High school football notebook: WPIAL quarters bring rematches for 8 teams
By Chris Harlan
Published: Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013, 8:36 p.m.
For the second time in two months, Penn-Trafford will see McKeesport's tricky-to-stop triple-option offense.
Four rematches made the WPIAL playoff schedule for Friday night, including a Class AAAA quarterfinal between the Quad East foes. When they met Week 4, McKeesport won, 34-14, behind the rarely seen flexbone offense favored by coach George Smith.
But not many teams face it twice in one season.
“It's beneficial,” Penn-Trafford coach John Ruane said. “I'm not going to say that it will make or break us stopping it, but it's definitely good to see it more than once.”
McKeesport rushed for 232 yards, but a couple of Penn-Trafford mistakes also helped decide that Week 4 matchup. Norwin hosts the rematch between No. 3 McKeesport (10-0) and No. 6 Penn-Trafford (7-3).
“We watched the last game and used it as a teaching tool,” Ruane said. “It's beneficial for both teams, not just us.”
The other rematches are Avonworth vs. North Catholic, Fort Cherry vs. Clairton and Seton-La Salle vs. South Fayette. Of those three, two were decided by fewer than 10 points: North Catholic's 21-12 victory in Week 6, and Clairton's 36-28 victory in Week 5.
“Having already prepared for them once, you have the benefit of looking back four weeks ago,” Avonworth coach Duke Johncour said, “and seeing what you think you can do better.”
Aliquippa could become the first WPIAL team with two 4,000-yard career rushers on the same roster.
Quips senior Terry Swanson needs just 244 to reach the milestone, according to team statistics. He has 3,756 career yards, including 1,127 this season on 83 carries. Dravon Henry already has 5,220 yards.
Henry needs fewer than 200 yards to break his school's career rushing record. Aliquippa's Chico Williams finished with 5,417 in 1992.
Coaches always talk about tough schedules, but did anyone have it worse than 1-8 Riverside?
Consider, the Panthers played six playoff teams, including arguably three of the four best in Class AA: Aliquippa, South Fayette and Beaver Falls.
Riverside also played Class AAA No. 10 New Castle, Class AA No. 9 New Brighton and Class AA No. 12 Beaver, which upset fifth-seeded Shady Side Academy last weekend.
What down year?
Not many football teams can claim they've never had a bad year. Central Valley can.
The Warriors could earn their 40th victory in just four seasons Friday night. A win against Mars also would give the 2010 WPIAL champion its fourth consecutive trip to the Class AAA semifinals.
Root Sports will televise Friday's Class AAAA quarterfinal between North Allegheny and Upper St. Clair. The 7:30 p.m. game will be shown live.
Chris Harlan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @CHarlanTrib.
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