The final week of the WPIAL football regular season is here! Entering Week 9, 50 playoff spots and 6 conference titles have been decided. This leaves the final 12 playoff spots up for grabs this week, including THREE Casket Matches. If you’re like me and grew up in the mid-90s watching wrestling, you have a special place in your nostalgic memories for The Undertaker and Casket Matches. In the WPIAL sense, a Casket Match is an elimination game where the winner goes to the postseason and the loser goes home to get ready for basketball. There are 9 Conference Titles that will be up for grabs – 6 of which have head-to-head games where the winner will almost certainly claim the title. Earlier this week, I broke down all of the Week 9 playoff scenarios.
For those that like to root for chaos, the potential also exists for as many as seven conferences to end in 3-way ties. The wildest scenario is in 5A where all three conferences could end in 3-way ties, which resulted in 128 different possible scenarios to determine which 5A teams will get home playoff games. At the other end of the 5A bracket, there are 37 different scenarios in play for the 6th place Wild Card. In 1A, the Tri-County South seems headed for a 3-way tie which will result in the WPIAL’s first coin flip tiebreaker since 2002. I talked about this and more during my guest appearance on the WMBS Pregame Show, you can listen to the show, starting at 6pm on Friday night.
Thanks to the fine folks at Taps n’at in Derry, who are sponsoring all of our WPIAL content this year. At the end of the night, check back for a post with all of the scores and some game notes from the evening’s action. I’ll also be updating my WPIAL Standings Page and WPIAL Wild Card Standings Page with 5A & 1A standings with all of the results of tonight’s games, as we see which teams will punch their ticket to the postseason. As a reminder, if you’re going to be following along with the WPIAL action tonight, keep an eye on the #WPIAL hashtag on Twitter where people post score updates from games. I”ll also be posting score updates and commentary from my Twitter account @thesteelersnat.
6A Game of the Week
Pine-Richland (7-0, 8-1) at North Allegheny (7-0, 9-0)
North Allegheny. Pine-Richland. Conference Title on the line. That’s really all that needs to be said to introduce this game. The neighboring districts have formed one of the best recent rivalries since Pine-Richland moved up to the WPIAL’s largest classification in 2008. These two schools have accounted for 5 of the last 8 football titles and the rivalry extends to other sports and to their always entertaining student section twitter accounts. The teams have taken similar paths to this point in the season, both averaging 38 points per game and allowing 13 per game. Both teams are anchored by D1 talent in the trenches. For North Allegheny, Nebraska-commit Jake Lugg and Temple-commit Elijah Boyd lead the way while Pine-Richland is led by Notre Dame-commit Andrew Kristofic and Indiana-commit Michael Katic. North Allegheny boasts one of the most talented secondaries in the WPIAL with Joey Porter, Jr and Corey Melzer roaming the defensive backfield. Both offenses take a run-heavy approach behind their talented offensive lines, with Ben Maenza (894 yards, 16 TDs) and Percise Colon (273 yards, 10 TDs) leading the way for North Allegheny. On the other side, Luke Meckler (897 yards, 16 TDs) and Caden Schweiger (318 yards, 2 TDs) have featured for Pine-Richland. Under center, Ben Petschke (539 yards, 7 TDs) has been North Allegheny’s starter with Gunnar Fisher (165 passing yards, 2 TDs, 300 rushing yards, 4 TDs) seeing some spot duty. Pine-Richland also has a dual-threat QB in Cole Spencer who has 1068 yards and 8 TDs through the air and 497 yards and 9 TDs on the ground . North Allegheny has only averaged about 10 pass attempts per game, but have been able to spread the ball around to Luke Colella (198 yards, 3 TDs), Joey Porter Jr (141 yards, 3 TDs) and Corey Melzer (144 yards, 1 TD). Spencer has also been able to spread the ball around for the Rams, utilizing Eli Jochem (257 yards, 1 TD), Luke Miller (235 yards, 1 TD), and Shane Cafardi (215 yards, 1 TD). On paper these are two evenly matched teams that will slug it out as rivals do with the Conference Title on the line.
Honorable Mentions: Seneca Valley at Norwin, Canon-McMillan at Butler, Mt. Lebanon at Central Catholic
The final playoff spot in 6A will come down to either Canon-McMillan or Norwin. The Big Macs have not made the playoffs since 2008 and need just a win over winless Butler or a Norwin loss to get there. Since Norwin lost to Canon-Mac head-to-head, the Knights need a win plus a Canon-Mac loss to get back to the playoffs for the 5th straight year. The two home playoff games in 6A will come down to Central Catholic, Mt. Lebanon, and Seneca Valley. If Central Catholic beats Mt. Lebanon, Central and Seneca Valley will get home games. Mt. Lebanon needs a win by at least 7 points to get a home game.
5A Games of the Week
McKeesport (5-1, 8-1) at Gateway (6-0, 9-0)
This will be the fifth meeting between these rivals in the last three years. McKeesport topped Gateway twice in 2016, including a memorable semifinal where the Tigers hit a hook-and-ladder as time expired to win. Last season, Gateway won both meetings with defensive stops on the final drive of the game to preserve a one-score lead. This is a battle for the Big East Conference crown, with Gateway clinching the title with a victory. McKeesport needs to win by at least 10 and get some help from Franklin Regional playing a tight game against Penn-Trafford. This year, the defending WPIAL Champion Gators have been running away with 5A, averaging 51 points per game and pitching 5 shutouts.Gateway’s balanced offensive attack has been led by sophomore sensation Derrick Davis who has run for 1005 yards, added 219 receiving yards, and scored 17 times. Dual-threat QB Brendan Majocha has thrown for 1776 yards and 28 TDs and run for 528 yards and 5 scores. On the outside, Gateway has two D1 talents in Courtney Jackson (771 yards, 15 TDs) and Jeremiah Josephs (244 yards, 5 TDs). McKeesport’s triple-option offense has run the Tigers to the second-best offense in 5A with 46 points per game. In the past, McKeesport’s Achilles Heel has been their passing game, but it has opened up a bit this year with the emergence of Konota Gaskins who has thrown for 698 yards and 12 TDs and also leads the team in rushing with 550 yards and 10 TDs. The Tigers still prefer to run the ball with their triple-option attack, and have split the workload between Quaran Sayles (429 yards, 5 TDs), Devari Robinson (424 yards, 9 TDs), and Devin Sims (520 yards of total offense, 11 total TDs). When Gaskins does throw, Deamontae Diggs (424 yards, 4 TDs) has been the primary target.
Penn Hills (6-0, 9-0) at North Hills (5-1, 6-3)
Besides Gateway, Penn Hills is the only other remaining undefeated team in 5A. This Indians vs Indians battle is for the top spot in the Northern Conference. Penn Hills clinches the conference title with a victory or a Mars win while North Hills needs to beat Penn Hills and have Hampton upset Mars. Penn Hills is led by 5A’s leading passer Hollis Mathis (1922 yards, 25 TDs). The Indians have the best secondary in the WPIAL that is stacked with D1 recruits including Daequan Hardy, Dante Cephas, Aakeem Snell, and Corey Thomas. Many of them also play receiver which has created the dangerous offensive attack. Hardy (598 yards, 13 TDs) leads the team but Cephas (450 yards, 5 TDs), Thomas (198 yards, 4 TDs) and Anthony Grimes (392 yards, 5 TDs) have also been key factors. On the ground, Tank Smith (942 yards, 14 TDs) has been the workhorse back and is averaging 9 yards per carry. For North Hills, their offense has relied upon their running game. “Touchdown” Tyler Brennan (773 yards, 18 TDs) got off to a hot start, scoring 10 touchdowns in the first two games. Unfortunately, Brennan suffered an injury and missed some time in the middle of the season, but has returned to the lineup and found the end zone 5 times in the last two weeks. In his absence, Tyler Tomasic (535 yards, 1 TD), Curtis Foskey (250 yards, 2 TDs), and Tommy McDonough (243 yards, 1 TD) all proved they were capable backs as well. North Hills has had a revolving door at quarterback and average just 4 pass attempts per game. Brennan even attempted a few throws last week in their win over Shaler. When North Hills does take to the air, Keygen Bryant (106 yards, 2 TDs) has been the primary target.
Kiski (2-4, 3-6) vs Armstrong (2-4, 4-5)
The Northern Conference has two remaining playoff spots, one of which will go to the winner of this game. This isn’t quite a “Casket Match” as the loser still has the opportunity to make the playoffs, either in 5th place or as the Wild Card, depending on the results of other games. Kiski can finish in 4th place with a win, which would secure their first playoff berth since 2015. Armstrong, which was formed by the merger of Kittanning and Ford City, is looking for their 3rd playoff appearance in the 4 seasons since the merger. Kiski will need a big performance from their passing game, led by QB Ryne Wallace (1666 yards, 14 TDs) and the receiver tandem of Jack Colecchi (636 yards, 7 TDs) and Troy Kuhn (538 yards, 4 TDs). On the other side, Armstrong is built around their running game with the duo of Jalen Price (686 yards, 8 TDs) and Isaac Ridinger (520 yards, 5 TDs) sharing the workload.
Shaler (2-4, 3-6) vs Fox Chapel (1-5, 2-7)
The other remaining playoff spot in the Northern Conference could come from this game. A Shaler win would send the Titans to the playoffs for the first time since 2011 and help put their 24-game losing streak from 2015 until Week 0 of this season behind them. However, it is not a true “Casket Match” as a Fox Chapel win would not guarantee the Foxes a playoff spot. Shaler is eliminated with a loss, but the best Fox Chapel can do with a win is finish in 6th place and hope to earn the 5A Wild Card. Shaler’s breakthrough this season has come from a balanced offensive attack. QB Darin Mizgorski (1391 yards, 10 TDs) has benefited from throwing to Brennan Fugh (695 yards, 2 TDs) whose 43 receptions leads 5A. On the ground, Joey Kremer has run for 919 yards and 8 TDs. Fox Chapel also has a capable QB in Shane Susnak (1128 yards, 8 TDs). His primary receiver has been Korey Simmons (367 yards, 2 TDs) while Sam Brown (486 yards, 8 TDs) has done most of the work out of the backfield.
Honorable Mentions: Peters Twp vs Baldwin, West Allegheny vs Moon, Upper St Clair vs Bethel Park, Franklin Regional at Penn-Trafford, Hampton at Mars
With the expansion to a 16-team playoff field, there are plenty of possibilities heading into the final night of the season in 5A. Only 12 of the 16 playoff spots have been clinched and 7 teams are still alive for the final four spots. There are 37 different scenarios regarding how those 4 spots will be earned. That is actually simpler than determining which 8 teams will get home games, as 128 different scenarios exist, including one where all 3 conferences finish in a 3-way tie for first place. Check out the Week 9 Playoff Scenarios post for all of those details.
Peters Twp is close to clinching a conference title while West Allegheny and Upper St Clair are still in the mix. West Allegheny did lose to Moon last year and can’t finish worse than 3rd with a loss but is not guaranteed a home game. Upper St Clair needs to beat Bethel Park in order to get a home game. If Baldwin upsets Peters, the Highlanders will clinch their first playoff berth since 2013. Franklin Regional and Penn-Trafford are similarly battling for position with a home playoff game potentially on the line. Despite just a 1-5 Conference Record, Hampton still has a chance to earn the Wild Card and make the playoffs if the Talbots can upset Mars and both Armstrong and Shaler win.
4A Games of the Week
Thomas Jefferson (6-0, 8-0) at West Mifflin (5-1, 5-4)
The motif of “Rivalry Game with a Conference Title on the line” continues in 4A. Thomas Jefferson, in their quest to be the third WPIAL team to win four straight titles, needs to beat West Mifflin or lose by less than 10 if Belle Vernon also wins. West Mifflin needs a win and a Belle Vernon loss or a win by at least 10 points, which could result in a coin toss tiebreaker. Thomas Jefferson has been an offensive juggernaut this season, averaging 52 points per game. The Jaguars are also the only 4A team holding opponents under 10 points per game. TJ’s balanced offensive attack has been keyed by three players. QB Shane Stump has thrown for 1322 yards and 18 TDs, mostly to 4A’s leading receiver Dan Deabner (1009 yards, 16 TDs). On the ground, Max Shaw has been a workhorse back, running for 1001 yards and 22 TDs. West Mifflin has their own talented trio, but tends to lean on their running game. Titans RB Parrish Parker (1253 yards, 23 TDs) averages 8 yards per carry. QB Matthew Schuster (648 yards, 4 TDs) is only averaging 8 pass attempts per game because the Titans ground game has been so good. When Schuster does throw, Bryant Johnson (442 yards, 3 TDs) has been the primary target.
Beaver (4-2, 7-2) at Blackhawk (5-1, 8-1)
South Fayette has already clinched the Northwest Eight conference title, but this game has playoff implications as a first round home game is on the line. Blackhawk has locked up a playoff spot, which will be just their second postseason appearance in the last decade. Beaver, who moved up from 3A this year, will be making their 11th playoff appearance in the last 12 seasons. On paper these are two similar teams that are both averaging over 31 points per game. Blackhawk has won games this year thanks to their triple-threat rushing attack. Marques Watson-Trent (649 yards, 13 TDs), Kenny Gawley (606 yards, 8 TDs) and Josh Butcher (482 yards, 6 TDs) have all had over 90 carries this season. When the Cougars do take to the air, Chance Liptak has been a capable passer, throwing for 565 yards and 8 TDs. On the other side Beaver also has a strong ground game with Gino Mavero (763 yards, 13 TDs) and Noah Yates (423 yards, 2 TDs). Dual-threat QB Brodie List has thrown for 983 yards and 14 TDs and added 482 yards and 6 TDs on the ground. List has been able to spread the ball around to Matt Lipinski (394 yards, 2 TDs), Mason Rose (232 yards, 3 TDs), and James Finch (211 yards, 3 TDs).
Greensburg Salem (3-3, 3-6) at Indiana (3-3, 3-6)
Our first true Casket Match of the weekend. Win and go to the playoffs, lose and go home to get ready for basketball season. Greensburg Salem has not been to the playoffs since 2011 while Indiana’s last postseason trip was in 2014. The two teams enter with identical records and shaky defenses that have allowed over 32 points per game. Greensburg Salem is averaging about a touchdown more per game offensively, but none of those stats matter in a winner-take-all elimination game. Dual-threat QB TrentPatrick has thrown for 887 yards and 11 TDs and run for 377 yards and 7 TDs to lead Greensburg Salem. Leading rusher Aaren Putt (553 yards, 3 TDs) averaging over 6 yards per carry for the Lions. On the outside, Tyler Williams (209 yards, 4 TDs) and Dajauhn Hertzog (182 yards, 5 TDs) are the leading receivers. Indiana has their own dual-threat QB in Luke Thomas who has thrown for 782 yards and 8 TDs and rushed for 206 yards and 8 more scores. Malik Turner (407 yards, 5 TDs) and Ryan Dixson (224 yards, 3 TDs) have been Thomas’ favorite targets. The Little Indians have utilized a running back by committee approach and shared the carries between Jeremy Thomas (286 yards, 1 TD), David McElravey (277 yards, 2 TDs), and Malik Turner (221 yards).
Honorable Mentions: New Castle at Ambridge, South Fayette at Montour
These two games will decide the final playoff entrant from the Northwest Nine Conference. Montour comes in with a 3-3 conference record while New Castle is 2-4. Knoch is 3-4 and plays a non-conference game. A Montour win over South Fayette would give the Spartans their 12th straight playoff appearance. Knoch’s only hope to make the playoffs is to win a 3-way tie on Tiebreaker Points, which would require a Montour loss by at least 9 points and a New Castle win by 3 or fewer. New Castle needs only to beat Ambridge by at least 10 points and have Montour lose in order to win the 3-way tie and make the playoffs.
3A Games of the Week
Aliquippa (6-0, 9-0) at Central Valley (4-2, 4-5)
The playoff positioning in the Tri-County West Conference is already decided, but I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to talk about how good Aliquippa has been this season. The Quips have clinched the conference title with the highest scoring team in the WPIAL, averaging 55 points per game. They have allowed just 33 total points all season and pitched 6 shutouts, including one last week of Keystone Oaks (who was the 2nd highest-scoring team in 3A). Central Valley has also clinched a playoff spot, their 8th in the 9 years since the merger of Center and Monaca. This game also carries a personal element as first-year Aliquippa head coach Mike Warfield was formerly an assistant coach at Central Valley.
The “Air Warfield” offense has opened things up for the Quips with QB Eli Kosanovich throwing for 2014 yards and 29 TDs. MJ Devonshire has been the most exciting player in the WPIAL with the ball in his hands. He has already tied the national record of 8 punt return TDs in a season and has added 442 yards of total offense and scored 17 total TDs. William Gipson is 3A’s leading receiver with 1109 yards and 5 TDs. The Quips have also not forgotten about their tradition of a strong running game as Avante McKenzie has run for 1112 yards and 21 TDs. Central Valley has rebounded from an 0-4 start to win 4 of their last 5 games and lock up a playoff spot. The Warriors have found their footing behind dual-threat QB Ameer Dudley who has thrown for 851 yards and 5 TDs and leads the team with 354 yards and 6 TDs on the ground. WR Anthony Mendicino (491 yards, 6 TDs) has done most of the damage on the outside. In addition to Dudley, Central Valley has used a rotation of Noah Thompson (293 yards, 3 TDs), Jalen Guy (285 yards, 4 TDs) and Jesse Schively (180 yards, 4 TDs) in the backfield.
Honorable Mentions: North Catholic at Deer Lakes, Yough at Elizabeth Forward, Burrell at Derry
The eight playoff teams in 3A are set, so the only matter left to determine is the ordering of teams in the Big East Conference. Derry, North Catholic, and Elizabeth Forward come in tied at 6-1. If all 3 teams win, Derry will likely be the Conference Champion with North Catholic earning a home game for finishing second. Elizabeth Forward would need a loss by one of the other two schools or for North Catholic to overtake Derry in Tiebreaker Points in order to get a home playoff game.
2A Games of the Week
Shady Side Academy (5-0, 8-0) at Avonworth (4-1, 7-2)
Shady Side Academy narrowly missed the playoffs last year because of the limited 3A field and has dominated 2A after moving down this season. The Allegheny Conference title is still up for grabs in this game. With Steel Valley playing a non-conference game, Shady Side Academy needs either a win or a loss by 8 points or fewer. Avonworth needs to win by at least 9 points in order to claim the conference title. Shady Side has the second-highest scoring offense in 2A, averaging 53 points per game. Indians QB Skyy Moore became the first player in WPIAL history with TWO 1000 pass / 1000 rush seasons as he topped the 1000-yard mark on the ground last week. Last season Moore threw for over 1100 yards and ran for over 1300. This season those numbers are nearly reversed as he has thrown for 1275 yards and 16 TDs and rushed for 1049 yards and 15 TDs. Dino Tomlin, whose father you may have heard of, leads the receiving corps with 644 yards and 9 TDs. Between defense and special teams, Tomlin has found the end zone 7 more times for the Indians. Billy Frohlich has emerged as the second receiver and has scored 10 times. On the other side, Avonworth is led by 2A’s leading passer Derek Johncour (2331 yards, 23 TDs). Turner Grau (782 yards, 14 TDs), whose father formerly held the WPIAL’s single-season receptions record, and Drew Harper (511 yards, 4 TDs) have been the primary targets for Johncour. Jax Miller (803 yards, 20 TDs) has shouldered the load at running back for the Lopes.
McGuffey (5-1, 8-1) at Washington (5-1, 8-1)
Charleroi has claimed the conference title in the Interstate Conference, leaving McGuffey and Washington to battle for second place and the right to host a home playoff game. Washington is the defending 2A Champions and has been flying a bit under the radar this season after their Week 1 loss to Charleroi. The Prexies are the highest scoring team in 2A at 53.4 points per game. The last two games they have needed big second half performances after falling behind in the first half to get victories. Washington certainly has the talent to be explosive on offense with dual-threat QB Zack Swartz (1683 pass yards, 23 TDs, 526 rush yards, 9 TDs). Dylan Asbury (815 yards, 16 TDs) has given Washington a strong rushing attack. On the outside, Zahmere Robinson (662 yards, 10 TDs) and Daniel Walker (535 yards, 12 TDs) are big-play threats on offense, defense, and special teams. McGuffey is no stranger to scoring points. RB Christian Clutter (1162 yards, 32 TDs) is the leading scorer in the entire WPIAL with 192 points. Clutter and dual-threat QB Marshall Whipkey (798 pass yards, 13 TDs, 548 rush yards, 7 TDs) have formed a formidable tandem in the backfield. The Highlanders are a run-first team and in addition to those two, McKinley Whipkey (632 yards, 4 TDs) and Brendan Crowe (408 yards, 5 TDs) have been factors in the ground game. CJ Cole is the leading receiver with 318 yards and 4 TDs. This game has all the makings of a shootout where they last team to get the ball wins.
Valley (2-3, 3-6) at East Allegheny (2-3, 5-4)
The second Casket Match comes from the Allegheny Conference where East Allegheny is looking for their third straight playoff appearance and Valley is hoping for their first postseason berth since 2013. After losing their first two games, East Allegheny rebounded to win 5 in a row. This put them in position to challenge for the conference title but lost back-to-back games to Avonworth and Shady Side Academy, dropping them into a 4th place tie with Valley. On the other side, after a Week 0 win over neighboring rival Burrell, Valley lost 5 straight games. The Vikings rebounded to top Apollo-Ridge then come from behind to beat Summit Academy and force an elimination game. East Allegheny is led by dual-threat QB Dan Kasmier who has accounted for 15 total touchdowns. For the Vikings, RB Deonte Ross (1146 yards, 10 TDs) has been the workhorse back on offense.
Frazier (3-3, 4-5) at Beth-Center (4-2, 6-3)
This is the WMBS Game of the Week and is another Casket Match where the winner goes to the playoffs and the loser goes home. These are two teams that faced each other for years in the Tri-County South Conference in Single-A, including a memorable 2014 game where five players were ejected because of a fight. Both teams enter with long playoff streaks they are hoping to keep alive. Frazier has made 7 straight playoff appearances while Beth-Center’s streak is at 15 years, dating back to 2003. The team’s took somewhat opposite paths to get here – Beth-Center started off 4-0 but has lost 3 of their last 5 games while Frazier started just 2-5 but has won two in a row to force this elimination game. Beth-Center has a dual-threat QB in Bailey Lincoski who could join the 1000 pass / 1000 rush club, entering Week 9 with 988 yards and 9 TDs through the air and 909 yards and 14 TDs on the ground. RB Dominic Fundy (1148 yards, 10 TDs) and WR Devyn Dingle (648 yards, 7 TDs) form a quality supporting cast. Frazier has a dual-threat QB of their own in Julian Muccioli (657 pass yards, 8 TDs, 534 rush yards, 6 TDs). Kenny Fine (552 yards, 4 TDs) is the top receiver for the Commodores.
Honorable Mentions: Fort Cherry at Serra Catholic, Seton LaSalle at Carlynton, South Allegheny at Burgettstown
Two playoff spots remain in the Three Rivers Conference. Burgettstown has clinched the Conference Title and South Side Beaver will be second. Third and fourth place is up in the air between South Allegheny, Seton LaSalle, and Serra Catholic. South Allegheny has dropped 4 in a row but can still clinch a playoff spot with a win. Seton LaSalle can clinch a playoff spot with a win over Carlynton. Serra Catholic needs either a loss by South Allegheny or a win and a Seton LaSalle loss in order to make the playoffs.
1A Games of the Week
Clairton (5-0, 8-0) at Jeannette (5-0, 9-0)
Clairton-Jeannette VIII. Since moving down to the smallest classification in the WPIAL in 2014, this will be the 8th meeting between the Bears and Jayhawks. The Bears won the first six meetings but Jeannette finally broke through in the WPIAL semifinals last year, topping Clairton 18-7 en route to winning the WPIAL and PIAA titles. Since moving down to Single-A in 2014, Jeannette is 46-1 against teams not named Clairton and just 1-6 against the Bears. This year both teams enter with unblemished records and the Conference Title (and likely the top seed in the 1A playoffs) on the line. These are the top defensive teams in 1A, both holding opponents to just 6 points per game. This has the makings of an old school defensive struggle, as both teams have proven they can shut down explosive offenses this season.
Jeannette has been led by dual-threat QB Seth Howard who has thrown for 1170 yards and 13 TDs and run for 451 yards and 8 TDs. Imani Sanders (527 yards, 10 TDs) has been the leading rusher for the Jayhawks while Marcus Barnes (484 yards, 8 TDs) is the leading receiver. Zach Bergnic has emerged as an all-around offensive threat, accounting for 254 rushing yards, 137 receiving yards, and 4 total TDs. Clairton comes in with a number of quality playmakers where any one can make a big play at any time. QB Brendan Parsons has thrown for 897 yards and 13 TDs, primarily to Keinlein Ogletree (334 yards, 6 TDs), Andress Wiggins (229 yards, 3 TDs), and Dom Solomon (147 yards, 6 TDs). On the ground, Taevon Thompson (408 yards, 6 TDs), Dontae Sanders (401 yards, 5 TDs), and Parsons (209 yards, 6 TDs) have shared the workload. Clairton’s defense has also been outstanding this year, scoring 6 touchdowns.
Honorable Mentions: Mapletown at California, Monessen at Avella, Imani Christian at Chartiers-Houston
The 1A playoff field is all but set – only the last Wild Card spot remains open. The Tri-County South seems headed for a three-way tie, which will require a coin flip to settle. If California and Monessen both win by 10+ points, the WPIAL will have their first coin flip since 2002. For the Wild Card, Imani Christian needs to beat Chartiers-Houston and have one of the following teams lose: Laurel, Cornell, or Bishop Canevin. If all three of those teams win, Imani would need to beat Chartiers-Houston by just 2 points in order to top Laurel for the last Wild Card spot.