South Fayette Repeats With Another Victory Over Aliquippa
Friday, November 21, 2014 | 9:58 PM
The South Fayette Lions successfully defended their WPIAL title, as they knocked off Aliquippa 31-22 in the Class AA Championship at Heinz Field on Friday.
(Picture left: Lions celebrate another score in another victory over the Quips)
In a rematch from last year’s title game, the Lions again bested the Quips, as South Fayette senior quarterback Brett Brumbaugh threw for 352 yards and three touchdowns. With the triumph, South Fayette captures its third WPIAL Championship in five seasons, while Aliquippa falls for the fourth time in its record seventh-consecutive finals appearance.
The top-seeded Lions (13-0) jumped out to an early lead, as running back Hunter Hayes scored on a 46-yard-run on South Fayette’s opening drive. On the subsequent Quips possession, South Fayette forced a turnover when Brett Beltz intercepted a Darrien Field’s attempt. In just three plays, Brumbaugh found Dan Trimbur for a 13-yard strike.
With less than five seconds left in the opening quarter, No. 2 Aliquippa trimmed its deficit on a 6-yard touchdown run by Anthony Barton, but the ensuing two-point conversion attempt failed.
After the offense dominated the opening quarter, the defense for both squads held strong in the second quarter, as neither team could notch points. Aliquippa’s defense stopped the Lions late in the half on a fourth-and-one situation in the closing moments to keep it a one-score contest heading into the locker room.
South Fayette struck just more than a minute into the third, though, as Brumbaugh connected with Nick Ponikvar on a short pass along the sidelines, and Ponikvar eluded a pair of Quips defenders to race down the sidelines for an 87-yard score.
On the ensuing kickoff, Aliquippa’s Stephon McGinnis fumbled on the return, and Matt O’Rourke recovered for South Fayette inside Quips’ territory. Although South Fayette did not score on that possession, Aliquippa (12-1) faced an uphill battle for the rest of the contest, which was steepened when Brumbaugh connected with Jack Relihan later in the quarter for a 9-yard touchdown.
Although Stephon McGinnis would redeem his turnover by scoring a pair of touchdowns, South Fayette, aided by a 36-yard field goal, held off the comeback bid. With Aliquippa down by nine points, the South Fayette defense came up big to force a turnover on downs, and Hayes sealed the outcome by picking up a first down that allowed his squad to run out the clock and secure the victory.
In addition to Brumbaugh’s prolific performance, Hayes finished with 109 yards on the ground, while Ponikvar produced 157 yards on six receptions. Kaezon Pugh accounted for 111 yards rushing in the defeat for the Quips, while McGinnis contributed 85 yards receiving on four receptions.
While Aliquippa’s undefeated season is once again spoiled by South Fayette in the championship, the Lions again advance to the state postseason, where they look to repeat at PIAA champs. South Fayette will face Karns City next weekend.
Aliquippa Quips : 6 – 0 – 8 – 8 = 22
South Fayette Lions : 14 – 0 – 14 – 3 = 31
SF: 8:33 Hunter Hayes 46 run (Dan Trimbur kick) 7-0 SF
SF: 6:12 Trimbur 13 pass from Brett Brumbaugh (Trimbur kick) 14-0 SF
A: :05 Anthony Barton 6 run (run failed) 14-6 SF
SF: 10:58 Nick Ponikvar 87 pass from Brumbaugh (Trimbur kick) 21-6 SF
SF: 2:07 Jack Relihan 9 pass from Brumbaugh (Trimbur kick) 28-6 SF
A: :34 Stephon McGinnis 58 pass from Darrien Fields (Thomas Perry pass) 28-14 SF
SF: 6:29 Trimbur 36 field goal 31-14 SF
A: 3:59 McGinnis 2 run (McGinnis run) 31-22 SF
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