Tonight's live WPIAL semifinal blog will come from the Woodland Hills-Upper St. Clair game. Follow the blog for score updates of other semifinal games. If you have a score update, tweet it with #wpial.
Below are semifinal predictions. But before that, here is one piece of news:
Aaron Krepps has resigned as football coach at Belle Vernon. Krepps, a former star player at Belle Vernon, was the Leopards' coach for five seasons. His record was 22-28 but he did guide the Leopards to the playoffs every year.
Now for WPIAL semifinal predictions. Last week's record 14-2.
Upper St. Clair vs. Woodland Hills - The biggest key to this game is injuries. Woodland Hills' 1,000-yard rusher Miles Sanders hasn't played for a few games. Upper St. Clair's Trevor Morrow missed some time last week. It might be easier to pick a winner if we knew the status of those players. That being said, whoever wins up front on the lines will win. These two met at Baldwin in last year's semifinals with Woodland Hills cruising to a win. It will be different this time. Winner: Upper St. Clair
Penn-Trafford vs. Central Catholic - For getting his team to the semifinals, Penn-Trafford coach John Ruane would be a good candidate for coach of the year. But Central Catholic's lines and running game is just too good for the Warriors to advance another round. Luigi Lista-Brinza's running (pictured) will be a major reason why Central Catholic stays undefeated after losing in the semifinals in 2010 and 2011. Winner: Central Catholic.
Central Valley vs. Thomas Jefferson - This is one of the best games in any classification. Central Valley won last week because of some big plays. Thomas Jefferson usually is pretty good at stopping big plays. Winner: Thomas Jefferson.
West Allegheny vs. Franklin Regional - The key is whether Franklin Regional's defense can withstand West Allegheny's running game. West Allegheny has four running backs with at least 300 yards rushing, led by Chayse Dillon (pictured) with 974. QB Andrew Koester has thrown for more than 1,200 yards. Oh yeah. West Allegheny's defense is pretty good, too. Franklin Regional will need a big game from QB Charan Singh to have a chance. Winner: West Allegheny.
Beaver vs. Aliquippa - The last time Beaver was in a WPIAL championship, Pat Tarquinio was the coach, a kid named Shiloh Icenhour the star running back and they beat a Jeannette team that featured a future Parade All-American quarterback in Dante Wiley. That was 1982. Unfortunately for Beaver fans, they will have to wait even longer to see their team back in the title game. Winner: Aliquippa.
Beaver Falls vs. South Fayette - This is a terrific matchup of teams with different styles. South Fayette likes to pass. Beaver Falls likes to run. That being said, I think the play of Beaver Falls QB Danny Stratton and South Fayette's running game could have a huge bearing on this contest. One thing makes me wonder a little about Beaver Falls' defense. The Tigers struggled to beat Beaver, 30-24. Beaver likes to pass. So does South Fayette. Winner: Beaver Falls.
Clairton vs. Sto-Rox - I never like to count out a Clairton team, especially one that has won 22 WPIAL playoff games in a row. But the Bears' defense has showed some holes this season, and Sto-Rox puts a lot of stress on defenses. But Sto-Rox's defense better be on top of its game. Winner: Sto-Rox.
Neshannock vs. North Catholic - North Catholic lost starting QB Adam Sharlow when these two teams met late in the season. I thought the loss of Sharlow might doom North Catholic's chances of getting to Heinz Field. But P.J. Fulmore has done a nice job at QB and the Trojans' defense has been very good all season. Controlling Neshannock QB Ernie Burkes will be a key. Winner: North Catholic.