PITTSBURGH -- Pine-Richland and North Allegheny have been on a collision course all season and will face off this Friday in the C. Harper Auto Group Friday Night Rivals Powered by IGS Energy regular season finale live at 7 p.m. on 22 the Point and streaming live on 22thepoint.com.
The top two WPIAL Class 6A programs are ranked third and fourth in the state, and with both sides returning a handful of highly recruited players the Ram and Tigers have seemed destined to clash in Week 9 for the regular season and conference championship.
"This is Western Pennsylvania football at its finest," Pine-Richland Head Coach Eric Kasperowicz told 22 the Point this week.
"Two undefeated conference rivals playing the last game of the season for the conference title and overall number one seed, what else could you possibly want?"
Aside from Pine-Richland's Week 0 loss to national power IMG Academy, the sides enter this matchup unbeaten and the winner will enter the WPIAL playoffs as the number one overall seed.
This regular season finale will also feature one of the best collection of lineman anywhere in the state. North Allegheny (9-0) employs at least two Division I recruits up front with Elijah Boyd and Jacob Lugg.
The unit has led the way for quarterback Ben Petschke, senior running back Ben Maenza and their bevy of playmakers which includes wide receiver and Penn State commit Joey Porter Jr., who also stars as a defensive back.
Pine-Richland continues to have success behind highly touted right tackle Andrew Kristofic, a Notre Dame commit, guard Michael Katic, an Indiana commit and center Michael Dorundo who also fields Division I offers.
The Rams potent running game was highlighted in a Friday Night Rivals broadcast earlier this season, a 42-21 win over Pittsburgh Central Catholic which included four touchdowns from speedy running back Luke Meckler.
Western Pennsylvania high school football fans have had this showdown circled for quite some time following Pine-Richland's 2017 PIAA state championship run led by record-setting quarterback Phil Jurkovec, now at Notre Dame. The Rams edged North Allegheny twice on their way to Hershey, both in the regular season and in the WPIAL playoffs.
A new chapter between these two big school rivals will play out this week, live on 22 the Point.
TIME: 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26.
WATCH: 22 the Point (WPNT) (Comcast 812, Dish/DirecTV 22, Verizon FiOS 510, Armstrong 105, Atlantic Broadband 707, Laurel Highlands 422, Citizens 812, Consolidated 710, Shentel 207, Time/Warner 1022)
ONLINE: The broadcast will stream on http://22thepoint.com/.
ANNOUNCERS: Geoff Arnold (play-by-play), Dan Watson (analyst), Jordan Conigliaro (sidelines).
SOCIAL MEDIA: #FridayNightRivalsPGH, @22ThePoint, @JordanC_WPGH.
2018 PITTSBURGH FRIDAY NIGHT RIVALS SCHEDULE
***ALL GAMES AT 7 P.M. ON 22 THE POINT, WPNT-TV***
Oct 26: Pine-Richland at North Allegheny
Aug. 31: South Fayette 35, Beaver 7
Sept. 7: Thomas Jefferson 36, Belle Vernon Area 14
Sept. 14: Penn Hills 36, Mars Area 15
Sept. 21: West Allegheny 29, Upper St. Clair 12
Sept. 28: Pine-Richland 42, Pittsburgh Central Catholic 21
Oct. 5: Gateway 63, Franklin Regional 3
Oct. 12: Central Valley 52, Hopewell 7
Oct. 19: Peters Township 35, Bethel Park 0