Below are the final Pittsburgh Union Progress high school football rankings for the 2023 regular season, with all rankings voted on by the PUP sports staff.

Class 6A

1. Central Catholic (9-1)

2. North Allegheny (9-1)

3. Canon-McMillan (6-4)

4. Mt. Lebanon (5-5)

5. Seneca Valley (3-7)

The skinny: Top-ranked Central Catholic went wire-to-wire as the No. 1 team in Class 6A, and the Vikings’ 51-7 beatdown against Gateway on Friday was one of their most impressive victories to date. North Allegheny maintained its No. 2 status with a 49-14 rout against Seneca Valley, and Canon-McMillan held onto the No. 3 spot by beating Mt. Lebanon, 41-28. Central will face Mt. Lebanon in the opening round of the WPIAL playoffs, while North Allegheny takes on Canon-Mac.

Class 5A

1. Peters Township (10-0)

2. Penn Hills (8-2)

3. Pine-Richland (7-3)

4. Upper St. Clair (8-2)

5. Gateway (5-5)

The skinny: The top three teams were all victorious in their regular-season finales, while the only change here is Upper St. Clair switching spots with Gateway after the Panthers’ 34-21 win at South Fayette, coupled with Gateway’s blowout loss against Central. Shockingly, USC did not qualify for the WPIAL playoffs, as only eight playoff berths are available among the 18 teams in Class 5A. The Panthers finished in a three-way tie for second place in the Allegheny Six Conference with Moon (5-5) and Bethel Park (4-6), and the Tigers and Black Hawks both made it in over USC via the WPIAL’s highly scrutinized tiebreaker system.

Class 4A

1. Aliquippa (9-0)

2. McKeesport (9-1)

3. Montour (9-1)

4. Mars (8-2)

5. Thomas Jefferson (8-2)

The skinny: Just like in Class 5A, the top three teams here all won key games on Friday, while Mars finally makes its rankings debut following a last-second 17-14 win at North Catholic to lock up the Greater Allegheny Conference title. Thomas Jefferson drops a spot after a 28-7 home loss against McKeesport, and Central Valley falls out of the rankings for the first time following a 27-17 home loss against Aliquippa.

Class 3A

1. Belle Vernon (8-1)

2. Avonworth (10-0)

3. Elizabeth Forward (9-1)

4. Beaver (8-2)

5. East Allegheny (8-2)

The skinny: Led by superstar senior Quinton Martin’s vintage 4-TD performance, defending WPIAL and PIAA champion Belle Vernon looked every bit like a team ready to repeat in a 49-28 win against previously unbeaten Elizabeth Forward on Friday. Avonworth also looks like a team destined to make it back to Acrisure Stadium for another crack at the Leopards, completing an unbeaten regular season with a 49-0 win at Quaker Valley. Beaver throttled Hopewell on the road, 58-14, and East Allegheny outlasted Shady Side Academy at home for a 41-34 win to stretch its win streak to seven games in a row.

Class 2A

1. Steel Valley (8-1)

2. Neshannock (9-1)

3. Washington (9-1)

4. Mohawk (8-2)

5. Imani Christian (7-2)

The skinny: Steel Valley made easy work of Serra Catholic in a 54-14 win to keep its hold on the top spot, and the WPIAL playoff pairings committee rewarded the Ironmen with a No. 1 seed for the postseason tournament. Neshannock certainly had a strong argument for the top seed, but the Lancers will have to settle for the No. 2 seed and a Midwestern Conference title after knocking off Mohawk at home, 13-7. Washington secured a share of the Century Conference crown by beating McGuffey on the road, 13-7, dropping the Highlanders out of the rankings and making room for Imani Christian’s return after the Saints rolled to a 45-7 win against Yough.

Class 1A

1. Fort Cherry (10-0)

2. Bishop Canevin (8-1)

3. South Side (10-0)

4. Clairton (8-2)

5. Cornell (8-2)

The skinny: No changes here, as Fort Cherry and South Side finished as two of the area’s six unbeaten teams in the regular season with resounding wins in Week 9. Scorching-hot Clairton turned heads with a 60-14 blowout at Jeannette — its eighth consecutive win after an 0-2 start — to clinch the Eastern Conference championship, while Cornell cruised past Our Lady of the Sacred Heart at home, 40-9. Bishop Canevin also enjoyed a lopsided win in its regular-season finale on Saturday, shutting out Carlynton at home, 48-0.

City League

1. Westinghouse (9-0)

2. University Prep (7-3)

3. Allderdice (1-8)

The skinny: Much like their first meeting back on Sept. 14 won by Westinghouse, 34-18, Saturday’s City League title game between the Bulldogs and University Prep was a hotly contested battle in the first half before “The House” pulled away for a dominant 42-14 win. The Bulldogs will now embark on their quest to return to the PIAA Class 2A championship game for the second year in a row, needing five consecutive wins to get there and six more to win it all.

Steve is a sports writer at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at

Steve Rotstein

Steve is a sports writer at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at