WPIAL Class 4A football finals primer: Thomas Jefferson vs. Belle Vernon

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Friday, November 15, 2019 | 5:21 PM


WPIAL Class 4A championship

No. 1 Thomas Jefferson (12-0) vs. No. 3 Belle Vernon (10-1)

5 p.m. Saturday, Heinz Field

On the air: TribHSSN.triblive.com; 1020 AM, 107.1 FM, 95.3 FM

Coaches: Bill Cherpak, Thomas Jefferson; Matt Humbert, Belle Vernon

Winner plays: Winner of Cathedral Prep (10-2) and Bellefonte (9-2) in PIAA quarterfinals Nov. 22-23

WPIAL titles: Thomas Jefferson 8 (1980, 2004, ‘06, ‘07, ‘08, ‘15, ‘16, ‘17); Belle Vernon 1 (1995)

Thomas Jefferson

Player to watch

Shane Stump

Senior, 6-1, 200, QB/DB

The three-year starter has freedom at the line of scrimmage and he’s made smart decisions with the football. He’s thrown 31 touchdowns and only one interception while passing for more than 2,000 yards. He’s also rushed for 403 yards and six scores.

Statistical leaders

Passing: Shane Stump, 102-175, 2,149 yards, 31 TDs, 1 INT

Rushing: Dylan Mallozzi, 123-1,205 yards, 18 TDs

Receiving: Dan Deabner, 38-834 yards, 19 TDs; Ian Hansen 29-624, 8 TDs

How they got here

Thomas Jefferson (12-0)

Coach: Bill Cherpak

Regular season

54 Canon-McMillan 10

48 Ringgold 6

34 Belle Vernon 7

62 Indiana 0

40 Trinity 0

61 Connellsville 7

28 Central Valley 3

60 Laurel Highlands 0

42 Greensburg Salem 0

53 West Mifflin 0

WPIAL playoffs

49 Montour 7

49 Blackhawk 0

Probable starting lineup

Offense

LT, 52, Michael Huber, 6-0, 270, sr.

LG, 55, Jacob Krawczyk, 6-4, 260, jr.

C, 66, Nicholas Trainor, 6-0, 210, jr.

RG, 54, Logan Danielson, 6-1, 265, sr.

RT, 72, Mac Duda, 6-4, 274, sr.

TE, 33, James Martinis, 6-2, 210, sr.

FB, 34, Nate Werderber, 6-0, 200, sr.

RB, 23, Dylan Mallozzi, 5-11, 185, sr.

QB, 4, Shane Stump, 6-1, 200, sr.

WR, 11, Daniel Deabner, 6-0, 180, sr.

WR, 10, Ian Hansen, 5-7, 155, jr.

WR, 2, Preston Zandier, 6-1, 195, jr.

K, 82, Dylan Sullivan, 6-4, 155, sr.

Defense

DE, 33, James Martinis, 6-2, 210, sr.

DE, 36, Jack Konick, 6-0, 200, jr.

DT, 52, Michael Huber, 6-0, 270, sr.

DT, 54, Logan Danielson, 6-1, 265, sr.

OLB, 2, Preston Zandier, 6-1, 195, jr.

OLB, 6, Bowen Dame, 6-1, 185, sr.

ILB, 20, Isaac Eckley, 5-11, 180, so.

ILB, 34, Nate Werderber, 6-0, 200, sr.

CB, 11, Daniel Deabner, 6-0, 180, sr.

CB, 10, Ian Hansen, 5-7, 155, jr.

S, 4, Shane Stump, 6-1, 200, sr.

S, 12, Jake Pugh, 5-9, 160, jr.

P, 4, Shane Stump, 6-1, 200, sr.

Notable

Thomas Jefferson has reached the WPIAL finals for the fifth year in a row. The Jaguars were runners-up to South Fayette, 31-24, last season. … Bill Cherpak seeks his eighth WPIAL title, tying the WPIAL record held by Mt. Lebanon coach Bob Palko, who won eight at West Allegheny. …. Cherpak is in his 25th season. … TJ won WPIAL titles in 1980, 2004, 06-08 and 2015-17.

Belle Vernon

Player to watch

Jared Hartman

Senior, 6-1, 210, QB/LB

The strong-armed senior completed an efficient 16 of 19 passes for 188 yards and two touchdowns in last week’s semifinal win over South Fayette. He has bounced back after missing most of last season with a knee injury.

Statistical leaders

Passing: Jared Hartman, 123-153, 1,745 yards, 29 TDs, 5 INTs

Rushing: Larry Callaway, 140-1,040 yards, 17 TDs; Devin Whitlock, 62-501 yards, 5 TDs

Receiving: Nolan Labuda, 47-586 yards, 10 TDs; Hunter Ruokonen, 24-366 yards, 8 TDs; Andrew Pacak, 9-239 yards, 5 TDs

How they got here

Belle Vernon (10-1)

Coach: Matt Humbert

Regular season

58 at Ambridge 0

7 at Thomas Jefferson 34

63 Laurel Highlands 13

61 Indiana 7

43 at Greensburg Salem 3

48 at Trinity 7

40 West Mifflin 7

58 at Plum 17

63 Ringgold 6

WPIAL playoffs

49 New Castle 6

41 at South Fayette 30

Probable starting lineup

Offense

LT, 69, Hayden Baron, 6-2, 265, sr.

LG, 58, Anthony Evans, 6-3, 282, jr.

C, 63, Max Bryer, 6-2, 220, sr.

RG, 52, Dakota Marion, 6-2, 245, jr.

RT, 56, Ryan McGrew, 6-3, 240, so.

TE, 41, Mitch Pohlot, 6-4, 214, sr.

WR, 5, Nolan Labuda, 5-7, 160, sr.

WR, 1, Devin Whitlock, 5-6, 150, so.

QB, 12, Jared Hartman, 6-1, 210, sr.

RB, 2, Larry Callaway, 6-0, 190, sr.

FB, 45, Gage Rogge, 5-10, 225, sr.

K, 88, Cameron Guess, 6-0, 190, sr.

Defense

DE, 45, Gage Rogge, 5-10, 225, sr.

DT, 52, Dakota Marion, 6-2, 245, jr.

DT, 69, Hayden Baron, 6-2, 265, sr.

DE, 41, Mitch Pohlot, 6-4, 214, sr.

OLB, 13, Ian Maloney, 6-2, 188, jr.

MLB, 10, Ben Tenuta, 6-0, 185, sr.

MLB, 15, Cole Weightman, 6-4, 210, so.

OLB, 6, Andrew Pacak, 6-1, 210, sr.

S, 17, Hunter Ruokonen, 6-0, 170, sr.

S, 1, Devin Whitlock, 5-6, 150, so.

CB, 5, Nolan Labuda, 5-7, 160, sr.

CB, 9, Damani Johnson, 5-8, 160, sr.

P, 88, Cameron Guess, 6-0, 190, sr.

Notable

Belle Vernon is searching for its first WPIAL title since 1995, when the Leopards defeated Franklin Regional, 22-6. … Humbert is in his sixth season guiding the Leopards. He had previously coached at Ringgold for four seasons. … The Leopards are 51-13 in his tenure. … Belle Vernon has a record of 2-5 against Thomas Jefferson in that span, defeating the Jaguars during the regular season in 2015 and ‘17. … Whitlock transferred to Belle Vernon from Monessen last spring. He has been a valuable weapon on offense and defense. … Belle Vernon is averaging 48.3 points while allowing 11.8.

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

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