WPIAL Class 4A football championship breakdown: Belle Vernon vs. Aliquippa

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Friday, November 26, 2021 | 3:24 PM


No. 1 Belle Vernon vs. No. 2 Aliquippa

3 p.m. Saturday, Heinz Field

On the air: TV: WPCW; Audio: TribHSSN.TribLive.com, 1020 AM, 92.1 FM, 1230 AM, 99.3 FM, 1460 AM, 95.3 FM

Winner plays: The winner of District 4 champion Jersey Shore and District 10 champion Meadville in the PIAA semifinals Dec. 3 or 4.

WPIAL titles: Belle Vernon 1 (1995); Aliquippa 17 (1952, ’55, ’64, ‘84, ’85, ’87, ’88, ’89, ’91, ’96, 2000, ’03, ’08, ’11, ’12, ’15, ‘18)

Belle Vernon (10-0)

Player to watch: Quentin Martin

Martin has rushed for 902 yards on 80 carries with 12 touchdowns for the Leopards. The sophomore Division I prospect also has added 10 catches for 164 yards and two scores in just eight games.

Statistical leaders

Passing: Devin Whitlock, 64-96, 1,023 yards, 9 TDs, 2 INTs

Rushing: Whitlock, 109-1,189 yards, 23 TDs

Receiving: Evan Pohlot, 17-299 yards, 1 TD

Probable starting lineup

Coach: Matt Humbert

Offense

QB, 1, Devin Whitlock, 5-8, 175, sr.

RB, 25, Quinton Martin, 6-3, 195, so.

FB, 35, Craig Dongilli, 5-10, 195, sr.

WR, 3, Evan Pohlot, 6-2, 180, jr.

WR, 17, Chase Ruokonen, 6-0, 165, jr.

TE, 15, Cole Weightman, 6-3, 220, sr.

LT, 70, Dane Levi, 6-3, 250, so.

LG, 62, Dylan Larson, 5-9, 230, sr.

C, 68, Tommy Kovatch, 6-0, 240, sr.

RG, 57, Jack Bryer, 6-0, 210, sr.

RT, 58, Steve Macheska, 6-4, 240, jr.

Defense

DE, 15, Cole Weightman, 6-3, 220, sr.

DT, 68, Tommy Kovatch, 6-0, 240, sr.

DT, 58, Steve Macheska, 6-4, 240, jr.

DE, 35, Craig Dongilli, 5-10, 195, sr.

LB, 10, Jake Gedekoh, 5-10, 170, so.

LB, 11, Reiley Wiant, 6-2, 200, sr.

LB, 43, Logan Hoffman, 6-0, 195, sr.

LB, 57, Jack Bryer, 6-0, 210, sr.

CB, 6, Logan Cunningham, 5-11, 180, sr.

CB, 1, Devin Whitlock, 5-8, 175, sr.

S, 25, Quinton Martin, 6-3, 195, so.

Special teams

K/P, 20, Tyler Kovatch, 6-0, 185, sr.

Notable: Belle Vernon lost to Aliquippa, 33-25, in last season’s WPIAL Class 4A semifinals. The Leopards reached the 2019 championship game before falling to rival Thomas Jefferson. … The Leopards, who average 40.5 points per game, have won nearly every game this season in convincing fashion, except for two matchups with Thomas Jefferson (28-21 and 21-7 wins). They have outscored opponents 405-114. … Cole Weightman anchors a Belle Vernon defense that has limited opponents to 11.4 points per game. He has 76 tackles, including seven sacks. … Tyler Kovatch has converted a 32-yard field goal and 38 of 40 point-after attempts.

Aliquippa (10-1)

Player to watch: Donovan Walker

Walker has been a ball-hawk on defense for the Quips this season. He has six interceptions and two fumble recoveries and has scored three times on defense. He also has made 65 tackles, which is second on the team behind Jason McBride.

Statistical leaders

Passing: Quentin Goode, 91-157, 1,529 yards, 15 TDs, 5 INTs

Rushing: Tiqwai Hayes, 163-1,376 yards, 16 TDs

Receiving: Cyair Clark, 26-513 yards, 5 TDs

Probable starting lineup

Coach: Mike Warfield

Offense

QB, 4, Quentin Goode, 5-7, 155, so.

RB, 23, Tiqwai Hayes, 5-9. 170, fr.

RB, 25, Jon Tracy, 5-9, 182, so.

WR, 6, Cyair Clark, 5-8, 162, sr.

WR, 9, Brandon Banks, 6-0, 172, so.

WR, 10, Tajier Thornton, 5-6, 165, sr.

LT, 70, Naquan Crowder, 6-4, 345, jr.

LG, 56, Jason McBride, 6-4, 325, jr.

C, 53, Braylon Wilcox, 5-10, 200, so.

RG, 52, Neco Eberhardt, 6-2, 280, jr.

RT, 72, Tyreese Jones, 6-7, 365, sr.

Defense

DE, 12, Dorius Moreland, 6-0, 185, jr.

DT, 52, Neco Eberhardt, 6-2, 280, jr.

DT, 55, Omar Banks, 6-3, 275, sr.

DT, 56, Jason McBride, 6-4, 325, jr.

DE, 82, Jonathan King, 6-2, 165, so.

LB, 3, Isaiah Martinez, 5-6, 205, jr.

LB, 6, Cyair Clark, 5-8, 162, sr.

LB, 11, Cameron Lindsey, 6-2, 210, so.

DB, 9, Brandon Banks, 6-0, 172, so.

DB, 14, John Sparrow, 5-9, 162, sr.

DB, 21, Donovan Walker, 6-1, 180, jr.

Special teams

K/P, 89, Emmanuel Gyadu-mantey, 5-8, 154, sr.

Notable: The Quips are in the WPIAL championship game for the 14th straight season. They lost to Thomas Jefferson in the Class 4A title game last season and fell to Central Valley in the Class 3A final in 2019. They beat Derry for the 2018 Class 3A crown. … Aliquippa has dominated opponents in the first half this season, especially in the first quarter, outscoring teams 160-35. They hold a 303-67 edge in the first half. … Freshman Tiqwai Hayes has averaged 125 rushing yards per game this season and leads a rushing attack that has produced 2,272 yards. He ran for 226 yards and two scores in last week’s win over McKeesport. Jon Tracy has added 483 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. … Cyair Clark averages 19.7 yards per catch for the Quips. Tajier Thorton has added 22 receptions for 392 yards and five scores. … Emmanuel Gyadu-mantey has been a reliable kicker, booting two field goals and converting 50 of 52 extra-point attempts.

Bill Hartlep is the sports editor of the Tribune-Review. You can contact Bill at bhartlep@triblive.com or via Twitter @BHartlep_Trib.

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