By Mike White | Friday, Sept. 4, 6:50 p.m.
9:53 p.m. - ESPN radio announcers are reporting Laurel beat Clairton. That's a gigantic upset. ..... Orne Bey just scored on a 15-yard run. Gateway leads, 19-7, with a little more than two minutes left. This one is over.
9:38 p.m. - Penn Hills scores on a 38-yard pass from Chaz Whittaker to Raymon Harris. PAT good. 13-7 Gateway with 7:30 left.
9:30 p.m. - Courtesy of North Hills basketball coach Buzz Gabos: Mt. Lebanon leads North Hills, 17-10, late in the third quarter.
9:18 p.m. - Another Kalkstein interception killed another Gateway scoring threat. But Gateway just went ahead, , on a 20-yard run by Orne Bey and the extra-point kick. Gateway now leads, 13-0, with 3:01 left in the third quarter. Penn Hills won't be a good come-from-behind team. Chazz Whittaker is a sophomore QB and the Indians don't appear to have much of a passing game.
Perry and Brashear are still scoreless in the City League showdown. Colleague Colin Dunlap reports it is painful to watch this game.
8:43 p.m. - Somewhat of a surprise. Mt. Lebanon leads North Hills, 14-3, at half. Other scores: Upper St. Clair now leads Penn-Trafford, 27-20. Canon-McMillan is crushing Trinity, 31-12. West Allegheny leads Chartiers Valley, 17-14. Hopewell leads Knoch, 28-0. Wonder how many yards Rushel Shell has?
8:41 p.m. - Halftime and Gateway leads, 6-0. Gateway has dominated, but five first-half turnovers, most deep in Penn Hills territory. Gateway QB Rob Kalkstein is 8 of 12 for 193 yards in the first half, but has thrown two costly interceptions. One in the end zone and one deep in Penn Hills territory. Gateway leads in yardage in first half, 205-75. But Penn Hills had a 91-yard fumble recovery returned for a TD called back because of a penalty.
First impressions of Gateway's Brandon Felder: Fast and good. He plays RB, but will be a receiver or DB in college. Having trouble holding onto the ball. Has fumbled three or four times.
8:29 p.m. - New Penn-Trafford coach T.J. Wiley trying to make a big first impression. This update from Upper St. Clair basketball coach Danny Holzer. Penn-Trafford leads Upper St. Clair, 20-19, in the first half.
Here at Gateway, the Gators have four turnovers in the first half. They still lead, 6-0, late in the half.
8:16 p.m. - Stephen Vranka caught a 21-yard TD pass from Rob Kalkstein. Kick failed. 6-0 Gateway 5:19 left in half. ... Pitt recruit Aaron Donald of Penn Hills looks good. A defensive lineman, he has a sack and a couple tackles.
8:02 - North Hills leads Mt. Lebanon, 3-0, end first.
8:00 p.m. - No score after the first quarter from Gateway-Penn Hills. Gateway QB Rob Kalkstein completed 5 of 9 in first quarter for 117 yards. Had one intercepted in end zone that killed a drive. A fumble killed another Gateway drive.
Kickoff for the first Friday night of the season is 45 minutes away. The first Friday night does have a special feeling. But here at Yuhas-McGinley Stadium, it's a feeling I don't particularly like. No stands on one side. I hate stadiums with stands on one side.
See? Some of the aura is gone at stadiums with seats on only one side. This is Penn Hills' stadium an hour before the game.
* Oh well. Just made a quick visit to the Gateway locker room. This is season No. 40 for Gateway assistant coach Russ Gratton. His first year was as an assistant at Baldwin. Then he came to Gateway and was a longtime assistant under Pete Antimarino. He took over as head coach when Antimarino retired. Gratton then resigned and spent a few years as an assistant to Neil Gordon at Penn Hills before coming back to Gateway as an assistant under Terry Smith.
Gateway leaves the locker room to take the field for the first time this season.
* This is definitely the biggest game in the area. ESPN Radio's crew of Ken Laird and Bob Orkwis is here for the play-by-call.
* Prediction: Key player in the game will be Gateway QB Rob Kalkstein. This is the 38th game he has started in his career. It he had more size, he'd be a Division I recruit, although some I-AA schools are interested.
* I'm interested to see Gateway's newest player Brendon Felder, a running back-receiver-defensive back and a transfer from Massachusetts. Look for him to possibly commit to North Carolina in the next few weeks.
* Might have to check out the refreshment stand soon. But have to be honest. Could really go for one of the gyros at Aliquippa. It's "real" gyro meat.
* Gateway's coaches always look fine. This year, they have the newest Nike gear, with long Nike golf pants.
* Tonight's game is part of the Great American Rivalry Series. iHigh.com, a sports marketing company in Kentucky picks a handful of games around the country every week to feature as part of the series. The host team (Penn Hills) gets $1,000 for its athletic department. In addition, one player from each team who also does well academically will receiver a $500 academic scholarship. Brett Allen was chosen for Penn Hills. He is a three-year starter with a 4.0 grade-point average.
Great American Rivalry Series provided this blow-up football for the game.