Joe Rossi

South Fayette head coach Joe Rossi hopes to point his Lions in the right direction when they host his alma mater, Chartiers Valley, at 7 p.m. Sept. 18 in a non-conference football clash.

South Fayette and Chartiers Valley have had a cooperative relationship in sports, but the teams will be on opposite sides when the Lions football team hosts the Colts at 7 p.m. Sept. 18.

“We’ve practiced a lot together,” said SF head coach Joe Rossi.

In fact, the Lions won the 2021 Linemen Challenge hosted by Chartiers Valley this summer.

“They beat us last year,” Rossi said of the Colts’ 19-7 victory in 2020.

The Lions are coming off a game against Thomas Jefferson, while CV faced Belle Vernon.

Both TJ and Belle Vernon are among the best teams in Class 4A.

The Jaguars, whom the Lions faced on Sept. 10, are the defending WPIAL and PIAA champions.

The Leopards routed the Colts, 49-14, in their encounter.

In the loss, Anthony Mackey and Gavin Owens managed scores on 70- and one-yard runs.

Previously, South Fayette upended West Mifflin, 42-21.

Landon Lutz threw for 170 yards and three scores. He also rushed for touchdowns of one and two yards against the Titans.

Logan Yater caught a 33-yard touchdown pass from Lutz, while Nate Deanes caught a 33-yard scoring strike and Connor Harcarik added a 23-yard touchdown reception.

Deanes led the ground game with 92 yards on 13 carries.

Christian Brandi returned an interception 34 yards for touchdown and Spence Hondru racked up 11 tackles and one tackle for loss.

Gateway at BP

After tackling regional rivals in its first three games, Bethel Park welcomes Gateway at 7 p.m. Sept. 17.

Despite their 21-16 loss to TJ, the Gators are expected to be the team to beat in Class 5A.

Gateway boasts sophomore quarterback Brad Birch, who passed for more than 1,000 yards last year as a freshman at Jeannette. Gateway also features Cincinnati recruit Patrick Body, a talented receiver and defensive back not to mention all-conference performers in Hunter Dow, Aiden Smith and Aaron Vowler on defense.

Meanwhile, the Black Hawks feature the 1-2 punch of Troy Volpatti and Max Blanc on offense.

Volpatti dominated the action in a 35-0 win against Baldwin. He rambled for 267 yards and four scores measuring four, two, 26 and 81 yards. After two games, Volpatti ranked fifth in the WPIAL with 306 yards on 37 carries for an 8.3-yard average.

In his first two outings, Blanc has completed 16 of 33 passes for 230 yards. He is a Youngstown State commit.

Against Baldwin, Ryan Petras also rushed for a five-yard score. Cody Geddes and Kaden Wetzel split the kicking the duties, accounting for two PATs each.

The win against the Highlanders snapped a nine-game losing streak for the Black Hawks dating back to 2019. They were 0-7 during last year’s shortened season.

Peters Twp. at Penn-Trafford

Peters Township visits Penn-Trafford for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff Sept. 17.

The Indians have beaten the Warriors on their way to back-to-back appearances in the WPIAL Class 5A championship contest and this game figures to have a playoff-like atmosphere.

The Warriors feature running back Cade Yacamelli. He rushed for 536 yards on 55 attempts last season. In two outings this year, he already has 315 yards for a 13.7-yard average and a third-place spot among the leaders in the WPIAL. Quarterback Carter Green has 195 yards rushing. He threw for 199 yards in the season-opener against Norwin.

The Indians, who hosted Mt. Lebanon Sept. 10, defeated crosstown rival Canon-McMillan 28-7 a week earlier.

The triumph was a breakout game for Sam Miller, who is in his first season as PT’s signal caller. He threw for 261 yards and two scoring strikes of 36 and 75 yards to Brendan McCullough and Bryce Thompson, respectively. Miller, who is a standout defensive back, also rushed for a 13-yard touchdown.

Against the Big Macs, Thompson finished with 133 yards on five receptions while McCullough had a fumble recovery on defense.

Ethan Kirsch added an eight-yard scoring run.

McCullough also recovered a fumble, while Marcos Recker intercepted a pass and Jake Velgich recorded a sack in the end zone for a safety.

Almanac Sports Editor

An award-winning journalist, Eleanor Bailey has been employed by Observer Publishing Company since 1982. She is the sports editor at The Almanac and a contributor for the Observer-Reporter.

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