Friday, September 5, 2014

WPIAL Week 2 Games of the Week

The first week of the WPIAL season saw two unfortunate injuries - Mars RB Josh Schulthies and Seneca Valley QB TJ Holl. These two injuries certainly change the dynamics of Quad-A and AAA. North Allegheny, after scoring a season-opening victory over Seneca Valley, will be featured on ROOT Sports tonight against Pine-Richland. In AAA, TJ staked their claim as the reigning champions of the Big Nine Conference and the 3 favorites in the Greater Allegheny Conference (Mars, Gateway, Franklin Regional) all lost. In AA, South Fayette and Aliquippa got off to hot starts. The best game of the week was probably the Quaker Valley-Keystone Oaks game where the teams went back and forth before the Quakers finally prevailed. In Class A, Clairton did Clairton things and won 70-0 and the Defending State Champs held off a pesky Northgate team before finally capitalizing on turnovers to stretch the final to 63-19.

If you're going to be at home tonight, keep an eye on the following hashtags on Twitter to follow along as people post score updates from games: #WPIAL #MSAscores #Skylights

Also, if you're not already, follow the @MSAsports twitter account which will post score updates and bookmark the MSA Scoreboard for quick reference at the end of the night. They get the final scores up faster than anyone. Also, MSA Sports broadcasts most games over the internet, here is their list of the games they will be broadcasting tonight.

I'll update my WPIAL Standings Page at the end of the night. It's the only one available that includes all playoff tiebreakers (Gardner Points, WPIAL Points Tiebreaker and Head-to-Head wins).

Week 2 doesn't have a great slate of games, but here's the best of the best.

AAAA Game of the Week
Pine-Richland at North Allegheny

The Rams got off to a hot start with QB Ben DiNucci having the second-best week in the entire WPIAL, throwing for 269 yards and 4 TDs against Shaler. The Rams will face a much better defense this week in North Allegheny who held the high-powered Seneca Valley attack to no points last week. North Allegheny's 14-0 victory came off two Seneca Valley turnovers. The Tigers offense didn't do much but QB Jeff Clemens had quite the game, throwing for 167 yards and rushing for 107 yards and 2 touchdowns. This is the ROOT Sports Game of the Week, which will be live in primetime since the Pirates have an afternoon game.

Honorable Mentions: Woodland Hills at Bethel Park

AAA Game of the Week
Gateway at West Mifflin

Yes, I went with a non-conference game for my AAA Game of the Week. Mostly because none of the other matchups are very intriguing. Gateway struggled out of the gate, losing to Greensburg Salem in overtime in the season opener. With Clairton drubbing California down in Class A, former Bears coach Tom Nola may be re-thinking his decision to step up to Gateway. AAA is an entirely different monster than Class A because a few elite athletes can't overwhelm the competition like they can with smaller schools. The Gators will look to get back on track in a non-conference matchup against a retooled West Mifflin team this week. The Titans struggled a bit with Uniontown in their opener but ultimately prevailed in a shootout 38-33.

Honorable Mentions: Thomas Jefferson at Belle Vernon, New Castle at Montour

AA Game of the Week
New Brighton at Ellwood City

New Brighton was considered to be capable of challenging for the 2nd spot in the Midwestern Conference, but after they struggled to beat Laurel in Week 1, some may be re-thinking that prediction. Ellwood City has been on the edge of the playoff picture the last few years and a Week 1 drubbing of Summit Academy was a great start to the season. This is one of the few matchups this week of 1-0 teams and the winner will have a clear advantage in the playoff race moving forward.

Honorable Mentions: Laurel at Aliquippa, Seton-La Salle at South Allegheny, South Park at Quaker Valley, Valley at Apollo-Ridge

A Game of the Week
Brentwood at Fort Cherry

Fort Cherry got their first win of the season by eeking out a 1-point victory over OLSH while Brentwood handled Vincentian in a non-conference game. These two teams are both considered borderline playoff teams in the Black Hills Conference and this will be an important game to begin differentiating the pecking order within the conference. Brentwood QB Connor McWilliams led all WPIAL passers in Week 1 with 292 yards and 4 TDs. Fort Cherry will need to find a way to contain Brentwood's passing attack after OLSH QB Joey Sebes threw for 160 yards against them last week.

Honorable Mentions: Chartiers-Houston at CWNC, GCC at Beth-Center, Frazier at Jefferson-Morgan

No comments: