Lions Roar to First State Football Title

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Sunday, December 15, 2013 | 5:36 PM


It was a record setting day for the South Fayette Lions, tying a PIAA title game record with 35 first half points, en route to a 41-0 victory over Imhotep Charter to win the Class AA title for the first time in school history. The victory also caps an undefeated season for the Lions, going 16-0.

Junior quarterback Brett Brumbaugh became the single season passing leader in WPIAL history, besting his brother Christian’s record of 3,726 yards set in 2010. Brumbaugh set the record in style with a 64-yard touchdown pass to Justin Watson on the second play of the second quarter.

Watson set a record of his own with a 31-yard catch in the second quarter, becoming the single season receiving leader in WPIAL history, knocking Carmen Connolly out of that spot. Connolly's record, set in 2004, was 1,545 yards.

The Lions dominated from the opening kickoff, going 13 plays and 64 yards on their first possession, with Watson pulling in a 6-yard touchdown pass from Brumbaugh. South Fayette added to the lead the next time they touched the ball, as Brumbaugh hit Logan Sharp for a 53-yard touchdown on a play in which the junior tight end was uncovered.

Leading 14-0 after one quarter, it didn’t take long for Brumbaugh to set the record, going to Watson down the near sideline for the score. The pass to Watson also tied Brumbaugh with Dillon Buechel of Montour for the second most touchdown passes in a single season. Brumbaugh said the defense was similar to Aliquippa and that they could do something against them, with the corners playing off. He gave credit to his offensive line and his receivers and thanked his brothers for the knowledge and pushing him to allow him to get to where he is today.

South Fayette scored twice in the final minute of the half, as JJ Walker scored on a 4-yard touchdown run with 56 seconds left, which was set up by the Watson record setting catch. Then, Connor Beck allowed mercy to rule with a 45-yard Pick-6 of an Andre Dreuitt-Parks pass with 28 second remaining.

The Lions defense also hit hard, allowing just four first downs and 60 yards of offense in the first half. Imhotep Charter drove down inside the five yard line on the first possession of the second half, but the defense stiffened once again, stopping the Panthers on three plays from the one yard line. Grant Fetchet added a 10-yard run with six minutes to play, putting the Lions up 41-0.

Brumbaugh finished the season with 3,910 yards, throwing for 299 yards on 18-of-25 attempts. He finished 41 yards shy of the state single season record. Watson had 6 catches for 126 yards, finishing with 1,568 yards for the season.

Head Coach Joe Rossi said they used some of the predictions as many of the Philadelphia publications picked Imhotep Charter to win in a runaway, one predicted a score of 50-6 in favor of the Panthers. The South Fayette defense allowed just 148 yards of total offense, shutting down a Panthers offense that had scored 663 points this season. With the 41 points, South Fayette scored 719 points this season, becoming the eighth best scoring offense in PIAA history and the 7th state champion to score over 700 points in a season.

Imhotep Charter finishes at 12-3, the Panthers were the first team from the Philadelphia Catholic League to play for a state title since the PIAA took in the Philly schools in 2008.

Scoring Summary: 
South Fayette Lions   14 – 21 – 0 – 6  = 41
Imhotep Charter Panthers   0 – 0 – 0 – 0 = 0

1st Quarter:
SF:  Justin Watson 6 pass from Brett Brumbaugh (Brian Coyne kick)   7:34
SF:  Logan Sharp 53 pass from Brumbaugh (Coyne kick)   5:15

2nd Quarter:
SF:  Watson 64 pass from Brumbaugh (Coyne kick)   11:45
SF:  JJ Walker 4 run (Coyne kick)   :56
SF:  Beck 45 interception return (Coyne kick)  :28

3rd Quarter: 
No Scoring

4th Quarter:
SF:  Grant Fetchet 10 run (kick failed)  6:00

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