Freeport draws Beaver Falls in 1st-round matchup
TribLIVE Sports Videos
For a second consecutive year, Freeport finished the regular season with a 7-2 overall record and a share of the Allegheny Conference title — both years, it owned the head-to-head edge.
Last fall, that performance earned the Yellowjackets a No. 4 seed, their best placement since 1992, in the Class AA playoffs and a matchup with the fourth-place finisher from the Midwestern Conference, Ellwood City.
This time around, the WPIAL football steering committee showed less faith in Freeport.
At the WPIAL pairings meeting Monday night in Green Tree, the Yellowjackets (7-2) emerged as the No. 7 seed in Class AA. They were placed higher than conference co-champ Burrell (8-1), which lost to Freeport, 26-7, earlier this fall and consequently received the No. 8 spot. But they still drew a notably formidable foe in No. 10 Beaver Falls (7-2), which placed third in the Midwestern Conference behind top-seeded Aliquippa and No. 5 Beaver.
“They're a very, very talented team, so we have to prepare as well as we possibly can,” Freeport coach John Gaillot said of the Tigers. “You're in the dance, so anything can happen. That's the way we have to approach it.”
A lopsided nonconference loss to Washington in Week 8 likely contributed to Freeport's less favorable seed. The Yellowjackets fell, 60-6, to the Prexies, who received the No. 3 seed in Class AA Monday.
Gaillot actually described the setback as a positive experience for the Yellowjackets. He noted that Freeport's offense found some success running the ball; the team finished with 182 yards.
Unfortunately, Washington more than doubled Freeport in total yardage.
“No one really even gave us a shot at moving the ball on them,” Gaillot said. “With Wash High, we were a little star-struck at the beginning with all of their athletes. That was huge test, and after watching films, (we) saw that we could compete with that and that they shouldn't be so star-struck next time.”
Apollo-Ridge (6-3), the third-place team in the Class A Eastern Conference, also must limit its awestruck moments if it hopes to contend with its first-round opponent, Monessen (8-1), which features Division I prospects Chavas and Justice Rawlins.
The Vikings, playoff qualifiers for the first time since 2007, received the No. 12 seed and will travel to meet the No. 5 Greyhounds, whose only loss came against No. 1 Clairton.
“It wasn't a big shocker for us,” coach John Skiba said. “I don't know how happy we are with a No. 12 seed, but in any case, we'll move ahead. … There's a lot of anticipation for what's to come.”
Among the things Skiba wished he could better anticipate is weather developments.
The potential storm problems led Apollo-Ridge to announce a two-hour delay for Tuesday. Skiba hopes no further action occurs this week, as district policy dictates that school cancellation extends to all extracurricular activities.
Hurricane Sandy might also affect Freeport's plans for Friday's home game. WPIAL executive director Tim O'Malley announced Monday that teams with grass fields have until 9 a.m. Thursday to switch their game's location to a facility with artificial turf. After the deadline, the WPIAL alone can determine if an alternate location is necessary and will pick a neutral site.
O'Malley also said there's the possibility of postponing Friday games to 2 p.m. Saturday. He did not specify which happens first, the location change or the date change.
Bill West is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 724-543-1303.
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.
- Inside the ropes: Shazier shows off speed
- Steelers hope new faces breathe life into team
- Steelers notebook: Team hasn’t called on Keisel, Harrison yet
- 1 intruder killed, other shot and wounded in Carrick home invasion
- Police say naked woman stabs three women during street fight in McKees Rocks
- Steelers’ Spence confident he can avoid injury setbacks
- Big Ten media days notebook: Commissioner discusses hot-button issues
- NFL notebook: Ex-Steeler Sanders picks Manning over Big Ben
- Pennsylvania Turnpike Southern Beltway extension gets funding
- Congressmen ask NCAA to relax PSU penalties
- Foreign influx in Allegheny County at ‘tipping point’