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Montour – Hopewell Preview

Written by: on Wednesday, October 15th, 2008


The Game: Montour (7 AAA) @ Hopewell (7 AAA)

Date: Thursday, Oct. 16, 2008, from Tony Dorsett Stadium in Aliquippa

2008 Record: Montour (4-3), Hopewell (5-2)

About Montour: The Spartans literally came out of nowhere last season, from a 3-6 record in 2006 to 12-1 and a berth in the WPIAL “AAA” finals last year.  Montour, who until recently was known as nothing more than a Parkway Conference cellar-dweller, once had a period of time where they dominated the WPIAL landscape, winning four championships between 1957-’63.

The Spartans are led by all-everything quarterback EJ Banks, a verbal commitment to Notre Dame.  Banks averages over 221 yards of offense per game.  He’s run for 732 yards and nine scores on 112 carries, and thrown for 820 yards and eight scores while completing 55 percent of his passes.

Junior Phil Peckich adds 470 rushing yards and four touchdowns, while Cary Dieter has run the ball 22 times for 168 yards and two scores.

Banks has four favorite targets when he airs the ball out.  Milton Banks, Thomas Birko, Garrett McElwain, and Nicholas McCune have combined for 47 receptions, 618 yards, and five touchdowns.

Montour is led by head coach Lou Cerro, who also led Seton-LaSalle to two WPIAL finals, including the 2002 “AA” title, earlier in the decade.

The Spartans average 26.6 points per game and allow 23 points per game.

About Hopewell: Unlike Montour, which enters the game on a two-game winning streak, the Vikings come into the game with a 5-2 overall record and a two-game winning streak.  Hopewell’s two losses have come to New Castle and Blackhawk by a combined 53-17, but the Vikes defeated West Allegheny.

The Aliquippa-based school has produced three WPIAL championship appearances since 1980, including WPIAL and PIAA “AAA” titles in 2002.

The Vikings have been led the last two games by a freshman phenom named Rushel Shell.  Accoring to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Shell ran for 166 yards in Week 6 and 182 yards in Week 7, giving him 348 rushing yards the last two weeks.  Shell isn’t your typical freshman, either.  The Hopewell roster lists Shell at 6’0, 210 pounds.

Hopewell averages 23.3 points per game while allowing 13 points per contest.

Montour stats from

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