The WPIAL quarterfinals are complete. Here are some notes and thoughts.
*** Using more than one quarterback seems to be a popular idea for teams still playing. I know North Hills, Thomas Jefferson and at least one other uses the idea.
*** Alex Papson of North Allegheny was the leading rusher on the night with 301 yards.
*** Rushel Shell rushed for 238 yards for Hopewell in loss to Thomas Jefferson. He'll have 6,766 heading into his senior. Barring injury, he seems to be a cinch to break WPIAL record of 7,646 yards. He's less than 1,000 away. He might have a shot at state record of 9,027.
*** Thomas Jefferson coach Bill Cherpak making semifinals 13 years in a row is a ridiculous streak.
*** South Fayette's Christian Brumbaugh threw for 328 yards Friday night and threw only 17 passes.
*** Right now, Ford City might be most underrated program in WPIAL. Coach John Bartolovic has done wonders with that program.
*** In City League, I guess Schenley woke up Perry last week when it took the Commodores to overtime before losing. Perry won tonight in the semifinals, 29-8. Last game in Schenley history.
*** I've seen Upper St. Clair's Dakota Conwell twice this season. When we start making Fabulous 22 selections next week, he'll get my vote.
*** Monessen gets spanked by Springdale. That Tri-County South Conference reputation took another hit with that loss.
*** North Hills and Woodland Hills meet in the AAAA semifinals. They played in the second week of the season and North Hills won, 7-0. The big difference this time around is that Lafayette Pitts is playing for Woodland Hills. He didn't play the first time. He had 177 yards rushing tonight against Mt. Lebanon in overtime win.
*** What's your opinion? Does Perry QB Greg McGhee deserve to be on the Fabulous 22. He's definitely the best player in the City League. Is he one of the best 22 in the WPIAL/City League?
*** I love it. North Hills Jack McCurry was wearing a jacket on the sidelines that I think was from the 1980s. Other great site of the night was seeing Mark Kelso's parents at the game. Mark, the former Buffalo Bills defensive back, is a former North Hills player. His dad was wearing an old Buffalo Bills jacket and hat. Priceless sight.
*** Tune in the Post-Gazette High School Show Saturday morning from 8 to 10 a.m. Yours truly and Don Rebel of MSA Sports are the hosts. We'll have a few guests also.
*** I wonder how much of a difference it would have made if Connor Scott doesn't get hurt on the first play of the game for Upper St. Clair against North Hills? He didn't return. He's a talented safety and also had been running the ball well lately.
*** What an impressive win by Mars against West Allegheny. I really thought West Allegheny had a good chance to win the WPIAL It's a shame Mike Caputo never got to play his senior year.
*** Should Central Valley's Mark Lyons be coach of the year, just getting the team this far in its first year of existence?
*** Clairton is ridiculously good.
*** Not a great game last night for Pitt quarterback Tino Sunseri. Why do people expect him to be great all the time? He is now what he was in high school at Central Catholic. A decent quarterback. Not great and not bad. I think people are expecting way too much from him.
Live blog from North Hills-Upper St. Clair WPIAL Class AAAA quarterfinal game, plus reports from other games around the WPIAL.
FINAL SCORE: NORTH HILLS 16, UPPER ST. CLAIR 14
Stats and notes later.
Aliquippa beats Beaver, 35-0
10:02 p.m. - avonworth beats North Catholic, 17-3
WOODLAND HILLS HAS TIED UP MT. LEBANON 22-22 WITH 18 SECONDS LEFT.
9:59 p.m. - 44 seconds left. USC has ball at own 45.
9:58 p.m. - North Hills facing fourth down at its own 28. 53 seconds left. Will have to punt.
Beaver Falls 28, Keystone Oaks 0
Springdale has defeated Monessen, 30-6
From Rick Smith: Clairton 47, Bishop Canevin 0 - Final
Mt. Lebanon has gone ahead of Woodland Hills, 22-14. Luke Hagy 1-yard TD run.
Rochester has won big. 35-0 over Beth-Center
NAllegheny has defeated Bethel Park, 23-13
9:50 p.m. - USC Dakota Conwell throws 6-yd TD pass to Colditz with 3:48 left in game to make it 16-14. USC goes for two. Conwell stopped by Josh Neurohr and Kevin Corcoran. NH still leads 16-14
Final: Central Catholic 10, Gateway 0 .... Montour beats Indiana, 36-14
9:46 p.m. - Dakota Conwell scored on 5-yard run, but it called back because of holding call. Tough call. But NH had a pass interference penalty only a few plays later that was questionable.
9:38 p.m. - USC on move again. Dakota Conwell putting game on his shoulders.
9:33 p.m. - North Hills just turned over the ball on downs at USC 24.
9:30 p.m. - Mark DeVita having great game for North Hills. 5 catches for 132 yards.
TJ gets fourth TD pass from Ryan Crouse and TJ leads Hopewell, 38-21. Still 2:51 left in the third quarter.
End of the third quarter and North Allegheny leads Bethel Park, 17-13.
9:23 p.m. - End of third quarter and North Hills leads USC, 16-8..... Also end of the third and it's still W. Hills and Mt. Lebanon tied, 14-14. .... Lafayette Pitts has 29 carries for 161 yards for Woodland Hills and Luke Hagy has 24 for 84 for Lebo.
Rushel Shell scores on 61 yard TD run and it's 31-21 TJ over Hopewell.
NA gets a field goal and leads Bethel Park, 17-13
TJ leads 31-14 over Hopewell.
9:16 p.m. - This one has gotten interesting. Great play by USC QB Dakota Conwell on scramble. Throws 21 TD pass to Chris Colditz and Harris Beck catches two-point conversion. Suddenly it's 16-8 2:22 left in the third quarter.
9:14 p.m. - West Allegheny has scored. Mars now leads WA, 9-3, fourth quarter
9:12 p.m. - Mercy rule. South Fayette has taken a 41-6 lead on Freeport.
9:10 p.m. - Midway through third quarter and North Hills still leads, 16-0. NH Brody Zangaro INT on 1-yard line few minutes ago to stop USC drive.
Rushel Shell 99-yard kickoff return for Hopewell and cuts TJ lead to 28-14.
TJ scores again. Crouse to Schademan again for TD and it's 28-7 Thomas Jefferson.
Lafayette Pitts returns second-half kickoff for TD and Woodland Hills has tied Mt. Lebanon, 14-14
Rushel Shell has only 49 yards on 14 carries in first half
Have a report that Seton-LaSalle QB Dave O'Brien is out of the game with an apparent head injury.
Dave Hintemeyer comments: "TJ has shut down Rushel Shell in the first half big time."
Ford City leads Seton-LaSalle, 28-14.
South Fayette 27, Freeport 6 halftime. South Fayette has yet to punt.
SCORES FROM VARIOUS PEOPLE
Central Valley 9, Knoch 0
South Fayette 20, Freeport 0
Aliquippa 7, Beaver 0
In Class AAA, Montour leads Indiana, 29-0.
Beaver Falls in front of Keystone Oaks, 7-0
Rochester ahead of Beth-Center, 7-0
8:36 p.m. - Halftime stats: North Hills pretty much dominating. 237 yards to USC 87. Steve Dutkowski 8 of 10 for 166 yards and Mark DeVita 3 catches for 85 yards.
Mars leads West Allegheny, 9-0, at the half. I think by now we need to say Mars is for real.
Mt. Lebanon comes back and takes 14-7 lead on Woodland Hills. Lebo scored two TDs in final 3:24 of the half. Pat Goff hit Luke Hagy on 15-yard TD pass on the final play of the half. Both scores set up by Woodland Hills fumbles.
8:30 p.m. - North Hills drives for field goal on fiinal play of half. Mark DeVita, the backup kicker, makes 23-yard field goal on final play and North Hills leads, 16-0, at the half. DeVita having a big game at receiver with three catches for 85 yards.
Central Catholic leads Gateway, 10-0, at halftime.
Mt. Lebanon scores, but misses extra point and Lebo trails Woodland Hills, 7-6.
Thomas Jefferson scores again. Jaguars lead Hopewell, 21-7.
From Rick Smith of North Hills radio, Bethel Park has come back and sliced North Allegheny lead to 14-10.
8:12 p.m. - Thomas Jefferson gets 12-yard TD pass from Ryan Crouse to Zach Schademan and Jaguars lead Hopewell, 14-7
8:08 p.m. - North Hills' Steve Dutkowski strikes again. Throws 43 yards to Mark DeVita. Then Taylor Schmidt comes in at QB and runs 10 yards for touchdown. PAT bad snap. North Hills leads, 13-0, 6:18 left in the half. Dutkowski well over 100 yards passing.
Central QB Perry Hills back into the game for Central Catholic.
From Dollar Bill Brink: Mars leads West Allegheny, 6-0, in second quarter.
8:02 p.m. - USC will have trouble doing much offensively unless it can complete some passes.
NORTH ALLEGHENY ON TOP OF BETHEL PARK, 14-0
7:58 p.m. - North Hills using as many as three QBs. Steve Dutkowski doing the throwing. Has completed passes to five different players already.
7:56 p.m. - Big news from Stormin Norman. Central QB Perry Hills hurt and is out of the game.
7:55 p.m. - Rushel Shell carries for TD and Hopewell ties Thomas Jefferson, 7-7.
7:54 p.m. - END OF FIRST QUARTER, NORTH HILLS 7, UPPER ST. CLAIR 0
7:52 p.m. - Without Connor Scott (injured first play of game), USC looks like it won't have much of a running game, unless QB Dane Conwell breaks off some long runs, which he is capable of.
7:50 p.m. - From Sargeant, Everett, Lafayette Pitts 2-yard TD run and Woodland Hills leads Mt. Lebanon, 7-0. Pitts carried 15 times for 83 yards on scoring drive.
7:48 p.m. - Thomas Jefferson gets TD run by Rob Ruffing. They lead Hopewell, 7-0. This from PG's Mike Sanserino.
7:47 p.m. - On fourth and goal from the 27, Steve Dutkowski hits Mark DeVita on 27-yard TD pass. PAT good, 7-0, North Hills
7:44 p.m. - From Stormin Norman. Alex Papson short TD run. NA leads Bethel Park, 7-0. .... Also, Central Catholic leads Gateway, 7-0.
7:37 p.m. - Three and out first two possessions for each team.
7:30 p.m. - Big development on first play of game. USC standout DB-RB Connor Scott hurt. Ankle injury. He missed much of the sesaon with an ankle injury. That's a big loss for USC. Scott was helped off the field and didn't put any weight on the left ankle.
NORTH HILLS - USC PREGAME
Chris Shovlin play by play and legnedary former coach Don Yannessa doing play by play for Comcast television. Game will be shown tomorrow at 7 p.m. on FYI channel and also available "On Demand." Good stuff check it out.
Stuff like this is what makes Western Pennsylvania football special. In the stands on the North Hills side are the parents of former North Hills player Mark Kelso, who had a long career in the NFL with the Buffalo Bills (played in Super Bowls).
It's good stuff. Mr. Kelso is in his old Buffalo Bills coat and red and blue Bills hat. See the photo. OK, it's not a great photo, but you get the idea, right?