Some of the most exciting high school football playoff games over the weekend came courtesy of area squads.
Shade’s hard-fought, dramatic victory over Northern Bedford in the District 5 Class A quarterfinal was a stunner, especially for the Black Panthers faithful, who were already planning for Saturday’s playoff game against Tussey Mountain.
Northern Bedford quarterback Blake Over may have been deemed the best athlete on the field last Friday, but Shade proved to be the better team and plays at the Titans’ field.
Forest Hills earned an impressive road win, holding off Mount Union in the District 6 Class AA quarters and will play at Central on Saturday, a rematch of last-year’s first-round matchup. The Scarlet Dragons made no secret of the fact that they are hoping to gain a measure of revenge for the loss that Forest Hills handed them last year.
Somerset, which survived its District 5-6-8-9 subregion contest with previously unbeaten University Prep to win in the playoffs for the first time since 1989, will take on top-seeded Clearfield on Friday night at Hollidaysburg High School in the subregion championship.
Bishop Carroll and Meyersdale were also comeback kids with the Huskies overcoming a 13-point deficit against host Bellwood-Antis in a District 6-A quarterfinal and the Red Raiders providing fourth-quarter heroics to down visiting Windber in a District 5-A quarterfinal game.
Carroll will head to Homer-Center on Saturday. Meyersdale travels up the road to face its nemesis, top-seeded Berlin Brothersvalley, a team the Red Raiders beat in triple overtime in Week 8, on Friday.
Top-seeded Richland will host Tyrone in Class AA and Portage, the top seed in District 6 Class A, hosts Bishop Guilfoyle with both games on Friday.
Also on Friday, Chestnut Ridge and Bedford will play at Northern Bedford with a District 5 Class AA title on the line.
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Survivors: The boys from Bedford and North Star still remain in the hunt for state titles in the PIAA soccer playoffs, which move into semifinal play on Tuesday.
Both teams are scheduled to play in a doubleheader at Hempfield High School in Greensburg.
In the opener, the District 5 champion Cougars will face District 7 champ Sewickley Academy in a Class A game set for 6 p.m.
The second game has Bedford, the District 5-AA winner, taking on District 7 titlist West Allegheny.
Both teams have advanced to the PIAA final four before, the Bisons just last year and the Cougars in 2010.
The Bishop Carroll girls volleyball team will play in the PIAA Class A semifinals on Tuesday at DuBois High School in a game set for 7 p.m.
The District 6 champion Huskies will face District 10 champ Cochranton.
Cory Isenberg is a sports writer for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter at Twitter.com/CoryIsenbergTD.