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Fort Cherry-Monessen to play for 1st place


One of the more interesting and underrated matchups of Week 3 includes Fort Cherry traveling to Monessen. Both are 2-0 overall, 2-0 in the WPIAL Class A Black Hills Conference.
The Rangers lost, 49-20, last year, and it became part of a seven-game slide comprised of one win and 45 points scored.
“That was the turning point of our season last year,” Fort Cherry coach Jim Shiel said. “We started off with two wins, then we ran into Monessen, and they’re a good team.”
Yes, they are. Even without graduated quarterback Chavas Rawlins, Monessen has a multi-purpose back in Clintell Gillaspie and a burner in Javon Brown. Oh, and quarterback Noah Rullo can apparently run the spread now, too.
But Fort Cherry quarterback Matt Heslin has made great strides through the first two games – wins over Carlynton and California. Heslin has completed 12 of 21 passes for 263 yards, eight touchdowns and no picks, a big part of that being maturity.
“He told me after the second scrimmage that he feels like the big difference this year is that the game seems to have slowed down for him now,” Shiel said. “He said he doesn’t feel like he’s being rushed in the pocket, which I think is a sign of experience.”
Heslin also has several weapons. Running back Koltan Kobrys (27-433-2TD) has been off to a strong start. Same for wide receiver Alex Babirad (4-161-4TD) and tight end Zak Dysert (6-79-2TD).
–Jason Mackey

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