Big weekend in the LHAC ...
Bishop McCort (5-2) at Cambria Heights (5-2)
Two of the premier defensive teams and, possibly, the two most opportunistic defenses in the LHAC meet in one of the bigger games to hit Cambria Heights in recent years.
Offensively, Bishop McCort and Cambria Heights offer contrasting styles.
The Crushers are effective in the passing game as quarterback Zaine Tomkowski leads the area with 1,006 passing yards. Jordan Spangler and Luke DiFrancesco are the primary receiving targets and will attract plenty of attention from the Highlanders' defense.
Cambria Heights, winners of four consecutive, is a run-first, run-second outfit. The Highlanders average 216.1 rushing yards per game with senior Tyler Crawford leading the way with 699 yards and 11 touchdowns. Crawford has 94 tackles.
Homer-Center (6-1) at Ligonier Valley (6-1)
Ligonier Valley appeared headed to a Heritage Conference championship until the Penns Manor defense dominated the normally high-scoring Rams last week.
To complicate matters for Ligonier Valley, leading rusher and starting linebacker Ryan Torrance won't player after his ejection for throwing a punch during last week's loss. Second-leading rusher Connor Maust is out for the season with a knee injury, and word is linebacker Stuart Urch, who has 17 sacks, is also out because of injury.
Richland (7-0) at Penn Cambria (4-3)
A month ago, this game was a Game of the Year candidate but Penn Cambria is one a three-game losing streak.
Richland is averaging 467.7 yards per game and junior runner Tanner Solarczyk is emerging as an Offensive Player of the Year candidate. He leads the area with 1,114 rushing yards. He's also scored 11 touchdowns the past two weeks.
Penn Cambria's ability to get to Solarczyk could determine the outcome of this one, and the Rams are concerned with linebackers Mack Behe and Devin Lawhead.
Somerset (5-2) at Forest Hills (4-3)
Somerset junior quarterback Tanner Stull practiced late this week and, if Stull plays against Forest Hills, it gives the Golden Eagles a dual threat at the quarterback position and a better chance at beating a team they haven't since 1983.
In typical fashion, Forest Hills is playing better football as the season progresses.
The Rangers bring a modest two-game win streak into the game, but some serious momentum. They rallied from a 12-6 deficit with two minutes remaining in last week's game against Penn Cambria to pull out a 20-18 win in overtime.