Season Preview: Fox Chapel Boys Basketball

Fox Chapel will enter the 2017-18 boys basketball season as the defending Section 2-AAAAAA regular season champion. The Foxes compiled a 19-4 overall record and 12-2 mark in the section.

They advanced to the WPIAL quarterfinals where they lost to Woodland Hills, 52-47.

Head coach Zach Skrinjar is entering his ninth season as the Foxes head coach, and will have two starters returning.

Both starters coming back are senior Carson Cohen and junior Ben Kelly. Cohen averaged 16 points per game last season and led the team in assists. Kelly averaged 12 points per game.

The Foxes will also rely more heavily on senior Micah Morris. Morris was a first-team Allegheny Nine Conference selection at running back during the football season.

Also looking to make an impact will be junior Ryan Kerr, junior Noah Marks, senior Dom McGriff, sophomore Arnold Vento, senior Justin Supsura, and sophomore Will Livingston.

Fox Chapel will begin its season against Imani Christian on Friday in the Plum Tip-Off Tournament.

Preview: Wright Automotive Tip-Off Tournament

The 2017-2018 basketball season tips off on Friday night and one of the top tip-off tournaments in the area will be the Wright Automotive Tournament at North Allegheny. The Wright Automotive Tip-Off Tournament is a four-day hoops spectacular that features six of the most prominent programs in girls’ basketball in Western Pennsylvania, including the reigning WPIAL champions in Class 6A and 5A. Here is a preview of this weekend’s varsity action.

Friday, December 8

Chartiers Valley vs. Altoona – 3:45 p.m.

The Chartiers Valley Colts gallop into the 2017-2018 season as the defending WPIAL champions in Class 5A following a 20-8 season and is currently the No. 1-ranked team in the classification. The Colts trotted past Oakland Catholic in the WPIAL title game, 52-36, before falling to Trinity in the PIAA second round. A wealth of talent returns from last year’s championship team, including PA Big 56 Conference first-team selections Mackenzie Wagner, Megan McConnell and Gabi Legister. Wagner and McConnell make up one of the most exciting guard tandems in the WPIAL. Wagner averaged 15 points per game last season and McConnell averaged 11 points per game as a freshman. McConnell’s older brothers are T.J. (Philadelphia 76ers) and Matty (Robert Morris) who had storied high school careers and are continuing their lore in the pros and college, respectively. Legister is a 6-foot-2 forward who has committed to Division I Kennesaw State where she will play for former Pitt women’s basketball coach Agnus Berenato who is in her second season of a rebuild at Kennesaw.

The Altoona Mountain Lions are returning to the Wright Automotive Tip-Off Tournament for the second straight season and were one of the few teams that defeated Chartiers Valley a year ago with a 60-53 victory at last year’s tournament. The Mountain Lions clawed their way to a 15-9 record last season and won the Class 6A District 6 title with a 54-42 triumph over State College in the championship game. Altoona rolled through the District 6 playoffs with an average margin of victory of 24.8 points before losing to Cedar Cliff in the first round of the state playoffs. The Mountain Lions were hit hard by graduation, losing all five starters and their sixth-man off the bench from last year’s squad.

Mt. Lebanon vs. Norwin – 5:30 p.m.

Like Chartiers Valley and Altoona, the Mt. Lebanon Blue Devils reached the state playoffs last season and are coming off a 19-7 season and a Section 3 title in arguably the toughest section in Class 6A. The Blue Devils lost their top two scorers from last year but still have one of the best coaches in the WPIAL in head coach Dori Oldaker. Mt. Lebanon won three consecutive PIAA titles under Oldaker from 2009-2011. Junior forward Jamey Napoleon, who averaged eight points and five rebounds per game last year, and guards Alyssa Hyland and Jess Wilhelm are expected to be top contributors this season.

The Norwin Knights saw their bid for a WPIAL three-peat come to an end last season at the hands of the Blue Devils in the WPIAL quarterfinals, 47-44. Two years ago, it was Norwin who bounced Mt. Lebanon in the WPIAL and PIAA playoffs during their march to a second straight WPIAL title and appearance in the PIAA quarterfinals. In a series that has developed into an exciting, competitive rivalry, Norwin and Mt. Lebanon will hook up again in day one at the Wright Automotive Tip-Off Tournament. Despite their loss in the WPIAL quarterfinals, the Knights had another successful season with a 17-6 record and second-place finish in Section 2-6A under seventh-year head coach Brian Brozeski. Norwin suffered significant losses due to graduation and return only two players with varsity experience, senior Megan Polcynski and junior Jessica Kolesar.

North Allegheny vs. Penn Hills – 7:15 p.m.

The night cap of Friday’s tripleheader pits the North Allegheny Tigers against the Penn Hills Indians. The Tigers enter the season as the top-ranked team in the state in Class 6A and the Indians are ranked fifth in the state, setting the stage for an epic season opener. The expectations are high for North Allegheny after reaching the PIAA title game last season and capturing its first WPIAL crown in program history. The Tigers surrendered only one senior from last year’s team and return leading scorer Rachel Martindale, senior guard Piper Morningstar (Radford University) and senior forward Madelyn Fischer (Seton Hill University).

The Penn Hills Indians have been one of the top teams in the largest classification over the past few years and have reached the state tournament three consecutive seasons. Their opening night opponent has been a thorn in their side, however, knocking them out of the PIAA playoffs two of the last three seasons. North Allegheny owns a 14-game winning streak over Penn Hills. The Indians will try to snap that losing skid but will have to do so without Desiree Oliver and Jade Ely who are now playing Division I college basketball, and Diamond Jay-Whittington who is out for the season with a knee injury. Despite those losses, coach Robert Cash has a deep and talented roster that is headlined by Tayonna Robertson. Receiving Division I interest, Robertson is a 6-1 junior who averaged over 12 points per game as a sophomore. Juniors Ariana Dunson and Adia Brisker should be major players for a Penn Hills team coming off a 23-4 season and undefeated Section 2-6A title.

Football Preview: Class 6A Championship

No. 1 Pine-Richland Rams (12-0) vs. No. 2 Central Catholic Vikings (10-2) At Heinz Field (2 p.m.)

From the start of the season it has been championship or bust for both of these powerhouses. The Rams are having one of the more impressive seasons in Class 6A history, steamrolling through all of their opponents, including the Vikings in a 47-17 decision on Sept. 29. In that game, senior Jordan Crawford was unstoppable with seven first half touchdowns. The Rams led the Vikings 47-3 at the half. Leading the way for Pine-Richland all season long has been Army All-American and Notre Dame commit, Phil Jurkovec. Jurkovec is second in the WPIAL with 3,003 passing yards. He has thrown 30 touchdowns and rushed for 13 more. The rams are seeking their first WPIAL championship since 2014.

Crawford and Jurkovec both made the Northern Seven All-Conference team. Joining them are center Mike Dorundo, offensive guard Mike Katic, offensive tackle Andrew Kristofic, wide receiver Ray Falcone, kicker Vittorio Orsini, defensive end Tommy Camino, outside linebacker Tyler King, defensive back Thomas Burns, and Eric Kasperowicz as coach of the year.

For the Vikings, Heinz Field has been like a second home. Central Catholic will be competing in its fifth straight WPIAL championship and will be seeking its second straight title. The Vikings have been on a roll since the loss to the Rams, scoring 34.6 points per game during their six game win streak. Offensively, the Vikings haven’t been as dominant as years past, but have the experience under center with senior Troy Fisher. Fisher threw for 1,346 yards and 19 touchdowns and ran for eight more touchdowns. He was named to the all-conference team as a punter, with Jurkovec earning the first-team nod for quarterback.

Other Vikings joining Fisher as first-team all-conference are defensive tackle David Green, defensive end Brian Dallas, inside linebacker Liam Slattery, defensive back Khalil Weathers.

To see how both teams made it to Heinz Field, click on the link below.

Class 6A Football Playoff Bracket

Football Preview: Class 5A Championship

No. 1 Penn-Trafford Warriors (11-1) vs. No. 2 Gateway Gators (11-1) At Heinz Field (5 p.m.)

The top two teams in Class 5A and the Big East Conference will battle for the second time this season, only this time it is for a chance at being named the WPIAL championship. Gateway has more of the bigger names in terms of statistics, but Penn-Trafford got the best of the on Sept. 29, 28-0.

Seniors Cam Laffoon and John Gay highlighted the scoring for the Warriors in the contest. Laffoon threw two first half touchdowns, while Gay had a 5-yard touchdown run in the second quarter and capped the scoring in the fourth with a 31-yard run.

The shutout was the only time Gateway has scored less than 21 points in a game this season. On the year, they are averaging 37.6 points per game. The Warriors have allowed only 10.7 points per game with three shutouts. Gateway has the top passer in the WPIAL this year with senior Brady Walker. Walker has completed 207 of 332 passes (62 percent) for 3,394 yards and 37 touchdowns to six interceptions. Junior Courtney Jackson has the primary target for Walker, hauling in 63 receptions for 1,382 yards and 20 touchdowns. Both Walker and Jackson were selected to the BIg East All-Conference team.

Other Gators joining them on the all-conference team were offensive guard Tomi Woodson, defensive end Canaan Cleveland, and defensive back Jeremiah Josephs.

For the Warriors, Gay and Laffoon both made first team as well. Joining them were offensive tackle Mitch Nedley, kicker Nick Tarabrella, defensive tackle Logan Hawkins, defensive end Will Mayr, outside linebacker Matt Wilkie, defensive back Dimitri George, and John Ruane as the coach of the year.

The Warriors have never won a WPIAL championship, while the Gators are seeking their first since 1986.

To see how each team arrived at Heinz Field, click on the link below.

Class 5A Football Playoff Bracket

Football Preview: Class 6A Semifinal Preview

No. 1 Pine-Richland Rams (11-0) vs. No. 5 North Allegheny (8-3) At Ambridge (7:30 p.m.)

The top-seeded Rams and fifth-seed Tigers both cruised into the semifinals with quarterfinal routs. The Rams defeated Norwin, 49-14, which was right on the dot with how many points they averaged per game this season. Senior quarterback and Notre Dame recruit, Phil Jurkovec, led the way like he has all season with four touchdown passes and an 84-yard touchdown run. The Tigers won their second game at Mt. Lebanon this season with their 38-14 win over the Blue Devils. North Allegheny scored touchdowns on its first two possessions of the game, including an 82-yard run by senior quarterback, Luke TruemanTurner White scored two touchdowns for the Tigers and Nikko Rankin had a pick-six to seal the victory. This is a rematch of the last game of the regular season when the Rams defeated the Tigers on the road, 48-28. The 20-point win was the smallest margin of victory for Pine-Richland this season. The Rams lost in the semifinals the last two years and are looking to head back to the WPIAL championship for the first time since 2014 when they won it. The Tigers lost in the semifinals last year and are looking to return to the title game for the first time since 2012 when they went undefeated on their way to a WPIAL and PIAA championship.

No. 2 Central Catholic Vikings (9-2) vs. No. 6 Penn Hills Indians (8-3) At Fox Chapel (7:30 p.m.)

The second semifinal will pit two more Northern Seven Conference opponents against each other. The Vikings shutout the Indians, 21-0, in the final game of the regular season. It was the second shutout of the season for the Vikings, who relied on their offense in their 27-20 win against Peters Township in the quarterfinals. In that game, senior Troy Fisher accounted for all of Central Catholic’s scores with two touchdown passes and two rushing touchdowns. The Indians have been relying on their offense all season, and it wasn’t anything different in their 30-28 win at Bethel Park in the semifinals. On the season, Penn Hills is averaging 29.7 points per game. Central Catholic has won three of the last four championships and is seeking its fifth straight trip to the championship game. Penn Hills is playing in the semifinals for the first times since 2008.

For the complete bracket, click on the link below.

2017 Class 6A Football Playoff Bracket

Football Preview: Class 5A Semifinals

No. 1 Penn-Trafford Warriors (10-1) vs. No. 4 Upper St. Clair Panthers (8-3) At West Mifflin (7:30 p.m.)

The top-seed Warriors survived their quarterfinal scare against Fox Chapel last week, coming from behind for the 28-21 win. Penn-Trafford had four players account for touchdowns. Senior quarterback Cam Laffoon led the charge with a rushing touchdown and passing touchdown. Throughout the season, the Warriors have relied on their defense, allowing 10.4 points per game, which is tops in Class 5A. The Panthers proved they have one of the top defenses as well in their quarterfinal game, defeating Franklin Regional, 6-3. Upper St. Clair’s lone score of the game came in the second quarter on a Jack Hansberry pass to Chris Pantellis. During the season, the Panthers have allowed 17.9 points per game and have only allowed 12 points combined in their last two games. Penn-Trafford is looking to return to the WPIAL championship for the second time in three years. Upper St. Clair is making is first semifinal appearance since 2013 after coming off its first playoff win last week since that semifinal run.

No. 2 Gateway Gators (10-1) vs. No. 6 McKeesport Tigers (8-2) At Norwin (7:30 p.m.)

The rematch from last year’s classic is set. Gateway was a play away from going to the WPIAL Championship, but McKeesport’s last second hail mary, followed by a hook-and-ladder gave the Tigers the 41-38 victory. It wasn’t the most recent three point game between the rivals, as Gateway defeated McKeesport 21-18 in the second to last game of the regular season. The Gators have the top-ranked offense in Class 5A, and that was showcased last week in their 40-28 quarterfinal win against Woodland Hills. On the season, Gateway is averaging 38.5 points per game. In their quarterfinal win, freshman Derrick Davis stole the show with 111 yards and three touchdowns. Brady Walker also rushed for a touchdown and threw for one. McKeesport knocked out defending WPIAL champion in a rematch of last year’s title game in the quarterfinals, defeating West Allegheny 22-21. All three scores for the Tigers came on the ground with runs from John HarperCarlinos Acie, and Layton Jordan.

For a complete look at the bracket, click on the link below.

2017 Class 5A Football Playoff Bracket

Preview: Class 4A Girls Volleyball Championship

No. 1 North Allegheny (19-0) vs. No. 2 Armstrong (18-1) At Baldwin (6 p.m.)

The top two teams throughout the regular season will battle for the WPIAL championship tonight. Although they are the top two, there is still gap between who is the best team. North Allegheny is having on of the more impressive season’s in the WPIAL in history. Not only have they not lost a match all season, they have only lost four sets, and none of those came in the playoffs as they swept its way to the title game with wins against Connellsville, Peters Township, and Hempfield. They nearly lost the first set to Hempfield, but were able to storm back after being down a couple of set points. Armstrong has been impressive in their run to tonight’s game, winning 13 straight, including knocking out the defending WPIAL champion, Seneca Valley, in four sets in the semifinals. Throughout the season, the River Hawks 14 sweeps to the Tigers 16.

Armstrong has not won a championship since they merged between Kittanning and Ford City. They lost in the quarterfinals last season. North Allegheny also lost in the quarterfinals last year, and is looking to hoist the trophy for the first time since 2013.

For Armstrong, they recently had three players make all-section for the Big 56 Conference and had Andrea Lasher win Coach of the Year for the Section. Making first team was Kenzie LasherLoryn Bowser, and Lauren Crytzer. As expected, the Tigers had a plethora of players make all-section, led by Coach of the Year, Heidi Miller. Joining coach was her daughter Abby MiilerErin Carmody, and Kayla Dinkins.

Seneca Valley and Hempfield will play in the consolation game at 4 determine the final WPIAL team to qualify for the PIAA playoffs.

For a complete look at the bracket, click on the link below.

2017 Class 4A Girls Volleyball Playoff Bracket

Preview: Class 4A Girls Soccer Championship

No. 2 Penn-Trafford (16-3-1) vs. No. 4 Norwin (17-1-1) At Highmark Stadium (3:30 p.m.)

The expectation for Norwin and everyone else familiar with its program was to compete for a WPIAL and PIAA championship. So it is no surprise that they are playing in today’s game. Although it shouldn’t come as a complete surprise that Penn-Trafford is its opponent, it may be a shocker that the Warriors have had the Knights number this season. At 9-0-1, Penn-Trafford claimed the regular season title in Section 4. They finished a game ahead of Norwin, due to its 1-0 win against the Knights on Sept. 25. The Knights were looking for revenge on Oct. 11 at home, but again struggled to find the back of the net against the Warriors, but were able to salvage a 0-0 tie.

After a 6-1 win in the first round against Penn Hills, Penn-Trafford had to get by on a couple of one goal wins. In the quarterfinals, they defeated Fox Chapel 3-2 and came away with a 2-1 win with the winning goal coming in the final minute against Upper St. Clair in the semifinals.

Norwin, the No. 24-ranked team in the country, got to Highmark Stadium with relative ease in the playoffs, defeating Canon-McMillan 6-1 in the first round, Kiski Area 3-1 in the quarterfinals and North Allegheny 2-0 in the semifinals.

Both teams peppered the Big 56 all-section teams with participants. Penn-Trafford had four first-teamers which included sophomore Sarah Nguyen, and seniors Lauren StovarHannah Nguyen, and Mackenzie Aunkst. Jackie Bartko also won Coach of the Year in the section for the Warriors. For Norwin, seniors Emily ArnoldEmily HarriganLexy Kendro, and Sam Wexell made first team.

Norwin is seeking its third straight WPIAL championship. Penn-Trafford lost in the quarterfinals last year, and is looking for its first WPIAL title since 2003.

For a complete look at the bracket, click on the link below.

2017 Class 4A Girls’ Soccer Playoff Bracket

Preview: Class 6A Quarterfinals

No. 1 Pine-Richland (10-0) vs. No. 8 Norwin (5-5) At 7:30 p.m.

No one has been able to stop the Rams this season, and it will be a tall task for the Knights to be the one to do so. Pine-Richland has put up an astounding 49.7 points per game led by senior quarterback and Notre Dame commit, Phil Jurkovec. Jurkovec is second in the WPIAL with 2,336 passing yards and 21 touchdowns. The supporting cast of seniors Jason DeFrancisis, Raymond Falcone, Jordan Crawford and Kenny White have made the Rams the heavy favorite throughout the playoffs. DeFrancisis is first on the team in receiving with 42 receptions for 595 yards. Falcone is second on the team with 36 receptions, but first with 745 yards. Crawford is 100 yards away from 1,000 on the season with 21 touchdowns and White, the West Allegheny transfer, has 405 yards but has been sidelined by injuries this season. For the Knights, Jack Salopek has thrown for 1,667 yards and eight touchdowns. The Rams are looking for their fourth straight trip to the semifinals. Norwin lost in the quarterfinals last year.

No. 2 Central Catholic (8-2) vs. No. 7 Peters Township (7-3) At Cupples Stadium (7:30 p.m.)

It is no surprise to see the Vikings, the defending Class 6A WPIAL champions, as one of the top seeds again in the football playoffs. For the Indians, they are making their first playoffs appearance since 2013 when they lost in the first round to McKeesport. The Vikings are entering tonight’s game on a four game win streak, while the Indians won their last two games after back-to-back to two playoff teams in Pine-Richland and Mt. Lebanon. Central Catholic is scoring 31.2 points per game and allowed 17 points per game in the regular season. Peters Township scored 23.1 per game and allowed 18.1 per game. Senior quarterback Troy Fisher is 115 yards from 1,000 on the season and has thrown 14 touchdown passes.

No. 3 Bethel Park (8-1) vs. No. 6 Penn Hills (7-3) At 7:30 p.m.

The lone blemish for the Black Hawks came to the hands to Pine-Richland. Since then, Bethel Park has won five straight, including defeating Mt. Lebanon last week to win the Southeastern Conference regular season title. The Indians split their  last four games after starting the season 5-1. All three of their losses came to playoff opponents. Bethel and Penn Hills have both showed electric offenses this season, with the Black Hawks scoring 35.1 points per game and the Indians 29.7 per game. Defensively, Bethel Park has the edge allowing 17.9 points per game to Penn Hills’ 22.2 per game. Penn Hills relied on its potent passing game led by junior quarterback Hollis Mathis. Mathis is second in Class 6A with 2,093 passing yards and 23 touchdowns. For Bethel Park, sophomore Anthony Chiccetti had a breakout season, and needs 106 passing yards for 1,000. The Black Hawks also have the leading rusher in Class 6A with senior Tanner Volpatti. Volpatti has rushed for 1,111 yards and 22 touchdowns. Bethel Park lost in the quarterfinals the last two years. Penn Hills missed the playoffs last year.

No. 4 Mt. Lebanon (6-4) vs. No. 5 North Allegheny (7-3) At 7:30 p.m.

This is one of the few matchups tonight where the lower seed could be considered the favorite. The Tigers already have at success on the road this season against the Blue Devils, defeating them 44-27 in Week 5. North Allegheny had its six game win streak snapped last week to the hands of Pine-Richland. Mt. Lebanon also lost a rivalry game to Bethel Park last week. It was the second straight loss for the Blue Devils heading into the playoffs. North Allegheny was an offensive machine this season, averaging 36.2 points per game and allowed 19.6 points per game. Mt. Lebanon was able to put up the points as well, averaging 31.4 and allowed 26.6. The Tigers offense has been led by seniors Luke Trueman and Turner White. Trueman threw for 1,041 yards and 11 touchdowns and ran for 830 yards and seven touchdowns. White led the team with 862 yards and 12 touchdowns. Mt. Lebanon’s game plan will revolve around the top receiver in the WPIAL, senior Aiden Cain. Cain led the WPIAL with 93 receptions for 1,648 yards and 14 touchdowns. The Tigers are looking for their second straight trip to the semifinals. The Blue Devils lost in the quarterfinals the last two years.

For a complete look at the bracket, click on the link below.

2017 Class 6A Football Playoff Bracket

Preview: Class 5A Football Quarterfinals

No. 1 Penn-Trafford (9-1) vs. No. 8 Fox Chapel (6-4) At 7:30 p.m.

The top seed Warriors come into the playoffs fresh off their only loss of the season, a 27-24 defeat to the hands of McKeesport. Meanwhile, the Foxes are entering tonight’s quarterfinal game on a five game win streak after starting the season 1-4. Fox Chapel will have its hands full as Penn-Trafford showed they are one of the  best overall team in Class 5A this season. The Warriors have scored 35 points per game and only allowed 9.3 points per game in the regular season. Fox Chapel has averaged 28.8 points per game but struggled on defense, allowing 22.7 points per game. Penn-Trafford senior quarterback Cam Laffoon is one of eight signal callers in Class 5A to throw for more than 1,000 yards. Lafoon has thrown for 1,147 yards and 12 touchdowns.The Foxes have relied more on their run game with two 1,000 yard rushers on the season. Senior Micah Morris finished second in Class 5A 1,246 yards and senior quarterback Nick Gizzo was third with 1,239 yards and 17 touchdowns. Morris scored 13 touchdowns. Both teams missed the playoffs last year.

No. 2 Gateway (9-1) vs. No. 7 Woodland Hills (6-4) At 7:30 p.m.

The Gators opened up the season with a 35-23 win at the Wolverines, and will be looking for a similar result tonight in their quarterfinal rematch. Gateway clinched a share of the section title on the final week of the regular season, and enter the game on a four game win streak. Woodland Hills have won five of their last six games after starting the season 1-3. The Gators have the top-ranked offense in Class 5A with 38.3 points per game, thanks to senior quarterback Brady Walker and junior Courtney Jackson. Walker was the top passer in the whole WPIAL, throwing for 2,701 yards and 33 touchdowns. Jackson is second in the WPIAL with 1,193 yards and first in Class 5A with 18 touchdowns. Gateway is looking for their second straight trip to the semifinals. Woodland Hills is looking for its third straight trip to the semifinals.

No. 3 West Allegheny (7-2) vs. No. 6 McKeesport (7-2) At 7:30 p.m.

The Indians and Tigers battling in the quarterfinals assures that the 2017 WPIAL championship will not be a rematch of the 2016 classic that saw West Allegheny come away with a 38-37 win in overtime. The defending champion Indians split the last four games of the regular season after starting out the season 5-0 as the No. 1 ranked team. McKeesport is a dangerous six seed, winning seven of their last eight games after starting the season 0-1. Their latest win was against top-seed Penn-Trafford. The Tigers slightly outscored the Indians in points per game, 35.4 to 29. They have also allowed less points per game with 12.6 to the Indians’ 17.4. Junior tight end Mateo Vandamia is the top target for the Indians, hauling in 27 catches for 384 yards, which is fifth in Class 5A. McKeesport has relied on its senior running back, Layton Jordan. Jordan is fourth in Class 5A with 1,177 yards and 14 touchdowns. John Harper is also tied for the team lead with 14 touchdowns.

No. 4 Upper St. Clair (7-3) vs. No. 5 Franklin Regional (6-3) At 7:30 p.m.

In the battle of the Panthers, Upper St. Clair enters its home game tonight losing two of their last three games after a six game win streak highlighted by an overtime win against West Allegheny. Franklin Regional split its last four regular season games after starting the season 4-1. Upper St. Clair, who won the Allegheny Nine regular season title, did so scoring 26 points per game, but allowed 19.4 points per game. Franklin Regional roughly has allowed the same number of points per game with a 18.1 average. Its offense has struggled more than any other in the Class 5A bracket with 19.1 points per game. Senior quarterback Jack Hansberry has led Upper St. Clair through the air with 1,376 passing yards and nine touchdowns on the season. Classmate Dom Cepullio was on the receiving end of 26 of those passes for 425 yards. Junior Colin McLinden leads Upper St. Clair with 12 touchdowns. For Franklin Regional, junior Adam Rudzinski is 26 yards shy of 1,000 passing yards on the season. He has thrown 10 touchdowns. Both Panther squads lost in the quarterfinal round last year.

For a complete look at the bracket, click on the link below.

2017 Class 5A Football Bracket