2012Friday Night Live965x150



Complete PIAA football quarterfinal playoff schedule

Written by Mike White on .

All four WPIAL champions will play Friday night in the quarterfinals of the PIAA playoffs. Central Catholic and Aliquippa will play in the WPIAL while Clairton and Thomas Jefferson play outside the WPIAL.

Here is the schedule.




Western Region

Friday — Central Catholic (12-1) vs. State College (9-3) at Fox Chapel, 7 p.m. (Pictured is the Central Catholic student section with some "big head" action).

Saturday — (District 3 Championship) Central Dauphin (12-1) vs. Cumberland Valley (11-2) at Hersheypark Stadium, 6 p.m.

Eastern Region

Saturday — (District 1 Championship) North Penn (11-2) vs. Upper Dublin (13-0) at Souderton, Noon; Parkland (12-1) vs. La Salle College (8-3) at Philadelphia Northeast, 1 p.m.



Western Region

Friday —Erie Cathedral Prep (12-1) vs. Thomas Jefferson (11-2) at Erie Veterans Stadium, 7 p.m.; (District 3 Championship) Bishop McDevitt (12-1) vs. Susquehanna Township (10-3) at Hersheypark Stadium, 7 p.m.

Eastern Region

Friday —Saucon Valley (13-0) vs. Selinsgrove (12-1) at Northern Lehigh, 7 p.m.; Academy Park (13-0) vs. Imhotep Charter (12-0) at Plymouth Whitemarsh, 7 p.m.



Western Region

Friday — Aliquippa (13-0) vs. Karns City (12-0) at North Allegheny, 7 p.m.  (Pictured is Aliquippa celebrating the WPIAL title).

Saturday — Hickory (11-1) vs. Martinsburg Central (12-1) at DuBois, 1 p.m.

Eastern Region

Saturday — Dunmore (12-1) vs. Philadelphia West Catholic (9-4) at Northern Lehigh, 1 p.m.; Berks Catholic (12-1) vs. Southern Columbia (13-0) at Governor Mifflin, 1 p.m.



Western Region

Friday — Berlin Brothersvalley (12-0) vs. Clairton (13-0) at Conemaugh Township, 7 p.m.; Kane (12-0) vs. Farrell (12-1) at Clarion University,7 p.m. ((Pictured is Clairton after the WPIAL championship).

Eastern Region

Friday —Old Forge (12-1) vs. Philadelphia Bishop McDevitt (7-6) at Pleasant Valley, 7 p.m.; Bishop Guilfoyle (13-0) vs. Camp Hill (11-1) at Hollidaysburg, 7 p.m.


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Central, TJ, Aliquippa, Clairton win titles

Written by Mike White on .

Recap of the WPIAL championships at Heinz Field.

Jeter-to-Jordan-to-Perry. It's a connection that should live in Aliquippa history.

Aliquippa pulled off one of the most memorable plays in WPIAL championship history tonight and it gave the Quips a 44-38 victory against South Fayette in the Class AA title game at Heinz Field.

In a game that belongs among the WPIAL classics, South Fayette scored with 4:05 left to tie the game, 38-38. Aliquippa then got the ball and picked up two first downs to the South Fayette 47.

Then on first down, quarterback Sheldon Jeter threw a backward pass to receiver Jassir Jordan. South Fayette defenders broke toward Jordan - and they were all fooled. Jordan looked downfield and lofted a pass to a wide open Thomas Perry, who hauled in the ball and then raced into the end zone for the winning play with 1:11 left in the game.

Thomas Perry had scored only three touchdowns all season. He had caught only seven passes. This was the only pass he caught in the game. (The picture below is of Perry running from a South Fayette defender after he caught the winning pass. Photo courtesy of Matt Freed of the Post-Gazette).

Thomas Perry

Aliquippa coach Mike Zmijanac said the Quips often practice the double pass play. But the last time Zmijanac called it in a game was 2001 in the WPIAL final against Jeannette. It didn't work. But this one did and it will be forever remembered in Aliquippa history.

Aliquippa overcame a record-breaking performance from South Fayette quarterback Drew Saxton. A sophomore, Saxton set a WPIAL championship game passing record with 435 yards throwing (27 of 43). He broke the record of 352 yards, set last year by another South Fayette quarterback (Brett Brumbaugh).

Aliquippa got 179 yards rushing on 26 carries from Kaezon Pugh. Aliquippa's defense sacked Saxton eight times for 67 yards in losses. South Fayette finished with minus-23 yards rushing because of the losses.

Another title for TJ

For Thomas Jefferson coach Bill Cherpak, it was one for the thumb.

Cherpak won his fifth WPIAL Class AAA title when Thomas Jefferson defeated defending champion Central Valley, 20-7. Cherpak, Thomas Jefferson's coach since 1995, last won a championship in 2008.

Quinton Hill led Thomas Jefferson's strong running attack with 141 yards on 29 carries. Thomas Jeffeson's defense also was terrific, holding Central Valley to 126 total  yards. Central Valley had minus-6 yards rushing.

Thomas Jefferson held a 14-0 lead at halftime on a 57-yard run by Braden Pahanish and a 9-yard pass from Bobby Kelley to Zane Zandier.

Central Valley's only touchdown was scored by its defense in the third quarter when Kyle Vreen returned an interception 56 yards for a score. But Thomas Jefferson bounced back later in the quarter and got a 7-yard TD run from Hill.

Central Catholic wins AAAA

Central Catholic won its second WPIAL Class AAAA championship in three years with a 24-17 victory against Penn-Trafford in the second game at Heinz Field.

Central celebration 2015Central Catholic led at halftime, 7-0, and upped the advantage to 14-0 in the third quarter before Penn-Trafford came back and made things interesting. The Warriors got an 11-yard touchdown pass from Brett Laffoon to Tim Vecchio and a 1-yard QB sneak from Laffoon to tie the game with 4:48 left in the third quarter.

But Central went ahead when Ronnie Jones ran 72 yards for the go-ahead score with 10:15 left in the game. Jacob Rocchi added a 24-yard field goal with 6:24 left.

Penn-Trafford cut the deficit to 24-17 with 1:24 left when Nick Tarabrella kicked a 20-yard field goal. An onside kick failed and Central Catholic then ran out the clock.

Jones ran for 146 yards on 20 carries for Central Catholic. Central Catholic had 300 yards to 200 for Penn-Trafford.

Clairton wins Class A

When Clairton played Jeannette earlier this year, the game was close for three quarters. This one was pretty much over after the opening kickoff.

Harrison Dreher returned the opening kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown and Clairton went on to shut out Jeannette, 40-0, in the WPIAL Class A championship at Heinz Field. The photo is of the opening kickoff)

The win gave Clairton its eighth championship in 10 years and seventh in eight years. Clairton is the first school in WPIAL history to win seven titles in eight years.

Clairton running back Lamont Wade and quarterback Aaron Mathews both had more than 100 yards offense in two different categories. Wade rushed for 101 yards on 19 carries and caught three passes for 100 yards. Mathews completed 7 of 15 passes for 133 yards and also rushed for 108 yards on 11 carries.

Clairton held Jeannette to 141 yards offense while the Bears rang up 403.

Mathews scored on a 4-yard run, Wade on a 91-yard pass, Wade on a 3-yard pass, Mathews on a 4-yard run and Dreher on a 17-yard run. Clairton now has 25 touchdowns this year of 50 yards or more.

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What teams are still left? .... High school football schedule around the state

Written by Mike White on .

The WPIAL championships are Saturday. If you are wondering what teams are left around the state, here is the schedule for the playoffs this weekend.


Western Region

Friday — District 3 Semifinals: Landisville Hempfield (10-2) at Central Dauphin (11-1), 7 p.m.; Central Dauphin East (8-4) at Cumberland Valley (10-2), 7 p.m.

Saturday — Districts 6-8-9-10 Regional Championship: McDowell (7-5) vs. State College (8-3) at Clarion University, 1 p.m.

Eastern Region

Friday — District 1 Semifinals: Neshaminy (9-3) at North Penn (10-2), 7 p.m.; Pennsbury (9-3) at Upper Dublin (12-0), 7 p.m.; Districts 2-4-11 Regional Championship: Wyoming Valley West (12-0) vs. Parkland (11-1) at Kingston, 7 p.m.

Saturday — District 12 Championship: Simon Gratz (10-2) vs. La Salle College (7-3) at Philadelphia Northeast, Noon.


Western Region

Friday — District 10 Championship: Conneaut (12-0) vs. Erie Cathedral Prep (11-1) at Edinboro University, 7 p.m.; District 3 Semifinals: Solanco (11-1) at Bishop McDevitte (11-1), 7 p.m.; Susquehann Township (9-3) at Manheim Central (10-2), 7 p.m.

Eastern Region

Friday — First Round: Scranton Prep (11-1) vs. Saucon Valley (12-0) at Valley View, 7 p.m.; Selinsgrove (11-1) vs. Johnstown (7-5) at Shamokin, 7 p.m.; District 1 Championship: Academy Park (12-0) vs. Upper Moreland (10-2) at Plymouth-Whitemarsh, 7 p.m.

Saturday — District 12 Championship: Imhotep Charter (11-0) vs. Archbishop Wood (11-0) at Philadelphia Northeast, 4 p.m.


Western Region

Friday — Districts 5-8-9 Regional Championship: Bedford (11-0) at Karns City (11-0), 7 p.m.; District 6 Championship: Martinsburg Central (11-1) vs. Juniata (10-2) at Maniosn Park Stadium, Altoona, 7 p.m.

Saturday — District 10 Championship: Sharon (10-1) vs. Hickory (10-1) at Wilmington, 1 p.m.

Eastern Region

Friday — First Round: Notre Dame-Green Pond (11-1) vs. Dunmore (11-1) at Northern Lehigh, 7 p.m.; District 3 Championship: Wyomissing (12-0) vs. Berks Catholic (11-1) at Hersheypark Stadium, 7 p.m.; District 4 Championship: Montoursville (9-3) at Southern Columbia (12-0), 7 p.m.

Saturday — First Round: New Hope-Solebury (11-1) vs. Philadelphia West Catholic (8-4) at Plymouth-Whitemarsh, 1 p.m.


Western Region

Friday — District 5 Championship: Berlin Brothersvalley (11-0) vs. Northern Bedford (9-3) at Somerset, 7 p.m.

Saturday — District 9 Championship: Brockway (10-2) vs. Kane (11-0) at DuBois, 1 p.m.; District 10 Championship: Sharpsville (12-0) vs. Farrell (11-1) at Hickory, 7 p.m.

Eastern Region

Friday — First Round: Old Forge (11-1) vs. Wellsboro (10-2) at Scranton, 7 p.m.; Philadlphia Bishop McDevitt (6-6) vs. Marian Catholic (8-4) at Germantown, 7 p.m.; District 3 Championship: Camp Hill (10-1) vs. York Catholic (6-5) at Hersheypark Stadium, 1 p.m.

Saturday — District 6 Championship: Bishop Guilfoyle (12-0) vs. Moshannon Valley (12-0) at Mansion Park Stadium, Altoona, 7 p.m.

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Live Friday WPIAL semifinal blog - Penn-Trafford wins thriller, 38-34

Written by Mike White on .

Live blog from the WPIAL Class AAAA semifinal between Pine-Richland and Penn-Trafford. For scores and notes on other games, look to the right of this blog at the Twitter account of @PGVarsityXtra. If you have a score, note or photo from other games, tweet it with #wpial and tag @PGVarsityXtra.


Tyler Bruno catches 20 yard TD pass to win it

10:08 Timeout. P-T has first and 10 at P-R 20 with 13 seconds left.


Pine-Richland gets a break. 4th down and 4 pass to Saige Simpson. Too far but interference called on P-T's Jonah Lisbon. Jimmy Graf scores 6 yard TD run

9:57 Timeout 1:08 let. Fourth and 4 for Pine at P-T 28.


First play after McDonough INT, Laffoon scores on 5-yard run

9:46 McDonough hurt on play. Bringing out cart for him. But he looks to be OK.

9:43 Big play by Penn-Trafford Colin McDonough. Intercepts Phil Jurkovec at 26 and returns the ball to the 5.

9:43 Ouch. Penn-Trafford drives  to 10 but Jonah Lisbon fumbles and Matt Hampson recovers for P-R

9:33 Penn-Trafford third down conversion rate has been excellent.


It only takes 6 plays to go 75 yards. Big 39 yd pass from Jurkovec to Matthew Zoeller. Jim Graf scores 1-yard run.


9:35 Brett Laffoon tough dude too. Scores on 1-yard run, one play after he ran over defender. 4:50 left in third.

9:16 Penn-Trafford converts on fourth down and late hit by Brandon Humphrey. Puts ball at P-R 10.

9:11 Laffoon has Penn-Trafford on  move.

9:08 Fourth and 5 for P-R. Jurkovec pass incomplete in end zone. Big stop for P-T.

9:05 Yes, Phil Jurkovec is tough dude. Has P-R on move.  Love run he just had.

9:00 Brett Laffoon 190 yards passing in first half.

Central Valley leading Mars 27-21. Mars putting up a fight. Not surprised. 

Central Catholic handling Woodland Hills 17-0

HALFTIME: Pine-Richland 20, Penn-Trafford 14


77 yards in seven plays capped by Jimmy Graf 1-yard TD run.

8:32 Can any defense come up with a stop? No punts in game yet.

8:28 And here come Pine-Richland. 6 plays now at P-T 1.


Jonah Lisbon gets out of backfield and catches 14 yd TD pass. PAT good.

8:22 Penn-Trafford now at P-R 14.

8:16 Fourth and 2 at own 41 and P-T goes for it. Laffon completes pass for 8 yards. Some confidence in his team by coach Ruane.

Vecchio is close to breaking another big pass play.

8:12 That was only fifth INT in two years for Brett Laffoon.


Defense struggling, but Saige Simpson gives pickup with INT of overthrown short pass by Laffoon. Returns it 55 yards for TD. PAT good.

8:07 Penn-Trafford OL is dominating.

8:01 Big play by Tyler Bruno to break up pass on third down. Fourth and goal for P-R and Rams run option, but Colin McDonough trips up Graf at 3.


But Pine-Richland faces a third-and-goal from the 6.

7:54 And now here goes P-R on the move. Inside P-T territory.


Another drive for P-T. Nick Tarabella 19 yard field goal.

7:50 Penn-Tra moving again. Down to Pine 2.

7:43 I knew it before. But Tim Vecchio one of best players in WPIAL. Great high school player.


Impressive drive for Pine-Richland. 90 yards in 10 plays. Jurkovec couple big passes. Jimmy Graf scores on 6-yard yard run.


Third play of the game, Vecchio gets behind DB and catches 59-yard TD pass from Brett Laffoon.

7:30 Game time. Penn-Trafford receive.


It's the No. 1 scoring team in Class AAAA (Penn-Trafford) vs. the No. 2 scoring team (Pine-Richland). Plus, it's not often - if ever - you see a WPIAL game matching two quarterbacks who have thrown for 2,000 yards. But that's what you have in Brett Laffoon of Penn-Trafford and Phil Jurkovec of Pine-Richland.

That being said, I think the difference in this game might be who runs the ball better, whether with a running back or Jurkovec.

And now off the track of the game. Forgive the typo errors. Another dang open air press box and it's cooooolllld. And I'm right in the front row. Makes it hard on the fingers to type. Not to sound like a sissy. 

But love the barbecue beef in the press box. Good stuff. 

And glad to see Penn Hills now has stands on both sides of field. Hate places with stands on one side. This is the third year for it.

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WPIAL semifinal predictions ..... Miles Sanders to visit some schools

Written by Mike White on .

Friday's live blog will come from the Penn-Trafford-Pine-Richland game. For scores and reports on other games, look to the right of this blog for @PGVarsityXtra's Twitter account. If you have a score, note or update on games, tweet it with #wpial and tag @PVarsityXtra

The WPIAL semifinal predictions are below. But before that, a little bit of recruiting news.

In talking with Woodland Hills star running back Miles Sanders earlier this week, he said "I am still committed" to Penn State. But Sanders said he will visit some other colleges after the season. So is he still committed? Guess it depends on your definition of committed.

Sanders said he has visits set up to Pitt, Penn State and Alabama, and is thinking about visiting Arizona State and Michigan State.

Look in tomorrow's Post-Gazette for feature story on the "Two-Headed Wolverine." That would be the terrific running back duo of Sanders and Jo-El Shaw.


Now, onto the semifinal predictions. The record last week was a sub-par 10-6. That dropped season record to 126-29 (.812 percentage).

WPIAL CLASS AAAA - Central Catholic over Woodland Hills; Pine-Richland over Penn-Trafford.

WPIAL CLASS AAA - Thomas Jefferson over Franklin Regional; Central Valley over Mars.

WPIAL CLASS AA - Aliquippa over Freeport; South Fayette over Steel Valley.

WPIAL CLASS A - Clairton over Frazier; Jeannette over Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic.

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