WPIAL Class AAAA semifinal matchup: Woodland Hills vs. Upper St. Clair
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Class AAAA semifinal: Woodland Hills (9-2) vs. Upper St. Clair (10-1), 7:30 p.m. Friday at Baldwin Stadium
There is shutdown defense, then there is what Upper St. Clair has been playing.
Upper St. Clair is the only team in the WPIAL playoffs in any classification not to allow a postseason point, and the Panthers are going to play a Wolverines squad they defeated by 19 in the Aug. 31 season opener. It will be the first time the two will have played each other in the postseason since Woodland Hills won in the 2005 quarterfinals.
“It's hard for both of us to play a team we've played before, but you look at what they did well against you before and how they've done in their recent games because they've evolved to where they're at,” Woodland Hills coach George Novak said. “Playing Upper St. Clair ... they're one of the best defenses in the WPIAL year in and year out, and their offense, with all its motions, is tough to prepare for.”
Woodland Hills also will be handcuffed a bit. The Wolverines will play without one of their top offensive weapons, freshman running back Miles Sanders, who suffered an undisclosed injury last week and already has been ruled out against Upper St. Clair.
Sanders gained 17 yards in the first meeting.
“We threw the ball a little on them, but we weren't able to run the ball at all,” Novak said. “We won't have Miles this week, so we'll let him take the week off and see what happens.”
Panthers quarterback Pete Coughlin ran for three fourth-quarter touchdowns in the first game between the teams, but Woodland Hills is coming off one of its best defensive performances of the season. It held the Gateway rushing attack to minus-39 yards on 18 carries.
“When you're in the playoffs, every game's different, and against Gateway, our first objective was to stop the run and not let them throw deep on us,” Novak said. “We were able to contain their run, and they threw the ball 49 times on us. That was a lot of passing, but our secondary did a nice job and against St. Clair, it's going to be totally different.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins lose hard-fought game to Blue Jackets in overtime
- Unabashed church pastors put politics front and center
- Contractor eyes early finish to work on New Stanton interchange of Interstate 70
- Unsung backups provide boost for Steelers defensive line
- Body found in Allegheny River in Harrison
- Starkey: Flashback Friday for Pitt
- Former Pirates pitcher Happ agrees to $36 million, 3-year deal with Blue Jays
- Pitt falls flat in finale loss to Miami
- Penguins notebook: Players prepared for tough schedule in minors
- Puppy, pals come to rescue of Lower Burrell firefighters
- Recalling ‘White Friday’ storm that paralyzed Mid-Mon Valley in 1950