Gonna jump away from the traditional weekly preview format. In lieu of that, here's a little bit to go along with the capsules that will run in Friday's Observer-Reporter:
No. 15 Peters Township at No. 2 Gateway
Peters Township RB Mike Minjock has 173 carries for 1,150 yards and 15 touchdowns. ... Indians are 4-1 on the road. ... Gateway has won or shared four WPIAL titles, the last in 1986. ... Gators went 8-1 to win Class AAAA Foothills Conference and lost to top-seeded North Allegheny by 11 points in Week 6. ... Peters Township LB Matt Loether has 105 tackles, including four for a loss, to go along with four sacks and three forced fumbles.
No. 12 Trinity at No. 5 Montour
Trinity RB Patrick Frey has 155 carries for 901 yards and 10 touchdowns. ... WR Corey Hunsberger has scored nine touchdowns five different ways. ... Montour WR Devin Wilson is the WPIAL's all-time leading receiving in terms of receptions (222) and yards (3,120). For the season he has 57-922-13TD. ... Spartans went 8-1 and tied Central Valley and West Allegheny atop the Parkway Conference. ... Only loss was a 5-3 defeat at home vs. West Allegheny.
No. 13 Ringgold at No. 4 West Allegheny
Rams earned their first playoff victory since 1999 by knocking off Highlands, 14-10, in the first round last year. ... QB Nico Law didn't finish last week's game against Trinity (undisclosed) but is expected to return. WR/DB Joey Wall, who was treated by medical personnel on-site, is questionable. Also undisclosed. ... WA's Tory Delmonico, Armand Dellovade and Chayse Dillon have combined for 1,648 yards and 19 touchdowns.
No. 14 Shady Side Academy at No. 3 Wash High, at W&J's Cameron Stadium
Prexies went undefeated and won the Interstate Conference, the first perfect regular season and conference crown since 2001. RB Shai McKenzie (127-1,902-30TD) was the WPIAL's No. 1 rusher and broke Brian Davis' single-season school record. ... Watch for backup RB DaRon Whitaker, who has 41 carries for 373 yards and seven touchdowns while spelling McKenzie. ... Shady Side gave up the fewest points per game (13.6) in the Class AA Allegheny Conference.
No. 15 Freedom at No. 2 South Fayette
South Fayette's offensive is one of the WPIAL's best, but its defense hasn't allowed points in four straight weeks or a passing touchdown all season. ... WR Zach Challingsworth has two defensive scores to go along with 46-952-13TD on offense. ... Conner Beck (24-378-2TD) and Justin Watson (21-421-7TD) are also dangerous threats out wide and provide matchup problems for opposing teams. ... Lions closest game was 39 points -- a mercy rule win over No. 6 seed Seton-La Salle.
No. 15 Carmichaels/No. 2 Sto-Rox, at North Hills
Sto-Rox reaches the WPIAL final at Heinz Field last year where it lost to Clairton. ... Carmichaels has won six straight, scoring 50 or more points three times while averaging 47.7 per contest. ... Carmichaels didn't make the playoffs and lost in the first round eight consecutive times before that. ... Vikings have a first-year coach in Dan Bradley, who replaced Ron Butschle. ... Mikes beat Bishop Canevin (42-7) and Fort Cherry (32-0) to reach the WPIAL semifinals in 2002.
No. 4 Jefferson-Morgan/No. 13 Neshannock, at Waynesburg High School
Neshannock is sort of the Avella of the north, the surprise story of the year. The Lancers haven't been in the postseason since 2004, but returned thanks to QB Ernie Burkes, who's 95-153-1,251-14TD and 68-625-11TD rushing. ... J-M is averaging 281 rushing yards per game with first-year coach Liam Ryan's offense. ... J-M was the second seed out of the Tri-County South, with wins over Carmichaels and Frazier. ... Neshannock has a 35-34 win over No. 2 Sto-Rox on its resume.
No. 5 Monessen/No. 12 Apollo-Ridge, at Charleroi
Greyhounds have rolled since a 52-7 loss to Clairton in Week 4, winning four straight, two of those by 30 or more points. ... QB Chavas Rawlins is 53-123-1,085-11TD passing and has also run for nine TDs. Rawlins scored on a long run, a punt return and an INT return last week. ... A-R is in the playoffs for the first time 2007 after going 9-27 the four seasons prior to this one. ... Greyhounds have lost in the first round three of the past six years.
No. 7 Beth-Center/No. 10 Union, at California High School
This is the 10th consecutive year Beth-Center has made the playoffs, though the Bulldogs have lost in the first round five times during that span. ... RB Cody Durant (77-740-12TD) gets the most touches, but RB Matt Riggle and RB Jason Stay also play prominent roles. ... Union is coaches by Stacy Robinson, whose son, Drew, is the team's starting tailback. ... Scotties are in the playoffs for the first time since 2003. ... B-C's only loss was 21-14 to Frazier at home in Week 7.