Beth-Center 38, Serra Catholic 17.
Beth-Center's WPIAL Class A first-round playoff victory over visiting Serra Catholic Friday night might not seem like much to the outside observer but the victory carries some significance.
For the Bulldogs, who lost their entire starting backfield from last year due to graduation or moving or lack of interest in the sport, it proved that they're a little ahead of schedule when it comes to recapturing the success achieved in 2006. That team went 11-1 and reached the WPIAL semifinals.
Now, this doesn't mean Beth-Center (8-2) is going to knock off No. 2 seed Laurel (9-1) Friday night in Beaver, but any time a team as youthful as B-C can win in the postseason, it serves a strong barometer for future success.
And, in typical Beth-Center fashion, the Bulldogs won the game with a balanced offense, big special teams play and five forced turnovers. Those have been characteristics of every Beth-Center team since head coach Ed Woods rebuilt the Bulldogs.
This might be the biggest reason Beth-Center is still playing: the defense has forced 34 turnovers in 10 games. The Bulldogs have recovered 21 fumbles, picked off 13 passes and have around 50 tackles for loss on the year.
++ South Fayette put up an impressive 35 points against a strong Beaver defense. It's the same Beaver that lost at Aliquippa, 7-0, in Week 4.
South Fayette, undefeated and the top seed in Class AA, plays Aliquippa Friday night at Chartiers Valley High School in a game to be televised by FSN. It might be the night the casual WPIAL football fan gets to know Lions quarterback Christian Brumbaugh.
++ Beth-Center's victory did more than notch the Bulldogs fourth WPIAL playoff victory since 2005, which is tops among teams within the Observer-Reporter's coverage area.
It broke the postseason winless streak for teams from Washington and Greene Counties.
In 2008, those teams went a combined 9-0 in the first round of the WPIAL playoffs. This year, the record was 1-7. Trinity, McGuffey, Washington, Fort Cherry, Jefferson-Morgan, Burgettstown and Carmichaels each lost.
Trinity, Washington and Fort Cherry were shutout.
++ While the season continues at Beth-Center and South Fayette, it's over for the rest of the area and it figures to be an interesting offseason.
Which school booards will force out coaches?
Which coaches will find other jobs?
Will any schools drop football?
And will conferences look anything like they did the past two years? There promises to be plenty of teams dropping in classification for the next two-year cycle.