Five things to watch and know tonight when the fourth weekend of high school football begins:
1. When Mark Druga surprised a great deal of people by resigning as head coach at Burgettstown after last season, concern mounted about the football team and its next head coach.
Enter Greg Marshall, who spent more than a decade as an assistant coach at West Allegheny. Burgettstown’s school board gobbled him up and in March he became the new head coach.
Most Blue Devils fans had not heard of Marshall but then Mike Tomlin wasn’t a dinner time discussion all those years ago either.
All Marshall has done so far is guide Burgettstown to two impressive victories and it opens play tonight in Class A’s Big Seven Conference against Our Lady of Sacred Heart, or OLSH to most of us, which also is 2-0.
Kickoff is 7 p.m. at Hill Memorial Stadium in Burgettstown.
2. While West Greene staggered out of the gate with two consecutive losses before defeating Beth-Center last week, one really bright spot on the team is Nate Orndoff.
Orndoff was a wide receiver last year but moved to tight end because of his size (6-3) and speed. It created mismatches with slower-moving and shorter linebackers.
Orndoff has six receptions, half of them for touchdowns, for 205 yards, an average of 34.2 yards per reception.
3. It could be what is called a trap game when winless Beth-Center (0-2) plays at Chartiers-Houston (2-0). Beth-Center lost those two games – to California and West Greene – by a combined 14 points and the Bulldogs’ offense scored 30 points in each contest. Chartiers-Houston’s defense allowed six points to Fort Cherry and 15 to Mapletown, with eight points in the latter contest being scored in the game’s final two seconds. Chartiers-Houston has a potential showdown next weekend at Class 2A Century Conference power Washington.
4. What to make of West Greene? Every starter from last year is back but the Pioneers are only 1-2 and the one victory was by the skin of the Pioneers’ collective teeth, 38-30 over Beth-Center. Running backs Colin Brady and Corey Wise have combined for 514 yards and five touchdowns. The Pioneers have a key Tri-County South Conference game at Kennedy Field against league favorite California (2-0). Damani Stafford is a load for California, rushing for 180 yards on 20 carries last week against Waynesburg. Hunter Assad is quietly having a great season, passing for 279 yards and rushing for 146 yards on 20 carries (7.3 average). California’s two wins have come against Class 2A Century Conference opponents. This will be the Trojans’ first game against a Class A team.
5. With wins over Trinity in the season opener and Bethel Park last week, Canon-McMillan (2-1) should have all the momentum it needs to open the Class 6A Quad County Conference schedule. The problem for the Big Macs is the game against Mt. Lebanon (3-0), which has shut out two of its first three opponents, including Peters Township last week. Quarterback Michael Evans scored twice in the win over Bethel Park and running back Ryan Angott is averaging nearly 10 yards per carry for the Big Macs. Mt. Lebanon quarterback Joey Daniels has six touchdown passes and for 451 passing yards. Running back Alex Tecza averages 9.8 yards per carry.