PIAA football title game factoids: Golden facts and figures to prepare for Hershey

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Wednesday, December 4, 2019 | 6:37 PM


While the WPIAL champions looking for double gold this fall were cut in half from six to three in the state semifinals last weekend, they are still the most represented district in the PIAA championship party coming up in Hershey.

The WPIAL has Thomas Jefferson, Central Valley and Avonworth in the finals — all three games can be heard here on HSSN — while the only other districts with more than one team still playing are District 2 with Dallas and Wyoming Area and District 12 with St. Joe’s Prep and Archbishop Wood.

Districts 1, 3, 4, 6 and 10 have one each and Districts 5, 8, 9 and 11 are spectators this weekend.

Here are the teams that won PIAA football championships:

• 30 years ago: Upper St. Clair, Perry, Hickory and Dunmore in 1989.

• 25 years ago: McKeesport, Berwick, Mount Carmel and Southern Columbia in 1994.

• 20 years ago: Central Bucks West, Strath Haven, Tyrone and South Side in 1999.

• 10 years ago: LaSalle College, Selinsgrove, Lancaster Catholic and Clairton in 2009.

• 5 years ago: St. Joe’s Prep, Archbishop Wood, South Fayette and Bishop Guilfoyle in 2014.

Here are some state championship game factoids that are as good as gold.

PIAA Class A: Farrell Steelers (13-2) vs. Bishop Guilfoyle Marauders (12-2) at Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey on Thursday at 1 p.m.

• Farrell, the defending PIAA Class A champion, has won 13 straight games.

• The Steelers are 3-2 in PIAA football championship games. As a member of the WPIAL, Farrell won back-to-back state championships in 1994 and 1995, beating Southern Columbia both times.

• Road to Hershey for Farrell: First round over Tussey Mountain, 60-14; quarterfinals over Coudersport, 28-0; semifinals over Clairton, 13-10.

• Bishop Guilfoyle has won 7 in a row.

• The Marauders are a perfect 3-0 in PIAA football title games. Bishop Guilfoyle won three straight state championships with a win over Clairton in 2014, Farrell in 2015 and Clairton again in 2016.

• Road to Hershey for Bishop Guilfoyle: First round over Saltsburg, 47-18; quarterfinals over Juniata Valley, 36-17; semifinals over Lackawanna Trail, 11-7.

• The last time these two teams met was in the PIAA Class A finals in 2015. Bishop Guilfoyle won 35-0 as Evan Chadbourn rushed for 152 yards and two touchdowns for the Marauders.

PIAA Class AA: Avonworth Antelopes (15-0) vs. Southern Columbia Tigers (15-0) at Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey on Friday at 1 p.m. on Trib HSSN

• Fifteen consecutive wins is a school record for Avonworth.

• This is the first PIAA football championship game for the Antelopes.

• Road to Hershey for Avonworth: First round over Riverside, 41-14; quarterfinals over Washington, 28-6; semifinals over Wilmington, 33-21.

• Southern Columbia is the two-time defending PIAA Class 2A champion and has won 47 games in a row.

• The Tigers are the most successful program in the PIAA playoff era. This will be their 18th trip to the state finals and they have won a record nine PIAA championships. Five times they beat WPIAL teams for gold including 1994 over Western Beaver, 2002 and 2004 over Rochester, 2005 over Duquesne and 2015 over Aliquippa.

• Road to Hershey for Southern Columbia: First round over Mt. Carmel, 49-0; quarterfinals over Upper Dauphin, 63-22; semifinals over Richland, 49-27.

• This is the first meeting between the two teams. Avonworth has outscored their 15 opponents this year 545-165 while Southern Columbia has outscored their 15 opponents 820-75.

WPIAL Class 3A: Central Valley Warriors (13-1) vs. Wyoming Area Warriors (13-1) at Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey on Saturday at 12 p.m. on Trib HSSN

• Central Valley has won seven straight games since its only loss to Class 4A finalist Thomas Jefferson.

• The CV Warriors played in one other PIAA championship game in school history. Five years ago, they lost to Archbishop Wood, 33-14, in the 2014 Class AAA title game.

• Road to Hershey for Central Valley: First round over Aliquippa in overtime, 13-12; quarterfinals bye; semifinals over Bald Eagle, 45-0.

• Wyoming Area has won six straight since its only loss of the season to Class 2A finalist Southern Columbia.

• The WA Warriors have never played in a PIAA football championship game. The last District 2 team to win a state championship was Berwick in 1997 when the Bulldogs edged Perry, 17-14.

• Road to Hershey for Wyoming Area: First round over Scranton Prep, 27-0; quarterfinals over Montoursville, 43-27; semifinals over Tamaqua, 21-0.

• This is the first meeting between the teams. Central Valley has outscored their 14 opponents this year 542-147 while Wyoming Area has outscored their 14 opponents 531-158.

WPIAL Class 4A: Thomas Jefferson Jaguars (15-0) vs. Dallas Mountaineers (15-0) at Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey on Thursday at 7 p.m. on Trib HSSN

• Thomas Jefferson hopes to tie the 2007 team for third-longest winning streak in program history at 16 in a row. The 2008-09 teams won 26 straight and 2004-05 team captured 17 consecutive wins.

• The Jaguars are 3-0 in state championship games, beating Manheim Central, 56-20 in 2004, shutting down Garnet Valley, 28-3 in 2007, and cruising past Archbishop Wood, 34-7 in 2008.

• Road to Hershey for Thomas Jefferson: First round over Belle Vernon, 41-7; quarterfinals over Cathedral Prep, 28-13; semifinals over Lampeter-Strasburg, 44-2.

• Dallas’ 15 wins in a row is the longest win streak in school history.

• The only other trip to the state final for the Mountaineers occurred in 1993 when they cruised past Washington in the rain at Mansion Park in Altoona, winning the Class AA crown, 31-7.

• Road to Hershey for Dallas: First round over Valley View, 29-7; quarterfinals over Imhotep Charter, 43-36; semifinals over Jersey Shore, 56-28.

• This is the first meeting between the teams. Thomas Jefferson hopes to tie Central Catholic and Clairton for most state championships by a WPIAL team with four. Dallas hopes to move alone into second place behind Berwick for most state titles by a District 2 team with two.

WPIAL Class 5A: Archbishop Wood Vikings (10-3) vs. Cheltenham Panthers (14-1) at Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey on Friday at 7 p.m.

• Archbishop Wood has won six straight after starting the season with a 4-3 record.

• The Vikings are making their seventh trip to the PIAA finals, where they are 5-1. They beat Bishop McDevitt in 2001 and 2013, beat Central Valley in 2014, rolled past Harrisburg in 2016 and crushed Gateway in the 2017 title game.

• Road to Hershey for Archbishop Wood: First round over Martin Luther King, 51-14; quarterfinals over Southern Lehigh, 41-7; semifinals over Gateway, 24-21.

• Cheltenham has won 12 straight games after suffering its only loss to Abington in Week 2, 19-7.

• This is the Panthers’ first trip to the state finals. They are hoping to become the first District 1 team to win state gold since Lansdale Catholic in 2004.

• Road to Hershey for Cheltenham: First round over Kennett, 42-20; quarterfinals over Academy Park, 43-42; semifinals over Cocalico, 56-49.

• While teams from District 12 and District 1 met in the PIAA 6A and 5A semifinals in both 2016 and 2017, a team from District 12 has never played a team from District 1 in a PIAA title game.

WPIAL Class 6A: St. Joseph’s Prep Hawks (11-2) vs. Central Dauphin Rams (12-2) at Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey on Saturday at 6 p.m.

• Defending state 6A champion St. Joseph’s Prep has won 10 consecutive games after losing to national powers Marietta, Ga. in Week Zero and IMG Academy, Fla. in Week 2.

• The Hawks are playing in their sixth state championship game. St. Joseph’s Prep won four PIAA crowns with gold collected in wins over Central Catholic in 2013 and 2016, Pine-Richland in 2014 and Harrisburg in 2018.

• Road to Hershey for St. Joe’s Prep: First round over Northeast, 43-26; quarterfinals over Nazareth, 45-24; semifinals over Central Catholic, 31-24 in overtime.

• Central Dauphin has won 11 in a row since early season losses to West Lawn Wilson in Week Zero and Manheim Township in Week 2.

• This is the Rams’ second trip to the state championship game. Central Dauphin won the PIAA Class AAAA title in 2011 with a 14-7 victory over North Penn.

• Road to Hershey for Central Dauphin: First round over Manheim Township, 35-34 in double overtime; quarterfinals over Harrisburg, 27-20; semifinals over Downingtown West, 65-44.

• This is the second straight year a District 12 team faced a District 3 team in the Class 6A title game. The Hawks beat Harrisburg, 40-20, in last year’s 6A finals. D-12 teams are 4-0 all-time in PIAA championship games against District 3 teams.

Don Rebel hosts the Rebel Yell podcasts for HSSN.

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