The postseason is right around the corner and the races are heating up around District 10 and 7. McDowell completed its Northern Seven schedule with a 42-7 rout of Butler. Greg Garmon led the way with 126 yards on 16 carries and two touchdowns.
In an interesting development, Seneca Valley upset North Hills 21-14 to basically end the Indians’ season. North Allegheny wrapped up the conference title with a win over Shaler and jam up the rest of the conference playoff race.
Basically, the WPIAL takes the top four teams from the four Class AAAA conferences. McDowell is in the playoffs but whether the Trojans will be a two seed and host the first round of the playoffs or the three seed and travel has yet to be determined. Shaler travels to Pine-Richland next week in a crucial game. Shaler can lock up the second seed and a home playoff game with a win but will drop into third place with a loss. If Shaler wins, they would finish in a three-way tie with McDowell and Seneca Valley but through the WPIAL tiebreakers, Shaler would get the second seed and McDowell the third.
Northwestern locked up a playoff spot on Friday with an impressive 24-7 win over Harbor Creek. Aaron Morley ran for 130 yards on 23 carries, including three touchdowns. Austin Griffith countered with 138 passing yards and a 5-yard touchdown pass to Jake Pound. The Wildcats have cemented their place in the Region 4 standings and the Huskies might have to beat Fairview next week. If Harbor Creek loses and Girard upsets General McLane, the YellowJackets would leap over the Huskies into the playoffs.
Mercyhurst Prep made the Region 2 race interesting on Thursday with a thrilling 27-26 overtime win against Saegertown. Cornelius Barclay connected on a game-winning extra point after his first attempt was blocked but Saegertown was flagged for being offside. Saegertown and Mercyhurst are tied for second place at 5-1 in the region, while Youngsville is in first place at 6-0. The Eagles routed Conneaut 33-7 on Friday.
Youngsville hosts Saegertown in Week 10 with the region title on the line. If Youngsville wins, the Eagles finish the season unbeaten and the outright Region 2 champions. If Saegertown wins, the three teams finish as tri-champions with Youngsville getting the top seed followed by Mercyhurst Prep through a points system.
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– Tom Reisenweber
Sharpsville continued to exert its dominance of Region 1 with an impressive 36-8 win over Farrell. The Blue Devils might have eliminated the Steelers from the playoffs on Friday as Farrell dropped into fifth place. Linesville and West Middlesex are tied for third place and battle next week. If Linesville wins, Farrell has the tiebreaker over Middlesex and would sneak into the playoffs in fourth place. If West Middlesex wins, Linesville has the tiebreaker over Farrell and the three-time defending D-10 Class A champion Steelers would be eliminated.
Is there a running back in D-10 having a better year than DeShawn Coleman? The junior ran for 250 yards and two touchdowns on Friday in a 39-6 win over Greenville. Coleman is over 1,600 yards this season in only seven games and is almost a lock for the all-district team.
Wilmington reclaimed the Region 3 title with a 47-7 rout of Sharon. The Greyhounds are done with region play and will be a top seed in the District 10 Class AA playoffs. Hickory will be the second seed with the rest of the region fighting it out for two playoff spots. Greenville is in third place right now and as hard as it might be to believe, Sharon looks like they will grab the final playoff spot. The Tigers need to beat Greenville to move to 2-3 in the region, which actually would vault Sharon into the third seed. Even if Reynolds beat Hickory in an upset, Sharon holds the tiebreaker over Reynolds. The interesting scenario would be if Sharon beat Greenville and Reynolds beat Hickory. Sharon, Reynolds and Greenville would be in a three-way tie for two playoff spots.
Girard’s playoff hopes are still alive after holding off Seneca 40-38 in a wild Region 4 game. Seneca missed a game-winning field goal attempt at the end of the fourth quarter to give the YellowJackets a big sigh of relief. If Girard beats General McLane next week, the ‘Jackets would sneak into the playoffs if Harbor Creek also lost to Fairview.
Grove City claimed at least a share of the Region 5 title and the No. 1 seed from Region 5 by routing upstart Slippery Rock 55-0. Wes Phipps ran for five touchdowns and 239 yards on 12 carries for the Eagles. Grove City can win the region outright next week against DuBois. The Beavers blew out Corry 49-0 on Friday and are building momentum heading into the PIAA Class AAAA playoffs.
Central Tech won its third game in thrilling fashion on Friday. Eugene Husband scored on a five-yard run with six seconds left after fumbling the ball to help Central beat Warren 58-51. Husband finished with 206 yards on 17 carries, including three total touchdowns, while Paul Kafando carried the ball 30 times for 215 yards and three TDs. Central had three wins over the past four years with a 3-37 record. The last three-win season the Falcons put together was in 2005 with a 3-6 record.