BY CORY ISENBERG
Three weeks down, seven to go in the high school football regular season.
As with most years, there are some teams that have forged to the top and some that have struggled. There has also been a sprinkling of surprises.
There are seven area squads that are 3-0.
Penn Cambria, Richland and Somerset top the Laurel Highlands with spotless records. From the WestPAC, Berlin Brothersvalley, Blacklick Valley and Windber are all unbeaten while Ligonier Valley and surprising Homer-Center are undefeated in the Heritage.
Among all of the undefeated squads, both of the Rams squads have scored the most points. Ligonier Valley has accrued 159 points and Richland has 135.
Defensively, Ligonier allowed its first points of the season with the 15 that Blairsville scored against them last Friday, but Penn Cambria has given up just seven points in the Panthers’ first three games.
Forest Hills, 2-1, has had two shutouts and allowed just 10 points in its loss to Bishop McCort while North Star has given up 20 points.
The Mountaineers defense has yielded 21 points and the Golden Eagles have given up 27 points.
There are still eight area teams looking for those elusive first wins.
Among the surprises have been some of the squads that were flying under the radar, including Somerset and Portage.
The Golden Eagles victory over Bishop McCort was their first over the Crimson Crushers in 23 meetings and added an impressive legitimacy to their 3-0 record.
The 2-1 Mustangs opened many eyes with their Week 1 victory at North Star over the Cougars, who were touted as preseason favorites in the WestPAC.
Northern Cambria got off to a strong start with its Week 1 victory over Penns Manor, but stumbled against the Wildcats the second week before getting back on track against United.
The Colts will face a huge challenge this week against Blairsville, which held its own for a time against Ligonier Valley last week.
The brother combination of sophomore quarterback Scott Thompson to older sibling Bobby has helped the Bobcats to their 2-1 record.
Bishop Guilfoyle has also raised some eyebrows with its 2-1 record and has a meeting with Forest Hills this week.
In terms of district rankings, Somerset is just behind unbeaten Clearfield in District 6 Class AAA while Penn Cambria is tied with Bald Eagle Area atop District 6-AA followed by Richland and Ligonier.
In the very competitive District 6 Class A battle, the top four teams are all unbeaten with Juniata Valley sitting on top, followed by Bellwood-Antis, the Wildcats and the Vikings.
State College and DuBois are both 3-0 In Class AAAA.
In District 5 Class A, Northern Bedford sits on top at 3-0 followed by the Mountaineers and the Ramblers. In Class AA, Chestnut Ridge is 1-2 while Bedford and Everett are each 0-3.
Finishing what they started: Ferndale will head back to Conemaugh Valley at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday so the teams can complete their Week 1 contest.
The game was called because of lightning with the Blue Jays leading 40-18. There was 7:35 remaining in the third quarter.
Both teams are 0-2.
Cory Isenberg is a sports writer for The Tribune-Democrat.
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