WPIAL Class AAA semifinal preview: West Allegheny vs. Franklin Regional
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Class AAA Semifinals
No. 1 West Allegheny (11-0) vs. No. 4 Franklin Regional (10-1)
7:30 p.m. Friday at North Allegheny
West Allegheny coach Bob Palko has a different opinion of the Greater Allegheny Conference than some.
As he prepares his team for a third consecutive WPIAL Class AAA playoff game against a team from the Greater Allegheny conference — a semifinal-round battle against conference co-champion Franklin Regional — Palko said the conference is a lot stronger than people think.
“People say the Parkway Conference is pretty strong and I agree, but the Greater Allegheny Conference has a lot of tough teams,” Palko said. “Franklin Regional is good, very good.
“They have a lot of talented, skilled players, and their defense is physical and sound. They're hitting on all cylinders.”
But so is West Allegheny, according to Franklin Regional coach Greg Botta.
“They're a very fundamentally sound football team,” Botta said. “They execute better than any team we've faced. They're close to flawless.”
Both teams are similar in their approach to the game. Both run the wildcat, different running backs and play aggressive defense.
Last week against West Mifflin, Franklin Regional's defense allowed Jimmy Wheeler to rush for 226 yards. But when the Panthers needed a stop, the defense, led by linebackers Kevin Slezak, Nate Fleck and Brett Zanotto, made the stops.
“They run 61 different formations,” Botta said. “But they run only six or seven plays, and they do it well.”
— Paul Schofield
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.
- Burrell-Valley rivalry matchup built on respect
- Valley News Dispatch/Leader Times Q&A: Armstrong’s Nate Baillie
- Valley will feature dynamic duo in Bradley, King
- Don’t miss matchups for Week 1 of WPIAL football season
- Game of firsts approaches for Armstrong football
- Connellsville football team prepares for difficult stretch to start season
- DC Picks: Prognosticator is primed for new season
- Daily News Q&A: Steel Valley’s Diego Lopez
- Technology goes to Birdie’s head
- Montour seeks early Parkway edge against defending champion Central Valley
- Hydration, nutrition are key factors in avoiding early-season cramps