Only three weeks remain to the WPIAL football regular season. Playoff races remain open in most conferences, particularly in the Class AA Interstate. Six teams are separated by two games.
Canon-McMillan (1-1, 3-3) at Mt. Lebanon (1-1, 3-3)
Chances are the winner of this finishes third in the Great Southern Conference. Last week, Mt. Lebanon scored on a variety of big plays at Peters Township. The Indians defense had no solution for running back Luke Hagy.
Canon-McMillan evened its conference record against Baldwin last week and are in search of a signature victory. The Big Macs three wins have come against teams (Trinity, Butler and Baldwin) with a combined two wins. How quickly linebacker Mike Hull and the rest of the defense get to Hagy could key their chances.
McGuffey (4-2, 4-2) at Charleroi (5-1, 5-1)
The power offenses of these two Interstate Conference playoff-contenders along with the weather means a healthy dose of running, and then a few more carries.
Which offensive line will dictate? Can McGuffey open holes for Nick Shuman, Trenton Bedillion and company or will the Cougars, behind Zach Hooks, soften a tough McGuffey defense for sensational sophomore Quentin Briggs, who is closing in on a second 1,000-yard season.
Both teams have played like playoff teams to date but the loser could be in trouble. McGuffey still has Wash High on the schedule. Charleroi still has Wash High and first-place Mt. Pleasant.
Jeannette (5-1, 5-1) at Washington (4-2, 4-2)
Wash High has yet to beat a team with more than one victory. The Prexies need to break that trend soon to bolster their playoff chances. Junior Zach Barnes is developing into a feature running back and when Washington finds ways to involve Bryan Thomas in the offense, they produce points.
Jeannette is one of the few teams in the Interstate Conference who can match Wash High's athleticism and speed at the skill positions. Jayhawks runner Toddy Harris is coming off a monster game against McGuffey.
California (3-1, 4-2) at Beth-Center (3-1, 4-2)
As previously stated on The Varsity Letters, topping the intensity in this rivalry, which was heightened when Beth-Center joined the Tri-County South Conference, is difficult.
California took a big hit during last week's loss to Carmichaels. Quarterback D.J. Martinak, who has had a hand in 17 touchdowns, is doubtful. So is receiver Wade Stinnett and running back Mike Evans.
The Trojans must find some way to match Beth-Center's intensity because scoring points on the Bulldogs is tough. They've allowed 53 points, lowest in the conference.