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Breaking down the WPIAL Class A football playoffs

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Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Sto-Rox quarterback Lenny Williams carries the ball against Neshannock on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013, at Sto-Rox.
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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. 28, 2013, 10:18 p.m.
 

Favorite: Sto-Rox could halt Clairton's five-year reign as Class A champion. The Vikings are led by senior QB Lenny Williams, the WPIAL's career passing leader who has thrown for 1,855 yards and 28 touchdowns this season.

Challengers: Clairton, Fort Cherry and Monessen tied atop the Black Hills, but Clairton has the best playoff pedigree; the Bears won the past four state titles. North Catholic escaped the Eastern Conference unbeaten with close victories over Apollo-Ridge (22-21) and Avonworth (21-12). Neshannock's only losses were at Sto-Rox (34-31) and at North Catholic (21-14). Beth-Center went undefeated but still must prove itself after a weak schedule and will be tested by No. 9 Apollo-Ridge in the first round.

Don't overlook: Avonworth allowed just 67 points in nine games. The 7.4 points-per-week average was best in Class A.

Prediction: Sto-Rox over North Catholic

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