Football Class 6A Semifinal Round Preview

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It was a nice week off for the top two teams in Class 6A, North Allegheny and Pine-Richland, respectively, who will get to host its semifinal games tonight. Both games will start at 7:30 p.m.

No. 1 North Allegheny Tigers (10-0) vs. No. 5 Seneca Valley Raiders (8-3)

North Allegheny had its first Friday night off in 10 weeks last Friday after earning a bye as the Class 6A regular season champions. The Tigers clinched the section title with a 27-7 win against Pine-Richland in the final week of the regular season. On the season, North Allegheny was the most prolific offense in Class 6A, averaging 37.4 points per game. Defensively, they allowed 12.4 points per game, good for second in the section, only behind Seneca Valley who is letting up 9.5 points per game. The Tigers had the top rusher in Class 6A in senior Ben Maenza. Maenza rushed for 1,035 yards on 123 carriers (8.4 yards per carry) and 17 touchdowns. Junior Percise Colon has also been a threat, scoring 10 touchdowns on the season. North Allegheny lost to Pine-Richland in last year’s semifinal round, 49-25…Seneca Valley had a few days to catch its breath after a scintillating 15-14 come-from-behind win against No. 4 Central Catholic at Fox Chapel in the quarterfinals last week. The Raiders fell behind 14-0 in the first quarter, but their stout defense wouldn’t allow another point the remainder of the game. Seneca Valley still trailed 14-3 at halftime but got second half touchdowns on a 21-yard pass from junior Gabe Lawson to senior Jake Stebbins. The two-point conversion failed but the Raiders got the winning score in the fourth quarter on a 12-yard run by senior Jake Mineweaser. Seneca Valley last made the semifinals in 2016 when they defeated North Allegheny, 28-27…The regular season matchup on Sept. 28 was the closest one for North Allegheny, as they were able to pull out a 10-6 victory.

No. 2 Pine-Richland Rams (8-2) vs. No. 3 Mt. Lebanon Blue Devils (6-5)

Pine-Richland had a much needed week off after losing its regular season finale against North Allegheny. It has been a different look for the Rams who went undefeated en route to a WPIAL and PIAA championship a year ago. The Rams had the second best offense in the section this year, averaging 34.8 points per game and the third best defense, allowing 14.9 points per game. In his first year as the starting quarterback, sophomore Cole Spencer threw for 1,080 yards. The most damage has been done on the ground with the legs of junior Luke Meckler. Meckler was tied for second in Class 6A with 1,014 yards on 130 carries (7.8 yards per carry) and 16 touchdowns. Pine-Richland defeated North Allegheny in the semifinal round last year at Ambridge, 49-25…It was a see-saw battle by Mt. Lebanon was able to survive its home quarterfinal matchup against No. 6 Canon-McMillan last week, 38-31. The Blue Devils fell behind 17-3 before making their comeback. Senior quarterback Seth Morgan connected with senior Lucas DeCaro for 19 yards to cut into the lead. Canon-McMillan jumped back out to a 24-10 before the Blue Devils rattled off 28 unanswered points to control the game. Mt. Lebanon scored on three touchdown runs and a punt return. Mt. Lebanon last made the WPIAL semifinals in 2005, a 39-18 loss to against McKeesport…This is the second meeting of the season at Pine-Richland between the two squads this year with the Rams winning the first one, 42-24, back on Oct. 12.

For a complete look at the Class 6A bracket, click here.