LHAC Football Forecast Week 1

High School & College Sports Enthusiast Jim Hammett breaks it down for you!
Crimson's Ghost
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LHAC Football Forecast Week 1

Postby Crimson's Ghost » August 30th, 2017, 9:56 pm

I went 6-0 last week.  There were no real surprises in the league last week except for the margin of victory in the Forest Hills-Westmont game.  Is Westmont down, or is Forest Hills a lot better than anticipated?  I'd say maybe a bit of both.  Everything else went about as expected, there are a few more intriguing match-ups this week however. 


Bishop Guilfoyle (1-0) at Westmont (0-1) Saturday 2:00 Trojan Stadium


Note the game is being moved to Johnstown with the ongoing construction at Westmont's new elementary school. Westmont will look to get on track this week after a poor showing in week zero.  The Hilltoppers only mustered 78 yards of total offense and will have to get their running game going against a tough Bishop Guilfoyle team this week. Camden Moors is a talented back, but will he have room to run this week?  That's the big question. 

Bishop Guilfoyle started slow in week one, but got it going to win their 48th consecutive game. The Marauders used a balanced offense with plenty of different players getting into the act.  Senior quarterback Mark Conrad tossed for 129 yards and 2 touchdowns to set the pace.   Senior running back, Max Sankey, led the ground game with 14 carries and 98 yards and a score. Josh Yasulitis anchored the defense with 11 tackles, and helped keep Bedford's offense in check. It was a team effort, which has been synonymous with Guilfoyle's current run under Justin Wheeler. 

Bottom Line - Westmont's strength was thought to be lining up and running right at teams, but in week zero that plan faltered.  It won't get any easier against a stout defense like Bishop Guilfoyle.  The Maruaders have the size and athletes to stymie the Hilltoppers. Of course, BG has the athletes to make play after play on offense as well. They are one of the best small school teams in the state for a reason. 

Marauders 49  Hilltoppers 0


Bishop Carroll (0-1) at Greater Johnstown (1-0) Friday 7:00 Trojan Stadium

Bishop Carroll battled Bishop McCort in the opener, and held their own for most of the game.  The Huskies appear to be more prepared to compete in the LHAC than the past two seasons, and that starts with a solid passing game. Senior quarterback Zach Bohrer can sling it around and receivers Reuben Lee, Christian Stoltz, and Shane Seymour all made big plays in week 0.  The problem however, may be on defense.  The Huskies surrendered over 400 yards to McCort in week one, and Johnstown will present a bigger challenge to slow down this week.

Johnstown rolled to a 35-0 halftime lead last week, and coasted for a 35-12 win over Penn Cambria.  The Trojans displayed that they have a lot of options on offense and could be a dangerous team to defend for just about anyone.  Austin Barber played like the experienced senior quarterback that he is, posting 152 passing yards and 3 touchdowns to go with 49 yards on the ground and a score.  Bishop McCort transfer Imil Britt had a big game in his Trojan debut as well recording 2 interceptions on defense, along with a few big plays on offense. 

Bottom Line -  Johnstown just will have too many weapons for Bishop Carroll to handle.  Thee Trojans do not have one guy you can key on, but many guys that can make a play.  That should be enough to secure the win. 

Trojans 42 Huskies 0 

Penn Cambria (0-1) at Richland (0-1) Friday 7:00 Herlinger Field


John Franco's debut did not go off with a bang, as they suffered a 35-12 setback to Johnstown. He will look to regroup the team this week as the head to Richland. The Panthers did not get much going on offense, but the one bright spot was junior tailback Derek Brown, who posted 102 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. He will need to have a big game this week. In his first start at career start quarterback, Jareth Moudy posted 35 yards rushing but did not get much going through the air. To defeat the Rams this week, Penn Cambria will need a little more balance on offense. 

Richland had a rough opening weekend with a 31-7 loss to a good Cambria Heights team on the road. They will look to get back on track at home this Friday. Brandon Bailey's squad will be heavy on the pass all season long, but after netting -13 yards last week, they need to find some balance there however.  Joey Hauser had a strong opening game with 235 yards passing, but spent much of the night on the run, The line needs to give him and the back some time to make plays. 

Bottom Line - Both teams obviously would like to avoid the 0-2 start, so there will be some early season urgency in this game.  Richland should have the edge because their passing game can be very effective. Still, the Panthers can make some noise against the Rams' defense. It should be hard fought, but I think Richland has a few more weapons on offense.

Rams 29 Panthers 14

Central Cambria (0-1) at Bedford (0-1) Friday 7:00


Central Cambria had an interesting week zero, as they fell behind early and battled back, but ultimately could not hang with Somerset for four quarters. The Red Devils have a strong offense, but they surrendered 53 points.  They really need to get that fixed or it could be a long season. But on the bright side, this team can score points.  The Justin Bezek-Luke Bennett combination is fun to watch, and they will keep this team in games throughout the season. 


Bedford ran into the Bishop Guilfoyle buzz saw to start the season.  They hung with the defending state champs early, but could not keep down the Marauders for long. Still, I do not think that changes Bedford's outlook overall, as they can be a solid team this season. Dylan Arnold had a big game in week one running the ball, and Davis Kline will bounce back and run his team effectively moving forward. 

Bottom Line - Central Cambria can make some flashy plays and hang, but can they slow down Bedford's triple option?  I'm not so sure.  I like the home team. 

Bisons 35 Red Devils 21 

Cambria Heights (1-0) at Bishop McCort (1-0) Friday 7:00 Point Stadium


Cambria Heights came into this season with some hype, and they backed it up to open the year with a statement 31-7 win over Richland.  The veteran team that returned nearly everyone from last season could be a real player in the LHAC this year. They will take their act to Johnstown to face Bishop McCort on Friday. The Highlanders racked up 410 yards of total offense and had eight different players to carry the ball.  They also swarmed on defense and limited Richland to - 13 yards rushing. 


Bishop McCort also put on an offensive display in their opening game, and defeated Bishop Carroll 34-14.  The Crushers posted 428 yards of total offense and spread the ball around to many different players. Carnell Andrews had a big game, as did new starting quarterback Will Miller.  The Crushers' were stout on defense, but did allow a few big passing plays, so secondary can be a concern for Brian Basile's team moving forward this season. 

Bottom Line - Bishop McCort won last year's meeting 43-6, but a lot has changed since then.  Cambria Heights seems like a much better team, while McCort is not the same team from last season.  Still, the cupboard is not bare for McCort. It's going to be a close game, but I'm leaning with Cambria Heights. 

Highlanders 28 Crimson Crushers 22

Game of the Week



Forest Hills (1-0) at Somerser (1-0) Friday 7:00


Somerset will look to avenge a 28-14 loss to the Rangers last season. The Golden Eagles came out strong in week one, and hung 53 points on Central Cambria. Somerset turned loose Ryan Funa on offense, and he did not disappoint.  Funa, a linebacker for the past few seasons, has transitioned to a two-way player and posted 205 rushing yards last week.  He will be the focal point again this week. He can still play a little defense too, with 6 tackles and an interception last week.  He's a special player and will look to carry that type of play into this week. 

Forest Hills made a statement by handling Westmont in week zero by a score of 36-0. The Rangers lost Adam Cecere to an injury early, but still managed to control the Hilltoppers the whole game. Cecere is expected to play this week, which is good news. Evan Kunrad stepped in and played well in his absence, and will shift back out to receiver again this week.  The Rangers have the chance to have a potent passing game this season, and it should be on display Friday with a healthy Cecere. 

Bottom Line - This should be a good one.  WJAC is heading down to Somerset to broadcast the game, and if you have a chance it will be worth the watch. Adam Cecere and Ryan Funa are two of the best players the LHAC has to offer, and it'll be fun to see them lead their respective offenses.  

I still have concerns about the Rangers finding a consistent running game, but if they pass like I think they can, it may not matter.   

Somerset looked impressive last week, but it was against a Central Cambria team that was 1-9 last year.  Are they for real?

We will see.  I like the Rangers.

Rangers 35 Golden Eagles 27



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Re: LHAC Football Forecast Week 1

Postby Lionjacket » August 31st, 2017, 3:05 pm

That's interesting to see Hauser at QB. I know that Caleb Burke played there last year as a freshman. Isn't he playing football this year?

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Re: LHAC Football Forecast Week 1

Postby Crimson's Ghost » August 31st, 2017, 6:02 pm

Burke is playing wide receiver this year, it appears. 7 catches for 81 yards in the opener.

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Re: LHAC Football Forecast Week 1

Postby SwaggyJ23 » September 1st, 2017, 10:57 am

Does anyone think BG will lose a regular season game? And if they do to who?

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Re: LHAC Football Forecast Week 1

Postby youngbuck » September 1st, 2017, 11:13 am

SwaggyJ23 wrote:Does anyone think BG will lose a regular season game? And if they do to who?

Not this year.

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Re: LHAC Football Forecast Week 1

Postby pahntr » September 1st, 2017, 12:42 pm

Johnstown will have the athletes capable of beating BG. The question will be Johnstown's line play. BG's lineman will be very good again on both sides of the ball....

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Re: LHAC Football Forecast Week 1

Postby CCDevil2012 » September 1st, 2017, 1:07 pm

pahntr wrote:Johnstown will have the athletes capable of beating BG. The question will be Johnstown's line play. BG's lineman will be very good again on both sides of the ball....

Besides Barber, Johnstown does not have close to the athletes to compete this year with BG. I don't see any team being within 4 scores of them during regular season or D6.

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Re: LHAC Football Forecast Week 1

Postby GoldenRamsFAN » September 1st, 2017, 3:33 pm

I am going to say the Jeanette Jayhawks are going to be state champs this year in A.

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Re: LHAC Football Forecast Week 1

Postby Crimson's Ghost » September 1st, 2017, 5:10 pm

BG's streak won't last forever, but I'm personally not going to pick against them this season.  

Jeannette has some good athletes.  I saw them play McCort in basketball last year, and you could tell some of those kids were football players with their size.   I saw they beat East Allegheny last week. 

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Re: LHAC Football Forecast Week 1

Postby Crimson's Ghost » September 3rd, 2017, 8:08 am

CCDevil2012 wrote:I don't see any team being within 4 scores of them during regular season or D6.


Well, I pretty much agreed with that statement and then of course Westmont only loses by a touchdown.  So now you have to wonder a little bit. I know Westmont plays a pretty unique style of football and that played a role, but still I think yesterday's result opened the door for some teams. 

McCort plays them on Friday.  I don't expect McCort to win, but like Westmont they can run the ball and control the tempo if they are smart. 

If Forest Hills beats Westmont 36-0, and BG only beats them 13-7, does that mean Forest Hills > Westmont.  Not really. BUT I think Forest Hills can probably hang with them now. 

Johnstown has a good, senior QB that has been playing well lately in Barber.  They don't have the same supporting cast as last year, but Berkins is a beast, and Britt is good for some big plays too. 

Those are 3 teams you have to think about for BG that could give them trouble.   Could BG end up beating all those teams by 5 touchdowns?  Yeah, maybe.  


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