After tracking several non-conference games, it's apparent that a few teams that looked like contenders going into the 2011 must make improvements in order to live up to expectations.
Ringgold's 21-14 loss at Hampton might be the most surprising result of the young season.
Hampton was shut out by a good Blackhawk team in its season opener, but the Talbots held Ringgold's high-scoring offense to two touchdowns, both coming on runs from quarterback Quad Law.
The Rams open conference play this week against Joe Montana Stadium against Hollidaysburg, and follow with a road game at Greensburg-Salem. Winning both game will be imperative to the Rams' chances of hanging with Franklin Regional in the Keystone Conference. FR is the Observer-Reporter's No. 3 team in Class AAA.
The injury bug took a bite into Fort Cherry during its 34-12 home loss to Rochester as the Rangers' top three receivers were all affected in some fashion. Still, Rochester served notice to anyone who believed the Rams weren't worthy of being a top-five team in Class A.
* That said, Chartiers-Houston put together the weekend's most impressive victory.
The Bucs scored 20 points on only 14 offensive plays during the first half in winning at Shenango, 20-6, Saturday night. In the second half, C-H dug in on defense and held off a Shenango run game that produced some first downs, ate up clock bu couldn't find the end zone.
Coaches dread Saturday games, particularly night ones following a long road trip.
* We'll find out a lot about Washington the next two weeks. First, the Prexies get Seton-La Salle Friday night at Chartiers Valley and will be decided underdogs. Then, it's home to play rival South Fayette.
* Don't look now but Burgettstown is the area's second-highest scoring team behind Beth-Center. The Blue Devils are getting significant contributions from quarterback Ryan Dupain, running back Mike LaRocka and multi-purpose player John Dugas.
A win at home against South Allegheny would make Burgettstown 3-0 before the schedule gets much more difficult.
* Uh, Monessen has yet to surrender a point.
* Trinity's home game against Belle Vernon Friday night could be the Hillers' most important of the year.
Assuming Thomas Jefferson is the class of the Big Eight Conference, Trinity must find a way to beat Belle Vernon or West Mifflin, and take care of business against the other teams to solidify a playoff standing.
Considering Belle Vernon nearly won at Hopewell the week before the Vikings knocked off Montour, the Leopards must be better than people thought heading into the season.
* Funny how an identity can change from one year to the next.
In 2010, California threw the football, then threw it some more. This year, the Trojans are doing it with defense and the run game. It produced a solid 15-6 win at Carmichaels to move to 2-0 in a game that should go a long way in determining the Trojans' standing in the Tri-County South Conference.
* Canon-McMillan is 0-2, yet has been outscored by just three points and allowed only 28.