News, notes, scores, photos and videos from Week 6 of the high school football season.

It’s still taking some getting used to for coach Tanner Garry and his players, but everybody in town wants to see the “Fort Cherry Show” — and the Rangers just keep on delivering.

Two weeks after taking down top-ranked Bishop Canevin in a back-and-forth battle on the road to take over the top spot in the Class 1A rankings, unbeaten No. 1 Fort Cherry (8-0, 5-0) once again found itself under the spotlight while hosting Class 1A No. 4 Cornell (6-2, 3-2) in a pivotal Black Hills Conference clash. After trailing, 7-0, entering the second quarter, the Rangers rattled off 42 consecutive points en route to a commanding 42-13 triumph in the PUP Game of the Week.

“The Canevin game was eye-opening for us, because it was an away game and a team that a lot of people are trying to measure up to,” Garry said. “I’m still amazed thinking about our side, the bleachers and the amount of people who came out to watch us. … I think getting used to it is a good way to put it.”

One of the most hyped players in the area coming into the 2023 season, super sophomore Matt Sieg continues to exceed expectations week after week for Fort Cherry while lighting up scoreboards all across Western Pa. The speedy Sieg (6-1, 170) put on another spectacular show on Friday, torching the Raiders’ vaunted defense for 198 yards and four touchdowns on 21 carries while also completing 4-of-6 passes for 93 yards and a TD.

“I think the main reason we feel pretty good about this one is that I think that’s a good Cornell team that is going to have a lot of success come postseason,” Garry said. “Our kids just battled, and I was happy to see them really work through some early adversity.”

Fort Cherry’s Matt Sieg runs with the ball while being chased by Cornell’s Drevon Newton Friday at Fort Cherry’s Jim Garry Stadium. Sieg is a sophomore sensation with scholarship offers from Pitt, Penn State and West Virginia, among others. (Emily Matthews/Pittsburgh Union Progress)

Still, Sieg isn’t the only one getting it done for the Rangers, who have received steady contributions all season from senior running back Ethan Faletto and junior receiver Shane Cornali. Faletto carried 11 times for 84 yards and a score on Friday, and Cornali caught two passes for 51 yards to go along with an 11-yard run on his only carry.

“Obviously with the attention Matt draws, you have to have some type of balance,” Garry said. “Ethan is a really good 1-2 punch with him. Smooth runner, gets downhill. He’s really taken a good leap for us from his junior to his senior year.”

As his team continues racking up signature wins with the postseason fast approaching, Garry is doing his best to remain even-keeled and keep his young, wide-eyed players focused on one game at a time. Fort Cherry has the inside track to securing the Black Hills Conference title outright, along with a potential No. 1 seed for the WPIAL playoffs — provided the Rangers can take care of business against Carlynton and Burgettstown in their final two games.

“We’ve always said, from the beginning, we’ve got to take care of the conference first,” Garry said. “People start talking about playoffs, and we have a lot to get through with the conference first. Take care of that stuff, and then in the postseason, if you find yourself in that situation, wherever we get sent, wherever we’ve got to play, just show up and get it done.”

Anything can happen, but for now, it’s sure looking like the road to Acrisure Stadium could run through Fort Cherry in Class 1A — a far cry from the 0-22 stretch the Rangers endured just a few short years ago.

“It’s great for the community,” Garry said. “It’s something we’ve been working toward, just trying to get the community back involved and excited about the football team. It’s good to see.”


One week after arguably the most shocking loss of his nearly three-decade tenure as Thomas Jefferson coach, Bill Cherpak surpassed legendary former Woodland Hills coach George Novak for third place on the all-time WPIAL wins list in the Class 4A No. 4 Jaguars’ 71-0 romp over Ringgold (0-8, 0-4). The win gives Cherpak a career record of 307-55 in 29 years as coach at Thomas Jefferson (7-1, 3-1), as the Jaguars rebounded from a 23-6 upset loss at Trinity last week.

Mars coach Eric Kasperowicz addresses his players after the Planets routed visiting Armstrong, 38-0, Friday night at Mars Athletic Complex. (John Santa/Pittsburgh Union Progress)


The only team remaining without a loss in the Class 4A Greater Allegheny Conference, Mars (6-2, 4-0) took another giant leap toward securing the conference title with a dominant 38-0 win against visiting Armstrong (5-3, 2-2). Senior running back Evan Wright extended his WPIAL lead with three more rushing touchdowns, giving him 24 on the season for the Planets.


Not many teams entered Week 7 with more momentum than Class 5A No. 4 Gateway (4-4, 4-0), which carried a four-game win streak while averaging more than 46 points per game during that stretch. None of that seemed to matter to Class 4A No. 2 McKeesport (7-1, 4-0), as the Tigers traveled to Antimarino Stadium for a marquee nonconference showdown and racked up 416 rushing yards in a 38-28 win. After falling behind, 14-0, heralded freshman Kemon Spell scored on a 92-yard kick return and also added a touchdown run to give the Tigers a spark. His older brother, senior fullback Keith Spell (6-2, 255), rushed 23 times for 201 yards and a TD, and junior Anthony Boyd added 18 carries for 133 yards and a score. Gateway senior Brad Birch completed 27-of-40 passes for 414 yards and a touchdown, while senior Steven Jenkins caught 12 passes for 197 yards and junior Kenny Lewis added nine receptions for 169 yards and a TD in the defeat.


The WPIAL’s most dominant team continued its perfect 2023 campaign with its fourth shutout victory of the season, as Class 5A No. 1 Peters Township (8-0, 4-0) made easy work of another quality opponent in a 42-0 rout at Class 6A No. 4 Mt. Lebanon (4-4, 1-2). Sophomore quarterback Nolan DiLucia completed 14-of-20 passes for 261 yards and a pair of scores, and senior Vinny Sarcone carried the ball 13 times for 50 yards and two TDs of his own. Senior quarterback Chris Cibrone entered the game in the fourth quarter in place of DiLucia and tossed an 18-yard touchdown pass to Dominic Sirianni, and sophomore Reston Lehman also added a 32-yard pick-6 for the Indians.


After trailing, 17-3, early in the fourth quarter, Upper. St. Clair rallied for three unanswered touchdowns to earn a 24-17 comeback win at Class 6A No. 3 Canon-McMillan (5-3, 1-2). The Panthers (6-2, 1-2) bounced back from a tough defeat at Bethel Park to pick up their second win against a Class 6A foe in the past three weeks. Sophomore quarterback Ethan Hellmann accounted for all three fourth-quarter touchdowns for USC, including two with his legs, and finished the game 13 of 21 for 123 yards passing while the Panthers defense limited talented Big Macs running back Zach Welsh to 91 yards and one touchdown on 25 carries.

Greensburg Central Catholic quarterback Tyree Turner prepares to hand the ball off to Aidan Allison against Jeannette Friday at McKee Stadium. The visiting Centurions claimed a 42-24 win. (Brad Everett/Pittsburgh Union Progress)


  • If you thought Trinity was in for a letdown after its stunning upset win against Thomas Jefferson last week, think again. Coach Dan Knause had the Hillers (5-3, 3-2) ready to play on Friday, and dual-threat quarterback Jonah Williamson was on top of his game once again in a 38-7 win at Laurel Highlands (1-7, 0-4). Williamson passed for 182 yards and rushed for 61 with four total TDs in the win.
  • The two-pronged rushing attack of Tasso Whipple and Ben Grabowski continues to work wonders for Penn-Trafford (4-4, 3-1), which powered its way to a 21-6 win at Plum (2-6, 0-4). Whipple, a junior, rushed for a game-high 154 yards on 23 attempts, while Grabowski, a freshman, tallied 16 carries for 123 yards and scored all three TDs for the Warriors.
  • Brixx Rawl laid the foundation for a potential second-half surge for Beaver Falls (4-4, 3-2), rushing for 227 yards and three TDs in a 42-28 win against Ellwood City (4-4, 2-3) while winning the head-to-head matchup against the WPIAL’s leading rusher in Wolverines junior Elijah Palmer-McCane, who finished with 18 carries for 35 yards and two touchdowns along with three catches for 40 yards and a receiving TD.


*** — Josh Bladel, Moon. If he was still in the shadow of older brother Ben Bladel going into Friday night, he likely won’t be much longer after the senior running back rushed for 215 yards and a pair of TDs on 23 carries to help lift the Tigers to a 42-34 win against visiting Bethel Park.

** — John Wetzel, Latrobe. The Wildcats’ junior quarterback had a game to remember in a 50-28 home win against Connellsville, completing 7-of-10 passes for 163 yards and a touchdown to go with eight carries for 129 yards and four rushing TDs, including two in the fourth quarter to help seal the victory.

* — Houston Guesman and Deakyn Dehoet, Jefferson-Morgan. This duo was too dynamic on Friday to pick just one, as Guesman completed all eight of his pass attempts for 206 yards and three touchdowns to go with 31 yards and another score on the ground in a 46-12 win against Monessen. Dehoet was his favorite target on the night, as the sophomore wideout hauled in six receptions for 192 yards and a trio of TDs while adding a kick return touchdown for the Rockets.




University Prep 8, Allderdice 0

WPIAL Class 5A

Allegheny Six Conference

Moon 42, Bethel Park 34

South Fayette 28, Baldwin 14

Big East Conference

Franklin Regional 38, Hempfield 15

Penn-Trafford 21, Plum 6

Northeast Conference

Pine-Richland 38, Shaler 14

Woodland Hills 42, Fox Chapel 7

WPIAL Class 4A

Big Seven Conference

Latrobe 50, Connellsville 28

Thomas Jefferson 71, Ringgold 0

Trinity 38, Laurel Highlands 7

Greater Allegheny Conference

Hampton 35, Indiana 7

Kiski Area 36, Highlands 21

Mars 38, Armstrong 0

Parkway Conference

Aliquippa 55, New Castle 7

Central Valley 56, Ambridge 12

Montour 49, Chartiers Valley 7

West Allegheny 10, Blackhawk 6

WPIAL Class 3A

Allegheny 6 Conference

East Allegheny 17, Deer Lakes 13

Knoch 19, Freeport 0

Shady Side Academy 43, Valley 14

Interstate Conference

Belle Vernon 55, Mount Pleasant 7

Elizabeth Forward 49, South Allegheny 14

Southmoreland 46, Greensburg Salem 12

Western Hills Conference

Beaver 38, Seton LaSalle 20

South Park 35, Hopewell 0

West Mifflin 57, Quaker Valley 13

WPIAL Class 2A

Allegheny Conference

Apollo-Ridge 48, Yough 20

Imani Christian 45, Derry 7

Serra Catholic 47, Ligonier Valley 0

Steel Valley 49, Burrell 14

Century Conference

Brentwood 28, Sto-Rox 22

McGuffey 16, Keystone Oaks 14

Washington 67, Charleroi 0

Midwestern Conference

Beaver Falls 42, Ellwood City 28

Mohawk 44, Freedom 20

Neshannock 64, Riverside 20

Western Beaver 57, New Brighton 7

WPIAL Class 1A

Big 7 Conference

South Side 35, Laurel 7

Union 47, Northgate 6

Black Hills Conference

Burgettstown 41, Carlynton 19

Fort Cherry 42, Cornell 13

Our Lady of the Sacred Heart 29, Avella 16

Eastern Conference

Frazier 20, Springdale 14

Greensburg Central Catholic 42, Jeannette 24

Tri-County South Conference

California 56, Carmichaels 13

Jefferson-Morgan 46, Monessen 12

Mapletown 38, Bentworth 36

West Greene 37, Beth-Center 12


Avonworth 42, North Catholic 21

Cathedral Prep 54, Butler 7

Central Catholic 45, Penn Hills 12

Clairton 18, Rochester 15

McKeesport 38, Gateway 28

Meyersdale 45, Brownsville 0

North Allegheny 53, Norwin 25

Peters Township 42, Mt. Lebanon 0

Seneca Valley 46, North Hills 25

Upper St. Clair 24, Canon-McMillan 17

Waynesburg 35, Uniontown 6

Weir, W.Va. 34, Albert Gallatin 0

Cornell’s Phil Barker recovers a fumble against Fort Cherry Friday at Fort Cherry’s Jim Garry Stadium. (Emily Matthews/Pittsburgh Union Progress)

Steve is a sports writer at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at

Steve Rotstein

Steve is a sports writer at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at