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US Steel Game of the Week: Knoch at Ringgold

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The Ringgold Rams (1-1) were a lot of high school football fans’ trendy pick to win the Big Nine Conference coming into the season. But as has so often been the case, Thomas Jefferson had something to say about that, topping the Rams 49-6 in the season opener.

Ringgold got back on track last week, getting healthy against Uniontown in a 56-21 blowout. The Rams are looking to continue their hot play against the Knoch Knights (2-0) on Friday at Joe Montana Stadium in an out-of-conference match-up. The dual threat of quarterback Nico Law and running back Chacar Berry will be a key to knocking off the Knights.

Law threw for nearly 1,500 yards and 14 touchdowns last season, and added more than 1,110 yards and 15 more scores on the ground. Berry, as a sophomore in 2013, rushed for 563 yards and 11 touchdowns.

After a disappointing first game, Law bounced back in a big way last week with 269 combined rushing and passing yards, while Berry added 122 yards on the ground.

The Rams defense stopped Uniontown on a crucial fourth-and-one on their own 29-yard line early in the game, and changed the momentum almost immediately. Law hit Jake Gerard with a short touchdown pass and Ringgold never looked back from there.

First-year coach Nick Milchovich credits his line for part of the offense’s success.

“The offensive linemen especially have really gelled,” Milchovich said. “They've hung out together a lot, which is typical lineman behavior. There's a lot of good size anda thleticism there.”

The undefeated Knights are coming off a 19-14 victory over Greensburg Salem last week. Knoch jumped out to an early 19-0 lead but stammered in the third quarter, allowing the Golden Lions to get back in the game. A big stop on fourth down in the fourth quarter, however, put the final nail in Greensburg Salem’s coffin.

Knoch is an experienced team, returning 19 of 22 positions. Defensive ends J.J. Curry and Ty Gornick, along with nose guard Sam Whalen, look to stop the Rams’ explosive offense.

Senior quarterback Dan Farinelli returns at the helms of the offense. Last season he completed 85 of 175 passes for 1,175 yards. Tailbacks Cody Milsom and Benjamin Lowery are also back after rushing for 854 and 291 yards, respectively.

Farinelli completed 15 of 22 passes for 173 yards in the win at Greensburg Salem, while Milsom finished with 81 yards on 19 carries.

The Knights will have to contend with Ringgold’s defense, led by linebackers Berry, Connor Garry, Jordan Briscoe and Luke Baldesberger. The defensive line worked hard during the offseason, according to Milchovich, and the tackles are expected to do big things.

Both teams bring high-powered offense and tough defensees to the field in what should be a great game for fans. Kick-off is 7 PMRinggold HS.

Aug. 29 McKeesport 37 - Connellsville 6
Sept. 5 McGuffey 45 - Charleroi 0
Sept. 12 Knoch at Ringgold
Sept. 19 Hollidaysburg at Belle Vernon
Sept. 26 Uniontown at Elizabeth Forward
Oct. 3 Jeannette at Clairton
Oct. 10 Uniontown at Thomas Jefferson
Oct. 17 Clairton at Monessen
Oct. 24 Penn Hills at Woodland Hills

Tonight’s game is the Pittsburgh Sports Report and US Steel Game of the Week. Students and fans, be sure to take plenty of pictures and Tweet them to @PghSportsReport #HSFootball. The best photos will appear online after the game!

Click here for full season coverage of USS Game of the Week.

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