in the Moon 41-0 lose to West Allegheny.
By Mike Longo Jr.
The dog days of summer are nearly behind us. Heat week is an afterthought. King football has returned to Western Pennsylvania to the delight of many. A time to gather on a Friday or Saturday, reminisce and look to the future with new hopes and dreams.
Stadium lights were on, concession stand grills fired up and fans returned in droves as players hit the field as Week Zero of high school football marks the start of the 2022 campaign.
Sit back and relax as we have you covered from start to finish all season long as our local teams launch their assault on a championship.
West Allegheny 41
Moon Area 0
It certainly appeared as if all prior indications are correct, this season will be a rebuilding year for the Moon Area Tigers. After a huge loss of players due to graduation from last year’s amazing team, Coach Ryan Linn has a daunting task ahead of him.
That inexperience showed as nothing seemed to go right for Moon in their Aug. 26 shutout loss to rival West A on senior recognition night. Turnovers, from bad snaps to interceptions to fumbles seemed to be the norm for the Tigers. At times there were flashes of brilliance at key positions, but seemed to get overshadowed quickly. Nothing would go right on opening night.
The final score wasn't the only huge loss for the Tigers. Moon was dealt a severe blow as Senior two-way player, Cole Newhouse suffered a leg injury in the third quarter and was taken from the field on a stretcher to a waiting ambulance.
Opening night for the Carlynton Cougars didn't go exactly according to plan. Then again when you're held to zero points, nothing ever does.
Carlynton started off the Aug. 26 game by giving up a huge 76-yard touchdown pass and fell behind early as the two-point conversion failed, trailing 6-0. Carrick's staunch defense would prove to be too big of a hurdle to overcome all evening.
In the second quarter, Carrick hit the scoreboard again, this time on a 29-yard touchdown pass adding the two-point conversion as they built a 14-0 halftime lead.
In the second stanza, seemed as if the Cougars settled down as their defense stepped up and held Carrick scoreless. The only downside to that was their offense was still unable to solve Carrick's defensive scheme and failed to score.
Steelton Highspire 21
Bishop Canevin 14
In one of the two better games on opening night, Bishop Canevin hit the road and traveled to Chambersburg Aug. 26.
The defending WPIAL Champs returned home on a sour note, however, showed flashes of brilliance as they did last season, suffering a one-score defeat.
A 50-yard touchdown pass to Xavier Nelson from Quarterback Jason Cross had the score knotted at 7-7 as the first quarter closed. Steelton Highspire held the Crusaders scoreless in the second as they scored twice to build a 21-7 halftime lead.
Bishop Canevin's defense closed the gap after a six-yard touchdown run by Marquis Carter as Geno Defrank added his second extra point of the contest. Both defenses settled in and neither would yield another point for the remainder of the contest.
Montour is hoping some of last season’s PIAA State Champion baseball momentum carries over to Coach Lou Cerro's gridiron squad. Unfortunately, that didn't happen in their opening game of the 2022 season Aug. 26.
Mars utilized a no-huddle offense that kept the Spartans at bay all evening, at times confusing them to the point timeouts were called and seemed wasted.
Senior Running Back Brock Janeda scored on a 21-yard touchdown run and after one quarter the score was knotted at 7-7.
Montour would cross the goal line twice in the second quarter, once on a 9-yard touchdown pass from Quarterback Jake Wolfe to James Bundridge taking the lead 13-7. Kaleb Platz joined in on the fun as he recovered a fumble and raced 80 yards for the score giving the Spartans a 19-14 lead.
Montour's defense had some tremendously great stops the entire half however the turning point in the game came as time was winding down at the half. Mars mounted a goal-line stand and stopped Janeda's touchdown run attempt to put the game out of reach as time expired. Had Janeda been able to fight his way to the end zone, the Spartans would have enjoyed a comfortable break at the intermission.
Mars would hold Montour scoreless in the third quarter while they scored once to take the lead 20-19 heading into the final quarter. The Planets’ hurry-up offense seemed to be wearing down the Spartans as many of their players go on both sides of the ball.
Montour starting Quarterback Jake Wolfe suffered an unknown injury and was forced to leave the contest and not return. Sophomore Trey Hopper stepped in and went five for 11 passing for 100 yards with one interception and a touchdown. That touchdown pass came in the fourth quarter as he launched a 71-yard touchdown pass to Keino Fitzpatrick II.
The downside to the fourth quarter was yielding two scores to the Planets sealing their feat and defeat in a very hard-fought battle.
Sto-Rox – The Sto-Rox Vikings hosted Burgettstown Aug. 26 in a traditional old-fashioned scrimmage for their opening week and no score was kept.
OLSH – Our Lady of the Sacred Heart traveled to open in the season at Shenango in a Saturday Aug. 27 evening affair.
Cornell – The Cornell Raiders will open their season Friday, Sept. 2 as they travel to Monessen.