State, WPIAL champions highlight Trib 25 football all-star team
By: Likitha Janga
Wednesday, December 12, 2018 | 6:11 PM
Another high school football season has come and gone, and 2018 will be memorable for teams and players across Western Pennsylvania.
Penn Hills and Aliquippa celebrated PIAA titles in Hershey and shared WPIAL championship glory with Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Steel Valley, South Fayette and Pine-Richland.
There were record-breaking performances, jaw-dropping efforts and highlight-reel plays.
So, as the 2018 season comes to a close, here is this year’s Trib 25 football all-star team:
Tyler Bradley, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart
Bradley topped the WPIAL in passing with 3,320 yards and led OLSH to the WPIAL Class A title, the first championship in the team’s short history. He completed 209 of 328 attempts and threw 45 touchdowns.
Michael Carmody, Mars
Carmody, one of the WPIAL’s top recruits from the junior class, earned all-conference honors in his first season at offensive tackle. He holds college offers from Pitt, Penn State, West Virginia, Michigan, Wisconsin and others.
Derrick Davis, Gateway
Davis is only a sophomore but already has college offers from Pitt, Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan and others. He rushed for 1,232 yards and scored 24 touchdowns for Gateway, which was the No. 1 seed in the WPIAL 5A playoffs.
Dan Deabner, Thomas Jefferson
Deabner ranked second among WPIAL receivers with 1,475 yards and 21 touchdowns on 60 catches, leading Thomas Jefferson to the WPIAL Class 4A finals. The two-way standout also made four interceptions.
MJ Devonshire, Aliquippa
Devonshire scored 24 touchdowns for the PIAA Class 3A champions, including eight on punt returns (one short of tying a national record). He has a long list of college offers, including Pitt and West Virginia.
Jamie Diven, South Fayette
Diven ranked second among all WPIAL passers with 3,211 yards and led South Fayette to a WPIAL Class 4A title in his first season with the Lions. He completed 189 of 312 attempts and threw 45 touchdowns.
Justin Flack, Derry
One of the leading scorers in the WPIAL, Flack rushed for 1,334 yards on 181 carries and scored 38 touchdowns for the WPIAL Class 3A runner-up Trojans. He ran for 94 yards and three touchdowns in the WPIAL championship, and had a game-winning pick-6 in the semifinals against North Catholic. He had an eight-touchdown game against Yough, which included an 88-yard kickoff return and an interception return.
Will Gipson, Aliquippa
Gipson emerged as one of the state’s top receivers, catching 62 passes for 1,657 yards and scoring 20 touchdowns. The Pitt recruit initially committed to Ball State, but drew an offer from the Panthers after starting the WPIAL finals.
Daequan Hardy, Penn Hills
The do-it-all receiver and cornerback scored 22 touchdowns for the PIAA Class 5A champion, a TD total that included 12 receiving, five rushing, three interception returns, one punt return and one kickoff return. He holds a number of Power 5 offers.
Rahmon “RJ” Hart Jr, Imani Christian
Hart was a match-up problem for opponents. He made 62 catches for 1,380 yards and scored 16 touchdowns for high-scoring Imani Christian. He committed to Ball State.
Todd Hill, Steel Valley
Steel Valley, RB/LB
Hill teams with Kameron Williams to form a dominant rushing tandem for the WPIAL Class 2A champion. They combined for more than 4,000 rushing yards and 52 touchdowns. Hill, who’s also a standout linebacker, had 1,736 yards and 30 TDs.
Cade Hoke, North Allegheny
Hoke returned from a torn ACL to lead North Allegheny with 86 tackles and 14 tackles for loss as an inside linebacker. Committed to BYU as a preferred walk-on. His father Chris Hoke played defensive line for the Steelers.
Trent Holler, Latrobe
An East Carolina commit, “Big Snack” is a four-time all-conference selection as an offensive lineman. The 6-2, 287-pound senior center helped the Wildcats compile nearly 3,000 yards on offense and reach the Class 5A playoffs.
Michael Katic, Pine-Richland
Katic combined with Andrew Kristofic to form a guard-tackle tandem that was unmatched in the WPIAL. Their blocking helped Pine-Richland repeat as WPIAL Class 6A champions. He committed to Indiana.
Tyler King, Pine-Richland
King made a team-leading 98 tackles and had seven sacks for Pine-Richland, spearheading a defense that won the WPIAL Class 6A championship for the second year in a row. King committed to Navy.
Andrew Kristofic, Pine-Richland
Kristofic anchored a championship-winning offensive line, clearing the way for a team that rushed for 3,329 yards and averaged 238 per week. The Notre Dame recruit also made 25 tackles and seven sacks as a two-way player.
Courtney Jackson, Gateway
Jackson was a big-play threat in Gateway’s high-scoring offense. The Syracuse recruit had 20 touchdowns, 40 receptions and 925 yards for the Gators, who reached the WPIAL Class 5A semifinals. He had 96 catches a year ago when Gateway reached the state finals.
Jeremiah Josephs, Gateway
Gateway’s offense wowed, but Josephs led a Gators defense that was equally dominant throughout the regular season. He has 57 tackles and six interceptions. He committed to Miami (Ohio).
Hollis Mathis, Penn Hills
Mathis was the catalyst for a Penn Hills offense that won its first WPIAL and PIAA title since 1995. He passed for 2,793 yards and 40 touchdowns. Mathis committed to William & Mary two days after defeating Manheim Central in the state finals.
Skyy Moore, Shady Side Academy
Moore threw for 1,275 yards, rushed for 1,049 and led Shady Side to the No. 1 seed in Class 3A before a season-ending ankle injury. The Western Michigan recruit was the first player in WPIAL history to twice reach 1,000 yards rushing and receiving in the regular season.
Joey Porter Jr. North Allegheny
The Penn State recruit, who had offers from LSU, Miami, Nebraska and others, emerged as one of the top cornerbacks in the WPIAL. He was seldom tested, but had three interceptions for NA, which finished the regular season undefeated. His father played linebacker for the Steelers and remains an assistant coach.
Dom Serapiglia, Thomas Jefferson
The standout center started all four years for Thomas Jefferson, which reached Heinz Field for the WPIAL championship each time. He won three titles. He announced offers from TCU and Utah this month.
Jake Stebbins, Seneca Valley
Stebbins led Seneca Valley to the WPIAL Class 6A finals with his two-way play. He had 71 tackles and three sacks for the Raiders, but also caught 25 passes. He committed to Cornell.
Mike Trimbur, South Fayette
Trimbur led WPIAL Class 4A champion South Fayette with 57 receptions, 1,096 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns. The Cornell recruit also made 39 tackles and two interceptions, including a game-clinching pick in the finals at Heinz Field.
Mateo Vandamia, West Allegheny
Strong two-way player for West Allegheny, which reached the WPIAL Class 5A finals. Had a team-best 28 catches for 355 yards and five touchdowns. He also led the team with 95 tackles.
Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris at [email protected] or via Twitter @CHarlan_Trib.
ljanga is a Tribune-Review freelancer. You can contact ljanga at [email protected].
Tags: Aliquippa, Derry Area, Gateway, Imani Christian, Latrobe, Mars, North Allegheny, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Penn Hills, Pine-Richland, Seneca Valley, Shady Side Academy, South Fayette, Steel Valley, Thomas Jefferson, West Allegheny