Celeste Van Kirk/Observer-Reporter

McGuffey running back Christian Clutter scored a WPIAL-best 43 touchdowns and rushed for 1,548 yards.


Teams weren’t shying away from running the football, and opponents weren’t too keen on stopping the run this week.

Twelve area players eclipsed the century mark and scored multiple touchdowns over the weekend.

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

1.The real deal: I didn’t know what to think of Peters Township until seeing the Indians play Friday night.

I can tell you that the Indians’ 42-28 win over West Allegheny was no fluke, no upset and not much of a surprise.

If the teams were to play 10 times, West Allegheny would not necessarily dominate. On Friday, Peters Township was, and is, the better team.

The Indians are a legitimate contender in a deep, competitive Class 5A and here’s why:

  • They continued to play good defense with a front seven that received help in run support from the secondary.

  • They controlled the line of scrimmage. The offensive and defensive lines, which return several starters, allowed running backs Ryan Magiske, Seth Luksik and Adrian Williams plenty of room to run.

  • Sophomore quarterback Logan Pfeuffer continues to grow with playing time. Pfeuffer didn’t miss many throws throughout the night, including a pair of touchdown passes he put on a dime to wide receiver Josh Casilli.

The one weakness? They are prone to getting beat deep with their safeties heavily playing closer to the line of scrimmage and forcing opponents to pass.

2. Swartz shreds record: It’s just the beginning for Washington quarterback Zack Swartz.

Swartz broke Justin Gregula’s school career passing touchdown record, throwing for his 40th in a 55-0 win over Brownsville.

It only took Swartz 18 games to break the record, and there is no sign of the junior quarterback slowing down. Washington has a great group of wide receivers, head coach Mike Bosnic has committed more to passing the football this season and Swartz will likely have at least 16 more games in his career to add to that number.

3.It all starts, or stops, up front: One of the popular questions I’ve gotten throughout the early portion of this season is this: What happened to California?

The Trojans are 1-1 in Tri-County South Conference play and 1-3 overall.

The answer is the same as to why Burgettstown (3-0) remains undefeated after losing nearly all its skilled personnel to graduation.

You don’t have to look further than each team’s offensive line.

The Blue Devils have punished teams up front. They drove the ball up and down the field against Seton-La Salle, then pummeled Fort Cherry before dominating Summit Academy Friday night.

Burgettstown coach Mark Druga pointed to his group up front in the preseason – multiple starters returned – as the key to making the playoffs again.

The Trojans were 12-1 last season and scored 50.5 points per game, but the only time they put up numbers comparable to last year was in a win over Avella.

California is young and inexperienced up front after losing Braden Petrucci and Ben Bilitski from last year’s team.

4. Undefeated records remain intact: The five undefeated teams entering the week – Beth-Center, McGuffey, Charleroi, Burgettstown and Monessen – stayed perfect in dominating fashion.

The five combined to outscored their opponents 259-33.

Even though this is venturing into 5 Things to Watch, it is setting up an incredible Week 4.

Beth-Center hosts McGuffey, Monessen plays one-loss West Greene and Burgettstown travels to unbeaten South Side Beaver.

5.Players of the Week:

  • Trent Cavanaugh – In a three-point win over Chartiers-Houston in a Tri-County South Conference game, the Bentworth running back had 120 yards and three touchdowns on 16 carries. He scored on runs of 3 and 30 yards, and caught a 24-yard touchdown from quarterback Shawn Dziak.

  • Ryan Magiske – The junior running back ran over and around the West Allegheny defense in a 42-28 win in an Allegheny Eight Conference game. Magiske, who split time in the backfield for Peters Township, ran for 105 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries. He also intercepted a pass in the final minutes to seal the victory.

  • Micah Finley – Trinity rode the sophomore running back to its first win of the season, a 47-6 romp over Big Eight Conference foe Ringgold. Finley only had 13 carries but finished with 151 yards and two touchdowns.

Staff writer Luke Campbell can be reached at

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.

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