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Author Topic: 2018 4A Big Eight thread  (Read 1941 times)

yannessa_is_god

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Re: 2018 4A Big Eight thread
« Reply #15 on: September 15, 2018, 04:56:40 PM »

Updated Rankings for Week 4:

1. Thomas Jefferson Jaguars 3-0 (3-0): no letdown for the Jags after their big Belle Vernon win. Trinity visits Pleasant Hills this Friday in a rematch of a first round playoff match from last season.

2. Belle Vernon Leopards 2-1 (1-1): BVA gets an important road win vs could be good but we still aren't sure Laurel Highlands. The Leps continue an important stretch of games with a road game at Indiana this week.

3. West Mifflin Titans 2-2 (2-0): the murderer's row non conference schedule bites the Titans again, this time on thr road vs a very good Franklin Regional squad 28-7. While not easy by any stretch, they get their easiest non conference game this week as they host New Castle before finishing the season in conference.

4. Greensburg-Salem 1-3 (1-0): speaking of brutal non conference schedules, GS fell to 0-3 outside of the Big Eight with a 51-28 loss at South Fayette. LH visits Offutt this week in what could very well be the 4th place game!

5. Laurel Highlands Mustangs 2-2 (0-1): LH lost to Belle Vernon, kind of as expected, but they will make or break their season in the next two weeks with a road game vs GS then a home game vs West Mifflin in what will likely be the 3rd/4th/5th place games.

6. Indiana Little Indians 1-3 (1-2): lost at TJ but the good is that theor first reamers did score some points on TJ's first teamers, not a small feat that a few teams in this league alone could not do. They are still the true Wild Card of this league and very well could be in that playoff mix still. They host Belle Vernon this week before playing Trinity, so I expect them to be 2-3 heading into the stretch run.

7. Trinity Hillers 1-2 (1-2): after a tough start Ringgold is what the doctor ordered for Jon Miller's squad. Trinity with the win stays alive on the grounds of hope, but looking at their schedule their path to the playoffs is very tough to envision.

8. Ringgold Rams 0-4 (0-3): at least they scored! Their reward however is a Terry Smith era playoff rematch at Gateway vs the defending 5A champs. If T Smalls was still there they would be gunning for 100, but luckily for the Rams the guy there now will not try to embarrass the Rams.
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yannessa_is_god

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Re: 2018 4A Big Eight thread
« Reply #16 on: September 21, 2018, 01:01:34 PM »

Week 4 Preview:

Gateway 4-0 (3-0) @ Ringgold 0-4 (0-3): Gateway owns wins against Mount Lebanon and Penn-Trafford and are the defending 5A champs. Ringgold owns losses to Indiana and Trinity. Honestly nothing more needs to be said about this game other than they have tangled in the playoffs over the years, with Ringgold owning the most recent win (reminding us of just how fast they fell from very good to very bad).
Recent History: 2014 WPIAL Playoffs First Round RHS 24-14 @RHS 2003 WPIAL Playoffs First Round GHS 55-7 @GHS; 2003 Regular Season GHS 47-0 @RHS

Trinity 1-2 (1-2) @ Thomas Jefferson 3-0 (3-0): A playoff rematch from last fall, TJ is cruising [as usual] and are huge favorites in this game. The Jags are doing things per usual with relatively good balance passing (Stump to Deabner) and running (Shaw) and playing solid defense. Trinity got off the snide with a win vs hapless Ringgold last week.
Recent History: 2017 WPIAL Quarterfinals TJ 42-0 @TJ; 2017 Regular Season TJ 35-0 @TJ; 2016 TJ 56-14 @THS; 2015 TJ 42-0 @TJ; 2014 TJ 42-7 @THS; 2013 TJ 44-7 @TJ; 2012 TJ 40-7 @THS; 2011 TJ 28-7 @THS; 2010 TJ 30-6 @TJ; 2009 TJ 34-7 @TJ; 2008 TJ 40-0 @THS; 2007 TJ 35-14 @THS; 2006 TJ 30-0 @TJ

Belle Vernon 2-1 (1-1) @ Indiana 1-3 (1-2): Both teams have been victimized by TJ recently. Belle Vernon is getting back on track with a win vs Laurel Highlands last week. With that said that was a solid win for them as they will look to keep it on the ground, which has worked vs. the Little Indians thus far this season. For Indiana, while the underdogs, they have a shot here. They have been competitive (close loss to 5A Armstrong, only down 7-0 to West Mifflin at halftime, and scoring 14 points vs. TJ while the starters were still playing). There is something scrappy about this bunch and with the long road trip, the Leps have to be aware of the Little Indians skill and grit.
Recent History: 2010 WPIAL Playoffs First Round IHS 42-38 @BVA

New Castle 1-3 (1-2) @ West Mifflin 2-2 (2-0): There will be a lot of speed and athleticism in this game, with West Mifflin's RB Parker being the key probably either way. This IMO should have been a playoff game two years ago and would have been a very entertaining game. This season it could be a very good one as well. NC is a deceiving 1-3 (they own losses to South Fayette and Beaver Area, but also have the distinction of losing to Shaler), while West Mifflin is a good 2-2 (their losses are to 5A possible playoff team Mars and 5A probably playoff team Franklin Regional last week). Neat to see this as a home and home as this is their first match since the 2002 playoffs in what was I think a 3/14 game at Taggert.
Recent History: 2002 WPIAL Playoffs First Round NC 42-14 @NC

Big Eight Game of the Week:
Laurel Highlands 2-2 (0-1) @ Greensburg-Salem 1-3 (1-0):
This is shaping up to the the 4th/5th place game if everything goes chalk. LH owns wins vs Albert Gallatin and Montour and seem like their usual selves (dependent on a multi talented QB Bassinger), but their defense seems like it may be better than usual (while Montour isn't great, a shutout for the 'Stangs is rare). GS appears to be a balanced team, but they are difficult to read because game script has been mostly one of the other the past three weeks (playing from ahead or behind). Preseason predictions would have had GS winning this game, but LH can make a huge statement with a W here. Also of note, this is hardly a play-in or out game, as both teams have big games remaining (LH has WM/Ind/Trinity still; GS has BVA/WM/Indiana...both also have TJ and Ringgold for the probably automatic Ws and Ls). GS has definitely gotten the better of this series.
Recent History: 2017 GS 32-15 @GS; 2016 GS 49-21 @GS; 2011 GS 41-7 @GS; 2010 GS 32-31 @LH; 2009 GS 42-6 @LH; 2008 GS 36-23 @GS; 2005 LH 24-9 @LH; 2004 GS 20-7 @GS; 2003 GS 17-6 @LH
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yannessa_is_god

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Re: 2018 4A Big Eight thread
« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2018, 10:01:06 AM »

Week 5 Rankings:

1. Thomas Jefferson Jaguars  4-0 (4-0): defeated Trinity with relative ease. Connellsville gets to get "TJ'd" this week on behalf of Uniontown and Albert Gallatin that no longer get to experience it.

2. Belle Vernon Leopards 3-1 (2-1): erased any concerns that they are down a bit with an easy win at Indiana. They firmly look like the #2 team right now.

3. Greensburg-Salem Golden Lions 2-3 (2-0): won an important game vs Laurel Highlands 48-12. With their wins against Trinity and LH they are already pretty much in the playoffs barring a stuninng upset. With that said their next two games vs BVA and WM will determine whether they finish 2nd/3rd/4th.

4. West Mifflin Titans 2-3 (2-0): drop to 0-3 outside of Big Eight play with a lightning shorted (but disappointing none the less) 14-0 loss to New Castle. I dropped them in thr rankings as well until I see more from them. With that said their road game this week at the Corral vs Laurel Highlands looks to be a must win as the 4th/5th place game.

5. Laurel Highlands Mustangs 2-3 (0-2): the loss to Greensburg-Salem certainly does not help, but they Mustangs' season begins this week if they want to make the playoffs. They host a West Mifflin team that they defeated last season in a game that could vault them into the playoffs. On the other hand a loss pretty much screws their chances of getting in.

6. Indiana Little Indians 1-4 (1-3): Indiana has three section games remaining (Trinity/LH/GS) and must win all three and also hope to not be stuck in a tie breaker with West Mifflin if they want to make the playoffs. If they can beat THS this week their playoff fortunes will not be decided until mid-October, which is a welcome change for a team that only beat Ambridge in 2017.

7. Trinity Hillers 1-3 (1-3):  the Hillers are already playing for pride and don have games left this week vs Indiana and LH later in the season that can at least spoil their opponents' season potentially. Their problem is that unlike LH and Indiana ahead of them, it is nearly impossible to rationalize more than 3 wins for Coach Miller's squad.

8. Ringgold Rams 0-5 (0-3): while 0-10 seems likely at least after this Beaver Area game the Rams may have a shot or two to win a game over the final four weeks vs some of their rivals including LH, WM, GS, and BVA.
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yannessa_is_god

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Re: 2018 4A Big Eight thread
« Reply #18 on: September 27, 2018, 05:52:20 PM »

Week 5 Preview:

Ringgold 0-5 (0-3) @ Beaver Area 3-2 (2-2): one of two terrible non-conference game this week. With that said Beaver Area lost a stunner last week to Highlands. Just looking at their conference if they are able to hold serve the rest of the way they can get into the playoffs, but that loss was a sneak bad loss for Beaver. Ringgold has been outscored 267-6. Really only Albert Gallatin in 5A and Northgate in 1A have even been in Ringgold's stratosphere for points for/against.
No previous matchups

Thomas Jefferson 4-0 (4-0) @ Connellsville 2-3 (1-3): TJ is just cruising along. They have definitely gotten some of the more bizarre scheduled crossovers over the years though (I recall them having a home and home with Hollidaysburg for instance). C'ville lost a tough game last week that will make the playoffs a difficult goal for them, as not looking for wins on their schedule it looks like they will be underdogs vs everyone but former Big 9/10 rival Albert Gallatin.
No previous matchups

Indiana 1-4 (1-3) @ Trinity 1-3 (1-3): This is a must win for both if they have any dreams of the playoffs. Indiana with Trinity, LH, and GS remaining on the schedule actually can win their way into the post season still depending on what happens between WM/LH and WM/GS in upcoming weeks. The Little Indians have been competent....they have just unfortunately played arguably the three best teams in the league. Vs the rest of their competition (Armstrong and Ringgold) they have outscored their opposition 74-20. They are still interesting. Trinity is on life support but their back half of their schedule is also easier and can win some games down the stretch, especially if they win this game.
Recent History: The two schools have both a AAAA and AAA history! 2008 WPIAL Playoffs Round 1 IHS 21-6 @ IHS; 2005 THS 32-18 @ THS; 2004 THS 42-14 @ IHS

Greensburg-Salem 2-3 (2-0) @ Belle Vernon 3-1 (2-1): GS won a bit of a statement game last week vs. LH, defeating them 48-12 at Offut. They can really make a statement here and in theory can play their way into a home playoff game if they can defeat BVA this week. GS has a pretty balanced attack, but game flow has been kind of unusual for them with their unbalanced schedule (playing some super powers like SF but also clearly being better than LH). No doubt that Casey Kavanaugh's crew are underdogs here, but a win would be the biggest for this program against anyone not named Franklin Regional in ages. BVA is kind of cruising a bit right now and did earn a convincing win vs. descent Indiana. The Leps are vintage Matt Humbert, lead by RB Mason Pascoe (734 yards #1 in Big 8, #8 in WPIAL). They have gotten their feet back underneath them and look to run the table to finish 8-1 if they can win this game and their WM game.
Recent History: GS has gotten the better of the Leps since dropping to AAA in 2000, but BVA did win convincingly last season: 2017 BVA 34-7 @BVA; 2016 BVA 42-14 @GS; 2009 GS 20-19 @BVA; 2008 GS 42-0 @GS; 2005 GS 28-0 @GS; 2004 GS 17-3 @BVA; 2003 GS 17-7 @GS



Big Eight Game of the Week:
West Mifflin 2-3 (2-0) @ Laurel Highlands 2-3 (0-2): Both teams are kind of in "must win" territory. A WM win gets them to their third win with Ringgold still on the schedule...4 wins looks like it gets them in, but otherwise their remaining games are ballbreakers BVA and TJ (although both games are at Kennywood for them). So this game is huge. WM has been up and down, winning relatively easily vs. Indiana and Trinity, which are the concensus 6th/7th teams in this league, while LH is 0-2 vs. teams expected to be ahead of them in the standings. LH had program building win in this game last season, winning their first ever game vs. the Century III area schools after years of losing. A LH win and the Big Eight playoffs race is wide open.
Recent History: 2017 LH 25-21 @LH; 2016 WM 62-21 @ LH; 2015 28-17 @LH; 2014 WM 48-27 @WM; 2013 WM 59-0 @LH; 2012 52-28 @WM
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KidRaven

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Re: 2018 4A Big Eight thread
« Reply #19 on: September 28, 2018, 08:06:59 AM »

The Connellsville/TJ crossover is just bizarre to me as I never thought I would see they two teams play each other.  For TJ just another chance to blow out a Fayette County which they have made a habit out of the last 20 years or so.  Falcons01 was so happy to see this game scheduled when the news broke.  If he wasn't working, I was going to make him go with me to see what other County teams have had to sit through for the last 2 decades.

Just as a note and because I can't mention it since UT and TJ don't play.  My Red Raiders were the last team to shut-out the mighty Jaguars.  A 26-0 win back in 2001.
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Uniontown Red Raider Basketball: 1771-598 Record
4 PIAA Titles; 8 WPIAL Titles; 47 Section Titles

yannessa_is_god

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Re: 2018 4A Big Eight thread
« Reply #20 on: September 29, 2018, 10:17:58 AM »

KR,

It's funny, but it's not just you guys that post on here. I have spoken to other Fayette County fans in person who sort of like being "TJ'd." Glad that the WPIAL accommodated the Connellsville faithful. I guess Uniontown kind of started it all in 2000, but Laurel Highlands in 2002 was the first to absolutely get throttled, I think 70-7 or something like that. Speaking of the 'Stangs, they get to get TJ'd in two weeks. Former power Central Valley gets theirs this week in another random crossover for the Jags.


Big Eight Rankings Week 6
This week breaking teams down by playoff liklihood, especially now that GS and WM defeated LH in back to back weeks the playoff picture is pretty clear barring upsets down the stretch. However there seems to be a hierarchy of sorts this season in this section, which is different from some years when it felt like it was a bit more wide open.

TJ Division

1. Thomas Jefferson Jaguars 5-0 (4-0): As mentioned above TJ was too much for Connellsville, as expected, as the Jags raced to an easy 56-14 win in which they had a 42-0 lead at one point. The Jaguars return home to Pleasant Hills for another non-conference game vs. Central Valley before ending the season with conference games vs LH/GS/WM. Another 9-0 regular season seems likely.

WPIAL Contender Division

2. Belle Vernon Leopards 4-1 (3-1): BVA's only stain on their record is a 3TD loss to TJ in Week 2. Otherwise, they have outscored their other opponents 189-35, all wins. Their remaining schedule is cake aside from a road game vs. WM in two weeks. Star RB Mason Pascoe is already at 1000 yards, as the Leps do what they do well and will continue to do it down the stretch. Really, barring an upset loss to WM, the only mystery left for the Leps is if they are a top 2 or 3 team in 4A or if they are a distant second in a weaker section. All of which is difficult to say without a whole lot of evidence from the crossover games.

Likely Playoff Bound:

3. Greensburg-Salem Golden Lions 2-4 (2-1): They found out just how good Belle Vernon is last night, but I will give them the benefit of the doubt as their resume is pretty similar to West Mifflin's thus far, so I won't drop them. The Golden Lions I would argue technically have a more difficult road ahead towards the playoffs than WM simply because of their remaining schedule, but nothing about them indicated that they are headed for a Week 9 loss to Indiana, which would be the deciding game potentially as Indiana is really the most likely team in the bottom to rise up and make it. With that said they host West Mifflin this week in the likely 3/4 game, which is huge because the loser likely either gets South Fayette or TJ in the first round, while the winner gets a much more winnable game (someone like BVA or Beaver or Blackhawk, no cakewalks, but no TJs!)

4. West Mifflin Titans 3-3 (3-0): Big win for West Mifflin last night at Laurel Highlands to erase any doubts of them not being at the very least the 4th best team in the eight team section. The other good thing for them is that they are the only team behind TJ that still has all of the teams ahead of them left on the schedule. They have done what they have needed to their first 6 games and still have TJ/BVA/GS in front of them as well as Ringgold. So while their range of outcomes is still anywhere from 7-0 to 3-5, they have set themselves up nicely for probably somewhere in the middle, which would secure a 9th straight playoff birth for the Titans. As mentioned above, though, this upcoming game at Titan Stadium vs. GS is arguably their biggest of the year. With that said they still have the luxury of every game getting bigger if they keep winning.

Playoff Life Support

5. Indiana Little Indians 2-4 (2-3): Indiana won a big game on the road in the house that Ed Dalton built to keep their season alive and relevant for a few more weeks. As mentioned last week, Indiana kind of disappears for a while with likely non conference losses to McKeesport (yikes!) and then resurgent Blackhawk before finishing the season with LH and GS which could play them into the playoffs. More so than anyone aside from TJ, Indiana seems to have the ability to slow down the game some and should be competitive those last two weeks. With that said good luck this week vs "Da Port."

6. Laurel Highlands Mustangs 2-4 (0-3): When your playoff road includes beating TJ and needing help, or Ringgold beating West Mifflin and needing help, you know that you are in trouble haha. They actually have some other ways to get it, but this midseason losing streak seems to have doomed the Mustangs' chances at the playoffs in 2018. They do get a road game vs. Ringgold this week, which is a must win to at least avoid the basement and to stay alive in the playoff race. They then finish with TJ, Indiana, and Trinity. Their range of outcomes is still realistically finishing at 5-5 again to finishing 2-8. They kind of need to beat Ringgold first then go from there.

Mathematically alive but really playing for pride

7. Trinity Hillers 1-4 (1-4): Their home loss to Indiana pretty much realistically eliminates them from the playoffs. Nothing indicates that they are ready to go into James Weir Stadium this week and upset the Leps on the gold turf, then after that they only have one conference game remaining in Week 9 vs. LH which looks like it might end up being the 6/7 game. With that said, they seem to be playing better, which as good or bad as the Jon Miller era has been for them (which is probably debatable either way) they at least always tend to get better as the season goes along.

Ringgold Division

8. Ringgold Rams 0-5 (0-3): Lost big to Beaver Area as expected, but at least they scored a second touchdown on the season. While they will still probably be I'm guessing 4 touchdown underdogs this week to a Laurel Highlands squad that may possibly be the 7th best team in the conference, this is their last chance to win a game in all likelihood, as their last three opponents are teams that are solid and will NEED wins to make the playoffs and better themselves in terms of positioning (GS, WM, BVA in weeks 7-9).
« Last Edit: October 02, 2018, 09:44:03 AM by yannessa_is_god »
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yannessa_is_god

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Re: 2018 4A Big Eight thread
« Reply #21 on: October 03, 2018, 12:32:15 PM »

Week 6 Preview:


Laurel Highlands 2-4 (0-4) @ Ringgold 0-6 (0-4): LH is definitely in "must win" territory here. After a 2-1 start to the season LH is mired in a three game losing streak, being outscored 145-32 by Belle Vernon, Greensburg-Salem, and West Mifflin, the last two that were thought to be potentially winnable games and for instance drew some LH picks in the pick-ems. This will be a good opportunity for the Mustangs to recalibrate vs an opponent, Ringgold, who has scored a whopping two touchdowns in six games. As mentioned in the preview, while they will be serious underdogs, this is probably Ringgold's last best opportunity to avoid 0-10 in Coach Z's debut season in the 4A Big Eight.
Recent History: 2017 RHS 21-19 @RHS; 2016 RHS 55-11 @LH; 2015 RHS 32-21 @RHS; 2014 RHS 66-27 @LH; 2013 RHS 57-14 @RHS; 2012 RHS 48-27 @LH; 2011 RHS 62-19 @LH; 2010 RHS 61-7 @RHS; 2007 RHS 24-8 @LH; 2006 LH 20-17 @RHS; 2005 RHS 7-2 @LH; 2004 RHS 40-32 @RHS

Trinity 1-4 (1-4) @ Belle Vernon 4-1 (3-1): The Leps get a tune-up before a huge showdown with West Mifflin next week. BVA has pretty much treated all of their opponents the same (with the exception of TJ) with relatively similar scores in all four wins. Trinity has potential to be a stiffer test than usual for their inside running game, but the speed of the Leps will probably still mean a relatively similar finish in the end. Trinity as mentioned in the rankings at least seems to be getting better as the season goes along, but I do not expect much from them in this spot.
Recent History: 2017 BVA 34-7 @BVA; 2016 BVA 21-15 @ Trinity; 2015 BVA 17-7 @BVA; 2014 BVA 44-14 @ THS; 2013 BVA 28-0 @BVA; 2012 BVA 26-17 @ THS; 2011 BVA 27-26 @THS; 2010 BVA 28-7 @BVA; 2008 BVA 21-6 @THS


McKeesport 5-1 (4-1) @ Indiana 2-4 (2-3): Much has been made of some bad crossover games, and this is one of them. Indiana is rebuilding, and doing a descent job of it, while McKeesport could probably win this game with their JVs. I am curious to see how both coaches approach this game, but the current McKeesport coach has shown respect and dignity in these types of situations. With that said Indiana has played respectably in every game this season, and my guess is that their coach is going to have them ready to at least compete in this one.
No previous matchups that I could find

Central Valley 2-4 (2-2) @ Thomas Jefferson 5-0 (4-0): This game would have been the game of the week just two or three years ago, but CV seems to have fallen on tough times while TJ is arguably better than ever, at least relative to their WPIAL 4A competition. At the very least Central Valley is playing their best ball of the year by far, as they are on a nice three game run (a 1 point loss to North Catholic, an upset victory over Keystone Oaks, and a blowout win vs hapless Waynesburg, all former TJ conference rivals ironically). This is TJ's last non-conference game of the season as they finish-up with LH/GS/WM. Back to my original point about how big this game would have been, as you will see below they have met three times, with Central Valley beating the Jags twice in the semis, while TJ won their most recent affair in CV's final ever game in the second highest classification (old AAA) at Heinz Field. CV in fact has been pretty unbalanced vs this conference (struggling vs LH and BVA in playoff wins and a loss to WM in the 2011 semis as well, while their first ever playoff win was a stunner vs. Ringgold way back in their first ever season in 2010).
Recent History:2015 WPIAL Championship TJ 20-7 @ Heinz; 2013 WPIAL Semifinals CV 23-13 @ Chartiers Valley; 2010 WPIAL Semifinals CV 42-24 @ North Allegheny


Big Eight Game of the Week:
Greensburg-Salem 2-4 (2-1) @ West Mifflin 3-3 (3-0):
Easily the Game of the Week in the Big Eight, and arguably the biggest game in 4A this week, these two teams appear to be playoff bound, and the winner of this game has the inside track to third place and a much easier path to the 4A semifinals than the loser does. WM has the distinction of being the only undefeated team in the section along with TJ, and thus technically can still write their own path. I honestly don't see them as a Heinz contender, but their resume to their point does not disqualify them from still being possibly a top four team in all 4A. On the other hand, they very well may be heading for a 4-6 regular season and being lead to the slaughter vs. TR or SF in Week 11. Greensburg-Salem at this point does also have a shot technically at the conference, as they still need to play TJ as well, and could very well win all of their remaining games and then would have a head to head over TJ. With that said their BVA loss shows that they are almost certainly not in that class yet. A win here however and they can certainly expend their chances at having a very successful season. There will be some nice speed and skill in this game. IMO whoever's defense comes to play will win this game.
Recent History: 2017 WM 14-7 @WM; 2016 WM 37-0 @WM; 2001 WPIAL Playoffs WM 40-10 @GS
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yannessa_is_god

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Re: 2018 4A Big Eight thread
« Reply #22 on: October 09, 2018, 11:24:37 AM »

Big Eight Rankings Week 7


1. Thomas Jefferson Jaguars 6-0 (4-0): The Stump/Shaw/Deabner trio has the Jags on top of 4A, just rolling along right now. Their out of conference and classification win over 3A Central Valley ups their record to 6-0. Officially they have not clinched the playoffs yet, but a Week 7 win over LH will give them their 24th consecutive playoff birth in 24 seasons of Bill Cherpak lead football. They also have only one obstacle remaining (WM in Week 9) to their 21st section championship (including shared championships) during the Cherpak era.
Remaining Games: @LH, vs GS, @WM

2. Belle Vernon Leopards 5-1 (4-1): BVA had an impressive 54-0 victory over Trinity, probably their most complete performance of the season to date. Not that Trinity is very good, but they have at least competed to some extent in most games. BVA simply blew the doors off of them and are headed for either second or third place in the section. A victory this Friday at WM pretty much gives them third.
Remaining Games: @WM, vs Plum (non-conference), @Ringgold

3. West Mifflin Titans 4-3 (4-0): Speaking of most complete games of the year, WM just played their best game to date with a convincing  42-28 victory vs. Greensburg-Salem that was not as close as the 2 score game indicates (WM was up by 28 at the half). WM got the passing game going a bit as well, but still seems pretty one dimensional. BVA will be another stiff test for them (their non-conference schedule was full of stiff tests) but to their credit they have won the four games that have mattered. Their win over GS pretty much clinches them a playoff spot even if they don't win another game, but they do have a good shot at a 5th win at least with Ringgold coming up next week.
Remaining Games: vs. BVA, @Ringgold, vs. TJ

4. Greensburg-Salem Golden Lions 2-5 (2-2): Tough loss for the Golden Lions last week @WM, which pretty much costs them any kind of shot at third place unless they can upset TJ. They still have a clear path to 4 wins, but they also have a clear path to three wins, which is why this game was a lot more costly than just losing a good shot at third place and an easier first round game. Even if they make it they will be doomed to a road game vs. TJ or South Fayette. With that said Indiana, regardless of what happens the next two weeks (again, barring a GS upset of TJ or a LH upset of TJ) will have a Week 9 play-in game at home vs. Greensburg-Salem. GS has a nice shot at a win this week vs Ringgold before their important finish to the season as they play the Jags and Little Indians.
Remaining Games: vs. Ringgold, @TJ, @Indiana

5. Indiana Little Indians 2-5 (2-3): Lost big vs 'DaPort as expected. They get another brutal non-conference draw this week as they travel to Northwestern to take on Blackhawk, but as was mentioned above the more important thing for them if their Weeks 8 and 9 games, in particular Week 9 when they host Greensburg-Salem in what looks like will be a play in game for the #8 seed in 4A. Kudos to Indiana for hanging in there. With that said curious to see how they approach this upcoming game vs. Blackhawk in a battle of head coaches new to their teams.
Remaining Games: @BH (non-conference), @LH, vs. GS

6. Laurel Highlands Mustangs 3-4 (1-3): LH got off of the snide in vintage fashion, dropping 52 on Ringgold behind talented QB Basinger in a game the reminded us that LH does have talent and is certainly capable of scoring points and winning games. Also in vintage fashion though they did give up 13 points to a Ringgold squad that had only scored a grand total of 13 points in their first six games. LH's win gives them an unlikely path to the playoffs, but they are still alive. They have a brutal draw vs. TJ at The Corral this week, but finish with winnable games vs Indiana (also at The Corral) and at Trinity in Week 9. 3 wins probably does not get them in, but depending on happens with the two teams ahead of them, can get them in.
Remaining Games: vs. TJ, vs. Indiana, @THS

7. Trinity Hillers 1-5 (1-5): Their rebuilding year hit a season low with a 54-0 loss to Belle Vernon, worse than their losses to TJ, WM, and GS. The only good news is that their front loaded schedule is over and done with, and they only have one remaining section game in Week 9 vs. LH. The Hillers are not officially eliminated from the post season, but likely will be in the next week or two while they are gallivanting out of conference vs. 5A Penn-Trafford and at Northwest Eight Knoch (both of whom have been up and down themselves).
Remaining Games: vs. Penn-Trafford, @Knoch, vs. LH

8. Ringgold Rams 0-7 (0-4): As if things could not get any worse for the the school that gave us Joe Montana, Ringgold after their seven losses still has their TOUGHEST stretch of games remaining, as they take on GS/WM/BVA in consecutive weeks in games that those three will need for playoff positioning. At the very least Ringgold had probably their best performance of the season, scoring 13 points vs. LH last week in a game that appeared to be competitive for a quarter. Ringgold is a very proud program, and as bad as they are, they will be fighting their hearts out these last three weeks to try to screw over at least one of their rivals.
Remaining Games: @GS, vs. WM, vs. BVA
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yannessa_is_god

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Re: 2018 4A Big Eight thread
« Reply #23 on: October 11, 2018, 08:48:59 AM »

Week 7 Preview:


Ringgold 0-7 (0-4) @ Greensburg-Salem 2-5 (2-2): Ringgold travels to Offut in a game that they will be large underdogs. GS as unimpressive as their 2-5 record is has taken care of business against teams below them in the standings, beating Trinity and LH by a combined 89-25. They are clearly a class or two or three above hapless Ringgold and should be able to cruise in this one.
Recent History: Despite these two teams spending time in old AAAA together as well as the Keystone not too many matchups and no GS wins until last season. 2017 GS 48-7 @GS; 2016 RHS 42-28 @RHS; 2011 RHS 42-41 @GS; 2010 RHS 14-7 @RHS

Penn-Trafford 5-2 (5-1) @ Trinity 1-5 (1-5): Trinity finally gets a "break" from conference play by hosting 5A power Penn-Trafford, as the Warriors get to travel to the "House that Ed Dalton built." I mistakenly said that PT has been up and down this year, but that is inaccurate the more that I look at it. Their losses Weeks 0 and 1 were to 6A descent team Norwin and to 5A favorites Gateway. Now, since then their schedule has been pretty easy (dispatching the likes of Connellsville, Albert Gallatin, Plum, and Latrobe, kind of the who's who of bad 5A teams) but their resume also includes a win over a McKeesport team that just beat Indiana who had just beaten Trinity the week before. So the Transitive Property of High School Football does not favor the Hillers in this one.
Recent History: 2003 PT 21-7 @THS (they did play previously but PG archives only go back to 2003 with easy access)

Indiana 2-5 (2-3) @ Blackhawk 6-1 (5-1): In recent seasons this game was not necessarily a huge mismatch, but a coaching change later Blackhawk seems poised to once again rejoining the short list of 4A powers alongside TJ, South Fayette, Belle Vernon, West Mifflin, New Castle, and newcomer to 4A Beaver, while Indiana, also a coaching change later, is at least improving, just not as much and as quickly as the Cougars. From the looks of things BH is a run heavy team with a three pronged attack with three back totalling 1500 yards, but no back over 700 as individuals. Indiana as mentioned above still has their sights set on 4th place but realistically will finish 5th or 6th depending on what happens next week when they play LH. Blackhawk will be big favorites here, but this game is at least more intriguing than the two games listed above on the Blackhawk curiosity alone.
Recent History: These two schools both competed in the Northwestern 9 for the previous two seasons 2017 BH 43-13 @BH; 2016 BH 28-7 @IHS

Thomas Jefferson 6-0 (4-0) @ Laurel Highlands 3-4 (1-3): This game gives one the same expectations that one would have of a TJ vs. LH game, as we've seen plenty of these over the past decade-and-a-half. TJ has been a downright dominant force, outscoring their opponents 296-48 through 6 games, while LH seems a bit like typical LH, easily outscoring their peers at the bottom of the standings but struggling on defense, particularly vs good opponents (giving up 59 to Washington, 49 to BVA, and 48 each to GS and WM). TJ will certainly score in that range. My curiosity in this game is always if LH can score vs. TJ's first teamers. Most teams at the bottom of the standings, and even at the top in some years, can not often say that. But Just era LH has at least often scored a touchdown or two or three vs. the Jags up until the past two seasons, with the Jags posting back to back shutouts over LH.
Recent History: 2017 TJ 42-0 @LH; 2016 TJ 51-0 @TJ; 2015 TJ 40-14 @LH; 2014 TJ 48-19 @TJ; 2013 TJ 58-21 @LH; 2012 TJ 45-6 @TJ; 2009 Playoffs First Round TJ 51-7 @TJ; 2009 Regular Season TJ 55-0 @LH; 2008 TJ 48-7 @TJ; 2007 Playoffs First Round TJ 56-7 @TJ; 2002 Playoffs First Round TJ 70-6 @TJ

Big Eight Game of the Week:
Belle Vernon 5-1 (4-1) @ West Mifflin 4-3 (4-0):
The PG and Trib also have this game billed as "Game of the Week" status! While the road team is the undisputed favorites here, WM and BVA have played eachother back and fourth in recent seasons, and WM has gotten the better of the Leps overall post-Gary Dongilli era Leopards. Both teams have only around 400 yards passing a piece, so this game as often is the case will be about the RBs. This is the first WPIAL game in 2018 to feature two 1000 yard rushers facing off. BVA's Mason Pascoe is up over 1100 yards rushing for the season, while WM's Parrish Parker is at 1065 and leads all 4A players with 18 total TDs. Compared to WM/Mars in a 1990s battle a few weeks ago, this game will not quite resemble that (BVA is a much more modern looking run based team) but these two schools are often the two toughest on the lines aside from TJ regardless of size (WM is VERY small this season) and this has potential to be a good game. Winner pretty much finishes in second and gets a home playoff game while the loser almost certainly finishes in third.
Recent History: With the exception of their 2016 playoff game, the road team has won the last four regular season games between the two. 2017 BVA 35-7 @WM; 2016 WPIAL Quarterfinals: WM 19-0 @WM; 2016 Regular Season WM 26-9 @BVA; 2015 BVA 21-7 @WM; 2014 WM 35-28 @BVA; 2013 WM 41-6 @WM; 2012 WM 48-14 @BVA; 2011 WM 27-0 @WM; 2010 BVA 10-0 @BVA; 2009 WM 14-13 @BVA; 2008 WM 39-21 @WM; 1999 BVA 28-20 @WM; 1998 BVA 49-21 @BVA
« Last Edit: October 11, 2018, 08:52:56 AM by yannessa_is_god »
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yannessa_is_god

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Re: 2018 4A Big Eight thread
« Reply #24 on: October 15, 2018, 12:39:15 PM »

Big Eight Rankings (After Week 7):


1. Thomas Jefferson Jaguars 7-0 (5-0): The Jaguars of Pleasant Hills, Jefferson Hills, and West Elizabeth have basically gone untested this season. They host Greensburg-Salem this week then travel to West Mifflin in Week 9. They likely are headed to 9-0 and will be the #1 or #2 overall seed in 4A.
Remaining Games: vs. GS, @ WM: Likely finish 7-0, Big Eight Champs

2. Belle Vernon Leopards 6-1 (5-1): BVA won a big road game at West Mifflin with a +10 to pertty much clinch the #2 seed in the Big Eight and a playoff home game. They still actually have a shot at tri-champions if WM upsets TJ in Week 9 but oddly enough even that would probably not impact the standings at all just who gets a banner and who does not. The bigger story though was the loss of their QB Jared Hartman to a season ending injury. That is very sad and a true shame. Those kind of injuries make me cringe even in the pros when it's impacting a multi-millionaire, but being a high schooler once I know how emotional most kids that age are, both the impacted player and his teammates. So best wishes to Hartman. The other story of course last week at Kennywood was RB Pascoe going for over 200 yards in a game that BVA was able to run their way past the Titans. With that said this loss at QB certainly will not help them to their ultimate goal of winning 4A. With that said they can probably win the next two weeks without anyone even taking the snaps at QB.
Remaining Games: vs. Plum (non-conference), @ Ringgold = Likely Finish 6-1, 2nd place Big Eight

3. West Mifflin Titans 4-4 (4-1): My God are they small up front LOL. Reminds me of their 1990s and early 2000s teams when they would get off of the bus and their opponents' fans would muse aloud "is that their middle school team?" Three kids under 200 lbs on the O-line made them keeping within 2TDs vs BVA all the more impressive. With that said they should be able to handle winless Ringgold this week, but a Week 9 upset over TJ would be probably the upset of the year in the WPIAL if it were to happen. With all of that said they have taken care of business to the extent that they will almost certainly finish in third place and give themselves a dart throw trip to either Beaver or Blackhawk, unless the seeding committee screws them a bit and gives them a 2017 rematch with South Fayette or a Week 9 rematch with TJ.
Remaining Games: @ Ringgold, vs. TJ = Likely Finish 5-2, 3rd place Big Eight

4. Greensburg-Salem Golden Lions 3-5 (3-2): GS won an important game vs. Ringgold in their home finale to keep their grip on 4th place in the section. They at this point have two paths to the playoffs, one of which involves upsetting TJ this week (and amazingly that does not even clinch it for them if Indiana beats LH), while the other is very straight forward: beating Indiana in Week 9. Regardless of how they do it, just making it will be a nice milsetone for the proud historic program since their Keystone era in 2011, when ironically they lost their playoff game to TJ in Pleasant Hills where they will play this Friday.
Remaining Games: @ TJ, @ Indiana = Likely Finish 4-3 or 3-4, 4th thru 6th place in Big Eight

5. Indiana Little Indians 2-6 (2-3): I'm just excited about the prospects of a Week 9 play-in game, but it would behoove the Little Indians to beat LH this week at The Corral to set-up the winner take all Week 9. Indiana has not been that impressive this season, being outscored 281-137 (which is an average of 35-17), but it is a huge step forward for a program who's 2017 resume included losing to everyone on their schedule not named Ambridge. With all of that said their game this week truly is a mystery, as Indiana struggled to beat a bad Trinity team that LH has not even played yet, so there is not even a transitive property to look at for this game aside from assuming that they will be underdogs in Week 9 vs. GS.
Remaining Games: @ LH, vs. GS = Likely Finish 4-3, 3-4, or 2-5 = 4th thru 6th place in Big Eight

6. Laurel Highlands Mustangs 3-5 (1-4): Amazingly the 1 win in section play eight weeks into the season team is still alive, so while far fetched LH actually can play their way in, although it will involve a few things to go their way aside from winning these last two games by 10+ points. LH lost to TJ last week kind of as expected, but their front loaded schedule has only allowed them to play one team in the bottom half of the standings season to date, as they still have these two winnable games to finish out the season. A win vs. Indiana will give them a chance at another .500 overall season, which for that program isn't bad, but a 10+ points win this week will make things very interesting in Week 9 for the 4th-7th spots.
Remaining Games: vs. Indiana, @ Trinity

7. Trinity Hillers 1-6 (1-5): Lost big to 5A power Penn-Trafford as expected, and stay out of conferene this week with a trip to Butler County to take on up and down Knoch. While they will be underdogs vs. Knoch, this is one of the few winnable games on their schedule, so they can still salvage a three win season at best. With that said, "oh Ed Dalton, oh Ed Dalton, where for art thou Ed Dalton?"
Remaining Games: @ Knoch (non-conference), vs. LH = Likely Finish 2-5 or 1-6, 6th or 7th place Big Eight

8. Ringgold Rams 0-8 (0-5): GS went easy on Ringgold this past week, as I believe all 35 points were scored in the first half and if not the last TD was early third quarter. However, the good news for Ringgold is that this was their closest loss of the season. The Rams have a difficult finish to the season, although at least they will be at home at Joe Montana for both as they will finish with playoff bound West Mifflin and Belle Vernon these next two weeks.
Remaining Games: vs. WM, vs BVA = Likely Finish 0-7, last place Big Eight
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yannessa_is_god

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Re: 2018 4A Big Eight thread
« Reply #25 on: October 18, 2018, 08:44:27 PM »

Week 8 Preview:


Short and sweet this week. Busy work schedule for one, and one of the least compelling weeks of the season two...although there is one big game!


West Mifflin 4-4 (4-1) @ Ringgold 0-8 (0-5): This was one of the games of the year in this section for most of the first part of this decade, but WM will be big favorites here at Joe Montana Stadium, as the Titans travel for the second straight year to Ringgold.
Recent History: 2017 WM 37-13 @RHS; 2016 RHS 29-26 @WM; 2015 RHS 14-7 @RHS; 2014 RHS 40-6 @WM; 2013 WM 42-28 @WM; 2012 WM 48-20 @RHS; 2009 RHS 29-21 @RHS; 2008 RHS 7-3 @WM; 2005 WM 32-14 @WM; 2004 WM 27-0 @RHS

Plum 2-6 (1-6) @ Belle Vernon 6-1 (5-1): The Eastern men of purple are having a tough seasons, with their only wins coming vs. Highlands and former Big 9/10 punching bag Albert Gallatin, while the Leps have a true contender. At least the Mustangs will get to see the gold turf in person, something that would be unlikely if not for these wonderful crossovers!
No known history

Trinity 1-6 (1-5) @ Knoch 3-5 (3-4): As much as the two 5A and 6A coached griped about having to play out of conference games Week 8, Knoch has an even bigger gripe: two non conference games to end the season: this week vs. Trinity and next week vs. Freeport. Both winnable games, or probably a split at worst, the Knights have to watch helplessly as I believe in most scenarios they miss the playoffs. With that said Knoch is coming off of an upset win over New Castle who beat West Mifflin who killed Trinity.
Recent History:2013 KHS 19-7 @THS; 2012 KHS 40-7 @KHS

Greensburg-Salem 3-5 (3-2) @ Thomas Jefferson 7-0 (5-0): GS CAN clinch a playoff spot with a win in Pleasant Hills and a Laurel Highlands win over Indiana. With that said the Golden Lions winning at TJ would be the upset of the year to date. With that said GS does have a history of monumental upsets, including a 16/1 in Quad-A over Franklin Regional in 1998. TJ clinches at least a share of the conference title with a win. TJ has shutout the Golden Lions the past two seasons. This actually also could be a playoff preview, as GS will likely be 7 or 8 overall while TJ will be 1 or 2.
Recent History: 2017 TJ 48-0 @GS; 2016 TJ 49-0 @TJ; 2011 Playoffs First Round TJ 34-28 @TJ

Big Eight Game of the Week:
Indiana 2-6 (2-3) @ Laurel Highlands 3-5 (1-4):
This game reminds me of when THS used to run the Quad-Southwest thread way back in the day. That was a league made up of Gateway, McKeesport, and a who's who of relatively weak teams at the time such as Trinity, Albert Gallatin, and Ringgold. Long story short, he would always have the "Game of the Weak" which was at times a joke game, but often was a good game...for that league. Well, in this battle of 2 and 3 win teams, the winner stays alive for a playoff birth in all likelihood, while Indiana can even lose and still be alive for a playoff birth next week. We have been eyeing this game for weeks, actually, as LH because of their frontloaded schedule and history of beating non-Fayette County teams actually seemed like a compelling 4th place team before a mid-season losing streak to teams that they would have wanted to beat kind of torpedoed them. With that said they have won three games, including a game vs. possible NW8 playoff team Montour! Indiana is actually the team as aforementioned in better shape. A win here sets up a straight forward win and in game next week vs. GS. Indiana has been very chalk this season to date and absolutely has a chance to win a couple of games here at the end to sneak out and unlikely playoff birth. Both teams seem to be well coached and both seem to have a measure of skill. I am guessing the Indiana is a little bit more physical inside while LH per usual has skill at QB and on the perimeter. Should honestly be a good game!
Recent History: To make things even more fun, this has been a very good game in recent years in games that did not count! 2017 LH 47-31 @IHS; 2016 IHS 40-38 @LH
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yannessa_is_god

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Re: 2018 4A Big Eight thread
« Reply #26 on: October 21, 2018, 08:01:55 AM »

Big Eight Rankings: Week 9

In the playoffs:

1. Thomas Jefferson Jaguars 8-0 (6-0): The Jags are at least co-conference champs even if they lose this week to WM, but most likely they will win and be conference champs and the #1 overall seed in 4A.
Remaining Game: @WM

2. Belle Vernon Leopards 7-1 (5-1): BVA's only blemish still is a loss to TJ. They finish up the season with rival Ringgold. The Leps if they beat Ringgold and WM beats TJ can be tri-champs, but most likely scenarios have them as the #2 in the Big Eight and a playoff home game on the gold turf.
Remaining Game: @ Ringgold

3. West Mifflin Titans 5-4 (5-1): At Ringgold WM opened up a 41-0 halftime lead en route to a 53-0 win, that despite their unimpressive overall record sets them up for a conference championship showdown at home vs TJ this week. WM with a win and a BVA win would be tri-champs. WM with a win and a BVA loss would be conference champs. Most likely scenario though is TJ and BVA winning meaning WM will finish in third and will be on the road once again in the playoffs.
Remaining Game: vs. TJ


Still Alive for the Playoffs:

4. Greensburg-Salem Golden Lions 3-6 (3-3): Their game in Pleasant Hills resembled the infamous Apollo Creed vs. Ivan Drago fight...after a good start, they got Drago'd to the tune of 70-12. A reminder of just how much better the Jags are than most of the field when they have to actually play. GS has been holding onto this last spot for most of the season, failing to win a game or even come particularly close to the top tier, and they now need a Week 9 win just to make the playoffs.
Remaining GameL @ Indiana

5. Indiana Little Indians 3-6 (3-3): If the Little Indians can pull off this Week 9 win, Brandon Overdorff is the Big Eight Coach of the Year hands down, and even if they lose, he has this program going in the right direction after a 1-9 season in 2017. Indiana needed a win vs. LH, and ended up winning relatively easily (which judging by the pick-em was a surprise as 7 of 9 picked LH outright!). Long story short, they have played themselves into a win and in game, which before the season we knew was a possibility, but many had them pegged as near the bottom of the league.
Remaining Game: vs. GS


Eliminated from the Post Season:

6. Trinity Hillers 1-7 (1-5): LH's recent downturn actually has the Hillers maybe as the favorites to win a second game this week, as they will be hosting Laurel Highlands in the 6/7 game in the House that Ed Dalton Built. I don't feel any particular pulse for the Hillers one way or the other, but from my afar observation they have not given up even with a brutal second half schedule. Trinity FYI is the only team not headed for the post season eligible for a Week 10 game if they so choose.
Remaining Game: vs. LH

7. Laurel Highlands Mustangs 3-6 (1-5): I'd be curious on some other opinions but the 'Stangs suddenly seem like a bit of a disappointment in 2018. While Montour isn't great, that is still a good random out of conference win that had things looking up for LH, but once section play began the Mustangs have lost 5 of 6 games by a combined 247-91, which would rank them ahead of only the two worst 4A teams Ringgold and Ambridge. With that said LH has a winnable game this week at Trinity.

8. Ringgold Rams 0-9 (0-6): Their season mercifully ends this week, although their opponent is a brutal one in Belle Vernon in the Matt Humbert Bowl.
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yannessa_is_god

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Re: 2018 4A Big Eight thread
« Reply #27 on: October 23, 2018, 02:10:50 PM »

Big Eight Week 9 Preview: "Rivalry Week"


Belle Vernon 7-1 (5-1) @ Ringgold 0-9 (0-6): This Mon-Valley rivalry for a few years was one of the best in the WPIAL, including the coaching drama a few years back when Matt Humbert jumped ship from Ringgold to BVA. Ringgold under Nick Milchovich and Belle Vernon under Matt Humbert were regularly playoff contenders and in some years WPIAL contenders, including one year where both beat TJ in the same season. With that said this year's game will be a final tune-up for the high powered Leps, still coached by Humbert, against a winless and non-competitive Ringgold squad that is no longer coached by Mr. Milchovich. After a 13 point "outburst" in Week 6 vs. LH (considering that Ringgold has scored a whopping 29 points all season long), the Rams have been shutout in back to back weeks vs Greensburg-Salem and West Mifflin. The Leps are better than both so a shutout may be in the cards again this week.
Recent History: 2017 BVA 17-14 @BVA; 2016 BVA 31-10 @RHS; 2015 BVA 13-12 @BVA; 2014 RHS 28-24 @RHS; 2013 RHS 42-21 @BVA; 2012 RHS 34-2 @RHS; 2009 BVA 21-13 @BVA; 2008 RHS 33-13 @RHS; 2007 BVA 33-21 @BVA; 2006 BVA 19-0 @RHS; 2005 RHS 34-0 @BVA

Laurel Highlands 3-6 (1-5) @ Trinity 1-7 (1-5): This is the defacto 6/7 game, which of course is not very prestigious, especially for two programs who have been to the playoffs in recent memory and had playoff aspirations for 2018. With that said one team will get to end the season on a high note. LH has shown more signs of life than the Hillers, but they flat lined in a huge game last week vs. Indiana in a game that in effect eliminated them from playoff competition. Both teams' only wins have come at the expense of winless Ringgold. With that said, in the spirit of "Rivalry Week" these two teams have been in the same section for a number of years now, and competed in the Quad-West for a couple of years in the early part of the century, and over the years the winner of this game made the playoffs while the loser did not.
Recent History: 2017 THS 37-7 @THS; 2016 THS 40-7 @THS; 2015 LH 44-21 @THS; 2014 LH 55-42 @THS; 2013 THS 10-8 @THS; 2012 THS 50-14 @LH

Thomas Jefferson 8-0 (6-0) @ West Mifflin 5-4 (5-1): "The Granddaddy of the All" in 4A, this game is the longest running Week 9 rivalry game in 4A, and one of the longest in the entire WPIAL as 6 classes has ruined some great ones. While this does not seem like a marquee match-up this time around, all does in some ways seem right in the world when TJ and WM have a conference title on the line. A WM win (and a Belle Vernon win) would make tri-champs between the three, although in said scenario most likely the teams would still finish in their current standing unless WM wins +10. Still yet WM can win the section outright if they were to win and if Ringgold were to upset BVA which would be even more far fetched. As far as this game though, both teams run well, as this game features two top-20 rushers (Parker for WM is 9th with 1253 on the ground; Shaw for TJ is 18th with 1001). The difference here, though will be the o-lines (TJ man for man and pound for pound is superior), as well as passing game (the passing and receicing yardage leaders from TJ, Stump to Deabner, double that of West Mifflin's combo of Schuster to Johnson). In some years this has been the game of the week, and while the stakes are high, TJ is the clear favorites here as very few if anyone has playoff bound WM winning this game. This is time for our annual reminder that WM last beat TJ at home in 2011, but has not defeated TJ in Pleasant Hills since pre-Cherpak era 1994. This year's contest is at Titan Stadium.
Entire History: In 34 seasons the teams have met 37 times including three playoff games (TJ leading 2-1) with TJ holding a 28-9 advantage; Bill Cherpak is 21-5 vs WM (including 2-1 in the playoffs); Ray Braszo is 8-16 vs. TJ (including 1-2 in the playoffs): 2017 TJ 37-7 @TJ; 2016 WPIAL Semifinals TJ 35-7 @EF; 2016 Regular Season TJ 35-14 @WM; 2015 TJ 35-0 @WM; 2014 TJ 52-20 @TJ; 2013 TJ 35-0 @WM; 2012 TJ 28-14 @TJ; 2011 WM 27-14 @WM; 2010 TJ 31-12 @TJ; 2009 TJ 42-0 @WM; 2008 TJ 42-7 @TJ; 2007 TJ 41-7 @WM; 2006 TJ 52-7 @TJ; 2005 WM 28-15 @WM; 2004 Regular Season TJ 17-7@TJ; 2004 WPIAL Championship Game TJ 20-0 @ Heinz Field; 2003 TJ 30-7 @WM; 2002 TJ 42-0 @TJ; 2001 TJ 16-13 @ Ringgold; 2000 Regular Season WM 21-16 @WM; 2000 WPIAL Semifinals WM 14-7 @ Three Rivers Stadium; 1999 TJ 16-14 @TJ; 1998 TJ 20-3 @WM; 1997 TJ 29-17 @WM; 1996 TJ 32-6 @TJ; 1995 WM 9-7 @WM; 1994 WM 34-15 @TJ; 1993 TJ 27-14; 1992 TJ 19-0; 1991 TJ 21-20 (TJ went 10-0 in regular season); 1990 WM 35-0; 1989 WM 21-14; 1988 TJ 16-0; 1987 TJ 21-14; 1986 TJ 10-0; 1985 WM 42-13; 1984 TJ 15-6 (1984 was WM's first year...TJ used to often play WM North prior)

Big Eight Game of the Week:
Greensburg-Salem 3-6 (3-3) @ Indiana 3-6 (3-3):
This game does not shout out "Rivalry" but is the biggest game in my opinion this week. These two teams have been in and out of eachother's sections over the years, but probably have never played a game of this magnitude. GS has looked like the fourth place team all season long, and to that point has been chalk regarding expected wins and losses, holding off the three bottom teams but not getting over the hump vs the three teams ahead of them in the standings. GS has not been to the playoffs since the old AAA 4 section set-up when they made the playoffs out of the not so prestigious Keystone Conference. On paper, both teams seem to match-up well, with passing attacks with relatively similar numbers (both right around the 1000 yard mark team total) and multiple running backs contributing to the offensive attack (rather than the Bell Cow teams in front of them). The only substantial advantage (which would be fair at this point considering that they have played the same teams) is that GS in section play is a +2 while Indiana is -17. With that said Indiana did have a few games early that they started out well before losing big (their WM and TJ games come to mind), while they did struggle to beat a Trinity team that GS defeated with ease. This seems to be the only winner take all game in 4A this season, so although this seems like an outskirts kind of game, as a Big Eight fan I find it fascinating!
Recent History: 2015 IHS 8-7 @IHS; 2014 IHS 35-14 @GS; 2013 GS 28-21 @GS; 2012 IHS 41-23 @IHS; 2007 IHS 49-7 @IHS; 2006 IHS 20-15 @GS
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yannessa_is_god

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Re: 2018 4A Big Eight thread
« Reply #28 on: October 28, 2018, 10:25:24 AM »

Big Eight Final Regular Season Rankings:


1. Thomas Jefferson Jaguars 9-0 (7-0): The back to back to back champs (AAA and 4A) win only their second conference title in four years with the Week 9 W over rival West Mifflin. WM actually lead this game into the third quarter before the Jags woke up and spanked the Titans the rest of the way. I think that they ought to be the #1 overall seed, but who knows if the committee may drop them to two after Week 9. Either way, the Jags will have a clear path to Heinz. TJ will likely either host New Castle from the NW8 or Greensburg-Salem in a classic Keystone 4th place vs TJ type of slaughter.

2. Belle Vernon Leopards 8-1 (6-1): Any time that your only loss is to TJ you are in pretty good shape. The Leps 2 TD win at West Mifflin gets them a playoff home game that will likely be against either Beaver Area or West Mifflin on the gold turf of James Weir Stadium. It will however be interesting to see how they do in their first competitive game without their starting QB after playing back to back cupcakes to end the regular season.

3. West Mifflin Titans 5-5 (5-2): West Mifflin gets into third with the 5-2 record that includes losses to the two teams in front of them but wins over everyone else. WM kind of appears to be in their own tier in this section as their wins have been by an average of 45-8 while their conference losses to TJ/BVA they were outscored 65-18 in those two games. With that said they are winless out of conference this season, and their best path to the semis would probably be through a BVA team that they did play tough a few weeks back. With that said they also have the potential for a Joe Lamenza bowl at Blackhawk in celebration of pretty much the least successful coach in both programs' recent histories.

4. Greensburg-Salem Golden Lions 4-6 (4-3): Congrats to GS for clinching their first playoff birth since the end of the 4 conference alignment in 2011 when they made it out of the Keystone as the third place team only to lose to TJ in Pleasant Hills. Their shutout win at Indiana gets them in. While they are a long shot (they will likely go to South Fayette or TJ this upcoming Friday night) the Big Eight/Nine has done well in the playoffs the past two seasons even when the prevailing thought in the regular season was that the NW8/9 was/is the better conference. Regardless of how they do, congrats again for getting in! And of note GS' shutout of IHS was only the second time that IHS has been shutout this season (the other time being Week 1 vs WM).

5. Indiana Little Indians 3-7 (3-4): The Little Indians stayed alive until Week 9, their best performance in a number of years, really since Zilinkas left, so they have something to build on. However their offense left a bit of a stinker in their biggest game of the year, and the season is over for Indiana. With that said we will see if they can continue to trend up. They have won games vs. teams in this section over the years (including a playoff win vs. WM a few years back) so they have potential to make noise in 2019 depending on who's coming back and how they do in the weight room.

6. Trinity Hillers 2-7 (2-5): Trinity ends on a good note with a convincing home win vs. Laurel Highlands in what was kind of a pick'em type game. The end result is still not good (another playoff win), but I don't believe that they were a serious playoff contender in the first place. They will need to get stronger in the weight room as well, as the build of their kids gives them one of the best chances out of anyone in this section to knock off TJ if they ever could put it all together at the high school varsity level.

7. Laurel Highlands Mustangs 3-7 (1-6): After a solid start the Mustangs only won 1 of their final 7 games, and that win was vs. hapless Ringgold, who was arguably the worst team in the history of the current form of the Big 8/9 dating back to 2012.....yes, worse than AG or UT at their worst. We will have to see what direction this program is going in. They are hardly a blue blood and need to depend on special players and special classes to be playoff worthy in this league, so we will have to see if they have that kind of class coming up or not.

8. Ringgold Rams 0-10 (0-7): Banshee called it preseason that once proud Rams were truly rebuilding. I just did not expect it to be THIS bad. As revered and beloved as Coach Z is in Beaver County, his first Ringgold squad will not be remembered for good things. With that said he seemed to remain upbeat in the papers, and to his defense he became their coach pretty late, so assuming that he stays on this will really be his first off-season coming up. Hopefully he can return them to respectability.
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yannessa_is_god

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Re: 2018 4A Big Eight thread
« Reply #29 on: October 31, 2018, 10:53:17 AM »

Big Eight Playoffs:

All four games feature a Big Eight vs Northwest Eight school, and all four games feature at least one cat mascot! Only the West Mifflin Titans and New Castle Hurricanes are non-feline, and both are underdogs in this round.


8 New Castle Hurricanes 5-5 @ 1 Thomas Jefferson Jaguars: These two proud and historic programs do not meet often, but when they do, the stakes tend to be high. New Castle makes the long trip to Pleasant Hills just a few weeks after traveling to West Mifflin. NC has had an up and down season, but with a front loaded schedule they enter the playoffs "hot" on a 3 game winning streak after a 2-5 start. While the Hurricanes are big underdogs, no doubt that TJ drew the tougher fourth place team. NC is very run heavy (even more so than West Mifflin for instance) and from my what I've heard kind of similar (undersized but skilled). NC has pulled off big upsets before (most recently vs. South Fayette two years ago) but this would be a very tall order for them. TJ has one of the top passers, reveivers, and rushers in the WPIAL and are the number one seed for a reason. The Cherpak era Jaguars have not lost a playoff game this early in the playoffs since his third year, 1997, when they lost to North Catholic in this round.
2018 Common Opponent: West Mifflin (NC won 14-0; TJ won 37-6)
Recent History: 2016 WPIAL Championship TJ 42-0 @ Heinz Field; 2008 WPIAL Semifinals TJ 47-20 @ Chartiers Valley

7 Greensburg-Salem Golden Lions 4-6 (4-3) @ 1 South Fayette Lions 9-1 (7-0): The Golden Lions make a return trip to South Fayette where they lost 51-28 to the back to back to back Northwest Eight Champs. SF for the third straight season entered both the regular season and the playoffs as a co-favorite along with TJ to go to Heinz. South Fayette has not been quite as dominant as TJ, but with the non-conference game vs Upper St. Clair played slightly stiffer competition than the Jags. SF has an excellent passing attack as usual, lead by the WPIAL's 5th leading passer Jamie Diven (2373 yards, 38-5 TD/INT) but don't have the type of rushing attack that GS is used to seeing in a section with TJ/BVA/WM. With that said the SF passing attack should be able to threaten for 50 plus points again against a GS team that was gashed by their opposition that made the 4A playoffs (WM scored 42, BVA 48, SF 51, and TJ 70). The Golden Lions are probably the weakest team in the 4A field, but just making it is an accomplishment for a program that has not been to the playoffs since the first term of the Barrack Obama administration.
Common Opponents: None
Recent History: 2018 Regular Season SF 51-28 @SF

6 Beaver Area Bobcats 7-3 (4-3) @ Belle Vernon Leopards 8-1 (6-1): Welcome to the 4A playoffs to Beaver Area! Some see them as a darkhorse to win it all if TJ or SF doesn't, and to their defense the Week 9 weather 14-13 loss to Blackhawk can sort of be thrown out as many games were impacted by the miserable weather. With that said they have taken some lumps as well (losing 35-7 to SF early in the season, and a stunning 40-19 loss to a Highlands team that finished in 7th place ahead of only Ambridge.) Beaver has a balanced attack with an almost 1000 yard passer in Brodie List, and a multiple rushing attack lead by Gino Mavero and his 763 yards. Beaver in 3A and AA has a pretty strong history, but not a ton of playoff success, either. BVA also has been a regular season power more so than a post season power in recent seasons, as the Leps finish once again in the top half of the Big Eight/Nine, with their only loss coming to superpower TJ. BVA of course is without their starting QB Jared Hartman for the rest of the season, which while he is not a statistical machine, he definitely was/is the heart and soul of that offense and their leader. Not sure who would have been the favorite if these teams were at full strength, but BVA is still sort of a mystery, as since the injury to their QB they have played two terrible teams (Plum and Ringgold) which were going to be easy wins regardless of who was taking snaps for them. These two teams are true Wild Cards in the scheme of things.
Common Opponents: Ringgold (Beaver won 49-7; BVA won 55-0)
Recent History: None

5 West Mifflin Titans 5-5 @ Blackhawk Cougars 9-1: The Joe Lamenza Bowl! This is actually a familiar rivalry from the last decade, as West Mifflin and Blackhawk faced off four times in the regular season and twice in the playoffs in the 2000s during non-Lamenza seasons, but fell on tough times under Lamenza (WM in 2006 went from PIAA favorites in 2005 to missing the playoffs in 2006; BH missed the playoffs twice under Lamenza). Both teams are improved vs. their 2017 versions of eachother. Blackhawk rebounded from 2-7 last season (under Lamenza) to 9-1 this season with their only loss being 21-0 vs. South Fayette. The 7 game improvement is best in 4A! West Mifflin's record is technically 1/2 a game worse than last season, but keep in mind that their 2017 season included losses to Albert Gallatin and Laurel Highlands, while their 2018 schedule was probably the most difficult in 4A, with non-conference games vs Mars, Franklin Regional, and New Castle. Aside from those three games their only losses were to TJ and BVA. No doubt that they are better, and they are coming off of a performance where they lead TJ at the half. This will be a run first game from both sides, as Blackhawk has three 600+ yard rushers yet similar passing numbers to the Titans, who are notorious for being run first. Per usual this season WM's biggest obstacle will be their size disadvantage up front, but this is not a terrible match-up for them, either. Winner of this game gets TJ in another old AAA nostalgic playoff battle.
Common Opponents: New Castle (WM lost 14-0; BH won 42-17); Indiana (WM won 35-0; BH won 50-7)
Recent History: 2005 WPIAL Quarterfinals WM  @ Ambridge; 2005 Regular Season WM 37-0 @BH; 2004 BH 10-0 @WM; 2003 WPIAL Playoffs First Round BH 42-21 @BH; 2001 WM 35-0 @NH; 2000 WM 35-0 @WM
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