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WPIAL 2022 6A Playoff Primer

by Ian

The WPIAL 6A playoffs will feature four teams this season. The end of the season was filled with drama as Seneca Valley dropped their last two games to fall out of the playoffs. Mt. Lebanon defeated Canon-McMillan to earn a playoff spot and a chance to defend their title. Late in Week 9, trailing Mt. Lebanon 31-0 and with Seneca Valley up two scores, Canon Mac’s playoff hopes were on the ropes. But North Allegheny staged a 13-point fourth quarter comeback to beat Seneca Valley 27-26 and knock the Raiders out of the playoffs. This gave Canon Mac the final playoff spot in 6A. The first round features a rematch of last year’s WPIAL title game between Mt. Lebanon and Central Catholic.

Since the WPIAL Champion enters the state bracket at the quarterfinals, yet only four teams qualified for the playoffs, the 6A teams will have a bye this week and not begin postseason play until next week. The WPIAL Championship Game will be at Norwin Stadium at 6pm on Saturday, November 19.

Check out the 6A Preview as part of this week’s WPIAL Blitz Show.

Also, check out our Playoff Primers for the other classifications: 1A | 2A | 3A | 4A | 5A | 6A

The Bracket

The Teams

North Allegheny Tigers
Conference Record: 4-0 Overall Record: 9-1
How they got here: North Allegheny rolled through the first half of the season and defeated Central Catholic in a 7-3 defensive slugfest. They lost to rivals Pine-Richland the following week, the only blemish on their record. After another strong defensive performance against Mt. Lebanon to clinch the conference title, the Tigers had an epic end to the season, coming back from down 26-14 to beat Seneca Valley and knock the Raiders out of the playoffs.
Recent History: North Allegheny is making their 19th consecutive playoff appearance. After losing in the semifinals in four straight seasons, North Allegheny reached the WPIAL title game in 2020 for the first time since 2012 but fell to Central Catholic.
WPIAL Playoff Appearances: 36
All-Time WPIAL Playoff Record: 50-31
Best Playoff Result: Won WPIAL Championship in 1990, 2010, 2011 and 2012. Won PIAA title in 1990, 2010 and 2012

Mt. Lebanon Blue Devils
Conference Record: 2-2 Overall Record: 5-5
How they got here: Mt. Lebanon showed a ton of heart and grit this season. After losing 25 seniors to graduation from their State Championship team, the Blue Devils had to work in nearly an entirely new starting lineup and endured a number of injuries. The Blue Devils did get a win over Central Catholic in Week 3, coming from 16-0 down to win 17-16 on a last-second field goal. They would drop their next three games but rebound to close out the season on a 3-game winning streak. The Blue Devils rallied around their defense down the stretch, outscoring opponents 78-3.
Recent History: Mt Lebanon is making their 21st playoff appearance in the last 24 years. Since only four teams make the playoffs, this will be their fifth straight semifinal appearance. The Blue Devils are the defending 6A WPIAL and State Champions. That was their first WPIAL title since 2000 and the first state title during the statewide playoffs era.
WPIAL Playoff Appearances: 42
All-Time WPIAL Playoff Record: 42-33-0
Best Playoff Result: Won WPIAL Championship in 1966 (AAA), 1970 (AAA), 1980, 1981, 1983, 1984, 2000, and 2021. Mt. Lebanon also won the 2021 PIAA Championship, defeating St. Joe’s Prep.

Central Catholic Vikings
Conference Record: 2-2 Overall Record: 6-4
How they got here: Central Catholic’s playoff streak was on the ropes after they dropped their first two conference games to Mt. Lebanon and North Allegheny. But the Vikings turned things around by beating Canon-McMillan in Week 5. Three weeks later, they played their final conference game and edged Seneca Valley to secure a playoff spot.
Recent History: Central Catholic is making their 20th consecutive playoff appearance. The Vikings have reached the WPIAL title game in three straight seasons, falling to Mt. Lebanon last year after winning the prior two titles. Central has won 5 of the last 9 WPIAL titles.
WPIAL Playoff Appearances: 29
All-Time WPIAL Playoff Record: 50-20
Best Playoff Result: Won WPIAL Championships in 2003, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2019, and 2020. Won PIAA titles in 1988, 2004, 2007, and 2015.


Canon-McMillan Big Macs
Conference Record: 1-3 Overall Record: 5-5
How they got here: Canon-McMillan was competitive in all of their games this season. The Big Macs dropped their conference opener to North Allegheny but bounced back the following week to beat Seneca Valley 33-21, a result that proved decisive in the playoff race. After falling to Central Catholic mid-season, their playoff hopes rested on beating Mt. Lebanon in the season finale. The Big Macs fell 31-0 but were able to qualify for the playoffs thanks to North Allegheny staging a comeback victory over Seneca Valley, dropping the Raiders into a tie with Canon-Mac. The Week 2 result gave the Big Macs the tiebreaker and the playoff spot.
Recent History: This is the fourth playoff appearance in five years for the Big Macs. They have not won a playoff game since 2004.
WPIAL Playoff Appearances: 12
All-Time WPIAL Playoff Record: 1-10-1
Best Playoff Result: Canon-McMillan’s lone playoff win came in 2004 when they beat Belle Vernon in the first round of the AAA playoffs. Canonsburg High School tied New Brighton in the 1950 Class A (which became AA) Championship Game.

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