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Notebook: Greensburg Salem tries to get back on track

When George Kemerer addressed his Greensburg Salem football team after their 14-2 loss Sept. 20 at Knoch, the Golden Lions coach told them he wasn’t even going to show them the game film.

He told them they knew why they didn’t play well. It was time to move on.

The Golden Lions were flat and played with little emotion against Knoch. The result was a disappointing defeat a week after they gained a lot of respect with their victory over West Allegheny.

So how does Kemerer think his Greensburg Salem team will play tonight at Bill Power Stadium in Uniontown?

“I hope we’re going to play like we did against Mt. Pleasant and West Allegheny,” Kemerer said. “Knoch is a good football team, but we didn’t play to our capabilities.

“I believe you can only get up emotionally a certain amount of times. I didn’t sense that we’d have a let down. I’ll take the blame for not getting them up for the game.”

The Golden Lions (1-0, 2-2) can put the loss behind them with a victory against the Red Raiders (2-0, 3-1) in a WPIAL Class AAA Keystone Conference battle for first place.

Uniontown has won its past three games after opening the season with a loss at West Mifflin. The Red Raiders over came four first half turnovers last week to defeat Valley 34-20 in a nonconference game.

Red Raiders coach John Fortugna said his team can not afford to be so generous with the ball this week, or they will get beat.

“We have to play a lot better,” he said. “When we decided to line up and run the ball at them, we were OK.”

Uniontown pounded Valley with the running tandem of Bill McLee (6-foot-1, 245 pounds) and Greg Leonard (6-0, 235). After the Valley defense was softened, quarterback Ryan Guthrie beat them with his arm and legs. Guthrie rushed for 94 yards and 3 touchdowns, and completed 5 of 6 passes for 166 yards.

“They pound the ball at you with their big backs and try to catch you off guard with the quarterback,” Kemerer said. “We’ll have to be alert for anything.”

Guthrie’s main target is wide receiver Junior Mays, who has 16 catches for 230 yards and 4 touchdowns.

Greensburg Salem will rely on the running of Brandon Sticca and Cory Bush. Sticca has rushed for 449 yards and 3 touchdowns, which included 210-yard performance against West Allegheny.

Quarterback Anthony Manley returned to the starting lineup last week after missing the West Allegheny game with an injury.

“If we had to experience a loss, I’m glad it was last week,” Kemerer said. “It shocked us back to reality and got us focused on Uniontown (this week) and Belle Vernon Area (Oct. 3).

“Our main goal is to make the playoffs and be successful in the conference. We still have a shot at those goals.”

Greensburg Salem wasn’t the only team from the Keystone Conference to struggle last week. Uniontown had its problems against Valley, and Mt. Pleasant fell at Kittanning.

The Vikings (1-1, 2-2) can get back on track with a victory against returning WPIAL and PIAA champion Hopewell. The game gives Mt. Pleasant another chance to measure its progress against a quality opponent.

OVER THE MOUNTAIN

LaRod Stephens of Greater Johnstown continues to tear up opponents in the Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference.

The 5-8, 155-pound junior rushed for 205 yards on 8 carries to lead the Trojans (4-0) to an easy 40-0 victory over Richland on Sept. 20.

Stephens has rushed for 925 yards and 10 touchdowns, and is averaging 22 yards per carry this season.

Johnstown plays host to Somerset today.

  • Turkeyfoot Valley ran its record to 4-0 with an easy 41-0 victory over Rockwood. It was the second of four varsity games scheduled for Rockwood (0-2) this season. Turkeyfoot is at Northern Garrett, Md. today.

  • Ryan Giles scored two touchdowns to help Central Cambria run its record to 4-0 in the Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference. The Red Devils are at Bedford (2-2) today.

  • Eric D’Carrion scored 5 touchdowns and rushed for 174 yards for Berlin-Brothersvalley in 43-42 overtime loss to Conemaugh Township. An unsuccessful extra-point run was the difference in the West PAC game. Conemaugh Township (4-0) will put its unbeaten record on the line against Portage (3-1) this weekend.

  • Saltsburg coach Glenn Richards takes his unbeaten Trojans (4-0) to rival Blairsville (3-1) today for a key Heritage Conference battle. This is homecoming at Blairsville, which was moved to today from last week because of Hurricane Isabel.

    CHIP SHOTS

    The WPIAL will hold the semifinal round of the individual tournament 10 a.m. Monday at four locations: Latrobe Elks Golf Course, Uniontown Country Club, Seven Oaks Country Club in Beaver and Birdsfoot Golf Club in Freeport.

    The top 10 finishers at each site will advance to the WPIAL semifinals Oct. 7 at Cedarbrook Golf Course in Belle Vernon. The boys will play the Gold Course, while the girls final will be on the Red Course.

    IT’S A DEAL

    Franklin Regional School Board approved recognizing girls lacrosse as a WPIAL sport and will give the sport $500 for the 2003-2004 school year. The board also voted to allow lacrosse to continue being funded through private contributions for the 2003-2004 season and to consider the sport during the 2004-2005 budget process.


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