Mike Mastovich: Somerset County squads open ICC play with perfect slate (with stat leaders)

Aug. 31—The "Somerset County Four" made a strong debut in the Inter-County Conference (ICC) South Division on Friday.

Not only did Berlin Brothersvalley, Meyersdale, North Star and Windber combine to go 4-0, those ICC newcomers won by a cumulative 163-60 margin.

* Pace Prosser passed for 245 yards and five touchdowns in Berlin Brothersvalley's 45-21 victory at the newly renovated Claysburg-Kimmel field.

* Luke Hostetler rushed for 320 yards and an area-high four touchdowns as the Ramblers beat visiting Glendale 51-6.

* Senior running back Ian Brenneman had a solid game with 134 rushing yards and a score in Meyersdale's 39-20 win over visiting Curwensville.

* North Star's Connor Yoder passed for 138 yards and three TDs and rushed for 81 yards as the host Cougars beat Moshannon Valley 28-13.

Versatile Ram: Ligonier Valley's John Jablunovsky built on the momentum of an impressive spring by starting the fall sports season on a good note.

After winning the District 7 crown and placing fourth in the PIAA Class 2A high jump event at the boys track and field championships in Shippensburg this past May, Jablunovsky was back in football mode in Week 1.

The 5-foot-10 junior gained 208 yards and scored three touchdowns on 21 carries as Ligonier Valley won 28-14 at Springdale.

Get McCracken: Another track star, Richland senior Evan McCracken, had an impressive start to the season with 155 rushing yards and three touchdowns in a tough season-opening 26-21 win over Penn Cambria at Herlinger Field.

The meeting of two LHAC powers had a playoff feel on opening weekend.

Heritage introductions: Both Conemaugh Township and Conemaugh Valley suffered setbacks in their Heritage Conference debuts.

The Blue Jays held a first-class event to honor former coach and Pennsylvania Scholastic Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame member John Jacoby prior to the game against longtime WestPAC rival Portage under the newly installed lights in East Taylor Township.

The Mustangs won 34-7 on the renamed John "Jake" Jacoby Field at Thomas Yewcic Stadium.

The Indians fell 28-7 to River Valley in Saltsburg in the first game under new head coach Brandon Studer. Conemaugh Township held a 7-0 halftime advantage, but River Valley scored the next 28 points and outgained the Indians 365-229.

Kick it: Two top kicking performances came in Inter-County Conference South games as both Berlin Brothersvalley's Connor Montgomery and Windber's Bryson Costa tallied an area-best nine kicking points.

Montgomery was perfect on six extra-point kicks and booted a 25-yard field goal in a 45-21 win on the new turf at Claysburg-Kimmel.

Costa made 6 of 7 extra-point attempts and hit a 41-yard field goal in a 51-6 win over Glendale.

The place-kicking duo appear to be building on 2022, when Costa led the area with 63 kicking points (57/64, 2/2), four more than Montgomery (56/66, 1/2).

Leading by five points late in the opening half, North Star scored nine points in the final 36 seconds to pad the margin in an eventual 28-13 victory over visiting Moshannon Valley in the Inter-County Conference.

The Cougars overcame a late interception in the end zone by forcing the Black Knights into a safety. Ethan Smith fielded the ensuing free kick after an initial bobble, then maneuvered through the opposition on a 75-yard return to the end zone.

In a matter of seconds on the game clock, the score ballooned to 21-7 from 12-7.

Mike Mastovich is a sports reporter and columnist for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at 814-532-5083. Follow him on Twitter @Masty81.