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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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Live Friday night blog - Central Valley beats West Allegheny, 28-17

Written by Mike White on .

Live blog from showdown of unbeatens - West Allegheny at Central Valley. For score updates and notes on other games, look to the right of this blog at the @PGVarsityXtra Twitter account. If you have a score or update, tweet it to @PGVarsityXtra or tweet it with #wpial

FINAL: CENTRAL VALLEY 28, WEST ALLEGHENY 17

Central Valley finishes the season with a perfect 9-0 record. Defense was outstanding.

CENTRAL VALLEY 28, WEST ALLEGHENY 17

Preston Johnson 1-yard run with 1:06 left.

10:15 Looks like CV is going to win. Halfback pass Jordan Whitehead halfback pass to QB John George to the 1.

10:11 CV now at West Allegheny 17. 2:25 left.

10:08 Ryan Roberson 39-yard TD run called back because of holding.

10:02 Great job again by Central Valley defense. Forces a three and out.

9:58 West Allegheny takes over at Central Valley 44 with 7:06 left. A sack and personal foul penalties backed up Central Valley.

END OF THIRD QUARTER: CENTRAL VALLEY 21, WEST ALLEGHENY 17

9:42 Central Valley punts. West Allegheny first down at own 15.

9:39 Fourth-and-1, West Allegheny's Stephens stopped for 2-yard loss by CV's Chase Miladin. CV takes over at West Allegheny 42, late in the third.

9:33 Jordan Whitehead looks like cramping up. He's had problems with cramps other times in his career.

9:31 Really, West Allegheny's offense hasn't been able to do much of anything tonight.

9:31 Three and out for West Allegheny

9:29 I came in thinking West Allegheny's defense might be difference. But Central Valley's is just as good. Actually, tonight CV has been better.

CENTRAL VALLEY 21, WEST ALLEGHENY 17

Central Valley goes 66 yards in seven plays and Jordan Whitehead caps with 8-yard TD run. 6:37 left in third. 

9:22 QB John George hurting West A with his running.

9:20 West Allegheny goes three and out on first possession

Below, West Allegheny's Christian Stout takes the ball away from B.J. Powell for a first-half interception (Photo by P-G's Matt Freed

West A-CV


9:13 Second half under way 

Franklin Regional crushing Gateway 39-10

Upper St. Clair leading Mt. Lebanon, 28-14.

Penn Hills staying with Woodland Hills. Tied, 7-7, at half

Hampton leading Mars 14-7 in third. Hampton trying to go undefeated for first time since 2001

Waynesburg looks to be on its way to playoffs, leading Derry 21-13

FIRST HALF STATS

At least by the stats, Central Valley outplayed West Allegheny. Central Valley held West Allegheny to three first downs in first half and 105 total yards. Central Valley had nine first downs and 156 total yards.

Little surprise. McGuffey beating Washington 14-7 late in the third

8:40 Crazy plays for sure this half. CV's Maurice Sims intercepts pass at 35. While returning it, fumbles and West Allegheny recovers and takes over at own 40 with 1:22 left in half.

8:35 Central Valley goes backwards on its possession. Short punt and West A takes over at CV 44 with 3:08 left in half.

WEST ALLEGHENY 17, CENTRAL VALLEY 14

D.J. Opsatnik gets 43-yard field goal just to go over crossbar

8:28 What a change in momentum. Central Valley looked to be going ahead. B.J. Powell looked like he was heading into the end zone with a long pass catch. But he bobbled the ball a few times trying to catch it. Christian Stout grabbed it at the 2-yard line, returned it to the CV 31 and CV was hit with a personal foul penalty that put the ball at the CV 31.

8:23 Five penalties now for West Allegheny. Not like them.

8:21 Central Valley ball first down at the 23.

8:18 Central Valley outgained West Allegheny, 146-96, in first quarter.

Quaker Valley giving South Fayette a hard time. 21-14 SF at half

Woodland Hills and Penn Hills tied, 7-7

8:15 End of first quarter and we're tied 14-14.

WEST ALLEGHENY 14, CENTRAL VALLEY 14

Great play. Fourth and 3, everyone thinks Whitehead will get ball. They fake handoff to Whitehead on jet sweep. John George keeps and goes 39 yards up middle for TD. Schmidt PAT good. 1:55 left in first.

8:07 Chris Callaghan did so well at QB for CV when John George was hurt. But it's been all George tonight. He is a senior. It is is senior night.

8:06 West Allegheny goes three and out. Central Valley getting lot pressure up front from DLine.

WEST ALLEGHENY 14, CENTRAL VALLEY 7

Central Valley moves 80 yards in 11 plays for score. BJ Powell caps it with 11-yard TD pass from John George. 5:10 left first quarter.

7:59 Central Valley on move. Now at Weest Allegheny 11. Nice mix of pass and run by Central Valley.

WEST ALLEGHENY 14, CENTRAL VALLEY 0

West Allegheny another TD. On second play of possession, Andrew Koester throws to Tyler Scanlon 10 yards downfield. Central Valley defender tries for INT, overruns play, and Scanlon goes rest of way for 55 yard TD play. 

Quips rolling again. Aliquippa over Beaver Falls 21-6

7:47 Central Valley turns ball over on downs at WA 44. Third-and-short and fourth-and-short, Whitehead doesn't touch ball either time.

7:43 First play after kickoff, Whitehead speeds 69 yards for TD. Wait. Called back procedure penalty.

WEST ALLEGHENY 7, CENTRAL VALLEY 0

Second play after turnover, Chayse Dillon goes 30 yards for TD. D.J. Opsatnik kick. 11:10 left first quarter. 

7:39 Mistake on kickoff. Jordan Whitehead fumbles. West Allegheny Kamren Cornell recovers at Central Valley 30.

7:37 Carla, the wonderful athletic office administrator, press box hostess who has lived in district for 27 years, says she has not seen a crowd this big ever here.

7:35 Late start. TV rules.

PREGAME

A sea of pink awaits Central Valley player entrance to the field

Central Valley pink

Since 1980, there have been 20 regular-season finales matching undefeated and untied teams. This is the 21st.

Great atmosphere here. Parking lots were pretty much filled by 6 p.m. Mastrangelo Hill outside the stadium is crowded. Root Sports doing the game live on TV.

Press box overflowing with media. John "the Mayor" Lee doing the game with Rob Matzie on "Pickle" radio.

 

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Dozen predictions to go - Week 9

Written by Mike White on .

It seems like about only a week or two ago, it was Labor Day weekend - and high school football was starting.

Where has the season gone?

You blink and it's the playoffs. This is the final weekend of the WPIAL regular season. But really, the season overall isn't close to being concluded. After tonight, there are still SEVEN weeks left with the WPIAL and PIAA playoffs.

So, here are a dozen predictions to go for tonight.

Last week: 9-3 (again)

Season: 71-25 (.740 pct.)


WPIAL CLASS AAAA

Penn Hills at Woodland Hills - If Penn Hills doesn't put the ball on the ground, the Indians can stay with Woodland Hills. But this is the time of year when Woodland Hills usually starts peaking. Winner: Woodland Hills.

North Hills at North Allegheny - You could make an argument that this is the best rivalry in WPIAL football. North Allegheny leads the all-time series, 28-27. The winner of this game finishes third in the Northern Eight and gets a home game. I'd say both of these teams are sort of "sleepers" for the WPIAL playoffs. They won't win the championship, but both can make some postseason noise. Something tells me to go with the home team, but ... Winner: North Hills.

Upper St. Clair at Mt. Lebanon - Both of these teams are in the playoffs, but this rivalry game will decide some playoff positioning. This certainly hasn't been a good year for Upper St. Clair, by its standards. Winner: Mt. Lebanon.

WPIAL CLASS AAA

West Allegheny at Central Valley - Game of the night. Heck, it's one of the best games of the season. Two undefeated teams meeting in the regular-season finale doesn't happen all too often. Root Sports will carry the game live. This is a hard game to pick. Central Valley's Jordan Whithead could be the X factor. But West Allegheny's defense might be the deciding factor. Winner: West Allegheny.

Mars at Hampton - Mars will give Hampton a battle, but the Talbots should finish the regular season undefeated for the first time in 13 years. Winner: Hampton.

Gateway at Franklin Regional - Gateway has come on some after a rough start. But Franklin Regional is still a step ahead. Winner: Franklin Regional.

Moon at Montour - Third place in the Parkway Conference is on the line. Just going by comparative scores, you have to go this way: Winner: Montour

WPIAL CLASS AA

Shady Side Academy at Highlands - Shady Side Academy showed something last week with a road win at Kittanning. Another road win against a better team is a little too much to ask. Winner: Highlands.

Washington at McGuffey - McGuffey has done some terrific things under coach Ed Dalton. James Duchi is a 4,000-yard rusher for McGuffey. But Washington looks to be better overall. Winner: Washington.

Beaver Falls at Aliquippa - Beaver Falls has only one loss. The Tigers are yet another team to bring an impressive record into "The Pit." And they will be yet another team that leaves "The Pit" battered and bruised. Winner: Aliquippa.

WPIAL CLASS A

Vincentian at Riverside - This isn't two of the best teams in Class A meeting, but this has playoff implications. If Riverside wins, it is in. Count the Panthers in. Winner: Riverside.

Fort Cherry at Chartiers-Houston - Another game with playoff implications. Chartiers-Houston won four in a row, but has lost the past two. The streak won't reach three. Winner: Chartiers-Houston. 

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Does Clairton have a shot at national scoring record? ..... Other notes

Written by Mike White on .

The Clairton football team would have to continue scoring at a torrid pace and win WPIAL and state championships to have a chance at the national record for scoring. But hey, the Bears at least are on pace for the record.

A year ago, Aledo High School in Texas set the national record for points in a year with 1,023, breaking the mark of 903 set in 2001 by Albemarle, N.C. Aledo played 16 games on the way to the record.

Clairton BearIt's pretty safe to say Clairton has a chance to go on and win WPIAL and PIAA Class A championships. That would give the Bears 16 games. Well, after eight games, Clairton actually has more points than Aledo did after eight games a year ago.

Clairton has 556 points after eight games. Aledo had 544 after eight last year.

If Clairton won the WPIAL title and made it to the PIAA title game, Clairton would need to average 58.4 points a game. That's a lot, considering the Bears should face a few formidable foes in the WPIAL final four or the PIAA final four. Although Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic and Neshannock hasn't scored as much as Clairton, they are strong teams standing in Clairton's way. You can bet they would like to have a few things to say about the WPIAL title and this scoring record.

For right now, the most interesting thing involving Clairton will be whether the Bears or North Catholic will be the No. 1 seed for the WPIAL playoffs. As stated, North Catholic  hasn't scored as much as Clairton, but the Trojans have also been impressive and they have won 24 in a row.

DiNucci's memorable season

Pine-Richland quarterback Ben DiNucci has a good chance to put himself among the best single-season passers in the WPIAL in 35 years.

DiNucci has thrown for 2,206 yards this season. He has a chance to move into second place for the most yards in the regular season since 1979 (that was the first year the Post-Gazette started keeping WPIAL statistics).

Pine-Richland ends their regular season Friday. Right now, DiNucci is only 56 yards away from fifth place. Seton-LaSalle's Bill Stuff threw for 2,262 in 2003. DiNucci seemingly can't catch the No. 1 mark since 1979, which is 2,754 yards by Seton-LaSalle's Bruce Gradkowski in 2000.

But the 2-4 places are 2,471 yards (Penn-Trafford's Jeff Palladino in 1989), 2,359 yards (Penn-Trafford's Tony Zimmerman in 1993) and 2,295 yards (North Catholic's Jason Schanbacher in 2004).

And one last impressive stat on DiNucci. He has thrown 25 touchdown passes this season and only two interceptions.

Who will win West Allegheny-Central Valley?

Here is this week's version of This Week In High School Sports on Varsity Xtra with yours truly and Terry Shields. We talk about the West Allegheny-Central Valley showdown as well as some other big games this weekend. In "Just Askin" we discuss who should be the No. 1 seeds?

 

 

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WPIAL playoff picture: Who is in so far

Written by Mike White on .

The WPIAL football regular season wraps up this weekend. Who is in and who is out of playoff contention? Well, so far 53 of the 64 spots have been filled.

There are three conferences in both Class AAAA and AAA. In those two classes, the top five teams in each conference qualify along with one "wild-card" sixth place team.

In Class AA and AA, there are four conferences. So, the top four teams in each conference qualify.

Here is a capsule look at the playoff picture:

WPIAL CLASS AAAA

Foothills Conference Penn-Trafford is first, McKeesport second. Altoona, Norwin and Plum have clinched spots. Connellsville has a good chance at getting the wild-card spot.

Northern Eight - Pine-Richland is first, Central Catholic second. North Hills plays North Allegheny Friday. The winner is third and the loser is fourth. Fox Chapel is fifth. Butler is alive for the wild-card spot, but must beat Central Catholic.

Southeastern - Woodland Hills, Penn Hills, Bethel Park, Mt. Lebanon and Upper St. Clair have all clinched. Woodland Hills plays Penn Hills Friday for the No. 1 seed.

WPIAL CLASS AAA

Big Nine - Thomas Jefferson is first, Ringgold second, West Mifflin is third and Belle Vernon also has qualified. Trinity, Elizabeth Forward and Laurel Highlands are all still alive.

Greater Allegheny - Hampton is first. Franklin Regional also is in, but has not clinched second yet. Nothing else has been settled. Indiana, Mars, Gateway, Hollidaysburg and Knoch are all alive for the final two spots and the wild card.

Parkway - The winner of West Allegheny at Central Valley Friday is first and the loser is second. Montour and Moon also have clinched and play Friday for third place. New Castle also has clinched and could still finish fourth. Ambridge and Chartiers Valley are alive for the wild-card spot.

WPIAL CLASS AA

Allegheny - Highlands is first, Apollo-Ridge second, Shady Side Academy third and Kittanning fourth.

Century - South Fayette is first, Seton-LaSalle second and South Park third. Steel Valley qualifies with a win or a Quaker Valley loss to South Fayette. Quaker Valley can make it only with a win and a Steel Valley loss to South Allegheny.

Interstate - Washington plays McGuffey for first place. Mount Pleasant also has qualified. Either Waynesburg or Southmoreland will be four. If Waynesburg beats Derry, Waynesburg is fourth. Southmoreland can qualify only if it beats Mount Pleasant, and Waynesburg loses.

Midwestern The winner of Beaver Falls at Aliquippa is first. Beaver and New Brighton also have qualified. There could be a three-way tie for second.

WPIAL CLASS A

Big Seven - Neshannock is first, Shenango second and South Side Beaver third. If Riverside beats Vincentian, Riverside is fourth. If Vincentian wins and South Side Beaver beats Western Beaver, then Vincentian is fourth. If Vincentian and Western Beaver win, then Western Beaver is fourth with more Gardner Points.

Black Hills - This is updated Monday. The wrong info was on the blog earlier. It is now: Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic is first, Avonworth second and Brentwood third. Chartiers-Houston is fourth if it beats Fort Cherry. If Fort Cherry wins and Avonworth beats Northgate, then Fort Cherry is fourth. If Fort Cherry and Northgate win, Northgate finishes fourth with more Gardner Points.

Eastern - Clairton is first. Jeannette, Greensburg Central Catholic and Springdale also have qualified. Monessen and Riverview can't qualify no matter what happens this weekend. If Springdale beats Riverview and Jeannette beats GCC, then Springdale is third and GCC fourth. If GCC wins, it is second, Jeannette third and Springdale fourth.

Tri-County South - Beth-Center is first, Frazier second, Mapletown fourth. There are many scenarios that could happen with the fourth spot. Jefferson-Morgan, Carmichaels, Avella and Bentworth are all alive for the fourth spot.

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