Sometimes, it’s hard to understand school boards. They do things behind closed doors in a process called executive session and sometimes never re-emerge. Who knows how many school board members have entered those doors, never to be seen again.

It’s mysterious and leads us into 5 Things to Watch for tonight’s high school football games.

1. The Canon-McMillan situation – The Canon-McMillan School Board met Thursday night and decided to begin the suspension process of head football coach Mike Evans. But Evans has already missed the previous two games, both losses, against North Allegheny and Seneca Valley. A large contingent of Evans’ supporters turned out for the meeting, hoping he would be reinstated. Not this week. Stay tuned.

The Big Macs play tonight at Hempfield (2-2).

2. Interstate backup – It appears the Class 2A Interstate Conference has two lanes of traffic. With the top four teams qualifying for the playoffs, Southmoreland (3-0 in the conference), McGuffey (2-0) and Washington (2-0) are traveling the fast lane and will likely decided the title. The battle for the remaining playoff spot will be decided by a logjam of teams. One of the games that could go a long way in deciding the final postseason berth will be played tonight when Carmichaels (1-2, 1-2) meets Charleroi (1-1, 2-1) at Myron Pottios Stadium. The Mikes have lost two in a row, but those games were against Southmoreland and McGuffey. Charleroi has won two in a row but both victories came against winless teams.

3. Ram-tough? – When Burgettstown routed Seton LaSalle in the season opener back on Aug. 30, many fans believed the Blue Devils had cleared their biggest obstacle on the road to the Class 2A Three Rivers Conference title. That has turned out to be incorrect. Seton LaSalle is still winless. Burgettstown is enters tonight at 2-0 in the league, 3-0 overall and has a big game against South Side Beaver (2-0, 2-2) at Hill Memorial Stadium. The winner will tie Brentwood (3-0, 3-1) for first place. The Blue Devils and Rams played a classic last year, a 23-21 Burgettstown win in Hookstown that took multiple days to complete because of lightning. Look for the Blue Devils’ defense and special teams to be the difference in this one.

4. Midseason blues – Nothing worries coaches more than complacency with their teams.

It keeps them up at night, pacing the floor, wondering if they are going to suffer the midseason blues.

That one game, when things aren’t clicking and your team is making, not creating, turnovers. More times than not, these games occur in nonconference games at midseason.


Here are three games to keep an eye on:

California at Washington: Fresh off their 700th program win two weeks ago, the 4-0 Prexies draw an upset-minded 3-1 Trojans team that just saw their perfect season disrupted by Laurel last week.

Hopewell at South Fayette: Hopewell chalked up its first win of the season last week, throttling Waynesburg. But the 1-3 record carried by the Vikings is deceiving. Losses came to undefeated Freedom, a dangerous Mt. Pleasant team and 3-1 Keystone Oaks.

North Hills at Peters Township: With all due respect, this might be the toughest game on PT’s schedule. Both teams are unbeaten. North Hills scores a lot of points and gives up a lot of points. One thing is sure: the Indians will win.

Both teams use the same nickname.

5. Action Jackson update – He is to West Greene football what the Lampe sisters were to West Greene softball.

Now, tailback Ben Jackson is 10 yards away from 1,000 for the season, leads the WPIAL in rushing, all classifications, and gets to take a shot at Monessen’s defense tonight.

Jackson, by the way, is averaging 21.5 yards per carry this season.

Yes, 21.5. That’s not a typo.

Assistant sports editor Joe Tuscano can be reached at

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