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Tribune-Review (Greensburg, PA)
Whether teams complete four quarters or only one, a WPIAL football game is official once coaches agree to halt the game.
Whoever's ahead is the winner.
"No contest" isn't an option.
"If you mutually agree to terminate prior to the scheduled conclusion, the score/point differential is final and cannot be revisited at a later date," WPIAL executive director Tim O'Malley wrote Friday morning in an email to athletic directors.
It was a well-timed reminder. A number of games were halted early Friday night and a few others were suspended to Saturday as a line of strong thunderstorms swept through Western Pennsylvania.
Among the early finishes, Elizabeth Forward and Quaker Valley halted their nonconference game with 32 seconds left until halftime, awarding EF a lightning-shortened 7-6 win. With New Castle leading West Mifflin, 14-0, their game was halted with 5:17 remaining in third quarter. Seton LaSalle was leading New Brighton, 19-17, with 11:42 left in the third quarter when their game was halted.
All were nonconference games, so the outcome doesn't impact playoff qualifying. Often times, the teams don't want to take another bus ride Saturday morning to finish them.
However, the WPIAL's stance changes for conference games.
"We, the WPIAL, have always mandated that all section games be completed in their entirety," O'Malley wrote, noting those final scores could impact tiebreakers.
Blackhawk and Montour resumed their Northwest Eight game Saturday, as did Burgettstown and South Side Beaver in the Three Rivers Conference.
Unlike baseball, which has a designated inning when rain-out games becomes official, football does not.
According to the National Federation of State High School Association rules, "games interrupted because of events beyond the control of the responsible administrative authority shall be continued from the point of interruption, unless the teams agree to terminate the game with the existing score, or as otherwise provided for by state association adoption."
2. Good week for winless teams
Woodland Hills, Freeport, Highlands and South Park earned their first victories in Week 4, but Central Valley's was the most dramatic.
The Warriors, 0-4 before Friday, stopped a game-winning 2-point conversion late in the fourth quarter to defeat Keystone Oaks, 28-27, in the Tri-County West Conference. KO (4-1, 2-1) was ranked third in WPIAL Class 3A.
Central Valley's Ameer Dudley took the lead with a 1-yard touchdown run in the fourth, before Keystone Oaks' Logan Shrubb answered with a 1-yard score. Rather than kick for the tie, Keystone Oaks went for two and the lead.
3. Logjam in Allegheny Eight
Upper St. Clair was alone atop the conference standings before Friday night's 29-21 loss to West Allegheny. Now the Panthers (3-1) and Indians (3-1) are tied for first with Peters Township (2-1) just a half-game behind them.
There would be a three-way tie for the conference title if those three teams won out. Upper St. Clair owns a 16-14 win over Peters Township from Week 1. Peters Township claimed a 42-28 win over West Allegheny in Week 3.
But Bethel Park (1-1) and Moon (1-1), who have just one loss in the conference, could cause the early leaders trouble.
4. Top offense is surprise
After Week 4, it's Charleroi.
The Cougars and first-year coach Lance Getsy are averaging a WPIAL-best 59.3 points after their 69-7 victory Friday at Carmichaels. Charleroi quarterback Geno Pellegrini passed for three touchdowns and ran for another in the win.
Charleroi also owns wins against Washington (64-33), Riverview (48-7) and Frazier (56-7).
The next highest-scoring offenses are Shady Side Academy at 53.3, Thomas Jefferson 48.8, Gateway 45.6, Keystone Oaks 44.4, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart 44.4, McGuffey 44 and Penn Hills 43.4.
Aliquippa, now averaging 42.6, was the top-scoring team before Friday's 39-0 victory over Beaver Falls. With the Quips ahead 33-0 at halftime, the two teams agreed to reduce the second half to eight-minute quarters with a running clock.
5. Don't crown North Catholic quite yet
North Catholic's move up to in Class 3A made the Trojans a trendy favorite in the newly formed Big East Conference, but not so right now. Not after Derry defeated North Catholic, 27-0, on Friday night.
Don't forget, Derry was a conference champion last season as well.
Derry (5-0, 3-0) shared the Class 3A Interstate title with South Park and Elizabeth Forward (4-0, 3-0), who's also undefeated in the new-look Big East.
Justin Flack scored all four of Derry's touchdowns Friday, two rushing and two receiving.
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