Jared Hartman

Eleanor Bailey/The Almanac

Jared Hartman is thrilled to be going to Heinz Field after he quarterbacked Belle Vernon to a victory over South Fayette in the WPIAL Class 4A semifinals.

The high school football playoffs will take place over the course of two days this week.

The four WPIAL championships – in Class 6A, 4A, 3A and A – will be held Saturday at Heinz Field.

Of those four games, only one local team – Belle Vernon in Class 4A – will be playing. The third-seeded Leopards, who upended South Fayette 41-30 in the semifinals last Friday, will play top-seeded and undefeated Thomas Jefferson in a Big Eight Conference rematch at 5 p.m.

Earlier this season, Thomas Jefferson broke a 7-7 tie at halftime and went on to defeat Belle Vernon, 34-7.

Thomas Jefferson (12-0) is trying for its fourth championship in the last five years. Belle Vernon (10-1) is making its first appearance in the finals since 1999.

Monday morning, the WPIAL released sites for the semifinal games in Class 2A and 5A. All will be held at 7 p.m. Friday night.

In Class 2A, top-seeded Washington (12-0) will play No. 6-seed Brentwood (10-2) at Chartiers Valley High School.

The Prexies have allowed only seven total points in their two playoff victories, a 21-7 opening-round win over Shady Side Academy and a 28-0 shutout over Freedom last Friday in the quarterfinals.

Brentwood, which finished in second place behind Burgettstown in the Three Rivers Conference, defeated East Allegheny, 28-19, to begin its playoff run. The Spartans then shut out Neshannock, 20-0, in the quarterfinals to reach the semifinals for the first time since 2006.

Washington defeated Brentwood in the 2016 WPIAL Class 2A quarterfinals, 61-27.

The winner will advance to play either Avonworth or Riverside in the championship scheduled for noon on Nov. 23 at Norwin High School.

In Class 5A, fifth-seeded Peters Township (11-1) will be the challenger against a top-seeded team when it plays Penn-Trafford (11-1) at West Mifflin High School.

It is a rematch of last year’s quarterfinal thriller, a game that was decided by a 26-yard field goal by Peters Township kicker Brian Bruzdewicz in the final seconds that gave the Indians a 38-35 win.

Both teams have rolled to back-to-back victories to begin their playoffs. Peters Township beat Mars, 47-6, then got revenge on Moon, 33-7. Penn-Trafford blew out Fox Chapel, 48-7, and used a strong second half defeat Upper St. Clair, 31-7.

The only loss of the season for Penn-Trafford was against Ohio power Massillon, 42-21.

The winner advances to the final at 6 p.m. Nov. 23 at Norwin. If Peters Township wins, it would be the first championship game appearance in school history.

Staff Writer

Luke Campbell has been handling a multitude of tasks since joining the Observer-Reporter in 2015, following his graduation from Waynesburg University. He graduated from Waynesburg with a bachelor’s degree in sports broadcasting and information.

See what people are talking about at The Community Table!

Thank you for reading!

Please purchase a subscription to continue reading. If you have a subscription, please Log In.