WPIAL Plays of the Week – WPIAL First Round

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 | 12:00 AM

The 2010 version of the Highway to Heinz started with some postseason teams struggling while others were on fire…So while there were a fair share of blowouts, there were also some playoff contests that went down to the wire…Some of the thrillers were decided by passes, punt returns and a pick six…Allowing their respective teams to move on to be part of the Quarterfinals mix.

Bethel Park Black Hawks 24 – McKeesport Tigers 21
MSA Sports on WJAS-AM 1320 with Sam Hall and Steve Nagler on the call

Fourth-seed McKeesport enjoyed a 14-0 lead at halftime in a home Class AAAA Quarterfinals contest in which they seemed to have control of the game. But the 2008 WPIAL champions would not go quietly as they grabbed a 17-14 lead before a Sam Gooden scoring run put the 'Port back up by 4 points. But then Bethel Park drove down the field in the final minutes before quarterback Anthony Cinello hit Christopher Rizzo on a 6-yard touchdown pass with only 17 seconds left to lift the Black Hawks to a stunning comeback upset of the Tigers 24-21.

Indiana Little Indians 42 – Belle Vernon Leopards 38
WDAD-AM 1450's Jack Benedict and Jim Otto on the call

Most of the anticipated matchups in opening round play are usually those 8 vs. 9 games. This one lived up to its billing as a slugfest broke out Friday night in the Mon Valley. In a back-and-forth offensive shootout, Belle Vernon led late 38-35 when Indiana quarterback Kyle Edgar fired his third touchdown of the game, a 55-yard hookup with Tyrel Venay for the winning score as the Little Indians won only their second WPIAL playoff game in school history with a 42-38 triumph over the Leopards.

Beaver Falls Tigers 19 – Steel Valley Ironmen 18
WBVP-AM 1320's Bob Barrickman and Tom Hays on the call

Depending on which side of the fence you were on, many were surprised when the Class AA brackets were released and this tasty opening round matchup was penned in by the football steering committee. Some complained Beaver Falls was seeded to low while other said it was Steel Valley that should have been higher. Nobody was complaining though after this thriller at Geneva College, which was decided when Dominique Whaley returned an interception 20-yards with just over four minutes left in the game to give the Lions a 19-18 victory over the Ironmen.

Avonworth Antelopes 28 – Brentwood Spartans 21
OLSHN's Terry Neary and Don Seeds on the call

A three-touchdown second quarter allowed Brentwood to carry a 21-20 lead in the final quarter in an upset bid against third-seed Avonworth. So with their backs to the wall and Ryan Schmid's back to the goal line, the Antelopes returner went 92-yards on the punt return for the go ahead score as the 'Lopes held off the Spartans 28-21.

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