Clairton apologizes for incident at end of state championship

Written by Mike White on .

The Clairton City School District issued a statement tonight, apologizing for an incident at the end of the PIAA Class A championship today in Hershey.

Clairton lost to Bishop Guilfoyle, 19-18, and the game was stopped with 22 seconds left after a fight on the field. Some Clairton players came on the field during the skirmish. One player threw his helmet at Bishop Guilfoyle players. On the play before the fight, TV replays showed a Clairton player kicking a Bishop Guilfoyle player on the ground.

Bob Lombardi, executive director of the PIAA, said Clairton's team might face penalties because of its behavior.

The statement from the school district read:

Clairton City School District would like to apologize to the PIAA, the fans, and all involved in the Class A Championship Game in Hershey today for the incident that happened at the end of the game. That behavior does not reflect our school or community or how we represent the WPIAL. We hope our students learn from this experience and move forward positively. We as a district will strive to make this a learning experience for future endeavors and hope the the public does not judge the entire season over this incident. We are proud of our team and coaching staff for their accomplishments and applaud their success as well as the Bishop Guilfoyle team.


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Clairton loses Class A championship as fight ends game

Written by Mike White on .

HERSHEY, Pa. - The team that scored more points this season than any team in Pennsylvania high school football history, came up one point short.

Clairton, with an unstoppable offense through the first 15 weeks of the season, lost to Bishop Guilfoyle of Altoona, 19-18, in a thrilling PIAA Class A championship game that had an ugly ending.

With 22 seconds left, a small skirmish broke out on the field. Clairton’s players rushed the field. Helmets were thrown. The game was then called and Bishop Guilfoyle declared the winner. Clairton set a PIAA Class A championship record with 14 penalties.

Clairton (15-1) came into the game averaging 62.7 points and had scored a Pennsylvania record 940 points this season, which also was second-best all-time in the country. But Bishop Guilfoyle’s defense did a superb job of keeping Clairton from making big plays.

Clairton came inches away from winning the game. On fourth down at the 7, James Hines caught a pass from Ryan Williams. But Hines was out of the end zone and Bishop Guilfoyle took over with 47 seconds left.

Clairton’s Lamont Wade rushed for 212 yards on 35 carries and set a WPIAL record for single-season rushing with 2,762 yards, breaking Rushel Shell’s mark of 2,740 set in 2009.

The game was scoreless after the first quarter, but both teams scored two touchdowns in the second quarter. But Bishop Guilfoyle held a 13-12 halftime lead, thanks to an extra-point kick.

Clairton receiver Aaron Mathews had a hand in both Bear touchdowns in the second quarter. He made a great catch on a pass from Ryan Williams for a 20-yard touchdown play. Later in the second quarter, Mathews threw and end-around pass to Wade, who fought off two defenders, caught the ball and ran for a 61-yard touchdown play.

Clairton has never attempted an extra-point kick this year and missed both attempts at a two-point conversion.

Running back Sam McCloskey scored Bishop Guilfoyle’s first touchdown when he came out of the backfield, caught a short pass from Brandon Chadbourn and turned it into a 22-yard touchdown play.

Later in the second quarter, Chadbourn ran a quarterback keeper for a 13-yard touchdown. Josh Trybus kicked the extra point that broke the tie.

In the third quarter, Bishop Guilfoyle extended its lead to 19-12 with McCloskey scored on a 12-yard run.

Bishop Guilfoyle’s defense did an excellent job of not giving up a big play until Wade broke loose for a 64-yard touchdown run. But Harrison Dreher was stopped short of the end zone on the extra-point run and Clairton trailed, 19-18, with 10:29 left.

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Live PIAA football championship blog - Clairton upended by Bishop Guilfoyle, 19-18

Written by Mike White on .

Live blog from today's PIAA championships. Clairton plays Bishop Guilfoyle at 1 p.m. and Central Valley meets Archbishop Wood at 7.


James Hines caught what looked like a TD pass, but was out of end zone on fourth-down play. Bishop Guilfoyle wins!!!!!!

Ugly, horrible finish for Clairton. A small skirmish and Clairton's team rushes the field. Clairton did not look good. One Clairton player threw his helmet at Guilfoyle players.

3:35 Clairton's Lamont Wade has set a new WPIAL single-season rushing record, breaking Rushel Shell's mark of 2,740 yards, set in 2009.

3:30 Gigantic play. Jyleel Hall intercepts a pass at midfield. Clairton takes over at BG 46. Four minutes left.

3:25 Fourth and 13, Clairton goes for it. Pass to Mathews gains only 11. BG ball with 7:14 left.

3:20 Three and out for Guilfoyle. Clairton takes over with 9:20 left.


Finally, a big play by Clairton. Lamont Wade 64-yard run for a touchdown. But the run by Harrison Dreher for two-point conversion failed. 10 minutes left.


3:07 Sam McCloskey scores on 23-yard run. PAT no good. Clairton trailing Bishop Guilfoyle with 40 seconds left in third.

3:04 Fourth and two, Bishop Guilfoyle gets first down on a 35-yard run.

3:01 Fourth-and-four for Clairton, and BG comes up with a sack. BG takes over ball at own 30 with 3:03 left in the third.

2:59 Clairton converts on fourth-and-2. Now inside BG 25 with 4:30 left in half.

2:51 Fourth down. Big stop for Clairton on fourth-and-two.

2:49 Bishop Guilfoyle now at Clairton 10-yard line. Fourth down.


First-half stats: Lamont Wade 72 yards on 16 carries. Ryan Williams 10 of 15 passes for 103 yards. Brandon Chadbourn 10 carries for 52 yards for BG. He also is 5 of 5 for 85 yards.

Penalties have hurt Clairton. Penalized seven times for 76 yards.

This is a totally new feeling for Clairton. This is the first time all season that Clairton has trailed at halftime.

2:14 Clairton on move with passing and running of Ryan Williams. But Guilfoyle's Aaron Yasulitis intercepts a pass in end zone to kill the threat. 1:11 left in half.


Marauders take lead when Brandon Chadbourn goes 13 yards on QB keeper. PAT good.

2:05 Bishop Guilfoyle on the move again. Screen pass gains a lot of yards.


Aaron Mathews, former quarterback, takes end-around pass and throws downfield. Lamont Wade fights off two defenders, catches ball and completes 61-yard TD play.

1:57 Penalties really hurting Clairton.


Sam McCloskey sneaks out of the backfield and catches 23-yard touchdown pass from Brandon Chadbourn. PAT kick failed miserably. Short. Looked like 7th grader kicking it. Anyway, we're all tied.

1:50 Bishop Guilfoyle now moving. A personal foul and a pass interference penalty on Clairton has helped.


Terrific catch by 6-6 receiver Aaron Mathews. 20-yard TD pass from Ryan Williams. Mathews makes great catch between two defenders. Two-point conversion pass no good.


Clairton driving. First down at BG 20. Only a matter of time before Clairton breaks big play. But to be scoreless after one quarter is a victory for BG.

1:26 Game not even five minutes old and Clairton already has used its three timeouts.

1:24 Clairton punts. Guilfoyle takes over at own 24. 

1:21 Clairton got a first down inside the 20 on a fourth-down play, but a holding penalty brings it back.

1:18 Guilfoyle jumps offside on fourth down. Clairton drive continues.

1:16 - Clairton goes three and out on first possession. Guilfoyle returns punt inside the 10, but a penalty will bring it back and Clairton will kick again.



Hershey Clairton


Clairton has to be the favorite for this game. I've heard a lot about Bishop Guilfoyle's defense, but the Marauders have allowed 21 points in each of the past two games. And I bet they have seen nothing close to Clairton's team speed.

Guilfoyle does have some nice-sized lineman. We'll see if playing power football will work.

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It's time for Hampton vs. New Castle -- again

Written by Mike White on .

The faces have changed and there is no section title or WPIAL championship on the line. But Hampton vs. New Castle in boys basketball is here again. And it's still a big game.

New Castle plays host to Hampton Tuesday night in one of the best games of the early WPIAL basketball season. The Luthers are gone. Malik Hooker and Anthony Richards are gone. These are certainly different teams than the past few seasons. But it still should be an excellent non-section game.

New Castle and Hampton played nine games in the past three seasons. Three of the meetings were in WPIAL championships - once in Class AAA and twice in Class AAAA. And New Castle won all nine. No teams had ever met in a title game three years in a row.

New Castle takes a 33-game winning streak into tomorrow's game. Both teams are 2-0. New Castle defeated Perry (66-56) and West Middlesex (73-36) to win its own tournament. Hampton won the North Hills tournament with wins against Fox Chapel (78-60) and North Hills (92-53).

Hampton is playing a different style this year, using the dribble drive offense. Coach Joe Lafko doesn't have a starter taller than 6 feet 3. But he does have shooters. Hampton made 13 3-pointers against Fox Chapel and 15 3-against North Hills. The Talbots do an excellent job of hitting gaps and also kicking out for 3-point shots - just like New Castle. Jack Morrison, Joe Lafko Jr., Pat Murray, David Huber ... They have all shown the ability to shoot well, along with some others. Morrison was the MVP of the North Hills tournament and Lafko all-tournament. Huber is in his fourth year as a starter and Lafko his third.

New Castle still has Hookers on the team, but just not Malik. They are his younger brothers. Marquel Hooker, a junior, scored 18 and 21 in the first two games. His brother, Marcus, a freshman, scored 10 off the bench against Perry.

I wonder what the crowd will be like at New Castle's gym? I bet it's good. I think those fans still love the 'Canes. It won't have the same feel as New Castle-Hampton games the past few years, but it still has the potential to be a mighty interesting game.


Just a few other notes on the first weekend of basketball season.

**** Charters Valley has only one starter back from last season (Matty McConnell). But it looks the Colts are up to their old tricks.

In the first two games this past weekend, Chartiers Valley made 10 and 18 3-pointers. It truly is amazing every year how coach Tim McConnell develops shooters and teams that score a lot.

**** Greensburg Central Catholic shooting 60 free throws against McKeesport was a little hard to believe. And McKeesport shot 32. Only four more and Greensburg Central would've tied for 10th nationally for free throws attempted in a game. The national record is 89. Stanton Powell County of Kentucky made 70 of 89 in 1972.

**** A big game Friday has Beaver Falls at Ambridge. There will be a new No. 1 team in the next Class AAA rankings. Ambridge lost to Mars Saturday.

WPIAL rulings

The WPIAL today made eligibility rulings on two basketball players who transferred schools. The hearings were made after two hearings.

Sidney Pinnix. a junior at South Fayette, was ruled ineligible after transferring from Carlynton. The WPIAL ruled Pinnix transferred, at least partially, for athletic intent. Carlynton had contested the transfer and did not sign off.

Dalaun Samuels, a sophomore, was ruled eligible at Seton-LaSalle after transferring from Brashear. Brashear did not sign off on the transfer.



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Live Friday PIAA blog - Clairton wins, 54-18

Written by Mike White on .

Live blog from tonight's PIAA Class A semifinal between Clairton and Sharpsville. Look to the right of this blog for updates from the Central Valley-Bishop McDevitt game.



Another mercy rule win for Clairton. Mercy rule now in effect. Harrison Dreher scores on 9-yard run.


TD on first possession of second half. Mathews 4-yard run and he also threw 53-yard double pass on drive. 


No quick strikes tonight. Some long drives. Lamont Wade caps 57-yard drive with 4 yd TD run


2-yard TD run by Lamont Wade. Dreher catches two point pass.

Clairton coaches going crazy in room next to us in press box over the officiating.


Sharpsville gets 2-yard TD run by George Keck. 2 pt. conversion pass fails.


84-yard drive by Clairton. Aaron Mathews getting lot handoffs on jet sweeps. Scores 8-yard TD.


7:22 Clairton punter Ryan Williams takes snap on his knee. Ruled down at own 3-yard line. Tyrin Peavy scores on next play. Two point conversion failed.

7:12 I don't think this is going out on a limb. Should I predict mercy rule? Three and out Sharpsville.


Few mistakes but Clairton scores first possession. 11-yard run by Mathews.

7:03 Three and out for Sharpsville. Will it take long for Bears to strike?


Sharpsville will be without running back Greg Popatak, who has a shoulder injury. He is in a sling tonight.

I'd be surprised if Clairton does not win by at least two touchdowns.

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