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December 9-11 2021 Scoreboard

Breaking Down the District 7 Playoffs @NathanGrella @PABackyard

Written by: on Thursday, November 4th, 2021


The Dog and Pony Show certainly lived up to the fanfare last Saturday night, as it alleviated some controversies in the District 7 Bracket, but also created some new ones. For the first time, all but one of the championship games this season will be at Heinz Field on Nov. 26th and 27th. The 6A Title will be played a week earlier at Norwin High School.

Class A

The unequivocal favorite in 1A are once again the Clairton Bears. The Bears only two losses came against undefeated 2A teams to open up the season. The Bears won’t be playing in Round 1 as they earned the One seed bye. Clairton’s conference, the Eastern Conference, might have the three best teams in the entire Bracket. The second of those were the Bishop Canevin Crusaders, who only lost to the Bears by 10 as their only loss of the season. The third are the surprising Leechburg Blue Devils, who could play dark horse as the bracket’s 7 seed. Leechburg, who is led by D1 talent Braylan Lovelace, only lost to both Bishop Canevin and Clairton. Cornell, Rochester, and West Greene could also threaten for a spot at Heinz Field. 


Class AA

The committee chose controversy on Saturday when they selected the Steel Valley Ironmen over the Sto-Rox Vikings as the One seed in the bracket. Either way, it is likely that both of those teams see each other at Heinz. Both teams come into the bracket undefeated and with multiple defeats over 3A playoff teams. The Laurel Spartans and Washington Prexies are interesting names that survived the conference gauntlet and came out undefeated. The 6 seed is also intriguing, as the Serra Catholic Eagles only loss was in Week 9 to Steel Valley. Finally the defending champions, the Beaver Falls Tigers, might have the darkest of horses and possibly the best QB in the entire bracket in Jaren Brickner. Class 2A might be more wide open then is led to believe.


Class AAA

In Class 3A, you can practically write the Central Valley Warriors in the Winners circle in Sharpie. Elizabeth Forward, North Catholic, and Avonworth all have a shot to get to Heinz Field, however with Elizabeth Forward drawing the 4 seed straw, their path will likely end in the semifinals. North Catholic is undefeated, but untested, as they rolled through 2A opponents in their out of conference, and swept through what is likely the worst conference in the WPIAL. Avonworth might be the team at Heinz with the Warriors at the end of the day, however the Lopes losses came against Sto-Rox, and Central Valley. The latter by a score of 43-6.


Class AAAA

This is where the fun begins. The best conference in the WPIAL, the Big 8, didn’t disappoint, 3 of the top 5 teams in the bracket came out of the Big 8 in Belle Vernon, McKeesport and Thomas Jefferson. The Leopards are undefeated with another win against 5A 2 Seed Penn Trafford. They will be the likely favorite. Aliquippa is also back as the 2 seed, and their only loss came to Central Valley in the out of conference. The Quips are getting healthy and gearing up for a deep run once again. Also watch out for the undefeated Hampton Talbots, who could be a dark horse to get to the semis if they upset Thomas Jefferson in Round 2. The way the bracket is set up, this may be the most exciting classification, with two semifinals that could be Belle Vernon vs Thomas Jefferson, and McKeesport vs Aliquippa. All of those games will be appointment viewing.



5A is the most wide open out of the classifications in the WPIAL. Moon came out of the season undefeated and unscathed despite almost getting upset to Peters Township and Upper St. Clair. The Tigers will be the presumptive favorite as the 1 Seed. Big East conference rivals Penn Trafford are the 2 and the 4, and with both teams playing their best football, it is a good bet one of them will be at Heinz field. The three way tie in the Northeast put the Pine Richland Rams as the three seed, even though the conference champion, Penn Hills, received the 5. Those two along with North Hills could be interesting teams to watch to get to Heinz. Finally the most dangerous team might be the 11 seed. Peters Township dominated 2 seed Penn Trafford early in the season and looked to be the conference favorite only to lose 3 in a row in conference and barely make it into the playoffs. A fully healthy Indians might mean Peters could enter the bracket as the most dangerous of all.



In 6A, Mt. Lebanon defeated Central Catholic handily in a rain divided game to clinch the one seed in the 6A bracket. Those two teams along with Seneca Valley will receive byes, as North Allegheny will host Canon Mac in the play-in game. Mt Lebo is the favorite, however, Central Catholic has proved time and time again that even as a lower seed they are still very difficult to beat in the playoffs.

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