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Being WPIAL No. 1 seed not always easy

Chris Harlan

All four top seeds are alive in the WPIAL playoffs, but history says they won’t all leave Heinz Field with gold medals.

Why not?

There has not been a year in the past decade when all four No. 1 seeds won the titles. So, if that trend holds true, Central Catholic, Montour, Aliquippa and Clairton all won’t be celebrating together.

Consider:

• During the past 10 years, the WPIAL has crowned 40 football champions. Only 14 were No. 1 seeds. The closest the top seeds came to sweeping was 2007, when Central Catholic, Thomas Jefferson and Jeannette won.

• Serra Catholic left with the 2007 Class A title, making it one of 11 No. 2 seeds to win a title since 2000.

• The other 15 winners were seeded No. 3 or lower. So there’s hope for teams like Freeport (No. 11 seed in AA), Bethel Park (No. 13 in AAAA) or Indiana (No. 9 in AAA).

• A year ago, Greensburg Central Catholic won the Class AA title as the No. 11 seed.

KEY BOUT

Mars’ Austin Meile set a WPIAL playoff single-game record last Friday when he rushed for 448 yards against Hollidaysburg. There could be much less room to run Friday against a West Allegheny defense led by linebackers Aaron McKinney and C.J. Revtai.

RISING STAR

Aliquippa’s Dravon Henry, a freshman tailback, rushed for 177 yards and two touchdowns in last Friday’s 41-0 victory over Shady Side Academy. A 5-foot-9, 160-pounder, Henry leads the Quips in rushing with 732 yards and 12 TDs.

EXTRA POINTS

There were 18 field goals kicked during WPIAL first-round games, including two apiece by Bishop Canevin’s Jake Schnelbach (33 and 31 yards) and Beaver’s Nathan Mick (25, 24). The day’s longest kick was a 44-yarder by Gateway’s Eric Fitchwell.


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