Holy shit, last Friday was historic. They're calling it the "District 7 Shakeup". The big headline was Coach John Ledonne and his Pine Richland Rams knocking off the #1 ranked Central Catholic Vikings. What a win! We already know Ledonne is capable of beating the best, and while the Rams looked down and out before last week, they're right back in the conversation for back-to-back WPIAL champs in 5A.
The other big upset was Trinity knocking off Thomas Jefferson last week. The Hillers held TJ to a mere 41 yards on the ground and 6 points total. What a bust.
Are we beginning to think the Jags are pretenders in the 4A division? They barely beat 3A Belle Vernon a couple weeks ago and with the exception of Franklin Regional have played a powderpuff schedule. Hopefully this was a wake up call for Bill "300 Dubs" Cherpak and his TJ squad because after they play Ringgold this week they finish the season with 4-3 Connellsville and 6-1 McKeesport.
#1 Peters Township Indians 7-0 (5A) (▲1)
The Indian's defense continues to impress – giving up less than 4 points per game over the course of the season. We knew the test against Moon would be close at the half, but Peters Township stepped on their throats in the second half, now they're number one in our hearts.
Things get interesting for this Indian defense on Friday when they play up to the 4-3 Mt. Lebanon Blue Devils (6A) who are fresh off an ass-whooping from #5 North Allegheny. If Peters Township wins like they have been, they're deserving of the top spot.
#2 Alipuippa Quips 6-0 (4A) (▲1)
Rumor on the street is Aliquippa football players are pissed at Jagoff Sports for ranking them behind Thomas Jefferson last week. And while they might have a point because TJ was overrated, the Quips spent the last two weeks beating up on 2-5 Ambridge and 0-7 Blackhawk. They're in the soft part of their schedule.
I expect another blowout this week against the 0-7 New Castle Hurricanes. The Quips don't have a real challenge again until week 9 when they visit Central Valley.
#3 Central Catholic Vikings 6-1 (6A) (▼2)
I may have written last week that this Central Catholic team could beat Pitt, and I may still stand by that claim. Sure the loss to Pine Richland hurts, but the Rams were state champions last year and their coach is a rocket scientist – the guy won with Shaler a couple years ago.
While Central's shot at a perfect season is gone, they quickly have an opportunity to bounce back this week. The Vikes take on 6-1 Penn Hills in one of the highlight games of the week. I trust they'll win big and put the Pine Richland fiasco behind them.
#4 North Allegheny Tigers 5-1 (6A) (▲1)
You know who doesn't lose to Pine Richland? North A. But it's hard to rank them ahead of Central when they got smoked by the Vikings head-to-head back in late September (50-22 loss). I'm itching to see the two teams play each other again, and it might happen at Heinz Field.
The Tigers took care of business on the road against the solid Mt. Lebanon team, and will steam roll Norwin at home this week.
#5 Belle Vernon 5-1 (3A)
Belle Vernon makes the top 5 for the first time this season behind senior quarterback Braden Laux's record setting performance. Laux threw for 337 yards and 3 TDs en route to a 53-7 win over Greensburg Salem. His work was done at halftime.
3A's biggest matchup of the year takes place this week when BV travels to Mt. Pleasant to take on the 5-2 Vikings. I expect Penn State commit Quinton Martin (5-star ATH) will have another big game to keep this squad rolling.
Not on the list:
Thomas Jefferson 6-1 (4A) Penn Hills 6-1 (5A) Avonworth 7-0 (3A) Elizabeth Forward 7-0 (3A)
Pine Richland 4-3 (5A)