The first full weekend of football unfolded.
From high school to college to Week 1 in the NFL.
Yes, you can rejoice.
The high school schedule ran into the weekend as Washington became the fourth program in WPIAL history to win 700 games. The Prexies join Aliquippa, New Castle and Jeannette as programs to reach the milestone.
Here is what else we learned in Week 2 of the high school football season.
1. Getting defensive
Peters Township and Burgettstown are hoping the old clichè that defense wins championships is true.
Both of the teams’ defense could definitely take them to a title – the Indians in Class 5A and Blue Devils in 2A.
Through the first three weeks, Peters Township is tied with Penn-Trafford for the fewest points per game allowed (7.0). No other defense in Class 5A is allowing in the single digits.
Burgettstown has only played in two games but its stifling defense led by coordinator Rich Druga hasn’t skipped a beat from last season, when it allowed just 5.5 points per game. In two games this year, wins over Seton LaSalle and Fort Cherry, the Blue Devils have given up just eight points.
2. No spare parts
Defenses will focus on stopping Charley Rossi and Joey Audia.
The pair of South Fayette wide receivers can change the game in a blink of an eye.
“I only need to throw the ball five yards and they can quickly turn it into 50,” said South Fayette quarterback Naman Alemada after Friday night’s 37-21 win over New Castle.
But the Lions have proven success can be found outside of those two.
Ryan McGuire caught South Fayette’s opening touchdown Friday. Nolan Lutz and Luke Pschirer also caught touchdowns.
Maybe the biggest key for the Lions is being able to run the football. Drew Franklin and Shay Aitken have provided a 1-2 punch.
That only gives those talented receivers, the whole bunch of them, more room to operate.
3. Faulty finishes
Where do the troubles lie for Canon-McMillan?
Look no further than its defense and how the Big Macs play after halftime.
In their first three games – all losses – they have surrendered an average of 43.3 points. With an offense now without Josh O’Hare and Drew Engel, that’s asking a lot.
The offense shouldn’t be let off the hook, though.
Canon-McMillan has been outscored 68-7 in the second half this season.
4. Two-team race in TCS
The Tri-County South Conference champion will be determined in Week 6 (Oct. 4), when California travels to play West Greene.
Both likely will be undefeated in conference play when the two meet.
California (2-0, 3-0) has difficult non-conference games in the next two weeks against Laurel and Washington. The lone conference game the Trojans will have before facing West Greene is Jefferson-Morgan.
The Pioneers schedule is non-threatening with Mapletown, Monessen and Avella over the next three weeks before the showdown.
5. Players of the Week
- Trevor Stephenson – He ran for more than 200 yards and two touchdowns. Stephenson also threw for another to lift Waynesburg to a win over Ambridge for its second victory of the season.
- Cyle Conley – Punching a pair of one-yard touchdown runs into the end zone, Conley also had a 48 yard score that led to a 42-0 shutout over Fort Cherry. He had 106 yards on 11 carries.
- Naman Alemada – The South Fayette quarterback completed 22 of 28 passes for 277 yards and five touchdowns. Seven different receivers had catches as Alemada spread the ball around.