Five things to watch on Friday night: Week 4


Each week of action comes with a different set of storylines to follow. Here are five things to watch out for this Friday, in week 4.

1. Can Rochester’s offense figure it out?

While for some programs a 2-1 start is encouraging, it’s safe to say Rochester is nowhere near where he’d like to be as a team. Injuries start to pile up for the Rams, resulting in a shocking 16-0 loss to Union in Week 3.

Even through her two wins, the offense was not the powerful machine many thought it would be. Not having Parker Lyons under center for all but two of the quarters so far this season is a big reason why it does.

Nevertheless, with our without Lyon, the Rams must find something. Rochester will face three quality opponents over the next three weeks at Burgettstown, OLSH and Fort Cherry. In order for the Rams to keep their championship hopes alive, those in good health need to step up and find a way to get things done when they own the game.

2. West Allegheny gets his first real test

So far, everything has been going well for West Allegheny. The Indians go into Week 4 with a perfect 3-0 record after a shutout win over Shaler. However, as some team members will admit, the Indians have yet to play a full game.

Any victory is precious, but West Allegheny’s three wins were won by Trinity, Montour and Shaler, none of whom made it to the playoffs last fall. The Indians face their first real challenge of the season Friday on the road against Kiski Area.

The Cavaliers 4-0 rank 5th in Class 5A in our WPIAL ranking thanks to an uncompromising style of play. If West A can put it all together and get another win, they’ll likely grab the attention of the entire WPIAL, and rightly so.

3. South Side heads to Avonworth with nothing to lose

One team that has continued to impress Beaver County high school football fans is the South Side. At the start of the season, expectations weren’t too high for the Rams, but a 3-1 start allowed them to catch some eyes.

Led by the remarkable running back Parker Statler, the Rams do just enough to tire their opponents on both sides of the ball, taking it win after win.

This week, South Side hits the road to take on Avonworth, the No.3 team in our WPIAL Class 3A poll. The Rams come into the game as a strong underdog with nothing to lose, which makes them all the more dangerous.

If South Side gets run over by the Antelopes, that’s no problem at all, considering it’s a non-conference game against a bigger opponent. However, if the Rams can compete with Avonworth, it will show that they can compete with anyone in the WPIAL 2A class.

South Side's Logan Smith walks away from New Brighton's Kyler Rombold during their match at New Brighton. [Lucy Schaly/For BCT]

4. Can Cornell integrate hot start as part of a conference?

After winning just one game in 2020, Cornell appears to drop to 3-1 this week as he takes on Shenango. The Raiders have just won back-to-back wins over Jefferson Morgan and Northgate. Although Shenago is 0-3, the Wildcats are anything but an easy win, losing to Laurel by just one point two weeks ago.

Cornell’s game against Shenango is his first game in the Big 7 Conference competition. With fierce competition like Rochester, OLSH and Union waiting later on the road, the Raiders need to rack up the wins now in order to put themselves in a position to return to the playoffs.

5. Western Beaver continues to find its way into the conversation in Class 2A

Winners in their last three games, few teams have shown more improvement from week to week than Western Beaver. After a Week 0 overtime loss to New Brighton, the Golden Beavers appear to have managed to organize themselves on both sides of the ball, using a handful of skilled athletes to deliver splash play after splash play .

Last Saturday was Western Beaver’s best win to date, beating local rival Beaver Area at home 20-14. Things should be a little easier for the Golden Beavers this week against Summit Academy in their last non-conference game of the season.

Like South Side, Western Beaver played an important role in the WPIAL Class 2A discussion. The Golden Beavers are not at the same level as No.2 Sto-Rox or Serra Catholic, but if they continue to improve, they will surely be an opponent few teams are eager to face.

Western Beaver running back Tyson Florence tries to get around a bunch of Riverside players in the second quarter.[Lucy Schaly/For BCT]

Contact Noah Hiles at [email protected]. Follow him on twitter @_NoahHiles.



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