Coin flip decides final 2 spots in City League football playoffs

Sunday, October 15, 2023 | 1:13 AM

Allderdice, Brashear and Perry finished tied in the City League standings, which was a problem since only two could qualify for the football playoffs.

As a tiebreaker, the three head coaches flipped coins Friday night in the athletic director’s office at Cupples Stadium and Brashear was the team left out. Allderdice’s Jerry Haslett and Perry’s Steve Hale each flipped heads while Brashear’s Andrew Moore got tails.

The rules were that whichever two teams matched would qualify for the playoffs. Moore said his kids were “devastated” by the outcome.

“Our kids accepted full accountability for not taking care of business (during the season),” he said. “But it (stinks) when you find yourself in this position with two teams that you won more games than.”

Westinghouse (7-0, 4-0) and University Prep (6-2, 3-1) already had clinched the top two seeds. After the coin flip, Perry (1-6, 1-3) was seeded third and Allderdice (1-7, 1-3) fourth based on their earlier head-to-head matchup.

None of the three tied teams owned a winning record, but Brashear (2-6, 1-3) did have one more non-league victory. It came against Carrick, a City League team playing an independent schedule. Perry lost to Carrick.

Moore said he sent his players a text message with the bad news Friday night.

“Our kids were waiting for a message because we would’ve held a practice session this morning,” he said Saturday. “A majority of our team was at school for the homecoming dance, but I’d told the kids that once I got the results, I would let the entire team know.”

The first semifinal pairs University Prep against Perry at 7 p.m. Thursday. Westinghouse plays Allderdice at 7 p.m. Friday in the other. The final is Oct. 28 at a time to be announced.

All games are at Cupples Stadium.

The dilemma of a three-way tie was created when Allderdice lost to University Prep, 8-0, on Friday. Had Allderdice won, the Dragons would’ve been the No. 2 seed, with University Prep third and Brashear fourth.

Instead, there was a three-way tie and all three teams involved had beaten one another. Perry defeated Allderdice, 14-8, and lost to Brashear, 26-24. Brashear lost to Allderdice, 24-8.

Once head-to-head results couldn’t break the tie, the City League moved to a coin flip.

In comparison, the WPIAL uses multiple layers of tiebreakers before resorting to a coin flip, including one that measures margin of victory. Coincidentally, when comparing margin of victory, Brashear would’ve lost out on that method, too.

Complicating matters is that the City League has only five football teams nowadays.

“I’ve been through this before, except that was back when there were 10 or 12 teams,” Allderdice coach Jerry Haslett said.

Allderdice is 1-7, but Haslett said he expected his team to be ready to play Westinghouse on Friday. Westinghouse won the first matchup, 20-2, on Sept. 21.

“There are some times when you’re one-and-whatever and you just want to be done,” Haslett said, but was optimistic that wasn’t the case this year.

Moore said there was no guarantee Brashear’s season was over, since the Bulls could potentially take part in the state playoffs. But he also questioned whether that would be prudent, considering the team faced a multi-week layoff before then.

“I believe we possibly would have an opportunity, but it would be an extremely difficult decision,” Moore said, “especially if there is any type of extended layoff.”

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

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