“Battle of the Bridge” ROCHESTER-MONACA PREVIEW
Written by: Billy Splain on Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008
The Game: Rochester Rams (7-A) @ Monaca Indians (7-A)
Date: Friday, Oct. 24th, 2008, from Monaca Stadium.
2008 Record: Rochester (8-0), Monaca (7-1)
The Second season of the Pittsburgh Sports Weekly high school football games of the week will rap up this weekend as week 9 of the WPIAL regular season is already here. What better way to Conclude the regular season with a blockbuster showdown along the Ohio River in historic Monaca. All but a handful of spots in the 2008 postseason are still up for grabs, the field is close to set as 54 of the 64 teams have had their ticket punched for the “Highway to Heinz.”
The Monaca Indians (7-1) and the Rochester Rams (8-0) meet in the annual “Battle of the Bridge” which is arguably the most intense rivalry in all of the WPIAL, which maybe because the teams aren’t just playing for just another win. Since 1975, the schools have combined to win 10 WPIAL “A” Championships, and have a combined 16 WPIAL finals appearances since 1982.
The Rivalry has been in the spotlight twice at Three Rivers Stadium in 1998 and 2000 for the WPIAL championship, the Rams winning both meetings.
Last year, it was the Indians reclaiming the bridge for the first time since 2002 in a 17-9 win. The Rams however, have won 6 of the 9 since 1999. All three wins for Monaca in that span came at Rochester; I guess the Indians never heard of home field advantage?
You maybe wonder why there is all this talk about a bridge, in an article for a high school football game. Well if you didn’t happen to know, this “Battle of the Bridge” is exactly that. The winner of the Rochester, Monaca game gets the name to the bridge that connects the two towns. If you made the trip to beaver county before Friday the bridge name is “Monaca-Rochester Bridge” however if the Rams win on Friday night it would be flipped. This means a lot to the towns, and will mean every more next year as Monaca will be merging with Center, which means in the last meeting between the two teams next season will get the name of the of the bridge….FOREVER.
That’s next year, let’s focus on this year’s game.
The game Friday night from Monaca will be for the Big Seven Conference title, if the Rams of Rochester win they will be the sole owner of the conference championship, however If Monaca beats Rochester and Western Beaver beats South Side Beaver, there will be Tri-Champions in the conference and tiebreaker points will determine the order. Coming into Week 9: Rochester +60, Western Beaver +40, and Monaca +37.
Rochester is firing on all cylinders coming into Monaca on Friday, and really shows that who ever came up with the saying defence wins championship knew what they were talking about. As the rams have out scored teams a ridiculous 238-14! They have shut out 6 of the 8 teams they have played, and have not given up more then 7 points in a game. Their offence isn’t to shabby either, after a 10-0 win over Monessen in week one the Rams haven’t scored under 31 points which came last week in a 31-0 win over south side beaver.
After all that it seems like Monaca has no chance, but hold on where there is an Indian there is a way. Just take last year for example, no one gave the Monaca Indians a shot and they won in Rochester. So when this is a “bridge or death” situation you can’t count anyone out, don’t trust me? Let Monaca’s Stats do the talking. The Indians are led by QB Brandon Gaydosh and RB Tony Reda. The offence is key for the Indians as they are out scoring teams 246-80. The Indians are coming off a 38-10 win over Neshannock. There only loss came in week 3 which was played on a Saturday afternoon to Western Beaver 18-0.
Pittsburgh Sports Weekly will have the exclusive broadcast of the 2008 “Battle of the Bridge” as Matt Farago will have the call once again now on his 53rd high school football game covered in his young career. Joining Matt in the both is Semi-Pro Football owner of the Western PA Warhawks Coach Sepp who is a Beaver Area graduate. The last game of the 2008 regular season should be a great one as the Rams come to visit the Indians only on Pittsburgh Sports Weekly!
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