Trib HSSN football player of the week for Week 14

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Sunday, December 3, 2023 | 9:48 PM


When not running through or around opposing players on the football field, Aliquippa senior running back John Tracy runs his own business. After being introduced by his cousin, Tracy breeds and trains American Bullies dogs.

He should be good at it since he is used to running with the big dogs.

Tracy and his Quips teammates bullied Selinsgrove into submission in a PIAA Class 4A semifinal victory Friday, 52-32.

The win lifted undefeated Aliquippa (13-0) to the state championship game for a third straight year. The Quips won it all in 2021 before falling to Bishop McDevitt in the state finals a year ago.

Even before the Quips took the field, Tracy said he sensed good things were about to happen for him and his team.

“Before coming out I thought I was going to have a big game,” he said. “You have that feeling sometimes before a game that you’re going to do something.”

Plus some inspirational words from his mom helped.

“She texted me before the game and she basically said show them what you can do and be the star that you are and don’t be in your own head.”

After running mate Tikey Hayes scored on a 24-yard run to open the scoring in the first quarter, Tracy scored the first of his four touchdowns on a 42-yard run.

“When I got the ball, my vision allows me to see very well, and I see better out of the side of my eyes,” Tracy explained. “That’s why I like to cut back a lot because the cutbacks are always there.”

Tracy’s second touchdown run came in the third quarter on a 40-yard run. Then, on the next possession, he caught a 24-yard scoring pass from fellow senior Quentin Goode.

“I give credit to our linemen,” Tracy said. “They’re not as big as last year’s linemen, they’re not as physical, but their work effort is very good. Sometimes I get clogged up in the backfield, but sometimes you need to make people miss and that’s my job.”

The team’s second leading rusher this season did his job wonderfully on a highlight-real 93-yard touchdown run that was the exclamation point for the Quips victory over the Seals.

“It was a stretch play to the right side and the dude got off the block of my lineman, so I had to stiff arm him and backed up a little bit and then I went left,” Tracy said. “Then as I was running left, dude got off my fullback’s block and he dove at my feet and I jumped over him and then I saw green and just kept running.”

Tracy rushed for a game-high 270 yards on 15 carries with four total touchdowns.

Now Aliquippa moves on to the PIAA Class 4A championship game for a third straight year.

The Quips thought they would clash with defending champion Bishop McDevitt in the state finals for the third year in a row, but the Crusaders lost in double overtime to District 2 champion Dallas, so now the WPIAL champions will battle the Mountaineers on Thursday night.

“We really wanted Bishop McDevitt. We wanted them real bad, we wanted our revenge,” Tracy said. “We felt we would come out with a different kind of energy and now we have to transfer that energy to Dallas. Now they have to wake up and say hello to the Quips.”

Week 14 honorable mention

Braden Laux, Belle Vernon

Belle Vernon is headed back to defend its PIAA Class 3A championship thanks in part to its senior quarterback. BVA signal-caller Braden Laux hurt District 10 champion Hickory with both his arm and his legs. He connected on 9 of 13 passes for 114 yards and a touchdown pass to Penn State recruit Quinton Martin, plus he rushed 16 times for 82 yards and two touchdowns as the Leopards swatted the Hornets, 42-16.

Khalil Green, Westinghouse

Bulldogs junior quarterback Khalil Green continued his recent standout play by completing 9 of 14 passes for 158 yards and a TD toss of 12 yards to K’Shawn Hawkins, plus he rushed for 67 yards on 10 carries and a 29-yard scoring run as Westinghouse knocked off WPIAL champion Beaver Falls, 28-8, in the state semifinals Friday.

Matt Sieg, Fort Cherry

Last week’s HSSN Player of the Week just keeps on shining while he and his Fort Cherry teammates just keep on winning. Victory No. 14 in 14 games came in the program’s first PIAA playoff game Friday as they beat District 9 champion Redbank Valley in a Class A semifinal. Sophomore quarterback Matt Sieg hit on 9 of 16 passes for 138 yards, plus he rushed for 258 yards on 34 carries and scored on runs of 2, 1, 20 and 37 yards as the Rangers defeated the Bulldogs, 33-23.

2023 HSSN Players of the Week

Week 13 – Matt Sieg, Fort Cherry

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

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