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.


Celeste Van Kirk/For the Observer-Reporter

South Fayette head coach Joe Rossi celebrates with Joey Audia during a game earlier this season.

Some teams showed up and others should have just stayed home.

That was the story of Week 6 of the high school football season.

There were two battles of top teams from their respective conferences. Neither was close.

West Greene nearly scored as many points as California had yards to turn a Tri-County South Conference showdown into the Tri-County South Conference sleeper. South Fayette might still be throwing on Knoch in a game that got ugly fast.

Here is what else we learned in Week 6:

1. Swartz continues to shine

He might be going under the radar because Washington hasn’t had that must-see matchup yet, but quarterback Zack Swartz is putting together another impressive season.

The 6-3, 200-pound righthander has the Prexies a half-game behind McGuffey for first place in the Interstate Conference standings. Both are undefeated in conference and overall.

Swartz is completing an efficient 68 of 102 passes (67%) for 1,085 yards, 16 touchdowns and only three interceptions. He also has 56 carries for 546 yards and 14 touchdowns rushing.

He has multiple passing touchdowns in every game except one for Washington.

The Prexies average margin of victory this season is 37.4 points.

2. Jackson passes Rush

Entering the season fifth on Greene County’s all-time rushing yardage list, West Greene’s Ben Jackson is now just chasing one name.

Jackson eclipsed Carmichaels’ Rocky Doman and Mapletown’s Derek Bochna earlier this season. He then passed the most recent graduate on that list Friday night. On 23 carries for 276 yards, Jackson surpassed Mapletown’s Dylan Rush and now is chasing West Greene’s Rodney Wilson.

Wilson’s record from the early 1990s is 6,304 rushing yards.

Jackson has 5,877 career yards with three regular-season games remaining. The Pioneers play Clairton this week, finish their conference schedule next week against Jefferson-Morgan and conclude the season at Union.

3. Armory of weapons

If it’s not Joey Audia, it’s Charley Rossi.

If it’s not Rossi, it’s Ryan McGuire.

If it’s not McGuire, it’s Luke Pschirer.

South Fayette has a stable of wide receivers who cause a lot of problems.

In what turned into a one-sided battle against the two top teams in Class 4A’s Northwest Eight Conference, South Fayette outclassed Knoch with its spread offense. The Lions used everybody to do so.

Rossi hauled in four receptions for 108 yards. McGuire had five catches for 178 yards. Both caught two touchdown passes. Audia and Pschirer each had a touchdown catch.

All four receivers for South Fayette have at least four touchdowns on the season.

4. No strangleholds on second

It should be a great finish in a lot of conferences, many created from a bunch of teams fighting for the top two spots and possible home playoff games.

After Friday night’s loss at Moon, Peters Township went from undefeated to being deadlocked with Moon and Upper St. Clair with 3-1 conference records.

A narrow win by Chartiers-Houston over Monessen and a loss by California had the Bucs leapfrog into second place. California fell to third place in the TCS. The two will play in another in two weeks, which could determine a playoff spot with the condensed Class A playoffs.

Belle Vernon and West Mifflin will meet this week for second place in Class 4A’s Big Eight Conference.

5. Players of the Week

  • Naman Alemada – The South Fayette quarterback and company didn’t leave any doubt of who the best team was in the Northwest Eight Conference. Alemada completed 13 of 20 passes for 343 yards and five touchdowns – all in the first half – in a rout of Knoch.
  • McKinley Whipkey – From the fullback spot, Whipkey ran for 174 yards and four touchdowns as McGuffey stayed undefeated with a convincing victory over Brownsville. He also caught a long touchdown pass.
  • Jake Lounder – The Burgettstown quarterback completed 6 of 9 passes for 121 yards and ran seven times for 57 yards. Lounder scored four total touchdowns in the Blue Devils’ shutout win over Carlynton.
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