HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: WPIAL PLAYOFF PREVIEWS
October 31, 2013 10:45 AM

INDIANA (4-5) at RINGGOLD (7-2)

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Matchup: Indiana, the fourth-place team in the WPIAL Greater Allegheny Conference, takes on the third-place team from the Big Nine in the Class AAA bracket.

Team statistics

I R

188.4 Rushing offense 274.9

147.1 Passing offense 151.8

335.6 Total offense 426.7

177.9 Rushing defense n/a

89.2 Passing defense n/a

267.1 Total defense n/a

24.7 Scoring offense 42.9

20.3 Scoring defense 23.2

+5 Turnover margin n/a

About Indiana: The Indians, following a three-game losing streak, had to win their last two games to make the playoffs, and they enter as the No. 9 seed. They are coming off a 41-24 win at Hollidaysburg. Sean Thompson is 66 of 122 for 876 yards with seven touchdowns and four interceptions. Riley Stapleton is second in the area in receptions (38 for 572 yards), and Darrious Carter is fourth (29 for 450). Indiana last went to the playoffs in 2011, losing to Hopewell, 41-13, in the first round. Indiana is 2-0 all-time against Ringgold.

About Ringgold: The Rams, the eighth seed, have won four games in a row, last losing to West Mifflin, which beat Indiana in Week 7. The schools’ other common opponent is Highlands (Ringgold won, 45-20; Indiana lost, 21-14). Ringgold closed the regular season with a 50-17 win at Trinity last week. The Rams are led by junior Nico Law (1,116 yards rushing, 81 of 154 passing for 1,353 yards, 14 TDs, 5 ints).

Last meeting: Indiana won 43-20 in 2007.

Next week: The winner advances to the quarterfinals to face the Hollidaysburg-West Allegheny winner.


APOLLO-RIDGE (7-2) at BETH-CENTER (9-0)

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Matchup: Apollo-Ridge, the third place team out of the Eastern Conference, faces the unbeaten Tri-County South champion in the Class A bracket.

Team statistics

AR BC

211.6 Rushing offense 318.6

148.9 Passing offense 56.9

360.4 Total offense 333.8

146.9 Rushing defense n/a

84.7 Passing defense n/a

231.6 Total defense n/a

40.0 Scoring offense 50.0

15.9 Scoring defense 10.6

+8 Turnover margin n/a

About Apollo-Ridge: The Vikings, the ninth seed, are in the playoffs for the second straight year. They lost to Monessen in the first round last year. Apollo-Ridge locked up third place in a strong Eastern Conference with a 42-15 win over West Shamokin at home last week. The Vikings’ only losses came against unbeaten North Catholic (22-21, 2OT) and once-beaten Avonworth (35-27) in a conference play. Jesse Zelonka is second in the area in passing efficiency (82 of 144, 1,283 yards, 19 TDs, 0 ints) and leads the team in rushing (581 yards). Tre Tipton is third in the area in receptions (35 for 479 yards), and Alex Smith is sixth (25 for 497).

About Beth-Center: The Bulldogs, the ninth seed, come out of what is widely regarded as one of the weaker of the four WPIAL Class A conferences. Beth-Center posted four shutouts, including an 80-0 win over Bentworth in Week 4. It also received a win by forfeit over Geibel Catholic in Week 2. The Bulldogs closed the regular season with a 46-0 win at Vincentian Academy. The offense is led by sophomore Anthony Welsh (1,202 yards on 106 carries) and senior Gino Faieta (41 of 68 passing, 455 yards, 8 TDs, 2 ints). Matt Riggle has 15 receptions for 126 yards and three touchdowns.

Series history: First meeting.

Next week: The winner advances to the quarterfinals to face the winner between Avella and Sto-Rox.


WEST SHAMOKIN (6-3) at MONESSEN (9-1)

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Matchup: West Shamokin, a first-time playoff qualifier and the fourth-place team out of the Eastern Conference, squares off against the Black HIlls Conference runner-up in the Class A bracket.

Team statistics

WS M

227.0 Rushing offense n/a

72.1 Passing offense n/a

299.1 Total offense n/a

163.2 Rushing defense n/a

123.9 Passing defense n/a

287.1 Total defense n/a

26.2 Scoring offense 41.7

24.1 Scoring defense 15.2

+8 Turnover margin n/a

About West Shamokin: The Wolves are in the playoffs for the first time in the school’s 13-year history, taking the No. 14 seed. After ending a WPIAL-record 46-game losing streak last year, West Shamokin secured a winning record and the school record for wins in a season this year. The Wolves were locked into fourth place in the Eastern Conference with a 42-15 loss at Apollo-Ridge last week. Andrew Wingard (753 yards) and Zac Horner (607) lead the team in rushing. Alex Lasslo is third in the area in passing efficiency (32 of 61, 646 yards, 8 TDs, 4 ints).

About Monessen: The Greyhounds, the third seed, are ranked eighth in the state. They suffered their only loss to Fort Cherry (9-1), which won the conference title. Their most notable win came when they beat Clairton (42-24) in Week 4, snapping the Bears’ 66-game winning streak, the longest active streak in American high school football at the time. The Greyhounds have won six in a row, most recently 42-13 over Carlynton at home last week. They have scored at least 30 points in every game. Quarterback Noah Rullo is 60 of 101 for 1,257 yards. Clintell Gillaspie (895 yards rushing) and Javon Brown (697) lead the running game. Gillaspie is the team’s top receiver (20 catches, 509 yards). Monessen beat Apollo-Ridge, 48-19, in the first round of the playoffs last year before falling to Neshannock in the second round.

Series history: First meeting.

Next week: The winner advances to quarterfinals to face the Brentwood-Neshannock winner.

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