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US Steel Game of the Week: Hollidaysburg at Belle Vernon

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Belle Vernon will battle Hollidaysburg in a WPIAL Triple-A clash Friday night with both teams looking for their third win on the season.

The game will be an out-of-conference contest for both teams. While the matchup may seem to favor Big 9 Conference member Belle Vernon, Leopards coach Matt Humbert understands the threat Hollidaysburg poses.

“Hollidaysburg is a tough team with some good players,” Humbert said. “They seem very disciplined and knowledgeable of assignments on film.”

Belle Vernon is coming off of a 40-2 win over Uniontown last week. The final point disparity was somewhat deceiving, as the Leopards got off to a slow start and were relatively lucky to face merely a 2-0 deficit at the end of the first quarter.

Uniontown gained 114 yards over 20 plays in the first quarter, while holding Belle Vernon to under 20. The Leopards will need to get off to a better start against Hollidaysburg, as the Golden Tigers jumped out to an early lead in a 25-14 win over Greensburg Salem last weekend.

The Leopards have a very balanced offensive attack, playing to the strengths of quarterback Travis Snyder while also using tailback Anthony Levis to keep defenses honest.

In the blowout win against Uniontown last week, Snyder threw for three touchdowns while Levis ran in two of his own.

The Leopards’ two-headed monster contributed to three touchdowns in the third quarter, which all but put the game away.

Belle Vernon has become accustomed to blowouts this season, as all of their games have been decided by at least 30 points. This includes their only loss of the season against Triple-A power Thomas Jefferson.

In Hollidaysburg’s over Greensburg Salem last week, quarterback Josh Bickley scored twice, the first with his arm and the second with his legs.

The Golden Tigers’ defense is also dangerous, as senior Zach Simpson leads a defensive line that can put a lot of pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

“They have a solid QB that can run the ball,” Humbert said. “They’re big up front and 71 (Simpson) has many preseason accolades. He is a big kid that if he gets a hold of you, he will take you where he wants to go.”

Humbert also said that in order for the Leopards to contain Brickley and the Golden Tigers’ dual threat offense, their defense must stay composed instead of over-aggressive, especially in the secondary.Belle Vernon Football

The game starts at 7:30 at James Weir Stadium.

Aug. 29 McKeesport 37 - Connellsville 6
Sept. 5 McGuffey 45 - Charleroi 0
Sept. 12 Ringgold 20 - Knoch 13
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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