CTK 2010 – 2009 WPIAL Class AAAA Football Flashback

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Saturday, August 7, 2010 | 12:00 AM


The school colors for Gateway are black and gold. However recent history on the gridiron indicates maybe they should be changed to black and silver. For the third straight season, the Gators took home the silver after losing in the WPIAL Class AAAA football championship, this time to Woodland Hills as the Wolverines claimed their fifth football title and first since 2002.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM WPIAL CLASS AAAA FOOTBALL IN 2009:

* There are many, many schools that would have no problem waiting seven years between football championships. Woodland Hills is not one of them. Thee Quad A power of the late 90's and early part of this century, fell back in the power pack of the WPIAL's highest classification. A couple of mediocre years left some wondering if George Novak would ever be able to bring his Wolverines to the top again. The answer based on last year's performance and this years expectations…YES!

* We didn't know it at the time, but 2009 turned out to be the final year for a couple of coaching legends…at least at their former schools. George Smith, who guided McKeesport to a pair of WPIAL and PIAA titles and many outstanding seasons as a Quad A power in his 28 year, quit as head coach in January. The numbers he has compiled are very impressive. 197 wins, 107 losses and five ties with championships in 1994 and in 2005. Also stepping down was Guy Montecalvo at Canon-McMillan. Montecalvo spent the past seven years of his 30-year coaching career guiding the Big Macs. The first 23 years, Montecalvo was the sideline boss of the highly successful Washington Little Prexies. In those three decades as head coach, Montecalvo was 225-107-2 overall, with two WPIAL and one PIAA state football championship with Wash High. Montecalvo did not rule out a return to coaching down the road, but is content for now to continue to serve as athletic director at Canon-McMillan.

* It's not always how you start, but how you finish. For the second straight year, Penn Hills started slow at 1-3, but regrouped to win 3 of 5 and again clinch a playoff spot. Mount Lebanon lost 3 of their first 5, but won 3 of 4 down the stretch to also make the playoffs. On the flip side, both Fox Chapel (3-1) and Kiski Area (3-2) got off to good starts, but could not win a game in the second half and finished out of the playoffs. That pales to the hot and cold season Peters Township had. The Indians were 4-0 in non-conference play and had crocked the Top Ten after four weeks. However they lost four straight Great Southern Conference games that kept them once again out of the WPIAL playoffs.

* Two once proud Class AAAA program continued to stumble in 2009. It was an 0-9 season and another year home for the Highway to Heinz for both Butler and Connellsville. Butler has now lost 14 straight, with their last win coming on 8/19/08 when the Golden Tornado blanked Canon-McMillan 18-0. The winless streak for Connellsville has now reached nearly three years. The Falcons have dropped 26 straight and haven't tasted victory since the 2007 season opener when they edged Uniontown 28-26.

2009 WPIAL CLASS AAAA FINAL STANDINGS:

Foothills Conference:

#-Gateway Gators : (6-0) – (12-1)
*-McKeesport Tigers : (5-1) – (7-3)
*-Latrobe Wildcats : (3-3) – (4-6)
*-Penn-Trafford Warriors : (3-3) – (3-7)
x-Norwin Knights : (2-4) – (5-5)
x-Hempfield Spartans : (2-4) – (3-6)
x-Connellsville Falcons : (0-6) – (0-9)

Big East Conference

#-Woodland Hills Wolverines : (5-0) – (12-2)
*-Pittsburgh Central Catholic Vikings : (4-1) – (8-3)
*-Penn Hills Indians : (3-2) – (5-6)
*-Plum Mustangs : (2-3) – (3-7)
x-Kiski Area Cavaliers : (1-4) – (3-7)
x-Fox Chapel Foxes : (0-5) – (3-6)

Great Southern Conference:

#-Bethel Park Black Hawks : (5-0) – (10-2)
*-Upper St. Clair Panthers : (3-2) – (6-4)
*-Mount Lebanon Blue Devils : (3-2) – (5-5)
*-Baldwin Highlanders : (2-3) – (2-8)
x-Peters Township Indians : (1-4) – (5-4)
x-Canon-McMillan Big Macs : (1-4) – (3-6)

Northern Six Conference:

#-North Allegheny Tigers : (5-0) – (9-2)
*-Shaler Titans : (4-1) – (9-2)
*-Seneca Valley Raiders : (3-2) – (5-5)
*-North Hills Indians : (2-3) – (6-6)
x-Pine-Richland Rams : (1-4) – (3-6)
x-Butler Golden Tornado : (0-5) – (0-9)

2009 WPIAL CLASS AAAA PLAYOFFS:

2009 WPIAL CLASS AAAA CHAMPIONSHIP GAME:

Woodland Hills Wolverines 10 – Gateway Gators 0 (MSA)

WPIAL CLASS AAAA Semifinals:

Gateway Gators 42 – North Hills Indians 20 (MSA)

Woodland Hills Wolverines 38 – Bethel Park Black Hawks 35 in Overtime (MSA)

WPIAL CLASS AAAA Quarterfinals:

Gateway Gators 35 – Penn Hills Indians 3 (MSA)

North Hills Indians 14 – North Allegheny Tigers 10 (MSA)

Woodland Hills Wolverines 36 – Pittsburgh Central Catholic Vikings 3 (MSA)

Bethel Park Black Hawks 32 – Shaler Titans 14 (MSA)

WPIAL CLASS AAAA First Round:

Gateway Gators 49 – Plum Mustangs 0 (MSA)

Penn Hills Indians 14 – Upper St. Clair Panthers 7 (MSA)

North Allegheny Tigers 47 – Latrobe Wildcats 0 (MSA)

North Hills Indians 19 – McKeesport Tigers 7 (MSA)

Woodland Hills Wolverines 42 – Baldwin Highlanders 7 (MSA)

Pittsburgh Central Catholic Vikings 35 – Seneca Valley Raiders 0 (MSA)

Bethel Park Black Hawks 49 – Penn-Trafford Warriors 21 (MSA)

Shaler Titans 23 – Mount Lebanon Blue Devils 21 (MSA)

Gateway Not Golden Again as Woody High Wins Quad A Crown

By Don Rebel

The third time was NOT a charm for Terry Smith and top-ranked Gateway. For a third straight year and for the second time as the number-one seed, the Gators settle for silver as they lost to the Woodland Hills Wolverines Saturday night 10-0 in the WPIAL Class AAAA Championship Game at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.

It was an ominous start for the Gators as they fumbled a shot opening kick with the Wolverines recovering at the Gateway 31-yard line. Nine plays later, Woody High had to settle for a 23-yard field goal by Sam Scifo to make it 3-0.

The only touchdown drive of the game started at the end of the opening quarter and continued into the second quarter. Woodland Hills drove 66 yards on nine plays capped by a Jayron Polk tightrope run down the left sidelines for 14-yards to give the Wolverines a 10-0 lead.

There would be little defense the rest of the way for Woodland Hills, as they were held to 177 total yards, with only 34 of them coming in the second half.

Make no mistake, it was the Woody High defense that shined bright on this chilly evening on the North Shore of Pittsburgh. Gateway, which averaged over 45 points per game in going 12-0, registered only 68 first half total yards and 148 yards of total offense for the game.

Gateway started their first two drives in the fourth quarter at the Woodland Hills 30 and the Wolverines 28 yard line, yet could not even get into field goal position. The Gators final two drives ended in interceptions, one by Mike Caprara returned to the Gateway 36-yard line with just over six minutes left. Then Dahayl Smith picked off Rob Kalkstein with 1:35 left to seal the deal.

It was a disappointing ending to a great career for Kalkstein. Making his 50th career start, he ended up 9 of 30 passing for 118 yards and two picks. On the ground, the Gators were led by Orne Bey with 48 yards on eleven carries.

Dom Timbers led the Wolverines on the ground with 72 yards on 19 carries. Quarterback John Yezovich threw only five times, completing two passes for 50 yards.

The WPIAL chyampionship is the fifth in school history for the Wolverines, but first since 2002.

Gateway finishes with a 12-1 record. Woodland Hills improves to 12-1 and will face State College on Friday night at 7:00pm at Mansion Park in Altoona in a PIAA Class AAAA Quarterfinals contest.

WOODLAND HILLS : 3

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