Friday HighLights AND Saturdays Scholastic Starz – 11/20/2016
Sunday, November 20, 2016 | 12:08 PM
There were eight WPIAL football games this past weekend. Half on Friday produced four district champions and the other half on Saturday produced four teams that are now one win away from bringing gridiron gold to their schools trophy case. here are the eight players who made it happen from both the sunny and warm North Shore of Pittsburgh on Friday, or the frozen tundra of four high school sites in Western Pa on Saturday.
J.J. Younger – Pittsburgh Central Catholic
While the big boys up front deserves a a tip of the cap as Pittsburgh Central Catholic ground out 360 yards on the ground, but J.J. Younger had the biggest individual chunk in a ‘special’ performance. Younger rushed for 136 yards and scored on a 14-yard run in the first quarter to put PCC up for good, he also added a 5-yard scoring run and an 82-yard kick off return for a score right after Seneca Valley scored their only points of the game to help the Vikings repeat as WPIAL champs in a 42-7 win over the Raiders in the first ever WPIAL 6-A title game.
Nick Ross – West Allegheny
After a quiet start to the first ever WPIAL Class 5-A, West Allegheny quarterback Nick Ross really picked up his game when teammate Kenny White was forced out of the game with an injury. Ross ended up hitting on 26 of 39 passes for 257 yards with a pair of touchdown passes, a 37-yard strike to White before he left the game and a 23-yard scoring pass to Mateo Vandamia that sparked a 16 point fourth quarter rally, plus his run on the two-point conversion clinched the title for the Indians in a 38-37 overtime instant classic victory over the McKeesport Tigers.
Quinton Hill – Thomas Jefferson
Quinton Hill with the carry for the Jaguars…Quinton Hill with the carry for the Jaguars…Quinton Hill with the carry for the Jaguars…wash, rinse and repeat. The all-time leading rusher in Thomas Jefferson history was a work horse as he carried the ball 39 times for 248 yards with three touchdowns on tough runs of 8-yards in the second quarter and 1 and 2 yards in the third quarter as the Jaguars pulled away and blanked the New Castle Red Hurricane 42-0 for a second consecutive WPIAL crown in the WPIAL Class 4-A championship game.
Derrell Carter – Beaver Falls
Beaver Falls rotated Austin French and Malik Shepherd at quarterback and each contributed nicely because whenever they got the snap and looked to hand off to Derrell Carter, good things happened for the black and orange. Whether it was jet sweep left or jet sweep right, Carter seemed to get chunks of Heinz Field lawn every time he touched the ball as he ended up with 140 yards on 14 carries with a championship clinching 49-yard fourth quarter score, plus he caught one pass for 50-yards and a touchdown from French which opened the scoring as the Tigers avenged their only loss of the season by dethroning the 2015 champion Aliquippa Quips by the score of 35-22 to win the 3-A title and BF’s first football title since 1984.
DeWayne Murray – Steel Valley
The Catholic church just finished celebrating the Year of Mercy. If they were looking for a poster child to help celebrate the cause, they could have used the 2016 Steel Valley football team, which has shown plenty or mercy this fall. For the 12th time in 12 games, SV ‘mercy ruled’ their opponents with a one-sided victory in a Class 2-A Semifinals contest thanks in part to running back DeWayne Murray, who rushed for 142 yards and scored touchdowns on runs of 32, 2 and 2 yards along with an 8-yard scoring pass from Ryan Harper as the Ironmen cruised to a 42-0 whitewash of the Riverside Panthers.
Frank Antuono – Neshannock
Neshannock had mastered the difficulty task of having success in the regular season and then reaching the Final Four in their class this decade, but had not been able to clear that Semifinals hurdle…until Saturday. Quarterback Frank Antuono continued his tremendous season by hitting on 10 of 16 passes for 187 yards with three touchdown tosses of 4, 5 and 72 yards, plus he opened the scoring with a 7-yard run as the Lancers defeated the Washington Little Prexies 27-7 in a Class 2-A Semifinals game to advance to a WPIAL championship football game fo rthe first time ever.
Lamont Wade – Clairton
First the news that quarterback Noah Hamlin would be missing the game due to injury, then Mother Nature decided to bring a snowstorm to Chartiers-Houston High School’s Buccaneers Stadium shortly after kickoff. So Lamont Wade played the role of bobsled and his Clairton teammates jumped on for the ride. Wade switched to quarterback and rushed for 235 yards ands scored two touchdowns on runs of 3 and 57 yards, plus he supplied the exclamation point on the win with a 56-yard pick six as the Bears advanced to the 9th WPIAL Class 1-A championship game in the last ten years with a hard-fought 34-18 victory over the Northgate Flames.
Robert Kennedy – Jeannette
The two big named for Jeannette were on display in their Class 1-A Semifinals game at Fox Chapel High School against Rochester as quarterback Gio Vonne Sanders and Kareem Hall each had a touchdown run and Sanders added a scoring pass, but a couple of big plays by Robert Kennedy were huge for the blue and red. After Rochester was stopped on downs late in the second quarter, Sanders hit Kennedy for 30 yards to set up a go ahead score to make it 10-6 at the half, then on the Rams first possession of the second half, Kennedy scooped up a fumble and raced 55-yards for a touchdown as the Jayhawks return to the WPIAL Class 1-A Finals for a second straight year with a 30-20 victory.
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