Each Wednesday, the PUP high school sports staff will preview the game of the week.

Between the hash marks

Who: Cornell (6-1) at Fort Cherry (7-0)

Where: Jim Garry Stadium

When: 7 p.m. Friday

The coaches: Ed Dawson (Cornell), Tanner Garry (Fort Cherry)

When they last met: Fort Cherry quarterback Matt Sieg, then a freshman, ran for 137 yards and scored four touchdowns (three rushing and one on a punt return) to lead the Rangers to a 27-7 win at Cornell last Oct. 14.

Last week: Cornell was held to 227 yards in a 21-13 loss to Bishop Canevin. Sieg passed for 134 yards and two touchdowns to vault Fort Cherry to a 42-8 win at Avella.

On deck: Cornell travels to winless Chartiers-Houston (0-7), while Fort Cherry plays at Carlynton (2-5).

This and that: Another week, another big showdown in the Class 1A Black Hills Conference. The past two weeks featured Fort Cherry-Bishop Canevin (Fort Cherry won, 48-41) and Bishop Canevin-Cornell (Bishop Canevin won, 21-13). If top-ranked Fort Cherry beats Cornell, the Rangers should be headed toward a conference title. But should No. 4 Cornell top the Rangers, all chaos will break loose, and we’ll have a three-way tie between the three aforementioned teams. … Fort Cherry’s Sieg continues to turn heads. He passed for 134 yards and two touchdowns last week, and on the season has thrown for 858 yards and 13 touchdowns and rushed for 751 yards and 12 touchdowns. Sieg, who has picked up multiple Power Five offers in recent weeks, did not register a carry in last week’s win against Avella, but Fort Cherry coach Tanner Garry said that it was just to give Sieg a bit of a break following his seven-touchdown performance against Canevin. Look for Sieg to return to his dual-threat ways this week. … This is a matchup of the top two scoring defenses in Class 1A. Fort Cherry gives up 10.5 points per game and Cornell allows 11.4. Fort Cherry is averaging 47 points per game, which is tied with South Side for most in the WPIAL. The Rangers have scored at least 42 points in every game. … Sophomore running back Khylil Johnson has had a breakout season for Cornell. He has rushed for a team-best 696 yards and is averaging 10.9 yards per carry. His six touchdowns are tied with Julian Cordice (299 yards rushing) and Mikey Keyes (20 receptions, 362 yards) for most on the team. Quarterback C.J. Jackson has thrown for 767 yards and 13 touchdowns. … Fort Cherry’s other top playmakers include Ethan Faletto (479 yards rushing, 10 touchdowns) and Shane Cornali (20 receptions, 414 yards, 5 touchdowns). … Corey Bouchelle leads Fort Cherry with 55 tackles and Zach Serafin has a team-best three interceptions.

Expert picks

Brad Everett: Fort Cherry, 35-13

Steve Rotstein: Fort Cherry, 41-21

John Santa: Fort Cherry, 27-13

On the radar

Penn Hills (6-1) vs. Central Catholic (6-1) at West Mifflin, 7 p.m. Friday

Central Catholic is ranked No. 1 in Class 6A and Penn Hills is No. 2 in Class 5A. Central Catholic fell from the ranks of the unbeaten last week after it was knocked off by Pine-Richland. Central Catholic’s Payton Wehner and Penn Hills’ Julian Dugger are two of the top quarterbacks in the WPIAL. Last year’s meeting featured a wild finish. Trailing by one point with a second left, Central Catholic missed on a winning field-goal attempt, but a Vikings player wisely picked up the live ball and ran for a 32-yard touchdown to give his team an improbable 33-28 win.

McKeesport (6-1) at Gateway (4-3), 7 p.m. Friday

Don’t let Gateway’s record fool you — the Gators are one of the WPIAL’s hottest teams. What a turnaround it has been for Gateway, which has averaged 46.7 points a game during a four-game win streak, this after the Gators scored only 15 total points during an 0-3 start. The Gators lead the Class 5A Big East Conference with a 4-0 mark, but getting past McKeesport — particularly scoring against the Tigers — won’t be an easy task. The Tigers sit in first place in the Class 4A Big Seven Conference and are led by the No. 2 scoring defense (7.2 ppg) in the WPIAL.

Armstrong (5-2) at Mars (5-2), 7 p.m. Friday

Coach Frank Fabian pretty much runs a quarterback factory at Armstrong. Cadin Olsen finished his run last season after throwing for the seventh-most career yards in WPIAL history. Colt Sprankle supplanted him this season and was off to a great start before suffering a broken collarbone. In steps freshman Jaydon Oliver, who has led Armstrong to wins in his first two starts. He accounted for five touchdowns last week. The River Hawks might need to put up a lot of points against Mars, which boasts the No. 1 scoring offense (41.1 ppg) in Class 4A.

PUP ‘underdog’ to watch

Keystone Oaks (hosts McGuffey at 7 p.m. Friday)

McGuffey has won four in a row, is ranked No. 5 in Class 2A, and is one of only two teams without a conference loss in the Century Conference (top-ranked Washington is the other). However, KO has a decent chance to KO the Highlanders Friday at Dormont Stadium. Keystone Oaks has been on a roll, winning three games in a row following a dismal 1-3 start. The Golden Eagles have struggled to score at times, but their defense has been terrific, giving up only 10.8 points a game. In addition, they won at McGuffey, 32-30, a season ago.

Brad is a sports writer at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at beverett@unionprogress.com.

Brad Everett

Brad is a sports writer at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at beverett@unionprogress.com.