Undefeated state champions lead Trib 25 football all-stars
Sunday, December 6, 2020 | 8:00 PM
Two WPIAL teams went unbeaten from start to finish, remarkable seasons that included lopsided wins, running clocks and record-setting stats.
Ultimately, WPIAL champions Central Valley and Pine-Richland both celebrated undefeated state titles in Hershey. Their dominance — outscoring opponents by more than 400 points — is represented here in the Trib 25 football team.
The group includes many WPIAL and PIAA champions, but there are other accomplishments represented as well.
Many rank among the WPIAL leaders in rushing, passing and receiving. One led his team to the WPIAL finals for the first time in school history. Most are talents with college football in their future.
The coronavirus pandemic made 2020 a football season unlike any other, but these 25 players found reasons to celebrate.
Penn-Trafford, QB/DB, senior
Carr was one of the WPIAL’s best dual-threat quarterbacks in his first year behind center. The Villanova recruit passed for 1,027 yards and 16 touchdowns, and rushed for near 700 and nine more scores. He also played defense and made 36 tackles.
Upper St. Clair, QB, senior
The dual-threat quarterback was the leading passer and rusher for Upper St. Clair, which reached the WPIAL Class 5A playoffs. Dahlem passed for 1,567 yards and 14 touchdowns while rushing for nine more scores.
Gateway, RB/DB, senior
A top recruit in the WPIAL’s 2021 class, Davis committed to LSU. Davis rushed for 747 yards on 98 carries and added 18 catches for the WPIAL Class 5A semifinalist. He was ranked as the fifth-best safety in the country by 247Sports.com.
Central Valley, QB, senior
The Harvard recruit was rarely needed in the second half of lopsided wins but still threw for 1,297 yards and 16 touchdowns as Central Valley won WPIAL and PIAA Class 3A titles. The Warriors went 25-2 combined in his junior and senior seasons.
North Allegheny, WR/LB, senior
The Penn State recruit did a little bit of everything for WPIAL Class 6A runner-up North Allegheny. Dinkins scored a team-high nine TDs while playing receiver, wildcat quarterback and linebacker.
Central Valley, OL/DL, junior
Much like Central Valley overall, FitzSimmons appeared unstoppable at times. He led Central Valley with 112 tackles, 36 tackles for a loss and 18 sacks as the Warriors won WPIAL and PIAA Class 3A titles. He’s drawing Division I offers, including from Pitt.
Baldwin, OL/DL, senior
The Pitt commit is known best as a defensive tackle but earned all-conference honors at guard this season. The highly recruited lineman committed to the Panthers over Penn State, Michigan and others.
Central Valley, WR/DB, senior
The Pitt recruit missed the team’s state playoff run with an arm injury, but his impact was felt in the regular season as the Warriors celebrated mercy rule wins every week. They outscored conference opponents 207-22, and Hall made 64 tackles.
Central Catholic, TE/DL, senior
Henderson was a two-way standout for the WPIAL Class 6A champions. He made his presence felt in the playoffs including a four-sack effort in the semifinals. He finished with 40 tackles, 14 tackles for a loss and 13 sacks. Robert Morris, Albany and James Madison have offered him scholarships.
North Allegheny, FB/TE/LB, senior
Hoke was a fierce tackler in the middle of a North Allegheny defense that allowed just 13.7 points per game. The Tigers were the WPIAL Class 6A runners-up. He’s committed to BYU, where his NFL father Chris also starred.
Peters Township, TE/LB, senior
Hondru has overseen Peters Township’s rise to WPIAL contender as a four-year starter in the middle of the Indians’ defense. He made 53 tackles this season, pushing his career total to 234. He’s committed to Miami (Ohio).
Beaver Falls, RB/DL, senior
Hough was the WPIAL rushing champion with 1,920 yards on 113 carries — a 17-yards-per-carry average. He scored 28 touchdowns. With the Syracuse recruit playing running back and defensive end, Beaver Falls won the WPIAL Class 2A championship.
Pine-Richland, OL/DL, senior
Jackson, a two-way difference maker, had 54 tackles and 12½ sacks for the WPIAL and PIAA Class 5A champion. He’ll graduate with a team-record 36 sacks. He initially committed to Liberty but will consider other Division I options instead.
Pine-Richland, WR/DB, senior
Jochem holds Pine-Richland records for career receptions and yards. As a senior, he caught 64 passes for 1,271 yards and 18 touchdowns as the Rams won WPIAL and PIAA titles. He has D1 offers from Dayton, Fordham and Lehigh.
Peters Township, WR/DB, senior
The Florida recruit helped Peters Township reach the WPIAL finals for the second year in a row. He had 59 tackles. The four-star recruit is ranked as the sixth-best safety in the country by 247Sports.com.
Pine-Richland, TE/LB, senior
Miller set a Pine-Richland single-game record with 23 tackles in the state semifinals. The Kent State recruit finished the year with 105 total tackles, including 19 tackles for a loss. He finished the state finals with 19 tackles.
Aliquippa, RB/DB, senior
The Quips were a small school competing against bigger opponents, but Redd was a big problem for all of them. He rushed for 1,292 yards and 18 touchdowns on 150 carries for the WPIAL Class 4A runners-up.
South Fayette, WR/DB, senior
The Princeton recruit ranked second among all WPIAL receivers with 49 receptions this season but also made 52 tackles. He finished his Lions career with more than 2,000 receiving yards and 140 catches.
Pine-Richland, QB, senior
Spencer passed for 2,626 yards and 33 touchdowns as Pine-Richland won WPIAL and PIAA Class 5A titles. He completed 71% of his throws. With an 11-0 record this year, he became the winningest QB in team history. He’s committed to Penn for wrestling.
Clairton, RB/LB, senior
Sanders led the WPIAL in touchdowns with 29 and finished second among running backs with 1,780 rushing yards. His big-play ability helped the Bears reach the WPIAL Class A finals.
Central Catholic, RB, senior
Tillman rushed for 982 yards, most among WPIAL Class 6A running backs, and helped the Vikings win back-to-back titles. He led Central Catholic with 10 touchdowns. He finished his career with more than 3,900 yards.
Central Valley, WR/DB, senior
The Akron recruit led state champion Central Valley with 12 touchdowns. He did a little bit of everything for the Warriors, compiling more than 1,200 all-purpose yards and intercepting four passes.
Elizabeth Forward, OL/DL, senior
The Bowling Green recruit anchored one of the WPIAL’s stingiest defenses and led Elizabeth Forward to the WPIAL finals for the first time in school history. The defensive end made 49 tackles and eight sacks.
Belle Vernon, QB/DB, junior
The multi-sport star emerged as a big-play threat for the Leopards. Whitlock rushed for 1,982 yards and 21 touchdowns on 100 carries, but also passed for more than 500 yards. Belle Vernon reached the WPIAL Class 4A semifinals.
Thomas Jefferson, WR/LB, senior
The Youngstown State recruit was a leader on both sides of the ball as TJ defended its WPIAL and PIAA Class 4A titles. Zandier ranked third among WPIAL receivers with 47 catches and scored 11 touchdowns.
Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at email@example.com or via Twitter .
Tags: Aliquippa, Baldwin, Beaver Falls, Belle Vernon, Central Catholic, Central Valley, Clairton, Elizabeth Forward, Gateway, North Allegheny, Penn-Trafford, Peters Township, Pine-Richland, South Fayette, Thomas Jefferson, Upper St. Clair
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