Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Perfect Run to Victories

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Perfect Run to Victories

Article excerpt

It seems about 279 football coaches have been quoted in recent years as saying running the football is still the best way to win a WPIAL title.

Most certainly, running the ball was the best way to win in the first round.

In first-round games Friday night, there were eight running backs who ran for 180 yards or more. Their teams had a record of 8-0.

Meanwhile, 11 quarterbacks threw for more than 180 yards. Their teams had a record of 4-7. Blackhawk's Chandler Kincade had the most yards passing (337) in the first round, and his team lost to Mars, 45-21.

Other teams that had more than 180 yards passing and lost were Avonworth, Burrell, Knoch, Apollo-Ridge, Penn-Trafford and McKeesport.

Making their points

First-round games a year ago were the highest scoring since the WPIAL started taking four teams from each conference to the playoffs in 1998. The first round this season wasn't far behind.

The average score of the winning team in first-round games this year was 37.6 points, second only to a year ago when winners averaged 38.1 points.

The winning teams in Class AA scored the most of any classification, averaging 40.4 points. Overall, four teams scored 50 points or more, which ties 2006 for the most in first-round games. A year ago, seven teams scored 50 or more.

CONFERENCE PRIDE

It is interesting to see how conferences fared in the first round of the playoffs. This season, the Big Seven Conference in Class A flexed its muscles while the Tri-County South in Class A and the Allegheny in Class AA were winless.

All four teams from the Big Seven won first-round games -- Sto- Rox, Rochester, Neshannock and Union. Meanwhile, the Tri-County South and Allegheny were 0-4. This was the second year in a row the Tri-County South failed to win a game.

The Southeastern Conference in Class AAAA and the Parkway in AAA each went 4-1 while the Interstate (AA), Midwestern (AA) and Black Hills (A) were 3-1. …

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