WPIAL Class 3A final by the numbers: Central Valley 52, North Catholic 15

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Saturday, November 27, 2021 | 6:19 PM


Central Valley 52, North Catholic 15

North Catholic 7-0-0-8 15

Central Valley 14-31-7-0 52

How they scored

CV: Antwon Johnson 1 run (Serafino DeSantis kick)

NC: Liam Straub 93 kickoff return (Ethan Marsico kick)

CV: Jayvin Thompson 69 pass from Johnson (DeSantis kick)

CV: Jack Bible 14 pass from Matt Merritt (DeSantis kick)

CV: Landon Alexander 50 run (DeSantis kick)

CV: Alexander 18 pass from Johnson (DeSantis kick)

CV: Jayvin Thompson 15 pass from Johnson (DeSantis kick)

CV: DeSantis 36 field goal

CV: Bret FitzSimmons 5 run (DeSantis kick)

NC: Luke Baker 13 run (Jason Siket run)

Team statistics

NC CV

First downs 10 … 17

Rushes-Yards 18-76 … 47-348

Passing yards 97 … 198

Passing Att-Comp-Int 26-8-4 … 14-10-0

Total offense Plays-yards 44-173 … 61-546

Punts (number-avg.) 4-31.5 … 1-22.0

Fumbles-lost 1-1 … 2-2

Penalties-yards 4-30 … 15-115

Possession time 20:40 … 26:57

Individual statistics

Rushing: NC: Danny Franco 1-56, Luke Baker 1-13, Jack Fennell 5-10, Jason Siket 4-8, Kyle Tipinski 1-minus-4, Joey Prentice 6-minus-7; CV: Landon Alexander 18-217, Deniro Simpson 5-39, Steven Rutherford 1-35, Bret FitzSimmons 9-33, Kyle Schad 1-12, Matt Merritt 4-9, Mason Dixon 2-4, Jayvin Thompon 1-2, Don Lindsey 1-1, Antwon Johnson 1-1, Chris Bullock 2-minus-1, Jackson Anderson 1-minus-2, Macus Lawson 1-minus-2

Passing: NC: Joey Prentice 7-25-91-4INT-0TD, Daniel Long 1-16-0INT-0TD; CV: Johnson 7-10-155-0INT-2TD, Merritt 3-4-43-0INT-2TD

Receiving: NC: Tipinski 4-32, Fennell 2-17, Tyler Maziarz 1-44, Long 1-4; CV: Jack Bible 4-70, Alexander 4-44, Thompson 2-84

Alexander now tops

Landon Alexander became Central Valley’s all-time leading rusher early in Saturday’s game.

The 6-foot-1, 190-pound running back broke Jordan Whitehead’s school mark of 3,525 yards. Alexander now has 3,710 yards over his career with Saturday’s 217-yard performance.

25 and streaking

Saturday’s victory was the 25th in a row for the Warriors — all 13 this season and 12 last year for the defending state champs.

The last Central Valley loss was in the 2019 state championship game, a 21-14 setback against Wyoming Area.

This appears to be the swan song for Central Valley in Class 3A. The school is set to move to Class 4A next year because of increased enrollment.

Make that five

Central Valley’s hauled in its fifth championship Saturday. The Warriors also lost two title games, falling to West Allegheny in 2013 and to Thomas Jefferson in ’15.

It’s also the fifth title for coach Mark Lyons, tying him for 11th on the all-time WPIAL coaching list with Jim Render (Upper St. Clair) and Roy Hickes (Glassport).

In the postgame press conference, Lyons alluded to three losses while with Monaca from 1998-2000.

Lyons’ all-time coaching record is now 196-94.

North Catholic won it all in 2013 over Sto-Rox in the school’s only other WPIAL title game appearance. The Trojans won seven titles in the old Pittsburgh Area Catholic League, taking titles to its then-home base on Troy Hill from 1959-61, ’63, ’65, ’70 and ’71.

Butler drought sustained

The North Catholic loss also meant that a school from Butler County has not won a WPIAL title since Knoch in 1978. When North Catholic won its title in 2013, the school had yet to move to Cranberry.

Stellar defense

Besides forcing five turnovers, Central Valley’s defense held the Trojans to minus-1 rushing after three quarters. North Catholic drove 74 yards in the final minutes of the game with Luke Baker scoring from 13 yards out. A key play was a 56-yard run by sophomore Danny Franco.

Up next

Central Valley will enter the PIAA tournament against another Central — Martinsburg Central, that is. The school from Blair County defeated Grove City in the state quarterfinals Friday.

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