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Breaking down the WPIAL Class AAAA football bracket

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Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Upper St. Clair quarterback Pete Coughlin.
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Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, 9:40 p.m.
 

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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