WPIAL Football Championship Picks

WPIAL Football Championship Picks

WPIAL football in Western Pennsylvania is home to countless storied ballplayers who have gone from high school stars, to NCAA legends, all the way to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Dan Marino, Tony Dorsett, Joe Montana, Darrelle Revis, Mike Ditka, Aaron Donald, and Tyler Boyd are just a few of the many who have WPIAL roots to their humble beginnings.

Each year since 1982, the WPIAL championship games are held in Pittsburgh, from Three Rivers Stadium to Heinz Field, home of the Pittsburgh Steelers, where thousands of fans gather to watch some of the best football in the entire nation. Unfortunately, with the never-ending pandemic, the games will be split between North Hills Stadium, and North Allegheny High School.

Mike Drakulich (@PghSportsNation) brings you the same top football coverage here as he does for NGSC Sports covering the Pitt Panthers.

 

Friday, November 13th

 

WPIAL 3A Championship

Elizabeth Forward Warriors (8-0) vs Central Valley Warriors (9-0)

Game Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: North Hills Martorelli Stadium

The Pick: Central Valley

Central Valley has the second-highest scoring offense in the WPIAL at 53.6 points per game. They also have allowed a WPIAL-best 8.6 points per game this season. Behind QB Ameer Dudley, CV has mercy-ruled every single opponent this season, and on Friday night, Elizabeth Forward will be victim #10.

Dudley has thrown for for 936 yards, 15 TD’s, and four INT’s. Landon Alexander, the young kid some may remember from Friday Night Tykes: Steel Country, is the Warrior’s leading rusher with 947 yards and nine scores.

 

Saturday, November 14th

 

WPIAL 1A Championship

Jeannette Jayhawks (8-1) vs Clairton Bears (8-0)

Game Time: 11:00 AM

Venue: North Hills Martorelli Stadium

The Pick: Clairton

These two bitter rivals met in the first game of the season where Jeannette suffered their only loss of the season. The Clairton Bears are a perfect 10-0 in the WPIAL Finals since 2006. Clairton’s offense is averaging 54.3 points and its defense allows 13.3. Jeannette’s offense averages 47.8 points per game and its defense allows 12.1.

Clairton is lead by RB Dontae Sanders, who has rushed for 1,780 yards with 29 TD’s.

The Jayhawks feature the Birch brothers… Brad has thrown for 1,630 yards with 27 TD’s, while Brett has caught 37 passes for 489 yards and 10 TD’s.

Honestly, this game is a toss-up with how well both are playing, but the Bears will reign supreme once again.

 

WPIAL 4A Championship

Thomas Jefferson Jaguars (7-1) vs Aliquippa Quips (9-0)

Game Time: 1:00 PM

Venue: Newman Stadium at North Allegheny HS.

The Pick: Aliquippa

Every sports fan has played the “Can you imagine if (team x) played (team y)” game in their life. This match-up is one of those contests that football enthusiasts have dreamed about for a long time. Could Aliquippa, who has one of the smallest enrollments in Pennsylvania, and by all rights, should be playing in Class A, but have always played up in class to challenge it’s talent, win a game vs Thomas Jefferson, another storied program in the WPIAL that frequently calls Heinz Field it’s championship home, year after year?

The Quips were forced up into 4A after volunteering to play up in 3A, thanks mainly to both WPIAL and PIAA bias. Anyone care to answer why Southern Columbia in 2A hasn’t been forced to move up yet? All Aliquippa has done is roll through 4A right to the finals vs the Jaguars.

The Quips were a holding call away from being down 20-0 last week vs Belle Vernon, but blown chances vs this team usually always come back to bite you, as they did with the Quips storming back to win 33-25. Thomas Jefferson blew the #1 seed a few weeks ago by losing to McKeesport 20-14, then like Aliquippa, found themselves in a big hole vs Plum 17-3, before they came back to defeat the Mustangs 20-17.

QB Vaughn Morris leads the Quips attack with 1,204 yards passing, 12 touchdowns and five interceptions. RB Vernon Redd has rushed for 1,204 yards and 11 scores

Jake Pugh is the man under center for TJ, throwing for 1,309 yards, 19 TD’s and just four INT’s.

Aliquippa needs to stop playing with fire if they intend to hoist the trophy in this game. Dropped passes and turnovers vs Belle Vernon in one thing… giving the Jaguars these advantages would be devastating.

The verdict? It’s not the size of the dog in the fight… it’s the size of the fight in the dog, and Aliquippa backs down from nobody.

 

WPIAL 2A Championship

Sto-Rox Vikings (8-1) vs Beaver Falls Tigers (9-0)

Game Time: 5:00 PM

Venue: North Hills Martorelli Stadium

The Pick: Beaver Falls

The Tigers are enjoying the benefits of being back in AA. The Beaver Falls offense behind RB Josh Hough averages 45.7 points per game, which is tops in WPIAL Class 2A. The defense allows just 18.3 ppg. Hough is averaging 18 yards per rush and is the WPIAL leader with 1,816 yards rushing and 26 TD’s.

Technically, this is a match-up of undefeated teams, as Sto-Rox only “loss” was a forfeit to Carlynton and didn’t officially start playing football until week four vs Avonworth. The Vikings are lead by QB/WR Josh Jenkins, who has passed for 1,250 yards, 14 TD’s and six INT’s.

All in all, Beaver Falls is a bit too much for Sto-Rox to overcome.

 

WPIAL 5A Championship

Peters Township Indians (8-0) vs Pine-Richland Rams (8-0)

Game Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Newman Stadium at North Allegheny HS.

The Pick: Pine-Richland

While not looking to under-value the season Peters Township has had, they now face the daunting task of facing down Pine-Richland, who is averaging 50.5 points and winning by an average of 40 points. If you can get around the tailgating Quips fans who may still be celebrating another WPIAL championship in the parking lots of North Allegheny high school, plan on keeping your cars on and warm if you are a fan of the Indians, as this one will be over by half, if not sooner.

Donovan McMillon is the main man for Peters, a free safety headed to play for Florida. Thanks to the play of McMillon, Peters Township is one of the top defensive teams in the WPIAL, giving up just 10.9 points per game.

Cole Spencer is Pine-Richland’s QB, passing for 2,066 yards and 27 TD’s. WR Eli Jochem  has caught 42 passes for 910 yards and 14 TD’s.

 

 

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Mike DrakulichYour source for Pittsburgh sports!
From Midland, "The Basketball Capital of Pennsylvania", located 35 miles NW of Pittsburgh along the Ohio River. This former steel town was home to storied athletes such as Dave Alston, Norm Van Lier, Simmie Hill, and the legendary 1965 Midland High School Basketball Team.

There's nowhere on earth that is more dedicated to its sports teams like Western Pennsylvania and the city of Pittsburgh. The passion and pride of Pittsburgh's fan base is second to no one. From the NFL, NHL, MLB, NCAA football and basketball, to W.P.I.A.L. high school sports, "The City of Champions" has it all!

As Editor of Pittsburgh SportsNation, Mike Drakulich provides top notch opinions and coverage of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Pittsburgh Pirates, Pitt Panthers football & basketball, Robert Morris Colonials basketball, and Duquesne Dukes basketball, as well as all sports teams that represent Western Pennsylvania, including WPIAL High School Football.

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