A few final notes and thoughts after the third Friday of the season.
Hopewell's Rushel Shell had another big night with 267 yards rushing. That puts him at 4,999 yards for his career. But Hopewell lost to Moon, 30-23.
Hopewell had only one other starter back from last season, but it looks like the Vikings are still good offensively. Defense seems very suspect, though. Hopewell is now 0-2 in conference and if not careful could miss the playoffs.
** Highlights for North Allegheny-Upper St. Clair and Erie McDowell-Seneca Valley are already posted on the Post-Gazette high school page.
** Here are the top rushers, passers and receivers from tonight's games.
** New Castle standout QB John Mattarazzo was hurt on the final play of the game and taken by ambulance to a hospital. No word on his injury yet. MSA reporting a neck injury.
** What's up with Matt McCann at Keystone Oaks? I guess he's playing QB now, too. McCann was a running back last year, a 1,000-yard rusher. He's off to a good start again this year. But Friday night, he also completed 7 of 10 passes for 143 yards.
** Is there a better quarterback name this year than David O'Brien of Seton-LaSalle? Remember there is the Davey O'Brien Award that goes to the best college quarterback in the country. Seton-LaSalle's Davey O'Brien was 9 of 19 for 202 yards this season.
** North Allegheny running back Alex Papson is only 5 feet 8, but NA coach Art Walker said some Mid-American Conference schools are now asking for film on him.
** Burrell's Zack Middleby had 400 yards offense (passing and running) the first week of the season. Can someone please tell me what happened to him? Tonight, the top passer in the area was Burre3ll's James Liput, a sophomore who was 14 of 16 for 319 yards.
** Tune in the Post-Gazette High School Football Show from 8 to 10 in the morning on The Fan 93.7 FM. Myself and Don Rebel of MSA Sports are the hosts. Rob Kugler, North Allegheny lineman and son of Steelers line coach Sean Kugler, will be one of our guests. Rob will shed some light on what he thinks about football in Western Pa. He moved here in the summer from Buffalo.
Latrobe coach Ray Reitz will also join us. I'll ask him a little about Terrelle Pryor. Remember, Reitz was Pryor's coach at Jeannette.
See the end of the blog for news on Wayne Capers out for the season for Chartiers Valley.
For all of the updated scores in the WPIAL and City League, go to the Post-Gazette scores page.
FINAL SCORE: NORTH ALLEGHENY 27, UPPER ST. CLAIR 0
Final stats: Alex Papson 26 carries for 223 yards. Matt Steinbeck 4 for 70. Upper St. Clair had only 75 yards rushing and 101 passing.
Two final scores: Central Valley must be for real. Almost beat West Allegheny last week and tonight beat New Castle, 23-6.
Moon defeated Hopewell, 30-23.
9:37 - It's officially a blowout. Papson scores on a 38-yard run and now has over 200 yards. NA leads, 27-0.
North Hills beat Pine-Richland, 21-14. Taylor Schmitt scored all three North Hills TDs
9:25 p.m. - From Ricci Rich: Moon has taken a 22-16 lead on Hopewell. Rushel Shell has 136 yards rushing. That's 21 games in a row over 100 yards.
9:24 p.m. - South Fayette defeats Steel Valley, 31-21.
9:18 p.m. - NA star running back Alex Papson goes out of the game for one play with what looks like cramps. No problem. Matt Steinbeck runs 56 yards for a TD on the first play Papson is out. PAT no good and NA leads, 20-0.
USC had won eight of the past nine between these two teams, but the trend will end. 11:04 left in the game.
9:14 p.m. - End of the third and North Allegheny leads USC, 14-0. Can't see USC coming back.
9:11 p.m. - S. Valley hoops coach Vic Giannotta "dry eye in the house" says The Fumbler is in the know and reports McDowell leads Seneca Valley, 41-0, at the half.
North Hills and Pine-Richland are tied, 7-7.
9:08 p.m. - Wonder how much of a difference USC RB Connor Scott might have made. He's No. 1 RB but out with injury.
9:06 p.m. - Alex Papson scores on 1-yard run. PAT good and NA leads, 14-0. Can't see USC coming back and winning this because USC doesn't have much of a passing game.
9:04 p.m. - Dakota Conwell is excellent LB for USC.
9:02 p.m. - I told you NA would break a big one sooner or later. 55-yard run puts the ball at the USC 16. He now has over 140 yards.
South Fayette gets a 97-yard INT return by Tanner Courtad. Lions are blowing out Steel Valley, 31-14, end of third quarter.
8:56 p.m. - First possession of second half. USC's Steve Gannon intercepts Mike Buchert. 9:58 left in the third.
From David Kobovcik: Jeannette leads Waynesburg, 28-6.
From Reggie Sanserino: Third TD pass for Christian Brumbaugh and South Fayette leads Steel Valley, 23-14. This one was 3 yards to Jeff Davis.
From MSA Sports: Another big Class AAAA game, Mt. Lebanon leads Penn Hills, 14-6.
From Ricci Rich Moon AD: Hopewell leads Moon, 16-14. Wonder how many yards Rushel Shell has.
Belle Vernon 21, Trinity 0
8:42 p.m. - My bad. Mistakenly posted wrong score and headline. North Allegheny leads, 7-0, at halftime. That's NA on top. Thanks, Donna, for letting me know.
8:35 p.m. - I think Erie McDowell might be pretty good. Trojans always are good and they're crushing Seneca Valley, 35-0. Seneca Valley came in with a 2-0 record.
Other scores from MSA Sports and Paul Paterra and Dan Zangrilli, who are here doing the game on The Fan, 93.7: Bethel Park 14, Shaler 7..... Norwin 21, Baldwin 14.
Hollidaysburg 14, Ringgold 10 .... Derry 10, Laurel Highlands 10. .... Jeannette 6, Waynesburg 6 ....
So much for Latrobe's 2-0 start and Gateway's 2-0 start. Gateway leads Latrobe, 21-0. ... West Allegheny 10, Blackhawk 0 ... Sto-Rox 14, Neshannock 0 .... Monessen 7, Carmichaels 0.
More scores from Swannie: Ellwood City leads Mount Pleasant, 14-0..... Penn-Trafford beating Hempfield, 21-7. .... Greensburg Salem in front of Uniontown, 14-10 .... Greensburg Central Catholic ahead of Charleroi, 28-3.
8:28 p.m. - Halftime stats from NA stat crew, led by Steve Heckmann.
USC leads in total yardage, 114-95. NA had 73 of those yards on one drive. Time of possession, USC leads 14:03 to 9:57. Alex Papson has 64 yards rushing on 13 carries for NA. Mike Buchert throwing for NA is 2 of 8 for 26 yards while USC's Dakota Conwell is 3 of 7 for 62 yards.
8:27 p.m. - Ya think NA's band is big enough? There are probably more kids in the band than an entire student body at some Class A schools.
HALFTIME: NORTH ALLEGHENY 7, UPPER ST. CLAIR 0
Very nice crowd on hand. Close to capacity and this is a good-sized stadium.
Jim Render must be biting his hand, like I've seen him do before. All the possessions in NA territoy and no points.
8:21 p.m. - This game is flying by (every time I say something like that, the second half takes an hour and a half). It's halftime and North Allegheny leads, 7-0. Halftime stats coming shortly, plus more scores.
8:18 p.m. - Alex Papson has 13 carries for 63 yards for NA. I say he breaks a long one before the night is out. Still 7-0 USC.
Lafayette Pitts caught a 9-yard touchdown pass to give Woodland Hills a 14-0 lead over Plum. Halftime.
Above - the NA cheerleaders wave some Terrible Tiger towels.
8:16 p.m. - This USC drive ends at the NA 48. That makes five possessions, five drives into NA territory - and no points.
8:14 p.m. - Thomas Jefferson leads McGuffey, 21-0.
8:12 p.m. - USC has driven into NA territory four times, and come away with no points. A few times in the red zone, too.
8:11 p.m. - USC answered with a drive, but it stalled and Killan Mulvern's 30-yard field goal was no good with 5:27 left in the half. NA leads, 7-0.
8:09 p.m. - Upper St. Clair went on a 12-play, 73-yard drive and Mike Buchert capped it with a 1-yard QB sneak.
South Fayette leads Steel Valley, 17-14, at the half. Christian Brumbaugh has 140 yards passing at the half.
8:04 p.m. - From Mrs. Patty: North Hills leads Pine-Richland, 7-0, on Taylor Schmitt's 5-yard run.
7:56 p.m. - End of first quarter and it's scoreless.
7:55 p.m. - Mike Buchrt NA QB is listed at 5-10. Huh. He's about 5-7 or 5-8. He bends down so low to take the snap, it's almost like he disappears. You can hardly see him behind NA's big line.
7:54 p.m. - 1:15 and USC turns over ball on downs at NA 32.
7:52 p.m. - This game going just as USC coach Jim Render would want. He's playing field position.
More from Swannie: Greensburg Central leads Charleroi, 7-0.... Greensburg Salem ahead of Uniontown, 24-7. .... Ellwood City leads Mount Pleasant, 7-0. How about Ellwood? Horrible over the past decade and now trying to go 3-0.
7:47 p.m. South Fayette goes back in front of Steel Valley, 14-7. Christian Brumbaugh second TD pass - 24 yards to Eric Myers.
7:45 p.m. - Nice showing by USC students. They have filled an entire section and made it a "black out," with everyone wearing black.
7:44 p.m. - 6:46 left in opening quarter and it's USC and NA 0-0. USC has ball for second time.
7:43 p.m. - Steel Valley tied South Fayette on 13-yard TD pass fro jared Juristy to Gilbert Caswell.
7:41 p.m. - USC lineman Andrew Poluszejko was helped off the field on opening drive with a leg injury.
Upper St. Clair has moved to the North Allegheny 22, but Matt Steinbeck just intercepted Dakota Conwell in the end zone to kill the threat.
From Gary "Great" Goga: Steel Valley has tied up South Fayette, 7-7.
From Mike "Reggie" Sanserino: In a big Class AA game, South Fayette leads Steel Valley, 7-0, on a TD pass from Christian Brumbaugh to Zach Challingsworth.
From Rocky Geiger in McKees Rocks: Sto-Rox leads Neshannock, 8-0, after the first quarter. A pair of 2-0 teams. Neshannock hasn't been 2-0 since 1989.
From Swannie: Greensburg Salem leads Uniontown, 7-0.
From Kenny the Horse Mrazik: Woodland Hills is leading Plum, 7-0, late in the first quarter. Lafayette Pitts is playing for Woodland Hills. He did not play in last week's game because of a knee injury.
Some pregame photos of North Allegheny-Upper St. Clair.
Look who works the clock for Upper St. Clair football games? None other than legendary USC basketball coach Danny Holzer. Check out the ring on his right hand. It's a championship ring. WPIAL title in 2005. A team that included Sean Lee. Nice bling for Holzer.
Did I just call Holzer legendary? Must be something in this Powerade in the press box.
NA has its own green man. Check it out. Some NA students get ready for the game in the parking lot.
USC standout RB-DB Connor Scott will not play because of an injured ankle. He might be USC's best all-around player.
Capers done for the season
Another top WPIAL player is done for the season.
Star Chartiers Valley quarterback Wayne Capers has a torn ACL in his knee and will have season-ending surgery in the next few weeks.
Capers played in the first game of the season and was hobbled late in the game with a leg/knee injury. He had a recent MRI and found out yesterday about the ACL tear. He also will miss basketball season. He is a talented basketball player, too.
Capers already had scholarship offers for football from Pitt, Penn State and Maryland. He missed the final five games of last football season with a broken foot.