WPIAL Plays of the Week – Week 4 2017

Tuesday, September 26, 2017 | 6:44 PM

As the regular season nears the halfway point, teams have begun to elevate their level of play. As a result, this past week featured some incredible contests that were likely decided by a single snap. Included in this week’s selection are a defensive stop in overtime, a fourth-down gamble that paid off for the offense in 3A, a late score that decided a back-and-forth 5A showdown, and a special teams play that swung momentum in the 6A championship rematch.

1. Franklin Regional 26, Armstrong 23

The Panthers have been involved in multiple upsets already this season in 5A. First, Franklin Regional shocked title contender McKeesport in Week One, but just last week, the Panthers were on the wrong side of an upset to Plum. Against the River Hawks, the Panthers scored late in regulation to force the extra period, and then pulled ahead on a short field goal by Domenick DeFalco. On Armstrong’s first overtime play, the Panthers’ defense forced a turnover to seal the outcome.

WHJB-FM 107.1’s Jimmy Lee Santorella and Sean Cowels have the call of Nate Leopold’s fumble recovery that gave the Panthers the W:

2. Freeport 24, Shady Side Academy 17

With playoff spots at a premium in 3A, the matchup between the Yellowjackets and Indians had massive ramifications. With the contest deadlocked at 17-17 late in the fourth quarter, Freeport drove deep into Indians’ territory. Facing a fourth down at the 1-yard line, the Yellowjackets opted to keep the offense on the field, and the move paid off. Austin Romanchak’s 1-yard surge proved to be the decisive play.

MSA Sports powered by Triblive.com’s Adam Hoerner and Brandon Showers detail the gutsy play by the Yellowjackets:

3. Moon 38, North Hills 31

North Hills has seemingly been involved in contests that have come down to the wire on a weekly basis in 2017, and this week was no exception. This time, it was the Tigers who were the adversary. With the score tied, Moon marched down the field, and regained the lead with just over three minutes left on a touchdown run by Jamal Littlejohn. That score proved to be the final points of the contest, and the victory puts Moon in the 5A playoff discussion.

MSA Sports Network powered by Triblive.com’s Rob Matzie and Lou Rood provide the audio for Littlejohn’s 2-yard score:

4. Central Catholic 28, Seneca Valley 20

The rematch of the 2016 6A title game took place last Friday at Highmark Stadium. Seneca Valley held a second-quarter lead, but the Vikings rallied to tie the game, and then with just minutes remaining before half, pulled ahead for good. That score came courtesy of Gavin Thomson, who returned a punt 40 yards to paydirt.

WJAS-AM 1320 and MSA Sports Network powered by Triblive.com’s Lanny Frattare and Sean Meyers have the call of the key special teams play that swung momentum to the Central Catholic side:

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