- High School
The WPIAL Football Fourpack for the Round One on 11/2
The Highway to Heinz is open, although there may be some ponding on the roads due to Hurricane Sandy so use caution. Plenty of excellent first round action to choose from as once again the boss and his minions scatter to all points to make sure each and every first round game is available on the Network. We have to pick four as the best of the best. So let’s get to it, time to go Big Game Hunting!
AAAA Round One
#9 Bethel Park Black Hawks (6-3) at #8 McKeesport Tigers Friday November 2nd at 7:30 pm @ McKeesport high school broadcast on the MSA Sports Network by Sam Hall and Matt Harkins
The Tigers overcame a bit of a slow start to finish 4-1 down the stretch with their only loss in that span coming to Foothills conference champion and two seed Gateway 21-6 in week nine. The Tigers finished at 5-4 and as the third place team from the Foothills.
Bethel Park has been rolling as well winning five of their last six games including five in a row over Southeastern conference foes. Bethel finishes at 6-3 and is the fourth place team from the Southeastern.
These two teams have met twice in recent years in the playoffs with Bethel winning both times. The Hawks won at McKeesport in 2010 in the first round knocking off the fourth seeded Tigers 24-21 as a thirteen. Bethel also scored a victory over McKeesport in their 2008 run to a WPIAL championship with a 20-13 victory in the semi-finals.
The Tigers have not been as pass happy as everyone thought they would be coming into this 2012 campaign. Senior quarterback Eddie Stockett, in fact had only 72 attempts heading into the final week of the regular season to go along with 30 completions for 497 yards and four touchdowns.
Stockett has been a very solid weapon on the ground along with Hodari Christian the two have combined to rush for well over a thousand yards and nearly 20 touchdowns. The Tiger defense has been letting up just 18.6 points per game on the season that number has dropped down to 14.0 points per game down the stretch here in their final five games.
Bethel Park meanwhile has gotten strong play and leadership from freshman quarterback Levi Metheny. Head coach Jeff Metheny’s son is a hard-nosed physical quarterback and his team follows suit. Since taking the spot early in the regular season Metheny has tossed seven touchdown passes and thrown for nearly 800 yards he has also contributed four touchdowns runs on the year. Zach Enick has rushed for 529 yards and scored seven touchdowns for the Hawks. Avery Dibble is a big time playmaker on the edges for Bethel Park. Winner moves on to face most likely North Allegheny in the quarter-finals.
AAA Round One
#10 Knoch Knights (7-2) at #7 West Mifflin Titans (8-1) Friday November 2nd at 7:30 pm @ West Mifflin high school’s Titan Stadium broadcast on the MSA Sports Network and WISR-AM 680 by Scott Briggs and Dave Bacon
The Titans will be looking to rebound from a disappointing week nine loss at Thomas Jefferson as they enter the opening round of the post season. Ray Braszo’s team better make sure they are looking ahead and not back because the Knights are a team to be reckoned with in AAA.
West Mifflin is the second place team out of the Big Nine Conference they have been led all season long by one of the top running back in the WPIAL in junior Jimmy Wheeler. Wheeler finished the regular season with 1672 yards on 186 carries and scored 21 touchdowns.
Senior quarterback Derrick Fulmore also chipped in on the ground for the Titans rushing for 530 yards and scored 12 touchdowns. Though the air, Fulmore was very efficient as well; completing 30 of 58 passes for 677 yards and seven more scores. Fulmore’s favorite target is a junior tight end, Marcus Martin. Martin hauled in 11 passes for 365 yards on the year and scored four touchdowns. The Titan defense is allowing a paltry 12.2 points per game on the season.
The Knights of Knoch found themselves in a three way tie for second place in the Greater Allegheny with Franklin-Regional and Hampton as the regular season ended and garnered the 7th seed from the committee.
Defense has been their trademark for the 2012 season allowing just 10.2 points per game on the year. On offense they feature a thousand-yard passer and a thousand-yard rusher for head coach Mike King.
Senior signal-caller Dakota Bruggeman completed 62 of 130 passes for 1057 yards and 10 touchdowns. Luke Kroneberg caught 20 of those passes for 320 yards and three touchdowns.
On the ground another senior Ben Hackett has been their star running back carrying the ball 181 times for 1085 yards and scoring 19 touchdowns on the season. The Knights have won three in a row since a week six loss to Franklin-Regional.
AA Round One
#10 Beaver Falls Tigers (7-2) at #7 Freeport Yellowjackets Friday November 2nd at 7:30 pm @ Freeport high school broadcast on the MSA Sports Network Brandon Showers
This is a tremendous match up in AA. The Tigers only losses came to Beaver and Aliquippa. The Yellowjackets lost twice as well falling to Valley and Washington.
Beaver Falls has gotten a great season already out of senior quarterback Dan Stratton. Stratton has completed 62 of 123 passes for 1356 yards and 18 scores on the year.
Stratton’s two favorite targets are a pair of juniors in Elijah Cottrill and Sage Curry. Curry has a dozen catches for 484 yards and has reached pay dirt six times on the year. Cottrill has 26 catches for 519 yards and he has scored nine times.
The Tigers have a fierce two-headed monster at running back in Damian Rawl and Rob Bell. Rawl has 107 carries for 766 yards and nine scores on the season. While Bell has toted the rock 100 times for 604 yards and scored 11 touchdowns. The Tigers are deep and they can come at you from anywhere they have ten players who have scored at least a touchdown for the season.
Freeport will go depending greatly on the play of senior quarterback Brendan Lynch. Lynch is a big-time dual threat for the Yellowjackets. On the 2012 campaign he has thrown for 578 yards and eight touchdowns. He has also rushed 120 times for 1009 yards and a dozen touchdowns.
Tony DeVivo and Dustin Koedel each have seven catches for Freeport to share the team lead DeVivo has piled up 193 yards and Koedel 153 in the passing attack. On the ground Damon Smith and Mike Teorsky have combined to add another 796 yards and ten touchdowns to the Freeport offensive coffers.
A First Round
#9 Brentwood Spartans (6-3) at #8 Springdale Dynamos (6-3) Friday November 2nd at 7:30 pm @ Fox Chapel high school broadcast on the MSA Sports Network by Matt Vandriak and Kyle Scott
Due to Hurricane Sandy soaking the Dynamos’ home field to total saturation Springdale has elected to have this game played at Fox Chapel high school in the opening round.
Brentwood is the fourth place team out of the tough Black Hills conference and they are on a three game win streak as they enter the post season. Springdale tied with Apollo-Ridge for second place in the Eastern conference but by virtue of their win in the head-to-head match up with the Vikings they get the two spot out of the Eastern, and a home game in the opening round.
For the Spartans it’s all about the Justin Vickless show. The 5’10’’ 170 pound junior is the leading rusher and receiver for the Spartans in 2012. He has 14 catches for 116 yards, he has 192 carries on the ground for 1317 yards and he has scored a team high 18 touchdowns on the season.
Senior quarterback Chris Shortley has had a productive season throwing the football hooking up on 66 of 131 passes for 895 yards and eight scoring strikes. When he doesn’t find Vickless, Shortley has relied on Mike Andrews and Zach Sniadach who have eight catches each on the year for a combined 314 yards and four touchdowns.
The Dynamos enter this contest having won 4 of 5 down the stretch. Their defense has been impressive all season long they are only allowing 9.4 points per game on the season and have posted four shutouts. In their last four wins they have allowed a total of only six points.
Senior quarterback Jacob Hellman has completed 32 of 82 passes for 418 yards and thrown three touchdown passes on the year.
Springdale gets the bulk of their offensive fire power from the ground game. Senior running back Sean Dugan has been a workhorse and a great one, for the Dynamos. Dugan has 200 carries on the season for 1637 yards and has scored 20 touchdowns. The yardage number has ranking has the 4th leading rusher in all of the WPIAL for the season.
Between Dugan and Vickless this game is worth the price of admission for the running back battle alone.