WPIAL football playoff picture heading into Week 8

Sunday, October 13, 2019 | 2:48 PM

The stretch run continues as the WPIAL football season heads into the final two weeks of the regular season.

Heading into Week 8, the list of teams that have clinched has risen to 41 with 21 spots still up for grabs.

The TribLive High School Sports Network will keep you updated with each passing week as to who is in and who is still alive.

All the key games over the final three weeks can be heard on Trib HSSN.

In Class 6A, the top six teams make the playoffs, with the top two teams earning a quarterfinals bye.

In Class 5A, the top five teams in each conference make the playoffs, with one sixth-place team earning a wild card berth. The top two teams and two of the three third-place teams will host a first-round playoff game.

In Class 4A and 3A, the top four teams in each conference qualify for the playoffs, with the top two teams earning a quarterfinals home game.

In Class 2A, the top four teams in each conference make the playoffs, with the top two teams hosting first-round playoff games.

In Class A, the top two teams in each conference make the playoffs with two of the third-place teams earning wild card berths. The three conference champions and one second-place team will host quarterfinals games.

Only conference records are shown.

Class 6A

Clinched: North Allegheny (7-0), Central Catholic (5-1), Pine-Richland (5-1), Mt. Lebanon (4-2)

Still alive: Seneca Valley (3-3), Canon-McMillan (2-4), Norwin (1-5), Butler (0-6)

Out: Hempfield (1-6)

Conference schedule

Week 8 – Pine-Richland at Seneca Valley, Canon-McMillan at Central Catholic, Mt. Lebanon at Norwin, Hempfield at Butler

Week 9 – North Allegheny at Pine-Richland, Central Catholic at Mt. Lebanon, Norwin at Seneca Valley, Butler at Canon-McMillan

The Lowdown

Seneca Valley will clinch with one more win or one more Norwin loss. Canon-McMillan will clinch with one more win or one more Norwin and Butler loss.

Class 5A Big East

Clinched: Penn-Trafford (5-0), Gateway (3-1), McKeesport (3-1), Franklin Regional (3-1), Latrobe (2-4)

Still alive: Plum (1-5)

Out: Connellsville (0-5)

Conference schedule

Week 8 – McKeesport at Franklin Regional, Connellsville at Gateway

Week 9 – Gateway at McKeesport, Penn-Trafford at Franklin Regional

The Lowdown

Three of the final four conference games are head-to-head contests between playoff teams that have clinched and will help decide the final order. Plum has to beat Hempfield in Week 9 to have a shot at the wild card. Because the Big East has one less team then the Allegheny 8 and Northern Conference, that game counts toward sixth-place record and tiebreaker points for Plum.

Class 5A Northern

Clinched: Penn Hills (6-0), North Hills (4-1)

Still alive: Mars (3-2), Shaler (2-3), Kiski Area (2-3), Fox Chapel (2-3), Hampton (2-4), Armstrong (0-5)

Conference schedule

Week 8 – Kiski Area at Mars, Shaler at North Hills, Armstrong at Fox Chapel

Week 9 – North Hills at Penn Hills, Mars at Hampton, Armstrong at Kiski Area, Shaler at Fox Chapel

The Lowdown

If North Hills beats Shaler on Friday, the Indians will visit Penn Hills in Week 9 for the conference title. Mars can clinch with a win on Friday.

Class 5A Allegheny 8

Clinched: Bethel Park (4-1), Moon (4-1), Peters Township (4-1), Baldwin (4-2), Upper St. Clair (3-2)

Still alive: West Allegheny (2-4)

Out: Chartiers Valley (0-5), Woodland Hills (0-5)

Conference schedule

Week 8 – Peters Township at Bethel Park, Moon at Woodland Hills, Upper St. Clair at Chartiers Valley

Week 9 – Bethel Park at Upper St. Clair, Moon at West Allegheny, Peters Township at Baldwin, Woodland Hills at Chartiers Valley

The Lowdown

Hard to imagine anybody would say that remaining games against Woodland Hills and West Allegheny may be the easiest path toward a conference crown, but record-wise, that is the situation for Moon in the final two weeks.

Class 5A wild card

Fox Chapel’s win over Mars on Friday has really helped the Northern Conference in the chase for the sixth-place wild card. West Allegheny may need to beat Moon to get in and Plum would need to beat Hempfield in Week 9 to have a shot. It is conceivable that whichever Northern team finishes sixth, could finish with three wins. Outside of West A over Moon, three wins should be enough to clinch a wild card.

Class 5A third-place home game

The top two teams in each conference plus two third-place finishers will earn a home game in the first round. If North Hills loses one more, the two third-place teams hosting first-round playoff games likely will come from the Allegheny 8 and Big East conferences.

Class 4A Northwest Eight

Clinched: South Fayette (5-0),

Still alive: Blackhawk (4-2), Montour (3-2), New Castle (3-2), Knoch (4-3), Highlands (2-4), Beaver (1-4)

Out: Ambridge (0-5)

Conference schedule

Week 8 – Ambridge at South Fayette, New Castle at Highlands, Beaver at Montour

Week 9 – Montour at South Fayette, Blackhawk at Beaver, Ambridge at New Castle

The Lowdown

Three weeks ago, Knoch was in first place and undefeated. Now the Knights are done with conference play and looking for help just to get in the playoffs. They lose most tiebreakers so they need Montour or New Castle to lose out. Highlands and Beaver need to win out and get help.

Class 4A Big Eight

Clinched: Thomas Jefferson (5-0), Belle Vernon (5-1), Greensburg Salem (4-1), West Mifflin (3-2)

Out: Trinity (2-4), Laurel Highlands (1-4), Indiana (1-4), Ringgold (0-5)

Conference schedule

Week 8 – Thomas Jefferson at Greensburg Salem, Ringgold at West Mifflin, Laurel Highlands at Indiana

Week 9 – West Mifflin at Thomas Jefferson, Ringgold at Belle Vernon, Indiana at Greensburg Salem, Trinity at Laurel Highlands

The Lowdown

Oh, if they were all this easy. All four teams are in. If Greensburg Salem wins one more game or if Thomas Jefferson beats West Mifflin in Week 9, the final order is TJ, BVA, GS and WM.

Class 3A Tri-County West

Clinched: Aliquippa (5-0), Central Valley (5-0), Beaver Falls (4-2)

Still alive: South Park (3-2), Keystone Oaks (2-3), Quaker Valley (1-4)

Out: Hopewell (1-4), Waynesburg (0-6)

Conference schedule

Week 8 – Aliquippa at Keystone Oaks, South Park at Central Valley, Hopewell at Quaker Valley

Week 9 – Central Valley at Aliquippa, Beaver Falls at Hopewell, Quaker Valley at South Park, Waynesburg at Keystone Oaks

The Lowdown

The winner of Central Valley at Aliquippa is conference champion and the loser is second. Beaver Falls is likely to finish third. South Park can clinch with one more win since the Eagles own the tiebreaker over Keystone Oaks.

Class 3A Big East

Clinched: North Catholic (6-0), Derry (5-1), Elizabeth Forward (4-2)

Still alive: Burrell (4-3), Deer Lakes (3-3), Mt. Pleasant (2-4)

Out: Freeport (3-4), Yough (1-5), Uniontown (0-6)

Conference schedule

Week 8 – North Catholic at Yough, Derry at Deer Lakes, Uniontown at Elizabeth Forward, Freeport at Mt. Pleasant

Week 9 – Derry at Burrell, Deer Lakes at North Catholic, Elizabeth Forward at Yough, Mt. Pleasant at Uniontown

The Lowdown

North Catholic is one win from the conference championship. If Derry wins one more game, the Trojans secure at least second place. Burrell needs a win over Derry in Week 9 or one more loss for Deer Lakes and Mt. Pleasant to clinch.

Class 2A Allegheny

Clinched: Avonworth (5-0), Apollo-Ridge (4-2), Shady Side Academy (3-1)

Still alive: East Allegheny (2-2), Steel Valley (2-3)

Out: Summit Academy (1-4), Valley (0-5)

Conference schedule

Week 8 – Shady Side Academy at East Allegheny, Steel Valley at Summit Academy

Week 9 – Avonworth at Shady Side Academy, East Allegheny at Valley

The Lowdown

Avonworth has clinched at least second place and can win the conference championship with a win over Shady Side Academy in Week 9 or an East Allegheny win over Shady Side Academy in Week 8. East Allegheny can clinch with a win over SSA on Friday or a Steel Valley loss to Summit Academy on Saturday. East Allegheny owns tiebreakers over both Steel Valley and Summit Academy.

Class 2A Century

Clinched: McGuffey (6-0), Washington (5-0), Charleroi (4-2), Southmoreland (4-2)

Out: Brownsville (1-3), Carmichaels (1-4), Frazier (0-4), Beth-Center (0-5)

Conference schedule

Week 8 – Washington at Southmoreland, Brownsville at Charleroi, Frazier at Carmichaels

Week 9 – Washington at McGuffey, Beth-Center at Frazier, Carmichaels at Brownsville

The Lowdown

Playoff teams are set. The winner of Washington at McGuffey in Week 9 is first and conference champion while the loser is second. Charleroi owns the tiebreaker over Southmoreland in the fight for third place.

Class 2A Midwestern Athletic

Clinched: Freedom (5-1)

Still alive: Neshannock (4-1), Riverside (4-2), New Brighton (3-2), Shenango (3-2), Western Beaver (3-2)

Out: Ellwood City (0-6), Mohawk (0-6)

Conference schedule

Week 8 – Shenango at New Brighton, Western Beaver at Neshannock, Mohawk at Ellwood City

Week 9 – Freedom at Western Beaver, Riverside at New Brighton, Neshannock at Shenango

The Lowdown

This great race got tighter with Western Beaver beating New Brighton and Neshannock knocking off Freedom. Despite that win, Neshannock still hasn’t clinched but can do so with a win Friday at Shenango.

Class 2A Three Rivers

Clinched: Brentwood (6-0), Burgettstown (5-0)

Still alive: South Side (3-3), South Allegheny (2-3), Serra Catholic (2-3), Seton LaSalle (2-3), Carlynton (1-4)

Out: Fort Cherry (0-5)

Conference schedule

Week 8 – Brentwood at Burgettstown, Fort Cherry at South Side, South Allegheny at Carlynton, Seton LaSalle at Serra Catholic

Week 9 – Burgettstown at South Allegheny, Serra Catholic at Fort Cherry, Carlynton at Seton LaSalle

The Lowdown

Brentwood at Burgettstown on Friday will decide the conference championship with the loser taking second place. The rest is a bit of a mess with key head-to-head games in the final two weeks determining final order. There is a scenario where South Side could win Friday over Fort Cherry and yet still miss the playoffs if the Rams end up in a three-way tie with South Allegheny and Seton LaSalle. Other than that, South Side clinches with a win and a Seton LaSalle or South Allegheny loss on Friday.

Class A Eastern

Clinched: Clairton (4-0), Jeannette (4-0)

Still alive: Greensburg Central Catholic (4-2), Springdale (2-2)

Out: Leechburg (2-3), Riverview (1-4), Imani Christian (0-6)

Conference schedule

Week 8 – Clairton at Springdale, Riverview at Jeannette

Week 9 – Jeannette at Clairton, Springdale at Leechburg

The Lowdown

The winner of Jeannette at Clairton in Week 9 is first and conference champion with the loser taking second place. Greensburg Central Catholic is done with conference play and only has a shot at a wild card. Springdale needs to win out and get help to get the wild card nod.

Class A Big 7

Clinched: Sto-Rox (6-0)

Still alive: Cornell (5-1), Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (4-1)

Out: Laurel (3-2), Union (3-3), Rochester (1-4), Bishop Canevin (0-5), Northgate (0-5)

Conference schedule

Week 8 – Sto-Rox at Laurel, Union at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Northgate at Bishop Canevin

Week 9 – Cornell at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Northgate at Laurel, Bishop Canevin at Rochester

The Lowdown

Sto-Rox has won the conference championship. The winner of Cornell at OLSH in Week 9 will clinch and finish second while the loser has to hope for a wild card spot.

Class A Tri-County South

Clinched: West Greene (6-0)

Still alive: Chartiers-Houston (5-1), California (4-1)

Out: Monessen (3-3), Jefferson-Morgan (2-3), Bentworth (2-4), Avella (0-5), Mapletown (0-5)

Conference schedule

Week 8 – Chartiers-Houston at California, Jefferson-Morgan at West Greene, Mapletown at Avella

Week 9 – Avella at Monessen, California at Mapletown, Jefferson-Morgan at Bentworth

The Lowdown

West Greene is the conference champion and will win it outright with a win in Week 8 when the Pioneers host Jefferson-Morgan. Chartiers-Houston at California on Friday will decide second place and a playoff berth. The loser of that game is in third place and alive for a wild card.

Class A wild cards

Two third-place teams in Class A will earn a playoff spot via a wild card. It appears all of the third-place teams will finish with 5-2 records. Gardner points, then tiebreaker points will determine the wild card team. Here are the points for those in the running heading into Week 8. Cornell +47, OLSH +28, GCC +24, Char-Houston +32, California +30.

Class A second-place home game

One second-place team in Class A will enjoy a home quarterfinals playoff game. It appears all of the second-place teams will finish with 6-1 records.

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