Only two weekends left in the WPIAL regular season. The Game of the Week tonight is West Allegheny at Woodland Hills. I will be there, so check @mwhiteburgh on Twitter for updates. Follow @kbarnes_pghsprt for updates from Gateway-McKeesport, and @dkarpen for Aliquippa-Central Valley.
The Aliquippa-Central Valley game tonight is big. Could Aliquippa miss the playoffs? If the Quips lose this one, they might not make the postseason. Aliquippa has made the playoffs 39 times, the most in WPIAL history.
Ever wonder what teams have been in the playoffs the most? Or what teams have made the fewest postseason appearances? You're in the right place. Here we go:
MOST WPIAL PLAYOFF APPEARANCES
Mt. Lebanon 35
Penn Hills 34
Upper St. Clair 34
North Hills 31
North Allegheny 29
FEWEST WPIAL PLAYOFF APPEARANCES
Our Lady of the Sacred Heart 0 (started football in only 2010)
Armstrong 1 (school opened in only 2015)
Summit Academy 1
Deer Lakes 2
West Greene 2
Altoona 3 (school played for many years in District 6)
South Allegheny 4
Quaker Valley 5
Central Valley 6 (school opened in only 2010)
Got to the bakery early today and got a hot dozen predictions to go. Was 10-2 last week to make season record 68-28 (.706 pct.)
WEST ALLEGHENY OVER WOODLAND HILLS - You wonder a little about the Wolverines after struggling to beat Moon last week. Can Woodland Hills crack the West Allegheny defense enough to win? I say no. West Allegheny has allowed only one touchdown in the past five games.
McKEESPORT OVER GATEWAY - Both teams were torched earlier this season by Zane Dudek. Since then, both teams have been playing well. Linebacker play and run support from Gateway defense will be key.
ALIQUIPPA OVER CENTRAL VALLEY - Central Valley got the three "toughies" at home this year - Beaver, Beaver Falls and now Aliquippa. The games against Beaver and Beaver Falls were close. This one will be, too.
OTHER TOP GAMES - Mt. Lebanon over Penn Hills; Penn-Trafford over Kiski Area; North Hills over Franklin Regional; Belle Vernon over West Mifflin; New Castle over Ringgold; Blackhawk over Montour; Apollo-Ridge over Valley; South Park over Elizabeth Forward; Keystone Oaks over Freeport.
Xtra, Xtra Read All About It
Check out these stories from today's Varsity Xtra section:
Why Not Zane? Zane Dudek has a lot going for him - except major-college scholarships. This story looks at why this record-breaking running back isn't being more heavily recruited. (P-G photo above by Pete Diana).
The kid making the tackle above is Devin Danielson, a Thomas Jefferson junior and looking like the next star defensive lineman from the WPIAL.
And Brian Batko takes a look at Blackhawk's turnaround season as coach Joe Lamenza went winless a year ago. Now the Cougars are on the verge of making the WPIAL playoffs.