2021 WPIAL bracketology: Don Rebel, Chris Harlan predict football playoffs

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Saturday, October 30, 2021 | 2:43 AM


For the second year in a row, football coaches won’t crowd into a Green Tree ballroom to see the WPIAL playoff brackets announced. Instead, the brackets will be revealed in a video livestream at 6 p.m. Saturday on TribLive HSSN.

While we wait for the official brackets to be released, take an early look at how HSSN’s Chris Harlan and Don Rebel would seed the six brackets.

Here’s a breakdown of the teams that have qualified.

Class 6A

Chris Harlan’s bracket

1-Mt. Lebanon – bye

2-Central Catholic – bye

3-Seneca Valley – bye

4-North Allegheny vs. 5-Canon-McMillan

Harlan’s take: There’s no mystery about Class 6A since there’s only one conference. Seneca Valley earned third place and the final bye with a 17-12 win over NA on Friday.

Don Rebel’s bracket

1-Mt. Lebanon – bye

2-Central Catholic – bye

3-Seneca Valley – bye

4-North Allegheny vs. 5-Canon-McMillan

Class 5A

Chris Harlan’s bracket

1-Moon – bye

2-Penn-Trafford – bye

3-Pine-Richland – bye

4-Gateway – bye

5-Penn Hills vs. 12-Franklin Regional

6-North Hills vs. 11-Peters Township

7-Upper St. Clair vs. 10-Fox Chapel

8-Bethel Park vs. 9-Woodland Hills

Harlan’s take: Pine-Richland, Penn Hills and North Hills finished tied for first in the Northeast Conference, so seeding them is a little tricky. However, Pine-Richland defeated Gateway, 21-7, while Penn Hills lost to Gateway, 41-13.

Don Rebel’s bracket

1-Moon – bye

2-Penn-Trafford – bye

3-Pine-Richland – bye

4-Penn Hills – bye

5-Gateway vs. 12-Fox Chapel

6-Upper St. Clair vs. 11-Franklin Regional

7-North Hills vs. 10-Peters Township

8-Bethel Park vs. 9-Woodland Hills

Class 4A

Chris Harlan’s bracket

1-Belle Vernon – bye

2-Aliquippa – bye

3-Hampton – bye

4-McKeesport vs. 13-Plum

5-Beaver vs. 12-Indiana

6-Thomas Jefferson vs. 11-Montour

7-Armstrong vs. 10-Laurel Highlands

8-New Castle vs. 9-Highlands

Harlan’s take: Thomas Jefferson fits at No. 5, but that would put the top three teams from the Big Eight all on the same side of the bracket. So, I flipped TJ and Beaver.

Don Rebel’s bracket

1-Belle Vernon – bye

2-Aliquippa – bye

3-Hampton – bye

4-McKeesport vs. 13-Plum

5-Thomas Jefferson vs. 12-Montour

6-Beaver vs. 11-Indiana

7-Armstrong vs. 10-Laurel Highlands

8-New Castle vs. 9-Highlands

Class 3A

Chris Harlan’s bracket

1-Central Valley – bye

2-North Catholic – bye

3-Elizabeth Forward – bye

4-Avonworth – bye

5-Freeport vs. 12-Ambridge

6-Mt. Pleasant vs. 11-Burrell

7-Southmoreland vs. 10-East Allegheny

8-Keystone Oaks vs. 9-South Allegheny

Harlan’s take: The three conference champions are easy picks for the first three byes. Avonworth would earn the fourth bye as the runner-up to Central Valley in the Northwestern Six. Mt. Pleasant, Southmoreland and South Allegheny tied for second in the Interstate, so that seed order could change.

Don Rebel’s bracket

1-Central Valley – bye

2-North Catholic – bye

3-Avonworth – bye

4-Elizabeth Forward – bye

5-Freeport vs. 12-Ambridge

6-Mt. Pleasant vs. 11-Burrell

7-Southmoreland vs. 10-East Allegheny

8-Keystone Oaks vs. 9-South Allegheny

Class 2A

Chris Harlan’s bracket

1-Sto-Rox vs. 16-Shady Side Academy or Seton LaSalle

2-Steel Valley vs. 15-Beth-Center

3-Laurel vs. 14-Ligonier Valley

4-Washington vs. 13-New Brighton

5-Beaver Falls vs. 12-McGuffey

6-Serra Catholic vs. 11-Neshannock

7-Western Beaver/South Side winner vs. 10-Mohawk

8-Chartiers-Houston vs. 9-Western Beaver/South Side loser

Harlan’s take: Western Beaver hosts South Side at 12:30 p.m. Saturday. The winner is second in the Midwestern and the loser is third. Tiebreaker points will decide whether the fourth-place wild card comes from the Three Rivers (Seton LaSalle) or Allegheny (Shady Side Academy).

Don Rebel’s bracket

1-Sto-Rox vs. 16-Shady Side Academy or Seton LaSalle

2-Steel Valley vs. 15-Beth-Center

3-Laurel vs. 14-Ligonier Valley

4-Washington vs. 13-New Brighton

5-Beaver Falls vs. 12-McGuffey

6-Serra Catholic vs. 11-Neshannock

7-Western Beaver/South Side winner vs. 10-Mohawk

8-Chartiers-Houston vs. 9-Western Beaver-South Side loser

Class A

Chris Harlan’s bracket

1- Clairton – bye

2. Bishop Canevin vs. 15-Monessen

3-Cornell vs. 14-Mapletown

4-West Greene vs. 13-Springdale/Riverview winner

5-Rochester vs. 12-Burgettstown

6-Leechburg vs. 11-Shenango

7-Our Lady of the Sacred Heart vs. 10-California

8-Carmichaels vs. 9-Greensburg Central Catholic

Harlan’s take: The Eastern appears to be the strongest Class A conference this season, earning Clairton and Canevin the top seeds. Riverview hosts Springdale at noon Saturday. The winner is fifth in the Eastern and the loser is eliminated.

Don Rebel’s bracket

1-Clairton – bye

2-Bishop Canevin vs. 15-Monessen

3-Cornell vs. 14-Mapletown

4-West Greene vs. 13-Burgettstown

5-Rochester vs. 12-California

6-Leechburg vs. 11-Shenango

7-Our Lady of the Sacred Heart vs. 10-Springdale/Riverview winner

8-Carmichaels vs. 9-Greensburg Central Catholic

Chris Harlan is a TribLive reporter covering sports. He joined the Trib in 2009 after seven years as a reporter at the Beaver County Times. He can be reached at charlan@triblive.com.

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