Road to Hershey hits final straightaway at PIAA finals

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Wednesday, December 5, 2018 | 8:45 PM


The finish line to the 2018 high school football season is in sight, and it’s going to be a sweet ending for six teams.

Part of that is winning a PIAA championship with the added bonus of doing it at the sweetest place on earth.

For the 21st season in a row, the state championships will be played at Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey.

Only two WPIAL teams will be part of the festivities as Penn Hills makes its first state title trip since 1995 in the Class 5A championship game at 7 p.m. Friday, while Aliquippa plays for a PIAA title for the first time in 15 years in the Class 3A finals at noon Saturday.

In the first two years of the six-classification era, the WPIAL sent four teams to Hershey in both 2016 and 2017.

This marks the eighth time the WPIAL has only sent two teams to the PIAA championships in 30 previous years of the event, with 2015 being the most recent.

In those seven previous years (1991, ’94, ’97, ’99, 2006, ’09, ’15), the WPIAL teams split, going 1-1 each time.

The district breakdown has District 3 and District 10 leading with three teams, followed by the WPIAL and District 12 with two teams each. District 2 and District 4 each have one team playing for state gold this weekend.

CLASS 6A

Championship

St. Joe’s Prep (12-0) vs. Harrisburg (13-1) at Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey on Saturday, Dec. 8 at 6 p.m.

Semifinals

St. Joe’s Prep 37, Pine-Richland 0

Harrisburg 27, Coatesville 24

Quarterfinals

Pine-Richland 56, State College 33

St. Joe’s Prep 42, Bethlehem Freedom 14

Harrisburg, Bye

Coatesville 42, North Penn 13

First round

Pine-Richland 34, Seneca Valley 7

State College 56, Delaware Valley 19

St. Joe’s Prep 49, Northeast 14

Bethlehem Freedom 49, Emmaus 17

Harrisburg 16, Central Dauphin 6

North Penn 35, Downingtown West 21

Coatesville 42, Garnet Valley 7

CLASS 5A

Championship

Penn Hills (15-0) vs. Manheim Central (14-0) at Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey on Friday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m.

Semifinals

Penn Hills 20, Archbishop Wood 13

Manheim Central 34, Upper Dublin 12

Quarterfinals

Penn Hills 28, West Allegheny 18

Archbishop Wood 38, Hollidaysburg 7

Upper Dublin 35, West Chester Rustin 28

Manheim Central 48, Cocalico 14

First round

West Allegheny 42, Gateway 28

Penn Hills 22, Peters Township 14

Hollidaysburg 31, Wallenpaupack 0

Archbishop Wood 57, Simon Gratz 6

West Chester Rustin 10, Penn Wood 8

Upper Dublin 40, Unionville 7

Manheim Central 42, Cedar Cliff 20

Cocalico 61, York William Penn 35

CLASS 4A

Championship

Cathedral Prep (12-3) vs. Imhotep Charter (11-2) at Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey on Thursday, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m.

Semifinals

Cathedral Prep 48, Bishop McDevitt 7

Imhotep Charter 41, Bethlehem Catholic 0

Quarterfinals

Cathedral Prep 42, South Fayette 10

Bishop McDevitt 41, Berks Catholic 31

Imhotep Charter 37, Valley View 19

Bethlehem Catholic 58, Pottsgrove 20

First round

South Fayette 31, Thomas Jefferson 24

Cathedral Prep 55, Clearfield 21

Bishop McDevitt 40, Conrad Weiser 16

Berks Catholic 49, Milton Hershey 21

Valley View 49, Dallas 14

Imhotep Charter 20, Cardinal O’Hara 0

Bethlehem Catholic 73, Saucon Valley 14

Pottsgrove 14, Jersey Shore 10

CLASS 3A

Championship

Aliquippa (13-1) vs. Middletown (13-1) at Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey on Saturday, Dec. 8 at noon

Semifinals

Aliquippa 41, Sharon 7

Middletown 35, Scranton Prep 21

Quarterfinals

Aliquippa, Bye

Sharon 28, Bald Eagle 7

Middletown 21, Conwell-Egan 14

Scranton Prep 45, Montoursville 7

First round

Aliquippa 42, Derry 19

Bald Eagle 35, Bedford 14

Sharon 23, Grove City 6

Middletown 42, Bermudian Springs 20

Conwell-Egan 28, North Schuylkill 14

Scranton Prep 47, Lakeland 19

Montoursville 32, Danville 0

CLASS 2A

Championship

Wilmington (13-1) vs. Southern Columbia (15-0) at Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey on Friday, Dec. 7 at 1 p.m.

Semifinals

Wilmington 26, Steel Valley 6

Southern Columbia 42, West Catholic 6

Quarterfinals

Steel Valley 48, South Side Beaver 6

Wilmington 56, Ridgway 14

West Catholic 35, Richland 7

Southern Columbia 56, York Catholic 23

First round

South Side Beaver 26, Charleroi 21

Steel Valley 40, Freedom 0

Ridgway 14, Brockway 7

Wilmington 40, Chestnut Ridge 33

Richland 21, Ligonier Valley 12

West Catholic 21, Dunmore 3

Southern Columbia 39, Mt. Carmel 14

York Catholic, Bye

CLASS A

Championship

Farrell (14-0) vs. Lackawanna Trail (14-1) at Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey on Thursday, Dec. 6 at 1 p.m.

Semifinals

Farrell 41, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart 10

Lackawanna Trail 24, Juniata Valley 14

Quarterfinals

Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Bye

Farrell 48, Coudersport 6

Lackawanna Trail 28, Halifax 6

Juniata Valley 36, United 20

First round

Our Lady of the Sacred Heart 28, Rochester 6

Farrell 56, Shade 8

Coudersport 44, Smethport 7

Lackawanna Trail 41, Tri-Valley 6

Halifax 19, Muncy 18

United 36, Northern Cambria 28

Juniata Valley 9, Bishop Guilfoyle 3

Don Rebel is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Don at drebel@tribweb.com or via Twitter @TheDonRebel.

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