Allegheny 8 co-champions Moon, Peters Township rematch in WPIAL quarterfinals

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Friday, November 8, 2019 | 5:00 AM


The WPIAL football playoffs often bring together unfamiliar teams, so their coaches spend hours studying one another on film.

But that’s not always the case.

Allegheny Eight co-champions Peters Township and Moon meet for the second time in six weeks Friday night in a Class 5A quarterfinal at West Allegheny, a matchup that doesn’t hold too many secrets.

“A lot of the legwork was already completed,” Peters Township coach T.J. Plack said. “We just had to go back and take a look at our (Week 6) game again — what worked, what didn’t — and see if they made any changes over the last four or five weeks.”

Moon coach Ryan Linn agreed.

“It helped us prepare because we know what to expect,” Linn said. “The kids already know what we’re going against.”

However, that doesn’t mean there won’t be some new ideas.

“It will be interesting that first quarter,” Plack said, “to see what they saw that they’re sticking with this game. And it’s the same for us.”

Moon won 21-13 on Oct. 4, handing Peters Township (10-1) its only loss in the regular season. The two tied for the conference title because Moon (9-2) lost in overtime to Bethel Park.

The WPIAL seeded them fourth and fifth, setting up this conference championship rematch in the second round. The winner advances to face No. 1 Penn-Trafford or No. 9 Upper St. Clair.

“I think at this point you have to trust what you do,” Linn said. “But you have to have the ability to have some new wrinkles and adjustments. … We beat them last time but we know we’re not just going to show up and they’ll roll over.”

In Week 6, Peters Township running back Ryan Magiske rushed for 129 yards and a touchdown but pressure from Moon’s dominant defensive linemen disrupted the passing game. Indians quarterback Logan Pfeuffer completed only 6 of 23 attempts for 74 yards, and Penn recruit Josh Casilli had one catch for nine yards.

“We re-watched the game last week … and you really saw how well we played that night,” Linn said. “We got really good pressure on the quarterback and forced him into some quick throws. That helped to throw their timing and rhythm off.”

Moon won that night with two touchdown passes by quarterback Tyler McGowan, who was filling in for injured starter Dante Clay.

Now that Clay and McGowan are each healthy, the Tigers rotate the two quarterbacks and each had more than 100 yards passing last week. Clay threw for two touchdowns and McGowan threw one in a 35-7 victory over Franklin Regional.

Peters Township is coming off a 47-6 win over Mars that included three touchdowns by Magiske and two from Casilli.

“We do what we do. They do what they do,” Plack said. “We’re going to continue to do the same things. We’re not going to throw a different offense or a different defense out there. I think that would be absolutely the wrong thing to do.”

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

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