Aliquippa, Chartiers Valley meet in unexpected battle for first place

Bill Allmann
| Times Sports Correspondent

For most who follow high school football in The Times’ circulation area, the abbreviation CV simply means one thing – Central Valley. Chartiers Valley, which obviously shares the same initials, usually only comes up when people ask where Riverside coach Ron Sciarro went to coach many years ago.

That is changing this week, though, as Chartiers Valley travels to The Pit at Aliquippa with exactly the same record as the Quips – 4-0 overall and 2-0 in the Class 4A Parkway Conference. While Aliquippa is winning its games by a gaudy average of 44 points, Chartiers Valley is more than holding its own, winning by an average of 19 points.

Ironically, the Colts are getting noticed again locally now that they gain have another formerly local coach at the helm. Dan Knause, who was the head coach at Cornell until 2010, is in his fourth year.

“We’re not an overnight success,” Knause said. “It takes a long time and these kids have worked hard. This is my fourth year so this is the first team that has come completely through this system.

“I haven’t coached a game at Aliquippa but we know and respect the tradition and embrace the challenge.”

The tradition between the two schools is limited – the teams have played only four games (Aliquippa has won three) between 1984 and 1987, but have scrimmaged since then. Some memories do exist, though.

“We played them when I was in high school,” said head coach Mike Warfield, then a quarterback. “The team they have now is just so well balanced. They have a real good quarterback, good skill guys, and a lot of talent.

“Their defense is solid and you can tell they’re very well coached. It’s going to be a challenge and we still have some things to work on.”

The hallmark of the Colts offense is indeed its balance. Quarterback Anthony Mackey is also the leading rusher, but that is reflective of that balance more than anything else. The balance is by design.

“We use a very balanced offense – we have six to 10 different players who handle the ball and we’ll distribute the ball around,” Knause said.

In three of the four games, Chartiers Valley has scored at least 34 points, but the scoring average is brought down by a 9-7 win over South Fayette.

With Aliquippa scoring at least 44 in each of its four wins, the possibility of a high scoring game exists – although the Quips have allowed just seven points in its last three games and Chartiers Valley has yet to allow 20 points.

“I couldn’t predict a high or low scoring game, I’d have never predicted a 9-7 game against South Fayette,” said Knause. “That’s the beauty of football.”

The game will also be among the first played before more than just a handful of fans. Neither coach sees that as a factor.

“Once we have the first snap, that doesn’t matter,” said Knause. “Then it’s just a ball game.”

And it looks like this one should be a good ballgame.

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