Share This Page

WPIAL Class AAA semifinal matchup: West Mifflin vs. Central Valley

| Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012, 7:26 p.m.
Christopher Horner
Central Valley's Robert Foster catches a touchdown pass over West Allegheny's Jake Johnson during the second quarter Friday September 28, 2012 in Center. Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
West Mifflin running back Jimmy Wheeler (26) avoids a Knoch defender while returning the opening kickoff for 68 yards on Friday, Nov. 2, 2012, at West Mifflin Titan Stadium. Ronald Vezzani Jr. | For the Tribune-Review

Class AAA semifinals: (7) West Mifflin (10-1) vs. (3) Central Valley (9-2), 7:30 p.m. Friday at North Allegheny

If contrasting styles make for compelling fights, West Mifflin and Central Valley could produce a special WPIAL Class AAA semifinal Friday night at North Allegheny.

Central Valley's exceptional talent against the precision of the Titans' ball-control offense illustrates two contrasting teams with one common goal — to play next week at Heinz Field.

Led by tailback Jimmy Wheeler, the first West Mifflin running back to top 2,000 yards in a season, and an offensive line that has dominated almost every team in its path this season, West Mifflin is fresh off an upset over No. 2 seed Mars and feeling confident.

“It's not going to be easy,” West Mifflin coach Ray Braszo said. “But beating a team like that last week does have us feeling good. It's not cockiness, but it is confidence.”

Braszo's style is simple, but it works. He wants his team to run the ball effectively and have time-consuming drives, and against an explosive team like Central Valley, such a game plan is required.

Central Valley coach Mark Lyons knows what West Mifflin will do Friday, and he also knows having advanced knowledge of the Titans' plan is worthless.

“That's the thing about Coach Braszo's teams over the years,” Lyons said. “They don't try to trick you. His teams are going to be fundamentally sound, they're going to execute as well as anyone and they won't make mistakes. That's what they do. His teams have been that way for a long time, and nothing has changed.”

If West Mifflin is the stoic, predictable team in this matchup, Central Valley is the opposite.

Boasting one of the WPIAL's best players and one of its most explosive offenses, Central Valley would rather turn this contest into a shootout.

West Mifflin, Braszo promises, will have an eye on Central Valley wideout Robert Foster throughout the contest.

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.