WPIAL AAAA Playoff Breakdown
by Karlo Zovko
Posted October 28, 2013 8:34 pm
AAAA, Playoffs, WPIAL Insider, WPIAL Playoffs
With the WPIAL playoffs coming up, there is one classification that is completely up in the air. The AAAA is wide open. Obviously there are favorites to win it, but anything can happen this year with the WPIAL being so deep. Here at preps.com, we break down each and every team that made the playoffs and tell you why they’ll be victorious and why they are vulnerable to fall.
USC: Jim Render has a knack of going far in the playoffs. He’s long overdue for a WPIAL title. USC wins games in the trenches and uses a running back committee. USC might slip up against the speed of Woodland Hills or Central Catholic if they can’t keep the game in the trenches.
Central Catholic: Nobody has been close to touching Central this year. Their run game and defense is top in the state. The only concern is they have yet to trail this year, can they rely on FSU commit JJ Cosentino and the wide receiver committee of Shafer Swann, Cam Sutherland, and JP Petrishen to bring them back in the game if they have to air it out?
McKeesport: George Smith has his Tigers team back to the glory days, roaring and flying high with his trademark Triple Option. The only concern is can the triple option bring the team back in a hurry if they get down.
Woodland Hills: The preps.com favorite to win the title this year, Woody High is infested with talent and can score on any given play. The only problem is their line isn’t as strong as it was last year, and it was exposed in their two early losses in the beginning of the season. We’ll see just how much this Wolverines team matured facing a tough first round match up with Pine Richland.
Pine Richland: In only his second year, Coach Eric Kasperowicz has built a playoff contendor. With two stud juniors in Ben DiNucci who’s been playing like Johnny Football and Connor Slomka who’s a bruising tail back, don’t be surprised if the Rams upset Woodland Hills. The inexperience might hurt this team against the Wolverines. It also doesn’t help they play at The Wolverina.
Peters Township: With playmaking QB Corey Owens at the reigns of the offense, Peters might be able to play with McKeesport in the first round. The only problem is this Indians team isn’t too deep with talent.
Penn Trafford: Penn Trafford upset Gateway; I wouldn’t sleep on this team. They aren’t too bad in the trenches, the question is can their skill positions show up.
Penn Hills: Penn Hills was the sleeper team of the year and they did not disappoint. Sure they had a bad loss to USC, but they played well all year long with an explosive running game. They have multiple playmakers in the offense including Shawn Featherstone, Michael Anthony, Billy Kisner, Ron Brown, and Isiah Jones. With that skill, they can compete with anyone, once again you have to question how far their line play can take them though.
Gateway: Gateway has yet to play up to their potential. With arguably the best group of athletes in the state, they just might come around come playoff time. Then again, they might fold in the first round. The Gators seem angry; we’ll see how this one plays out.
North Hills: The North Hills D was one of the only ones to slow down Central Catholic. They have a test with Gateway coming in the first round. Their offense has slacked all year long, making this team very vulnerable.
Kiski: The Cavaliers had one of their better seasons in recent memory. They pulled the dreaded 16 seed and get to face USC. Their line can hold their ground with USC’s; the only problem is USC is well… USC.
Bethel Park: With one of the top lines in the WPIAL, Bethel looks to ride the boys in the trenches this post season. Will Sophomore sensation QB Levi Matheny make a name for himself this postseason?
North Allegheny: Art Walker is a legend come playoff time. I will never doubt an Art Walker team come playoff time. Don’t sleep on the Tigers.
Hempfield: Hempfield has a knack of just making it into the playoffs but never really do anything in them. Is this the year they pull off the upset?
Seneca Valley: TJ Holl and Mason Dehart are two very good juniors in the WPIAL. They got exploited by Central bad, the question is, how much have they learned from that loss.
Baldwin: The Highlanders have a great group of core players in Luke Smorey (leads the WPIAL in receiving), Donnie West, Nick Barca, and Sterling Jenkins. The only problem is West is out with a broken leg and their talent isn’t really too deep. They’ll rely heavily on Barca and Smorey to try and make plays vs the best defense in the state against Central.
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AAAA, Playoffs, WPIAL Insider, WPIAL Playoffs