Updated: Oct 12
WPIAL football heads into October, and as teams make their push towards the playoffs we're publishing our own power rankings to keep you informed on which high school kids deserve praise, and which kids should be ashamed of themselves for embarrassing their communities.
#1 Central Catholic Vikings 6-0 (6A)
Fresh off a delivering an impressive 50-22 win over North Allegheny, Coach Ryan Lehmeier and The Vikings sailed their nordic battle ships home to the shores of Oakland where they raped and pillaged Canon-McMillan to the tune of a 49-6 victory. Things looked shaky for the Vikings early when Canon-Mac capitalized on a Payton Wehner interception. The Macs would score on a 15 yard dash from Zachary Welsh on the ensuing drive.
That touchdown was the only good thing that happened for the Big Macs all night.
It's hard to beat this Central Catholic team and it's hard to find a kid on the roster that doesn't have a future playing in the Big 10. Anthony Speca (4 star LB) and Peter Gonzalez (3 star WR) are both heading to Penn State next season while Cole Sullivan (3 star ATH) is committed to Michigan.
Quarterback Payton Wehner leads the WPIAL with 22 TDs, and I guess he's going to St. Francis? The kid should get a shot at a bigger program than that.
The Vikings are on the road again this week to play the 3-3 Pine-Richland Rams who, despite having my favorite coach in the WPIAL John LeDonne, are ill-equipped to handle the best team in Pittsburgh right now (arguably at any level). I expect Central to continue feeding the ball to junior running back Elijah Faulkner, who has been their work horse this season. CC wins big.
#2 Peters Township Indians 6-0 (5A)
Peters Township has given up a grand total of 20 points this season over six games. Defense like that makes it easy for sophomore quarterback Nolan DiLucia, who in his first season at the helm has hit on 75 of his 119 passing attempts for 11 TDs and 4 INTs.
Tomahawk Chops were heard all up and down route 51 last Friday as the Indians posted another impressive victory, winning 49-6 over an outmatched Baldwin squad. The road ahead for the Indians will prove if this team deserves to be on top of the rankings.
Peters Township is back home this week to play a conference matchup against the 3-3 Moon Tigers. Despite their shitty record I think Moon has a half-decent program this year, and they've been in some ugly defensive battles. I would bet Peters Township to cover a -21 point spread, but I think it will be low scoring and closer than expected at half time. After that the Indians face Mt. Lebanon on the road before taking on rival Canon-Mac in the battle for Washington County.
#3 Thomas Jefferson Jaguars 6-0 (4A)
Bill Cherpak is a household name in western PA, and the TJ head coach is close to surpassing George Novak for third most wins all time in the WPIAL (306). The Jags added another win to Cherpak's resume last week when they scorched Laurel Highlands 56-6.
Senior Quarterback Brody Evans went 10 of 15 for 119 yards and 3 TDs, and a large committee of 7 different ball carriers added 131 yards and 4 more TDs to the scoreboard. Seriously, everyone got a chance to carry the ball. Cheerleaders were getting hand-offs.
TJ plays at conference rival Trinity who have struggled the past two weeks, losing to McKeesport 35-7 and Greater Latrobe 25-7 respectively. Things won't get any easier for the Hillers this week, and I expect Cherpak to continue running fresh legs into the 40-50 point range again on Friday.
#4 Alipuippa Quips 5-0 (4A)
How could we leave out the undefeated quips!? Led by Junior running back Tiqwai Hayes (3 star RB) who committed to Penn State last week, the Quips are the premiere rushing attack in our power rankings. Hayes averages 7.3 yards per carry this season with 12 TDs.
It's hard for me to rank Aliquippa and TJ against each other. Both teams seem evenly matched, but I edge out TJ for their wins against Belle Vernon and Franklin Regional. Don't let that take away from Aliquippa's strength of schedule either. At the end of the day I expect both squads to be undefeated heading into a matchup at Acrisure.
The Quips are at home this week to take on 0-6 Blackhawk which will be an absolute bloodbath. Have you seen the film Apocalypto? Anyway, Hayes should find the endzone plenty of times so add him to you fantasy team – 3 TDs incoming.
#5 North Allegheny Tigers 5-1 (6A)
North Allegheny could be higher on this list because their only loss came at the hands of Central Catholic, who could probably beat Pitt at this point. But the other teams are undefeated so at #5 they sit.
Senior quarterback Logan Kushner has been impressive with his decision making this season, throwing 11 TDs and 0 INTs on 77 attempts. Running back Tyree Alualu (pictured above riding the tiger) averages 8.3 yards per carry this season, and has found the end zone 7 times.
I believe NA will get a chance to exact revenge on Central Catholic in the playoffs this year, and they might be the only team with a slim chance to actually win. But first, they need to take care of business this week on the road against the 4-2 Mt. Lebanon Blue Devils. I predict the Tigers offense continues to operate at high velocity, but Lebo is no slouch. Bet the over.
Not on the list:
Penn Hills 5-1 (5A)
Upper St. Clair 5-1 (5A)
Belle Vernon 4-1 (3A)
Central Valley 5-1 (4A)
Elizabeth Forward 6-0 (3A)