Will Southmoreland break long playoff drought? ....... Other notes

Written by Mike White on .

Things that fell off my laptop ...

Four years ago, Deer Lakes made the WPIAL football playoffs for the first time in the school's 35-year history.

Last year, West Shamokin and Summit Academy made the playoffs for the first time. Also in 2013, Avella broke the longest playoff drought in the WPIAL, making the postseason for the first time since 1976.

Is it Southmoreland's turn to break into the playoffs this year?

With Avella making the postseason last year, Southmoreland now has the WPIAL's longest playoff drought. It has been 35 years since the Scotties made it. Southmoreland is tied for third place in the Class AA Interstate Conference with a 2-1 record (2-2 overall). The top four teams make the playoffs.

Southmoreland has conference wins against Charleroi and Brownsville. The Scotties are tied with McGuffey, but McGuffey beat Southmoreland, 42-17.

It is very likely Southmoreland's playoff hopes will come down to a Week 7 game against Waynesburg, which is 2-2 in conference. It still will be tough for Southmoreland to beat Waynesburg and make it. Waynesburg's two losses tell you something. They were 28-20 to Washington and 28-27 to Mount Pleasant. Both Washington and Mount Pleasant are 4-0.

Incidentally, Southmoreland's 1979 playoff appearance was the only one in school history. Southmoreland lost in the first round to a strong Penn Hills team, 31-0. Penn Hills QB Tom Flynn (played DB at Pitt and in the NFL) ran and passed for more than 100 yards in the game. Penn Hills also had stud lineman Bill Fralic.

McGuffey makes noise

Will we see McGuffey in the playoffs for the first time since 2009? This looks like Ed Dalton's best team since he became coach. James Duchi has been a force for the Highlanders, rushing for 572 yards on 52 carries. McGuffey is 3-1 overall.

The 2008 and 2009 McGuffey teams are the only ones to make the WPIAL playoffs since the Highlanders won the WPIAL Class AAA title in 1994. It should be pointed out that McGuffey played in Class AAA most of those years, and is now in Class AA.

Jackson will play soon

Quaker Valley quarterback/defensive back Dane Jackson hasn't played in a game yet this season because of a knee Dane Jacksoninjury sustained in the preseason. But he said he expects to play soon. Jackson (pictured) started running last week and is cutting this week. Will he play Friday against Steel Valley? That's hard to say, but he could be back next week.

Think about it

Clairton is averaging a whopping 75 points in four games. Only two WPIAL boys basketball teams averaged more points last season - Vincentian and Lincoln Park.


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