Conference titles are up for grabs throughout the WPIAL. OK, throughout most of the WPIAL. In these parts, titles are locked up and only Peters Township and Carmichaels are playing for playoff spots.
It takes a little luster off the final week of the regular season but there are a couple key games worth examining.
Chartiers-Houston at Fort Cherry
Chartiers-Houston hasn't been 7-1 since 2000, and that's the last time the Bucs won a playoff game. That year, C-H knocked off Clairton, 14-7, in the first round at home before taking eventual state champion Rochester to the limit in a 7-3 loss. With a win, C-H clinches second place in the Black Hills conference and a home playoff game.
Fort Cherry, already assured a playoff berth, can clinch second place with a win of five points or more. A loss makes the Rangers the fourth-place team in the conference and a possible candidate to play Avonworth or Rochester in the first round. The Rangers lost to the Rams in Week 2.
There's talents players for both teams but one facet that has not been discussed and could factor into the final score is Fort Cherry's pass defense. The Rangers have been probe to big passing plays throughout the year. Chartiers-Houston prefers to run but, given the matchup, receiver D.J. Denny could be a focal point of the game plan.
Peters Township at Canon-McMillan
Should Peters Township beat Canon-McMillan by nine points or more, the Indians erase a couple shaky weeks and qualify for the WPIAL Class AAAA playoffs for the first time. Peters Township hasn't been in the playoffs since 2003, the longest streak of any school in Washington County except Avella.
Canon-McMillan would relish ruining PT's season. To do so, the Big Macs are going to need some big plays from the run game and the defense must be better at stopping the run. Andrew Erenberg could be in line for a big game.
Jefferson-Morgan at Beth-Center
The game has no impact on the Tri-County South Standings. Beth-Center locked up second place and a home game last week. Jefferson-Morgan is out of the postseason picture. These two rivals, however, are intertwined. Not only are they neighboring districts, they run similar systems on both sides of the football. Why? Because head coaches Jan Haiden and Ed Woods both played at Beth-Center and were tutored by legendary coaches Bill Connors and Don Bartolomucci.
How close are Woods and Haiden? When Woods fell off the roof of his house Saturday and sustained broken ribs, he called Haiden to come help him. Scott Faieta and Royce Sofran will assume extra coaching duties in Woods' absence.