Westmoreland County high school football don’t-miss matchups for Week 11
WPIAL Class 5A
No. 6 Penn-Trafford (9-2) vs. No. 3 Peters Township (9-2)
7:30 p.m. Friday, Titan Stadium, West Mifflin
On the air: TribHSSN.triblive.com
Last week: Penn-Trafford 42, North Hills 7; Peters Township 35, Armstrong 7
Winner plays: Winner of No. 1 Penn Hills (11-0)/No. 7 McKeesport (9-2)
Coaches: John Ruane, Penn-Trafford; T.J. Plack, Peters Township
Top players: Caleb Lisbon, Penn-Trafford (Jr., 6-0, 195, RB); Logan Pfeuffer, Peters Township (So., 6-0, 160, QB)
Keep an eye on: Ryan Magiske, Peters Township (Jr., 5-10, 180, RB)
Momentum: Penn-Trafford. The Warriors have not lost since August and take a nine-game winning streak into the second round.
Four downs: 1. Lisbon ran for 180 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Warriors to a first-round win over North Hills, their 12th straight win at Warrior Stadium. 2. The Warriors are looking for their fifth semifinal appearance since 2012. They got by Fox Chapel in the quarterfinals and Upper St. Clair in the semis last year to reach the title game at Heinz Field. 3. Magiske rushed for 100 yards and two touchdowns for Peters Township in the first round. Peters Township’s Aidan McCall returned an interception 38 yards for a touchdown in the win over Armstrong. 4. Neither team gives up much defensively. Penn-Trafford allows 11.5 points, Peters Township 13.8.
Extra point: Penn-Trafford scored 22 points in the second quarter last week, and the Indians scored 21.
No. 9 Franklin Regional (7-3) vs. No. 1 Gateway (11-0)
7:30 p.m. Friday, Norwin Knights Stadium, North Huntingdon
On the air: TribHSSN.triblive.com
Last week: Franklin Regional 56, Bethel Park 28; Gateway 63, Kiski Area 7
Winner plays: Winner of No. 13 Woodland Hills (5-6)/No. 5 West Allegheny (8-2)
Coaches: Greg Botta, Franklin Regional; Don Holl, Gateway
Top players: Mike Evans, Franklin Regional (Sr., 6-1, 180, WR); Derrick Davis, Gateway (So., 6-1, 185, RB)
Keep an eye on: Brendan Majocha, Gateway (Sr., 5-10, 175, QB)
Momentum: Gateway. The defending WPIAL champion Gators have not lost since last year’s state championship game in Hershey. They are averaging 50.7 points per game.
Four downs: 1. Gateway trounced Franklin Regional, 63-3, in Week 6. 2. Franklin Regional recovered an onside kick to open last week’s game on the way to its first playoff win since 2015. That was the last time the Panthers made the semifinals. 3. Quarterback Adam Rudzinski tossed three touchdowns to Evans in the first-round win. Evans had seven receptions for a career-high 243 yards and also intercepted a pass. 4. Gateway rolled up nearly 500 yards rushing against Kiski Area as Davis ran for 116 and three touchdowns, and Jaquan Thomas added 111 yards and two scores. The pair did that damage on just 21 combined carries.
Extra point: Freshman Anthony DiFalco made 8 of 8 extra points for Franklin Regional a day after he scored a goal in the Panthers’ 1-0 win over West Allegheny in the WPIAL Class AAA soccer championship.
WPIAL Class 4A
No. 3 Belle Vernon (9-1) vs. No. 2 South Fayette (10-1)
7:30 p.m. Friday, Joe Montana Stadium, Carroll Township
On the air: TribHSSN@triblive.com
Last week: Belle Vernon 49, Beaver 11; South Fayette 42, Greensburg Salem 6
Winner plays: Winner of No. 1 Thomas Jefferson (10-0)/No. 4 Blackhawk (10-1)
Coaches: Matt Humbert, Belle Vernon; Joe Rossi, South Fayette
Top players: Mason Pascoe, Belle Vernon (Sr., 5-7, 170, RB); Jamie Diven, South Fayette (Sr., 6-1, 195, QB)
Keep an eye on: Mitchell Pohlot, Belle Vernon (Jr., 6-3, 200, DE)
Momentum: South Fayette. The Lions have won 10 consecutive games after opening the season with a 34-33 loss at Upper St. Clair.
Four downs: 1. Belle Vernon has won eight consecutive games since its loss to No. 1 Thomas Jefferson in Week 2. 2. Diven tossed three touchdown passes last week against Greensburg Salem and has 38 and more than 2,400 yards passing. 3. With quarterback Jared Hartman lost for the season with an injury, Pascoe and Larry Callaway have picked up the slack in the running game. Pascoe has rushed for 1,392 yards and Callaway 584. 4. SF running back Andrew Franklin rushed for 159 yards last week against Greensburg Salem.
Extra point: The top kickers in the WPIAL will be on display. South Fayette’s Ryan Coe has 58 extra points and seven field goals, and Belle Vernon’s Cameron Guess has 48 extra points. Both have strong legs, and kickoff returns are unlikely.
WPIAL Class A
No. 1 Jeannette (11-0) vs. No. 5 Rochester (10-1)
7:30 p.m. Friday, Canon-McMillan
On the air: 107.1 FM, 1460 AM; TribHSSN.triblive.com
Last week: Jeannette 18, Monessen 14; Rochester 52, West Greene 14
Winner plays: Winner of No. 2 Clairton (9-1)/No. 2 Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (10-1)
Coaches: Roy Hall, Jeannette; Gene Matsook, Rochester
Top players: Marcus Barnes, Jeannette (Sr., 6-4, 185, WR/DB); Noah Whiteleather, Rochester (Sr., 5-11, 180, RB)
Keep an eye on: Darius Goosby, Rochester (Sr., 6-3, 205, FB/DE)
Momentum: Rochester. The Rams rolled to their seventh straight win and are looking for their second semifinal appearance in two years.
Four downs: 1. Defending WPIAL champion Jeannette struggled mightily against No. 8 Monessen in the quarterfinals. The Jayhawks could not break plays to the perimeter, failed to slow down Monessen’s rushing attack and were once again plagued by penalties. That said, they won their 17th straight game and reached the semifinals for the fourth straight time. 2. Rochester nearly beat Jeannette in the playoffs the last two years. The Rams led Jeannette late last season in the quarterfinals and nearly came back to knock of the Jayhawks in the semifinals two years ago. 3. Whiteleather ran for 254 yards and two touchdowns, and the Rams rushed for 539 yards against West Greene. Goosby added 152 yards and four touchdowns, and Rashawn Reid had 134 yards and two long scoring runs. 4. Seth Howard took the reins at quarterback for the first time in last year’s quarterfinal and delivered: He threw a touchdown pass to Isaiah Winters with 54 seconds left last year as Jeannette edged Rochester, 30-26.
Extra point: With a win, Jeannette can reach the WPIAL title game for the fourth consecutive season.
No. 3 Bellwood-Antis (10-1) vs. No. 2 Ligonier Valley (11-0)
7 p.m. Saturday, Greater Johnstown Stadium, Johnstown
On the air: 106.3 FM; TribHSSN@triblive.com
Last week: Bellwood-Antis 14, West Shamokin 6; Ligonier Valley- 41, Marion Center 0
Winner plays: Winner of No. 1 Richland (11-0)/No. 4 Penns Valley (8-3)
Coaches: John Hayes, Bellwood- Antis; Roger Beitel, Ligonier Valley
Top players: Shawn Wolfe, Bellwood-Antis (Sr., 5-8, 155, QB); Mike Petrof, Ligonier Valley (Jr., 6-2, 275, OL/DL)
Keep an eye on: Aaron Tutino, Ligonier Valley (Sr., 5-10, 175, WR/DB)
Momentum: Ligonier Valley. The Rams have won 11 consecutive games, including claiming the Heritage Conference and Appalachian Bowl titles for the third consecutive season.
Four downs: 1. Bellwood-Antis quarterback Shawn Wolfe has completed 63 of 121 passes for 1,068 yards and seven touchdowns. 2. Ligonier Valley is going after its third consecutive District Class 2A title and is 7-0 during than span. 3. The leading receivers for Bellwood-Antis are Zach Mallon (26 catches for 279 yards) and Andrew Hale (19 catches for 450 yards). 4. LV quarterback John Caldwell has completed 123 of 180 passes for 2,174 yards and 33 touchdowns. Tutino is the top target with 55 catches for 1,167 yards and 19 touchdowns.
Extra point: Bellwood-Antis defeated Ligonier Valley, 26-6, in the opening round of the district Class A playoffs in 2007.