Richland quarterback Matt Shaffer tops the area’s passing leaders.
The senior is 47 of 76 passing for 854 yards for the 4-0 Rams.
Next in yardage is Forest Hills’ Joe Donoughe with 558 yards, followed by Devon Tomlinson of Windber with 511. Rounding out the top five are Ligonier Valley’s Scott Fennell, who has 504 yards, and Westmont’s Liam Moran with 403.
A Richland player, Kyle Flick, also tops the receiving yardage with 16 receptions for 409 yards. Windber’s Matt Barkley (405 yards), Ligonier’s Alec Bloom (305), Bishop Carroll’s Brody Shuty (249) and Westmont’s Colin Barron (224) round out the top five.
Berlin Brothersvalley’s Braden Fochtman continues to lead the area in rushing with 733 yards on 59 carries.
Thomas Miller of North Star, the Mountaineers opponent this Friday, has dashed into the second spot with 644 yards. Richland’s Tanner Solarczyk (500), Meyersdale’s Gavin Berkley (450) and Westmont’s Sam Curry (445) are third through fifth, respectively.
Top picker: Ligonier’s Fennell is averaging an interception per game thus far.
The senior leads the area with four picks.
There is a three-way tie for second, each with three interceptions that includes Shuty of Carroll, senior Tanner Ambrisco of Central Cambria and Fennell’s teammate, senior Garrett Tobias.
Sack attack: North Star senior Derek Mullen is a quarterback’s biggest nightmare in the WestPAC.
Mullen has 4.5 sacks thus far to lead the area.
Five players have four sacks including Bishop McCort’s Christian Roman, Shane Smith of Shade, Bryce Mostoller of Somerset, Jesiah Wilson of Greater Johnstown and Dante Paul of Berlin.
Tackling the top: There’s a new tackling leader in the area.
Somerset junior Logan Eller has 55 total tackles with 31 solo stops to take over the lead.
Conemaugh Township’s Austin Myers has 54 tackles through the first four games followed by Dustin Ohler of Forest Hills with 53.
Somerset’s Steve Sujansky and Central Cambria’s Scott Bauer each have 51 tackles.
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There is little doubt that the Richland Rams have the ability to put points on the scoreboard.
In fact, through the first four games of the season, the high-flying offense has generated an area-high 192 points, or an average of 48 points a game while sprinting out to its 4-0 mark.
Richland’s offensive prowess is balanced a little more toward the run with the Rams averaging 211.8 rushing yards a game while passing for an average of 165.3 per game.
Points-wise, Berlin Brothersvalley is next in line having scored 158 points in its 4-0 start.
Meyersdale may have had its first setback last week against Portage, but its offense was still potent and the Red Raiders are third with 153 points. The Mustangs are fourth with 148 and Windber is fifth with 131.
The other three teams that have put up more than 100 points in their first four games include Ligonier Valley (127), Northern Cambria (126) and Somerset (115).
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Defense: It’s not exactly a huge revelation that the top teams in the area also possess the defenses that are the most potent.
But what might be a surprise is that the stingiest defense thus far has been Bishop Carroll
(3-1). The Huskies have allowed just 27 points this season with 24 of those against Somerset in the team’s loss in Week 2.
That’s a meager 6.75 points a game allowed by Carroll, which has shutouts in its last two games against Forest Hills and Penn Cambria.
Next is Richand with 31 points yielded followed by Ligonier Valley with 32, Berlin Brothersvalley with 34 and Somerset with 36.
Cory Isenberg is a sports writer for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter at Twitter.com/CoryIsenbergTD.