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WPIAL 2019 Mid-Season Review

by Ian

The 2019 WPIAL football season has reached the midway point. While there are 9 official regular season games, most teams have added a “Week 0” game to the slate and have completed 5 of their 10 scheduled outings. Here is a look at which teams are hot, which teams are not, and some of the statistical leaders through the first half of the season. Be sure to keep an eye on my WPIAL Standings Page, which is updated weekly with game results and updated tiebreakers in order to track which teams are on pace to reach the playoffs.

Streaks

Overall Winning Streaks

Aliquippa1. Aliquippa – 10 Games

Aliquippa’s last loss came in Week 9 last season against Central Valley. From there, the Quips stormed through the playoffs defeating Freeport, archrival Beaver Falls, and Derry to win the WPIAL title. Aliquippa then topped District 10 Champions Sharon 41-7 and District 3 Champions Middletown 35-0 to win their third State Title in school history. This season, the Quips are off to a 5-0 start.

Knoch2. Knoch – 8 Games

The Knights might be one of the most surprising teams in the WPIAL this season. After missing out on the playoffs last year (Knoch finished in a 3-way tie with New Castle and Montour which New Castle won on tiebreakers), the Knights have rolled to a 5-0 start. They finished last season on a 3-game winning streak and have not lost since Week 6 against South Fayette last year.

Sto-Rox3. Sto-Rox – 6 Games

Sto-Rox also missed out on the playoffs last season, finishing 4th in the Big Seven Conference behind eventual WPIAL Champions OLSH, WPIAL runners-up Rochester, and Laurel. Sto-Rox’s last loss came in Week 8 against Laurel and the Vikings are off to a 5-0 start this season thanks to an explosive offense.

 

4. 12 teams tied – 5 Games

There are 12 teams that have started this season with perfect 5-0 records. These teams include: North Allegheny and Pine-Richland in 6A, Peters Twp in 5A, Thomas Jefferson in 4A, and Central Valley in 3A. Five 2A teams are off to 5-0 starts including Avonworth, Southmoreland, McGuffey, Washington, Freedom. In 1A, Jeannette and West Greene are 5-0 with West Greene’s Week 0 win coming against out-of-state rival Cameron, WV.

5.  2 teams tied – 4 Games

These two teams did not play Week 0 games but are off to unbeaten starts. In 3A, Elizabeth Forward did not play a Week 0 game but has victories over Deer Lakes, Burrell, Freeport and non-conference Quaker Valley. Burgettstown went unbeaten in the 2A regular season last year and is once again off to a perfect 4-0 start.

WPIAL Winning Streaks

Aliquippa1t. Aliquippa – 8 Games

The Quips lead in the Overall Winning Streak category with a 10-game streak, but that includes 2 games against non-WPIAL opponents from last year’s state playoffs. Against only WPIAL competition, Aliquippa has won 8 straight games, all listed above.

 

Knoch1t. Knoch – 8 Games

Since Knoch did not make the playoffs last year, their overall winning streak and WPIAL winning streaks are identical. Their last loss came against South Fayette in Week 6 last year, and the two teams may be on a collision course that could decide the Northwest Eight Conference title this season.

 

Pine-Richland3. Pine-Richland – 7 Games

The Rams are the two-time defending WPIAL 6A Champions. Pine-Richland completed an undefeated season in 2017 but lost in Week 9 of 2018 to rival North Allegheny. The Rams had the #2 seed in the 6A playoffs last year which earned them a first round bye and defeated Mt. Lebanon and Seneca Valley en route to their 4th WPIAL title. Pine-Richland lost to the New York-New Jersey All Star Team of St. Joe’s Prep in the PIAA semifinals, but have won 7 straight games against WPIAL competition.

As listed above, the teams that have started this season 5-0 and 4-0 would sit next in the rankings in this category as well.

Conference Winning Streaks

South Fayette1. South Fayette – 59 Games

This might be the most incredible current streak in the WPIAL. South Fayette has dominated their conference opponents, winning 59 straight games dating back to 2011. Their last conference loss came against Seton-La Salle in Week 8 of 2011 back when the Lions were in AA. With the move to six classifications and the growth of the district, South Fayette’s impressive run has continued in 4A over the last 3.5 seasons.

Thomas Jefferson2. Thomas Jefferson – 13 Games

The two longest conference winning streaks in the WPIAL are held by 4A teams. Thomas Jefferson’s streak dates back to 2017. Their last conference loss came in Week 7 against Belle Vernon by a 21-17 margin. While that victory was part of Belle Vernon’s undefeated 2017 regular season, Thomas Jefferson got revenge in the playoffs with a 27-0 semifinal victory en route to their third straight WPIAL title.  Belle Vernon has played the closest games against Thomas Jefferson over the course of their winning streak but TJ’s wins have still come by 36-14 and 34-7 margins.

Burgettstown3t. Burgettstown – 10 Games

In 2017, Burgettstown got its first playoff victory since 1977 with a first round win over Neshannock. That season, the Blue Devils were part of the 2A Century Conference. During the 2018 realignment cycle, Burgettstown was moved into the Three Rivers Conference, which they dominated last season. Burgettstown went unbeaten in conference play last season, winning the title by two games, and has continued that run into 2019. Their last conference loss came in Week 8 of 2017 against eventual WPIAL Champions Washington.

Penn Hills3t. Penn Hills – 10 Games

Penn Hills moved down from 6A to 5A in the 2018 realignment cycle. The Indians lost their final conference game of 2017, a Week 9 defeat by Central Catholic. Since moving down to 5A, Penn Hills has not lost to a 5A opponent. The Indians went undefeated in 2018, winning the WPIAL and PIAA Championships. This year, they lost a Week 0 game to defending 6A Champions Pine-Richland but have gone 4-0 against their 5A opponents.

Jeannette5. Jeannette – 9 Games

The Jayhawks lost in Week 9 of 2017 to rivals Clairton, but got revenge in the semifinals en route to winning the WPIAL and PIAA titles. Last year, Jeannette completed a perfect regular season but was upset in the semifinals by Rochester. The Jayhawks are off to a perfect 5-0 start this season. After going 6-0 against Eastern Conference opponents last season, Jeannette is off to a 3-0 start this year.

Note: Shady Side Academy has a Conference Winning Streak of 11 straight games, dating back to Week 4 of 2017 when they lost to Freeport. However, they were not included in this list because earlier this week they announced a forfeit of this week’s game against Apollo-Ridge due to a lack of healthy players. Apollo-Ridge is a conference opponent for Shady Side Academy, which will end their 11-game winning streak.

Overall Losing Streaks

Uniontown Area1. Uniontown – 27 Games

Uniontown is riding the longest losing streak in the WPIAL. Their last win came in Week 7 or 2016 against Laurel Highlands. There was some hope after a winless 2017 that moving down from 4A to 3A would help the Red Raiders be more competitive. That has not played out after a winless 2017 where they only had one game within 30 points of their opponent. This season has been slightly better with only 2 of 5 losses coming by 30+ but their narrowest defeat was a 22-point loss to Deer Lakes. The schedule does not get much easier over the next few weeks with games against Beaver Falls, Derry, North Catholic, and Elizabeth Forward who are all in playoff position. Barring a major upset, Uniontown will likely be the first WPIAL team since Shaler (2011-2015) to lose 30 consecutive games.

Northgate2. Northgate – 19 Games

Northgate got off to a strong 2-2 start to the 2017 season with wins over OLSH and Sto-Rox. However, they were hit with injuries and suspensions and dropped their last 5 outings, including a loss to Cornell in Week 9 that was Cornell’s first win after restarting their program in 2016. Northgate’s Week 4 of 2017 victory over Sto-Rox was their last victory. Last year’s winless campaign featured 4 shutouts after a Week 1 game that saw the Flames lose 5 starters to injury. They did come within 3 points of Springdale and 6 points of Bishop Canevin last year. This season, Northgate was in a close game with Union before a lightning delay caused the game to be finished on Saturday morning and the Scotties pulled away. Northgate’s best chances to win this season likely come in Week 7 against Rochester and Week 8 against Bishop Canevin, who are both currently 0-5.

Ringgold3. Ringgold – 18 Games

After a 3-3 start to the 2017 season, Ringgold dropped their last 3 outings and have not won since. The Rams’ last win came in Week 6 of 2017 against Uniontown. Ringgold had hired former Aliquippa coach Mike Zmijanac in 2018 but he resigned after one season. After starting a number of underclassmen last year and scoring just 20 points all season, Ringgold has already topped that number this year. They came within 15 points of Indiana in Week 2 and will have opportunities to break the streak each of the next two weeks. Ringgold faces Beaver this week whose only win is against Brashear (from the Pittsburgh City League) and next week takes on a winless Laurel Highlands team that has allowed 40+ points in every game this season.

Summit Academy4. Summit Academy – 16 Games

Summit Academy is a school for adjudicated youth located in Butler County. Football is one of the extracurricular activities offered by the school, but it is difficult to maintain roster consistency because the school experiences complete turnover of its student body each year. Summit Academy did make the playoffs in 2017 (for just the second time in school history), which was also the last time they won a game. The Knights’ last win came in Week 9 of 2017 against Avella, which was part of a 4-5 campaign. Their 16-game overall losing streak does include their first round playoff loss to Clairton in 2017.

Butler Area5. Butler – 15 Games

Like Summit Academy, Butler’s last win also came in Week 9 of 2017 against a non-conference opponent. However, since Butler did not make the 2017 playoffs, their losing streak is one fewer than Summit’s. The Golden Tornadoes won 3 games in 2017 with wins over Altoona, Shaler, and a 2-point victory in Week 9 against Canon-McMillan. That was the last time Butler has tasted victory and they have lost non-classification games against 5A Baldwin each of the last two seasons. Butler struggled with roster turnout this season, having the smallest roster of any 6A school. Their closest game has been a 21-point loss to Baldwin but they have games against the other schools in the bottom half of the conference (Norwin, Hempfield, Canon-McMillan) remaining on their schedule.

Conference Losing Streaks

1. Ambridge – 25 Games

Ambridge snapped a 22-game losing streak last year in Week 2 when they beat Waynesburg. However, that victory was a non-conference game. The Bridgers struggled through the rest of 2018, getting shut out by 4 of their 7 conference opponents. Ambridge’s last conference win came in Week 9 of 2015 against Chartiers Valley when they played in AAA, before the move to six classifications. All 5 of Ambridge’s remaining games are against conference opponents, including matchups against Highlands, Beaver, and Montour (who are all currently 1-4) over the next three weeks.

Uniontown Area2. Uniontown – 22 Games

As mentioned above, Uniontown has the longest overall losing streak in the WPIAL, but their last win (Week 7 of 2016 against Laurel Highlands) was a conference victory. Therefore Uniontown’s conference losing streak is behind Ambridge. Four of the last five games for the Red Raiders are against Big East Conference opponents, but three of them are against the top three teams in the standings. Their best chance remaining on the schedule (barring a massive upset) is in Week 9 against Mt. Pleasant.

Mapletown3. Mapletown – 15 Games

The Maples went winless in 2018 after a slew of graduations after the 2017 season. Their last Tri-County South Conference win came Week 3 of 2017 against Avella. Mapletown started 2019 by getting back on the winning track with a Week 0 win against Avella. That Week 0 game did not count as a conference victory for Mapletown. The Maples will face Avella again in Week 8 this season and came close last week to beating Bentworth, losing 47-42.

Northgate4. Northgate – 14 Games

Northgate’s losing streak was also discussed above. Their last overall win, in Week 4 of 2017 against Sto-Rox, was a conference victory. Looking forward, their Week 7 opponent Rochester has averaged just 6.4 points per game this season. Northgate’s Week 8 opponent Bishop Canevin forfeit their game against OLSH last week due to a lack of healthy players. On the field, Canevin is averaging just 4.5 points per game. Both Rochester and Canevin are 0-5 while Northgate is 0-4, so their head-to-head matchups over the second half of the season should provide an opportunity for this streak to end.

Butler Area5. Butler – 13 Games

While Butler’s last overall win came in Week 9 of 2017, that victory was a non-conference win over Canon-McMillan. The last conference win for the Golden Tornadoes came earlier that season in Week 5 against Shaler. That victory over Shaler was part of a 24-game losing streak by Shaler which ended when the Titans dropped from 6A down to 5A in 2018. Butler’s remaining conference games this season do include matchups with Norwin and Canon-McMillan who are both 1-4.

Others with losing streaks longer than 1 year: Waynesburg (12 Games), Ringgold (12 Games), Chartiers Valley (9 Games), Summit Academy (8 Games)

Statistical Leaders

Passing Leaders

1. Eric Wilson (Sto-Rox) – 1591 yards, 11 TDs
Hudl Profile

The Sto-Rox senior led the WPIAL in regular season passing last year with 3003 yards and 39 TDs. He is on pace to surpass that yardage total this season. Wilson had 970 yards as a sophomore and 636 as a freshman, giving him 6,200 total yards at the midpoint of his senior season. With a big second half, Eric could challenge the 8000-yard plateau and finish in the Top 20 in Pennsylvania history for career passing yards.

Top Games:

  • Week 1 vs OLSH – 368 yards, 3 TDs
  • Week 3 vs Cornell – 352 yards, 4 TDs
  • Week 4 vs Chartiers-Houston – 371 yards, 3 TDs

2. Aris Hasley (Deer Lakes) – 1415 yards, 17 TDs
Hudl Profile

Deer Lakes is off to a 3-1 start in conference play thanks to Hasley. He has had big performances to lead the Lancers to victory against Uniontown and Yough and put them in position to challenge for a playoff spot in the 3A Big East Conference. Hasley has added 259 yards and 2 TDs on the ground to lead the team in rushing as well.

Top Games:

  • Week 1 vs Elizabeth Forward – 280 yards, 3 TDs
  • Week 2 vs Uniontown – 300 yards, 3 TDs
  • Week 3 vs Yough – 386 yards, 5 TDs

3. Ethan Dahlem (Upper St. Clair) – 1414 yards, 12 TDs
Hudl Profile

Upper St. Clair has been one of the most exciting teams in the WPIAL this season. In Week 0 they scored two late touchdowns to pull away from South Fayette. Their only loss came on a narrow defeat to Peters Township. Junior QB Ethan Dahlem has taken over the helm in Mike Junko’s first year as head coach. He has come on lately, leading comeback victories against Baldwin (by 14), Woodland Hills (by 4), and West Allegheny (by 2). In addition to leading the team through the air, Dahlem is also Upper St. Clair’s leading rusher with 345 yards and 8 TDs on the ground.

Top Games:

  • Week 1 vs Peters Twp – 284 yards , 3 TDs
  • Week 3 vs Woodland Hills – 485 yards, 3 TDs
  • Week 4 vs West Allegheny – 334 yards, 3 TDs

4. Naman Alemada (South Fayette) – 1161 yards, 14 TDs
Hudl Profile

Joe Rossi’s South Fayette program seems to churn out quality quarterbacks on an annual basis. Alemada is the next in a long line of successful signal-callers for the Lions.

Top Games:

  • Week 0 vs Upper St Clair – 361 yards, 1 TD
  • Week 2 vs New Castle – 276 yards, 5 TDs
  • Week 4 vs Hopewell – 158 yards, 4 TDs

5. Cole Spencer (Pine-Richland) – 1105 yards, 14 TDs
Hudl Profile

Spencer took over at quarterback last year as just a sophomore. Stepping in to fill Phil Jurkovec’s shoes was no small task, but Spencer proved up to the challenge. Pine-Richland installed an RPO-based attack and Spencer led the Rams to the WPIAL title last year. They are off to an undefeated start to this season with Spencer leading the way through the air.

Top Games:

  • Week 1 vs Hempfield – 278 yards, 5 TDs
  • Week 2 vs Moon – 278 yards, 3 TDs
  • Week 4 vs Norwin – 253 yards, 2 TDs

Rushing Leaders

1. Ben Jackson (West Greene) – 1356 yards, 24 TDs
Hudl Profile

Before the season started, we dubbed Ben Jackson as our candidate to lead the WPIAL in rushing. The West Greene senior has delivered. Jackson has posted some incredible stat lines this season, such as 15 carries for 272 yards and 5 TDs against Chartiers-Houston and 9 carries for 299 yards and 5 TDs in Week 4 against Mapletown. The most impressive part of Jackson’s season is that he has only run 66 times, meaning he is averaging an incredible 20.5 yards per carry. Only 2 other players in the WPIAL with more than 15 rushes are averaging over 15 yards per carry – Washington’s Zahmere Robinson (28 carries at 16.9 ypc) and Serra Catholic’s Jayvon Holt (15 carries at 15.5 ypc).

Top Games:

  • Week 2 vs Chartiers-Houston – 15 carries, 272 yards, 5 TDs
  • Week 3 vs Mapletown – 9 carries, 299 yards, 5 TDs
  • Week 4 vs Monessen – 20 carries, 366 yards, 4 TDs

2. Teddy Ruffner (Mars) – 1064 yards, 15 TDs
Hudl Profile

Mars’ traditional run-heavy offense has often produced big rushing totals. Junior RB Teddy Ruffner is the next in the long line of successful backs for the Fighting Planets.

Top Games:

  • Week 0 vs West Mifflin – 21 carries, 197 yards, 3 TDs
  • Week 2 vs Greensburg Salem – 15 carries, 340 yards, 5 TDs
  • Week 4 vs Armstrong – 25 carries, 276 yards, 5 TDs

3. Matt Goodlin (Knoch) – 813 yards, 11 TDs
Hudl Profile

In Week 2 against Beaver, Goodlin broke Knoch’s school record for rushing yards with 298 yards and 5 TDs. He has not slowed down since then, helping to lead the Knights to a 5-0 start.

Top Games:

  • Week 1 vs Blackhawk – 18 carries, 187 yards, 2 TDs
  • Week 2 vs Beaver – 20 carries, 298 yards, 5 TDs

4. Derrick Davis (Gateway) – 774 yards
Hudl Profile

Derrick Davis is the best junior in the state of Pennsylvania and the most highly-recruited player in the WPIAL in a long, long time. He had major college offers pouring in after he led Gateway to a WPIAL Championship as a freshman. After a sensational sophomore campaign, he has continued to shine as a junior. He has scholarship offers from nearly every major college program including Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame, Ohio State, LSU, Penn State, and Michigan.

Top Games:

  • Week 0 vs Mt. Lebanon – 173 rushing yards, 104 receiving yards, 4 total TDs
  • Week 2 vs Plum – 212 rushing yards, 3 TDs

5. Marques Watson-Trent (Blackhawk) – 687 yards
Hudl Profile

Blackhawk broke a _ year playoff drought last season and reached the semifinals before losing to Thomas Jefferson. Watson-Trent was a big reason why and his play this year has kept the Cougars in the hunt to make the playoffs again.

Top Games:

  • Week 1 vs Knoch – 29 carries, 249 yards, 3 TDs
  • Week 4 vs Montour – 28 carries, 173 yards, 3 TDs

Receiving Leaders

1. David Pantelis (Upper St. Clair) – 889 yards, 8 TDs
Hudl Profile

As mentioned above, Upper St. Clair has been the most exciting team in the WPIAL this season, playing close games every week. A big part of their ability to stage comebacks has been David Pantelis’ play on the outside. If he continues on this pace he could threaten the WPIAL regular season receiving record, set by Mt. Lebanon’s Aidan Cain of 1648 yards in 2017.

Top Games:

  • Week 3 vs Woodland Hills – 13 catches, 269 yards, 1 TD
  • Week 4 vs West Allegheny – 8 catches, 273 yards, 3 TDs

2. Jaidon Berry (Sto-Rox) – 623 yards, 4 TDs
Huld Profile

Sto-Rox’s Eric Wilson leads the WPIAL in passing yards, so it is not a surprise to see his top receiver placed highly on this list. While Wilson has spread the ball around and 6 different receivers have over 100 yards, Berry has been the top target with 37 receptions for 623 yards and 4 TDs.

Top Games:

  • Week 1 vs OLSH – 7 catches, 175 yards
  • Week 3  vs Cornell – 7 catches, 149 yards, 2 TDs

3. Riley Comforti (Southmoreland) – 607 yards, 8 TDs
Huld Profile

Southmoreland is one win away from breaking a 40-year playoff drought. Their passing game connection of QB Zach Cernuto to WR Riley Comforti is a big factor. Comforti has hauled in 33 passes this season and scored 8 times. The Scotties have their biggest challenges ahead of them, but are also one of the highest-scoring teams in the WPIAL and have the offensive firepower to play with anyone.

Top Games:

  • Week 1 vs Frazier – 8 catches, 180 yards, 3 TDs
  • Week 2 vs Carmichaels – 10 catches, 148 yards, 2 TDs
  • Week 4 vs Brownsville – 5 catches 141 yards, 3 TDs

4. Dawson Snyder (Moon) – 516 yards, 5 TDs
Hudl Profile

Moon has not made the playoffs since 2014 but has emerged as a contender in the 5A Allegheny Eight Conference. In the deepest conference in the WPIAL where there are “no nights off,” Moon is off to a 2-0 start with a 4-1 record overall. Dawson Snyder, who we profiled earlier this year, has been the anchor of the passing game. No other Tigers receiver has more than 6 catches or 50 yards while Snyder has put up 21 catches and over 500 yards.

Top Games:

  • Week 1 vs Mars – 6 catches, 230 yards, 2 TDs
  • Week 4 vs Chartiers Valley – 3 catches, 129 yards, 1 TD

5. Nate Sciarro (Riverside) – 475 yards, 6 TDs
Hudl Profile

The Panthers got off to a bit of a slow start this season, dropping their first two games against Neshannock and Freedom. However, their offense seems to have found its groove with senior QB Ben Hughes throwing to Sciarro and Josh Bishop.  With wins over Western Beaver and Shenango the last two weeks, Riverside looks back on track to make their fourth straight playoff appearance.

Top Games:

  • Week 2 vs Freedom – 7 catches, 186 yards, 2 TDs
  • Week 3 vs Western Beaver – 9 catches, 162 yards, 3 TDs

Team Offense Leaders

1. West Greene – 56.8 Points Per Game

2. Southmoreland – 51.0 Points Per Game

3t. Thomas Jefferson – 47.6 Points Per Game

3t. Washington – 47.6 Points Per Game

5. Belle Vernon – 47.3 Points Per Game

Others averaging 40+ Points Per Game: McGuffey (46.4), Cornell (44.0), Aliquippa (43.4), Charleroi (43.0), Jeannette (42.4), Pine-Richland (42.2), Burgettstown (41.3), South Fayette (40.6)

Team Defense Leaders

1. Jeannette

  • 3.6 Points Against Per Game
  • 3 shutouts

2. Thomas Jefferson

  • 4.6 Points Against Per Game
  • 2 shutouts

3t. Pine-Richland

  • 6.0 Points Against Per Game
  • 2 shutouts

3t. North Allegheny

  • 6.0 Points Against Per Game
  • 2 shutouts

5t. Laurel

  • 6.6 Points Against Per Game
  • 4 shutouts – Laurel was the last team in the WPIAL to allow a point this season, giving up their first points in a 33-7 loss to Clairton in Week 4

5t. Knoch

  • 6.6 Points Against Per Game
  • 2 shutouts

Others holding opponents under 10 Points Per Game: Burgettstown (7.3), Aliquippa (7.4), Central Valley (8.2), Peters Twp (8.4), Freedom (9.2), South Allegheny (9.4), Avonworth (9.6), New Brighton (9.6)

Storylines to Watch in the Second Half

Southmoreland’s Playoff Chase

The Scotties have not reached the postseason since 1979. Southmoreland is off to a 5-0 start this year thanks to an explosive offense. The outpouring of support from the community has been impressive, including parades and other celebrations as they strive to end a 39-year playoff drought. (Shameless plug – I predicted the drought would end this year in my Interstate Conference Season Preview). Southmoreland’s remaining conference games are against the top contenders – McGuffey, Charleroi, and Washington. The Scotties enter the second half needing just one more win (or a collection of losses by Brownsville, Carmichaels, and Frazier) to clinch a playoff spot.

Will Woodland Hills’ Playoff Streak End?

Woodland Hills has the third-longest active streak of playoff appearances at 23 consecutive seasons. Aliquippa and Thomas Jefferson are tied for the longest streak at 24 years, dating back to 1995.  Woodland Hills has been a traditionally dominant program but is off to an 0-5 start this season, including 0-4 in conference play. The Wolverines only need to finish in the Top 5 to ensure a playoff spot and could still do that with wins over West Allegheny (1-3, 1-3) and Chartiers Valley (0-2, 2-3). Woody High also has a game against a surprisingly good Moon (2-0, 4-1). The streak is not dead yet, but their 30-27 loss to Baldwin last week put it in serious jeopardy.

The 1A Playoff Race

With only 8 spots in the 1A playoffs, it is going to be a tight race to the finish. Only the top two teams in each conference are guaranteed playoff spots while 2 of the 3 third place teams will get wild card spots. The Tri-County South seems the easiest to determine as West Greene (4-0, 5-0) and California (2-0, 3-2) are the only remaining unbeaten teams in conference play. Chartiers-Houston (2-1, 3-2) currently sits in third place and every other team has at least 2 conference losses. In the Eastern Conference, perennial favorites Jeannette (3-0, 5-0) and Clairton (2-0, 3-2) sit atop the league with GCC (3-1, 4-1) and Springdale (1-1, 4-1) close behind. GCC’s only loss is a 21-14 defeat by Clairton but they also needed triple overtime to top Leechburg 42-41. The GCC-Springdale game in Week 5 may determine the third place team and could be for a playoff spot. Springdale’s only loss was to Jeannette. The Jayhawks face GCC in Week 8 and Clairton in Week 9. Both of Clairton’s losses came against opponents from higher classifications and the Bears flexed their muscles last week with an impressive 33-7 victory over Laurel (who had not given up a point in the first 4 games). Laurel (2-0, 4-1) and Sto-Rox (3-0, 5-0) are atop the Big Seven Conference but play very different offensive styles. OLSH (3-1, 4-1) and Cornell (2-1, 3-1) should not be counted out as Cornell’s only loss was by a mere 3 points to Sto-Rox.

Injuries and Forfeits

Injuries have played a major factor in the 2019 WPIAL season. To date, two teams have had to forfeit games due to a lack of healthy players. Bishop Canevin forfeit in Week 4 against OLSH and Shady Side Academy recently announced a Week 5 forfeit to Apollo-Ridge. Canevin is a 1A school that was off to a winless start but Shady Side Academy is a 2A school that was 3-1 on the season and in the thick of the Allegheny Conference playoff race. In District 10 (Northwestern Pennsylvania), Fairview who is a 3A-sized school announced a forfeit this week because of a shortage of healthy players.

Updated ELO Rankings

At the beginning of the season I debuted my WPIAL Football ELO Rankings. You can read more about the methodology in the original post, but in short it uses a formula similar to the world chess rankings and new FIFA world rankings to rank all 120 WPIAL teams. I have tracked the results of all WPIAL games since the start of the six classification era in 2016. Here are the updated rankings at the midpoint in the season. I will note that since historical data is included, some teams may have seen their overall ELO rating decrease but have not yet seen a significant drop in the standings. Columns were added to these charts to show the change in overall ELO rating, Rank within classifcation, and rank in the WPIAL from the beginning of the season until now.

Class 6A ELO Rankings

School 6A Rank WPIAL Rank ELO ELO Change 6A Rank Change WPIAL Rank Change
Pine-Richland 1 1 2599 5 0 0
Central Catholic 2 4 2369 17 0 1
North Allegheny 3 6 2340 32 0 1
Seneca Valley 4 9 2300 -6 0 -1
Mt Lebanon 5 14 2238 18 0 0
Canon-McMillan 6 19 2102 -15 0 -1
Norwin 7 21 2096 -17 0 0
Hempfield 8 24 2056 1 0 -1
Butler 9 34 1981 -30 0 -3

Class 5A ELO Rankings

School 5A Rank WPIAL Rank ELO ELO Change 5A Rank Change WPIAL Rank Change
Penn Hills 1 2 2480 7 0 0
Gateway 2 3 2388 -11 0 0
Penn-Trafford 3 5 2360 32 1 1
West Allegheny 4 7 2328 -45 -1 -3
Peters Twp 5 8 2317 46 0 1
Bethel Park 6 12 2266 28 1 1
McKeesport 7 13 2265 -2 -1 -3
Upper St Clair 8 15 2219 14 0 0
Franklin Regional 9 16 2194 -3 0 0
Woodland Hills 10 17 2154 -40 0 0
North Hills 11 18 2135 20 1 2
Moon 12 20 2097 43 3 5
Latrobe 13 22 2067 -12 0 0
Armstrong 14 25 2053 -63 -3 -6
Mars 15 26 2048 9 1 1
Fox Chapel 16 27 2032 -22 -2 -3
Baldwin 17 28 2031 5 0 0
Chartiers Valley 18 29 2016 -3 1 1
Kiski 19 30 2012 -10 -1 -1
Shaler 20 31 2011 26 0 1
Hampton 21 33 1984 14 1 2
Plum 22 35 1973 1 -1 -1
Connellsville 23 42 1889 -26 0 -3

Class 4A ELO Rankings

School 4A Rank WPIAL Rank ELO ELO Change 4A Rank Change WPIAL Rank Change
Thomas Jefferson 1 10 2277 13 0 1
South Fayette 2 11 2270 9 0 1
Belle Vernon 3 23 2061 10 0 3
West Mifflin 4 36 1971 32 1 1
Blackhawk 5 37 1948 20 1 1
New Castle 6 38 1943 4 -2 -2
Knoch 7 39 1897 34 3 4
Greensburg Salem 8 40 1892 9 0 1
Montour 9 41 1891 -18 -2 -1
Trinity 10 43 1856 -13 -1 -1
Highlands 11 44 1798 -35 0 0
Indiana 12 45 1790 -7 1 1
Laurel Highlands 13 46 1778 -30 -1 -1
Ringgold 14 48 1740 -27 0 -1
Beaver 15 49 1730 -37 0 -1
Ambridge 16 58 1624 -50 0 -4

Class 3A ELO Rankings

School 3A Rank WPIAL Rank ELO ELO Change 3A Rank Change WPIAL Rank Change
Aliquippa 1 32 2008 24 0 1
Derry 2 47 1746 -2 0 3
Beaver Falls 3 50 1721 3 1 2
Central Valley 4 51 1708 78 2 5
Quaker Valley 5 52 1672 -75 -2 -1
Keystone Oaks 6 53 1672 -6 -1 0
Elizabeth Forward 7 55 1650 47 1 3
North Catholic 8 57 1631 25 -1 0
Freeport 9 59 1579 -17 0 0
South Park 10 61 1548 15 0 0
Mt Pleasant 11 63 1508 17 2 2
Deer Lakes 12 64 1495 37 3 5
Hopewell 13 65 1485 -10 -1 -1
Burrell 14 68 1463 25 2 4
Yough 15 71 1441 -33 -1 -5
Uniontown 16 72 1435 -69 -5 -9
Waynesburg 17 81 1359 17 0 2

Class 2A ELO Rankings

School 2A Rank WPIAL Rank ELO ELO Change 2A Rank Change WPIAL Rank Change
Steel Valley 1 54 1659 -93 0 -5
Washington 2 56 1643 12 0 -1
Shady Side Academy 3 60 1551 5 0 0
McGuffey 4 62 1537 16 0 0
Burgettstown 5 66 1481 39 3 5
Charleroi 6 67 1473 2 0 1
Avonworth 7 69 1455 81 8 11
Neshannock 8 70 1449 75 6 9
Freedom 9 73 1428 30 3 4
South Side Beaver 10 74 1426 -20 -3 -4
Riverside 11 75 1414 -19 -2 -2
East Allegheny 12 76 1414 28 1 2
Apollo-Ridge 13 77 1412 4 -2 -2
Valley 14 78 1395 -31 -4 -4
Seton-La Salle 15 79 1390 -82 -10 -12
Southmoreland 16 82 1349 45 3 3
Brentwood 17 83 1332 44 4 4
New Brighton 18 84 1310 53 4 7
Ellwood City 19 86 1301 -69 -3 -5
Serra 20 87 1292 -5 0 -1
Mohawk 21 88 1286 -60 -4 -6
Beth-Center 22 90 1274 -50 -4 -6
South Allegheny 23 92 1230 24 1 2
Frazier 24 93 1205 -39 -1 0
Carlynton 25 96 1119 -6 0 1
Carmichaels 26 100 1086 9 1 0
Brownsville 27 101 1077 -3 -1 -2
Fort Cherry 28 105 1013 -26 0 -2
Western Beaver 29 109 972 13 1 0
Summit Academy 30 111 955 -6 -1 -3
Shenango 31 112 944 39 0 1

Class 1A ELO Rankings

School 1A Rank WPIAL Rank ELO ELO Change 1A Rank Change WPIAL Rank Change
OLSH 1 80 1376 -24 0 -4
Jeannette 2 85 1306 19 0 3
Clairton 3 89 1282 21 0 0
Laurel 4 91 1273 13 0 -1
Rochester 5 94 1171 -82 0 -2
California 6 95 1159 4 0 0
Sto-Rox 7 97 1105 69 4 7
West Greene 8 98 1101 61 2 4
Imani 9 99 1086 -63 -2 -3
Chartiers-Houston 10 102 1054 -13 -1 -1
Bentworth 11 103 1044 -68 -3 -5
GCC 12 104 1039 33 1 2
Cornell 13 106 992 55 3 5
Union 14 107 982 17 0 0
Monessen 15 108 977 -34 -3 -3
Springdale 16 110 957 57 3 5
Leechburg 17 113 939 32 0 -1
Bishop Canevin 18 114 904 -40 -3 -4
Northgate 19 115 873 -29 -1 -1
Jefferson-Morgan 20 116 866 19 1 1
Riverview 21 117 851 -29 -1 -1
Avella 22 118 791 -2 1 1
Mapletown 23 119 784 -25 -1 -1

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