Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

New Castle Poses Major Threat to Central Valley's Encore Effort

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

New Castle Poses Major Threat to Central Valley's Encore Effort

Article excerpt

Playing in the Parkway Conference is like playing a game of musical chairs.

All eight teams scramble each week with hopes of grabbing one of the four chairs [playoff berths] remaining at the end of the regular season.

"That's the Parkway Conference for you," Central Valley coach Mark Lyons said. "You've got to be foolish to think you can guess who will win this conference. It's the deepest conference in the state. The key is to just try and survive and earn one of the four playoff berths."

Lyons and the Warriors got their first taste of the Parkway Conference last season. Central Valley tied for third with a 4-3 record, but rallied to win four playoff games and claim a WPIAL Class AAA crown in the school's first year of existence.

"Last year, we were an unknown in this conference," Lyons said. "This year, we've got a bull's-eye on our back. We have to be ready every week. There's no easy game in this conference."

That is obviously the case in Friday night's showdown between Central Valley and New Castle.

"This will be our first road game of the year," said Lyons, whose Warriors opened the season with a pair of victories. "New Castle has one of the most potent offenses in the WPIAL."

Central Valley, New Castle, Hopewell and Blackhawk posted victories in last week's Parkway Conference openers, while Montour, West Allegheny, Moon Area and Ambridge Area were beaten.

New Castle opened its season with a 24-14 non-conference loss to Class AAAA Butler Area, but rebounded with an impressive 35-7 win against Ambridge in its conference opener.

Central Valley opened with a 36-13 non-conference win against Allderdice, then pulled out a 13-9 victory against West Allegheny in last week's Parkway opener.

"Montour has the most weapons of any Class AAA team in the state," Lyons said. "New Castle is a close second."

The Red Hurricane is led by senior quarterback John Matarazzo, a three-year starter who is a dual threat. …

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