Monessen, Neshannock back to C-H
The Monessen Greyhounds will be returning to the scene of last year's heart-breaking quarterfinal loss to Neshannock.
Third-seeded Monessen (10-1) meets No. 6 Neshannock (8-2) at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Chartiers-Houston.
Last season, the Lancers beat the Greyhounds, 24-21, with a last-second touchdown from the one-yard line.
Monessen coach Andy Pacak said he has no qualms going back to the “scene of the crime” for this year's rematch.
“When we watch the tape of that game, it brings to mind what we often tell our kids — just do your job and don't get caught trying to do too much because it can burn you,” Pacak said. “In that last drive last year, there were four or five circumstances that could have been avoided if we didn't have this kid or that kid trying to do to much and just do his job.
“We will watch that tape again, but just to see what we did wrong.”Pacak said once the brackets came out, he fully expected his team would meet Neshannock in the second round.
“I did expect to see them, but I also expected some of their kids would have matriculated,” he said with a hearty laugh. “They look on tape to be pretty much the same team we faced a year ago.”
Pacak said his staff won't be preaching revenge in practice this week. Instead, they will continue the theme that has been stressed all season.
“After last season, the kids realize how close we were to moving on to the semifinals,” he said. “From day one this season, our theme has been to raise the bar. Every day, every week, every game just keep raising the bar.
“If we want to advance past this game, we know this week we need to raise the bar a little more.”
The WPIAL released its sites for the quarterfinal playoff games Monday.
In Class AA, No. 14 Yough (6-4) will meet No. 6 Beaver Falls (8-2) at Canon-McMillan, also at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Yough's uncharted waters
Yough will be hoping for an encore after last week's historic victory.
When Yough knocked off previously unbeaten and third-seeded Kittanning, 57-42, not only was it an eye-opening upset, it was the first playoff win in the school's history.
Up next is a Beaver Falls team that at one time was considered one of the best in AA and has actually scored more points than the pass-happy Cougars (412-335).
Coming up with a more exciting playoff performance will be tough, but coach Mark Crovak will have an entire week to come up with something to throw against the Tigers.
• Elizabeth Forward will be host to a playoff game Friday (7:30 p.m.) as Clairton (9-1) takes on Fort Cherry (10-1) in a rematch of Black Hills rivals. Clairton beat the Rangers, 36-28, on Sept. 27.
• After the first round, predictably, there has been a lot of “chalk” as favorites have dominated.
In all four classes, the only top four seed to have lost is Kittanning in AA.
• Monessen playoff tickets will be sold at the school Wednesday and Thursday.
Tickets will be sold each day 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m. at the high school office, and 6 to 8 p.m. at the athletic office.
Ticket prices are $5 for students and $7 for adults. No student tickets will be sold at the game.
Monessen Athletic Director Gina Naccarato encouraged fans to buy their tickets in advance because the school gets a greater share of the proceeds from advance ticket sales.
Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or firstname.lastname@example.org.