Trib HSSN football player of the week for 2023 Week 13

Monday, November 27, 2023 | 8:52 PM

When asked how many medals and trophies he has earned in his youth as a three-sport standout, Fort Cherry sophomore quarterback Matt Sieg has no idea.

However, it’s safe to say that the one he earned on Friday at Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh has moved to the head of the line.

Sieg opened up a lot of eyes with an outstanding freshman year for the Rangers’ football, basketball and baseball teams in 2022-2023.

Now he’s hoping that the championships for the Rangers will begin to grow as he is one-third of the way through his sophomore year.

Sieg threw two scoring passes and ran for a pair of touchdowns as Fort Cherry captured its first WPIAL football championship with a win over previously undefeated South Side, 42-28.

“His performance was spectacular,” Fort Cherry coach Tanner Garry said. “He always finds ways to make plays in the biggest moments of the game. South Side was very sound defensively. They force you to be precise in all your schemes. For Matt to be able to have the game he did was very impressive.”

In the passing game Friday, Sieg hit on 9 of 16 passes for 166 yards and two touchdowns: a 35-yard strike and a 22-yard scoring pass to Shane Cornali, both in the second quarter.

He has now thrown for 1,494 yards this season with 20 touchdown passes.

“He did a great job keeping his eyes downfield when pressure got through the pocket,” Garry said. “Keeping his eyes downfield allowed his receivers to keep working in space, and he did a great job getting them the ball.”

The dual-threat Sieg hurt the Rams with his legs as well, rushing for a game-high 178 yards and touchdown of 3 and 4 yards. He has rushed for 1,964 yards this season with a WPIAL-leading 38 touchdown runs.

“His speed and vision are a dangerous combination,” Garry said. “He has a natural ability to set up his blockers to create running lanes.”

If his numbers on offense aren’t impressive enough, he also is a defensive back who had an interception and a 22-yard rerun for the Rangers in the title game.

“He’s improving every week defensively, Garry said. “He’s such a well-rounded player that can tackle, cover and read. His improvements on both sides of the ball mentally, he took a huge step as a student of the game.”

Sieg and his Fort Cherry (14-0) teammates now hope to take the first step toward a PIAA championship when they battle District 9 champion Redbank Valley (12-1) in a state semifinal at 7 p.m. Friday at Farrell.

“Redbank Valley is a fast and talented football team,” Garry said. “They force you to cover all areas of the field offensively and have a lot of different looks defensively that you have to be prepared for.”

Week 13 honorable mention

Quentin Goode – Aliquippa

After settling for silver as a freshman, the Aliquippa senior is dripping in gold. Quips quarterback Quentin Goode lived up to his last name as he connected on 8 of 14 passes for 157 yards and touchdown tosses of 23 yards to Demarkus Walker and 9 yards to Michael Gaskins in leading Aliquippa to a third straight WPIAL championship and the school’s 20th district football title overall in a 35-21 victory over McKeesport.

Braden Laux, Belle Vernon

Belle Vernon coach Matt Humbert called it a total team effort as the Leopards repeated as Class 3A WPIAL champions. Leading the way in the golden effort was Leopards senior quarterback Braden Laux, who completed 12 of 21 passes for 155 yards and a 25-yard scoring strike to Jake Gedekoh and led the Leopards on the ground with 53 yards rushing and touchdown runs of 2 and 1 yard as Belle Vernon blanked previously undefeated Avonworth, 26-0.

Da’talian Beauford – Beaver Falls

It might be hard to call a program that won its second WPIAL 2A championship in four years and its third district title in eight years a surprise, but the glass slipper turned out to be a golden slipper for Cinderella Beaver Falls. The No. 10-seeded Tigers won a defensive battle as running back Da’talian Beauford rushed for a game-high 105 yards and scored on 4-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, then scored on the two-point conversion run that was the difference as Beaver Falls beat Steel Valley, 14-12.

2023 players of the week

Week 12 – Nolan DiLucia, Peters Township

Week 11 – Logan Kushner, North Allegheny

Week 10 – Braylon Thomas, Union

Week 9 – Anthony Boyd, McKeesport

Week 8 – Armand Hill, West Mifflin

Week 7 – Donald Barksdale, Steel Valley

Week 6 – Ethan Varesko, Beth-Center

Week 5 – Jay Wrona, Mohawk

Week 4 – Elijah Faulkner, Central Catholic

Week 3 – Jonah Williamson, Trinity

Week 2 – Jake Wolfe, Montour

Week 1 – Bruce Giles, Connellsville

Week Zero – Cameron Epps, South Allegheny


More Football

2024 Trib HSSN Preseason Football All-Star Team: McKeesport’s Kemon Spell
2024 Trib HSSN Preseason Football All-Star Team: Upper St. Clair’s Nate Stohl
2024 Trib HSSN Preseason Football All-Star Team: Bethel Park’s Ryan Petras
Knoch transfer Colt Sprankle earns postseason eligibility after PIAA board overturns WPIAL
Former Steelers assistant Dick LeBeau shares wisdom with group of legendary high school football coaches