Springdale meets familiar playoff opponent
The last time Springdale’s football team moved through a season 9-1, in 2007, it reached the WPIAL Class A championship game at Heinz Field.
The Dynamos don’t want to get carried away, but they’ll gladly file last week’s 35-14 win over Western Beaver under good omens.
The first-round victory puts the fifth-seeded Dynamos in the quarterfinals for the seventh time in the last nine years, and they’ll see a familiar opponent — No. 4 seed Monessen (9-1).
Springdale and Monessen have met four times in the playoffs in the last seven seasons. Springdale has won all four meetings, including 21-14 in the first round last year.
“It seems like it always comes down to us and them,” Monessen coach Andy Pacak said.
In 2003, Springdale upset then-No. 1 seed Monessen, 22-7, in the quarterfinals, en route to its first WPIAL title since 1973.
“I don’t think there’s any question (Monessen) will be up for the occasion,” said Springdale’s Chuck Wagner, who is coaching in the playoffs for a local-record 14th time. “We’ll have to make sure to keep our heads on straight and realize that this could be another tough ball game.”
Springdale won the WPIAL title in 2003, were runners-up in ’07 and made the semifinals in ’04 and ’05. Another trip to the semis is in reach, but the Dynamos have to stay grounded on defense.
They put up 358 yards last week, all rushing, but allowed Western Beaver to throw for 209 yards. The secondary did, however, manage four interceptions, including three by senior safety Bill Arch.
“It was like an eye-opener for us,” Arch said. “Teams are going to be passing as we get deeper in the playoffs. It was a good test for us.”
Springdale hadn’t been tested much since Week 2 when it lost, 26-10, at Avonworth. Western Beaver seized momentum in the second half and had the Dynamos biting their nails, at least for a few series.
“That game may have been good for us, who knows?” Wagner said. “We hadn’t played a tight game for a good while. That made us reach for a little extra.”
Monessen downed Chartiers-Houston, 33-0, in the first round. The Greyhounds also have a strong running game, led by backs Brett Crenshaw and Trae Cook. Last week, Crenshaw ran for 121 yards and Cook added 63. Both scored a pair of touchdowns.
Quarterback Brady Kunsa could also present problems. He has completed 53 of 97 passes for 1,204 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Springdale has passed for 343 yards all season.
Monessen outgained Chartiers-Houston, 361-59 and limited it to four first downs. The Greyhounds have allowed just 88 points all season and only 672 yards rushing.
At a glance
No. 5 seed Springdale (9-1) vs. No. 4 Monessen (9-1)
WPIAL Class A quarterfinals
7:30 p.m. Friday, at Warrior Stadium, Penn-Trafford
Coaches: Chuck Wagner, Springdale; Andy Pacak, Monessen.
Fast fact: Springdale has played Monessen four times in the playoffs since 2003, and has won all four, including a 21-14 victory last year in the first round.
Winner plays: No. 1 Clairton (10-0)/No. 9 Bishop Canevin (9-1) winner.