A few must-win contests and an intriguing non-conference contest are the ones to watch Friday night.
1. Trinity at Chartiers Valley. The Colts looked good, real good, in lopsided wins over Moon and Peters Township but were shut out by Montour in Week 2. CV has speed and toughness. The Colts are a very tough matchup for Trinity, which plays its first conference game here. The Hillers rebounded from the Week 1 debacle with hard-fought wins over Blackhawk and Hampton, both quality opponents. The winner will challenge Thomas Jefferson for the Big Seven title.
2. California at Monessen. Cordero Jackson is dominating for the Greyhounds, who can actually throw the football with QB Adam Caputo. The last two years, Monessen has not been able to stop Donte Valentino and it must to win this game. The winner establishes itself as the team to beat in the Tri-County South.
3. Canon-McMillan at Shaler. Not a fan of non-conference games at this point, but it's Quad-A and that's how it goes. Canon-Mac rebounded from a blowout at Kiski with a record-setting performance against Latrobe. That game wasn't a test. Playing at 3-0 Shaler will be a big one. If C-M wins here, it might signify the team's biggest win since 2004. Then again, it might not mean much. The Great Southern is looking tougher than anticipated with Bethel Park playing extremely well and Mt. Lebanon overachieving.
Class AAAA - Gateway at Norwin
Class AAA - Blackhawk at Hopewell, Montour at New Castle
Class AA - Valley at Ford City, South Fayette at South Park, Beaver Falls at Aliquippa
Class A - Nada. It's a weak slate for the small schools.