The West Miffln Titans and the West Allegheny Indians squared off in the night cap on Championship Friday at Heinz Field in the McDonald's/WPIAL Class AAA Championship game. In a matchup of two strong running games, the West Allegheny wildcat was most impressive in leading the Indians to a 34-8 victory over West Mifflin as the Indians captured their 6th WPIAL Class AAA Title and their second since 2009.
(Photo at left: Sophomore Armand Dellovade scores one of his two touchdowns in Indians win over Titans)
After a West Mifflin punt on the initial drive of the game, West Allegheny took over at it's 38-yard line and drove 62 yards in 10-plays all on the ground. Chayse Dillon capped of the drive with a 5-yard touchdown run. The Indians next drive mirrored their first as Dillon capped off another 10-play drive, this time with a 39-yard run. West Allegheny built a 13-0 lead over West Mifflin with 7:26 left before halftime.
West Allegheny took the second half kickoff and again drove 10-plays for a touchdown. This time, the Indians went to the pass to find the endzone as quarterback Andrew Koester found Armand Dellovade in the right flat and Dellovade took the screen pass and rambled in for the score. Evan Pelcher added the extra point and West Allegheny had a 20-0 lead at the 7:19 mark of the third quarter. On the ensuing drive, the Titans were forced to punt and a bad snap gave West Allegheny possession at the West Mifflin 25-yard line. After a holding call, Dellovade struck again scoring on a 34-yard run which put the Indians up 27-0 with 2 TD's in a span of 2:26. After another West Mifflin punt, another 2 play Indians drive ended up in the end zone. This time Nick Halbedl scored on 35-yard run to put West Allegheny up 34-0 late in the third quarter.
West Mifflin's Jimmy Wheeler capped off his fine junior season scoring from 13-yards out to break the West Allegheny shutout. Wheeler, the second leading rusher in the WPIAL, scored a touchdown in all 13 games this season for the Titans.
Two Indians eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark in the win. Halbedl finished with a game high 148-yards on 16 carries whil Dillon carried the ball 15 times for 121-yards. Dillon has now rushed for 100 or more yards in 3 of the 4 playoff wins for West Allegheny. Dellovade also cam close to the 100-yard mark, gaining 88-yards on 11 carries. The Indians outgained the Titans 402-204 in the contest.
West Allegheny defense continued it's impressive playoff run. The Indians allowed only 16 points in four WPIAL playoff wins. West Allegheny held Wheeler to 82-yards in the win and also shut down Titans QB Derrick Fulmore on the ground, holding the senior to 32-yards. Both Wheeler and Fulmore had each rushed for over 100-yards for the Titans on their run to th title game. The 7th seeded Titans saw their season end at(11-2).
The (12-1) Indians have won 8 straight games and now move onto the PIAA Playoffs to represent the WPIAL District 7. West Allegheny, seeded third in the AAA tournament, will face the District 10 Class AAA Champion Erie Cathedral Prep Ramblers. ECP improved to (12-0) with a 48-14 win over General McLane. With the win, West Allegheny head coach Bob Palko captured his sixth WPIAL title in six tries. Palko now joins Phil Bridenbaugh (New Castle), Chuck Klausing (Braddock) and Tom Nola (Clairton) as the only coaches in the history of the WPIAL to win six championships.
West Mifflin Titans 0 – 0 – 0 – 8 = 8
West Allegheny Indians 6 – 7 – 21 – 0 = 34
West Allegheny: Chayse Dillon 5-Yard Run (Kick failed) 3:41
West Alleghney: Dillon 39-Yard Run (Evan Pelcher Kick) 7:26
West Allegheny: Armand Dellovade 10-Yard Pass from Andrew Koester (Pelcher Kick) 7:19
West Allegheny: Dellovade 34-Yard Run (Pelcher Kick) 4:53
West Allgheny: Nick Halbedl 35-Yard Run (Pelcher Kick) 3:20
West Mifflin: Jimmy Wheeler 13-Yard Run (John Green Pass from Derrick Fulmore) 4:12