WHEN: Friday 10/30, 7:30 p.m.
RECORDS: RivalsHigh 100 No. 34 Gateway enters unblemished with an 8-0 overall record. McKeesport is 7-1. Most publications have the two ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the WPIAL, respectively.
LAST MEETING: 10/23/08, Gateway held on to win 31-27.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Despite an extremely balanced offensive attack, Gateway's success relies on the hands of four-year starting QB Rob Kalkstein, who recently surpassed 5,000 passing yards on his career. Gateway's offense also has all season relied on a trio of offensive threats that are equally potent as running backs and receivers - Brendon Felder, North Carolina commit Dayonne Nunley, and Orne Bey. For McKeesport, QB Ty-Meer Brown leads an offense that the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has described as one of the "most frightening and confusing in Western Pennsylvania." Similar to their counterparts, the Tigers also rely on a trio of backs - Darrien Robinson who has more than 1,200 yards on the season, Sam Gooden and E'Vander Wright.
BEST MATCHUP: The McKeesport option offense against Gateway's defense. As the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette noted, the typically stellar Gateway defense showed susceptibility to the option just a couple of weeks ago during the first half against an Erie McDowell squad that also trends towards the option.
PREDICTION: If there's anything known for certain about the recent history between these two teams, it's that their games are anything but predictable. In last year's 31-27 win, Gateway jumped out to a 28-0 halftime lead before having to make a late stop in the fourth quarter to hold on for the win. Gateway has played the entire season with a chip on its shoulder after losing in the WPIAL final at Heinz Field for the third-consecutive year last year and Kalkstein wants nothing more than one more shot at glory at Heinz. McKeesport's lone loss on the season was by a single point to RivalsHigh 100 No. 89 Philadelphia St. Joseph's Prep. Expect a back-and-forth battle between two teams, and it would not be surprising at all that the last team to have possession of the football will win the game. Gateway 17, McKeesport 13.