Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Hello Again: Wolverines, Tigers Renew Hot Rivalry

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Hello Again: Wolverines, Tigers Renew Hot Rivalry

Article excerpt

George Novak is not too worried about his Woodland Hills football team.

Despite entering the season as the Post-Gazette's top-ranked Class AAAA team, the Wolverines ended up dropping their season opener last week at home against Upper St. Clair, 16-10, in a Southeastern Conference game.

"It was two good football teams playing that game," said Novak, whose team fell back to No. 3 in the Class AAAA rankings this week. "Both teams made mistakes; we just made more than them. Upper St. Clair is a very good, senior-oriented team.

"There were two even teams playing hard that night, but they won that one."

What Novak was concerned about this week was preparing for an old nemesis.

The Wolverines travel to Weigle-Schaeffer Memorial Stadium on Saturday afternoon to play former Quad East Conference rival McKeesport Area. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.

This also will be George Smith's first home game since returning to McKeesport's sideline as head coach. Smith, who stepped away from coaching the past three seasons, guided the Tigers' football program for 28 years and won 197 games as well as two WPIAL championships and two state title before resigning after the 2009 season.

Although the two teams faced one another in non-conference play last season -- with Woodland Hills earning a 29-12 decision -- the last time Novak saw Smith across the opposing sideline was in 2005 at Heinz Field when McKeesport topped the Wolverines, 19-7, to capture a WPIAL Class AAAA championship.

"This definitely brings back an old rivalry between coach Smith and myself," Novak said. "Before he retired, we coached against one another since 1987, so there's always been that friendly rivalry.

"We also have a lot of kids who know each other because of the close proximity, so there's definitely a rivalry."

Although the Wolverines lost last week, they still outgained Upper St. …

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