This, Coatesville coach Matt Ortega realizes, is not the same North Allegheny team that captured state gold in 2010.
That year, when they closed with a 21-0 blanking of La Salle, the Tigers used a smash-mouth approach on offense. Now, with a Division I-A recruit at quarterback, they run and pass equally well.
"That's why they've had so much success this year," Ortega said. "They switch things up, run different personnel groups in there, and keep you guessing."
Coatesville, bidding for the program's first state title, will square off against District 7's North Allegheny, located outside Pittsburgh, in the PIAA Class AAAA final at 6 p.m. Saturday at Hersheypark Stadium.
The Red Raiders arrive with a high-octane offense that has averaged a whopping 51 points in the playoffs.
Here is a closer look at Saturday's final:
TV: Live on the Pennsylvania Cable Network.
Projected starters: Go to philly.com/ozone.
Records: North Allegheny, which has outscored foes by 608-112, is 15-0; Coatesville, riding an 11-game wining streak, is 13-2.
Coaches: Art Walker, who coached at Pittsburgh's Central Catholic from 1998 to 2004, has a 145-41 record. Ortega, at William Penn-York for five seasons, is 72-31. He is 35-13 since moving to Coatesville in 2009.
Strong-armed: The Tigers' Mack Leftwich, a 5-foot-11, 190-pound senior who committed to Texas-El Paso this week, has completed 159 of 248 passes for 3,132 yards and 43 touchdowns, with four interceptions.
Similar numbers: Coatesville's Emmett Hunt, a 6-2, 210-pound senior, has hit on 146 of 229 throws for 2,982 yards and 43 TDs, with three picks.
Ground game: In North Allegheny's multiple-set scheme, Alex DiCiantis has carried 214 times for 1,174 yards and 13 scores; Leftwich has rushed 122 times for 463 yards and nine TDs.
Breakaway threat: For the Red Raiders, junior halfback Daquan Worley has carried 211 times for 1,617 yards and 19 TDs.
Stout lineman: The Tigers' Patrick Kugler, a 6-4, 280-pound senior who is headed to Michigan, is a standout on both sides of the ball.
Electrifying: Like Worley, Coatesville senior wideouts Chris Jones (68 catches for 1,478 yards, 24 TDs) and Dre Boggs (33 for 804, 12) are threats from anywhere.
Solid: North Allegheny's 4-4 defense, which has yielded 7.5 points per game, is headed by Kugler, middle guard Jeremy Gonzalez, and Richmond-bound cornerback Brendan Coniker.
Other side: Coatesville's 4-2-5 defense is anchored by end Joe Phillips, middle guard Mike Boykin, linebackers Tyler Burke and Steve Pawling, and cornerback Jason Totoram.
Analysis: With their explosive ways on offense, Hunt and company are capable of beating any foe. But we expect the Tigers, with their defense answering the challenge, to gain their second crown in three years.
Pick: North Allegheny, 38-21.
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