WPIAL Class 3A final notebook: Overtime rare in WPIAL championship games
Saturday, November 16, 2019 | 7:19 PM
Saturday’s Class 3A final was the fifth championship game decided in overtime in WPIAL history.
In 1995, Burrell defeated Washington, 14-13. In 2007, Central Catholic defeated Gateway, 35-34. In 2011, North Allegheny defeated Upper St. Clair, 28-21. In 2016, West Allegheny defeated McKeesport, 38-37.
A decade’s impact
In just 10 seasons, Central Valley is among the WPIAL’s elite. The Warriors won their third title Saturday in their fifth championship game appearance. Central Valley has an all-time record of 97-28, a .776 winning percentage.
The Warriors are 21-6 in WPIAL playoff games.
Mark Lyons is the only coach Central Valley has had. His all-time record is 170-93 when his seasons at Monaca, Mt. Pleasant and Freedom are added.
Central Valley blues
Aliquippa has lost three games in the last two years — all to Central Valley. The Quips lost to the Warriors in the regular season finale each of the last two seasons and on Saturday.
Coach Mike Warfield’s record at Aliquippa is 26-3 with the losses coming to the school district in which he pays taxes.
But sing no sad songs for the Quips. Saturday was their 12th consecutive title game appearance, winning five times.
Aliquippa’s all-time record is 734-325-22 for a winning percentage of .693.
In WPIAL playoff action, the Quips are 91-26.
Aliquippa has had only one losing season in football since 1970, compiling a 4-6 mark in 1994.
The 13-12 look
Saturday was the third time Aliquippa has been involved in a 13-12 title game.
The Quips defeated Washington by that score in 1952 but lost by that same score to Charleroi in 1959.
With Central Valley’s senior long snapper, Reed FitzSimmons injured, the duties fell to freshman brother Bret.
His first career snap was perfect, leading to Ethan Ott’s winning extra point.
“Reed is our starting snapper, but he hurt his hand and he was struggling to get the ball snapped,” said Warriors coach Mark Lyons. “Luckily, he has a little brother that got in there and snapped it. He executed at the right time for us.”
In just four seasons, the Tri-County West Conference has won the WPIAL Class 3A title each time.
Beaver Falls won it all in 2016, Quaker Valley in 2017, Aliquippa last year and Central Valley on Saturday.
It will be interesting to see if the conference’s dominance continues.
Next year, Central Valley is scheduled to advance to Class 4A and Beaver Falls will drop to Class 2A.
Central Valley will have next weekend off and enter the PIAA playoffs Thanksgiving weekend against either Bald Eagle Area or the winner of Saturday night’s game between Sharon and Grove City.
Central Valley 13, Aliquippa 12 (OT)
Aliquippa 0-6-00-6 12
Central Valley 0-0-0-6-7 13
How they scored:
A: Chinua Solomon 12 pass from Isaiah Towler (kick failed)
CV: Jaylen Guy 8 pass from Ameer Dudley (kick failed)
CV: Michael Barbuto 10 run (Ethan Ott kick)
A: Towler 11 run (run failed)
Aliquippa Central Valley
First downs 13 14
Rushes-Yards 38-169 36-177
Passing yards 76 74
Passing Att-Comp-Int 19-8-2 14-8-2
Total offense Plays-yards 57-245 50-251
Punts (number-avg.) 1-34 2-37.5
Fumbles-lost 1-0 1-0
Penalties-yards 8-57 3-15
Possession time 26:56 21:04
Rushing: A: Vernon Redd 20-92, Isaiah Towler 11-70-1, Anthony Jackson 1-14, Karl McBride 1-minus-2, Vaughn Morris 1-minus 2, Antonio Quinn 4-minus 3; CV: Jaylen Guy 19-104, Stephon Hall 6-32, Ameer Dudley 8-26, Michael Barbuto 2-10-1, Myles Walker 1-5.
Passing: A: Morris 7-17-64-2INT-0TD, Towler 1-2-12-0INT-1TD; CV: Dudley 8-14-74-1INT-1TD
Receiving: A: Chinua Solomon 4-46-1, Towler 3-18, Zuriah Fisher 1-12: CV: Walker 3-32-, Guy 2-15-1, Jack Bible 2-12, Justin Thompson 1-15.