2013 WPIAL football playoffs

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Heading into the final weekend of the WPIAL football regular season, 84 percent of the playoff spots already are filled.

The WPIAL playoff field will have 64 teams and 54 have clinched berths. The WPIAL will announce playoff pairings and seedings Monday night and the playoffs begin Nov. 1. All four WPIAL title games will be played Nov. 23 at Heinz Field.

Sixteen teams from each of the four WPIAL classifications qualify for the playoffs. In Class AAAA and AAA, there are only three conferences. The top five teams from each of the conferences qualify and one sixth-place "wild-card" team. Class AA and A have four conferences, so the top four teams qualify.

In Class AAAA and AAA, all first- and second-place teams play at home in the first round, as well as two third-place teams. In Class AA and A, the top two teams from each conference have a home game in the first round.

Starting with the quarterfinals, all games are played at neutral sites.

Here is a conference-by-conference breakdown of the WPIAL playoff picture (records are conference records):

Class AAAA

Foothills Conference -- McKeesport (7-0), Gateway (6-1), Hempfield (5-2), Penn-Trafford (5-2) and Kiski Area (4-3) have clinched. The winner of McKeesport vs. Gateway on Thursday finishes first in the conference. If Gateway wins, McKeesport is automatically second. If McKeesport wins, and Penn-Trafford beats Hempfield, then Penn-Trafford is second, Gateway third and Hempfield fourth. If McKeesport, Hempfield and Kiski Area all win, then Gateway is second, Hempfield third, Kiski Area fourth and Penn-Trafford fifth.

Northern Eight -- Central Catholic (6-0) is first and Seneca Valley (5-1) second. The winner of North Allegheny (4-2) vs. North Hills (4-2) is third and the loser fourth. Pine-Richland (3-4) has qualified as the fifth-place team.

Southeastern -- Upper St. Clair (7-0) is first, Woodland Hills (6-1) second and Bethel Park (5-2) third. Penn Hills (4-3) also has clinched a spot. There are many different scenarios that could happen Friday. But if Bethel Park beats Baldwin (3-4), Peters Township (3-4) beats Canon-McMillan, Woodland Hills beats Penn Hills and Upper St. Clair beats Mt. Lebanon (3-4), then Penn Hills is fourth and Peters Township fifth.

The wild-card sixth place team also will come from this conference because of overall records. Peters Township, Baldwin, and Mt. Lebanon are all still alive.

Class AAA

Big Nine -- The winner between Thomas Jefferson (7-0) and West Mifflin (7-0) is first and the loser second. Ringgold (5-2) is third, Elizabeth Forward (5-3) fourth and Belle Vernon (3-4) fifth.

Greater Allegheny -- Franklin Regional (6-1), Mars (6-1) and Highlands (6-1) have clinched and are tied for first. If they all win this week, they will tie in head-to-head competition. First place will be decided by tiebreaker points and then second by head-to-head competition. Mars has 53 tiebreaker points while Franklin Regional and Highlands have 47.

The winner of Hollidaysburg (3-4) vs. Indiana (3-4) also qualifies. If Mars beats Hampton (3-4), Indiana beats Hollidaysburg and Highlands beats Knoch, then Indiana will be fourth and Hollidaysburg fifth. If Hollidaysburg, Mars and Highlands win, then Hollidaysburg will be fourth and fifth place will be decided by tiebreaker points between Hampton, Greensburg Salem and Indiana. Hampton and Indiana are each minus-4 in tiebreaker points and Greensburg Salem minus-27.

Hampton has a good chance of qualifying at least as the sixth-place wild-card team. Knoch (2-5) can't qualify.

Parkway -- West Allegheny (7-0) is first, Central Valley (7-1) second and New Castle (5-2) third. The winner of Montour (4-3) vs. Moon (4-3) is fourth and the loser fifth.

Class AA

Allegheny -- The winner of Kittanning (7-0) vs. Shady Side Academy (7-0) is first and the loser second. Valley (4-3) and Summit Academy (4-3) also have clinched. Summit Academy finishes third if it beats Freeport or if Valley loses to Ford City. Valley can finish third only if it wins and Summit Academy loses. East Allegheny (4-4) cannot qualify.

Midwestern -- Aliquippa (6-0) is first and Beaver Falls (6-1) second. Beaver (4-2) also has clinched. If New Brighton (4-2) beats Mohawk (3-3), New Brighton is automatically third and Beaver fourth. If Mohawk wins and Beaver loses to Aliquippa, third place will be decided by tiebreaker points and then fourth place by head-to-head competition. New Brighton has 18 tiebreaker points, Beaver 15 and Mohawk minus-7.

Interstate -- Mount Pleasant (8-0) is first and Washington (6-1) second. The winner of Greensburg Central Catholic (4-3) vs. Jeannette (4-3) is in, and Yough (4-3) is in if it beats Southmoreland. If Greensburg Central Catholic and Yough win, Yough is third and Greensburg Central Catholic fourth. If Jeannette and Yough win, then Jeannette is third and Yough fourth. Southmoreland (3-4) and Waynesburg (3-4) can't qualify no matter what happens this week.

Century -- South Fayette (7-0) is first and Quaker Valley (7-1) second. The winner of Seton-LaSalle (5-2) vs. South Park (5-2) is third and the loser fourth.

Class A

Big Seven -- Sto-Rox (7-0) is first, Neshannock (6-1) second, Laurel (5-2) third and Western Beaver (4-3) fourth.

Black Hills -- Fort Cherry (7-1) Monessen (7-1) and Clairton (7-1) have clinched. If they all win this week, the top spot will be decided by tiebreaker points and then second by head-to-head competition. Clairton has 68 tiebreaker points but doesn't play this week. Fort Cherry has 62 and Monessen 60. Fort Cherry plays Chartiers-Houston and Monessen plays Carlynton. If Fort Cherry beats Chartiers-Houston (5-3) and Brentwood (5-3) beats California (4-4), then Brentwood finishes fourth.

If Fort Cherry beats Chartiers-Houston and California beats Brentwood, the fourth spot will be decided by tiebreaker points. Brentwood has 20, Chartiers-Houston six and California 0. The only way California can qualify is if it beats Brentwood by 10 or more and Chartiers-Houston loses.

Eastern -- North Catholic (7-0) is first and Avonworth (6-1) second. The winner of West Shamokin (5-2) vs. Apollo-Ridge (5-2) is third and the loser fourth.

Tri-County South -- Beth-Center (8-0) is first and Carmichaels (6-1) second. Frazier (5-2) also has clinched. Avella (4-3) can clinch with a win against Bentworth or a Mapletown (4-3) loss to Frazier. If Frazier and Avella win, Frazier is third and Avella fourth. If Avella and Mapletown win, Frazier is still third and Avella fourth. The only way Mapletown can qualify is with a win and an Avella loss.

For more on high school sports, go to "Varsity Blog" at www.post-gazette.com/varsityblog. Mike White: mwhite@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1975 and Twitter @mwhiteburgh


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