This is a highly scientific process picking these games. Well maybe it's not. Some of these teams and players we have seen and some we have not. That's when it gets interesting. Here are my picks, what are yours? Discuss them on the Panther247 message board.
Penns Manor's Danny Ferens
PIAA DISTRICTS 5-6-8-9
Class AAA Regional Semifinals
Punxsutawney (5-5) at Clearfield (10-0), 7:00 p.m.
**Clearfield is solid in all phases of the game.**
Somerset (5-5) vs. University Prep (5-3) at Cupples Stadium, South Side, 7:00 p.m.
**Somerset quarterback Tanner Stull is a heck of an athlete, but the Eagles may be out of their element here. University Prep has too many athletes and playing on turf makes them faster. A very long trip for Somerset to have to make. Guessing two hours or more by bus, Cupples Stadium at night will be far different than these guys are used to.**
PREDICTION: UNIVERSITY PREP
PIAA DISTRICT 5 PLAYOFFS
Class AA Championship
Everett (5-5) vs. Chestnut Ridge (5-5) Northern Bedford, 7:00 p.m.
North Allegheny Lineman Patrick Kugler
**Chestnut Ridge has had to play a ridiculous schedule due to being independent, in terms of travel and quality opponents. Everett is no slouch, but I’m going Lions here.**
PREDICTION: CHESTNUT RIDGE
Class A First Round
Tussey Mountain (5-5) at Windber (8-2), 7:00 p.m.
**This one could get ugly, Windber will roll to an easy victory.**
Saturday — Shade (6-4) at North Star (8-2), 7:00 p.m.
**These two met in early October and North Star pulled out a (3-0) win. Taking the Cougars and their Mr. Everything athlete Tony Strasiser.**
PREDICTION: NORTH STAR
Aliquippa Junior Dravon Henry
Byes — Northern Bedford (9-1), Berlin-Brothersvalley (9-1).
PIAA DISTRICT 6-9 PLAYOFFS
Class AAAA Semifinals
Central Mountain (5-5) at State College (7-3), 7:00 p.m.
**These two teams met back in September and the Little Lions rolled (36-7), expect a repeat performance.**
PREDICTION: STATE COLLEGE
Bye — DuBois (8-1).
PIAA DISTRICT 6 PLAYOFFS
Class AA Quarterfinals
Friday — Bald Eagle Area (6-4) at Ligonier Valley (9-1), 7:00 p.m.
**These two teams met last weekend and the Rams rolled on to a convincing win. Expect the same if not worse this weekend.**
Gateway Junior Montae Nicholson
Penn Cambria (6-4) at Richland (10-0), 7:00 p.m.
**Penn Cambria lost its coach and they have lost a number of players to injury. Richland is rolling right now. Game could be closer than what people think.**
Saturday — Cambria Heights (7-3) at Tyrone (7-3), 7:00 p.m.
**John Franco is gone, but Tyrone is always tough to beat, especially in post-season play. James Oliver and the Golden Eagles by a lot.**
Forest Hills (7-3) at Central Martinsburg (8-2), 7:00 p.m.
**Forest Hills is not as strong as normal this year, although Don Bailey is one of the best coaches in the state. Central is very tough and they are an offensive juggernaut.**
Clairton's Tyler Boyd
Class A Quarterfinals
Friday — Glendale (6-4) at Bellwood-Antis (9-1), 7:00 p.m.
**Bellwood Antis always makes a run and this year will be no different.**
Northern Cambria (7-3) at Portage (9-1), 7:00 p.m.
**The Colts can play with anyone in the bracket, but they could also lose to anyone in the bracket. Portage is on a roll right now, taking the Mustangs and the Kephart brothers.**
Saturday — Bishop Guilfoyle (8-2) at Juniata Valley (9-1), 7:00 p.m.
North Allegheny Junior Elijah Zeise
**This one could go either way. When in doubt choose the catholic school.**
PREDICTION: BISHOP GUILFOYLE
Bishop McCort (7-3) at Penns Manor (9-1), 7:00 p.m.
PREDICTION: PENNS MANOR
WPIAL D-7 Playoffs (All Games 7:30 p.m.)
CLASS AAAA –
North Allegheny vs. Bethel Park at North Hills
**Bethel Park has a talented team led by freshman quarterback Levi Metheny and junior offensive tackle Michael Grimm. North Allegheny is arguably the best AAAA team in the state led by senior quarterback Mack Leftwich, senior Patrick Kugler and junior athlete Elijah Zeise.**
PREDICTION: North Allegheny
Seneca Valley vs. Mt. Lebanon at North Allegheny
**Forest Barnes and Jordan Brown lead a potent Seneca Valley offense. Mt. Lebanon counters with one of the fastest receivers in the state Troy Apke.**
Bethel Park Junior Michael Grimm
PREDICTION: SENECA VALLEY
Woodland Hills vs. Gateway at Norwin
**Gateway is the most stacked team in Western Pennsylvania and they are hungry for a North Allegheny rematch. Woodland Hills is young and they don’t have the horses this year to match the Gators.**
Central Catholic vs. Upper St. Clair at Baldwin
**Tough one to call, but Central Catholic may have a few more weapons at their disposal.**
PREDICTION: CENTRAL CATHOLIC
CLASS AAA –
Franklin Regional vs. Thomas Jefferson at Elizabeth Forward
**Thomas Jefferson is on a roll and Bill Cherpak has his Jaguars poised for another run at Heinz Field.**
PREDICTION: THOMAS JEFFERSON
Montour vs. West Allegheny at Chartiers Valley
**These two teams met earlier in the year for a football game and a baseball game broke out. Montour won (5-3). We’ll side with Devin Wilson in this one.**
Aliquippa Junior Jaleel Fields
West Mifflin vs. Mars at Fox Chapel
**A match-up featuring two of the best backs in the WPIAL Jimmy Wheeler for the Titans and Josh Schultheis for the Planets. West Mifflin beat Knoch last week and Mars lost to Knoch this year.**
PREDICTION: WEST MIFFLIN
Hopewell vs. Central Valley at Ambridge
**Central Valley has Robert Foster, Hopewell doesn’t. Foster should be fired up and with something to prove this week after having to sit out last week.**
PREDICTION: CENTRAL VALLEY
CLASS AA –
Mount Pleasant vs. Aliquippa at Peters Township
**Tyler Mellors and Mount Pleasant are tough, but you can’t pick against Aliquippa.**
Beaver vs. Jeannette at Hampton
**Another tough game to call. Beaver has blown teams out all year. The Jayhawks have won some close games. I’ll call Jayhawks.**
South Fayette's Zach Challingsworth
Beaver Falls vs. South Fayette at Moon
**Great match-up here, Beaver Falls has some tough guys on defense with Brock Boxen and Sage Curry. South Fayette has the rocker arm of Brett Brumbaugh and one of the best receivers in the state Zach Challingsworth, along with the Fetchet boys. No one has slowed South Fayette yet.**
PREDICTION: SOUTH FAYETTE
Seton-LaSalle vs. Washington at Canon-McMillan
**This could be the best game of the entire second round if Beaver Falls and South Fayette isn’t, but Wash High has Shai McKenzie. Taking McKenzie and the Prexies in a close one.**
PREDICTION - WASHINGTON
CLASS A –
Brentwood vs. Clairton at Belle Vernon
**No one is touching the Bears right now. They are a team of destiny, rolling with Tyler Boyd, Titus Howard and Terrish Webb to another championship game at Heinz Field.**
Monessen vs. Neshannock at Chartiers-Houston
**Tough game to call here, but I’m going with Monessen. Chavas and Justice Rawlins will lead the Greyhounds to the next round.**
Monessen's Chavas Rawlins
Union vs. Sto-Rox at Mars
**Sto-Rox beat Union by 27 during the regular season. Don’t see any reason why we won’t see a repeat performance. Lenny Williams and Brendan Blair want a rematch with Clairton.**
Rochester vs. North Catholic at Keystone Oaks
**P.J. Fulmore is one of the most electrifying sophomores in the state, but you can’t pick against Rochester in the playoffs.**
PIAA DISTRICT 9 PLAYOFFS
Class AA Semifinals
Friday — Saint Mary’s (5-5) at Karns City (7-3), 7:00 p.m.
** Going to go with Karns City in this one. I will preface this pick by saying I probably no less about District 9 than any other district in the state, so these are guesses.**
PREDICTION: KARNS CITY
Montour Athlete Devin Wilson
Brookville (6-4) at Kane (6-3). 7:00 p.m.
**This is a toss-up for me, but I like Brookville’s uniforms better.**
Class A Quarterfinals
Friday — Elk County Catholic (7-2) at Union-Rimersburg(9-1), 7:00 p.m.
**Union has some quality wins this year. This will be another one.**
Curwensville (7-2) at Brockway (8-2), 7:00 p.m.
**Last time these two teams met Brockway scored 56 points. Give me the Rovers again in this one.**
Hickory's DeShawn Coleman
Smethport (4-5) at Clarion (10-0), 7:00 p.m.
**Call me old fashioned, but I absolutely cannot stand to see teams with losing records in the playoffs. Clarion just out of principle.**
Bye — Port Allegany (10-0).
PIAA DISTRICT 10 PLAYOFFS
Class AAA Quarterfinals
Oil City (4-6) vs. General McLane (7-3) at Edinboro University, 7:00 p.m.
**Back in September these two teams met and the Lancers won (42-19). Let’s take the Lancers again in the rematch.**
PREDICTION: GENERAL McLANE
Clairton's Titus Howard
Conneaut (6-4) vs. Warren (8-2) at Corry, 7:00 p.m.
** Warren beat Conneaut (51-12), which works for me. Warren will win again.**
Byes — Slippery Rock (9-1), Erie Cathedral Prep (10-0).
Class AA Quarterfinals
North East (7-3) vs. Grove City 8-1) at Slippery Rock University, 7:00 p.m.
**Grove City is just one of those teams that you never want to play in the post-season.**
PREDICTION: GROVE CITY
Hickory (8-1) vs. Northwestern (7-3) at Edinboro University, 7:00 p.m.
Sto-Rox Junior Brendan Blair
**Hickory has DeShawn Coleman and Northwestern doesn’t, enough said.**
Greenville (5-5) vs. Corry (8-2) at General McLane, 1:00 p.m.
**Greenville has played a tougher schedule, so I pick Trojans over Beavers. Greenville is also the town where my alma mater Thiel College is located.**
Fairview (6-3) vs. Wilmington (7-2) at Grove City H.S., 1:00 p.m.
**Wilmington has the tougher schedule and an experienced playoff staff.**
Central Valley's Robert Foster
Class A Quarterfinals
West Middlesex (8-2) vs. Iroquois (3-7) at Wilmington, 7:00 p.m.
**Again, I will not pick a team with a losing record.**
PREDICTION: WEST MIDDLESEX
Mercyhurst Prep (8-2) vs. Farrell (5-4) at Erie Veterans Stadium, 7:00 p.m.
**Picking the Steelers in this one. I can’t root against the Steelers.**
Eisenhower (8-2) vs. Lakeview (6-4) at Warren, 7:00 p.m.
**Going with Lakeview and a slightly tougher schedule.**
Sharpsville (8-1) vs. Cochranton (6-3) at Slippery Rock University, 7:00 p.m.
**Sharpsville just always seems to be tough.**
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