CTK 2010 – 2009 WPIAL Class AAA Football Flashback

Friday, August 6, 2010 | 12:00 AM

The run of three straight WPIAL and two consecutive PIAA state championships came to an end for Thomas Jefferson, which saw their title hopes dashed in the Semifinals by eventual champion West Allegheny. The Indians gold run led to their first football crown since winning three straight in 1999, 2000 and 2001.


* Even though some impressive streaks came to an end in 2009 for Thomas Jefferson, other continued in what was still another memorable season for the Jaguars. Coming to and end were: back-to-back PIAA championships, a Class AAA record-tying 3 straight WPIAL titles, a WPIAL record six straight trips to the championship game. TJ did win a fourth straight conference title and have won or tied for the conference championship in nine of the ten years in the Y2K decade. The Jaguars also stretched their record string of consecutive trips to the WPIAL Semifinals to twelve.

* Two Parkway Conference teams met in the WPIAL Class AAA finals last year when West Allegheny squared off against Hopewell with super underclassmen Mike Caputo and Rushel Shell grabbing the spotlight. When the dust had settled from all of the fireworks, the Indians beat the Vikings 36-28. The win was the first for a Parkway Conference team since Hopewell in 2002, however it marked the fourth straight year a team from that conference played for gold at Heinz Field.

* One year is all it took to go from the Penthouse to the Outhouse for the Highlands Golden Rams. In 2008, Highlands won the Greater Allegheny Conference and was a perfect 9-0 in the regular season. They knocked off Laurel Highlands and Montour in the First Round and the Quarterfinals by scoring 84 combined points to improve to 11-0. The Golden Rams memorable season concluded in the AAA Semifinals when they tasted defeat for the only time in '08, losing to Blackhawk. The tide changed quickly for Highlands in '09 as they finished in the basement of the GAC and lost their first nine games before a Week 10 win over Valley. The Golden Rams scored only 57 points in their nine losses.

* Huzzah to the Keystone Conference who will be teased no more. After eight years of First Round losses that left the conference a combined 0-32 and the butt of many a joke, the conference celebrated a rare playoff victory when Uniontown edged Belle Vernon 21-20. The celebrating didn't last long for the Red Raiders, who lost to Hampton in the Quarterfinals the next week 35-14. That leaves the conference's playoff record since 2001 at 1-36.


Big Seven Conference:

#-Thomas Jefferson Jaguars : (6-0) – (11-1)
*-Chartiers Valley Colts : (5-1) – (8-2)
*-Belle Vernon Leopards : (3-3) – (5-5)
*-Trinity Hillers : (3-3) – (4-6)
x-West Mifflin Titans : (2-4) – (5-4)
x-Elizabeth Forward Warriors : (1-5) – (4-5)
x-Ringgold Rams : (1-5) – (4-6)

Keystone Conference:

#-Greensburg-Salem Golden Lions : (6-0) – (8-2)
*-Uniontown Red Raiders : (5-1) – (7-4)
*-Derry Trojans : (3-3) – (3-7)
*-Laurel Highlands Mustangs : (3-3) – (3-7)
x-Albert Gallatin Colonials : (2-4) – (3-6)
x-Yough Cougars : (2-4) – (3-7)
x-Southmoreland Scotties : (0-6) – (0-9)

Parkway Conference:

#-Hopewell Vikings : (6-0) – (12-1)
*-West Allegheny Indians : (5-1) – (12-3)
*-New Castle Red Hurricanes : (4-2) – (8-3)
*-Montour Spartans : (3-3) – (5-5)
x-Blackhawk Cougars : (2-4) – (4-5)
x-Ambridge Bridgers : (1-5) – (3-7)
x-Moon Tigers : (0-6) – (0-9)

Greater Allegheny Conference:

#-Mars Planets : (4-1) – (7-4)
#-Franklin Regional Panthers : (4-1) – (8-3)
*-Knoch Knights : (3-2) – (3-7)
*-Hampton Talbots : (3-2) – (7-5)
x-Indiana Little Indians : (1-4) – (1-8)
x-Highlands Golden Rams : (0-5) – (1-9)



West Allegheny Indians 36 – Hopewell Vikings 28 (MSA)


West Allegheny Indians 28 – Thomas Jefferson Jaguars 21 (MSA)

Hopewell Vikings 31 – Hampton Talbots 9 (MSA)

WPIAL CLASS AAA Quarterfinals:

Thomas Jefferson Jaguars 27 – Franklin Regional Panthers 14 (MSA)

West Allegheny Indians 31 – New Castle Red Hurricane 7 (MSA)

Hopewell Vikings 33 – Mars Planets 0 (MSA)

Hampton Talbots 35 – Uniontown Red Raiders 14 (MSA)


Thomas Jefferson Jaguars 51 – Laurel Highlands Mustangs 7 (MSA)

Franklin Regional Panthers 35 – Montour Spartans 20 (MSA)

West Allegheny Indians 31 – Knoch Knights 17 (MSA)

New Castle Red Hurricane 45 – Greensburg-Salem Golden Lions 38 (MSA)

Hopewell Vikings 28 – Derry Trojans 14 (MSA)

Mars Planets 17 – Trinity Hillers 0 (MSA)

Hampton Talbots 19 – Chartiers Valley Colts 7 (MSA)

Uniontown Red Raiders 21 – Belle Vernon Leopards 20 (MSA)

West Allegheny Figures Out Shell Game, Beats Hopewell for AAA Crown

By Don Rebel

Twelve teams have played the Shell Game this season and lost. However West Allegheny, after losing by eight points at Hopewell in Week 7, used the sweet taste of revenge as their Thanksgiving Day desert as the Indians beat the Vikings by eight to capture their fifth WPIAL football championship and their first since 2001 with a 36-28 victory Saturday evening at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.

West A used a quick start in the first quarter to take control early. The Indians scored on their first two drives. The first drive was only 12-yards after a CJ Revtai interception of a Matt Hundenski pass as Mike Caputo scored on a 12-yard run. A quick two point conversion pass from Jared Buck to Ben Simmen caught the Vikings napping and it was 8-0 Indians. A 10 play 55-yard drive late in the first quarter was capped by a Caputo 5-yard run to make it 15-0 Indians.

The two star running backs shined bright in the second quarter. West Allegheny's Caputo scored on runs of 29 and 11 yards while Hopewell's Rushel Shell scored on an eight-yard run and then on a 6-yard run as time expired in the second quarter with the Indians up 29-14.

The Vikings made things interesting on the first drive of the second half as they went 62 yards on eleven plays capped by Shell's 4-yard run to close to within 29-21.

The Indians looked like they iced the game away when Buck scored on a one-yard run with just over five minutes left in the third quarter, giving West A a 36-21 lead with momentum taken back from the Vikings.

However Hopewell did not go undefeated through the first twelve weeks for no reason. The Vikings pulled back to within one score when Shell ripped off a 68-yard scoring run to make it 36-28 with just over nine minutes remaining in regulation.

After stopping the Indians, the Vikings got the ball back at their own 36-yard line with 6:45 left. Shell ran the ball on seven of the next eight plays to give Hopewell a first down at the West Allegheny four yard line. However Shell would not carry the ball again. Hudenski was sacked on first down, gained two yards on third down, and three incomplete on second and fourth downs as the Indians took over and ran out the clock.

Caputo and Shell were as great as advertised. West A's Caputo ran the ball 25 times for 178 yards and four touchdowns while Hopewell's Shell carried the ball 42 times for 274 yards.

West Allegheny improves to 11-2 and will return to the PIAA state football playoffs for the first time since 2001 on Friday, December 4th when they face the Erie Cathedral Prep/Schenley winner at North Allegheny High School. Hopewell's season ends at 12-1.


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