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Clairton, Rochester seemed destined to meet again

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Is there a team in Class A that can keep Clairton and Rochester from meeting again at Heinz Field? A year ago, Clairton won, 14-13, in the WPIAL championship game.

Through seven games this year, both are unbeaten.

Rochester (7-0) proved it’s still the ruler of the old Big Seven Conference by routing previously unbeaten Cornell, 41-0, Friday night. The Rams, in typical Rams fashion, had 333 yards of offense by running 48 times and passing three times. DeAndre Moon, a junior, had three touchdowns.

And then there’s Clairton (7-0), which won at Brentwood, 52-0, extending its scoreless streak to 19 quarters. Standout QB/DE Desimon Green, who injured his neck making a tackle, said Saturday that’s he’s doing well. Since allowing a first-quarter touchdown by Carlynton in Week 3, Clairton has scored 285 unanswered points.

Who could stop them? Maybe no one.

=Keystone Oaks misses Jordan Maddox. The senior RB/LB suffered a season-ending knee injury Oct. 8 against South Fayette, and the Golden Eagles lost to Steel Valley, 21-0, without him. KO coach Nick Kamberis had developed very effective offense using Maddox and Matt McCann, mixing the Wildcat formation with a typical spread offense. Without Maddox, though, there’s no option, and defenses can focus entirely on stopping Maddox, who had 30 yards on 18 carries. 

=Steel Valley’s Delrece Williams and North Allegheny’s Alex Papson has been trying to challenge Hopewell’s Rushel Shell for the WPIAL’s rushing title. Williams rushed for 215 yards Friday night, and Papson had 238. And, again, they both lost ground to Shell, who rushed for 302. Shell has 1,705 yards. Williams has 1,469. Papson has 1,372. Just three weeks ago, Papson led Shell by 11 yards and Williams trailed by only 16 yards.

= Shell moved into fourth place on the WPIAL’s all-time rushing list with 5,960 career yards, passing McGuffey’s Jason Barr. With two regular season games left, and the playoffs looking more likely by the week, there’s a good chance he’ll finish the season in third place. Shell, a junior, needs 344 yards to catch West Green’s Rodney Wilson (6,304) and 552 to catch Penn-Trafford’s Matt Gavrish (6,512). Shell stands 1,686 yards behind WPIAL record holder Mike Vernillo of Fort Cherry (7,646).

=On the Cornell’s first possession, punter Ronny Borne dropped to one knee to scoop up a bouncing snap. And, correctly, he was ruled down on the spot. But should there be an exception in the rules? There is for the holder on field goals and extra points.

=I was told North Allegheny and North Hills have never been unbeaten when they’ve met for the season finale. And it won’t happen this year, either. North Hills was upended by Erie McDowell, 19-14. That leaves only North Allegheny, Central Catholic and Mt. Lebanon as unbeaten in Class AAAA.

=Next Friday night: West Allegheny (6-1, 5-0) at Montour (7-0, 5-0) should decide the Class AAA Parkway Conference title.

– Chris Harlan (charlan@tribweb.com)

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