Tonight's schedule features some nice matchups, including the top WPIAL Class AA game involving South Fayette and two of the better ones in Class AAA with Trinity and Ringgold.
South Fayette (2-0) at Steel Valley (2-0)
The Ironmen are off to a fast start, albeit wins over Albert Gallatin and West Shamokin don't offer a true barometer of Steel Valley's talent. Steel Valley gets to play three of its first four games in the Century Conference at home and a win against the team pegged as favorites should set them up for a run at hosting a playoff game. Delrece Williams ranks second in the WPIAL with 455 rushing yards and he'll be the primary concern for South Fayette's offense.
Not surprisingly, Lions quarterback Christian Brumbaugh is off to a strong start for the Observer-Reporter's No. 3 Class AA team. He's already passed for 419 yards and five scores, with Josh Patterson and Tyler Challingsworth as the top targets. On the road in conference play, however, means South Fayette will need a strong effort from running back Jeff Davis and the offensive line.
Trinity (1-0, 2-0) at Belle Vernon (1-0, 1-1)
Trinity credits its best start since 2005 to team unity, special teams and tough defense. The Hillers rallied behind head coach Ed Dalton, the subject of well-documented offseason drama. Senior Kyle McWreath, arguably the area's top player through two games, told me last week, Trinity is focused on giving its head coach a great going-away gift. McWreath is averaging nearly 10 yards per carry from his fullback position and has been dominant defensively.
Belle Vernon has also been dominant defensively as the Leopards play without top offensive talent Matt Green, a Division I prospect and former PIAA long jump champion. BV has allowed just 14 points on a pair of touchdowns by Hopewell's Rushel Shell in the season opener. Last year, Belle Vernon - coached by former Washington & Jefferson standout Aaron Krepps - nearly derailed Trinity's playoff chances with a 21-6 win at Hiller Stadium.
Ringgold (2-0) at Hollidaysburg (2-0)
As I'm writing this (11:26 a.m.), Ringgold is two hours away from boarding the bus and heading to Hollidaysburg, a WPIAL newcomer located a few miles suth of Altoona. Both teams have looked strong through two games and feature high-powered offenses.
Ringgold looks to run out of its shotgun spread system and is doing a great job behind Derrick Fiore (322 yards on 27 carries) and quarterback Quad Law, who rushed for 100-plus yards with a pair of scores against Hampton. Complementary playmakers and a defense that helped the Rams overcome five fumbles and more than 100 yards in penalties last week have contributed heavily and made Ringgold an intriguing team as the Keystone Conference schedule begins.
Hollidaysburg is more of a passing team and quarterback Chad Barton has demonstrated big-play ability. His 20 completions have gone for 445 yards with five touchdowns. T.J. Keefer leads the WPIAL with 14 receptions and 321 receiving yards. He's averaging 22.9 yards per catch.