By Paul Paterra
The WPIAL will crown each of its four football champions this Saturday at Three Rivers Stadium in a day that has been tabbed
"Championship Saturday." It's a very appropriate name, but as of late it also may be safe to call the day "Rematch Saturday."
For the second straight year, three of the four title games will be rematches of earlier season games between conference foes.
The Class A clash between South Side Beaver (12-0) and Monaca (10-2) is a battle between a pair of Big Seven Con-ference foes.
Class AA's championship game pits Three Rivers Conference mates Waynesburg (12-0) and Washington (11-1) against each other,
while the Quad A title battle is a Quad East showdown between McKeesport (8-4) and Woodland Hills (12). Saturday's only game,
which will not be a rematch, is the Class AAA contest, which features a pair of, unbeatens - West Allegheny (12-0) and Belle
Vernon (12-0). By the way, Belle Vernon advanced to the championship game after beating fellow Keystone Conference foe Belle
Vernon in a semifinal game.
There was a similar scenario involving last year's championship contests. The Class A, Class AAA and Quad A games all involved
teams that had met earlier in the season. In the case of the Class A and Quad A games the teams that won during the regular
season again won in the title fray. Rochester beat Monaca on its way to an undefeated season and a state title in Class A,
while New Castle beat North Allegheny in the Quad A championship game after winning the regular season battle between the two
teams. Moon and Blackhawk met in last year's Class AAA title game after Blackhawk triumphed in a regular season tilt between
the two squads. However, Moon emerged victorious in the title game.
This brings us back to this year; and once again Monaca is involved in a title game against a conference foe to which it lost
earlier in the season. The Indians came into this campaign ranked number one in the state. After all, the starting backfield
of quarterback Noah McKay, along with Todd DiBacco and Matt Phillips returned. However, South Side Beaver won the season
opener between the two teams 22-6. It was a victory that began the Rams' run to what has be-come an undefeated season thus
far. Monaca coach Mark Lyons said that the game would have no bearing on this Sat-urday's tilt. "When you get this far into
the post-season, you're not really concerned about the past, you're just fo-cused on this opponent," Lyons said. "We're a much
different team than we were then."
Washington and Waynesburg both took undefeated records into a week nine showdown for the second straight year. For the second
straight year, Waynesburg knocked Washington from the ranks of the unbeaten. However, Washington coach Guy Montecalvo said
revenge is not on the mind of the Little Prexies in preparation for Saturday's game. "The incentive of winning the
championship game should be enough, [revenge] isn't much of a factor," Montecalvo ex-plained. The Washington coach added that
there wouldn't be a lot to surprises for either team. "The advantage is cer-tainly not skewed toward one team or the other,"
Montecalvo said. "You kind of disclose a lot about your team during the first encounter."
Woodland Hills and Mckeesport met Oct. 23 on a cold Saturday afternoon. The Wolverines rolled to a 21-0 victory that day.
Both teams have been rolling in the playoffs. Since that loss, McKeesport has amassed 1,687 yards on the ground in four
games, and scored 164 points during that period. It's safe to say each team is different than it was just five weeks ago.
McKeesport coach George Smith said neither team really has an advantage heading into the game. "We know what they do and they
know what we do," Smith said. "We just have to stop them and put some points on the board." Woodland Hills coach George Novak
felt there would be an advantage. "They'll be better prepared this time, Novak said. "When you play somebody twice, the team
that wins the first time is at a little disadvantage. The other team wants to play the game again because they lost."
"Rematch Saturday" begins at 10 a.m. with the Class A final.