Five things we learned in Week 8 of high school football
Anyone have a spare quarter?
It’s looking likely the WPIAL will need a coin flip to break a three-way tie for first place in the Class A Tri-County South. If head-to-head results, Gardner Points and the WPIAL’s margin-of-victory formula can’t break a tie, the deciding factor becomes chance.
The WPIAL hasn’t needed a coin flip in years.
It was used in 2002 to break a second-place tie between Canon-McMillan and McKeesport. Head-to-head wasn’t a tiebreaker at that time but was included in 2003, adding another layer to the system.
However, head to head won’t solve the Tri-County South dilemma.
West Greene (6-1), California (5-1) and Monessen (5-1) each have one loss in the conference. West Greene lost to California, Monessen lost to West Greene, and California lost to Monessen. They’re also tied in Gardner Points and margin of victory.
If California defeats Mapletown (0-9, 0-6) by 10 points or more in Week 9, and Monessen does the same against Avella (2-7, 1-5), all three teams will be deadlocked for first.
West Greene has a nonconference finale.
If co-champions or tri-champions are all qualified for the playoffs, the WPIAL traditionally lets the football committee decide the seeding order. But in this case, only the first two finishers earn a home playoff game, so the tie must be broken.
If all three finish with one conference loss, whoever finishes third will earn a Class A wild-card berth.
It’s also possible that the Class 5A Allegheny Eight and the Class 3A Big East could finish with a three-way tie at the top. If so, those ties can be broken with Gardner Points or the margin-of-victory formula.
South Fayette has special teams weapon
South Fayette’s Ryan Coe showed why Division 1 coaches are recruiting him to kick in college. The senior proved his leg strength with a 51-yard field goal in the fourth quarter of Friday night’s 55-0 victory over Ambridge.
The 6-foot-2, 225-pounder committed in September to Temple over an offer from Delaware.
Coe’s kick was only four yards short of the WPIAL record. East Allegheny’s Josh Miller, who later played soccer at Duquesne, kicked a 55-yarder in 2002.
Coe also made a 30-yarder Friday giving him seven field goals for the season. On kickoffs, he’s sending 76 percent into the end zone for touchbacks.
Wilson follows Sto-Rox tradition
Sto-Rox has graduated some of the top passers in WPIAL history, a quarterbacks list that includes Lenny Williams (8,058 yards), Adam DiMichele (6,953) and Paul Jones (5,667).
Now, Eric Wilson is gaining ground on them.
The Vikings junior passed for 445 yards on Friday night, giving him 4,367 for his career, good enough for fifth-best in Sto-Rox history. The 6-3, 180-pound Wilson completed 21 of 37 attempts and threw three touchdowns in Friday’s 51-26 loss to Laurel.
He leads the WPIAL this season with 2,673 passing yards.
Six plus six equals 72 points
Avonworth’s Jax Miller scored six touchdowns on Friday and so did McGuffey’s Christian Clutter.
Six is rare, but not unheard of. What made their night a little different was they were scoring them head to head. The two running backs accounted for 72 of the 99 combined points that McGuffey and Avonworth scored in their nonconference game. McGuffey won 57-42. A fourth-quarter touchdown run by Miller had Avonworth to within 44-42, but Clutter scored twice more to pull away.
Clutter, a senior, scored on runs of nine, 11, one, 11, 80 and eight yards. Miller, a junior, had touchdown runs of eight, 12, 41, two and eight yards, and caught a 35-yard score.
After rivalry game, a week to relax
North Allegheny and Pine-Richland will have a Friday night off in two weeks. They’ve clinched the top two seeds in Class 6A, earning them a first-round bye in the WPIAL playoffs.
North Allegheny (9-0, 7-0) had wrapped up one of the byes in Week 7, and Pine-Richland (8-1, 7-0) clinched the other with a victory Friday over Seneca Valley, 21-7. They’ll each host home games a week later in the semifinals.
What isn’t decided is which team is first and which is second. That will be determined in Week 9 when the two rivals meet at North Allegheny’s Newman Stadium.