2022 WPIAL 4A football championship breakdown: Aliquippa vs. Central Valley

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Friday, November 25, 2022 | 12:25 AM


WPIAL Class 4A football championship

No. 1 Aliquippa vs. No. 2 Central Valley

8 p.m. Friday, Acrisure Stadium

Video stream: tribhssn.triblive.com

Radio: KDKA (1020 AM, 100.1 FM), WMBA (1460 AM, 95.7 FM)

Winner plays: District 10 champion Meadville (12-1) or District 11 champion Allentown Central Catholic (8-5) in a PIAA semifinal Dec. 2 or 3.

WPIAL titles: Aliquippa: 18 (1952, ‘55, ‘64, ‘84, ‘85, ‘87, ‘88, ‘89, ‘91, ‘96, 2000, ‘03, ‘08, ‘11, ‘12, ‘15, ‘18, ‘21), Central Valley 5 (2010, ‘14, ‘19, ‘20, ‘21)

Aliquippa (11-0)

Player to watch: Donovan Walker

Walker showed his big-play ability with a 92-yard touchdown catch when Aliquippa and Central Valley met in Week 9. He has a team-high 32 catches for 584 yards and six touchdowns, but also leads the Quips in interceptions with five. His list of Division I offers includes Akron, Bowling Green, Eastern Michigan, Ohio and others.

Statistical leaders

Passing: Quentin Goode 103-182, 1,655 yards, 18 TDs, 3 INTs

Rushing: Tiqwai Hayes 200-1,669 yards, 26 TDs

Receiving: Donovan Walker 32-584 yards, 6 TDs

Probable starting lineup

Coach: Mike Warfield

Offense

OT, 70, Naquan Crowder, 6-3, 341, sr.

G, 56, Jason McBride, 6-2, 298, sr.

C, 53, Braylon Wilcox, 5-11, 248, jr.

G, 52, Neco Eberhardt, 6-2, 286, sr.

OT, 76, Kamari Matthews, 6-4, 332, jr

TE, 33, Jayace Williams, 6-2, 228, jr.

WR, 21, Donovan Walker, 6-1, 183, sr.

WR, 9, Brandon Banks, 5-11, 172, jr.

QB, 4, Quentin Goode, 5-8, 164, jr.

FB, 3, Isaiah Martinez, 5-8, 188, sr.

RB, 23, Tiqwai Hayes, 5-11, 203, so.

RB, 6, John Tracy, 5-9, 176, jr.

Defense

DE, 33, Jayace Williams, 6-2, 228, jr.

DT, 56, Jason McBride, 6-2, 298, sr.

NG, 70, Naquan Crowder, 6-3, 341, sr.

DT, 52, Neco Eberhardt, 6-2, 286, sr.

DE, 12, Dorious Moreland, 6-0, 181, sr.

LB, 3, Isaiah Martinez, 5-8, 188, sr.

LB, 11, Cameron Lindsey, 6-2, 210, jr.

CB, 9, Brandon Banks, 5-11, 172, jr.

CB, 23, Tiqwai Hayes, 5-11, 203, so.

SS, 7, Nate Lindsey-Gill, 5-11, 198, sr.

FS, 21, Donovan Walker, 6-1, 183, sr.

Special teams

K/P, 10, Malachi Shegog, 6-1, 176, so.

LS, 65, Willie Simmons, 6-1, 226, jr.

Notable: Aliquippa is the defending WPIAL and PIAA Class 4A champion. The team defeated Belle Vernon, 28-13, in the 2021 WPIAL finals. … The Quips have reached the WPIAL championship game for the 15th year in a row, a streak started in 2008. … Aliquippa defeated Central Valley, 35-24, in the regular-season finale Oct. 28. … The team has won 23 consecutive games dating back to Week 1 of last season. … Aliquippa’s offense averages 40.7 ppg and the defense allows 9.5. … Mike Warfield is 58-5 in five seasons as Aliquippa’s coach. Four of those five losses were to Central Valley. … LB Cameron Lindsey and RB/CB Tiqwai Hayes each has Pitt, Penn State and West Virginia among their college offers. … DL Jason McBride has a team-high 49 tackles, Lindsey has 47 and Naquan Crowder has 46. …The team has scored five defensive touchdowns, including two by Crowder, who returned a fumble 87 yards in the semifinals.

Central Valley (11-1)

Player to watch: Bret FitzSimmons

FitzSimmons waited until his senior year to take over as the team’s main running back, but he took full advantage of his opportunity this fall. He has averaged 10 yards per carry, 143.6 rushing yards per game and has scored 30 total touchdowns. He reached the end zone twice in the Week 9 game against Aliquippa.

Statistical leaders

Passing: Antwon Johnson 82-138, 1,315 yards, 16 TDs, 5 INTs

Rushing: Bret FitzSimmons 173-1,723 yards, 28 TDs

Receiving: Jayvin Thompson 37-683 yards, 11 TDs

Coach: Mark Lyons

Offense

LT, 56, Tyler Costanza, 6-1, 238, jr.

(or) LT, 50, Brendan Alexander, 6-2, 345, fr.

LG, 51, Tyler Ondrusek, 5-10, 228, so.

C, 53, Jackson Tonya, 6-1, 235, sr.

RG, 73, Kaden Colvile, 5-10, 232, sr.

RT, 74, Nick McCreary, 6-1, 262, jr.

TE, 11, Matt Gerovac, 6-2, 205, sr.

WR, 12, Brady Hudson, 5-11, 168, sr.

WR, 7, Jayvin Thompson, 6-2, 195, sr.

WR, 1, Deniro, Simpson, 5-8, 140, sr.

QB, 5, Antwon Johnson, 6-1, 175, sr.

RB, 10, Bret FitzSimmons, 5-10, 185, sr.

Defense

DE, 56, Tyler Costanza, 6-1, 238, jr.

DE, 53, Jackson Tonya, 6-1, 225, sr.

NG, 51, Tyler Odrusek, 5-10, 228, so.

OLB, 11, Matt Gerovac, 6-2, 205, sr.

LB, 27, J.J. Work, 5-10, 160, fr.

LB, 35, Ethan Shearer, 5-10, 170, fr.

CB, 3, Rylan Jeter, 5-11, 175, sr.

CB, 4, John Peterson, 5-9, 165, sr.

SS, 10, Bret FitzSimmons, 5-10, 185, sr.

FS, 7, Jayvin Thompson, 6-2, 195, sr.

DB, 1, Deniro, Simpson, 5-8, 140, sr.

Special teams

K, 18, Serafino DeSantis, 6-0, 195, sr.

P, 7, Jayvin Thompson, 6-2, 195, sr.

LS, 10, Bret FitzSimmons, 5-10, 170, sr.

Notable: Central Valley won the WPIAL Class 3A title in each of the past three seasons and celebrated state titles in 2020 and 2021. … The team defeated North Catholic, 52-15, in last year’s WPIAL 3A championship game. … Updated enrollment numbers moved the Warriors up to Class 4A when the PIAA realigned its classifications. … The Warriors had won four games in a row against the Quips before their 35-24 loss in Week 9. … That loss snapped a 36-game winning streak by Central Valley that was the longest active in the state. … Central Valley’s offense averages 42.3 ppg and the defense allows 10 ppg. … RB Bret FitzSimmons has topped 100 yards rushing in 11 of the team’s 12 games. Aliquippa was the only opponent to hold him under 100. … FitzSimmons leads the team with 30 total touchdowns and Jayvin Thompson has 16. … Thompson lists Army, Bowling Green and Eastern Michigan among his Division I offers. … DL Jackson Tonya leads the team with 57 solo tackles and 11 sacks. Matt Gerovac has 10 sacks. … the team lost sophomore Mason Dixon, a starting linebacker, to injury late in the season … Thomson has five interceptions and Deniro Simpson has three. … Central Valley defeated Aliquippa, 13-12, in overtime in the 2019 WPIAL 3A championship.

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at charlan@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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