WPIAL 3A-6A Championship Predictions
"Road to Heinz" is finally here as Championship Day is less than 24 hours away. Below are previews for each championship game as well as a score prediction for each. Game Day notes: Weather looks great for each game with temps around mid-60s, 8mph winds, and only 10% chance of precipitation. Also, ROOT will be caring the first two games live and will tape-delay the last two championship games due to regulations involving the Pittsburgh Penguins. Without further delay, here we go!
6A Championship - Game time is 8PM:
#1 Pittsburgh Central Catholic (11-1) vs. #6 Seneca Valley (8-3)
Central Valley comes into the championship unscathed during the WPIAL run with their only loss being an opening weekend match-up against St. John's College in DC. Central Catholic will ride with their dominant offensive line with the help of QB Troy Fisher and RB JJ Younger getting the ball across the line of scrimmage. Seneca Valley has had more of an up-and-down stretch making a late run in the playoffs. The Raiders have lost to the second and third ranked teams during the regular season (North Allegheny and Pine-Richland) and have also lost to PCC in week 5 by a score of 42-14. Repeat that score and you have your result once again - PCC wins convincingly 42-14 over SV in the 6A Championship, picking up their 6th title as well.
5A Championship - Game time is 2PM:
#1 West Allegheny (11-0) vs. #3 McKeesport (9-2)
The 5A Championship is setting up as another blowout, this time involving West Allegheny and McKeesport. McKeesport slipped into the number three seed in the playoffs and has had a nice run to the championship. The big factor in this game will be the success of McKeesport's offense versus the suffocating defense of the Indians. The Indians have only given up 88 points all season. Expect that to be the same - with the suffocating defense and the smooth likes of QB Nick Ross and RB Kenny White, West A's dominance continues as they pick up their 8th title, winning 42-13.
4A Championship - Game time is 5PM:
#1 Thomas Jefferson (11-0) vs. #7 New Castle (8-4)
The 4A Championship game may provide us with the most entertainment on the evening, with a dominant team during the regular season in Thomas Jefferson and the ever-so-peeking-at-the-right-time New Castle Red Hurricane. Although New Castle does have the most losses of the remaining teams in WPIAL, the Red Hurricane have lost to possible champion Aliquippa Quips and have avenged two previous losses during the season by beating South Fayette and Ringgold when it mattered most. Both teams rely heavenly on the QB position, but in different ways - NC via the run with Geno Stone and TJ via the pass with Bobby Kelley. The one possible advantage for TJ may be their running specialist in Quinton Hill who has 26 touchdowns. If that's not the case, TJ can rely on their defense that has only given up 59 points all season. Unfortunately we have to choose between two hot teams throughout the year - passing game will play the spoil as TJ will top New Castle in a late 4th quarter drive to seal the deal, winning their 7th title 35-31.
3A Championship - Game time is 11AM:
#1 Aliquippa (10-2) vs. #2 Beaver Falls (10-1)
The final match-up discussed here is actually the first one on the day at Heinz. Quips and Tigers. What more do you want. Throughout the entire 10-game season (Including Week 0) talk has been about how one team if not two would be hurt for the playoff system set up by the WPIAL/PIAA. No matter, as both Aliquippa and Beaver Falls proved once again the best two teams make it to the end. The Quips are led by backfield duo Davion Jones and Avante McKenzie, where the Quips once again have a tandem that has gone over 1,000 yards rushing each respectively. The Quips may not have the stats of last year offensively, but the Quips are not only looking to repeat in the title game, but also add their 16th title. The Tigers are looking for their first title since 1984...with this in mind the biggest factor was all the way back at week 1 where the Quips beat the Tigers convincingly 44-13. However, both these teams have taken different rides to get here, BF on a 10 game winning streak and Aliquippa smooth sailing on the back end of the schedule. Just like 4A, we have to choose a winner - One cannot go against the tradition, history, and stats that have been outlined - Aliquippa proves to be able to handle the Tiger's explosive offense, racking up 6 touchdowns, winning the game 44-28.
Well there you go folks, the 4 Championships at Heinz. Look for updates throughout the night on our twitter page as well as results from 1A and 2A games!