Unheralded QB runs his family’s business — Aliquippa’s offense — with championship efficiency

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Thursday, November 30, 2023 | 1:06 AM


In a jubilant locker room where the players were even louder than the cranked-up music, Aliquippa quarterback Quentin Goode paused to think about the WPIAL football title he’d just won and why it felt different than his first two.

There were countless answers he could’ve given Friday at Acrisure Stadium.

“How is this one different for me personally?” said Goode, thinking about the question. “My big brother and my little brother were on the team and we got it together. … That’s what really made it special.”

It’s a brotherhood that surely was unique in the WPIAL.

Younger brother Qalil Goode is a sophomore who catches the occasional pass from him, including a 41-yarder in the WPIAL finals. But there are lots of other quarterback-receiver brother tandems in high school football.

The truly unique part here was that his older brother Darrien Fields was the one calling the plays as Aliquippa’s first-year offensive coordinator.

They’ve had a record-setting year together as the Quips won another WPIAL title and Quentin became the all-time leading passer in Aliquippa history. Goode, known to friends as “Cheese,” has more than 5,500 career yards.

“I walked into a great situation with him,” Fields said. “Whether he’s the (standout) quarterback he is or not, he’s my brother first. But to have the all-time leading passer in Aliquippa as your quarterback, that makes it a little easier to call plays.”

Goode threw for two touchdowns last Friday to defeat McKeesport, 35-21, in the WPIAL Class 4A final. He completed 8 of 14 passes for 154 yards, and his 9-yard touchdown throw with 4:14 left sealed the win.

Fields said their coach-player relationship is built on trust.

“I told him, ‘No matter what I call, if you feel like you see something, change it,’” Fields said. “’I’m going to be with you regardless.’ He doesn’t have to worry about me throwing him under the bus. Maybe to our mom, but that’s it.”

The title was Aliquippa’s third in a row, and Goode was the starting quarterback for all three. The offense has averaged 40.7 points per game this season and scored five times in the finals against McKeesport.

The Quips improved to 38-2 overall in Goode’s three seasons as quarterback.

“It’s easier with a guy who’s been through it, been in some tough games, been in some big games,” coach Mike Warfield said. “But I’m also proud of his brother Darrien. He called a great game.”

Fields is a former Quips quarterback who set passing records at Marietta College. But he’s quick to point out that he never quarterbacked Aliquippa to a WPIAL title, having lost in the finals as a junior and senior.

So, don’t blame him for living vicariously through his brother.

“To go out there and accomplish that goal with him — to have the same goal – was especially remarkable,” Fields said. “And having our younger brother out there, too, is icing on the cake.”

Their time together isn’t over.

Aliquippa (12-0) faces Selinsgrove (13-0-1) in a PIAA semifinal at 7 p.m. Friday at Central Cambria. A win would take the Quips to the state finals for the third year in a row.

Fields said he spent this week studying the District 4 champion.

“I’m in my laboratory right now, trying to cook some things up,” he said with a laugh.

The 26-year-old also understands the plight of the Aliquippa quarterback better than most. They certainly can’t be selfish, since they usually have to share the backfield with a star running back or two.

“When I played, we had Terry Swanson and Dravon Henry,” Fields said. “Just give those two the ball.”

It worked, but Fields said he always admired the quarterback-driven offense of South Fayette from a distance. His Aliquippa teams lost to South Fayette in the 2013 and ’14 finals.

Aliquippa’s offense has expanded considerably under Warfield, who was hired in 2018. Some credit for that success belongs to Goode, who topped 1,900 yards passing as both a sophomore and junior. The 5-foot-9, 180-pound passer needs 278 yards more this season to reach 2,000.

Fields said he always knew his brother would be a quarterback — or at least that was always big brother’s hope.

“When he was old enough to make a throwing motion, I had a high school ball in his hands,” Fields said. “If I learned something in college, I was coming home and teaching it to him in some sort of fashion.”

Fields insists that his brother is underappreciated outside of Aliquippa.

Goode has completed 60% of his 163 passes this season. That number of attempts is sometimes limited by the talent that surrounds him.

He shares the backfield with Penn State-bound junior Tikey Hayes, a 1,700-yard rusher with 18 touchdowns. Senior running back John Tracy also has 10 touchdowns, and senior Cameron Lindsey is a Pitt recruit who scored three times in the WPIAL finals.

“With Tikey, Cam Lindsey, John Tracy, he knows the weapons that he has,” Fields said. “But he’s the type of player who turns around and tells Tikey, ‘You better get this first down because I could throw it right now.’”

In some ways, Goode is like a second offensive coordinator.

“We give him two plays in the huddle, and sometimes in certain formations, we don’t even call a play,” Warfield said. “We just line up in the formation and it’s a numbers game. He sees which side is the best for us.”

Warfield was the Quips’ quarterbacks coach when Fields was a junior.

After making 29 starts at Marietta, Fields coached there for a couple of years. He spent last season as offensive coordinator at Sto-Rox, which is coached by another Aliquippa graduate.

When the OC job at Aliquippa became available this fall, Warfield reached out.

“This group of kids from 12th through 10th grade, I watched them since they were playing Twerps at 5, 6 or 7 years old,” Fields said. “We always used to say, ‘When they get to high school, they’re going to be so good,’ but you really never know.

“For the last 10 or 11 years, we’ve been on this ride with them. It’s crazy to see it paying off.”

Chris Harlan is a TribLive reporter covering sports. He joined the Trib in 2009 after seven years as a reporter at the Beaver County Times. He can be reached at charlan@triblive.com.

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