The Baldwin High School varsity football team will match its record from a year ago should it upset conference opponent Bethel Park High School on Senior Night at Baldwin Stadium this Friday.
But Friday's game—it starts at 7:30—will be meaningless in terms of Baldwin's 2012 postseason chances.
The Highlanders could indeed tie for the fifth and final WPIAL AAAA Southeastern Conference playoffs spot should they beat Bethel Park and both Penn Hills High School and Peters Township High School lose on Friday. That would put all three teams' conference records at 3-5. (Overall records do not matter.)
But, since Baldwin is a combined 0-2 this year against Penn Hills and Peters Township, the best that the Highlanders can hope for, using a head-to-head tiebreaker, is a seventh-place finish.
The best sixth-place team out of all of AAAA's three conferences will make the 2012 postseason as a wildcard. Since ties within conferences will be broken first, and since the Highlanders cannot get past a head-to-head tiebreaker with either Penn Hills or Peters, they are out.
In the end, Baldwin's last-minute loss in a Thursday night TV game at Penn Hills in September hurt badly. Baldwin led that game late, 8-7, after a dramatic fourth-quarter comeback, but the Indians kicked a game-winning field goal with 32 seconds left.
If equaling last year's overall record (4-5) and sending the team's seniors off on a high note aren't enough to motivate the Highlanders against playoffs-bound Bethel (5-3 overall, 5-2 Southeastern) on Friday, there are some individual milestones that could be met.
Senior running back Dorian Brown, for example, is 123 yards shy of back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons, and sophomore quarterback Doug Altavilla is 284 yards shy of a 1,000-yard passing season.
Junior utilityman Nick Barca is 41 yards short this season of 500 all-purpose yards, and junior running back Stephon Harris and junior utilityman Luke Smorey are 121 and 146 yards away, respectively, of that same mark.
Barca is also nine stops shy of a 70-tackle season.
View all of the Highlanders' 2012 season statistics in this article's media gallery by clicking on the PDF located toward the right side of this page (below the photo).
And check back on Friday and Saturday for updates from Friday's game.
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