Indiana to see familiar face in first-round game
By MATTHEW BURGLUND, firstname.lastname@example.org
The WPIAL football playoff pairings were announced Monday night, and the Indians learned they will play host to Trinity in the first round of the Class AAA bracket Friday night.
Trinity (5-4) is coached by Ed Dalton, who many fans in this area might remember as the head coach at Purchase Line from 1987 to 1991.
``We go back a long way,'' said Indiana coach Mark Zilinskas. ``We're familiar with (Dalton's) career and the success he's had. He's a good coach.''
Indiana (7-2) has earned its first playoff berth since 2003, when it was a Class AAAA school, and only its third since joining the WPIAL in 1988.
``The kids are real excited,'' Zilinskas said. ``This is a goal we set every year, and we fell short the last few years. So the kids are really excited to have this opportunity. They're bouncing off the walls.''
Indiana and Trinity have met four times, with the Hillers winning each game, by a combined score of 127-38. The last meeting came in 2005, when Trinity scored a 32-18 win in the season opener on the Hillers home field, in Washington.
Indiana received a No. 5 seed in the 16-team field, based on a second-place finish in the rugged Greater Allegheny Conference. The Indians are on a hot streak, having won three consecutive games by a combined score of 96-37, including a 41-17 whipping of playoff-bound Franklin Regional last Friday night.
Trinity is also playing well, having won its last three games to secure a fourth-place spot in the Big Seven Conference.
Should Indiana beat Trinity, it will meet the winner of the Franklin Regional-New Castle game. Coincidentally, Indiana also beat New Castle this season, 27-18.
Zilinskas' main concern this week is the weather. Early forecasts have called for rain and snow today and Wednesday, which could do serious damage to the grass field at Fifth Street Stadium. The Indians will practice the next two days at IUP's Miller Stadium, on its artificial surface, because the weather might make Indiana's practice field unusable.
Zilinskas said he and officials at the high school ``kicked around'' the idea of playing the game at IUP, but they're hoping the weather changes.
``It looks like things will warm up and dry out,'' he said.
|HS Volleyball: Indiana's dream season has nightmare ending||Indiana eliminated from WPIAL playoffs|
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