2013 WPIAL Class AAA Football Quarterfinals Preview

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All games at 7:30 p.m. today

1-West Allegheny (10-0) vs. 9-Indiana (5-5)

At North Hills -- If you threw everything out the window -- all the stats, all of the championships -- and came into tonight's matchup cold, you'd still be able to pick the winner. There's no way the West Allegheny Indians would lose to the Indiana Little Indians. Then add in West A's undefeated record, consecutive titles and general domination of WPIAL opponents and you'll feel fairly safe taking them over five-loss Indiana.

2-Thomas Jefferson (10-0) vs. 7-Highlands (7-3)

At Char Valley -- Highlands closed its regular season with back-to-back losses before beating New Castle in the first round of the playoffs. Thomas Jefferson's last two regular-season losses were in 2011. TJ has given up just six points in the past four weeks (three shutouts) and is still riding high from its 35-0 beatdown of West Mifflin in the regular-season finale. It could be a long night for the Golden Rams.

3-Central Valley (9-1) vs. 6-Mars (9-1)

At Ambridge -- This game should be a battle. Mars has ripped off nine consecutive wins since losing its opener to Franklin Regional, with its closest game being a 17-point win against Elizabeth Forward last week. Central Valley gives up just 5.3 points per game and has only lost to West Allegheny, 13-7, on the road. As is often the case, the team that wins the lines likely will win the game in this matchup of run-heavy teams.

4-Franklin Regional (9-1) vs. 5-West Mifflin (9-1)

At East Allegheny -- Franklin Regional may not get the respect it deserves in the WPIAL. The Panthers can earn some in a big game tonight if they can stop one of the most electric players around in West Mifflin's Jimmy Wheeler, who ran for 359 yards and six touchdowns last week behind his stellar offensive line in a shootout against Moon.

Statistically speaking: The next team that comes within 20 points of Thomas Jefferson will be the first.

History lesson: Jimmy Wheeler averages more than 25 carries per game for West Mifflin. Stopping him may be difficult, but if you can do it, you have a good shot of beating the Titans. In the past two seasons, West Mifflin is 20-1 when Wheeler runs for more than 100 yards. In games he has been held to fewer than 100 yards, West Mifflin is 0-2.


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