Richland quarterback Matt Shaffer tops the area’s passing leaders.
The senior is 47 of 76 passing for 854 yards for the 4-0 Rams.
Next in yardage is Forest Hills’ Joe Donoughe with 558 yards, followed by Devon Tomlinson of Windber with 511. Rounding out the top five are Ligonier Valley’s Scott Fennell, who has 504 yards, and Westmont’s Liam Moran with 403.
A Richland player, Kyle Flick, also tops the receiving yardage with 16 receptions for 409 yards. Windber’s Matt Barkley (405 yards), Ligonier’s Alec Bloom (305), Bishop Carroll’s Brody Shuty (249) and Westmont’s Colin Barron (224) round out the top five.
Berlin Brothersvalley’s Braden Fochtman continues to lead the area in rushing with 733 yards on 59 carries.
Thomas Miller of North Star, the Mountaineers opponent this Friday, has dashed into the second spot with 644 yards. Richland’s Tanner Solarczyk (500), Meyersdale’s Gavin Berkley (450) and Westmont’s Sam Curry (445) are third through fifth, respectively.
Top picker: Ligonier’s Fennell is averaging an interception per game thus far.
The senior leads the area with four picks.
There is a three-way tie for second, each with three interceptions that includes Shuty of Carroll, senior Tanner Ambrisco of Central Cambria and Fennell’s teammate, senior Garrett Tobias.
Sack attack: North Star senior Derek Mullen is a quarterback’s biggest nightmare in the WestPAC.
Mullen has 4.5 sacks thus far to lead the area.
Five players have four sacks including Bishop McCort’s Christian Roman, Shane Smith of Shade, Bryce Mostoller of Somerset, Jesiah Wilson of Greater Johnstown and Dante Paul of Berlin.
Tackling the top: There’s a new tackling leader in the area.
Somerset junior Logan Eller has 55 total tackles with 31 solo stops to take over the lead.
Conemaugh Township’s Austin Myers has 54 tackles through the first four games followed by Dustin Ohler of Forest Hills with 53.
Somerset’s Steve Sujansky and Central Cambria’s Scott Bauer each have 51 tackles.
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There is little doubt that the Richland Rams have the ability to put points on the scoreboard.
In fact, through the first four games of the season, the high-flying offense has generated an area-high 192 points, or an average of 48 points a game while sprinting out to its 4-0 mark.
Richland’s offensive prowess is balanced a little more toward the run with the Rams averaging 211.8 rushing yards a game while passing for an average of 165.3 per game.
Points-wise, Berlin Brothersvalley is next in line having scored 158 points in its 4-0 start.
Meyersdale may have had its first setback last week against Portage, but its offense was still potent and the Red Raiders are third with 153 points. The Mustangs are fourth with 148 and Windber is fifth with 131.
The other three teams that have put up more than 100 points in their first four games include Ligonier Valley (127), Northern Cambria (126) and Somerset (115).
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Defense: It’s not exactly a huge revelation that the top teams in the area also possess the defenses that are the most potent.
But what might be a surprise is that the stingiest defense thus far has been Bishop Carroll
(3-1). The Huskies have allowed just 27 points this season with 24 of those against Somerset in the team’s loss in Week 2.
That’s a meager 6.75 points a game allowed by Carroll, which has shutouts in its last two games against Forest Hills and Penn Cambria.
Next is Richand with 31 points yielded followed by Ligonier Valley with 32, Berlin Brothersvalley with 34 and Somerset with 36.
Cory Isenberg is a sports writer for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter at Twitter.com/CoryIsenbergTD.
Richland quarterback Matt Shaffer tops the area’s passing leaders.
- High School Sports
Bishop Carroll boys continue in playoffs
Bishop Carroll trailed just once on Friday in its PIAA Class A first-round contest against Clarion-Limestone at Richland High School.
After that early 3-0 deficit, the Huskies never looked back rolling to a dominating 81-42 victory over the Lions.
North Catholic rolls over Berlin in Class A
Berlin Brothersvalley had a hot start and an uptempo finish in the PIAA Class A boys’ basketball playoffs on Friday night at Pitt-Johnstown.
But Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic rode 6-foot-9 senior center Dominic Robb inside, and used an 11-0 spurt to open the third quarter to pull away in a 56-44 victory at the Sports Center.
Somerset eliminated from Class AAA tourney
Lancaster Mennonite unleashed its offensive arsenal against Somerset on Friday night in first-round PIAA Class AAA basketball tournament action at Richland High School.
The second and fourth quarters were the downfall for the Golden Eagles who fell behind in the second and could never quite get back on track, falling 70-44.
Richland's Pecora is one of two local wrestlers in state finals
It has never been easy for Nico Pecora to just be himself on the wrestling mat.
He’s always been the son of legendary Pitt-Johnstown coach Pat Pecora. And the younger brother of standout Marco Pecora.
Richland rolling forward
Richland High’s boys’ basketball team made history last weekend. Now, the Rams want to add a few more details to this memorable story.
Coach Greg Burke’s team won the program’s first District 6 boys’ basketball title since 1975 in convincing fashion over Central on March 1.
- Quartet of area wrestlers move on to PIAA semifinals
Moving on up | Nine grapplers advance to AA quarterfinals
Bedford’s Garrett Thomas said he wasn’t nervous at all.
United’s Tyler Oliver admitted that he was, even if he told his coaches that he wasn’t.
And Richland’s Nico Pecora said the pressure is on his family members, not him.
Nervous or not, those three, who were making their state tournament debuts, and six other local wrestlers won their first match at the PIAA Class AA Wrestling Championships on Thursday morning to qualify for today’s quarterfinal round.
Day 1 gives ups and downs for region
There was plenty of talk about roller coasters on Thursday afternoon at the Giant Center, but it had nothing to do with the thrill rides across the parking lot at Hersheypark.
It was all about the ups and downs of the PIAA Class AA Wrestling Championships.
Berlin boys wary of Trojans’ size, athleticism
On the same night last week that Berlin Brothersvalley was winning its first District 5-A title since 2007, Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic was losing to eventual champion Lincoln Park in the WPIAL quarterfinals.
The Mountaineers (23-2), one of three area boys district champions set to begin opening-round action in the PIAA playoffs tonight, and Trojans (15-10) will square off this evening at 7:30 p.m. at the Pitt-Johnstown Sports Center, site of Berlin’s 65-51 district championship win over Forbes Road.
Area wrestlers search for gold
Conner Buttry and Aaron Burkett will make their debuts in the PIAA Wrestling Championships this morning, but they are quite familiar with a state tournament at the Giant Center in Hershey.
Each has been a fixture on the Chestnut Ridge squad that has made back-to-back appearances in the state dual-meet tournament. That familiarity could help them, along with returning state medalist Austin Buttry, when the three Lions hit the mats in Hershey this morning.
- More High School Sports Headlines
- Bishop Carroll boys continue in playoffs