Monessen gets nod over Neshannock
TribLIVE Sports Videos
A great deal has been made about whether playing in a tougher conference would help Monessen come playoff time.
For all their years in the Tri-County South Conference, the Greyhounds won many conference crowns, yet rarely made it out of the Class A quarterfinals and sometimes failed to get past the first round game.
This year, playing in the Black Hills Conference, Monessen put together an impressive 9-1 season and meets upstart Neshannock (9-1) in a quarterfinal game at Chartiers-Houston tonight.
This is the kind of game the rugged Black Hills competition was supposed to prepare the Greyhounds for.
Even Clairton coach Tom Nola made note of this particular matchup, saying the game between the Greyhounds and Lancers could determine which conference is the toughest, the Black Hills or the Big Seven.
Monessen coach Andy Pacak said his players, particularly his juniors and seniors, have grown weary of hearing how they couldn't compete in the playoffs out of the weak T-C South.
He said they are anxious to show they are worthy of a run at the Class A title.
While Neshannock is a relative newcomer to the postseason and has never played a quarterfinal game in the program's history, the Greyhounds need to be wary of the Lancers.
Neshannock features a quick-strike, quick-paced spread offense that will challenge the Greyhounds' secondary.
In fact, both teams are similar in the skilled positions with big-play quarterbacks, quick, talented receivers and a potent running back.
The area where this game could be won is the line of scrimmage. If the Greyhounds can win the battle at the line, they could disrupt the Lancers' offensive flow.
Monessen's defense has been playing much better down the stretch, even though the secondary has still been a little suspect at times.
I'm not sure Monessen wants to get into a shootout with Neshannock, but the Greyhounds may have no choice.
This one could come down to who has the ball last.
Pick: Monessen, 34-28.
Taking a look at the other Class A semifinals:
• Clairton (9-0) vs. Brentwood (7-3). the first time these teams met, Brentwood's sprinkler system kicked on before the game and the field was a quagmire. Clairton still won, 42-7. The Bears won't be denied as they steamroll their way to a possible fifth consecutive title. Clairton, 54-14.
• Sto-Rox (9-1) vs. Union (7-3). A matchup of Big Seven rivals. Sto-Rox won the first meeting, 48-21. Sounds about right. Sto-Rox, 48-21.
• Rochester (9-1) vs. North Catholic (8-2). Two defensive-minded teams square off in what looks to be a low-scoring affair. North Catholic's lone venture this season against a Big Seven team wasn't so pretty as Neshannock hammered NC, 42-7. Rochester, 20-7.
Last week: 5-0. Season record: 67-14.
Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or email@example.com.
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.
- Penguins need trade-deadline acquisitions to bring toughness
- Rossi: Pirates’ post-Martin plan comes with a catch or 2
- West Kittanning still wrestling with whether to fix or replace patrol car
- Blue Jays’ Martin has ‘nothing but praise’ for former Pirates teammates
- Kittanning man the third sentenced in St. Patrick’s Day fatal beating
- Newest union plans picket outside ACMH Hospital in East Franklin
- Former NFL player humbly helped others
- CMU grad’s FunBites make healthy food appeal to kids
- ‘Time for bold change,’ Wolf says in outlining $30B state budget
- Trade deals good way to add jobs, CEOs say
- Artist born without arms, legs gives Hampton students peek into her world