Cover 2: District 10 news and notes from opening week

Warren’s Collin Salapek played a strong game on defense on Friday against Fairview, taking down Tigers’ quarterback Mason Bender on this play.

The first week of the high school football season provided no shortage of big stories across District 10.

Preseason predictions are fun and make for a lot of discussion, but no one really knows for sure what’s going to happen until the lights come on for real.

Here’s a rundown of some of the most noteworthy moments from Week 1.

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Warren’s defense is

much improved.

There was plenty noteworthy about Warren’s performance against Fairview, but I thought the defense really stood out. Yes, it’s only one week, but this is the same Fairview team, with virtually all of its key players returning, that lit up the Dragons for 385 yards of offense (including 311 on the ground) en route to a 34-33 win last season, 262 of which came from Chris Mohra.

Mohra did have 135 yards on the ground (including a 56-yard touchdown run in the second quarter), but the Dragons limited Fairview to just 184 yards of offense, or roughly 200 fewer than last season. But it was more than just the stats. The Dragons were flying to the football, gang tackling, and not allowing the Tigers to bounce anything to the outside. It was an impressive opening game for them.

Speaking of impressive, the rest of District 10 is going to quickly find out just how good Devin McMeans is. Fairview certainly did on Friday, as he and Jake Kupchella (who had a great game in his own right) were in a tremendous rhythm. Aidan Morrison and Micah Passmore also had long receptions, and that’s not even mentioning Ryan Arnold or Alex Anderson, who are gamebreakers in their own right. Couple that with an impressive performance up front from Collin Salapek, Justin Eck, Jamo Douvlos, Alex Zeigler and Jake Hayes, and this is an offensive that is capable of scoring in bunches every time they take the field.

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Sharpsville coach Piccirilli

gets 200th career win

Paul Piccirilli is one of the most accomplished coaches in District 10 history, and his win total shows it.

It’s fitting that he got his 200th win in what some perceived as an upset, 17-6 over Hickory. Nick Alexander threw for 268 yards (third most in D-10 this week behind Kupchella and Franklin’s Ian Haynes), 117 of which went to Luke Levis.

The Blue Devils’ stout offensive line is anchored by Ja’Quay Hubbard, a 4-star recruit at offensive tackle and the highest ranked recruit in District 10.

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Prep’s 28-game winning

streak snapped

The two-time defending state champion Cathedral Prep Ramblers had their 28-game winning streak snapped at the hands of Pittsburgh Central Catholic, 24-21 on Friday.

The Ramblers led 10-0 before PCC came storming back, handing Prep it’s first loss since a 40-3 setback to Imhotep Charter in the 2015 state title game.

After much speculation, McDowell transfer Regan Schleicher got the start at quarterback for Prep, completing 12-of-25 passes for 146 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT.

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Mercyhurst Prep’s

vaunted backfield shines

in win over Meadville in

D-10 Game of the Week

Mercyhurst Prep rallied from a 18-13 halftime deficit to defeat Meadville in the Times Observer’s District10 Game of the Week on Friday, 33-18.

Trailing in the third quarter, the Lakers’ Khalil Barnes ripped off an 83-yard kickoff return, giving the Lakers a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

Barnes had 122 yards on the ground and teammate Zack Helsley finished with 124.

Despite that, Meadville actually outgained the Lakers, 301-246.

Showing off a newly-minted passing attack, Meadville quarterback Colin Kilburn completed 8-of-14 passes for 102 yards. Jontae Brown had three receptions for 61 yards.

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Northwestern stuns Greenville

In what was arguably the most surprising score of the opening week, Northwestern beat a young Greenville squad, 19-12.

Leading 13-12 in the fourth quarter, the Wildcats’ Jeremy Dohanic had a 25-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to seal the deal.

Derek Albert, who scored on a 1-yard plunge for Northwestern in the second quarter, had 88 yards on 14 carries. Brady Gentile had 155 yards and two scores on the ground for Greenville.

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Cole shines for Oil City

in win over Conneaut

Christian Cole is considered one of the best players in District 10, and he showed why in a 46-27 season-opening win over Conneaut.

Cole, who ran a 4.5 40-yard dash at West Virginia this offseason, opening some college coaches’ eyes in the process, rushed for a D-10 high 272 yards and five touchdowns.

Conneaut’s Kyle Sheets, a versatile athlete, had 138 yards rushing and three touchdowns and 89 yards passing.

Oil City comes to War Memorial Field on Sept. 28.

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Farrell looks to be as advertised

The Steelers, PennLive’s topped ranked team in the state in Class 1A in their preseason poll, looked as advertised in a 40-16 win over University Prep out of the Pittsburgh City League.

Kyi Wright, a Pitt linebacker commit coming off an injury that cost him his 2017 season, completed 11-of-14 passes for 173 yards and a pair of scores, both going to fellow D-1 recruit Jourdan Townsend, who had nine receptions for 146 yards.

Wright also added a rushing touchdown.