Laurel Highlands faces a clear-cut scenario as the high school football season enters Week Eight tonight.
The Mustangs (2-3, 5-3) travel to Trinity (1-3, 2-6) with a WPIAL playoff spot on the line out of the Big Eight Conference. LH can claim sole possession of the fourth and final playoff spot with a win but the Hillers would pull even with Laurel Highlands if they win and would claim that postseason berth via the head-to-head tiebreaker.
Trinity has one conference game remaining, at Ringgold, but that game is meaningless when it comes to the playoff race.
The Hillers’ lone win in the Big Eight was a 20-19 win at West Mifflin on Oct. 1 but, even so, they’re in if they can upend the Mustangs tonight.
Laurel Highlands opened the season with five straight wins but has fallen to Belle Vernon, Thomas Jefferson and McKeesport in consecutive weeks.
Three local teams are off this week. The rest of the games all kick off at 7 p.m.
Undefeated Belle Vernon (5-0, 7-0), the first place team in the Big Eight, has an open date before taking on visiting McKeesport next week in a crucial game.
Uniontown (2-3) was tentatively set to play the fifth-place team in the City League tonight but that has been called off, leaving the Red Raiders with an open date as well. Uniontown hosts Laurel Highlands in a non-conference clash next week.
Frazier (0-8), still being hampered by COVID issues, has forfeited its Century Conference game at Washington.
In other Century games, Beth-Center (1-2, 1-5), which remains in the playoff hunt, is at McGuffey (3-1, 4-4) and Waynesburg Central (1-3, 2-5) hosts Chartiers-Houston (4-1, 6-1).
In another Big Eight game, Ringgold (0-4, 3-5) travels to West Mifflin (0-4, 1-7).
In the Big East Conference, Connellsville (0-3, 0-8) is at Gateway (2-1, 5-3).
In the Interstate Conference, first-place Elizabeth Forward (4-0, 6-2) travels to second-place Southmoreland (3-1, 6-2), Brownsville (0-4, 0-6) returns to action with a trip to Yough (0-4, 0-8) and Mount Pleasant (2-1, 4-3), which is tied for second with the Scotties, hosts South Park (2-2, 2-5).
In the Tri-County South Conference, Mapletown (3-2, 5-3) can wrap up a playoff spot with a win at Bentworth (1-4, 2-5), second-place Carmichaels (4-1, 6-2) hosts Avella (1-4, 1-7), California (3-2, 5-2) goes to Monessen (2-3, 3-5) and Jefferson-Morgan (1-4, 1-7) is at first-place West Greene (5-0, 6-2).
In non-conference action, Albert Gallatin (5-2) travels to Charleroi (1-6).
Touchdown Club update
Mapletown’s Landan Stevenson continues to lead the Herald-Standard Touchdown Club with 154 points after totaling three touchdowns, a pair of two-point conversions and an extra point for 23 points in a win at Jefferson-Morgan.
Carmichaels’ Michael Stewart, who had three touchdowns and an extra point in a win over California, is second with 127 points.
Belle Vernon’s Devin Whitlock (102) is third, with West Greene’s Colin Brady (96) fourth and the Mikes’ Trenton Carter (92) fifth.
Rounding out the top 10 are Southmoreland’s Anthony Govern (78), Laurel Highlands’ Rodney Gallagher and California’s Damani Stafford (72), Ringgold’s Landon Oslowski (71) and the Leopards’ Quinton Martin (66) who was the leading scorer in Week Seven with four touchdowns for 24 points in a win over Trinity after missing two games due to a knee injury.