Breaking down the WPIAL Class AAAA football bracket
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Favorite: North Allegheny (9-0), the two-time defending league champion, hasn't lost a WPIAL playoff game since 2009. That eight-game streak could reach 12 with 1,721-yard passer Mack Leftwich and an attacking defense.
Challengers: Gateway (8-1) challenged NA better than anyone else this season in a 14-3 loss Oct. 5 in Monroeville. Thomas Woodson, the second-leading passer in AAAA (1,688 yards, 18 TDs) and a skilled defense could lead the Gators to Heinz Field. Quad Central rivals Upper St. Clair (8-1) and Mt. Lebanon (7-2) each have history with NA: USC was runner-up in 2011; Mt. Lebanon lost to NA in Week 1, 39-14.
Dark horse: Since a lopsided Week 3 loss to NA, Seneca Valley (8-1) has averaged more than 45 points in its six victories, led by RB Forrest Barnes' 23 TD runs.
Prediction: North Allegheny over Gateway
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