Mike White shares some thoughts after the final Friday of the WPIAL regular season.
The WPIAL football committee meets Monday to decide playoff pairings and seedings, and one of the toughest decisions will be what team should be the No. 2 seed in Class AAAA.
Central Catholic appears to have a lock on the No. 1 seed. But should No. 2 be North Allegheny or Gateway?
North Allegheny is 9-0 while Gateway is 8-1. But Gateway's loss was to Youngstown Cardinal Mooney, an Ohio powerhouse that would beat any WPIAL team this year. So forget about that game.
Gateway's critics might say the Gators struggled to beat Norwin, 37-36. But Norwin is a lot better than people think and the Knights gave Central Catholic a battle later in the year.
Gateway seems to be peaking, averaging 46 points over the past four games. North Allegheny, meanwhile, has been impressive all year long, but the Tigers needed two fourth-quarter touchdowns to beat North Hills, 28-14, last night.
If it was up to this guy, he would put Gateway No. 2 and North Allegheny No. 3.
But does it really matter? After all, the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds are on the same side of the bracket and their opponents would be similar in the first two rounds.
Top five stuff
In case the WPIAL wanted to know, here is what the seeds should be:
Class AAAA - 1. Central Catholic. 2. Gateway. 3. North Allegheny. 4. McKeesport. 5. Norwin.
Class AAA - 1. Thomas Jefferson. 2. Montour. 3. Knoch. 4. Chartiers Valley. 5. Pine-Richland.
Class AA - 1. Jeannette. 2. Ford City. 3. Steel Valley. 4. Aliquippa. 5. Beaver Falls.
Class A - 1. Clairton. 2. Serra. 3. Western Beaver. 4. Monessen. 5. Springdale.
And these teams should be seeded last in each class.
Class AAAA - Plum.
Class AAA - Laurel Highlands.
Class AA - Laurel.
Class A - Riverview, unless the Raiders defeat Springdale this afternoon.
Woodland Hills is 3-6, the fewest regular-season wins in school history. But injuries hit the Wolverines hard this season and Coach George Novak's team should be better next year.
Yough's Ben Hoffer had rushed for 624 yards in the first eight games of the season. He had more than half that total last night in a 52-37 victory against Southmoreland.
Hoffer became the ninth running back in WPIAL history to rush for 400 yards in a game when he gained 401. Here is the real unbelievable part: Hoffer had 331 yards at halftime.
Two more for 4,000
Clairton's Zaire Washington and Riverside's Jake Wickline both reached 4,000 career yards rushing Friday. They are the 36th and 37th players to reach the milestone and the fourth and fifth this season.