District 5 will open its Class A football playoffs on Nov. 3-4 with top-seeded Meyersdale (8-0), the lone unbeaten team in the area, and second-seeded Windber (7-1), getting first-round byes.

The sixth-seeded team will travel to the No. 3 team on Nov. 3 game while the No. 4 team hosts No. 5 on Nov. 4.

In the semifinals, the Red Raiders will host the No. 4-5 winner on Nov. 10 and the defending district champion Ramblers will play host to the No. 3-6 winner on Nov. 11, according to the brackets posted on the District 5 Web site. The semifinal winners play Nov. 17.

In this week’s District 5 rankings, North Star (6-2) is the No. 3 seed, followed by Northern Bedford (5-3) and Tussey Mountain (5-3), which are tied for fourth. In head-to-head competition in Week 3, the Black Panthers downed the Titans 42-7. Rockwood (5-3) is the sixth seed.

In District 6, Greater Johnstown (7-1) moved back on top of the Class AAA rankings. Defending district champion Huntingdon (7-1) is second, followed by Hollidaysburg (5-3) and Indian Valley (3-5).

The Trojans and Bearcats each have difficult Week 9 games, with Johnstown at Forest Hills and Huntingdon taking on Philipsburg-Osceola.

In Class AA, Tyrone (8-0) continues to reign as the top seed, followed by Bishop McCort (7-1) and Penn Cambria (7-1). Marion Center (7-1) and Philipsburg (6-2) are tied for fourth, followed by defending district champion Forest Hills (6-2), Bedford (6-2) and Penns Valley (5-3).

What a kick in the teeth for Chestnut Ridge (5-3) and Westmont Hilltop (5-3). Each won last week and yet fell in the overall rankings because Penns Valley downed Class AAA Bellefonte, 14-13.

In Class A, Purchase Line (7-1), Portage (7-1), Southern Huntingdon (7-1), Bellwood-Antis (6-2), Juniata Valley (6-2), Glendale (6-2), Ligonier Valley (6-2), Laurel Valley (5-3) and Northern Cambria (5-3) have qualified for the playoffs.

Some schools in District 6 have a policy that does not allow them to enter the playoffs with a sub-.500 record and the district has a policy that a team must have four wins to qualify for the postseason.

With that said, bubble teams in Class A are Blairsville (4-4), Conemaugh Valley (4-4), Bishop Guilfoyle (3-5), Claysburg-Kimmel (3-5), Blacklick Valley (3-5) and United (3-5).

Defending Class A champion Bishop Carroll (2-6) failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 1997. The last time the Huskies had a losing record was 1994 when they were 2-8.

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Sports editor Eric Knopsnyder and I had the best weeks in the picking department, with each of us going 15-1.

Matt Jordan, Shawn Curtis, Steve Johncola and Frank Mikesic were all 13-3, followed by Mike Mastovich, Ethan Blough and Tim Burns at 12-4.

I moved into the overall lead with a 106-25 mark, tailed by Johncola (105-26), Curtis (104-27) and Mastovich (102-29). Blough, Jordan and Knopsnyder are each 100-31, followed by Burns (94-37) and Mikesic (89-42).

Cory Isenberg is a sports writer for The Tribune-Democrat.

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