Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Early Showdown It's Just Third Game, but Big Seven Title Could Be Decided

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Early Showdown It's Just Third Game, but Big Seven Title Could Be Decided

Article excerpt

It's still very early in the high school football season, but a conference championship could very well be on the line tonight.

Two of the WPIAL's top Class A teams will meet for a chance to take control of the Big Seven Conference when Neshannock travels south from Lawrence County to Stowe Township to face Sto-Rox. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

"It's a big game, but you still prepare for every game the same," Sto-Rox coach Dan Bradley said. "You have to motivate and keep the kids focused.

"This is going to be a great game, no doubt. It's going to have that playoff atmosphere, for sure."

Sto-Rox Memorial Stadium also will play host to Root Sports. The game will be featured as the McDonald's High School Football Game of the Week and air on a delayed basis directly after the Pittsburgh Pirates game against the Chicago Cubs.

"Everybody is excited about going down there and playing this game," Neshannock coach Fred Mozzocio said. "Our mindset is we want to play in big games against the best teams. We want to compete and we're excited about the opportunity."

Neshannock (2-0, 2-0) enters this contest ranked No. 3 in the Post-Gazette's weekly rankings after beating Western Beaver and Laurel. The Lancers are outscoring opponents by an average of 45.0- 9.5.

"We're right where we thought we would be at this point in the season," Mozzocio said. "We're progressing each week and the players are working hard. These kids are keeping their nose to the grindstone and doing everything they are asked to do."

Junior running back Eli Owens rushed for 268 yards and two touchdowns to help Neshannock earn a 34-12 victory last week against Laurel. Senior quarterback Ernie Burkes also rushed for two touchdown and passed for another against the Spartans.

"Neshannock is a good team and they play hard," Bradley said. "They don't make mistakes. They're big and aggressive. They also run a no-huddle [offense] and are good with it.

"These are competitive kids from a school that has won in basketball and won in baseball. They started experiencing winning with football [last year], so we know how competitive they will be. We expect a big game."

Sto-Rox (2-0, 2-0) comes into the game ranked No. …

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