Staff Writer

Luke Campbell has been handling a multitude of tasks since joining the Observer-Reporter in 2015, following his graduation from Waynesburg University. He graduated from Waynesburg with a bachelor’s degree in sports broadcasting and information.

West Allegheny Peters Township

Eleanor Bailey/The Almanac

Eleanor Bailey/The Almanac

Josh Casilli sprints for the end zone after making a reception. This touchdown, however, was negated by a holding penalty.

Forget about running the football to open up the passing game.

What local teams showed us this week was that if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.

Not shying away from the run worked for Trinity, which ran for three touchdowns and used the Wildcat offense to beat Ringgold for its first win of the season. Monessen joined the Hillers with a last-second touchdown to earn its first win of 2019.

While teams were getting their first wins, Peters Township, McGuffey, Washington, Burgettstown and West Greene stayed perfect, all with dominating performances.

Here is what else we learned from Week 3 of the high school football season.

1.High on the Highlanders:

The question coming into the season for McGuffey was how it was going to replace Christian Clutter.

So far, the Highlanders, who are out to a 4-0 start, have done it by committee.

In their four games, McGuffey has 1,372 rushing yards as a team, which averages to 343 yards per game. Averaging 19 first downs per game, the grind-it-out, Wing-T offense is getting everybody involved.

Six different players have more than 100 yards rushing, led by McKinley’s Whipkey’s 39 carries for 204 yards. Eight different players have at least one rushing touchdown.

2. Run, Jackson, run:

Forget about stopping West Greene’s Ben Jackson. Opponents can’t even slow him down.

Jackson ran for 295 yards and five touchdowns on just nine carries in Friday night’s win over Mapletown.

Through four games this season, Jackson has 46 carries for 986 yards and 20 touchdowns. He is averaging 21.4 yards per carry.

3. Stephenson’s success:

Jackson isn’t the only Greene County runner having success this season.

Waynesburg’s Trevor Stephenson has led the Raiders to a 2-2 record, despite a loss to Hopewell last Friday.

In Friday’s loss, Stephenson ran for 193 yards on 33 carries. That follows a 200-yard game in Week 2 in a win over Ambridge.

4. Staying perfect:

How long can those aforementioned teams with perfect records stay perfect?

Peters Township has a pair of non-conference games coming, a home game against unbeaten North Hills and a game at rival Canon-McMillan, which beat the Indians last year. Peters Township will win both of those games before returning to Allegheny Eight Conference play with a game against Moon.

McGuffey shouldn’t have any issues with Beth-Center this week, which will set up an Interstate Conference showdown with Southmoreland. Wait, Southmoreland, a program that hasn’t made the playoffs in 40 years? Yes, the Scotties are undefeated, too. That will be a good test for the Highlanders.

Washington’s biggest hurdle before its final two regular-season games, road tests against Southmoreland and McGuffey, comes this week. The Prexies host California in a nonconference game.

Burgettstown rebounded from a sluggish start to thump Summit Academy Saturday afternoon. Can the Blue Devils get past Class 2A runner-up South Side Beaver this Friday? After losing their first two games, the Rams have won two straight. It was a wild game last year between the two that had to be played over the course of two days because of inclement weather.

It won’t be until October until West Greene will face another stiff test. The Pioneers start next month with a home game against California, which will be for the Tri-County South Conference title. The following week, West Greene travels to Clairton.

5. Players of the Week:

  • Ryan Magiske – Tormenting West Allegheny again, the Peters Township running back powered for 145 yards and added a pair of touchdowns on 25 carries.
  • Jared Hartman – In a blowout win over Laurel Highlands, Hartman completed 14 of 16 passes for 151 yards and four touchdowns for Belle Vernon.
  • Andrew Franklin – The South Fayette running back had 110 yards and three touchdowns on only 15 carries in a shutout victory over Greensburg Salem.
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