WPIAL 3A Semifinal Preview: Belle Vernon vs. East Allegheny

The defending champion Leopards look to return to Acrisure Stadium

Fri Nov 17, 2023 - 12:53AM

Sean Meyers Sean Meyers

Last Updated: Fri Nov 17, 2023 - 1:03AM

WPIAL Class 3A Semifinals: No. 4 East Allegheny (9-2) vs. No. 1 Belle Vernon (9-1) at Norwin H.S. – 7 p.m.

Pregame at 6:30 p.m. on WSN Audio - LISTEN LIVE

WSN Broadcasters: Sean Meyers and Brian Brozeski

About the Wildcats: East Allegheny edged No. 12 South Park 28-21 last week in the Class 3A quarterfinals. Kam Marshall and Amir Rollins each accounted for a pair of scores, as Marshall posted a 6-yard TD run and a 70-yard touchdown reception, while Rollins contributed touchdown receptions spanning 20 and 9 yards. EA quarterback Michael Cahill was 16-of-18 passing for 254 yards and two scores, while Brennan Rutledge caught seven passes for 143 yards. Since a 30-point loss to Elizabeth Forward on Sept. 8, the Wildcats have won eight straight, including four contests in a row by one score. EA has outscored its opponents by a margin of 317-217 on the season. Dom Pecora is the veteran head coach for the Wildcats.

About the Leopards: Top-seeded Belle Vernon Area opened its postseason last Friday with a dominant 49-6 win at home against No. 8 Deer Lakes in the Class 3A quarterfinals. Quinton Martin eclipsed 100 yards each rushing and receiving, while Braden Laux threw three touchdowns in the first half. Martin posted nine receptions for 100 yards, including a pair of scores, while adding 107 yards on the ground on 10 attempts. Laux completed 14-of-18 passes for 236 yards. Kole Doppelheuer notched a pair of rushing scores, amassing 101 yards on 10 carries, while Anthony Crews added two TDs. For the campaign, Martin has 77 carries for 764 yards, 37 receptions for 590 yards, and 23 total touchdowns. Laux has connected on 80-of-124 passes for 1,286 yards, with 15 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Kole Doppelheuer, Jake Gedekoh, and Anthony Crews have each rushed for 300 or more yards. The Leopards have scored 49 or more points in each contest during their six-game winning surge, and have permitted seven or fewer points seven times this year. BVA has outpaced its foes 413-99.

About the Matchup: The winner advances to the WPIAL Class 3A Championship against either second-seeded Avonworth or No. 3 Elizabeth Forward. Last year, BVA smashed East Allegheny 55-7 in the Class 3A quarterfinals.