PIAA Year-In-Review: WPIALS splits in title games
6A Review: The title game for 6A involved two teams that have many trips to Hersey, but in the previous 4A classification. Pittsburgh Central Catholic had looked great all season after their opening Week 0 loss to a powerhouse team from Maryland. St. Joseph's Prep came into the title game undefeated with no "red flags" all season. This match-up had flashes of a repeat match-up back in 2013 where both teams met for the 4A title then (35-10 SJP). This game proved no different. St. Joseph's Prep (14-0) controlled all aspects of the game and cruised to a big title victory 42-7 of the Vikings. 6A play during the season saw very few surprises, but saw several teams excel and several teams who did not. Expect PCC (who finished 14-2) to load up once again for next year's run to another possible title game.
Title game stats here: 6A Title Game Stats
5A Review: Just like 6A, the 5A class had very few surprises. The biggest surprise, if there was one, would be the fact that Harrisburg dominated a talented West Allegheny team in the semifinals. Consequently, that team play in the semifinals helped Harrisburg (who finished 11-4) prove they were worthy of title opportunity. However, their match-up would be against historical Archbishop Wood who just like the 6A title game teams, has made several recent trips to Hershey. Archbishop Wood (11-2) prevailed 37-10 in a game that was one-sided. Just like PCC, expect West Allegheny to reload for next season and hopefully a better ending to the season.
Title game stats here: 5A Title Game Stats
4A Review: The 4A class title game may have given us the most dramatic fourth quarter of the 6 title games where Imhotep Charter (who finished 13-1) had a decent size lead on Cathedral Prep. However, just like all season long, Cathedral Prep played sound defense in the fourth quarter, forced a couple crucial turnovers and was able to score 18 points late to finish the comeback win 27-20 over Imhotep. Cathedral Prep (14-0) revenged last year's loss to Imhotep in the then 3A title game. The biggest story during the 4A season clearly has to be New Castle. New Castle had a rough season, posting losses to teams like Aliquippa and even two of their playoff match-up games. However, the Red Hurricane made a great run late in the season and proved they were a special team during the season.
Title game stats here: 4A Title Game Stats
3A Review: What a great season for the Beaver valley area, specifically the Beaver Valley Conference. Teams from Beaver county dominated 3A play and proved that typical "steel-mill" and factory-run cities are tough once again. The BVC had teams like Aliquippa, Beaver, Beaver Falls, AND new-comer Central Valley bully the rest of the competition. Beaver Falls proved worthy of a title game when the beat the Quips in the WPIAL championship game and had no trouble reaching the final. It seemed like the Tigers were playing the up-hill battle all year after their week 1 loss to Aliquippa where Beaver Falls had won EVERY game since that point. The last up-hill battle was against a stingy D in Middletown (who finished 14-1), who of course is only 10 minutes away from Hershey. However, that made no difference. Beaver Falls and Middletown played a tight game till, where the Tigers eventually forced a total of 6 turnovers and cruised in the second half winning 30-13 and their first state title. Beaver Falls (13-1) is losing some talent, but expect them to return as the competition will not go away in the BVC. The biggest surprise here has to be the fact that Beaver was held out of the playoffs due to only 8 teams being taken for playoffs. Expect that to be an issue once again in the BVC next year.
Title game stats here: 3A Title Game Stats
2A Review: Have we ever seen a more skilled, more athletic, more speed-oriented team than Steel Valley. Not recently in my mind. Steel Valley mercy-ruled ALL 17 opponents all season...with the closest game being a 42-7 win (first team to do such in WPIAL history). Historical Southern Columbia Area (who finished 16-1) proved no match for Steel Valley (17-0) who won 49-7 in the state title game. RB Najhier West made a ridiculous run that not only made ESPN SC Top-10 list but has become a huge hit all over the country. You can check out his run here: RB West Run. Anyways, 2A did not have many surprises other than the huge dominance that Steel Valley had all year. No one matched well against their style as the title game proved such.
Title game stats here: 2A Title Game Stats
A Review: History repeated itself this season in 1A as Clairton (who finished 16-1) and Bishop Guilfoyle met once again in the state title game. Clairton seemed to be riding the likes of RB Lamont Wade to the title game and had proved dominate during the season even during their historical match-up against Aliquippa where they won the first game that Aliquippa has given up more than 50 points in over 50 plus years. However, Bishop Guilfoyle (15-0) proved too much for Clairton who held Wade in check with only 70 yards and no touchdowns, winning 17-0. Bishop Guilfoyle has now won three state titles in the 1A class. To me the biggest surprise is the resurgence of the Rochester Rams who had an amazing season. Expect 1A WPIALs to be Clairton, Jeanette, AND Rochester filled for the next couple of years.
Title game stats here: A Title Game Stats
W-Zone Prediction of Title Games: 2-4. Be sure to check back in periodically during the off-season for website updates, changes or articles from Western PA sports, and improvements being made on the site. Have suggestions? Email us on our contact page today!