Trib HSSN Top 20 Stories of 2020: Pine-Richland achieves perfection
Friday, December 25, 2020 | 3:00 PM
The most unique year in our lifetime is coming to an end. With so many mass starts and stops, highs and lows, just about all walks of life were affected by the coronavirus in 2020.
High school sports were no different. The first two and a half months of the year were carefree and business as usual. Then the final nine and a half months were greatly affected by the pandemic, whether scholastic contests were played or not.
Trib HSSN will close out the year with a daily countdown and a look back at the top 20 WPIAL stories from the year 2020.
No. 9 – Perfect Pine
Pine-Richland had been a force in Class 6A football for several years and had plenty of talent back from a 2019 team that lost to Central Catholic in the WPIAL finals.
So when realignment was announced and Pine-Richland fell to Class 5A, there were very high expectations for the team before the ink dried on the new-look classifications.
Pine-Richland cruised to a Northeast Conference crown with the closest regular season game being a 21-point nonconference victory over Upper St. Clair.
As the unique season unfolded, the Rams didn’t disappoint. The team improved to 9-0 with a 35-0 whitewash of Peters Township in the 5A finals. Pine-Richland became the first WPIAL school to win football crowns in five classifications.
However, the cruising and the one-sided games came to a screeching halt in the PIAA semifinals at Hollidaysburg against District 3 champion Governor Mifflin.
The Mustangs jumped out to a 21-0 early lead before the Rams fought back to make it a game 27-20 game by halftime.
Governor Mifflin delivered another roundhouse in the third quarter with a pair of touchdowns to again increase its lead to 21 points. However, Pine-Richland fought back and pulled out the thrilling win with less than two minutes left in an instant classic to advance to the state finals.
Once in Hershey, state gold seemed like a foregone conclusion as Pine-Richland whipped up on District 10 champion Cathedral Prep, 48-7, to capture the school’s second PIAA football championship.
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