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Live Friday night blog - Mars beats Montour, 42-27

Written by Mike White on .

Live blog from Friday's WPIAL Class AAA first-round playoff between Mars and Montour. For score updates and notes from other games, look to the right at @PGVarsityXtra's Twitter account. If have a score, photo or note, send it to @PGVarsityXtra or tweet with #WPIAL

FINAL: MARS 42, MONTOUR 27 


Rinaman scores his sixth TD of the night with 29 seconds to go. Has more than 200 yards rushing.

MARS 35, MONTOUR 27

Randall LaBrie throws 10-yard TD pass to Kailen Grimm. But PAT blocked. Second one blocked this game.

10:02 Six minutes left. Still 35-21

9:52 Big play by the Mars defense. Montour driving. QB LaBrie has pass tipped by Mars player and then Montour player and into hands of Mars Justin Taylor at his own 18-yard line.

MARS 35, MONTOUR 21

First play of second quarter. Ori Rinaman goes 35 yards for a touchdown. Brake kick.

Mars winning battle up front. That's difference now in this game.

9:41 END OF THIRD QUARTER

MARS 28, MONTOUR 21

31-yard touchdown run David Haseleu on option pitch from LaBrie.

 Jeannette comes back and takes 22-19 lead on Brentwood.

Upset alert: Plum beating Penn Hills, 17-7

MARS 28, MONTOUR 14

Mars came out and played smash mouth. 8 plays. 70 yards. TD. Ori Rinaman gets his fourth TD of the night. This one comes from 21 yards out.

9:16 Mars driving. At Montour 30. 

9:11 Second half under way.

Surprise scores: Brentwood beating Jeannette, 19-7. Besides Clairton, that Eastern Conference isn't looking too good.

Penn-Trafford has come back and taken 17-13 lead on Fox Chapel. Thought it might be only matter of time.

Few other scores: Hampton leading New Castle, 12-7.

Beaver leading South Park, 20-7

MARS 21, MONTOUR 14, HALFTIME

What a change in momentum. Third down less than minute in half. Montour at its own 10. Halfback pass on third down. Impressive freshman Rob Carmody intercepts and returns to 9. Ori Rinaman scores on next play. PAT good with 33 seconds left in half.

MARS 14, MONTOUR 14

Ori Rinaman scores on 6-yard TD run. Kick good by Brake. We're tied. 12 plays, 80 yard drive.

Sounds like a great game. Apollo-Ridge beating Beaver Falls, 22-20, in second quarter.

8:30 Two Montour personal foul penalties and Mars is now at Montour 22.

Central Catholic leading Norwin, 14-7

Could Tri-County South get a win? Beth-Center leading Riverside, 14-7

MONTOUR 14, MARS 7

Montour drives 64 yards in seven plays for TD. Logan DeBoer catches two point pass from LaBrie.

8:16 Montour on move. To Mars 6. A few complete passes.

7:12 Montour takes over at 36. Don't think there will be much passing in this game.

Wow. Penn-Trafford now losing to Fox Chapel, 13-3.

MARS 7, MONTOUR 6

After INT by Montour's Trent Vietmeier, Randall LaBrie scores on next play. PAT blocked. Mars leads, 7-6, 11:47 left in half.

North Catholic on way to 26th consecutive win, leading Avella, 23-0

End of first quarter and Fox Chapel still leads Penn-Trafford, 7-3.


END OF FIRST QUARTER: MARS 7, MONTOUR 0

At start of second quarter, Mars will have third-and-5 on its own 31.

Eli Mencer TD run for Altoona, and 'toona leads Bethel Park, 7-0. Altoona has never won a WPIAL playoff game.

North Allegheny leading Upper St. Clair 7-0 at end first quarter

Early surprise: Fox Chapel leads Penn-Trafford, 7-3. Casey Aunkst kicks field goal for Penn-Trafford. This Casey is a female.

7:54 Montour digs in. Mars loses 5 yards on four plays. Montour takes over. 3:33 left in first quarter.

Woodland Hills up on North Hills 7-0.


7:52 Montour fumbles away ensuing kickoff. Mitch Verplank recovers for Mars.

Looks like South Fayette will stretch winning streak to 26. Up 14-6

MARS 7, MONTOUR 0

Ori Rinaman scores on 3-yard run. PAT good. 52-yard drive. One completed pass.

7:46 Mars on move. Down to Montour 15.

7:42 Turnover. QB Randall Labrie loses ball, John Castello recovers at Mars 48.

7:38 Under way. Montour ball. Can't help but notice 6-3, 380-pound defensive lineman Marshall Robinson.

PREGAME

7:23 Ten minutes before game and there can't be 200 people here. Attendance at many of these first-round games is not good. Just doesn't seem to be that much interest. Couple that with poor weather and crowds tonight could be horrible at a lot of places.

7-10 games in the NCAA basketball tournament are always interesting. This is a 7-10 game in the WPIAL. Mars is 10 and Montour 7. Really a tossup game. It could hinge on how well Montour's defense against the run.

I'd say this interesting. At many places around the stadium, there are these mini-posters: "In Lou We Trust."

Is it a message to Montour superintendent Donald Boyer ? In August, Boyer suspended Lou Cerro as Montour athletic director. Cerro was still allowed to coach.

Cerro said this week he has no idea where the situation or suspension stands. He said he has been told nothing. Judging from talks with people in the community and other coaches, and these signs, Cerro has a lot of support.

Lou Cerro we trust

 

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WPIAL, City League predictions

Written by Mike White on .

Varsity Blog program note: Tonight's live blog will come from Mars at Montour. Check to the right of the blog for @PGVarsityXtra's Twitter account that will give score updates and notes from other playoff games. If you have a score, photo or note, "tweet" with #WPIAL

Now, onto the predictions. We're through with a "dozen predictions to go." Look here for predictions for every WPIAL playoff game tonight and the rest of the way, as well as the City League championship prediction.

Last week was a little rough. The record was 7-5. Season record is now 76-30 (.717 pct.).

CITY LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP

Allderdice vs. Brashear - It has been 47 years since Allderdice won a title. The wait ends. Allderdice has been the best team in the City all year, and that won't change tomorrow.

WPIAL CLASS AAAA

North Hills at Woodland Hills - Both teams are coming off losses last week. Line play will be the key to this one. Woodland Hills running back Miles Sanders (pictured) is averaging 13.1 yards a carry. Winner: Woodland Hills.

Upper St. Clair at North Allegheny - Second meeting of the year between these two. Render vs. Walker again. Upper St. Clair is fresh off a nice win against Mt. Lebanon. NA is a team that could make some playoff noise. Winner: North Allegheny.

Bethel Park at Altoona - Altoona rejoined the WPIAL a few years ago. Altoona has never won a WPIAL playoff game, although the Lions have been in only two. It's a long bus ride for Bethel Park to Altoona. The ride home won't be bad, though. Winner: Bethel Park.

Mt. Lebanon at McKeesport - Mt. Lebanon seems to be leaking oil heading into the playoffs. Winner: Mt. Lebanon.

The others - Pine-Richland over Connellsville; Penn Hills over Plum; Central Catholic over Norwin; Penn-Trafford over Fox Chapel (Connellsville hasn't won a playoff game since 1994 and Fox Chapel since 1997).

WPIAL CLASS AAA

Mars at Montour - Might be the best game of the weekend. Mars opened some eyes by beating previously unbeaten Hampton last week. If Mars runs the ball with success, it will win. Winner: Montour.

Gateway at Ringgold - Huh. The last time these two teams met was exactly 11 years ago, Halloween night 2003. Gateway won in a romp. I still wonder how good Ringgold is, despite its 8-1 record. I also wonder how good Gateway is. Winner: Ringgold.

West Mifflin at Indiana - West Mifflin has the WPIAL's leading rusher in DiAngelo Mitchell. I keep going back and forth on this one. Winner: Indiana.

 

THE OTHERS - Central Valley over Laurel Highlands (LH has NEVER won a playoff game); Hampton over New Castle; Thomas Jefferson over Moon; West Allegheny over Knoch; Franklin Regional over Belle Vernon.

WPIAL CLASS AA

Beaver Falls at Apollo-Ridge - Beaver Falls is in the playoffs for the eighth consecutive year, and is 6-1 in first-round games. But I like this Apollo-Ridge team because of Tre Tipton (pictured) and Duane Brown. Beaver Falls can't let them get to the edge. Winner: Apollo-Ridge.

South Park at Beaver - South Park hasn't won a playoff game since 2005. The Eagles certainly have enough to win this game, but I say home-field advantage will mean something. Winner: Beaver

New Brighton at Highlands - New Brighton hasn't won a playoff game since 2001. Winner: Highlands.

THE OTHERS - South Fayette over Waynesburg; Seton-LaSalle over McGuffey; Aliquippa over Kittanning; Mount Pleasant over Shady Side Academy; Washington over Steel Valley.

WPIAL CLASS A

Greensburg Central Catholic at Neshannock - Neshannock is coming off the first undefeated regular season in school history. The good times continue. Winner: Neshannock.

South Side Beaver at Frazier - South Side Beaver was winless a year ago and now the Rams try to win their first playoff game 2008. Meanwhile, it has been 31 years since Frazier won a playoff game. Winner: Frazier.

Riverside at Beth-Center - Beth-Center, Frazier and the Tri-County South earn some respect this year. Winner: Beth-Center.

THE OTHERS - Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic over Avella; Avonworth over Mapletown; Clairton over Chartiers-Houston; Shenango over Springdale; Jeannette over Brentwood.

 

 

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WPIAL football playoff pairings

Written by Mike White on .

The top seeds for the WPIAL football playoffs are Pine-Richland (Class AAAA), Central Valley (AAA), South Fayette (AA) and Cardinal Wuerl Catholic (A).
The WPIAL announced the seedings and playoff pairings tonight at a meeting at the DoubleTree Hotell in Green Tree. The playoffs begin Friday and all first-round games are played at the home site of the higher-seeded team. The quarterfinals and semifinals will be played at neutral fields and all four championship games will be at Heinz Field Nov. 21.
Below are the first-round pairings (the top eight seeds in each class are in parentheses next to the teams):
CLASS AAAA – Connellsville at Pine-Richland (1); Fox Chapel at Penn-Trafford (2); Norwin at Central Catholic (3); Plum at Penn Hills (4); Mt. Lebanon at McKeesport (5); North Hills at Woodland Hills (6); Upper St. Clair at North Allegheny (7); Bethel Park at Altoona (8).
CLASS AAA – Laurel Highlands at Central Valley (1); Moon at Thomas Jefferson (2); Knoch at West Allegheny (3); New Castle at Hampton (4); Gateway at Ringgold (5); Belle Vernon at Franklin Regional (6); Mars at Montour (7); West Mifflin at Indiana (8).
CLASS AA – Waynesburg at South Fayette (1); Kittanning at Aliquippa (2); Steel Valley at Washington (3); New Brighton at Highlands (4); McGuffey at Seton-LaSalle (5); Beaver Falls at Apollo-Ridge (6); Shady Side Academy at Mount Pleasant (7); South Park at Beaver (8).
CLASS A – Avella at North Catholic (1); Chartiers-Houston at Clairton (2); Greensburg Central Catholic at Neshannock (3); Riverside at Beth-Center (4); Mapletown at Avonworth (5); Brentwood at Jeannette (6); Springdale at Shenango (7); South Side Beaver at Frazier (8).

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WPIAL football bracketology: The pairings should be ...

Written by Mike White on .

The WPIAL football steering committee meets tomorrow to decide seedings and football playoff pairings. But I'm going to save the committee some time.

The pairings and seedings should be ...

But before we get to that, a few thoughts. It seems a consensus that Pine-Richland should be No. 1 in Class AAAA, despite Penn-Trafford's undefeated record. I'm good with that. And although Thomas Jefferson is undefeated in Class AAA, I get the feeling that the majority of coaches and fans think Central Valley should be No. 1 in Class AAA. I'm good with that.

Class AA and A are a little different. South Fayette (AA) and Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic (A) are the defending champs and undefeated this season. But Aliquippa (AA) and Clairton (A) have been so impressive and dominating that some feel they should get the No. 1 seeds. After all, we are talking about this season and not last.

But it's not like South Fayette and North Catholic haven't dominated the competition, too.

Now before my first-round pairings, it needs pointed out sometimes you can't truly seed teams exactly the way you want for two reasons. First, teams with home games get seeded in the top eight. Secondly, the WPIAL does not match teams in first-round games from same conferences. That sometimes affects seedings.

For what it's worth, first my seedings, followed by first-round matchups:

CLASS AAAA

SEEDS -  I think Central Catholic should definitely be seeded ahead of Penn Hills, even though Central is not a conference champ. Just because I think Central Catholic is a better team. Secondly, I don't think Pine-Richland should have to play Central Catholic in the semifinals if the two make it that far. So, ...

1. Pine-Richland. 2. Penn-Trafford. 3. Central Catholic. 4. Penn Hills. 5. McKeesport. 6. Woodland Hills. 7. North Allegheny. 8. Altoona.

FIRST-ROUND MATCHUPS - Connellsville at Pine-Richland; Fox Chapel at Penn-Trafford; Norwin at Central Catholic; Plum at Penn Hills; Mt. Lebanon at McKeesport; North Hills at Woodland Hills; Upper St. Clair at North Allegheny; Bethel Park at Altoona.

CLASS AAA

Class AAA and AAAA have a wild-card team that finished in sixth place. But nowhere does it say that wild-card team has to be the No. 16 seed. In this class, Knoch is the wild-card team, but I don't think the Knights deserve the No. 16 seed. They have two quality wins against Mars and Franklin Regional. I put Laurel Highlands at No. 16. I actually think Moon should be seeded 15. 

SEEDS - 1. Central Valley. 2. Thomas Jefferson. 3. West Allegheny. 4. Hampton. 5. Ringgold. 6. Franklin Regional. 7. Montour. 8. Indiana.

FIRST-ROUND MATCHUPS - Laurel Highlands at Central Valey; Moon at Thomas Jefferson; Knoch at West Allegheny; Belle Vernon at Hampton; Gateway at Ringgold; New Castle at Franklin Regional; Mars at Montour; West Mifflin at Indiana.

CLASS AA

SEEDS - 1. South Fayette. 2. Aliquippa. 3. Washington. 4. Highlands. 5. Seton-LaSalle. 6. Mount Pleasant. 7. Beaver. 8. Apollo-Ridge.

FIRST-ROUND MATCHUPS - Waynesburg at South Fayette; Kittanning at Aliquippa; Steel Valley at Washington; South Park at Highlands; Shady Side Academy at Seton-LaSalle; New Brighton at Mount Pleasant; McGuffey at Beaver; Beaver Falls at Apollo-Ridge.

CLASS A

SEEDS - 1. Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic. 2. Clairton. 3. Neshannock. 4. Jeannette. 5. Avonworth. 6. Beth-Center. 7. Shenango. 8. Frazier

FIRST-ROUND MATCHUPS - Avella at North Catholic; Riverside at Clairton; Chartiers-Houston at Neshannock; Mapletown at Jeannette; Greensburg Central Catholic at Avonworth; South Side Beaver at Beth-Center; Springdale at Shenango; Brentwood at Frazier.

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Redbank Valley QB sets state passing record ..... WPIAL playoff clinchings

Written by Mike White on .

Before we get to the WPIAL playoff clinchings, check this out: A quarterback set a state record for passing yards in a game Friday night.

And his team lost.

Redbank Valley lost to Clarion, 58-46, in a District 9 game. Redbank Valley's Jake Dougherty set a state record for passing yards with 614. He broke the record of 594, set by Brockway's Derek Buganza in 2009. 

Clarion was led by running back Ian Corbett, who ran for 397 yards. So, two players had 1,011 yards between them. 

WPIAL PLAYOFF CLINCHINGS

Now for who is going to the WPIAL playoffs. All spots are filled. The only thing yet to be decided is third and fourth place in the Eastern Conference.

Playoff pairings will be announced Monday night.

*-home team for first-round game.

CLASS AAAA

Foothills Conference – *1. Penn-Trafford. *2. McKeesport. *3. Altoona. 4. Plum. 5. Norwin.

Northern Eight – *1. Pine-Richland. *2. Central Catholic. *3. North Allegheny. 4. North Hills. 5. Fox Chapel

Southeastern – *1. Penn Hills. *2. Woodland Hills. 3. Bethel Park. 4. Upper St. Clair. 5. Connellsville

Wild-card team - Connellsville

CLASS AAA

Big Nine – *1. Thomas Jefferson. *2. Ringgold. 3. West Mifflin. 4. Belle Vernon. 5. Laurel Highlands.

Greater Allegheny – *1. Hampton. *2. Franklin Regional. *3. Indiana. 4. Mars. 5. Gateway.

Parkway – *1. Central Valley. *2. West Allegheny. *3. Montour. 4. New Castle. 5. Moon

Wild-card team - Knoch

CLASS AA

Allegheny – *1. Highlands. *2. Apollo-Ridge. 3. Shady Side Academy. 4. Kittanning.

Century – *1. South Fayette. *2. Seton-LaSalle. 3. South Park. 4. Steel Valley.

Interstate – *1. Washington. *2. Mount Pleasant. 3. McGuffey. 4. Waynesburg.

Midwestern – *1. Aliquippa. *2. Beaver. 3. Beaver Falls. 4. New Brighton.

CLASS A

Big Seven – *1. Neshannock. *2. Shenango. 3. South Side Beaver. 4. Riverside.

Black Hills – *1. Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic. *2. Avonworth. 3. Brentwood. 4. Chartiers-Houston.

Eastern – *1. Clairton. *2. Jeannette. 3. If Springdale beats Riverview today, then Springdale is third and Greensburg Central Catholic fourth. If Springdale loses, GCC is third and Springdale fourth.

Tri-County South – *1. Beth-Center. *2. Frazier. 3. Mapletown. 4. Avella.

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